Dr. Fisting

Dr. FistingIt’s December 2017, already? Oh shit.

As some readers have noticed, I’ve been largely absent from the AMG offices for much of this past year. Truth is, I’ve been working on a few musical endeavors of my own, and haven’t been able to quite keep up with all the other records being released (much less review them). While I’m sure I missed out on countless Max Cavalera- and/or Geoff Tate-associated projects, I still maintain that this is a good problem to have.

Anyway, here’s some stuff that impressed, inspired, or simply rocked my ass this year. And as always, if you disagree with anything on this list, you are wrong. See you in 2018.


(Ish) Ulver // The Assassination Of Julius Caesar – Of all the reunions that took place in 2017, perhaps the most overlooked was Ulver reuniting with actual songs. The Assassination of Julius Caesar finds Ulver as highbrow and pretentious as ever, but with recognizable song structures and memorable hooks, topped off with Garm’s unmistakable silky-smooth voice. The resulting sound is not unlike an extremely dark George Michael album, which is really what the world needs right about now.

#10.  Exhumed // Death Revenge – Exhumed‘s last two records have been excellent slabs of grindy death metal, and Death Revenge completes the hat trick. A concept record about grave robbing in 19th-century Scotland (I’m not sure why Subzero from Mortal Kombat is on the cover), Death Revenge is easily the most ambitious thing Exhumed have ever done. The music itself follows suit, with loads of harmonized guitar themes and even orchestral passages. If this sounds lame and weak, rest assured that Death Revenge still contains plenty of the speedy gore metal that Exhumed is known for.

#9.Tau Cross // Pillar Of Fire – On Pillar Of Fire, Tau Cross continues to mine the Motorhead-meets-Highlander sound that worked so well on their self-titled debut. The heavier songs still pound ominously (“Killing The King,” “RFID”), and the ballads remain dramatic and poignant (“What is a Man,” the title track), and all tracks seethe with the kind of measured fury that only comes with experience. Oh, and it’s always a pleasure to hear Michel Langevin (Voivod) hit the drums.

#8. Thundercat // Drunk – While Drunk is not a metal album in any way, Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat does have some credentials, having served as Suicidal Tendencies‘ bassist for over a decade. Drunk is a strange brew of jazz fusion, old-school funk, and Zappa-style weirdness, while also borrowing liberally from hip-hop, anime, and Sega Genesis games. Check out the insanely catchy “Friend Zone,” or perhaps “Show You The Way,” in which Thundercat trades verses with both Michael MacDonald and Kenny Loggins (seriously).

#7. The Obsessed // Sacred – Sacred finds legendary frontman Wino making music under The Obsessed banner for the first time since 1994, alongside yet another new lineup of musicians. The band name and supporting cast are almost irrelevant at this point, but what matters is that Wino’s skills remain sharp as ever. “Sacred,” “Stranger Things” and “Razor Wire” are among the best songs in the Obsessed canon, and the album is generally a welcome blast of Sabbathy biker rock.

Steven Wilson - To the Bone#6. Steven Wilson // To The Bone – It seemed inevitable that Steven Wilson would one day make a Peter Gabriel/Tears For Fears-styled pop album, and To The Bone is pretty much just that. What we have here is middle-of-the-road cerebral rock, with almost none of the complexity or grand design of his past two records. The timing of this coincides suspiciously with Wilson signing to a major label, but it also sounds more like Porcupine Tree than anything he’s done since that band split up. A few of the tracks don’t quite hit the mark, but when To The Bone works, it really works.

#5. Mutoid Man // War Moans – On their third record, Mutoid Man‘s signature sound remains generally intact, with a couple interesting developments along the way. Yes, the goofball lyrics are still there, and the riffs still sound like effects pedals being destroyed by all three mutants from Rampage. This time around, though, there’s also semi-serious homages to Morbid Angel and Seasons-era Slayer, as well as some genuine hooks. I still maintain that War Moans‘ main flaw is that the best tracks overshadow the rest of the album. But I’m still listening to those tracks 6 months later, so Mutoid Man must be doing something right.

#4. Royal Thunder // Wick – On their previous record Crooked Doors, Royal Thunder began to shed their retro-metal roots in favor of a more nuanced and original approach. Wick refines and builds on that sound, with tighter songwriting and some textured guitar work from axemen Josh Weaver and Will Fiore. Of course, the main draw is the voice of singer/bassist Mlny Parsonz, who is likely the best vocalist in rock music at this time. Wick is not a huge leap forward or a change in direction, but instead represents steady growth and confidence, and there’s something to be said for that.

