Agoraphobic News' Top 30 metal albums of 2017!

22/12/2017 Articles Share

 TOP LIST OF 30 METAL ALBUMS OF 2017

2017 was a a year with remarcably high number of good releases. It seems to us that death metal bands are nowadays holding the throne of metal music (even though we can't say that power metal is a part of our interests)/However, 2017 was far better when compared to previous year (not to mention how terrible 2015 was) In the end, this is our list of the best metal albums of 2017. Enjoy!

 

30) Scour - Red

 

This supergroup featuring Phil Anselmo, Pig Destroyer &Cattle Decapitation members is miles away from a failed all-star project. Scour’s Red is goddamn in-your-face black metal. Phil Anselmo’s vocal capabilities is one of the Scour’s biggest trademarks.  He sounds like as if he is shape-shifter of some sorts. The music is brutal enough and will make you crave more (sadly, we are talking about a 15-minute-long EP). To some extent, the ambiental  stuff reminds me of Cattle Decapitation. A lot of riffs have a punky cutting edge filled with black metal chord progressions. We are all waiting for the full length album. It seems like Scour can’t fail to deliver the good stuff.

 

29) Memoriam - For the Fallen

 

 And from the ashes of legendary Bolt Thrower (RIP) Memoriam is born. The music on For the Fallen is of a pretty simplistic nature.  Both Bolt Thrower and Benediction fans should not expect some  generic combination of the bands already mentioned. This album is embroidered with a state of melancholy. One of the reasons for that is the death of Bolt Thrower’s drummer Martin Kiddie Kearns (RIP).  The lyrics are related to wars and destruction and were perfectly  captured on this album cover done by the legendary Dan Seagrave.

 

28) Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard


 

 What a name for an album! Electric Wizard’s Wizard Bloody Wizard is an all-around solid album. This time, the band’s emphasis was put on a stoner rock vibe. The guitars may sound a bit distortionless and that can be good & bad at the same time. What’s pretty interesting is the fact that the pick-up feedback from the guitars was not cut. Tiny „flaws“ like that give this album a real, live feel. The riffs are catchy in Electric Wizard’s own way but what stands out on this record are Jus Oborn’s  vocals.  The lyrics are traditionally occult as always. Neat stuff!

27) Cavalera Conspiracy - Psychosis 

 

 Max and Igor Cavalera are back! This time, they have released Cavalera Conspiracy’s third album, Psychosis. As always, their music is based on groove and thrashing parts. Max’ vocals, Igor’s drumming and Mark Rizzo’s solos is pretty much everything you need to hear! The band has also experimented with a  lot of effects, which gives this album an industrial metal feel to some of the songs.  Of course, there are some fast paced thrash/death metal parts too. Cavalera Conspiracy’s music may be simplistic, but it’s good enough to make you bang your head like a woodpecker!

26) Accept – The Rise of Chaos

 

German heavy metal pioneers Accept are still on the track! They might be one of the oldest heavy metal bands on the planet, but that does not prevent them to rock on. The Rise of Chaos is more than a decent heavy metal album. Wolf Hoffmann is one of those guitar heroes who always delivered great riffs & solos. And also, Mark Tornillo ’s vocals fit the music perfectly! If you are in love with traditional sounding heavy metal, Accept’s latest release is definitely for you! P.S.  I didn’t see that Power Rangers part coming!

25) Incantation - Profane Nexus


 If you like your death metal old-school, satanic, and full of pinch harmonics, Incantation’s Profane Nexus is the real deal! Throughout the years, these guys have remained consistent and true to their own sound. The riffs they deliver are evil in their essence. Slow, clean parts create this dark atmosphere that leave no one indifferent.  And yeah, they always had  the sickest album covers ever! Gotta give them props for that! To sum it up, Profane Nexus is a sick, sick death metal album!

24) Blut Aus Nord  - Deus Salutis Meae

 

The moment you press that play button, all hell is breaking loose! Blut Aus Nord is the definition of a great black metal band. The word evil perfectly describes their music.  The riffs and atmosphere these guys create is so dark you might think you are in Tartarus. Everything about this record is just pitch black. Eastern influences and chanting of the priests will put you at unease. This album is just like a black hole that sucks you in and devours your soul.  French black metal  at its finest!

