2017 Mid-Year Recap: Best Albums (Staff Picks)

For the longest time, Metal Assault was mostly just one man’s opinion, but that is no longer the case, and in addition to the Editor’s Picks article for our 2017 mid-year recap of the best albums of the year so far, we give you our staff members’ picks as well. Here are the top 10 picks by our writers Lisa Burke, Ryan Falla, Rosie Walker, Jaide Alicia, Francisco Zamudio and Sebastian Vazquez. Sit back and discover some great new music released in 2017!

Lisa Burke’s Top 10

#10. Grave Digger – Healed By Metal: As true kings of the German speed and power metal scene, Grave Digger rank in high with this album, but they’ve always had that classic bold sound in their lyrics and vocal style that never fails to make its presence known. As their eighteenth studio album released early this year, it really could not have come at a better time with a better name. In 2017, the human race desperately needs to be healed by metal as it may be the only known cure for all the atrocities the world is faced with. The dedication of this band over the span of years alone is enough to prove them worthy in any mention, and this 10-track album commands the future with no holding back.

#9. Svart Crown – Abreaction: Having signed to Century Media in the fall of 2016, Svart Crown recently released their latest album in March 2017, and despite only having been in existence for thirteen years they have quickly and quietly climbed the ladder and put out an over-achievers’ worth of interesting albums over the years. The latest 11-track work is full of the best highs and most admirable lows. The best image that draws in mind when focused on the music at hand is a depiction of a blackened swamp creature frantically trying to escape the blackened muddy quick sand at the bottom of the swamp, but ultimately it slowly sinks in deeper after every attempt.

#8. Lecherous Gaze – One Fifteen: These Oakland boys have done it again in the sense that their album makes the world a better place to say the least, and this album features the addition of a second guitarist and some psychedelic as well as progressive elements that are constructed in a wildly fun way. With this album, Lecherous Gaze has created an out-of-body experience that fans will surely benefit from resulting in a much needed escape from the perils of reality.

#7. Kreator – Gods Of Violence: This album‘s theme relies on religion and ancient Greek mythology while focusing on the satanic realm in the midst of it all. Kreator can do no wrong despite any re-inventions they set for themselves, and this album leaves a lasting impression with its special brand of thrash attack. While they easily qualify as thrash, there is definitely their own unique take on the genre, mixing old styles of death and black metal into the pot, making it a style that is Kreator’s alone.

#6. Broken Hope – Mutilated And Assimilated: In the world of death metal, what better example to step up to the plate than the seventh studio album from Chicago based band Broken Hope? The capture here is in the storytelling and while parts of this album may be pulled from horror movie sources, the total storyline is an original thought of rhythm guitarist and writer Jeremy Wagner and it is highly recommended for a listen in its entirety.

#5. DragonForce – Reaching Into Infinity: The latest album from this band of hoodlums features eleven songs with two special-edition bonus tracks one of which is a cover of Death’s ‘Evil Dead’ which is quite the unusual and pleasant surprise. They keep notably raising the bar higher from their last albums and with the limited subject matter that can typically be found in such speed and power metal genres, these guys seem to have developed endless creative writings and structures to work with.

#4. Carach Angren – Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten: A noteworthy concept album of the symphonic black metal variety reigns here, and with the case of this Netherlands based trio they have certainly done it again with much success with their fifth studio album. The listener is compelled to dive in deep to experience the story from start to finish in all its gothic and hauntingly theatrical glory.

#3. John 5 – Season Of The Witch: When hearing a John 5 album, there is no mistaking his guitar playing for anyone else, and that means there is no replacement for him. He quickly rose to the top and after already working alongside artists such as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, he soon branched off into his own guitar-heavy instrumental world. This album being his eighth solo effort and first under the John 5 And The Creatures name, is worth third place for its broad range of style from gothic to bluegrass and for its technical prowess alone.

#2. Night Demon – Darkness Remains: Unrelenting warriors indeed, NWOBHM metal trio Night Demon is currently galloping faster than the speed of light, through the dark forest en route to the richest rock star palace in the neighborhood, thanks specially to their latest album ‘Darkness Remains’. It’s chock full of catchy riffs and binding hooks that capture the heart of any fan of the genre.

#1. Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension: Definitely deserving of the number one spot, this 10-track album serves up the perfect length of blackened mayhem and virtues that dive into the dark subject matter of emotional desolation and apocalyptical beginnings, while ransacking that Goatwore sound to the max and then some. It is a must-have for all fans, hands down.

Continue on Page 2 for Ryan Falla’s picks!

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