#3. Spirit Adrift // Curse Of Conception – 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. I rarely hear “doom” albums that maintain my interest these days, but Spirit Adrift transcend both that genre and its stereotypes. I have to thank my colleague Dr. A.N. Grier for the referral on this one; check out his interview with frontman Nate Garrett here.

#2. The Night Flight Orchestra // Amber Galactic – I’m not sure what more there is to say about Amber Galactic, except that it/s one of the most fun records I’ve heard in years. 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. Here’s hoping that they can finally quit their day jobs in Soilwork and Arch Enemy and focus on NFO full time, or at least long enough to do a U.S. tour.

#1. Pain Of Salvation // In The Passing Light Of Day – This year may have generated records that were quantifiably “better” somehow, but nothing hit me as hard as this one. Inspired by mainman Daniel Gildenlow’s near-death experience, In The Passing Light Of Day is a powerful musing on love and grief (and of course creepy sex stuff, because Daniel Gildenlow). 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). It’s maybe a little intense for everyday listening, and some circumstances of its creation are mired in sketchiness, but In The Passing Light Of Day is still an astounding album by any measure.

Honorable Mention(s)

Immolation // Atonement
Roger Waters // Is This The Life We Really Want?
Akercocke // Renaissance In Extremis
Lör // In Forgotten Sleep
Morbid Angel // Kingdoms Disdained


Huck N’ Roll

“Huckster, give us a top ten list.” Well, here’s the problem, if I do a scan through my dozens of reviews here this year, I only really have enough to do a top five list. Luckily, the rest of our crew of merry gentlemen (and woman) reviewed a ton of excellent material, and you and I both got to reap the benefits of their work.

This year I listened to over 300 albums. At least 200 of those pretty much just took up time I could have spent reading the news. But that left a ton of great material to sift through, and while it was easy to pull together my favorite 25 albums, and then my top 15, giving just one of those the #1 spot was a bit harder. But as someone near and dear to me says, “It is what it is,” and so here’s my Top Ten(ish) of 2017.


(Ish) Dodecahedron // Kwintessens – If I’ve taken anything away from the last year and a half reviewing albums at Angry Metal Guy, it’s the fact that I’ve been able to broaden my tastes. Three years ago, there’s no way something as crazy as Kwintessens would even reach my speakers, let alone a year-end list. This is disturbingly alluring prog-tech-death done in masterful fashion, and I’m damned glad I took a chance on giving it a spin.

#10. Bell Witch // Mirror Reaper – An eighty-three minute song is a pretty pretentious thing to try and pull off, especially for a two-man band, and even more especially when one of those members is replacing a former member who passed away, but Bell Witch pull it off with a thoroughly engrossing and emotional opus that’s well worth setting aside time for. It’s pretty much the opposite of Kwintessens.

#9. Persefone // Aathma – Andorra may be a tiny, unknown country, but Persefone did it proud in grand fashion with the excellent modern prog metal album Aathma. Four of my top ten-ish albums were AMG Records o’ the Month, and Aathma just barely missed out in March. These guys produced an extravagant death-tinged prog album that’s a joy to listen to, and even better than their excellent back catalog.

Lör - In Forgotten Sleep#8. Lör // In Forgotten Sleep – Every year someone comes along who surprises the hell out of us. This year hands down it was Lör, whose debut album In Forgotten Sleep was the talk around the water cooler for all of August. The band’s sublime blend of prog, power, and folk metal had us all forgetting about Steven Wilson and Leprous, who also released albums that month. My favorite debut album of the year.

#7. Spirit Adrift // Curse of Conception – One man doom act Nate Garrett just put out a great album in 2016, how the heck could he top it a year later? Nobody really knows, but top it the man did, with Curse of Conception, one of the best doom records of the year. Garrett channeled all his influences (Black Sabbath, Pallbearer, and Cathedral, amongst others) into something uniquely his own. An excellent followup.

#6. Loss // Horizonless – Out of all the albums on my list, this is the one I had the hardest time with. Not in regards to inclusion here: it definitely needs to rank high on any doom aficionado’s list. Moreso because Horizonless is such an exhausting album to listen to. This is funeral doom to play when regular funeral doom feels too optimistic, and as such is impossible to listen to beginning to end without being a different person at the finish. Like many albums on this list, Loss managed to up their already magnificent game.