23) Tankard – One Foot in the Grave  

 

Alcoholic thrash metal legends  Tankard released a pretty decent album (when compared with a couple of their previous efforts).  The whole album is full of catchy vocal lines that will make you sing along all the time. Mid tempo riffs dominate  One Foot in the Grave. Some of the lyrics like Syrian Nightmare remind us of how fucked up the world we live in really is. The only thing this album lacks is speed and aggression. Not that the riffs are bad, but they need to be a bit more brutal. However, this is a great album for all the drunks who would die with a beer in their hand!

22) Kreator – Gods of Violence  

 

Teutonic thrash metal legends Kreator are still in the game! They have released their 14th  studio album, Gods of Violence. Surely, the greatest thing about this album is Mille Petrozza’s courage to speak about the topics a lot of bands are putting under the carpet. The biggest flaw to this record is excessive use of melodies. Sometimes, the music sounds as if you were listening to a melodic death metal band. However, there’s a great deal of pure thrash metal riffs. As always, Ventor is bringing brutality to a new level while Sami’s  solos seem to have been written with a lot of flavor and passion.

21)Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry   

 

Iron Reagan  can be seen as the evil twin of Municipal Waste, both in terms of music & lyrics. The songs are more edgy, thrashy  and aggressive when compared to MxW. Iron Reagan has less fun element in its music, but they are not dead serious as well.  Cartoonish album cover kinda reminds of the movie They Live!. The average length of songs is about 1:30 minutes. Even though we are talking about  an album with more than a bunch of songs, you will enjoy it  until the last second! Crossover Ministry is a prime example of how crossover thrash/hardcore band should sound like! However, we give advantage to Municipal Waste this time.

20) Autopsy – Puncturing the Grotesque

 

California-based death metal legends, Autopsy’s latest EP, Puncturing the Grotesque, is an in-your-face 21-minute long madness  that will make you wanna start a mosh pit as soon as you hear it.  The whole release is heavily influenced by punk, which may be surprising to some, especially to fans of their doomy records.  But still, there is plenty of doom  & melodic riffs as well. As always, all the filth is on the surface every time these guys release something. Chris Reifert is pounding these drums and growling like there’s no tomorrow. Puncturing the Grotesque is an album worthy of a listen, especially if you are into old-school death metal.

19)  Gwar – The Blood of Gods  

 

Gwar is one of these bands whose music  exceeds the word „metal“.  Blood of Gods you’ll hear rock, punk, thrash, black metal, you name it. Even though their costume image may be funny, some of their lyrics like El Presidente are dead serious. This is also the first Gwar album released after the death of Oderus Urungus (Rest in peace!). I guess he would be proud of it! The musical spectrum of  Blood of Gods is really wide, and there’s  something for everyone! The lyrics are damn catchy and you’ll end up singing these songs all day long. In the end, this release may be a bit longer, but you’ll enjoy listening to it. And that’s what matters the most!

18) Annihilator – Music for the Demented 

 

Holy shit!  Jeff Waters had lifted a lot of dust in the air with an album like this! With this album, Jeff brought some pretty intricate thrashing riffs on the table. The whole album has this eerie  Brain Dead vibe smeared upon the songs. The notes he plays in his leads  are simply pouring down from that guitar into the ears of the jaw-dropped listeners. The only downside of Music for the Demented is the immature lyrics. The vocals for instance in a song One to Kill remind of Dave Mustaine a lot (and that’s a compliment btw). The songs are so good that even demented people will memorize ‘em.

17) Toxik – Breaking Class

 

After decades of silence, Toxik is back! These guys reunited at the moment when thrash metal seems more dead than ever! Still, Toxik’s Breaking Class is one of the most promising releases of this year. Even though we are talking about a 3-song EP, you’ll get the metal fix the moment you hear first couple of riffs from this  release. And what’s most important, the lyrics are pretty political, just like in the good old 80s thrash daysBreaking Class is the epitome of progressive/technical thrash metal . It just can’t be different with a guitarist like Josh Christian  in the band!

