Ever since I started writing for this site, I’ve found myself in the same difficult spot at the end of every year: trying to select 10 albums that were released that year and were the best in my humble opinion. Seeing how many records get released every year, I just can’t avoid to have missed a few here and there. So I end up listening to quite a bunch of albums that others have been recommending on last notice, of which some actually make it into my list still. After long moments of contemplation, putting albums in my list, moving them around and replacing them by others, this is what finally became of my “albums of the year 2017”:
Like everyone has been saying already, 2017 was a strong year yet again for music. That’s why some releases just didn’t make it into my top 10 list. It’s also been very much a year of discoveries that I don’t want to keep from you. It simply would be a shame to not mention a few of them:
- On the level of black metal I got to know the Finnish psychedelic black metal outfit Oranssi Pazuzu. Their experimental and unusual approach to black metal and making music overall has given them much praise from critics and they were quite busy last Summer playing on a whole bunch of festivals, including a few where you wouldn’t expect such an extreme band. They also released two EP’s, Farmakologinen and Kevät/Värimyrsky, on which their cold and trippy cosmic sound came to full fruition yet again. Read the interview we had with them here!
- Another band that came on my radar already in 2016 and further impressed me with their debut album Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns is the Swedish symphonic extreme metal band Zornheym. Their album brings the cool concept of a mental institution for the criminally insane, quality epic music and clearly a lot of dedication together into greatness. Throw on top of that a graphic novel that tells the story of the mental patients that are the subjects of the songs and you just can’t go wrong. People who are into Dimmu Borgir should check this band out, because these guys are on their way to the top… Read my full review here.
- Myrkur is a band that many metal fans either love or hate. The outfit rose a bit too fast to the top to my liking and even though I like the music they make, I was looking to see if their talent could get confirmed with the second full-length Mareridt. The release actually surprised me pleasantly with Amalie Bruun putting more of her personality in it by slightly drifting away from the purely (atmospheric) black metal of earlier and infusing some Scandinavian (pagan) folk elements in the music. Read our review here.
- Thrash metal veterans Overkill delivered on yet another great release with The Grinding Wheel. Despite being around for quite a while already, they don’t seem to have an “off button” or show any sign of slowing down! Their punky attitude towards thrash metal always gets the juices going for me… Read my full review here. On the other hand the youngsters of the Texan band Power Trip really blew me away when I checked out their release. The mix of thrash metal and hardcore with the sheer brutality and relentless power they display on Nightmare Logic made them being featured on many “end of the year top lists”! I’ll definitely be looking forward to try and catch them live this year to get utterly destroyed!
- 2017 was also the year that Papa Roach was back! On their new album they seemed to have found back their groove and some of their old energy. An album with an old school feel, but with their looks towards the future! Read my full review here. And it was the return year for Trivium as well in my opinion. After a bit of a let-down with Silence in the Snow they’re back in full force with The Sin and the Sentence! Some of the most heavy bits in their existence, damn catchy and strong songs. It’s not on the same level as Ascendancy or Shogun, but it’s getting close for sure. Read my full review here.
- One of the nicest discoveries of 2017 for me was the Swedish Eyes Wide Open. They travelled to Helsinki as support for the very first live show of Cyhra and blew me away. Musically they basically sound like In Flames era “Come Clarity” and they fucking rock that more old school sound. Check out their latest album And So It Begins if you have a hunger for music like that! Read our report of the gig here and a full review of the album here.
- Code Orange and Nothing More with both bands being nominated for Grammy’s! Code Orange delivered a brooding and energetic piece of modern metallic hardcore punk with their third album Forever, of which the title track got a nomination for “Best Metal Performance”. And Nothing More with their new album The Stories We Tell Ourselves brought a new and infectious breath to alternative rock/hard rock which resulted into being nominated for “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Performance” & “Best Rock Song” for Go To War!
- There’s been a whole trend of so called “vintage rock” going on for quite a while. One of the big names on that level is the Swedish Blues Pills, though their latest release disappointed us somewhat. This year I luckily discovered quite a few smaller and more underground bands that deliver a same style but still with that raw and energetic feeling we look for. Swedish Grande Royale releases with Breaking News the perfect soundtrack for a road trip. Read my full review here. Finnish Jess and the Ancient Ones pulled the card of vintage rock with The Horse and Other Weird Tales a bit more than on earlier releases, but still got us a tense and doomy heavy record like we expect from this top-notch act! Read my full review here. Blue Eyed Sons is a young band that relentlessly is paving the road to their success. We discovered them as support for their hard rock friends Shiraz Lane, bringing an energetic show bringing forth Led Zeppelin and The Doors in spirit. They released the EP Animals on which they proved that they might be one of the next big things in the rock music world. Read my full review here. And lastly, through Blue Eyed Sons, we discovered the young Swedish band The Riven. Which, in my humble opinion, sounds like Blue Pills is supposed to sound: soaring vocals from Charlotta and raw bluesy rock. Check out their 2017 EP Blackbird! Read my full review here.
- There were also a whole bunch of releases that had almost nothing to do with rock or metal, but were still very appealing to us because of the atmosphere and vibe they created. Like Behemoth‘s Nergal and his blues/country side-project Me and That Man, pirate folk from Thy Banished Privateers and pagan folk influenced bands like Heilung, Danheim, Waldkauz, Shireen and more. But for a deeper look at those, I’d recommend you go have a look at our article about the folk albums you shouldn’t have missed in 2017!