#5. Sorcerer // The Crowning of the Fire King – When you’re dormant for decades, you need to forgive the fans if they’ve forgotten you. Luckily, the intrepid Steel Druhm pulled this album out of the promotional scrapheap and found a stellar, trve and olde metal album. Epic in scope, doomy in nature, and of the finest tempered steel, The Crowning of the Fire King is a towering achievement for a band that’s been quiet for so long.

#4. Caligula’s Horse // In Contact – Progsters love Caligula’s Horse, but much like Persefone they’ve been flying under the radar. Maybe not for long, after the masterful In Contact. 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. Australia’s finest prog product prove once again that they rule the roost down under.

#3. Pain of Salvation // In the Passing Light of Day – Despite coming out in January, Pain of Salvation’s excellent album survived the test of time and withstood nearly all comers, delivering an emotional autobiographical concept album that clicks on all levels and comes in as the best prog metal album of the year. From start to finish the talent and feel shine through, with technicality and raw emotion constantly pushing each other to higher levels.

#2. Pristine // Ninja – I’m not going to say why we didn’t review this when it came out (ahem, promoters, ahem), but better late than never. Norway’s Pristine delivered the best blues-rock album we’ve heard since Blues Pills’ 2014 self-titled debut. With stellar songs, a superb band, and out-of-this-world vocals from Heidi Solheim, Ninja almost never left my playlists this year.

#1. The Night Flight Orchestra // Amber Galactic – Every record in my list is deserving of top billing. Best metal album? Sorcerer. Best doom? Loss. Prog? Pain of Salvation. 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. With the world going to hell in a handbasket, and everyone offended by everything this year, isn’t it just the best to sit back in your easy chair and crank Amber Galactic with a huge shit-eating grin on your face the entire time?

Honorable Mention(s)

  • Mahakala // The Second FallEldritch Elitist turned us on to this charming blend of power and doom metal, and we thank him.
  • Night // Raft of the World – We didn’t review this, but the overt Blue Oyster Cult vibe of this record really grew on me over the year.
  • Sabbath Assembly // Rites of Passage – The best occult rock album of the year.
  • Wobbler // From Silence to Somewhere – Top notch prog in the vein of Yes, Gentle Giant, etc. My favorite album of the ones I reviewed.

Disappointment o’ the Year

I honestly don’t get all the fuss about the latest from Leprous, Malina. I was looking forward to this record more than any other this year: maybe that’s why I felt it was just a waste of so much potential, all turned into sad-boy prog. The album made a lot of year-end lists, but it just left me shaking my head, wondering who castrated this once-fine band.

Worst Album o’ the Year

Appice // Appice. So bad I don’t think any site reviewed it. The Appice brothers are drumming legends, but somehow when they worked together they combined to provide the biggest lump of turd on the year. Nothing on this record sounded good, especially the beyond-lame Black Sabbath mashup.

Cover Art o’ the Year

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper. Obviously.

Song o’ the Year

Poseideon “Mother May; Son of Scorn” – I wanted to choose “Fucked with an Anchor,” by the legendary Alestorm, but was politely asked to stand down. And after having almost been put out with the trash for sneaking a Kiss article onto the site, I decided standing down was the prudent choice. So check out this melancholic, beautifully arranged acoustic doom number from Poseidon.

  • Sentyneli

    Top quality listage here. I’m enjoying that Pristine album – joins Æther Realm in the “might have listed if I’d heard it earlier” category.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    I see Lor, NFO and Caligula’s Horse are showing up on 75% of the lists….including mine….which means of course….that popular opinion = truth

    • Kronos

      “Songs for No One” has seen a lot of love in the song of the year department. I almost made it mine.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        That was my pick too.
        That chorus is just too ear wormy to not get my nod.

        • Brutalist_Receptacle

          WICK
          IS
          MY
          PICK

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Royal Thunder?

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            SI. PLAYING HOUSTON SPRING BREAK, BABY!

          • Name’s Dalton

            WICKY WICKY WICKY (goes the turntable)

      • Nathan McCain

        It better be off of What Passes for Survival. Too brvtal for the rest of the gang but it needs some list love

    • Diego Molero

      Maybe in here, but on other sites, well…

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        There are other “sites” ? !

  • Kronos

    I did not expect this amount of Pain of a Salvation love. I’ll have to revisit that record.
    Also I am totally still with huck about Leprous.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      I included Leprous on my list because of the strength of half the songs on Melina. To me they were that good that I kept it on my ipod all year.
      To me a bad Leprous album is better than a lot I’ve heard this year.

