Angry Metal-FiWe are getting dangerously close to being 9 years old. I started AngryMetalGuy.com at a time when I was a different person, and 2017 proved that more than any year of my life. I loved metal, I loved to write, I was looking for work and studying Swedish, and I was still in my 20s, and Enslaved was producing albums I worshiped. Now I’m older, busier, crankier, Enslaved mostly makes me yawn, and I’m dedicating my life to different kinds of things. But while AMG isn’t quite as ‘personal’ of a blog as it once it was, I still love it very much and it is still a reflection of my values on the Internetz. And I’m happy that it has continued to not only be relevant and to produce reviews with high quality writing, but it’s gratifying that people continue to express their trust in us as the very best of metal review media. I agree, and while that wasn’t the “goal” when I started the blog, that became a goal after we reached a point where we were taking on new writers.

And we are reaching that goal as Angry Metal Guy continued onward and upward in 2017. This would be impossible without the guidance of Steel DruhmMadam X, and Dr. A.N. Grier, Sentynel and all the writers that I bully, new and old. We continue to reach new highs and we try to make up for our lows. And while things aren’t exactly the same as they once were,1 it’s hard not to look down on all that I have accidentally begotten and not feel proud and grateful to everyone involved—writer and reader alike.

Twenty-seventeen was a year of ups and downs, it’s included some pretty major life changes for me. As such things go, they really threw me for a loop, and one of the things that fell by the wayside even more than actually expected was the blog. It would be optimistic to say that 2018 will be better—but I live in constant hope. When I write this list next year, I will be finishing/have finished my PhD Thesis and be preparing to defend it. But what won’t change is my love of excellent, fun, and impressive music, and you can expect some new things in the future.

So may the new year bring you guys a lot of music you enjoy and reviews where we explain  why you have inferior taste. You’re welcome. And Happy New Year!


Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pacifisticuffs#(ish): Diablo Swing Orchestra // Pacifisticuffs — While I’m not totally overwhelmed by Pacifisticuffs like I was with its predecessor, I am sure that I will be listening to this album for a long time. The song are fun, smart, addictive, and they keep me coming back. If this had been released earlier in the year, it would have ended up on the proper list. But December releases will do that to you. When will labels learn?

10: Leprous // Malina — I didn’t know what to make of Malina at first. And one night, when sitting with friends who aren’t particularly into metal, Leprous‘ newest album was playing in the background. One of them, whose tastes I’ll politely call ‘indie pop,’ said, “hey, I really like this song.” That was my moment of insight. Malina isn’t Leprous as we knew them. It’s just a wonky-ass indie pop record. But it’s a good one! While these guys aren’t as inspiring as they may have been a few years agoMalina is an album that I think captures a good fraction of their genius in another form. And while all bands change, few bands successfully merge into something as good as Malina; Leprous is developing a sound that stands on its own, as idiosyncratic as their older material. Different, but really good.

9: Aeternam // Ruins of Empire — In a sea of trend bands making “retro epic progressive funeral doom,” Aeternam flies the flag of melodic death metal high. Ruins of Empire is the third album from these Canadian go-getters and it lives up to, and builds upon, the band’s already pretty solid discography. Their sound isn’t innovative, it’s orchestral melodeath with a MENA flavor, and we’ve all surely heard that before. But Aeternam combines Orphaned Land and Behemoth, and it ends up having all the intensity that a lot of the ‘oriental metal’ bands lack. Ruins of Empire is filled with solid songs, fun riffs, and enough Phrygian dominant scales to make Karl Sanders blush. If you haven’t purchased this record yet, now’s the time!

Blaze Bayley - Endure and Survive8: Blaze Bayley // Endure and Survive — Oh Blaze Bayley. Ever will I be trolled for liking your music, and ever will I continue to add you to lists. Endure and Survive is everything I described in my TYMHM17 about it: it’s well-written, solidly performed, thinly produced, and the concept is a bit shakily executed. But what can I do? I still just love the damn thing. This is not artistic genius from a conceptual perspective, but it has an old school feel that I love, and it is unapologetically metal in an un-ironic way. Infinite Entanglement was a fun record, and Endure and Survive makes part 2 worth your time. So maybe part 3 will be my RotY for 2018? Crazier things have happened.

7: Soen // Lykaia — I got Lykaia months ahead of time and never managed to write a review of the album. This doesn’t mean that it’s not a good album—note: it’s on this list—but given life as it happened, it ended up getting pushed off and moved around and suddenly it was April and it was too late, and then it was October and it was too soon, and then it was December and I had to write Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) of 2017. But don’t let that stop you from picking it up. Lykaia is a worthy follow-up to Tellurian, if not its equal. The band’s sound has changed with the addition of Markus Jidell (Avatarium), who adds the influences of blues rock to Soen‘s modern, Tool-influenced progressive metal. And as a band, Soen is better than ever. They know how to groove and seethe (like on “Jinn”) and they have begun to coalesce into a tight live act. It’s eminently clear that they’ve moved far beyond being a “super group,” and into being one of progressive metal’s best acts.

6: Caligula’s Horse // In Contact — I’m not djent djunky, but Caligula’s Horse isn’t a band that seems like they’re particularly true to the expectations of the djenre. In Contact shows these bearded Australian art kids wandering down the “melodic and progressive” vein, while leaving some of their techier sounds for the wayside. This is a perfectly fine turn of events, in my opinion, because In Contact is an excellent album from a band that continues to develop a sickly sweet sound that I (and Kronos) can’t seem to get enough of. This record also has the enviable feature that it gets better as it goes on, and that makes it a particularly easy record to listen to repeatedly. When you hit the end of “Graves,” you’ve sat through so many great riffs and memorable songs, that you just want to listen to it again.

Crimfall - Amain5: Crimfall // Amain — The return of Finland’s other symphonic folk metal band in 2017 was something I had long anticipated. And Amain did a great job of meeting my expectations and demonstrating that time had not dulled the swords of these Finnish heavy metal warriors. And while I was slow on the uptake, once Amain sat with me, it revealed itself to be a deep, enrapturing record that fulfilled my wishes for it. The tracks are epic—loaded with harmonies, counter melodies, orchestrations, vocal choirs, and fantastic performances from the whole band—and my spirit animal (Helena Haaparanta) continues to be one of the best vocalists in metal. I get that it isn’t 2004 anymore—so this sound isn’t the hip and happenin’ thing that all the kids are jivin’ to—but Crimfall continues to be a band that is far too under the radar given their epic talents and three great albums.

4: Archspire // Relentless Mutation — Relentless Mutation is a record whose title deftly describes Archspire‘s musical trajectory. These Canucks came back in 2017 to scorch my face off with some absolutely relentless techy death metal. While I was a fan of their last record, I wasn’t exactly sitting around watching my email waiting for a download link. But Kronos pointed me in its direction, and I was immediately overcome. Relentless Mutation is unashamedly ‘modern’ in its sound—it is tech death, a genre dedicated to figuring out how to make DR2 not audibly peak—but it hits every note that I want from techy music with such precision that I adore. The riffs are sick and memorable, there’s tons of groove and great melody, and the addition of the neo-classical licks to the fold is something which I’ve been screaming for more bands to do since I first heard Oracles by Fleshgod Apocalypse. While Relentless Mutation isn’t that perfect neo-classical tech death that I desire, it’s one of my favorite tech death albums in years.

Lör - In Forgotten Sleep3: Lör // In Forgotten Sleep — Lör is like Wilderun‘s little brother, cutting their teeth on epic folk metal, but doing its own thing. I knew that In Forgotten Sleep was special from when I first heard it. The ’80s production aesthetics and unapologetic and idiosyncratic nerdiness of the music spoke to me on a deep level. At 68 minutes, In Forgotten Sleep is pushing into territory that usually puts me to sleep, but Lör are deft composers and they manage to keep things fresh and interesting throughout. And what’s sneaky about In Forgotten Sleep is that I have become less critical of it, the more I’ve heard it. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the production, and then I wasn’t sure if I liked the vocalist, and then I wasn’t sure that the music was good enough to carry nearly 70 minutes on its own. Today I wouldn’t change any of that. In Forgotten Sleep is a triumphantly old school synthesis of different genres in a way that just works for what it is. All I’d change today is the logo and cover art.

Black Sites - In Monochrome2: Black Sites // In Monochrome — For the second time in three years, one songwriter has landed in the #2 spot on my Record(s) o’ the Year list. Last time, it was Trials who graced this list, but they have since met the Metal Gods in Valhalla. In 2017, we have Black Sites‘ In Monochrome, and nearly a year after I reviewed it, it’s still an excellent record. What’s great about Black Sites is how they manage to balance the new and old—writing tracks that hat-tip the greats—while dropping sick riffs and hooks that keep the listener coming back. While not as heavy a band as its predecessor, Black Sites is still unabashedly heavy and slick. And In Monochrome shows that the band also has a ton of potential. So if you’re like me and realize that songwriting is a dying art and long for metal interested in the craft, look no further than Black Sites. There’s nothing retro here, but In Monochrome feels undeniably classic.


PoS - In the Passing Light of Day

1: Pain of Salvation // In the Passing Light of Day — You cannot differentiate context from the experience of art. In the Passing Light of Day is an album that I needed in January. While I was not dying, the feel and content of the album spoke to me at the right moment in the right time and one full year later, it’s still the finest thing I heard in 2017. This album is fueled by emotion, loss, frustration and fear. Recorded in the town where I have lived longer than anywhere in my life, In the Passing Light of Day almost felt like an album written for me and that got to me at the perfect moment. And unlike certain other albums I’ve had an intense relationship in the beginning, In the Passing Light of Day has stood the test of time. It continues to be an intense, emotional, and epic ride today—putting me on the edge of tears with every listen. Songs like “On a Tuesday” and the title track are beautiful epics, while “Tongue of Gold” (“I cry in the shower / I smile in the bed…”) is raw, and “Silent Gold” is a sweet ache. The heavy parts are still chaotic and winding, and while the tone isn’t necessarily good, it has come to feel right. Who knows what the future will bring for Pain of Salvation, but In the Passing Light of Day is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime album that I never expect to be duplicated.