16) Cannabis Corpse – Left hand Pass  

 

 Even thought their entire discography is based on parodizing of classic death metal  bands, these guys bring forth a face-melting & eye-popping album – Left Hand Pass (of course, parody of Entombed’s Left Hand Path). With brutal death metal riffs and hilariously funny lyrics, Cannabis Corpse have managed to bridge anger and smiles to the listeners.  And what’s most important, they are funny as hell, but not in a clownish way as opposed to some bands. But still, you just need to take a look at the song titles and you’ll die laughing! Their music varies from technical to groove death metal stuff. These guys definitely deserve more attention!  I wonder how these guys’ music would sound like if they were tripping on acid... And yeah, legalize it!

15) Municipal Waste – Slime and Punishment

 

 Crossover thrash bastards are back! If you feel like moshing and partying, Slime and Punishment is the real deal! The songs are  short, fast, and furious. This album is gonna open a lot of pits on tour! The riffs on this record are typical MxWx  -punky, catchy and melodic to some extent. And they are absolutely crushing!  The production on this album is pretty raw and it will give you a “live” vibe as well. I’m glad that the bass can be heard clearly on this one.  With this release, Municipal Waste have proven that thrashing is their business & business is good! Their music is fun &without compromise, a big “fuck you” to present day trends! Ninja Turtles thrash metal at its finest!

14) Sunless – Urraca 

Sunless.... a pretty nameless underground band. However, Urraca is a jaw dropping dissonant death metal album. The whole thing is imbued with noisy riffs and a dark aura that looms over this piece of art. You should expect a lot of unpredictable twists and turns, a lot of eerie riffs  & a lot of weird chords  on this one. The album itself was produced by the legendary Colin Marston who really knows  how to make tight stuff even tighter.  Even though we are talking about a pretty dissonant band, Sunless is shockingly easy to listen to. For all of those who like their death metal less old-school and generic, Sunless’ Urraca is the real deal!

13) Pyrrhon – What Passes For Survival

 

Without a doubt, What Passes for Survival is, by far, one of  the most brutal & apocalyptic albums  of 2017. It seems like these guys always manage to outdo themselves. Again...Such amount of noise and dissonance can’t be heard often. To weaklings not familiar with dissonant death metal, What Passes For Survival may sound a bit too much incoherent and cacophonic. But that’s the way it’s supposed to be! Pyrrhon guys are on top of their game, and that’s for sure!  The riffs, the drumming, the vocals...everything is so brutal and chaotic that you might feel like  Doomsday beckons. Pyrrhon’s  latest release is dissonant death metal per excellence.   This album should come with a sticker: Warning: Facemelting riffs and music. Listen at your own risk.

12) Gigan - Undulating Waves Of Rainbiotic Iridescence

Couldn’t come up with a longer album title, huh? Death metal had never been heavier! Gigan’s Undulating Waves Of Rainbiotic  Iridescence sound like tectonic shifts in the way that the whole world is falling apart! Production-wise,  the sound of the guitars is a bit muddy when compared with their previous release. Still, the riffs are crazy enough to draw your attention to what matters the most – music. Gigan’s opus may be described as mishmash of Hawkwind & Voivod. But on steroids. Variety of guitar effects will make you feel as if you were on a cosmic journey, drifting far away from our planet. Undulating Waves Of Rainbiotic Iridescence is a pretty unconventional album, even for dissonant death metal standards. A must hear release!

11) Coma Cluster Void – Thoughts from a Stone

 

 If you are looking  for sick dissonant death metal, Coma Cluster Void is the real deal! Their second album, Thoughts from a Stone is an unpredictable piece of music. The band is raising tensions until the very end of it.  As time passes by, the riffs are  always getting more neurotic and twisted! Their music can be described like a mix of Meshuggah and Gorguts. Everything about this EP is totally in-your-face. Despite the intensity of the music, you’ll get through it in no time! Coma Cluster Void is one of those underground gems, just waiting for you to find ‘em!  Expect nothing but top-notch dissonance!