      I agree though…..I am worried about the lack of teeth Melina showed.
      Hopefully they beef it up on the next album.

      • Kronos

        I am willing to put money on the next album being equally weak.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          Hopefully there is enough push back from the fans, it’s a common complaint that I’m sure the band is aware of.
          And really to me it’s a matter of guitar tone and lack of harsh vocal moments primarily.
          Either way they are too damned talented to resort to drivel.

    • PotaD0s

      I really like In the Passing Light of Day, but it has a few very skippable tracks towards the end of the album. I think if you are placing it on a year end list you are doing so on the strength of a couple of spectacular tracks not the album as a whole.

      • Planex

        I don’t know man, I thought the same about a couple songs in the back half. Then I just kept listening to the album all year, I found I do appreciate each song and the album as a whole, even if there are a couple monumentally standout tracks.

        I think what AMG said in his review echoes a lot of what I thought.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    That image of IRL Huck is a thing of beauty.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    THE LOVE FOR NFO IS MISPLACED
    TO A METAPHYSICAL LEVEL OF CERTITUDE

    • Kryopsis

      Also sprach Brutalist_Receptacle.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        ICH BIN EIN BRUTALISTISCHER BEHÄLTER

        • Kryopsis

          I’m pretty sure that’s a doughnut, mate.

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            KRAPFEN OR GTFO

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            MATE?
            PUT ANOTHER SHEILA ON THE BARBIE!

          • Slimylimey

            You are just a linguistic chameleon! Nice to see you’ve been working on your German.

          • Thatguy

            Your invective is repetitive. Go back to German, mate.

    • Name’s Dalton

      I’m so confused by it.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        ITS ALMOST LIKE A PARODY PICK. THAT AND ALESTORM. MAKES NO SENSE.

        • Huck N’ Roll

          You just need to unclench and enjoy of deep 80s melodies.

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            THATS WHY GOD INVENTED TOTO. AND MIKE AND THE MECHANICS. AND THE GOGOS.

          • Kryopsis

            Good point, particularly with regards to Mike + The Mechanics.

          • Name’s Dalton

            And Depeche Mode.

            Why doesn’t someone mine the style of early-Cure? Their first few albums are gold.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            You say 80s melodies and I hear in my mind the opening riff to “The Trooper”.

        • Name’s Dalton

          Like we are being trolled.

        • Slimylimey

          Hey! Alestorm’s album is a serious concept album about one man’s search for metallic passion, and how he finally falls into the arms of the anchor on his ship and they consummate their love.

          In contrast, the NFO album is just silly

          • Name’s Dalton

            Now that’s funny.

    • Bas

      One of the few times i agree with the concrete vessel (about music, not about history).

    • Angelus
      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        NO.

    • Nukenado

      Don’t worry, we still love you ❤
      (Just that there needs to be 20% of love allocated to NFO at all times for the idea of justice to be maintained and all of you NFO haters are objectively morally corrupt)

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT IN WHICH POSSESSIONS ARE PASSED ON TO THE “RIGHT” PERSONS THUS PERPETUATING THE CLASS SYSTEM AND ALL ITS UNDERPINNINGS OF CAPITALISTIC ACCUMULATION

    • Thatguy

      True. But show us again why people like them.

      Oh, and both these lists are worthless.

    • Iain Gleasure

      I agree. Why is NFO’s dad rock ok but all mention of power metal is Verboten?
      Also sweaty man bun does not deserve years best album. Madness!

      • Name’s Dalton

        It’s like we caught him between rounds of burpees.

        • Name’s Dalton

          Does no one else around here roll their eyes at crossfitters?

          • Flämmer

            Yeah, rolling my eyes is about all the exercise I can manage.

  • Nola Trash Talk

    Finally someone with the sense to put Tau Cross on their list.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      GOOD. BUT IT WAS A BIG LETDOWN AFTER PREVIOUS RELEASE

      • Kryopsis

        While I do think it’s inferior to the self-titled album, I wouldn’t say it’s a big letdown. Or rather, it’s just more of the same and therefore lacks the novelty factor of the ‘Tau Cross’ album.

  • jolly cooperation

    GIV KRONOS LIST.

    • Kronos

      Play nice and maybe I’ll write one next year.

  • finally some love for the Pain of Salvation record

  • GardensTale

    Really, Huck? Is Appice really the worst album of the year? Because, I do recall reviewing this one album a short while ago…

    • Huck N’ Roll

      It’s all relative. A shitty album by people who can’t play music vs a shitty album by two guys who should know better.