Top 5(ish) Songs of the Year

#(ish): Caligula’s Horse – “Graves” — One thing you can’t take away from Caligula’s Horse is that they write smart, catchy tunes. While I think In Contact is a great album, it is an album that I think gets better as it goes on. The penultimate track (“The Cannon’s Mouth”) warmed me up, so when I first hit “Graves” I was blown away. Yes, this track is fucking long. But the composition is fantastic, the melodies are subtle (but hooky), and it’s emotional as hell. The thing that guarantees its success, however, is the last two minutes of the most fiercely executed groove I can remember. I listened to the last two tracks on repeat for about three days when I got the album, and “Graves” has stuck with me since.

5: Kobra and the Lotus – “Specimen X (The Mortal Chamber)” — In the tradition of Angra‘s “Crushing Room,” Kobra and the Lotus‘s “Specimen X” is an excellent modern power metal track that’s packed with all the melodrama possible from the Sterile Power Metal Sound™. Kobra’s tone and performance remind me of Doro‘s powerful pipes, and the chorus packs a fantastic punch. Put these together with a great bridge, and a guitar lead worthy of a South American crowd sing-along, and you have an exemplary and memorable song.

4: Blaze Bayley – “Blood” – I’ve always thought that Blaze’s bands are underrated, and tracks like “Blood” are the reason. This song shows off all of the best qualities of his solo work. One of the best things about his work is how good Blaze is at choruses. “Blood” features a fantastic chorus, great bass licks in the intro, and all the riffing is totally solid. I even love the vocal effects they use in the verses giving him a phased sound. It’s true that this track also demonstrates one of the less excellent sides of his recent solo work, with Extremely Awkward Exposition dominating a great melodic bridge of the track, but I don’t even care. When shit is good, it’s just good. If you can’t enjoy this track, I question whether you actually like heavy metal. [This track doesn’t exist on YouTube or Bandcamp as an embeddable track, because Blaze hates exposure now, apparently, so here’s a link.]

3: Soen – “Jinn” – “Jinn” is a groovy, seething song that does everything right. From the introductory swooping bass, to the sultry vocal line, to the chorus and Lopez’s finger drums and violin outtro, this track grabbed me immediately. Every time I come back to it, I get pulled in again to how the song builds up so slowly. It’s a patient track that shows Soen developing as a band and that I keep coming back to again and again.

2: Black Sites – “Burning Away the Day” – Speaking of bands with awesome riffs and great songwriting, Black Sites features both. You may remember the songwriter and riffmeister from this band from Trials (on whom I also heaped praise for their riffs), and “Burning Away the Day” demonstrates that Mark is one of the best metal riffmeisters around. This track is simultaneously old school and modern, rocking a Rainbow or Maiden feel, while still having a thick, crunchy tone and a heavy side worthy of the band’s thrashy background. An awesome track.

1: Pain of Salvation – “In the Passing Light of Day” — The title track from ItPLoD is a genuinely independent piece of genius. It is deep, emotional, and extraordinarily well constructed. The production is subtle, making it seem like you’re sitting in a room with Gildenlöw, a tube amp, and an old white Stratocaster. But the track is subtly layered with keyboards, multiple tracks and vocal harmonies which fill the sound out and offer a complexity to the apparent minimalism. It is the lyrics, however, that make me ache every time I hear this song. Maybe you have to be a bit older, with all the life experiences that suggests, in order to truly appreciate this track. But for me, it’s the thematic tensions in the song—about pain, longevity, novelty, and comfort—that carry tremendous weight. Add to this the pain—“My love, don’t be afraid I hear you say / I am here for you all the way / I just wish that I could smile and say / “Baby, hey, I’m in too much pain to feel afraid” / My lover, my best friend…”—and I am struck by a profound sadness. I saw this live in London, and the crowd was completely spellbound—the reaction to “In the Passing Light of Day” was stronger than the classic tracks they used as the encore. This song is truly the best song I heard in 2017, and one of the finest I’ve ever heard.

Show 1 footnote

  1. When I was able to force Steel Druhm to review as much metalcore as he could chew.
  • last year was fleshgod apolacypse king
    this year no fleshgod apocalypse king
    where
    how come

    • Grymm

      uauu

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Ok.
        Can someone please explain to me this inside joke you are all enjoying regarding fetish gob popsicle stix?

        • Thë Brycërøy

          Refer to the 2016 Top Ten(ish) lists.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Can you narrow it down a bit?

          • Diego Molero

            There was a brazilian woman making comments in everyone lists asking why there was no King by Fleshgod Apocalypse. If you search for basically every list (Kronos, Dr. A, AMG, Steel, et) you should see her comments.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Oh
            Ok
            Nice

          • Inside jokes, yo. Keep up.

          • Diego Molero

            But there are so many in here!!! Not that I’m complaining or anything. (please don’t harm me)

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Hamsters have small brains.

          • Kurt Kapferer

            Reporting comment. The Muppet has hijacked Steely’s Disqus account.

          • False alarm. I’m merely trying to co-opt Muppet’s societal niche for my own ironical bemusement.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Found her
            Oh boy haha
            What the hell is uauuu?

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            My guess is that uauuu is the phonetic spelling of wow. But I might be wrong.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            We should ask the concrete cube guy. He is the resident expert on phonics AND South American history. …

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            …and Japanese language and concrete formulations.

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            Juan is correct; that’s portugués wow. FYI: Spanish version is “guau.”

          • Rodrigo D.C.

            As a Brazilian myself, uau = wow! uauuu is like wooow or wowww!

          • Thë Brycërøy

            Maybe it’s her version of a brutal death growl?

        • Thë Brycërøy

          Her story has a happy ending, at least.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          We are all enjoying of inside jokes.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Now I too may participate in said hilarity at the expense of our ESL friend from Brasil.

          • Thë Brycërøy

            Uaauuu…

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            I DONT KNOW THE WOMAN BUT SHE SOUNDS QUITE FETCHING

    • Mephisto

      I see there’s a void to be filled here. I’m not an impatient, sexy fanwoman. And I can’t be summoned (nor is she apparently). But why no The king is blind! Or no crowning of the king!

      • Thank you for your service. You’re a trve friend ov the crown.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        No kings, no royalty, the plebeians at AMG are decrowning the monarchs and empowering themselves through knowledge by becoming doctors. Or muppets. But mostly doctors.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      This year of no list, but still while did goDflesh post of self once.

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    king

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Diamond

      • hallowed

        Head

        • Rodrigo D.C.

          Banger

          • Thë Brycërøy

            s and mash

  • AMG is bringing sweaty back.

    • The question is: “Why did he borrow it in the first place?”

    • Perfect.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      #2 Black Sites
      #1 Back Sights

      It’s like poetry.

      • GrandmasterB

        So impressed was I with Black Sites, that I proclaimed their album a modern classic on their Facebook page. To have AMG himself echo my sentiments is very gratifying.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      We need December’s Record of The Month ASAP!

      • Sadly, AMG’s RotY is December’s RotM as well. Fear not though, the January RotM is only 65 days away!

        • VikingSchism

          Wait? Only 65? It’ll be early, hooray

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          65 days of back sweat and man bun? Can’t tell if you’re trying to make me feel better or worse.

    • Thatguy

      I was ready for this, sweaty back and all.

      • sir_c

        This hardly came as a surprise indeed, the pain of transpiration

  • razerwolf

    I was reading the review of PoS and thinking “oh man you should have seen this live in London” and then it turned out you had. I took two days unpaid holiday to do a 450 mile round trip for that gig. Absolutely would again. Completely agree with both album and song of the year.

  • Adrian Shotbolt

    Nice to see some love for Blaze!

  • Alexandre Barata

    Nice list, even though it is totaly wrong!!! (yes, your tastes are wrong sir!) Lack of Myrkur (with a way better album than her debut) and Chelsea Wolfe, and obviously Below in basicaly any RotY list sows how you, AMG peeps, got it all wrong!

    • Slimylimey

      GWW, is that you?

      • GardensTale

        Don’t be ridiculous, he wouldn’t call anyone’s list nice

        • Slimylimey

          Good point. My apologies Alexandre.

  • Absolomb

    AHHHH more manbuns as I predicted

  • SuzyC

    Lör, Soen, Violet Cold, and Venenum have been killin’ it fer me.

    • Diego Molero

      Venenum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rodrigo D.C.

    ProgressiveMetalGuy, nice list!

  • Alex

    In 2018 – Dr. Angry Metal Guy, or Angry Metal Doctor?

    • Thë Brycërøy

      Angry Metal Doctor Guy

    • Monsterth Goatom

      AMG, PHD

      • Eli Valcik

        I didn’t get a PHD in Anger so I could be called Mr. Angry Metal Guy!

        • Thë Brycërøy

          Just don’t get canonized, then you’d be…St. Anger…

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Too many doctors here.

      • Pile high and deep.

        • Slimylimey

          I always tell my DVM students that I’m a Phony Doctor.

      • sir_c

        AMG = Academy of Metal Gurus

      • Dr. Wvrm

        Fisting and I feel the same way.

    • Cherd

      Angry Underemployed Guy, Ph. D. Academia is a cruel mistress.

