There’s only days left of 2017, but we here at Distorted Sound are still bringing you our recap of the year! This time, we look to our Introducing Editor, Laura McCarthy, to provide you with her top 10 albums of the year. Heading the Introducing Team, Laura‘s role at Distorted Sound is essential as it is she who leads the charge in breaking new bands on our website and magazine. So, over to you Laura!
10. The Sin and The Sentence – TRIVIUM
The Sin and The Sentence has been a momentous album that truly lorded TRIVIUM as one of the most dynamic and consistent metal bands of our generation. The quality of the music is second to none, and astonishingly takes a higher step up to create work that is innovative and yet reminiscent of all their other accomplishments. A steadfast body of work that triumphs truly memorable choruses, awesome riffs and brutal moments, no one can take it away from TRIVIUM; those guys have still got talent and superiority over a vast multitude of those that came before, and those that came after.
9. Medusa – PARADISE LOST
Something of a theme here, PARADISE LOST have been on the scene for a good long while now. While many might have seen more popular in their heyday, but this album proves that the group are still worth their chops. Some might have thought that the band were working within the walls they feel comparable- but be sure to understand these walls are battered plaster and the broken brick, words of that still hold an impact. The longevity of PARADISE LOST is evident, and Medusa is yet another string to the bow of a band that has worked hard for their legacy.
8. Rules – FIRST BLOOD
An album with a solid concept and a pounding resilience, Rules is something of a hidden gem for those so inclined towards FIRST BLOOD’s sound. They’re sense of determination and enjoyment is obvious within this their work, and those who liked their first album would be hard pressed to find something they didn’t like in this. Those involved in the hardcore scene can appreciate the frothing groove of this album, and take on board the rigorous riffs and beats they have put out on Rules.
7. The New Model – PERTURBATOR
PERTURBATOR fans have always seen that this electronic delve into the dark, rather taking hard blastbeats and vocals, comes from a more nostalgic place. He relies on your curiosity into this world of robots and dystopic themes to arrange his music, and creates soundscapes that terrify and overwhelm. In such a small release, The New Model shouldn’t fool you just because it’s an EP. Anyone who enjoyed the concept of 2016’s The Uncanny Valley will be impressed by the crushing intensity that is compacted into this release, and revel in it’s technological dark.
6. Arcadea – ARCADEA
Something of a curve ball, this fusion of psychedelic, synth-laden Prog Arcadea rose this year from MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor, WITHERED guitarist Raheem Amlani and keyboardist/guitarist Zruda. And boy, is it a hell of a lot of fun. Whacky, trippy and yet still filled with intricate moments of truly blissful playing, this is magical music that doesn’t take itself seriously, all the while still being played by seriously good musicians. For the most part, the self-titled album can be taken in dribs and drabs, or for a full on experimental ride that will hit all the right spots.
5. Gods of Violence – KREATOR
Frantic and fast, that’s what we expect from KREATOR. Having such a weight of material behind them, it was astounding back in January that Gods of Violence came with such force and ferocity. KREATOR simply at their best, the most enjoyable part of this album is its dynamics, and the band’s unquestionable resolve to keep the riffs and the energy fresh, and not reverting to the tried and tested many expect from thrash. There is no stagnant moment, and almost the year later, this album still holds up as a towering work worthy of its creators.
4. Mesmer – NORTHLANE
Mesmer truly was a step up in the game for NORTHLANE. Their particular blend of metalcore has once again altered and shifted in its dynamic on this album. It’s truly inspiring to see bands take their direction and play with it, to not be afraid and to experiment. The work paid off on this album back in March, as NORTHLANE prove themselves a band to pay attention to. Progressive, dystopian, but with just enough light and variety to keep you listening, the album went from strength to strength, listen after listen.
3. Nightbringers – THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
A band that has always been bold and unapologetic on their albums, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have once again produced a mighty wave of brutal energy on Nightbringers. Their frothing honesty and crazy performances have captivated, and their longstanding fans, as well and many new comers, have been treated to an album that takes all the strengths of their previous work and builds on them. For a band that seem to go with less recognition for their work than seems right, hopefully people will pick up this album and find themselves hooked on one of the best bands of the decade.
2. Cold Dark Place – MASTODON
As MASTODON‘s second release of the year, Cold Dark Place might have been overlooked as something of a small fish in a sea of otherwise towering monsters. However, it’s the fact there’s a charm and a nostalgia to these songs that might draw in those who would otherwise have missed this EP. Many of these songs were written for various other albums, and simply didn’t make it on first time round. The quality of playing is absolutely reminiscent of each album, evolving a more energised MASTODON, in a time when there might not have been so much personal struggle.
1. Forever – CODE ORANGE
It’s been a hell of a year for CODE ORANGE. Starting off the year touring with GOJIRA, anyone who witnessed their hellishly tight sets were positively frothing at the mouth for this album. Having produced one of the highest energy, brutal and innovative albums this year, they consistently unexpected changes, riffs that would shake your bones and a velocity to their movement that ensured that 2017 was theirs. It’s dark, its hypnotic, it’s insanely hard to follow to be sure, Forever is magnificent in all it’s bold twists and turns; a pure and unparalleled album.
And there we go! What did you think of Laura’s choices? Keep posted to Distorted Sound as we continue to bring you our end of year recaps from our remaining Editors and our final decisive list of the best albums of the year!