    • The Year 0.0 Blueprint

  • Kryopsis

    I honestly expected Dodecahedron higher on the list. I still respectfully disagree with Kronos about physical discomfort, but then again I listen to as much Neurofunk as I listen to Metal so perhaps I’m just acclimatised to the idea of anxiety translated into sounds.

  • ssorg

    I’ve seen Sorcerer show up on a few lists, and it baffles me how anybody rates that higher than Below’s Upon a Pale Horse. Oh well!

    • Huck N’ Roll

      I love Below as well, top 20. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Steel will have it listed.

      • Bas

        I am also waiting for the list of Steel to hopefully get some approval for my taste 😉

        • My list is universal to all tastes, unless you are an infidel.

          • Bas

            good to hear that.. I think… maybe not… eh..
            I will see.. I’m ready to leave the hall…
            After your list its probably only AMG and thats going to be a lot of prog./cheese metal which I can’t stand.. (except for Kairon! IRSE; the only prog. I liked this year).

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I’m looking forward to the Alestorm mention. But, maybe not the kind of mention I was hoping for.

    • Bas

      I have rate it higher than Sorcerer. I think its because its too similar to their previous one, while Below was fresher to me!

  • ssorg

    dangerously close to being dominated by non-metal. won’t somebody think of the children???

  • RuySan

    Too bad i have the flu, because all this talk about great albums is making me drool. My head is like a rattle, and i don’t think music on headphones will be good for it.

    Unless it’s Hällas, i’m sure Hällas even cures the black death.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I’ll make sure to check out Thundercat. The album cover looks like an outtake from a Miles Davis and his second quintet album. If it’s as out there as late-period Davis, count me in.

    • Dr_Fisting

      I wouldn’t compare Thundercat to Miles (or anyone else) specifically, but it’s a pretty weird record.

      • Bas

        Sounds like something for me, weird, ST and Zappa…
        I will check it out !

  • Zach Ward

    I love to see me some funeral doom on these lists. Tis my favorite genre. Here my list tho.

    10. Replacire – Do Not Deviate
    9. Akercocke – Renaissance is Extremis
    8. Pillorian – Obsidian Arc
    7. Archspire – Relentless Mutation
    6. Exist – So True, So Bound
    5. Marche Funébre – Into the Arms of Darkness
    4. The Black Dahlia Murder – Nightbringers
    3. Loss – Horizonless
    2. The Ruins of Beaverest – Exuvia
    1. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper

    Hopefully it ain’t shitty.

    • Name’s Dalton

      It’s good

    • We do decide that definitively, after all.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Yes, good. Exuvia was Ruins’ best since Foulest Semen imho. Sadly, I found Blood Vaults dead boring.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        What!?!

      • Zach Ward

        Exuvia was the first album I’ve heard from em, Blew me away and was compelled to check more from em. I agree with everything u said, although I prefer Rain upon the impure over Foulest Semen so I’d say it’s their best since that one.

    • Septic

      I am compelled to check out Exuvia…it has made to many lists to ignore.

      • Name’s Dalton

        Well, by that logic, so has NFO, and we see where that has gotten us.

        • Septic

          Fair enough. Exuvia’s cover suggests the contents inside are metal. NFO’s on the other hand…

  • AshCinderSmoke

    Apparently I need to listen to Night Flight Orchestra

    • JeremyZero

      It’s really fun. If you have any room in your hear for cheesy 80’s rock at all, it’ll put a smile on your face, and some hairspray in your hair.

      • AshCinderSmoke

        Ok yeah, this is pretty damn great

        • Name’s Dalton

          WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND HERE!?!?

          • Norpal Nordickson

            People are appreciating good music, that’s what

          • Name’s Dalton

            Ah. Thanks for clarifying.

          • AshCinderSmoke

            I like a little fun sprinkled in with the brvtalness

          • JeremyZero

            IT’S FUN MUSIC. FUN MUSIC IS COOL.

          • Name’s Dalton

            I’ll give ya that. “You’re Welcome,” from Moana, is a real ear worm.

          • Sentyneli

            Honestly, that entire soundtrack is amazing.

    • Danny

      I had that same moment yesterday. Since then, I’ve played it for two more people, who also loved it. It’s way cheaper and healthier than doing cocaine.