      • Lithophyte

        I am an AMP. Doesn’t get any easier. This site helps, believe me

  • Enrico Chiodino

    PoS made more than an album, it is art as it should be and stand taller than most. I knew it was going to become my top-of-the-year piace of music without even having to go through all the other (still amazing) music I listened to during the rest of the year m/

  • Planex

    AMG clearly plagiarized my Album of the Year and my Song of the Year from my excellent list. Which I recommend everyone else do as well, because my list is perfect.

    • Planex

      Reposting my list from SEVEN full days ago, proving my claim. Please send royalties to me via dogecoin.

      Behold the King of lists. Gaze not upon it, ye unworthy.

      10. Dyscarnate – With All Their Might
      9. Falls of Rauros – Vigilence Perennial
      8. Vuur – In This Moment We Are Free – Cities
      7. Dying Fetus – Wrong One To Fuck With
      6. Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
      5. Lor – In Forgotten Sleep
      4. Wormwood – Ghostlands – Wounds From A Bleeding Earth
      3. Archspire – Relentless Mutation
      2. Madrost – The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh
      1. Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day

      Honorable Mentions:
      Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
      Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
      Sunless – Urraca
      Alestorm – No Grave But The Sea

      Song Of The Year
      Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day

      Pain of Salvation got stuck in my head, then stuck in my heart, then stuck
      in my eyes. It wasn’t crying I swear, allergies or something…

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    happy new year everyone!

  • Thë Brycërøy

    2017 sure was a roller coaster, from sweaty back ‘n’ bun of man… to sweaty back ‘n’ bun of man!

  • Mr Banden

    Having stumbled out of bed only a short while ago with a pittance of sleep, I launched into the book of faces to see a message from past. It was the best of the year that had come and gone, from the angry metal guy! As I ventured into the text, the words swam and danced and so it was only as I had gone the half length, that I realized … it was back. It was staring back at me from some Stygian abyss. Like a thousand tentacled monstrosity, devouring all that it touch. THE HORRIBLE BUN OF MAN HAIR!

  • Mephisto

    I love the musical culture that is AMG. The incredible high standard of the reviews, and the sheer absence of nonsense other than …well.. intentional nonsense. But then sometimes this personal note, to show there are actually humans behind the scene and not a hyperintelligent extraterrestrial lifeform testing the fertility of the extreme reaches of humanbrain to maybe hybernate in. Or was this a test..? Fuck it, you got me hooked good. Thank you,… AMG Beings! Beam me up!

  • Kryopsis

    As always, there are things I agree with on this list and things I disagree with, but that is to be expected. After all, de gustibus non est disputandum. I appreciate all the time you and everyone else has spent, writing elaborate and often highly entertaining reviews for all the releases (whether they deserve them or not). I’ve discovered countless amazing bands and albums since I started reading AMG some years ago and was surprised to discover that my own tastes have somewhat changed as a result. Finally, I don’t know where you find these new writers, but they are great! It’s always fun seeing new names at the top of an article, and the number of end-of-year lists keeps increasing every year. Speaking of which, the only thing I don’t appreciate is seeing some dude’s man-bun and sweaty back for weeks to come.

    There is a question I asked a few times before, so to keep up with traditions: given the number of excellent writers on this site, have you considered re-branding as ‘Angry Metal Guide’ or something?

    • Mephisto

      Are you in re-branding advertisement..? Kill yourself.

      • GrumpDumpus

        ARE YOU IN RE-SELFING YOUR KILLMENT…? BRANDVERTISE!

        • Mephisto

          Just planting seeds…

          • GrumpDumpus

            BUNK SEEDS OF VENGETABLES

          • Nathan McCain

            Is this a Nile reference?!

          • GrumpDumpus

            NO IT’S THE ORIGINAL SONG THAT INSPIRED KARL SANDERS TO FILL HIS PYRAMIDS WITH FRIED CHICKEN INSTEAD OF GRAIN

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I’ve heard they’re thinking of going with Tower Ov Steel.

      • Steel Druhm’s Cabinet of Trve Metal Curiosities.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          k, but I do feel TOS is more catchy than SDCTMC.

  • R.Daneel Olivaw

    i am so glad to see Aeterman on this list

  • Mariusz Miłosz

    first good list here this year! have PoS and Soen on mine, also Archspire and Black Sites are very good records. i can see who is the boss and why ;)

  • ToddRob64

    I still am yet to make my mind up on Black Sites purely because I LOVED Trials so much. Obviously it’s good but, good doctor, is there any chance at all of another Trials effort?

    • 20 people can run a metal blog when 18 are dead.

      • ToddRob64

        Ah, well shit. My apologies then…. anyway great stuff on both bands!!

    • Dr_Fisting

      I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

  • Not late enough, and none of us were fired…
    I don’t trust this for a second.

    • He’s in a different time zone so…

      • Doesn’t explain why none of us have been killed off for insufficient collective PoS adulation yet. I’m keeping my doors locked til further notice.

      • sir_c

        Different timezone? Not dimension? :-)

  • Huck N’ Roll

    This explains why as of yesterday Kronos and I are sharing a desk in the boiler room. Leprous!!!

    • Yeah, about that. I’m gonna need you to go ahead and move your desk down to sub basement 2A. If you could do that today that’d be great.

      • Mephisto

        Stay away from the stapler!

      • Huck N’ Roll

        Right after this metalcore album finishes downloading, boss.

      • Give me back my red stapler. Burn down the office!

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      UNCLEAN!

  • Shrümpelstiltskin

    The new Pain of Salvation record is amazing and I’m thrilled to see that it is your album of the year. It absolutely deserves that spot, and it claimed the #2 spot on my own list, with the new Brand New album being the only thing higher. Also, I know people didn’t like the new Leprous, but I loved the new Leprous album too. It has been on heavy rotation for me since the moment it came out.

  • Denis Palliano

    No Ayreon? What’s happening? Where am i? What is this?

    • Thë Brycërøy

      I was shocked for a moment as well, then I remembered that he didn’t exactly express great love for the latest effort. PoS, on the other hand…

  • welyyt
    • Mollusc

      Why no Fleshmob Adrenalipse?

    • Apple Tree

      i started reading this blog frequently about a year ago and i really have no idea where to find the origin of this inside joke. please help

      • Thë Brycërøy

        Refer to my other comment referring another to the 2016 Top Ten(ish) list comment sections for the full saga.

      • Thë Brycërøy

        As in all of them.

      • ToddRob64

        It wasn’t on many end of year lists this time last year and it just took off in the comments section. Uuaaaauuu

  • Meriyas

    Best of luck with your PHD AMG! I would like to thank you, Steely D, Madam X, Dr Ass Nullifier Grier, and Sentynel for being the grouchy parents of this Angry Metal Family that we’re all a part of. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Also, I’m surprised Wilderun didn’t make the list themselves this year! They transcend the bounds prescribed to them by a “year”.

  • Levly

    Djinn is such a good song

  • Maximos662

    While this list is very, very different from my own, I’m basically okay with it, with the two exceptions of DSO and Leprous, about which… just ugh, no.

    That Black Sites album is not only full of great riffs, but exhibits a subtle progressivity that only enhances its appeal with each listen.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    While no offense to Crimfall, the guy on the cover does look like he’s taking a leak. Urinefall?

  • Eldritch Elitist

    uauuuu Lör is here!!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    3/10 ain’t bad.
    Nice to see the Leper Love.

  • VikingSchism

    Thank you, AMG and everyone on this website. It’s safe to say that without this site, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into metal like I did, and definitely would be having a lot more trouble finding new stuff to listen to myself. Over the past year, I’ve tried to comment here and there, and it’s always a pleasure to see all of the regular commenters in the comments. Easily the best comment section of any website. Also, the quality of writing on the website is always top-notch. It’s something special when I’ve come to this site almost every day of the year, and read almost all the reviews

  • Eli Valcik

    Trhanks for all you do here and thanks for thing to appease us demanding interwebz invaders!

  • Daniribalbert

    LEPROUS!!! Now, I’m putting myself in the dark corner of the comments section (maybe the same corner where we can find Kronos).

    • Kronos

      LEPROUS!!!

    • Huck N’ Roll

      LEPROUS!!!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I just got to see that Crimfall cover together on the same list with Pain of Sweaty Back Man Bun and realized Angry Metal Guy is a sucker for cover featuring bare backs. Maybe bare backs are the new spheres, or even bare backs are the new unicorns. Bare back mountain? WTF

  • Dymanic

    Lightning poll: Which cover is worse, Steven Wilson or Pain of Salvation?

    • hallowed

      Don’t know why would anyone want to cover Steven Wilson.

      • Dymanic

        I think he should definitely be covered, especially on his own cover.

        • Goldicot

          top comment

    • Genocidefish

      Wilson is worse. He has many fine qualities but nature intended for him to wear a shirt at all times.

      • Thë Brycërøy

        Pretty sure the PoS cover dude could just flex those shoulders and crush Mr. Wilson…

  • Kronos

    Who is this schmuck and why does he get a list?

    • Some writer, supposed to be good for us.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Drew….did you catch Et Liber Eris by Adimiron?
        Based on your recommendation of ROSK etc I think you would enjoy them.
        Very high quality stuff that I’m surprised got missed in 2017

        • Thë Brycërøy

          *grumbles and adds ROSK to the damn list*

          • It’s a really good album. Purchased it after Master of Muppets mentioned it in another thread a few months ago, I think.

          • Thë Brycërøy

            Just finished it on my drive in to work this morning. I quite liked it except for that part on Infected I where they keep going INSIDE! inside! INSIDE! inside! … no.

