It is the last day of 2017 and we here at Distorted Sound are still giving you albums of the year list from our team and bands alike! Now, we turn to guitarist Mark Byrne of rising British metallers THE FIVE HUNDRED to give you his lowdown of the best albums that was released this year. Since forming in 2014, THE FIVE HUNDRED have gone from strength to strength and with big things on the horizon for 2018, the band are just getting started! So, in no particular order, let Mark give you his thoughts of the best albums of the year!
The Dusk In Us – CONVERGE
Many hold Jane Doe as the band’s masterpiece, but for me All We Love We Leave Behind and this album, showcases CONVERGE’s songwriting much more eloquently. It’s almost as if they have turned their backs on the violent, interpersonal torment that dominated their earlier work, in favour for a more cool-headed, pacifist approach. “It’s the fires that we quell that save us from our hell…”. Sublime. It’s been five years since they released All We Love… CONVERGE only hit the RECORD button when they feel they have something worthwhile to say, and they certainly have with this gem of an album.
Malina – LEPROUS
My personal favourite album of 2017. I watched their set at this year’s Damnation Festival, completely in awe of Einar’s vocal range and harmonisation. More prog rock than metal, the band definitely took some experimental steps forward. Perhaps not as powerful than their previous releases, but certainly more epic and beautiful.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar – ULVER
I was about to say how surprised I was to hear the direction that ULVER took for this record, but, come on, over the years we have come to expect the unexpected from these guys. Unashamedly, synth-driven pop, almost like a goth DEPECHE MODE. Rygg’s vocals are given much more room to soar than in their previous, more instrumentally driven work.
The Future In Whose Eyes? – SIKTH
It’s pretty safe to say that 80% of the metal bands that have emerged in the last 10 years have much to owe to MESHUGGAH and SIKTH. Still years ahead of their time. We were concerned that the departure of our good friend Justin Hill would leave a void too wide to fill, but to be fair to Joe Rosser, he hasn’t tried to emulate Hill’s incredible vocal style, but rather bring his own sound to the band. Perhaps not as solid or ground-breaking as their previous work, but still worthy of a yearly top ten.
Cold Dark Place – MASTODON
I was surprised to hear that this piece of work was originally conceived as a solo effort from Brent Hinds, although eventually the finished product was credited to the band. Beautiful, crooning guitar wails and dark arpeggios. It’s a journey through one man’s darkness and pain, and it leaves its mark on anyone who listens to it, without fail. The only thing that disappoints me about this record is that its only four tracks long, and leaves you wanting for so much more.
With All Their Might – DYSCARNATE
Dominating, furious, chunky riffs that just drip with infectious groove. I defy anyone to listen to this beast and not nod their heads. It simultaneously makes me grin like a fucking Cheshire cat whilst wanting to punch holes into the wall. Their set at Tech-Fest this year was one of the highlights of the weekend. People bang on about DYING FETUS, who are obviously awesome, but I think these guys are actually one step ahead with their sound.
9-13 – IRON MONKEY
Okay, so people may call us biased for naming our hometown heroes and friends in IRON MONKEY in our top ten, but I cannot think of many more eagerly-anticipated releases than this one. Scott’s drumming locks in Jim’s dirty riffs, and his vocals are exactly the kind of filth that you’d expected to top it all off. Can’t wait to see these fuckers at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms in April!
Clairvoyant – THE CONTORTIONIST
What can I say about this record that hasn’t already been said before? An absolute peach of an album. A progressive and epic journey that tingles the senses. I must’ve listened to it a few dozen times since its release, and it honestly gets better every time I do.
The Warmth Of A Dying Sun – EMPLOYED TO SERVE
These guys have already been on a few AOTY lists, and deservedly so. Mixing the chaos of hardcore with their own unique chemistry, which gives their sound a lot of space and groove. Intelligently written and violently delivered.
Forever – CODE ORANGE
Sometimes the hype is justified. Few people had heard of these guys 12 months ago. Now they are the name on everyone’s lips. I saw them supporting GOJIRA in Birmingham back in March, and they crushed my ribcage with every slamming riff.
And there we have it! What did you think of Mark’s list? Stay posted to Distorted Sound as we say goodbye to 2017 with just a few more Albums of the Year lists from our editors and our team. And if you haven’t already check out our Top 20 Albums of 2017 right here!
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