      • Dr_Fisting

        And if you listen to Night Flight Orchestra WHILE doing cocaine, it’s even better.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I take it you had a white Christmas?

        • El_Cuervo

          holy shit that’s a great idea.

  • De2013

    Was completing losing my mind seeing so little of my favorites showing up in the lists until now. So many many thanks for including Loss.

    Screaming to myself:

    Why not Taake?

    Why so little love for Danzig?

    • Dr_Fisting

      I’m not a huge black metal fan, hence Taake’s absence. The new Danzig record is not here because it is terrible.

      • De2013

        Apologies Dr, I was generalizing based on all the lists I have seen so far. Thank you for all your bad ass reviews this year.

        Edit: but hopefully better than Skeletons right?

        • Dr_Fisting

          That’s not really saying much. IMO, all non-original-lineup Danzig records are just about equally worthless.

          • Iain Gleasure

            Someone’s being deported to Gdansk.

      • Again, balance. That first sentence is just unreadable blasphemy, and the second is the cold hard truth. Baffling.

        • Dr_Fisting

          Both sentences are cold hard truth. I haven’t been an angsty, wrist-slashing teenager for a while now, and my appetite for new black metal is pretty much non-existent. If I’m in the mood for it, I’ll put on “Blaze In The Northern Sky” or something of that era.

  • Zadion

    FUCKING FINALLY
    SOMEONE FINALLY FUCKING MENTIONS ULVER – THE ASSASSINATION OF JULIUS CAESAR
    IT ONLY TOOK 16 GOD DAMN LISTS YOU FUCKING LOSERS

    EVERY WRITER ON THIS BLOG HAS SHIT TASTE
    WISH THE ROMAN SENATORS (AND ULVER) ASSASSINATED ME INSTEAD SO I WOULDN’T HAVE TO READ THROUGH 16 GOD DAMN LISTS TO SEE A SINGLE PERSON MENTION THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    FUCK Y’ALL

    • Bas

      Finally. An Internet approved reply! 😉 (nb i have a difficult relation with Ulver albums. This one is not for me…)

    • Ivan E. Rection

      Ok then. Since we are on a policy of truth here and you are acting as our personal Jesus, my take on the Ulver was they let me down again and borrowed too heavily from some other band so I’d rather just enjoy the silence. But I feel you, people are people, so I am sure I am wrong.

      • Name’s Dalton

        Unintended Depeche Mode reference, since we’re being all “OMG the ‘80s pop which just about destroyed rock & roll was so melodic and cool that members of cheesy “metal” bands had to ape it for cheap hits” & everything.

        Also, “Enjoy the Silence” was an actual kick ass song that I didn’t admit to liking at the time because I was into Sonic Youth and Minutemen and DK and Joy Division and the Pixies and Thirteen Engines and so on. Same with the Smiths. Probably should have liked that more, but that damn smug bastard Morrisey jist croons over everything like some fey arrogant twat.

        • Dr_Fisting

          Depeche Mode > 95% of metal bands.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Echo & the Bunnymen > Depeche Mode > 95% of metal bands.

          • Name’s Dalton

            Joy Division > Echo

          • Thatguy

            Magazine > all those pussies.

          • Name’s Dalton

            Hard to argue with that.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Let’s end this here and now:

            Jørn > Everything else

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Amen Fist

        • Ivan E. Rection

          No argument there, I like Depeche, quite a bit. But I don’t want to hear Ulver leach from them and don’t want someone posting that we are all dumbasses for not recognizing their brilliance.

        • JeremyZero

          Man, I hate the Smiths. Honestly the whole 80’s/early 90’s indie scene does nothing for me. Smiths, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Replacements, Talking Heads etc. I just can’t get into it. Totally prefer the synth stuff like Depeche Mode and Gary Numan. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Thatguy

            Everyone hates the Smiths.

          • Name’s Dalton

            Been getting into Gary Numan of late. A Battles video featuring him on vocals is what did it.

            The Replacement bored the shit out of me, but 80s/90s guitar rock is what I came of age on (after being raised on Doo Wop and Chuck Berry and surf rock courtesy of my dad).

      • Zadion

        I’m over-reacting for personal amusement, of course. I disagree with your opinion, but I understand where the criticisms of the record come from; personally, this is the first Ulver record in their storied history I could actually get into. And more importantly I’m just content that Dr. Fisting showcases his exemplary taste.

    • It took 16 lists for a reason, mostly because it was, well, nothing to shout about.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Calm down.

