As 2017 comes to a close it’s time to reflect on all the metal releases that came out. It was such a great year that it took the combined forces of Birdman and Anthony to rank the best of them. Here in no order are the top 15 metal albums of 2017.
Suffocation – ..Of the Dark Light
This year we got many new albums from old school death metal legends. Immolation,Obituary,Cannibal Corpse,Incantation,Morbid Angel and of course Suffocation all had a new album. While this album isn’t as great as their classics like Pierced from Within, it’s still a great entry that shows the band never fails.
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
Dark Descent Records presents doom metal album of the year with this excellent debut from Colorado’s death doom newcomers. Fans of crushing in your face darkness should really check this one out.
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Mae
Like on the previous album, the band further proves that adding a human drummer was an excellent idea for their sound. With great ambience and blast beats that mix in well, this record shows they are great at whatever style they take on.
Immolation – Atonement
Yonkers death metal legends are back with another amazing offering. The band shows that they never fail with an album loaded with ominous atmosphere. Definitely their best in a long while.
Morbid Angel – Kingdom Disdained
After 2011’s disaster of an album, people were worried about what the follow up would sound like. When Steve Tucker came back people were curious as David Vincent’s influence that ruined the last album would be non existent. When it finally came out we got an albums that reminds the fans what makes Morbid Angel totally great. Trey’s riffs are all over the place here and it’s loaded with technicality. Without a doubt their best since Gateways.
Toothgrinder – Phantom Amour
They’ve got a unique fuzzy guitar tone for the heavier songs, and an outstanding atmosphere for the lighter songs. This is their second full-length album. They will soon be on the road with Meshuggah and Code Orange.
Obituary – Obituary
This self-title reminds fans of the older era of the Florida death metal veterans, just with heavier drums.
SikTh – The Future In Who’s Eyes?
Considered integral to the development of djent, SikTh has put out their first full-length since their hiatus from 2008 to 2013. The whacky guitar tracks and vocals from earlier albums remain a dominant feature. It is the first album to feature new singer Joe Rosser. Spencer from Periphery makes an appearance on the track “Cracks of Light”.
Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora
There is a stark contrast between this album and their previous album. The powerhouse from D.C. recorded after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The actual music sees a return to their hardcore roots while still bringing Lonestar’s impressive leads. The crowdfunded album was then picked up by Southern Lord Records. It was produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge. You can learn more about the recording of GP & MF by checking out AltNation’s interview with Mike Schleibaum from last summer; https://www.alternativenation.net/interview-darkest-hour-guitarist-reveals-like-working-iconic-producer/
Archspire – Relentless Mutation
The fastest death metal out there. While more and more technical/progressive death metal bands are flooding the market, Archspire have worked to make themselves a truly unique one. The drumming on this album is absolutely insane. Several songs have a moment of clarity and tranquility before picking back up to insanity. Imagine attempting to do karaoke to their first track premier, “Involuntary Doppleganger”.
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
They already had a great start with their debut. Their sophomore album continues their beloved blend of thrash metal and hardcore punk with 80s style production. The opening track “Soul Sacrifice” is the perfect warm up for some of the more extreme songs such as “Firing Squad”.
Mutoid Man – War Moans
Most known for being a band formed by members of Converge and Cave In. This album is an audible mood ring, changing from the upbeat rock and roll sounds of the first track “Melt Your Mind”, to the heavier and creepy sounds of “Microaggressions”, concluding with “Bandages” a dark ballad-like song that features Chelsea Wolfe on backing vocals. This, along with Converge’s new record represents a good year for Ben Koller, as well as his Converge bandmate Kurt for producing War Moans.
Iron Monkey – 9-13
Sludge metal from merry ol’ England. Their first album after their split in 1999. With Johnny Morrow passed away, guitarist Jim Rushby has taken up the vocal duties. Still has the bluesy and harsh vibe from their previous two albums.
Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him
They’re from the UK but their music resembles the Swedish death metal tone in bands such as Entrails, Grave, and early Entombed. Made possible by Kurt Ballou’s production. From the short-length grinding sounds of “Dead World Breathes” to the prolonged doomed sounds of “Cursed From The Womb” the consistent tone of the album makes for a perfect one.
Mors Principium Est
Quite possibly the best output yet from the Finnish melodeath quintet. Every song on this album has a story. This album includes an eponymous song, “Death Is the Beginning”, which is the band’s name translated from Latin to English. Filled with guitar harmonies, fast riffs, and fluent solos, it takes my spot for album of the year.