There is just days left of the year and we here at Distorted Sound still have more end of year lists to bring you. As the time is nearly here for our much anticipated Albums of the Year from our team of Editors, representing the magazine’s best 20 records, it is now the time for our founder and Editor-in-Chief, James Weaver, to give you his rundown of his favourite ten records to be released in 2017. Away we go!
10. The Dusk In Us – CONVERGE
When it comes to a new CONVERGE album, you know that the band will always deliver the goods. Consistently throughout their distinguished career, the band have maintained such a degree of quality and on ninth album, The Dusk In Us, CONVERGE deliver another bout of sonic mayhem. Sounding more refined than ever but still retaining that brutal edge, The Dusk In Us is a blistering affair where the band fire on all cylinders. It’s another masterstroke from a band that just keeps delivering. The five year wait was oh so worth it.
9. Ascendancy – KADINJA
Released back in February, the debut effort from French progressive metal outfit KADINJA is an absolute gem. Riffs groove and bounce throughout, the solo work is simply outstanding and vocalist Philippe Charny Dewandre steals the show with his mightily impressive range of barking growls and soaring cleans. For a debut effort, the level of musicianship and skill on offer is mind-blowing and sets KANDINJA up as a shining new star in the progressive metal scene.
8. Nightmare Logic – POWER TRIP
Whilst 2017 was witness to a whole host of bands exploring new sounds and musical avenues to set them apart from the competition, POWER TRIP instead did the opposite. Wearing their influences on their collective sleeves, Nightmare Logic is an out-and-out metal record, one which harks back to the feel, vibe and sheer raw power of the thrash metal scene of the 1980s. And that is no way a bad thing as POWER TRIP deliver riffs and hair-raising moments in absolute abundance. From the utter anthem that is Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) to the the blistering speed of Ruination, Nightmare Logic is a whirlwind of a listening experience. Strap yourself in.
7. Mareridt – MYRKUR
Two years on since M, Amalie Bruun, otherwise known as MYRKUR returned with Mareridt, presenting another whimsical and immersive listening experience. Bruun‘s dynamic vocal range of shrieks and haunting cleans have never sounded better and help forge a frosty atmosphere and the collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe on Funeral is a musical marvel. Whilst Mareridt certainly scales back on the black metal extremity compared to its predecessor, what it does in fact, is show a different side to MYRKUR‘s musical pallet. You get the feeling that Bruun has so much more to offer and based on the sheer quality on offer with Mareridt, that is an exciting prospect indeed.
6. Nightbringers – THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
By this point in their career, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER resemble a well-oiled machine and on Nightbringers, the Michigan metallers deliver another slab of excellent death metal. From the absolute earworm that is the title track, the pin-point precision of the riffing in Catacomb Hecatomb to the blistering frenzy featured in Jars, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have delivered the goods once again on Nightbringers. An outstanding album from one of metal’s most consistently solid bands.
5. You Are We – WHILE SHE SLEEPS
WHILE SHE SLEEPS have been flying the flag for UK metal for some time now and on album number three, You Are We, there was great anticipation as to whether the band can ascend to the next tier within heavy music. And the bad achieved just that. Forging an independent route this time round, WHILE SHE SLEEPS have never felt more connected with their legions of fans and You Are We delivered another barrage of anthems. From the explosive opening in the title track, the enormous chorus on Hurricane and the sheer emphatic nature of Silence Speaks just scratching the surface, You Are We is wall to wall of quality from the Sheffield mob. They are the voices of an independent generation.
4. Sound of the Wind – PSYCHEDELIC WITCHCRAFT
Perhaps one of the sleeper hits of the year, Italy’s PSYCHEDELIC WITCHCRAFT delivered an astonishingly brilliant effort with Sound of the Wind. Fusing together the musical drive of rock music’s greats with an occult twist, Sound of the Wind is jam-packed full of killer riffs and musical movements that will become earworms for days on end. Add in the triple whammy of Turn Me On, Rising on the Edge and The Warrens and you have 15 minutes of some of the best hard rock you’ll hear all year. Frontwoman Virginia Monti is the shining star on offer here as her vocals are simply breathtaking and will floor you. A sensational record from a band that surely will go to achieve great things.
3. Reclaimer – SHADOW OF INTENT
Reclaimer, the sophomore effort from Halo-inspired SHADOW OF INTENT is an album that packs gut-punching intensity to the extreme. Armed with an arsenal of malevolent riffing, frenzied soloing and sinister melodies from the orchestral elements, Reclaimer is a hugely dynamic album. Throw in Ben Duerr‘s phenomenal guttural vocal blasts and you have one of the most exhilarating listens of the year. From the utterly satisfying guitar play on The Return to the utterly bombastic nature of The Catacombs, these are just glimpses into a record that is as expansive as it is explosively heavy. A phenomenal record.
2. Forever – CODE ORANGE
2017 has seen several new-blooded bands break out but no band in heavy music has achieved as much as CODE ORANGE. Since the release of Forever in January the band have gone to obliterate audiences around the globe and bask in critical acclaim from the press and signing off their exhilarating year with a Grammy nomination. All of this is down to the masterstroke that is Forever. A record that takes hardcore to new and dangerous places, CODE ORANGE have crafted a living, breathing, sinister monster of a record that will take you for the ride of your life. From the earth-shattering monstrosity of the title track, the unnerving synths and ferocious blasts on Kill The Creator to the simply anthemic nature of Bleeding in the Blur, CODE ORANGE have changed the game with Forever. This is the new reality.
1. The Sin and the Sentence – TRIVIUM
At this point in their established career, we weren’t expecting any surprises with TRIVIUM‘s eight studio effort. And whilst The Sin and The Sentence didn’t offer any curveballs, the album showcases a band coming full-circle. Fusing together aspects from across their decorated discography, TRIVIUM crafted a record that demonstrates a band at their very best. The riffing from Matt Heafy and Corey Beauliue packs a punch, with Beauliue demonstrating some of his best lead play to date, and new boy Alex Bent feels right at home behind the drums. Throw in the return of Matt Heafy‘s growled vocals and the sound is just enormously heavy. Refined, focused and just thoroughly enjoyable to listen to, The Sin and The Sentence is TRIVIUM at their very best.
And there we have it! What did you think of our founder’s list? Keep posted to Distorted Sound as it is nearly time for our much anticipated ‘Distorted Sound’s Albums of the Year 2017’ combined list from our team of editors!