    • Danny

      Tell us how you really feel :)

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        WOOF.

        • Danny

          Merry Christmas, ya rubbish bin.

  • Angelus

    Yeah, yeah… We get it. All AMG staff loved TFO. Great… But, what about other trendy releases that all media liked but you don’t, huh? HUH?
    *sarcasm intensifies*
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2c21f9072847eea8162b731a7df4ea6b2faa2b08ff9747986132ea4f057b116.jpg h, yeah

  • Dr. Fisting’s list makes me sick and is something I never want to talk about ever again.
    Huck’s list is beautiful, perhaps the best one out of any of you people thus far.
    All in all, the most well balanced post out of any of them. Can’t wait to see it all go to shit with the next one.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      I’ve decided I like you, in spite of everyone else’s opinion.

      • I’m with everyone else on that one, this was really just a happy accident.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Love you too, buddy.
      Also, Huck’s list and mine have pretty significant overlap. Not sure exactly where I went wrong in your eyes, but it’s too late now. Ha!

      • Exhumed and Mutoid Man are not Muppet music, and I have nothing nice to say about Steve Wilson’s new… thing. Ulver’s outing was good, and strong musicianship through and through, but (and this pains me to the point of anger to the point of GOD DAMN IT I DIDN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!…) “ish” status is far too generous in my entirely objective and never ever biased perception/flawless understanding of music. Beyond that, these are THE lists, yo. This is no place for Kenny Loggins or Michael MacDonald. I mean, come on. Have some pride.

        • Name’s Dalton

          EXHUMED owned 2017.

          This is not debatable.

          I splashed my eyes with hot salsa to get the sting of seeing the name’s Kenny Loggins and Michael MacDonald in these pages.

        • Dr_Fisting

          If you have an issue with Exhumed, you might be in the wrong place, hoss. Also, Kenny Loggins sang “Danger Zone,” and if that’s not metal, I don’t know what is.

          • El_Cuervo

            Kenny Loggins also sang “Forever” which is FAR up the list of best 80s power ballads.

          • Exhumed just aren’t my chalice of blood. I think it comes with hearing them after all the bands they’ve influenced and been influenced by, but the same can be said of most death metal bands for me. And clearly you don’t know what metal is, you poseur, because “Danger Zone” isn’t it. God, I’d hate to hear any kind of music you dreamt up and called metal, I’d need to douse my mind with bear mace just to make it normal again.

  • MITCH TRVBISKY

    glad to see war moans on a list here, also thundercat!

  • Lou Daz

    +1,000,000 for the inclusion of Thundercat.

  • TheKenWord2017

    Honestly, I think the worst album of the year is that Blind Seer album. NOTE: As a CG artist, my opinion here is partially influenced by Blind Seer’ s music video for *God-couldn’t-care-what-the-song-name-was*, which was just…it was…traumatizing.

  • Josh Stevens

    Surprised nobody on this site mentioned 2 of the best metal releases of the year: Palimpsests by Vin de Mia Trix and Dödsrit by Dödsrit

    • Pauline Zipzer

      The Dödsrit album is quite nice!

    • Nukenado

      Dodsrit s/t was more EP than album.

  • Norpal Nordickson

    I am shocked and appalled by how few of you have Havukruunu – Kelle surut soi included in their list. Appalled, I say!

    • I was super super close, same with countless other bands. I personally feel like 2017 threw a ton of wonderful music our way, but there’s only so many rankings you can assign before you’re just listing everything that came out and it just wasn’t quite there for me. Close, a great album f’sho, but I personally didn’t come back to it even close to anything in my own top ten. Honourable mention, perhaps, but on spins alone it wouldn’t have been right.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Top tier of BM releases this year for sure.

  • NFO continues to make the rounds. It makes me so happy to see how much love that album is getting.

    It’s really interesting to see which albums show up on multiple writer’s lists especially since all of you seem to have different preferences from one another. Keep up the good work in 2018 and thanks for helping in making 2017 such a good year!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    WHY NOT APOCALYPTIC FLESHY APENIPPLES?

  • Nukenado

    Say, Fisting, is Black Sites gonna be on bandcamp?

    • Dr_Fisting

      I’d imagine that’s up to their record label, who don’t seem to be interested in doing that anytime soon.

      • Nukenado

        Sigh. Oh well…
        Guess it’s CD again.

        • Dr_Fisting

          It’s also on Spotify, and vinyl. Or if you wanna get really bold, torrent that shit.