          • sir_c

            Rosk is fuckin stellar, needs more love.
            Also Elder is sooo damn good

        • I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them, I’ll check them out in the morning and judge your worth as a person accordingly.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            It’s the best option I have I guess……

          • Thë Brycërøy

            I apparently liked 2014’s Timelapse enough that I listened to the whole thing, so uh, there’s that?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      To add insult to injury his list is not brutal enough

  • Marshlander

    Glad to see Black Sites up where they belong. It was exactly the vocals and production that put me off Lör so maybe I should give it another shot.
    Also, this seems like as good a spot as any for a TYMHM about the AMG AOTY 2016:
    King Goat’s Conduit was reissued in 2017 as an extended edition with three new tracks. This is more of a service announcement than unconditioned recommendation, really. I’m not convinced more is more in this case.

    • Eli Valcik

      They reissued king goat but it has that shitty album cover, no way bro, those jabrones are trying to jabait me!

      • You keep using this word, jabroni, and it’s awesome.

      • Diego Molero

        The new album cover is much better than the original in my opinion

        • Thë Brycërøy

          Artsy riot of color vs The Ultimate Facepalm? I dunno, man, the original cover is awesome, the new one looks like Mare Cognitum got into the really good shit.

          • Diego Molero

            Well perhaps it’s just me, I never liked the original cover.

          • Thë Brycërøy

            I don’t dislike the new one at all, I just thought the original one was really cool, it was interesting.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      Those three songs are actually their 2014 EP.

    • Nate Sweet

      According to the interwebs new King Goat early 2018.
      Source: cursory Google search “new King goat album?”

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Oh, come on! Sweaty back man bun again? This is clearly a case where they should have an alternate cover. I don’t know, maybe cover the guy with a bedsheet like they did with Deicide’s “Once upon the Cross”

    • Dymanic

      The cover matches the music: cheesy, hip, and without artistic merit.

      • …Pain of Salvation? I’m not even all that taken with them, yet “without artistic merit” seems a bit much, no? Beyond the subjective nature of experiencing art, I’d actually go so far as to consider PoS one of the most legitimately artistic endeavours of the year given its cathartic nature. Again, the album was not my thing at all, plus as always subjectivity yo, but that just seems like an overly broad brush to paint your damnation with.

        • Dymanic

          You are not reading my comment with the correct sense of dramatic hyperbole.

          But you must admit, it’s pretty bad.

          Unfortunately whenever we get a visit from the Dear Leader I’m reminded of how terrible his taste can be sometimes.

          • Fair enough, though your slander against The Angry One’s esteemed tastes will probably cost you an eternity of plague and damnation.

  • GrumpDumpus
    • Rodrigo D.C.

      I wish I had these drawing skills.

      • VikingSchism

        Only true masters of MSPaint can hope to achieve a level like this, I aspire to get there one day

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        So do I, so I could draw a dick on that painting.

    • Nick Maestas

      Beautiful :,)

  • Shawn Cypher

    I just can’t wrap my head around the Pain of Salvation album. I mean that in just the samples and YouTube tracks I’ve heard, because it didn’t interest me enough to purchase it and listen any further. I’m not a huge fan of prog-metal — especially djenty prog metal — though.

    And now I get to stare at a man bun art every time I visit…

    • ssorg

      Same… tacky emo AOR. If I wanted to walk down that road again (and I seldom do) I’d reach for something from Enigk’s oeuvre.

      • Dymanic

        Both correct. I don’t understand how anyone can think it is so emotionally deep and insightful.

        “Two young kids feeding on politics
        And poetry
        Running on dreams”

        Ugh. Sophomoric emo tripe.

    • Dan

      Used to love PoS. But then mr Gildenlow began to become so whiny and political, I couldn’t listen anymore. Still have a hard time with him.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    RABBLE

  • Zach Ward

    Really No Wilderun? VERY DISSAPOINTING AMG!!! You had Wilderun in you’re last 2 lists whats stoping you from again this year? Not a good nuff album to make it 3 years in a row? SHAME!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Is your PhD Thesis about how the impossibility of Less being More? Or about not discusing journalism with fans? About the creation of the new Science of Jørnalism?

    • VikingSchism

      I don’t think the world is ready for Jørnalism quite yet. Maybe it’s about the secret perfection that is the White Wizzard album though.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        The perfection of White Wizzard is no secret!

  • Sweaty back wins. Well I’ll be.

  • Gage

    *yawn*

    I’ll take the lists by Beuller or Kronos over all of this retro-rock symphonic folk prog-djent nonsense.

    • Nathan McCain

      This one’s a snoozer for sure… but that’s why there are other writers!

  • Zadion

    good list, but needs more Ulver

  • I’m tickled that “Endure and Survive” is on the list. I was thinking about it last night that it’s not my favorite album musically but that if I were to make a list and arrange the albums on how much listening time they’ve received then that album would be a top five of the year for me (if not top three). Blaze just really hits me hard with almost every release (The King of Metal never hit me at all). Pt III is something I’m very much looking forward to.

    Best of luck here in 2018 in completing your goals. All of us readers enjoy when you review but we are also so lucky that the blog is in capable hands with Steel and the rest of the crew.

  • Septic
    • Thë Brycërøy

      Shoulda been fingerpainting a unicorn.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Thank you for adding painting to that sentence. …

        • Thë Brycërøy

          That works too.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      AMG? OMG!

    • World class!

  • Danny

    Thanks so much to AMG and the rest of the team for making the best metal blog on the internet go round. I’ve been checking in regularly for two years and commenting for one, and it changed my life! Well, it changed my life as in I now listen to more, better metal, which counts. Not that anyone cares, but here is my list for the year. So many of these records I’d have never heard of if not for this blog, so thanks again for that. Here’s to an even angrier 2018!

    10. Crimfall – Amain
    9. Noumena – Myrrys
    8. Galderia – Return of the Cosmic Men
    7. Hallatar – No Stars Upon the Bridge
    6. November’s Doom – Hamartia
    5. Ne  Obliviscaris – Urn
    4. Ayreon – The Source
    3. Lor – In Forgotten Sleep
    2. Aether Realm – Tarot
    1. Unleash the Archers – Apex

    Honorable Mentions:
    Aeternam – Ruin of Empires
    Elvenking – Secrets of the Magic Grimoire
    Wolfchant – Bloodwinter
    Serenity – Lionheart
    Paradise Lost – Medusa
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

    Non-metal album of the year:
    Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

    • Ah, The Source. I would’ve honorably mentioned that had I not forgot about it… I’ll need to check out Crimfall and a couple others on this here list. Also I think you made a typo, “1. Æther Realm – Tarot” fix’d, good list otherwise!

      • Danny

        Bőø, ï śåý, to űňņéç짺àřý ľęţţëŕ đėčøřæțįóņ§

        • Bit of a misunderstanding, I was bumping them up to #1 not nitpicking the letter amalgamation. ßøó îπ∂éë∂!

          • Danny

            Ah! They could have bumped themselves up to number 1 with a little judicious editing. Still a banging record, easily could have been #1

  • Genocidefish

    On the upside, I am currently making a giant compilation of my favourite metal from 2017 and I had nearly forgotten to include PoS, which I would have really kicked myself for post-editing.
    On the downside, another month of the sweaty back.

  • My somewhat late list. Redemptor was a late addition courtesy of NCs and the note I listen to it the more highly I rate it. Still in two minds over Sorcerer though. On a song level it’s better then Below’s effort but damn if it isn’t just a little too much doom for one album.

    10. Ulsect – Ulsect
    9. Below – Upon a Pale Horse
    8. Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
    7. Sorcerer – The Crowning of the Fire King
    6. Mahakala – The Second Fall
    5. Fleshkiller – Awaken
    4. Redemptor – Arthaneum
    3. Joey Concepcion – Alignment
    2. Anakim – Monuments to Departed Worlds
    1. The Ominous Circle – Appalling Ascension

    • Diego Molero

      Ulsect, Mahakala and Dodecahedron are all great, I have to listen to the other albums.

      • Man, if you like doom then you need to be listening to Below and Sorcerer for sure.

        • Diego Molero

          I will!

    • Thë Brycërøy

      Oh damn I totally forgot about The Ominous Circle! Great was its spheriness!

    • AndySynn

      Some very nice stuff here (Ulsect very nearly made my own list), but I just couldn’t get into the hype behind that Anakim album.

      Perhaps I need to give it another try!

      • I was always a big fan of Eternal Gray and Anakim sound very much like that band (possibly to extend of not having their own sound yet), so it didn’t much listening for the album to click. It’s worth another try for sure, but I do feel like Redemptor will oust it from that spot given some more time.

  • Bas

    My taste is clearly inferior…
    Thanks for the site AMG and all the writers. My addiction of to this site gets worse every year!

  • Nexus

    First visited this site a year ago during list week and now I read it pretty much every day. Thanks to everyone at AMG who makes it what it is.
    Here’s my own list:

    1. The Great Old Ones // EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy
    2. Archspire // Relentless Mutation
    3. Chelsea Wolfe // Hiss Spun
    4. Desolate Shrine // Deliverance From the Godless Void
    5. Igorrr // Savage Sinusoid
    6. Tchornobog // Tchornobog
    7. Wormwood // Ghostlands
    8. Unleash the Archers // Apex
    9. The King Is Blind // We Are the Parasite, We Are the Cancer
    10. Squalus // The Great Fish

    HM: Nightbringer, Dzö-nga, Temple of Void, Emyn Muil, Mastodon

    • Ferrous Beuller

      Nice to see TKIB get some love from the readership.

      • Nexus

        I hadn’t heard of them until your review so thanks for that. Also, you had the best staff list this year

        • Ferrous Beuller

          You’re God-damn right I did.

  • Zadion

    In the 8 years I’ve been a casual-regular of this metalblog, I can say with confidence this is the least impressive top 10ish you’ve put out, tbh. Also needs more Ulver.

    [Insert obligatory “Thanks for making this the best metal website on the internet” yearly thank you comment.]

