I love vinyl, so the above photo is disturbing to me. It’s actually hard for me to look at. Much like the world we live in. As much as I do not want to look at it, I can’t stop looking at it and I find myself obsessing over it. Will my son and daughter be safe? Will the terror stop? Will men actually wake the fuck up? Will we get a competent leader? Will we stop killing each other? Unfortunately, probably not.
Thankfully, however, I have music to take my mind off of it. Much like last year, there were a plethora of magnificent heavy metal releases to keep me distracted. The following ten albums are MY favorite heavy releases of 2017; the records that meant the most and the records that I listened to the most. I do not know if these are the best of the year, and I could care less. Enjoy!
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One man. Dynamic, experimental, doomgaze from the sincere mind and soul of Pennsylvania’s Thom Wasluck.
As I take a greater liking to black metal, it’s the dark, simplistic approach that works for me. I don’t need no stinking bloody goat heads. Enter Von. The band has been around for a long time, and even though the current lineup consists of no original members, the band carry on in the style laid down by its creators.
One woman, electronic, experimental, noise rock/drone from the mind and soul of Margaret Chardiet. Her blood curdling screams will destroy you.
The perfect blend of melodic heaviness. Relentless riffs and a thunderous rhythm section. Drummer Stefanie Mannaerts vocals will strum your heartstrings whilst piercing your soul.
Grindcore and two minute songs are normally not my cup of tea, but there are so many other great things going on here. The end result is a veritable cornucopia of heaviness that make it hard to pin this band to just one genre. Favorite album cover in my top ten.
Infectious occult rock and doom. Ryanne van Dorst’s vocals are eternal. The Devil’s Blood, a band which I miss dearly, reincarnated.
A deadly combination if there ever was one. Nothing but fresh and majestic things happen when these two bands converge. “Earth is a Cage” and “Master’s Story” are great examples of this perfect storm.
Dark, depressive doom at its best. The album title is long and the song titles are longer. The thoughts and feelings that this album leaves you with will last forever. Gilead Media main man Adam Bartlett knows his way around more than just running a label and a record store.
Not a heavy metal album, but it’s Steven Wilson. You know, that famous musician from the UK that nobody has ever heard of. Plays in bands like Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, No-Man, Bass Communion and others. With solo album number five, Mr. Wilson may have just created the perfect progressive pop record, a task that I believe he has always known he’d accomplish one day. Can you say falsetto?
Instrumental. Layered. Doom. Did I mention riffs? It’s a musical journey through hell… with no bells and whistles, just glitter. Four songs. 72 minutes. My favorite album of the year. Hands down. Bow to the masters of the repetitive riff.
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The following releases are extremely important and should be on your radar.
Telepathy – Tempest
Spotlights – Seismic
Primitive Man – Caustic
Aseethe – Hopes of Failure
BOG – Unshriven
Bathsheba – Servus
Blackfield – Blackfield V
Rabitrup – SWVMPS
Thomas Andrew Doyle – Incineration Ceremony
The Angelus – There Will Be No Peace
Endless Floods – II
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Peter Scartabello – Threshold
King Woman – Created in the Image of Suffering
Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Couch Slut – Contempt