          • Nukenado

            Gotta have FLAC. FLAC or nogo. So CD seems to be optimal.
            AMG still haven’t converted me to vinyl, sadly.

          • Dr_Fisting

            Sorry man. The lack of Bandcamp availability is a disappointment.

          • Nukenado

            Ah, it comes with labels. Some bands don’t even have CD support while they have like 500 cassettes. It’s cool. You’re cool. Come to British Columbia, yo.

          • Dr_Fisting

            I’d like to!

          • Nukenado


            Maybe I’ll just wait till gap year and go and see you guys down under.

          • Dr_Fisting

            Under what exactly?

          • Nukenado

            Geographically. Everything but Russia and Alaska are “under” us.

          • Dr_Fisting

            No way! This is ‘Murica, we’re not under nobody!!

          • Nukenado

            but war ov 1812 tho

          • SoLeftISeeRight

            So left we see right ;-)

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Ahh I had wondered why.
        Always surprises me when labels choose not to sell an album…
        I streamed it a few times really enjoyed it and would’ve snapped it up had it been on BC…

  • Planex

    NON METAL ALERT

    IF NFO IS AMG AOTY THEN THIS SITE BETTER GET RENAMED

    Also finally some recognition for PoS, great album.

  • David disanto

    Slaegt was so addictive this year!

  • Diego Thomsen

    A list now one asked for yet is being read:

    1. Xanthochroid – Of Erthe and Axen
    2. Wintersun – The Forest Seasons
    3. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
    4. Toehider – “GOOD”
    5. Aether Realm – Tarot
    6. Ayreon – The Source
    7. Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales
    8. Sequestered Keep – Wandering Far
    9. Brendon Small – Galaktikon II
    10. Kristofer Maddigan – Cuphead OST
    (ish) Persefone – Aathma
    (ish 2) Cellar Darling – This Is the Sound

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      LIKED FOR AATHMA

  • Dammage

    Glad Ulver finally got some love. I know they’re not metal anymore but damn that album is just pure sexy. Many a nights on the road were spent listening to that album in full and being so entranced that I almost run off the road.

    • la porte

      Funny, while I used to love them, I really can’t stomach them anymore. I find them rather boring and predictable, which I would have never though I would say of them. They’ve lost me for quite a while, and this was no exception.

  • Nice list Huck! I still need to wrap my head around Bore Witch…I mean Bell…Bell…yeah Bell…damn it!

    Also, finest Australia prog export may in fact be Voyager, no?

    • Huck N’ Roll

      Not until the singer fixes his hair.

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    Glad to see someone else loves the new Obsessed album as well.

  • Lucas Lex DeJong

    Can I inquire why Spirit Adrift is annihilating the end of year lists, but Elder’s Reflections from a Floating World is nowhere to be seen? Taste being subjective and all, I only found Spirit Adrift from their abundance on these lists, but they seem to occupy a very similar place to Elder, who I still found to have the stronger songwriting of the two.

    Is it just subjective taste, or has there been a massive amount of buzz around Spirit Adrift that I had slept through?

    • Huck N’ Roll

      It seems to be highly regarded in many places. Elder: great question actually, I thought I would see it on a couple lists as well. For me, I really liked it but my copy sounded crappy, I couldn’t rank it. But last week I got it on 2-disc vinyl and it sounded miles better. I’d be comfortable with it between 8-15 for me now. Excellent record.

    • Dr_Fisting

      I could ramble about how Spirit Adrift has tighter songwriting and much bigger hooks. Or how Spirit Adrift seems to draw from a wider range of influences, while Elder is almost exclusively a psych/doom band. “Better” songwriting is a subjective term.

      But for me, it all comes down to whether an album has that “fuck yeah” moment. “Curse Of Conception” has several of them, and Elder, despite being good stuff, does not. Yes, the two records are somewhat similar, but that doesn’t mean they are of equal quality.

      Just my $.02.

  • Luke_22

    Nice diversity in these lists. Good call on Thundercat. Wick hit me hard at first but faded a bit in my listening rotation. And I need to get on that Pristine.

  • Lithophyte

    No-one who had to listen to a decade of 80s music in the actual 80s would endorse NFO. It’s Survivor, or even worse, Loverboy. Other picks are great

  • beurbs

    I’ve been listening to that Thundercat album nonstop all year, great choice!

  • GWW

    Yes, you are damned right Thundercat is not a metal album. Neither is Ulver or Pain of Salvation. Did they inform you this is a metal site!?