    • Uh, thanks?

      • Zadion

        I’m still around after 8 years, after all!

  • kmal666

    not enough Nightbringer, On anyone’s list really….
    Gotta check out aeternam though didnt realize I missed it.

  • jolly cooperation

    Gayest list of them all.

    • Do you have an eponymous website?

    • h_f_m

      Shittiest comment of them all.

  • Vega Magnus

    My position in the Leprous Civil War is that Malina is… fine. So since I’m not really on either side of the war, does that mean that I’m the enemy of everyone?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      You are no one’s enemy, but you’re in the crossfire. Basically, you have to watch out for friendly fire from every angle.

    • AndySynn

      I think it just means you’re Switzerland.

  • Nukenado

    Nukenado’s top 15 albums of 2017 (not limited to a 2017 release)

    Honorable Mentions:

    Mgła – Exercises In Futility (2015)
    Bleak, nihilistic and catchy. This album rages but still remains approachable. Doesn’t hurt that the lyrics are pretty young adult angsty (past teenager levels) and well done.

    Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid (2017)
    Some people say this is an avant-garde album. With that term comes implications that it’s a tough album to swallow, it’s experimental and challenging.
    This album is none of that. It’s catchy, hook-laden and a kitchen sink. If you took the catchiest parts out of slam, classical, electronica and Balkan music, and stitched them together like an audio Frankenstein’s monster, that would be Igorrr.
    Some people might find it hideous and too patchwork for their tastes. But fuck it, some people find it charming, honest and fun. I, for one, enjoy Dr. Gautier Serre’s work. This would be higher up on the list if not for my mood restricting me to more gloomy music.

    Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs (2017)
    December release. This album is a furious grower though.

    Keiichi Okabe – Nier: Automata Original Soundtrack (2017)
    The standout JRPG soundtrack of the year. The symphonic flourishes so many Japanese composers (and power metal bands) enjoy aside, this album features prominent vocals on almost all of its tracks, giving this album a unique feel that dwarfed plenty others (sorry, Yuzo Koshiro and Falcom Sound Team jdk!) in the JRPG soundtrack realm. Top notch soundtrack album, with a melodramatic theme (“The Weight Of The World”) that is sung waaay too theatrically. In other words, this is what I love about JRPG soundtracks condensed into one album.

    Clutch – Psychic Warfare (2015)
    Good, honest rock and roll with one of rock’s best lyricists who isn’t full of angst.
    From the introspective “Our Lady of Electric Light” to the amazingly fun “Firebirds!”, this is good. Get this.

    Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos (2017)
    Retro rock done right.

    Beaten to Death – Dødfest! (2012)
    Post-grindcore. Beaten to Death don’t care about your trveness, they just want to have fun blasting their drums and play their near zero-distortion guitars. The only thing keeping this from a higher position is that it’s happy.

    Wormwood (Sweden) – Ghostlands – Wounds From a Bleeding Earth (2017)
    Symphonic folk black. Nothing innovative, but really, really well done. I would have listened to this album more if not for the next album on this list. Also, where the fuck is your guys’ debut EP?!

    List proper:

    15. Zornheym – Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns (2017)
    Theatrical symphonic BM with the backing of a real orchestra and choir. The waveform is near brickwalled, but not crushed as to not engage with the catchy writing and genuine taste for hooks that so many BM bands lack. A bit cheesy but fun and very competently made. Hard to tell it’s a debut.

    14. Schizoid Lloyd – The Last Note In God’s Magnum Opus (2014)
    Holiday, festive music that is musically insane. I don’t know why I listen to this so much.

    13. Mgła – With Hearts Towards None (2012)
    Everything good about Exercises in Futility, just that I like the songs here more.

    12. Jess and the Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (2015)
    Fast-paced hippie rock with an underlying sense of sadness and unease.

    11. Squalus – The Great Fish… (2017)
    Theatrical but also incredibly saddening and emotionally intense. The Jaws retelling might not be as emotionally gripping as dealing with the loss of friends or the horrible state of society and social divisions, but the music is as powerful as any shitty melodic BM that I listen to.

    10. Harakiri For The Sky – Trauma: III (2016)
    When I have the time for really moody sads, this is the album I listen to. It’s long-winded and it’s totally worth it. An emotionally satisfying listen.

    9. Yatagarasu – Protoplasm (2009)
    “what I imagine hatefucking Pikachu would sound like”

    8. Totem Skin – Weltschmertz (2015)
    Angry blackened hardcore that balances anger and melody quite well. There’s also a standout vocal performance that makes you want to scream along to the surprisingly moderately legible lines.

    7. Heathen Beast – $cam (2017)
    Amazingly angry blackened grindcore. You know how when people do folk they use traditional melodic instruments? Heathen Beast say “fuck you” and use traditional percussion instruments. The result is a grindy, angry mess but somehow rhythmically catchy.
    It’s also mastered surprisingly well.

    6. Madder Mortem – Red In Tooth And Claw (2016)
    Emotional as fuck prog metal that is what “prog” should be like. Defying categorization and classification. The album opener “Blood on the Sand” and immediate follow up “If I Could” are amazingly therapeutic for my personal ills.

    5. Vulture Industries – Stranger Times (2017)
    I didn’t think so much of this album at first. But I can recall every song on this album. The lyrics are very well written for an ESL band that kinda sucks at articulation (I’m sorry but you guys mumble too much!), and hits home in this current political mess. Apparently, these guys are avant-garde because of past records and uses of texture, sax, and whatnot? Fuck it, it’s catchy, it’s short, it’s melodic and my mom likes it too. Amazing record and you will all burn for not having a TYMHM about it.

    4. Pseudo/Sentai – Bansheeface/Enter The Sentai (2015/2016)
    Prog rock/metal that doesn’t give a shit what you think about it. These guys price catchiness and good songwriting above all else, and rarely extend a song past 4 minutes. Your time is precious and they don’t waste time.

    3. Æther Realm – Tarot (2017)
    My most listened to release of the year. Urgent when it needs to be; fun when it needs to be; angry when needed, introspective when the mood calls for it. Multifaceted melodeath, just like its namesake.

    2. Hyperion (Sweden) – Seraphical Euphony (2016)
    Absolutely nuts meloblack. Packed with melodic, textural and rhythmic hooks. Hooks are all Hyperion need and they have them in buckets.

    1. Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas/The Whole Of The Law (2012/2016)
    If you know me musically, you’d know I’m an Anaal Nathrakh fanboy. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    Seething anger at everything. Politics, the world, society, the establishment, and ourselves, Anaal Nathrakh rage against everything. I fucking love these two. Anaal Nathrakh is my go-to method of catharsis, and I mean it. This has been a fucking horrible year for me, and that’s one of my primary goals for listening to music. Anaal Nathrakh provides me with that emotional outlet that any angsty teenager could ever want.

    Have a happy and brvtal new year fuckers, and good luck on your PhD, AMG! My high school bullshit can’t compare but I’ll preted I know what that feels. Hope to see more of Bitter Beret Wearing Intellectual Guy™(as Steel Druhm put it) in the future!

    • Thë Brycërøy

      Breaking code with all those non-2017 albums, sir. My list woulda looked VASTLY different if I’d gone that route. I discovered Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, Slugdge, Blut Aus Nord, and many others all last year…

      I did like that Zornheym album, wasn’t blown away though.

      You made me write a bunch of stuff down like any good list does, though! Cheers!

      • Nukenado

        I’m listening to Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms right now!
        I think discovered bands deserve to be on lists too. I have a 2017 only list in El C’s top 10 comments section… I think.

        • Thë Brycërøy

          I could probably live off of “The Chapter for Transforming Into A Slug”, “Pellet In the Head”, and “Lettuce Prey” forever.

          • Nukenado

            Hmm, my choice from Gastronomicon would be Slimewave Zero.

          • Thë Brycërøy

            Wish Spotify would put their individual albums up there instead of the compilation version of D&SK they’ve got now.

          • Nukenado

            Just use bandcamp!

          • Thë Brycërøy

            I did until that showed up on Spotify! I am a creature of convenience…

          • Nukenado

            Spotify is patchy with tagging.

          • Thë Brycërøy

            Yeah, noticed that for a long time now. They have some EDM group lumped in on TesseracT’s page, finding Hell was a chore, had to go by the picture associated with the 80 groups with that name. Cormorant has some bird sound albums under the “Singles” bit, that cracks me up.

          • Nukenado

            I’ve seen the “two different bands listed under the same page” issue too.

    • Zadion

      I’m not expecting a metal blog to talk about the glory that is Nier Automata (or it’s soundtrack), but somehow this website missed out on Vulture Industries TWO releases in a row! (Technically, their 2010 album came out in time for AMG to review it, but being this place was in its infancy at that time that misstep can be forgiven.)

      Stranger Times doesn’t please me the way The Tower does, and I suspect it won’t have the same staying power either, but it’s still a damn fine album and probably would be in my top 10 of the year had I actually put too much thought into that yet.

      I also agree that Vulture Industries have some of the best lyrics in this generation of metal. Although that sort of extremity isn’t quite what you said, I’ll happily place those words in your mouth.

      • Madam X is a huge fan of their 2010 album and was scheduled to review the new one, but time constraints caused it to fall through the cracks. We’re definitely aware of them though.

        • Zadion

          Every time Madam X enjoys anything from a band I dig, she shits all over their albums I actually enjoy. After years of shaking my fist violently at my PC, I’ve learned to disregard her taste.

      • Nukenado

        NieR Automata though. Platinum games can do no wrong, and the amazing concept is breathtaking, the amazing gameplay and beautiful setpieces and designs don’t hurt either. All the other filthy Chinese commies are complaining about the game’s high price, but living in Canada the price is just modest.

