2017 Favourites – Top 5

And so to the end; here, after a few hundred records, and lots of thought, are the five records I consider to be the best released this year. It’s interesting to note that, whilst 2017 has generally been considered a strong year for death metal, it’s black metal which dominates my list – there were lots of good death metal releases, but none I felt that matched these five. Feel free to disagree, and there’s some strong albums that didn’t make the final cut, but this is a rock-sold five that have, in large part, defined 2017 for me. Enjoy!

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IIVII – Invasion

IIVII_INVASION_cover_promo

Label: Consouling Sounds 

The solo project of Josh Graham, IIVII (pronounced “ivy”) have returned from 2015’s outer-space ambient fiction of Colonywith further tales from beyond our world. But whereas Colony told a tale of loneliness that emphasized the void between the stars, new album Invasion draws its fear not from being alone, but from learning that there is some kind of intelligence out there, and it does not come in peace. Though it is more immediate than its predecessor, and its narrative is more obvious, neither of these elements are to the detriment of Invasion, which is a strong continuation for IIVII.

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Wiegedood -De Doden Hebben het Goed II

wiegedood_cover_web

Label: Consouling Sounds

It doesn’t feel like it was long since the first album from Wiegedood was released, with the Church Of Ra affiliated band unleashing a masterclass in modern black metal that rightly saw them lavished with praise. In the almost two years since the release of De Doden Hebben Het Goeg, the band have been touring and generally building upon the buzz surrounding them, meaning that expectations are high for the follow-up. Now that it’s here, does De Doden Hebben Het Goeg II meet them? The answer is: absolutely. It takes all that was good about the debut and doubles down on it, resulting in an album that is intense, captivating, and sure to be recognised as one of 2017’s finest.

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2015 Favourites – IV

Here’s the fourth part of my 2015 A-Z favourites. One more post remains after this one, containing my 5 favourites, so if there was a record notable by its omission, there’s every chance it will be in my top 5. If you missed the previous posts, then you can always go back and read through parts one, two, and three.

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2015 Favourites – II

Following on from the first A-Z section of my 2015 favourites – which can be found here – here is the second part. As always, these are maybe not the best albums, but that is such a subjective, loaded term that it is all but impossible to write about with any authority. What can be stated, though, is that over the course of the year, the albums features have proven, without doubt, to be my favourites, with lasting appeal that kept me coming back to them.

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SardoniS – III

Sardonis cover

Label: Consouling Sounds

Whilst there’s obviously nothing wrong with the artier and more subtle strands of metal, sometimes all you’re after is something straight to the point. There’s something to be said for a direct display of strength and power, which is where Belgian duo SarsoniS come in. They don’t so much strip doom and stoner to their roots, as they follow through to the obvious conclusion. III – their third album – features no vocals, no technical self-indulgence, and barely an ounce of musical fat. This is metal that is all about the riffs, the drums, and the glorious way they work together to crush your skull.

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