Distorted Sound‘s recap of 2017 continues! Whilst we are still keeping you waiting for our decisive top 20 records of the year, it is now time for another one of our Editors to give you their thoughts into the best music of the year. This time round, it’s the turn of Elliot Leaver. Alongside Dan McHugh and Dean Martin, Elliot is part of the Introducing team who all report to Laura McCarthy in breaking new bands here on Distorted Sound. So, over to you Elliot!
10. Beyond Repair – BLOOD YOUTH
The UK at the minute is bursting at the seams with bands who are making their marks not just on these shores but across the continent and indeed the globe. For BLOOD YOUTH, the fact that their debut record has seen them tour with the likes of BLESSTHEFALL, BURY TOMORROW and NECK DEEP this year, with supporting WHILE SHE SLEEPS still to come in 2018, it speaks volumes about how much potential they have. Beyond Repair is infectious, bouncy and so brilliant that the thought of the band topping this is truly mouth-watering.
9. Berdreyminn – SOLSTAFIR
The jury is still out on whether this is better than previous effort Otta, but there’s no denying that Iceland’s SOLSTAFIR have once again absolutely smashed it out the park. A gorgeous journey through post-metal heaven, Berdreyminn is a wonderful album with twists and turns aplenty and the perfect listen if you want to escape the world for an hour or so. Load it up, plug in your headphones, close your eyes, relax and enjoy.
8. Nightbringers – THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
The best extreme metal album this year, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s staggering that THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER are eight albums into their career and still able to top everything they’ve done before. The likes of Matriarch and Catacomb Hecatomb are classics in the making and with only one song going over four minutes in The Lonely Deceased, it’s a punchy, bruising album that will pummel you into submission and let leave you wanting more.
7. Bloodlust – BODY COUNT
The surprise record of the year and one that needs to be listened to by everyone. Rap metal doesn’t come any better or heavier than this both in terms of riffs and subject matter. If you can’t listen to something like the Grammy-nominated Black Hoodie, the anthemic This Is Why We Ride or the deeply personal God, Please Believe Me and not feel outraged at the injustice in the world then you’ve got a heart of the heaviest stone. Oh, and they pull off a couple of SLAYER covers too, which is near-impossible to do.
6. Emperor of Sand – MASTODON
Quite how MASTODON haven’t reached arena status is anyone’s guess because their musical output is so damn beautiful and consistent. In Emperor of Sand, they may well have topped everything they did before. A superb concept about a traveller fleeing from death in a desert, inspired by the member’s personal experience with cancer among family members, MASTODON have crafted another golden moment in a career littered with them. Oh, and if anyone claims to have found a better riff in 2017 than Steambreather, they’re wrong.
5. Mareridt – MYRKUR
The woman christened Amalie Brunn is nowhere near her creative peak yet and she’s absolutely slaying it on a post-black metal front. At times unrelenting and savage, at others delicate and fragile, Mareridt is a truly breathtaking body of work that will be talked about for years to come. The duet with CHELSEA WOLFE on Funeral is also a stroke of genius in every respect. Catch her on tour in April with EPICA and OCEANS OF SLUMBER, you won’t regret it one bit.
4. Eternity, In Your Arms – CREEPER
Where to start with the breakthrough UK band of 2017? Well, the fact that their debut album gatecrashed the UK Top 20 isn’t a bad place. Eternity, In Your Arms has rightfully garnered critical acclaim from all corners and the best thing is that CREEPER have backed it up with some high-octane live shows and a real sense that even the edges of the universe aren’t going to be the limit for them. If the next album tops this then we could be looking at a band to headline Download Festival within the next five to ten years, easily.
3. After the Party – THE MENZINGERS
Take the anthemic nature of GOOD CHARLOTTE, the bounce of BLINK 182, the grit of mid 90’s GREEN DAY and the lyrical prowess of RANCID and you basically have THE MENZINGERS. It’s criminal that they’ve not appeared on radars until now because After The Party is an album that can be played anywhere, anytime and still make perfect sense, with songs like Midwestern States, Bad Catholics and Charlie’s Army harbouring the ability to resonate with a wide variety of people in a number of different circumstances. Truly the best forty-five minutes you’ll find at the moment.
2. Forever – CODE ORANGE
It takes something truly special to release an album in January and have it at the top of many End of Year lists, propel the band who wrote it into the stratosphere and earn them a Grammy nomination en route, but CODE ORANGE have rightfully deserved it. The band of 2017, Forever is going to be seen as a benchmark release for hardcore in years to come and whilst many will try to copy it, they’ll never surpass it. An absolute masterpiece from the moment the title track kicks in to the abrupt ending of closer dream2 with the likes of Bleeding in the Blur and Spy in the middle to delight and amaze.
1. You Are We – WHILE SHE SLEEPS
There aren’t enough words in the English dictionary to fully describe just how incredible You Are We is. WHILE SHE SLEEPS have released the album of their career so far and are rightfully at the forefront of all that British metal represents right now. From the massive Settle Down Society to the mosh anthem of Steal the Sun and the brilliance of Civil Isolation, this is a triumph in every single way and should be in everyone’s collection before the year is out. There’s not much more that can be said except you won’t hear anything better this year, trust me.
And there we go! What do you think of Elliot’s choices? Keep posted to Distorted Sound as we bring you more End of Year lists from our Editors and the hotly anticipated decisive list of the best albums of 2017 from Distorted Sound!