2017 was a great year for all old school breathers like me. Every week there was at least one release coming out. At the end of 2016 it was already pretty clear 2017 would be an awesome year for death and extreme metal, so I was smart enough to keep a list during the year. I still struggle with numbering them, but I tried based on which releases surprised me most and which ones I listened to frequently. I’m glad so many great records came out, since that also means many of these bands will be touring Europe this year. It was a year of discussions, like if a band could still release a self-titled album after existing for more than 30 years or not, but also about Old School Death Metal (OSDM) bands using modern artwork etc. It seemed like only one thing didn’t need to be argued on, it was a very exciting year. I’d like to count down to my review of the number one record of the year.
10. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Power Trip knows how to bring perfect crossover to all people in heavy music. They already proved themselves with Manifest Decimation, but now they strike again with their sophomore release! The album came out February 24 and since then they did nothing but touring; first North America with Iron Reagan, then Europe with Napalm Death and Brujeria. Later they went back to North America, where they were part of the American Battle of the Bays tour, supporting Exodus and Obituary. During November and December they toured with Cannibal Corpse and Gatecreeper.
Since I grew up listening to hardcore, I’ve heard everything they released. They have evolved a lot and are one of the best active crossover bands at the moment. If you don’t give them a listen, you’re missing out.
9. Venenum – Trance of Death
Venenum plays semi-melodic death metal. Some like to compare their debut to Tribulation’s The Formulas of Death, others say it’s the Blood Incantation of 2017. I think Starspawn was still more straight forward and that might also be why I liked it a little more, when I compare both. Both bands will be playing Kill-Town Death Festival in Denmark later this year, together with some other bands mentioned in this list. It’s a festival you can’t miss out on.
Trance of Death is definitely an album you have to listen to in its whole. It’s complex and has also doom and black elements in it. Just like with the new Bell Witch I’d recommend you to close yourself of from the world for 50 minutes and let it absorb you.
8. Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
Cannibal Corpse doesn’t need any introduction. Webster & co released their 14th album with Red Before Black. They did stick to their formula, but they have been perfecting it through the years. Like always it’s extremely catchy. While ignoring the videoclips, I can say that with Red Before Black they delivered once again. I’m really excited to go see one of my all time favorite quartets on March 9 in Antwerp.
7. Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
It seems like Denmark is well represented in my top 10 this time. Undergang (number 2 on this list) and Phrenelith share the same guitarist/vocalist, David Torturdod. Desolate Endschape is another fantastic release by the ruling Dark Descent Records. The cool thing about this release is, they created a perfect mix of American OSDM (like early-Incantation) and the Finnish greats (like Convulse). The album is only 34 minutes long, but it definitely doesn’t contain any filler minutes. Be prepared for some next level riffs.