        Dr. Grier said he’ll be TYMHM-ing Stranger times, so be ready. The Malefactor’s Bloody Register was reviewed here though.
        I actually like Stranger Times more than The Tower. The more stripped down aesthetic works wonders with Bjørnar’s voice.

        • Zadion

          Automata is a masterpiece indeed, although I like it more for its story form (and its existence as one of the few video games that uses all the strengths of the medium to convey its themes) than gameplay. It warms my heart to see it receive such praise, considering the original Nier was quite a cult classic (I admit I never even got around to playing it myself).

          I… can’t believe I didn’t know The Malefactor’s Bloody Register was reviewed here. My mind is blown. Stranger Times I think makes for a slightly more cohesive album than The Tower, but The Tower has much greater heights (heheh), IMO, especially in the form of its opening three tracks.

          • Nukenado

            The original NieR toys with redemption and also screws you over with multiple endings. It also uses the medium effectively.

      • Mediocre Arcturus copy is mediocre.

        • Nukenado

          The last two albums don’t resemble Arcturus though.

        • Zadion

          I disagree they sound very much, if anything, like Arcturus over the last couple albums. I’ll also note you rated that one album you reviewed a 3.5, which is hardly mediocre!

      • PretentiousFuckwad

        I was expecting to see them in the things you might have missed list. I mean they had a rhinoceros on the cover so even if you hate it, you could at least blast them for trying to be like Soen.

    • Note that we have to stick to the year.

      • Nukenado

        Yeah, I know. But I’m a rebel and I”m so list-crazy I need two lists (the 2017 list is posted in El C/Diabolus’ top 10)

      • Origami Blue

        cough…Wilderun…cough…cough

    • ToddRob64

      How is it that you only discovered clutch this year? Fantastic band by the way so better late than never

      • Nukenado

        Yeah, I had slept on Clutch before.

        • ToddRob64

          No two albums ever sound the same which is great. And when they play live they always play a fair amount of the latest one because they believe in what they put out

    • sir_c

      That would be the Sticky Albums List, containing all the music that you still play after some years.

      But how far ‘d ya wanna go? We could then also introduce the Late To The Party List, with older albums you only discovered recently. In the latter case I would certainly mention Extravaganza’s Priepuoliai album. But we’re diverting here :-)

      • Nukenado

        This is all of the above!

  • Vega Magnus

    Also, yay Soen!

  • One More Thing

    I was very surprised that Nightbringers didn’t make it onto the list. I was also honestly expecting King to find its way here since it got ignored in so many places and AMG usually defies the normal expectations. King still doesn’t make sense to me (especially for the hype it got early on) but no Nightbringers was a surprise. Great list though, very cool to see Archspire not get ignored. Very thankful for this site that you’ve all created and continue to nurture. Happy New Year, everyone!

    • One More Thing

      I clearly don’t know what fucking year I’m in. I legit heard so much about King at the end of 2017 that I legit forgot that it came out last year AND was mentioned in AMG’s list for that year. This year’s coffee is not strong enough…

      • Zadion

        When the memes distort reality

  • Dejw Zielonka

    I feel the same about Pain of Salvation and being there at the gig in London is part of that reason. Was also interviewing Daniel before the show. So many good memories with this album even though it’s so profoundly sad.

  • Nate Sweet

    AMG missed a superb album by local folk metal band Wilderun with their spectacular 2017 release Sleep at the Edge of the Earth.

    But for reals thanks for the music you guys! I first came here by way of your review of Halen’s Affinity and quickly found King Goat (new album early 2018 get pumped). I thought to myself “these guys actually have good taste in music.” Boy have I ever been wrong! You guys are all super subjective and objectively wrong 96.2% of the time. Yet here I am 1.5 years later having discovered a whole plethora of bands that I would absolutely never come across otherwise and I have all the people who make AMG possible and those who post suggestions in the comments to thank. Anyway footnovel is getting a bit long could use good editing. Love you nerds here’s to a great 2018!

  • Fuinha

    I said the same thing last year. I’ve been going further and further away from metal but every once in a while this blog draws me back in. There isn’t another site on the internet(music or Otherwise) that has such consistent quality

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    Fear of death is something everyone can relate to, which makes a “holy shit I’m dying” album fairly genuine. Okay sure he’s alive, but that doesn’t really take away from it. I can also appreciate the lyrics for not falling into the cliches of “death isn’t the end” or “grateful to have lived.”

  • A gentle reminder that everyone who is complaining about the background is using inferior equipment that goes along with their inferior taste. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a913dfc984298431ac7873285dbceed7aabb24bdf072150e36421527efbe1a9a.png

    • ssorg

      Is there some magical resolution that cuts off the man bun?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      If I got an even worse computer will I get to see less man bun?

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Hmm. I can’t tell what you’re running there. Some kind of Linux distro?

      • Antiklontermiddel

        Some sort of WordPress CMS-interface.
        EDIT (incomplete post): judging by the color and font issued by the window manager, probably Ubuntu.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Thanks!

    • Nick Maestas

      I can see that AMG had a mug of some haterade today

    • sir_c

      Actually, now I have a reason to go back to the loft and trade my 4K monitor for some ancient 800×600 CRT.

  • JimminySnakeTits

    I can’t say enough good things about this site. This site represents what the best of what the internet can offer: the fact that it disseminates so much information to so many people, exposes artists to listeners, and gives the authors a chance to put to pen their well-thought opinions. I personally, have never been good at describing things in words, especially my thoughts or feelings on art. I know how I think about something, but I am not good at expressing it to others, so I truly value the time and effort given by the authors of this site to review all of these albums.

    If anyone is interested, I have created a Spotify playlist with every album I could find that was mentioned in any of the reviews posted for 2017: https://open.spotify.com/user/gftrader/playlist/2PzwHOdLbb0BybSLpcANNc

    Best of luck to AMG and the rest of the staff in the new year and thank you for everything you contribute to this site and the music world as a whole.

  • POWERLEMUR

    Pleasant surprise to see Soen, which Spotify turned me on to recently and which continues my record of liking albums whose cover art features canine woodcuts (Neurosis’s Times of Grace and In Vain’s AEnigma).

  • Gena Gorin

    Meh

  • Frost15

    I must admit PoS album is something special, yet I feel maybe you need to be kind of (or completely) fucked up in life to fully grasp the experience. I pretty much enjoyed the album, the pictures and the story (mediabook format) and I come back to it every now and then, yet I feel there were definitely better albums this year.

  • Unfathomable Procrastination

    No felchbogg uponyourlips? nice list, have found some great stuff from all these lists thanks for all your efforts putting them together.

    • With a name like that you should be writing for us.

  • The Unicorn

    I hate this list. Except for Archspire. But I love AMG. Sweaty and all.

  • Name’s Dalton

    It’s not every day you see two album covers with shirtless dudes who obviously don’t deadlift.

    • Dymanic

      Beach muscle. Instant disdain.

  • First of all, thank you folks for broadening my musical horizons throughout the another year. It’s nice to have that certainity that every day at least few pieces of worthwhile reading are waiting here for me. Although I don’t know any of you in person, I feel that you are a great company for a beer or ten, so if any of you will by some accident visit Poland someday, I’m buying. Damn, I owe you that.

    Also, time to throw my 2 cents to the ranking madness:

    Honorable Mentions:
    Threshold – Legend of the Shires,
    Tetrafusion – Dreaming of Sleep
    White Ward – Futility Report
    Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
    Ufomammut – 8

    -ish // Aether Realm – Tarot (this could be higher if I’d spend more time with this record…)

    10 // Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence (Nicest Surprise of the year, the drummer really brought the band to the next level; the kid is far too talented for his age)
    9 // Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day
    8 // Impure Wilhelmina – Radiation
    7 // Akercocke – Renaissance in Extremis
    6 // Cormorant – Diaspora
    5 // Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
    4 // Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
    3 // Lör – In Forgotten Sleep
    2 // Sorcerer – The Crowning of the Fire King (YESSSSS!)

    1 // Soen – Lykaia
    Their best album, period. On Tellurian they found their individual voice, but here they mastered it. My choice was pretty much decided already in February.

    Song of the Year:
    Soen – God’s Acre. I still can’t believe that it’s a fucking BONUS TRACK.

    Disappointments of the Year:
    Enslaved – E (good opening and then nothing),
    Steven Wilson: To the Bone (when he releases a 3.5 album, I consider it a major letdown; also -0.5 for “Mamma Mia”),
    Solstafir – Bedreyminn (this record leaves me cold as Icelandic highlands).

  • Serjien

    Thanks AMG and all others (writers and readers) who make part of this awesome community. I look forward to more great reviews on mediocre music in 2018!

  • Origami Blue

    Finally, a wimpy prog list! I’m shocked and disgusted that more lists didn’t have Soen on them. That album is a damn masterpiece. And PoS (man bun aside) is very gradually growing on me. The more I dig into the composition and lyrics, the more I find works about it. It’s the kind of album that I expect to pull out in ten years and it’ll be my favourite thing ever.

    Thanks for an excellent year of metal reviews and comment section bants, folks. May 2018 give us unicorns and shameless 4.5s aplenty!

  • Bandido

    I thought that pain of salvation was the best prog album that I heard in 2017.. until I listened like around five times Voyager album….

  • Levly

    I really don’t get why so many people dislike the new Leprous so much. Sure it isn’t heavy and not very Metal anymore, but they still write great hooky riffs and the prog flourish on this record kick ass. And it’s much more engaging than the two previous droning records… Not on my top 10 but it’s a great album, I’m glad to see it on the bosses list (same for Aeternam)

  • h_f_m

    I wholeheartedly agree with this #1. Fantastic album front to back.

