Another year has passed and we are nearing the fifth anniversary of our amazing organisation. A lot has happened for Grimm and everyone that is a part of it, in Belgium as well as in other parts of Europe where we are getting more and more active. It also marks the fourth year as my role as the editor in chief for this site but I could have never done it without the help of our amazing team and especially Vaim who has put a lot of effort and work in the site as a whole. 2017 was in particular a very good year when it comes to releases, old and high valued bands have re-emerged, new ones have sprouted up and some have probably been lacking the attention they deserve because of the absolute abundance of albums, EP’s, splits and demo’s that have seen the light of day. Yet we can only try to give everyone as much attention as possible and try to give equal chances to every artist out there. My personal efforts in this matter resulted in the following top 10 of the past year.
10. Primitive Man – Caustic
Definitely one of the filthiest and most aggressive albums of 2017, Caustic was the second album by American doom, sludge and noise band Primitive Man. Five years in the making it was finally released upon the masses in the fall of last year leaving nothing standing up as it tore an audio path of destruction along its way. Leaving its previous affiliations with thrash and death metal the band fully embraced the noise and sludge sound that was already lingering in the shadows on its predecessor Scorn Everyone was expecting a very strong and solid release by this trio but no one could foresee the immense brutality and force by which they would eventually strike. The full review from a couple of months ago can be found right here.
9. Vonnis – Evil.Against.Evil
Vonnis is a Belgian band located in the city of Ghent who wanted to bring something new whilst respecting the heritage of which they came from. This resulted in a very eclectic and strange release, even for my standards. Rooted deep within old school hardcore punk and metalcore Evil.Against.Evil has become something more vile and darker than what we are used to when it comes to these specific genres. It may only be 11 minutes long but it is infused with nihilism, sludge, crust and even hints of black metal. They have become a real sensation and have taken the Belgian scene almost overnight. It is not surprising that the band comes from the Consouling Sounds stable and has a very refreshing sound for those who are looking for something new and surprising. The original review can be read here, in Dutch.
8. Wiegedood – De doden hebben het goed II
Another band that comes from within the dark underbelly of Ghent and Consouling Sounds. They have climbed up and signed with Century Media now and are also getting a lot of international attention albeit that their lyrics are still written in Dutch. Considering the fact that they belong to the so-called Church of Ra can be an explanation for their explosive success around the world since this is widely considered as a quality label by now. Wiegedood however have managed to obtain and also maintain this success completely on their own. De doden hebben het goed II carries on where De doden hebben het goed ended. People may consider this fact as if they were surfing on their previous success and should have waited longer for releasing a second album, but there will always be people who comment on everything. This has turned out to be a very good and descent album that contains just as much ferocity and fury as its predecessor. That is also why it is crowned with the 8th place in my list.
7. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
From the fastest and hardest to the slowest and heaviest, that sums it quite up for number 7 on my list. Bell witch was somewhat familiar with the international doom and sludge scene, but it was only with the release of Mirror Reaper that they fully gained the attention and recognition that they really deserve. The slow and pounding funeral doom melodies are mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful. The sludge parts are such a complete opposite to this and utterly disturbing when you don’t expect them to be contrasted to the nostalgic melancholy of the more “doomy” parts of the album. This has really placed the band on the map and hopefully this only means that there is more greatness yet to come.
6. Fen – Winter
When you have to think of one British band that makes music about the British landscapes in the same way as a painter captures these same landscapes, you can only think of Fen. After 10 years Winter is the fifth release the band has made and they themselves consider it an anniversary record that compiles all of those elements that have made them who they are and what makes their music so typical for them. Returning to the more essentials of mid 90’s black metal yet still holding true to their own version of post-rock and post-metal. It is a well balanced celebration of their career thus far. Since the passing of Agalloch it seems we can only rely on these British gents to fill the void that has been left behind them while still remaining a strong and independent act on themselves.