Enjoy the MOR cruise. Not really my cup of tea, but sounds like fun. BTW, my best of 2017 list copy/paste from another forum (metal-fi.com).
Ok, I guess I am going to do this the wrong way, and list my top 8 first. They were the easier picks. The next 8-16 I can't seem to order in any sensible way yet, more listening is in order for me.
My list is non-kvlt. I spent a good portion of the year listening to a lot of old starwalts that I never gave a listen to before (Obituary, Sepultura, Decapitated, Morbid Angel, etc). Maybe if I knew a lot more of the classics I would have a better frame of reference from which to judge, but who gives a fuck really? I like what I like. I like progressiveness if it isn’t wankery. I like melody if it is coupled with some hard hitting elements as well. I like technicality if it isn’t in lieu of good song-writing. I also really like a good riff and a groove that catches you.
I have a hard time ranking in an absolute sense albums, particularly if they are very different styles. My list is a bit more clusters. The top cluster (8 listed here) represents albums that I really loved and played many times and see myself playing them many times again. The next cluster is albums I really liked but maybe haven’t given enough time to in order to have a sense whether they should be higher up or lower down the list. I might have bought them recently or maybe just didn’t get around to listening a lot.
Hegemon :Initium Belli –Credit goes to Hungus for this tasty piece of black metal. It might rank higher if it wasn’t for I’ve only had a few spins of it. I’m in a busy time of the year for work, so haven’t had enough time.
7) Havukruunu :Kelle Surut Soi –Others have mentioned that this album isn’t as good as Havulinnaan, and I might agree, but I still played the absolute shit out of this album. It is the kind of black metal that I like. I am not really into a ton of black metal, but this hits home for me.
6) Venenum :Trance of Death –This album just has me banging my head. It rocks. It has crunch. It keeps my interest. It was the standard death metal album go-to this year for me.
5) Power Trip :Nightmare Logic –This one seems to be a bit contentious, so love it, some don’t get it. I was never much of a thrash fan growing up. I completely missed the crossover thrash era. This album is just fun, like serious crank it and rock the fuck out fun. That works for me.
4) Ordos :House of the Dead –This was from the very beginning of the year, but I listened to it a bunch of times. I don’t normally like doom, but this heavy doom (death doom?) is heavy hitting and doesn’t bore me like most doom. It’s my go-to in this style. I liked Khemmis from last year, and I like this a few times better.
3) Wormwood :Ghostlands –this one is melodic, which I like and has good influx of folk, which makes it more interesting to me than Aosoth’s album, even though I did like that later as well. Guess I am not a goat fucker yet.
2) Archspire : Relentless Mutation –ok, so I very much like the technical side of metal, especially death metal. One of my good friends here, big nerd like myself (him PhD in Engineering, me MSc in Applied Math) is a big fan of tech death. We have seen a few shows together including Beyond Creation. [btw, his tech-death pic is Sutrah – Dunes]. Archspire encompasses what I feel modern tech death should be and still retains an eye on the song as a whole before wanking off with the guitar (ala Origin, imho). Its high ranking reflex my current sensibilities that could change over time, but no apologies.
1) Aeternam :Ruins of Empires –I’m, an unapologetic MDM lover, but I admittedly have grown tired of a lot of the bands in the sub-genre. Too many mediocre bands. Too much blatant copying, often too little ‘death’ remains. Enter Aeternam from Quebec City, Quebec. Fact: the best rock and metal festivals in Canada are definitely in Quebec. Back to the show, these dudes are the embodiment of all the best things of MDM together with some really cool Middle Eastern influences. My girlfriend of 1.5yrs is Persian. She loved this band straight off the bat (she was a fan of Opeth before I met her, she now loves Gojira, Aeternam, Insomnium and a few others too). She pointed out the precise influence to me in a day of dissection of musical influences.