10) Full of Hell -   Trumpeting Ecstasy 


The moment you hit that play button, Pandora’s box is opened! The only thing that lasts in it is hope that the album will be as brutal and aggressive until the very last note played on it.  And  that’s pretty much true. With Trumpeting Ecstasy, Full of Hell pursued a more straight forward, in-your-face death metal sound (even though the songs fit the grindcore timeframe). Dylan Walker’s hellish screams combined with Spencer Hazard’s riffing frenzy will make your ears bleed and beg for more!  The album itself is pretty apolitical in terms of grindcore lyrics. The album is so intense and yet easy to listen. You’ll go through 23-minute riffing madness in no time!

9) Artificial BrainInfrared Horizon


Within a few seconds, you’ll realize that Artificial Brain’s savage mastery is unmatched! Infrared Horizon is one of the albums that will get underneath your skin after the first listen.  The band had managed perfectly to join melodic, catchy  stuff with  schizophrenic-sounding dissonance. Not to mention the dual vocal approach, both guttural and screaming. The album cover reminds us that machines are taking all over! Dan Gargiullo’s riffs convinced us that Artificial Brain’s music may be  as diverse and bonecrushing, as Revocation’s. Artificial Brain’s music sounds just like our future, it’s pretty fucked up, but with a style! In the end, Infrared Horizon is one of the strongest dissonant death metal albums at least!

8) Obituary – Obituary


The glory days of Tampa Florida death metal are gone, but some of the bands are still around, releasing awesome stuff. One among these is Obituary, the AC/DC of Death metal. Their formula hasn't changed much since their debut record Slowly We Rot. As always, the overall emphasis is put on the catchiness of the songs. Easy to play guitars and John Tardy’s vile growling will win you over! These  mantra-like repeating riffs will  get you an earworm easily. One of those things that stick out on this album are Kenny Andrews’ excellent  solos. After all these years, the Tardy brothers are delivering high quality death metal and that’s for sure! Obituary’s self-titled release is for everyone who feels tired of technical nintendo-core stuff!

7) Mastodon - Emperor of Sand


 Good old Mastodon! Their music is as massive as their name is! They are one of these bands that don’t fit any genre classification. It’s like they’ve created their own world  or something. Emperor of Sand is a groundbreaking release. Don’t expect anything but 1 hour of high quality music. Searching for flaws on this album is kinda obsolete. The songs shift from soft to heavy and this variety of tones will consume your senses! Mastodon have put 100% of themselves in this album. The atmosphere that surrounds it will set you on a musical journey throughout the universe. Brann Dailor’s vocals have never been that good and luckily, he is singing on a lot of tunes.  And of course, on heavier songs, Brent Hinds  stepped on the vocal duties. With  Emperor of Sand, Mastodon have raised the bar to a new level. Highly recommended!

6) Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black  


By my beard!  With a high-profile band like Cannibal Corpse, bad albums are out of the question! Red Before Black is a brain splattering, straight forward  death metal album that will win  you over within a few minutes of listening. It’s kinda surprising to hear thrash metal elements on Cannibal Corpse album, but that’s what makes it so damn awesome! The album is very well produced. Everything seems to be in place, speaking of technical aspects of Red Before Black. With all these growling over years, George Corpsegrinder Fisher sounds as if he is 25 or something. Pretty remarkable, eh? The whole lineup sounds like an unstoppable meat-grinding machine.  Blood & gore death metal at its finest. I guess it will get PMRC sticker because of word fucking.  How outrageous & insulting! Some of the riffs are sounding like 90s Cannibal Corpse which is damn awesome!