  • Eddy Ferreira

    Never been a fan of Prog Rock myself, but i will definitely check out Pain of Salvation, i heard their prior work before and it left me impressed. This has been a good year for Metal! Chelsea Wolfe, Akercocke, Hallatar where in my constant Rotation on my Record Player, as well as non metal albums like Kendrick Lamar and Pertubator, overall, a good year for music!

  • Lou Daz

    Every time Pain of Salvation is referenced on AMG, I revisit the album to see if I am missing something.
    Every time, I remember how mediocre it is.
    #edgy

    • Dymanic

      Preach it.

  • Nick Maestas

    I knew you were going to pick that album as the AoTY! It’s great too! I’m going to have to buy it soon, I’ve picked up every AoTY AMG has posted for like the past 4 years. These lists from the entire staff always has gems in them and I look forward to hearing all these posted albums soon!

  • Sophocles

    I need to step up my hacking skills and replace no8 with … whatever, you name it

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I only have two things to say.
    1.Thanks to you and everyone at AMG industries for the continued excellence and my daily dose of metal.
    2. Please don’t be late with the ROTM in January…

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I wasn’t going to do it but screw it, here’s my list too, for completeness’ sake.

    10. Rings of Saturn – Ultu Ulla
    9. Bloodlust – At the Devil’s Left Hand
    8. Witherfall – Nocturnes and Requiems
    7. Suffering Hour – In Passing Ascension
    6. Voyager – Ghost Mile
    5. Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
    4. Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
    3. Emptiness – Not for Music
    1. Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid

    I’m also in the last year of my PhD so I know your feelz. Good luck,

  • TheChronosus

    For what I’ve manage to listen from this list, I can’t agree with you more, and because of that I can’t wait to hear the other stuff of the list.

    I had difficulty getting into Caligula’s Horse, but Graves was the track that had done it for me, and as you say, the ending is just…. Instead of Jinn I would put Opal as one of the best tracks of the year, again because of the ending.

    Loving the new Diablo Swing, I actually like it more than previous one. I think the new girl actually complements music better than previous one did. She’s just so much more diverse.

    Glad to see love for Malina after that travesty of a review from Cronos. I keep coming back to it.

    Only thing that’s not on the list that I would include is Ayreon, album and track. It’s really culmination of all of the Arjen’s catalogue so far, and it has that kind of positivity and playfulness. Songs can stand on their own now more than ever, and I would include The Day The World Breaks Down on my list of top songs.

    But still PoS has killed it with latest. There’s really one song that’s meh, the rest of it just flows so nicely. And the title track… just…

  • ayou

    No disappointments and no honorable mentions this year?

    • Disappointment: Enslaved.
      Honorable Mentions: Ayreon.

      • GardensTale

        And no footnovels?

  • Mr Moose Moosington

    You dropped an “s” in your paragraph about Diablo Swing Orchestra at the top.

    The *songs* are fun, smart, addictive, and they keep me coming back.

    I’ve been coming to AMG since around 2012 and its surprising how much my metal taste has changed over the years. Part of it is thanks to this site. I can’t thank you guys enough for steering me towards all of this progressive goodness.

  • flaming_froghurt

    Finally some love for Aeternam in these lists!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I’ll risk it to see the back…of the back…

  • Borden Webb Brown

    I couldn’t agree more with “In the Passing Light of Day” as album of the year. There was no album in 2017 that I returned to more than this. I was never a huge PoS fan. Good band yes, but nothing they’d done in the past pulled me in the way this release did. Horrible album cover aside, this album is absolutely amazing. As an early release in January it was a great pleasure to have the entire year to digest this awesome release. I can’t wait to hear what they come out with next. They’ve added a new fan to their roster. It hit all the right strings for me this past year.

  • Love the Pain of Salvation album. Listened to it constantly last year.

    I was never into Caligula’s Horse that much, but Graves is one hell of a tune. The vocalist sounds like a dead ringer for Ross Jennings from the mighty Haken. Not a bad thing, to my ears.

  • Lemonitos

    What about Unleash the Archers, Vuur and Subterranean Masquerade?

  • AgonMcDuck

    A bit late, but I fucking love “Jinn.” It’s so perfect. I do dig the rest of Lykaia but I think “Jinn” is the crown jewel of that album. Thanks for giving me that last push to check it out, was rewarded in spades. I think this is Soen’s best yet.

  • Hark

    OK, time for a yearly aggregate AMG list. Let’s see what the AMG consensus says for this year. :-) This year the staff was a little smaller, there were only 22 reviewers submitting lists, but which rated and mentioned the unprecedent 203 records from this year! This resulted in some diluting of the consensus as there was smaller set of records that the people agree upon. In the list, I’ve only mentioned reviewers who entered the record in their personal Top 5, however, all votes went into account.

    As always, big thank you to all AMG staffers for their opinions and let’s go from the bottom! :)

    #(ish): Sorcerer // The Crowning of the Fire King – [#1 Steel Druhm, #4 Ferrous Beuller, #5 Huck N’ Roll] – This Rainbow-y, doom-y record was Steel’s top pick for this year. Solid, old school, but a little on the long side (almost an hour without the bonus tracks, with only 8 songs), a property which will share with most of this year top picks. Steel Druhm: “When I think of how far Sorcerer has come from those early demos to this ginormous crowning achievement, it boggles my metal mind. It took them 27 years to get here, but it was definitely worth the wait. A strong Album o’ the Year contender that doom, power and traditional metal fans should check out post-haste. Long live Sorcerer and the Fire King!” “Crowning sounds like Kamelot had a love child with Candlemass and Headless Cross era Sabbath, and hired Rainbow as the nanny. Every song is gold, even the bonus cuts, and no album this year had anywhere near the same magnetic attraction to my brain. This thing is the champagne and gold leaf encrusted caviar of metal platters and you should enjoy of deep chewing.”

    #(10): Akercocke // Renaissance in Extremis – [#1 Treble Yell, El Cuervo] – This much loved England’s Noughties metal band made a comeback record this year. Reception was positive, vocals were criticized. All in all, a very good record. In fact, it deserved a higher spot. Akerblogger: “Renaissance In Extremis is fun and diverse whilst still being pensive and beautifully touching.” Treble Yell: “Frantic, vicious, bitter and at times just plain weird, Renaissance In Extremis represents the myriad faces of Akercocke in a single offering, blasting you with pummeling riffs and Mendonca’s multi-faceted vocal delivery alongside quieter, introspective moments.” El Cuervo: “It’s undoubtedly one of the tightest releases of the year instrumentally with each band member flawlessly executing their part and all those strands drawing together marvelously. The rhythm section, particularly, is amazing. It also sounds exactly how Akercocke should after a 10 year gap; recognizably the same death metal but more progressive and zany than ever.”

    #(9): Converge // The Dusk in Us – [#2 Grymm, #4 Treble Yell, Mark Z.] – What? Metalcore in the yearly Top 10? This is probably the first time on the site. I guess it’s a result of lower consensus this year, which allowed some (younger, probably American) staffers touched by the scene to push it this high. One thing at least, at under 45 minutes, album is relatively concise. Grymm: “It’s rare for a band with over 25 years of history to remain relevant with the changing tastes of the music scene at large. It’s next to impossible, however, for a band to be around that long and not only remain vital, but continue to improve, mature, and captivate, all while remaining unflinchingly heavy, brutal, and most importantly themselves.” Mark Z.: “Though hardly a huge departure, Dusk manages to retain the group’s wild edge while somehow feeling more accessible and less dissonant, delivering excellent standouts in moments like the frantic intervals of opener “A Single Tear” and the loping sludge of closer “Reptilian.””

    #(8): Pain Of Salvation // In The Passing Light Of Day – [#1 AMG, Dr. Fisting, #3 Huck N’ Roll] – With PoS I’m a little conflicted. I respected and loved their early work, loved “BE”, but acknowledged it was a musical dumbing down, hated “Scarsick”, which was probably one of the worst albums ever, which destroyed any respect I had for Gildenloew as a lyricist. Road Salt albums were surprisingly good. I saw the band live and it was a nice, memorable prog concert. This album, however, is lethargic, emo and (at 71 minute) overlong. This was AMG’s pick for this year. – Dr. Fisting: “This year may have generated records that were quantifiably “better” somehow, but nothing hit me as hard as this one. … Musically, ItPLoD represents a partial return to Pain Of Salvation‘s heavier sound, with a particular emphasis on polyrhythmic trickery. In true PoS fashion though, it’s the ballads that shine brightest (specifically “Silent Gold” and the title track).” Huck N’Roll: “From start to finish the talent and feel shine through, with technicality and raw emotion constantly pushing each other to higher levels.” AMG: “This album is fueled by emotion, loss, frustration and fear. Recorded in the town where I have lived longer than anywhere in my life, In the Passing Light of Day almost felt like an album written for me and that got to me at the perfect moment. And unlike certain other albums I’ve had an intense relationship in the beginning, In the Passing Light of Day has stood the test of time.”

    #(7): Aether Realm // Tarot – [#1 Dr. Wyrm, L. Saunders, #2 Eldrich Elitist] – Great melodeath find and pick. This was reviewed relatively late (the review opened TYMHM 2017), but instantly earwormed to the top. Great melodies, great production. The only issue is that, at 73 minutes, it could use some trimming. Dr. Wyrm: “On the heels on my TYMHM, what’s left to say? That Tarot is a bonafide 5.0, a genre-defining opus that will be spoken of fondly for years to come? That Æther Realm lives up to all of the dreams that we had for Wintersun a decade ago? That with such ease, the North Carolinians could become the next kings of melodeath? This album is what it’s all about.” L. Saunders: “Tarot demanded regular rotation with its scything, technically precise and always thrilling take on the often beaten to death melodic death genre. Tasteful symphonic, blackened and folk elements complimented the year’s standout production and songs that sizzled with adrenaline, sensational guitar work and hooks for days.” Eldrich Elitist: “From the impeccable, slow-building atmosphere of “The Fool” to the expertly crafted twenty-minute epic “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars,” every track on Tarot is bursting with surprises. It overflows with vibrant melody, breakneck adrenaline, and impressive variety, while also packing in moments of contemplative melancholy and searing emotion that… shut up, I’m not crying, you’re crying! I honestly can’t say enough good things about this record.”

