Best Albums Of 2017 (Staff Picks)

Rosie Walker’s Top 10

#10. Kreator – Gods Of Violence: These German gents have been playing thrash metal for over 35 years and still manage to make fun, innovative songs. Though this newest release is slightly more polished than their past recordings, it still has their acute, archaic, signature sound. This album holds more complicated movements than what a lot of other thrash bands would dare to do, which makes them one of the best. The classic Kreator sound shines on every track, the rage and angst the band gives is what every thrash lover wants to hear.

#9. The Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic: This Swedish supergroup is taking the best parts of ’80s rock and running with it. It’s this band’s third album and they continue to deliver fun, yet emotional trips full of synths, catchy choruses, and giddy guitars. Some of the member’s influences, like Toto and Foreigner, dazzle each track and exploits their obvious love of cheesy, but entertaining classic rock songs. You can hear the enjoyment these talented stars had in making this and it’ll have you wanting to boogie. It’s a light-hearted, clever record that everyone should own.

#8. Galaktikon – Galaktikon II: The mastermind behind Dethklok and Galaktikon, Brendon Small, has brought to a life a new whimsical record that does not disappoint. Taking the brutality of Dethklok and mixing it with a lot of clever melody creates a dramatic, impactful piece that shows off the man’s ability and versatility. The exploration of his space-themed project is filled with savage shredding, speed, and synths. Anyone who enjoys Dethklok and ’80s music will love this unique combo that Brendon has conjured up.

#7. Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension: This dexterous, brawny band is a prime example of what a hard-working metal act looks like. They mold moody, savage sounds by their versatile, seasoned skills that ravage the senses. They pay homage to the greats like Motörhead and Venom by mixing their New Orleans groove with speed and brutality. Exceptional, dirty guitar tones and demon-like vocals give a bleak, but exciting feel to the album. Each and every song entices you with its coordinated chaos. High fives to these guys for making one of the heaviest and catchiest albums of the year.

#6. Myrkur – Mareridt: The elegant and ethereal Amalie Bruun has made a thoughtful, lasting impression with her newest record. Her stunning ability to dig deep into her country’s culture and expose it by twisting it up with some deprived black metal sounds resonates and stuns. Her writing allows the band’s raw, near-abrasive riffs to cozy up next to her haunting, ambient clean sections. She has beauty and the beast in her sound that caters and captivates a variety of fans.

#5. He Is Legend – Few: This group is one of the most underrated American rock bands out there. Their newest release hit home with its very personal, creative songs. These guys know how to put a freaky twist on rock ‘n roll by cleverly delivering tracks full of energy, heart, and seduction. Their skill exhibits variety with hints of punk and pop scattered throughout the record. Gritty and real, He Is Legend is an electrifying band that has depth and killer hooks.

#4. Mors Principium Est – Embers Of A Dying World: Showing off the Scandinavian melancholy, this death metal band knows how to sound sad. Rich with synths and shredding guitar solos, it’s a great album for fans of theatrical metal. The crushing growls are highlighted on each song showing off their special abilities and range. The dramatic amplification of sound and spirit on the record is quite original. Their obvious skill has evolved over the years into a more refined, savvy sound. Everyone needs more melodic death metal in their life and this is the perfect album to help with that.

#3. Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora: This group has carried the metalcore banner for over 20 years and this new release proves they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Their remarkable ability to combine hardcore and punk with heavy metal is eloquently displayed throughout this record. They release such truthful aggression with a fiery furor that provides the listener an escape from reality. Their unlimited energy and hard-hitting heaviness penetrates the eardrums and has you hooked from beginning to end.

#2. In Search of Sun – Virgin Funk Mother: This young act from London delivers such a fresh, intelligent take on groove and soul. Their work speaks with an ease and edginess that generates  honest intrigue, making this record nearly addicting. With articulated charm and structured swagger, this rock band knows how to honestly project fun, insightful music that is uplifting and memorable. With catchy, authentic choruses and vocals with class, this record is a major highlight of 2017. This band is going places.

#1. Wolfheart – Tyhjyys: The title of the album, meaning ‘emptiness’, gives an indication for what the overall theme is about. Wolfheart has never shied away from being brutal in sound and honest in lyrics. With the theme of nature being at the core of most of their work, Wolfheart reveres and comments on the dynamic aspects about their own cold country. Their eager competence and intense sound paints a vivid picture of wildness and depth. Somber, yet energizing, these guys know how to take melodic death metal to a new level. They capture the cruelty of winter in their sound with ferocious riffs that are consistently raging and showcasing the eerie beauty in the music. The band is hard and heavy, but holds melody close to sustain their songs with substance and feeling. Wolfheart hits home with their meaningful music and has the best metal release this year.

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