5) Morbid Angel -  Kingdoms Disdained


After the most blasphemous album of the 21st century  - Illud Divinum Insanus, Morbid Angel returned to the right path.  Kingdoms Disdained is a reminder that Tampa Florida death metal kings can still deliver classic stuff. The songs from this album are pure sounding death metal and that’s what we wanted to hear from Morbid Angel!  The word „intense“ can barely describe Trey Azagthoth’s riffs and Scott Fuller’s  drumming. Steven Tucker’s hellish growls  are as brutal as always and it seem that his voice didn’t suffer.  A lot of the songs have groove elements in them, and Azagthoth wrote some memorable solos as well. The only downside of this album is the somewhat compressed sound of guitars, but after a couple of listens, you’ll get used to the sound and this album will be in your playlist for a long time! Kingdoms Disdained is one of the strongest death metal releases of this year...and for a reason!

4) Immolation - Atonement  


By the gods! This band just can’t fail, can they? If you are in the mood for a dissonant, over the top death metal, Immolation’s Atonement is the right thing for ya! Sick chords, twisted riffs, pinch harmonics that will make your ears bleed...you name it! Atonement is one of those flawless albums that will become classic in no time!  Without a question, one of the strongest trio in the world of heavy metal. And their music is as terrifying as Cerberus! Immolation guys gave a clinic to all those bands that try to be extreme...and a lot of them are not even up to their knees! Ross Dolan sounds brutal as always. Bob Vigna delivered some classy &tasteful riffs for your listening pleasure! The songs on this album are really diverse with a lot of details that spice things up. So grab your copy of Atonement if you haven’t already.  Killer stuff!

3) Overkill  – The Grinding Wheel


Man! Overkill is one of those bands from the 80s who are capable of delivering fresh and killer music despite the fact that they’re in their 50s. And having a 18th album out, that must make these guys proud! Living legends like Bobby Blitz and DD Verni seem immortal! You gotta give these guys credit for their consistency ‘cause they’re doing it since 1981! The Grinding Wheel is a great thrash metal record that tops everything they’ve done since the masterful Ironbound. Don’t expect anything but great thrash metal! The album itself may be a bit too long because it lasts for an hour, however, we are talking about some major thrashing tracks! Bobby Blitz’s vocals are still screechy as fuck! And the fact that DD Verni’s bass sounds loud on every album is what makes Overkill unique and instantaneously recognizable. The Grinding Wheel is, seemingly, one of the best thrash metal albums on our list.

2) Suffocation -   ...Of the Dark Light   


After a couple of years, the almighty Suffocation is back. They have released their 8h album, ...Of the Dark Light. These guys never disappoint! With their latest effort, they had justified their credibility!  On this album, the music is a perfect mediation of technical death metal with implementation of slamming groovy breakdowns. Frank Mullen had managed to keep up with the overall brutality of the music. He is screaming his guts out, yet you can recognize what this guy is „singing“ almost all the time. And his lyrics are really, really awesome!  Terrance Hobbs proved himself to be the master of death metal riffs.  His solos are memorable and melodic in his own distinctive way. This album is very well produced. Cutting guitar sound combined with a hail of double bass kicks &blast beats will surely make you bang your head. Suffocation's ...Of the Dark Light  is a colossal sonic beast  worthy of everyone’s attention!

 

1)Sepultura  – Machine Messiah


Finally, we get to, in our opinion, the best album of 2017.  Everything about Machine Messiah  is just gigantic!  There are a lot of things going on within these 50 minutes. With this one, Sepultura even implemented world-music influences, leaving all the sterility of present day metal music aside. The album is like musical theater with so  many emotions, so many twists and turns...Sepultura blended thrash & death metal riffs with exotic sounding percussions and instruments and with Eastern  influences as well. For example, no one would expect them to use violins in Phantom Self. And after hearing all that masterful violin shredding, you’ll  realise how wide Andreas Kisser’s creative mind & musical knowledge really is. He really put a lot of effort in solos & riffs. Some of the riffs are as intense as his lead playing.  Derrick Green’s vocals  suit this release perfectly while Eloy Casagrande’s drumming is raising the whole thing to a new level! The band is simply on top of their game! Undoubtedly,  Sepultura’s Machine Messiah is one of the band’s best albums, standing shoulder to shoulder with Beneath the Remains and Roots.

 

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