    #(5): Unleash the Archers // Apex – [#1 Dr. A.N.Grier, #4 Grymm, #5 Ferrous Beuller] – This solid Canadian power metal record made it in the Top 10. Good playing, good singing, good songs, but at 60 minutes, this is overlong. Dr. A.N.Grier: “It’s a powerful record, an impressive concept, and it blows everything the band has ever done clear out of the water. Not only do I love this album enough to make it my top pick but I’m honored to make it so.” Grymm: “By drastically reducing the cheese factor and tightening up the songs, Apex is a beast from beginning to end, with some of Brittney Slayes’ best vocals yet.” Ferrous Beuller: “Duel harmonies, impenetrable song-craft and Brittney Slayes’ huge vocals impact with a wave of deceptively heavy songs (“Cleanse the Bloodlines” anyone?) that immediately burrow into the subconscious with zero intention of ever letting go.”

    #(5): Archspire // Relentless Mutation – [#4 AMG, Kronos, #5 Treble Yell] – Oh, yeah! This is great! Fast, hard, precise in delivery, chaotic in composition and (at 30 minutes) wonderfully concise. No flaws with this one. Album of the year. AMG: “Relentless Mutation is unashamedly ‘modern’ in its sound—it is tech death, a genre dedicated to figuring out how to make DR2 not audibly peak—but it hits every note that I want from techy music with such precision that I adore. The riffs are sick and memorable, there’s tons of groove and great melody, and the addition of the neo-classical licks to the fold is something which I’ve been screaming for more bands to do since I first heard Oracles by Fleshgod Apocalypse.” Kronos: “In a subgenre that has been dispersing in the brutal and avant-garde directions since the beginning of the decade, this band is pushing forward and making music that’s still following the path that Necrophagist set out on. They’re just much further along.”

    #(4): Spirit Adrift // Curse Of Conception – [#2 Dr. A.N.Grier, #3 Grymm, Dr. Fisting, #5 Roquentin] – Uh! A one man doom band made this year best doom album. It’s a solid one, with good riffs, great solos, nice atmosphere, great songs and perfect length (46 minutes). Good record with a classic feel. Dr. A.N.Grier: “While Curse of Conception has plenty of heartwrenching moments (like the closing minutes of “Onward, Inward”), it’s also a perfectly balanced meal of Pentagram, Trouble, and Black Sabbath. Everything a growing metalhead could need. The guitars are superb, the solos are otherworldly, and the songwriting is full and rich. The result is one of the tightest and best-conceived records of the year. It’s doom, it’s gloom, and it’s fucking good.” Grymm: “With incredible soloing and powerful songwriting that pays tributes to the greats while still being distinctly Spirit Adrift, Curse took the promise of Chained to Oblivion, and not only expanded upon it, but eclipsed it by several miles. Crushing, yet beautiful.” Dr. Fisting: “Easily my biggest surprise this year, Spirit Adrift won me over with a winning mix of influences including Trouble, Cathedral, Thin Lizzy and of course Black Sabbath (alongside subtle hints of Big Four thrash). More importantly, Curse Of Conception boasts excellent songwriting, a soulful vocal performance, and thankfully contains no lyrics about wizards or bong hits.”

    #(3): Caligula’s Horse // In Contact – [#1 GardensTale, #2 Kronos, #4 Huck N’ Roll, #5 L.Saunders, Dr. Wyrm] – The prog metal album of the year. Modern, melodic, technical, nicely produced, but more dynamic wouldn’t hurt. A, little on the long side (67 minutes), but with prog, that can be expected. It could use some trimming but nevertheless it feels half the length of ItPLoD. :-) GardensTale: ” It’s a huge, profound album, a tapestry of diverging stories on love, life and death. … I could praise this album for days, but our own Kronos said it best: “What are we to do in a broken world with a dead god? In Contact answers, with all the authority it can muster: love! create! share! sing!”” Kronos: “While I fully expected to enjoy In Contact, I thought it was going to be another Bloom type album of djenty, easily digestible, but intelligent prog metal. Instead, it turned out to be a dazzling display of artistry, and easily one of the most moving and complex prog metal records I can recall.” Huck N’ Roll: “Aside from a spoken-word rant towards the end, this loose concept album shines on all levels – outstanding vocals, and a band that can shred with the best but knows when to step back and let the entire picture show through.” L. Saunders: “Shoehorning ripping dual guitar harmonies and classic metal influences into their riffy combo of trad and modern doom sensibilities, without discarding the powerful emotional heft, worked wonders for the band.” Dr. Wyrm: “In Contact borrow aspects from genre luminaries like Haken, Soen, and Leprous, but always remains its own beautiful beast. Deeply affecting lyrics pair off perfectly with songs as catchy as they are well-rounded.”

    #(2): Lör // In Forgotten Sleep – [#1 Eldrich Elitist, #2 GardensTale, #3 AMG, Sentynel, Swordborn] – This wonderful power-prog synthesis mixes classic 80s metal with prog and folk while creating it’s own identity. A worthy contender for the album of the year, but at 67 minutes it should have been edited. With ten reviewer votes and mentiones, this is the most voted album of the year.(But, unfortunately, not the highest voted one.) Eldrich Elitist: “Wilderun; Blind Guardian; Sonata Arctica; these are a few of my favorite things. You might think that chucking these influences into a blender on the “puree” setting would spawn a distasteful hodgepodge; in Lör‘s case, it resulted in what I now consider to be this decade’s holy grail of progressive metal records. I’m convinced that there are songwriting and instrumental depths to this album that I’ll still be uncovering five years from now; the ways that certain melodies allude to past and future movements, and the buried nuances of the bass and guitar performances, is nothing short of sublime. On a macro level, even the shortest tracks are so remarkably expansive in scope as to feel like exhaustive, epic journeys, and Lör’s thrashing rhythmic nature makes each one a helluva ride.” GardensTale: “The songwriting on this album is close to perfection: intricate, diverse, flowing wonderfully one moment, then slamming down with powerful riffs and dazzling solos the next. Though the production has some issues (the sound is a bit flat, particularly the drums,) the sheer strength of the writing and performances more than compensate.” AMG: “And what’s sneaky about In Forgotten Sleep is that I have become less critical of it, the more I’ve heard it. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the production, and then I wasn’t sure if I liked the vocalist, and then I wasn’t sure that the music was good enough to carry nearly 70 minutes on its own. Today I wouldn’t change any of that. In Forgotten Sleep is a triumphantly old school synthesis of different genres in a way that just works for what it is.”

    #(1) The Night Flight Orchestra // Amber Galactic – [#1 Huck N’ Roll, Sentynel, #2 Dr. Fisting, El Cuervo, #4 Dr. Wyrm] – There is definitely love between AMG’s staff and this Swedish AOR band. Their debut was #7 on 2012’s list, their sophomore was #5 on 2015’s and now they are #1. Seems that the relative low consensus between the reviewers helped this result. It is technically solid and melodic album of late 70s-early 80s AOR and if the album came in that time, they would probably fill the arenas all over America. However, aesthetically, this is an abomination. It has all that was worst with rock in that period. If this was really the best metal album for 2017, it would really be a dark year for metal. Huck N’ Roll: “But when push came to shove, I went with my heart here, and no record got played more, in more situations, than Amber Galactic. It was the perfect blend of classic pop and hard rock, harkening back to the days of bands like Harlequin, Prism, Loverboy, and even a bit of Abba. This record featured the catchiest songs of the year, perfectly arranged, with Björn Strid singing his heart out.” Sentynel: “It’s not original, it’s neither big nor clever, and it’s not even particularly metal. Both Lör and the Diablo Swing Orchestra produced fantastic, original records, and I’ve listened to them both a lot. But in the end, I’ve spent the last seven months obsessively and tirelessly replaying Amber Galactic to a degree I haven’t experienced in years, so here we are. It’s astoundingly catchy, pretty much every song works for different reasons, and it’s just downright fun.” Dr. Fisting: “Over the course of 3 albums, The Night Flight Orchestra has perfected a style that recalls everything that was great about rock music between 1976-1984, delivered with little irony and no apologies whatsoever. Yes, it’s occasionally cheesy, but beneath the cheddar is clever songwriting (there’s that word again) and top-notch musicianship.” El Cuervo: “But I think all I need to write is Toto. And Van Halen. Billy Joel. Steely Dan. Journey. Maybe Whitesnake. If such an amalgamation of words doesn’t get you excited you shouldn’t bother with Amber Galactic.” Dr. Wyrm: “With such diverging taste among the staff, it’s fun to see which albums bridge the most gaps. The Night Flight Orchestra might just be the winner of staff grab bag, because Amber Galactic transcends all genre affiliations.”

  • GWW

    Album is not even metal and features a fucking MANBUN, which is a completely hipster/gay NO GO. Which, is par really. “Maybe you have to be a bit older, with all the life experiences that suggests, in order to truly appreciate this track.” Seriously?! How ridiculous. Only old fuckers like me will get it!? This is the dumbest thing i have seen on the internet since that Kathy Griffin press conference.

  • Dark Self

    Wow, that is lame…..

    S

  • CoconutBackwards

    Man that Pain of Salvation album artwork is TERRIBLE.