Distorted Sound‘s rundown of the best albums released this year continues! As we continue to build hype for our decisive list from our editorial department, for now, it is now the turn of Assistant Introducing Editor Dan McHugh to give the lowdown on his top 10 albums of 2017. Alongside co-assistant Dean Martin, Dan reports directly to the Editor of Introducing, Laura McCarthy, to give upcoming talent a platform to shine here on Distorted Sound; a vital part of our ethos! So, over to you Dan and your choices!
10. Feed Me Violence – EVIL INVADERS
Despite their inception slotting in quite nicely with the NWOTM movement including the likes of EVILE, GAMA BOMB and company EVIL INVADERS have never really achieved the credit they so rightfully deserve. Keeping it old school with their own spin on high octane speed metal the Belgian thrasher’s have constructed an enticing array of rapid fire tracks in Feed Me Violence which will get your blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. If there is any justice in the world this release will propel them into the metal worlds field of vision rather than them dwelling in the periphery.
9. Bad Blood Rising – SANTA CRUZ
Finland’s hard rockers SANTA CRUZ have been gaining a lot of traction making an appearance on a Mercedes-Benz commercial as well as featuring on the US TV show Breaking Band but they had to put their money where their mouth is and deliver on their new album, Bad Blood Rising. Much to everyone’s delight they delivered in spades adding a few feathers to their cap in the process. The four piece have maintained the high energy of previous efforts as well as adding some inviting, addictive ballad’s into the mix to diversify their offering and at such a young age the talent on show is frightening.
8. You Are We – WHILE SHE SLEEPS
After the monumental success of recent effort Brainwashed there was always doubt in the back of your mind whether WHILE SHE SLEEPS could match that intensity but You Are We has solidified the Sheffield outfit as one of the consummate performers in the British metal scene. Severing ties with their record label and taking matters into their own hands with one of the most talked about PledgeMusic campaign’s to date was a complete masterstroke and with this being only their third full length studio album the sky is the limit for this inspirational four piece.
7. The Future in Whose Eyes? – SIKTH
Doubt was cast on the future of SIKTH when one half of the insatiable vocal duo in Justin Hill vacated his position in the band to pursue his career in production but the void was soon filled by guitarist Pin‘s compatriot in ALIASES, Joe Rosser who was more than equipped for the task. Creating their first full length effort in over 10 years SIKTH have put everyone on notice showing why after all these years they are still at the forefront of technical metal and can most certainly hold their own against the onslaught of bands which have appeared on the scene. The Future In Whose Eyes? showcases some disgustingly intricate bursts of riffing but also displays a more restrained approach at times providing bone jarringly jabbing segments broken up by Mikee‘s eerie ethereal spoken word excerpts.
6. Ghost Mile – VOYAGER
Just when you thought Australia couldn’t possibly conjure up yet another phenomenal metal band along comes VOYAGER. The band have been on the scene since the early 2000’s having not really achieved any widespread acclaim but with numerous lineup changes and their 6th studio release Ghost Mile now in circulation its about time this changed and they received the recognition they deserve. With their own unique blend of attractive, vivid hooks and alluring vocals Ghost Mile is everything you could ask for from a progressive metal album. The album seamlessly transitions between serene piano sections to punchy guitar riffs which give you such a rush of exhilaration that you can’t help but be drawn in by the spectacle.
5. For the Demented – ANNIHILATOR
In 2014 shockwaves were sent through the core of ANNIHILATOR when long serving vocalist Dave Padden announced he was leaving the fold, this left Jeff Waters no choice after several fruitless auditions but to resume vocal duties for the first time since 1997’s Remains album. Admittedly previous album Suicide Society was not their strongest effort but with a refreshed lineup the band have bounced back with great vigour displaying many facets of which have made ANNIHILATOR such a fan favourite throughout their storied yet relatively understated career. With heavy hitting thrash metal anthems alongside a rather jarring ballad conceptualised around cannibalism the band have pulled out all the stops to ensure they grab the attention of the metal world hopefully bringing them some more widespread notoriety after criminally gliding under the radar for large portions of their tenure.
4. Malina – LEPROUS
Since their inception in 2009 stepping out of the shadows of being known as IHSAHN‘s backing band (which is commendable in itself) LEPROUS have become an unstoppable juggernaut releasing an array of jaw-droppingly consistent albums and their most recent effort entitled Malina is no different. Traversing through mind bending time signatures, incredible vocal passages courtesy of frontman Einar and some mesmerising orchestration which could easily be the accompanying soundtrack to this years biggest blockbuster there is really nothing LEPROUS aren’t capable of conquering. Album after album they manage to raise their own bar of experimentation and clinical proficiency and it is only a matter of time before they are regarded as one of the greatest band’s to ever grace the realm of technical metal.
3. The Sin and the Sentence – TRIVIUM
TRIVIUM have never been a band to rest on their accomplishments, always pushing the boundaries of their capabilities to develop their sound. One of the most evident examples of this was their previous effort Silence In The Snow which featured no instances of Matt‘s signature screams/growling going for a more melodic approach. Much to the chagrin of some listeners it worked a treat. The Sin and the Sentence on the other hand is almost at the other side of the spectrum, bordering on black metal ferocity with the inclusion of the simply awe inspiring drum prowess of new recruit Alex Bent this is TRIVIUM at their most potent and deadly. Despite creating some fantastic material over the years The Sin and the Sentence is the album that has the most potential to catapult them to the heights they’ve seemingly struggled to reach.
2. With All Their Might – DYSCARNATE
How a 3 piece can generate such unbridled devastation is unfathomable but DYSCARNATE possess enough raw aggression to level an entire continent. Dual vocals summoned from the bowels of hell, ferocious drumming and chunky riffing all combine to create an all out assault on your senses and With All Their Might doesn’t waver in intensity throughout its entirety and the introduction of Al Llewellyn on bass has further increased their capability for unrelenting carnage. If you enjoy groove saturated guitar work assisted by savage vocals and thunderous drum fills it would be criminal to overlook this slab of incendiary fury.
1. The Rabbit Hole – THE GREAT DISCORD
After the success of 2015’s debut release Duende everyone’s interest was piqued as to how THE GREAT DISCORD would progress. Little did they know that they would create one of the most captivating and enthralling concept albums of the year. Devising their own dark, twisted vision inspired by Alice In Wonderland the already established persona Fia is lured down The Rabbit Hole by the demonic yet charismatic Ire. The album provides many twists and turns as the thought provoking narrative advances intertwined with groove-ridden riff barrages alongside serene passages of pure melody that are undeniably inviting and devilishly addictive. After most recently leaving their mark on this year’s Damnation Festival 2017 may just be the tip of the iceberg for this inventive progressive metal outfit.
And there we have it! Keep posted to Distorted Sound as we bring you more lists from our Editorial Team before we bring you Distorted Sound’s Top 20 Albums of the Year of 2017!