As I sit here writing this list, I truly can't believe it's already the time of year to write lists. This year both felt like an eternity and also felt like it breezed by and only started a few months ago. But this was a very busy year for heavy metal releases. While there weren't too many "major" releases this year, there was plenty to sink your teeth into if you were paying attention.
Here's a bunch of albums I really like that just missed the cut, but that I would like to acknowledge:
Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down
His life might be a train wreck, but I guess it makes for great music? Some of the best stuff he's produced in at least a decade.
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
These guys worked with a pop producer (Mark Ronson) and came out of it with one of the catchiest albums of the year. Too bad Josh Homme had to end the year on a sour note.
Boris – Dear
I enjoy the loud noises Boris make.
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Dying Fetus ALWAYS deliver
Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
This album is still growing on me, and I bet if I had another month with it, it would've made the list.
10) Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
If we were doing best-of lists in April, this would've likely been my #1 pick, but I guess once I fully ingested this album, which I still think is great, I stopped going back to it. Still absolutely worth a listen, and Mastodon continue to create awesome new sounds.
9) Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
The most fun thrash record of the year. I've been down with the band since their 2013 debut, but they really brought the crossover sound to another level this year, and it seems like the metal world as a whole (and even Fox News, I guess) took notice. Their big single "Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)" is the perfect thrash anthem on an album full of 'em. This one has great repeat value, especially whilst drinking.
8) Through the Eyes of the Dead – Disomus
It's been seven years since we heard from Through the Eyes of the Dead, and they came back with perhaps the most overlooked death metal album of the year. These guys bring the riffs, have excellent production and vocalist Danny Rodriguez shines on this one. This album is all killer, no filler – 10 tracks of relentless hardcore-infused death metal.
7) Dead Cross – Dead Cross
I was already on board when this band was members of Retox and drummer Dave Lombardo, but when they also added Mike Patton on vocals, I was extra onboard. I listened to this album a lot this summer, and was very excited to finally see this band live. They brought an incredible amount of energy, but sadly the sound was less than optimal. Regardless, this is one of the most fun, spazzy, Mike Patton-y albums of the year. I'm glad to hear Patton is curious in exploring this band more, as I am very curious in hearing more.
6) Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid
Igorrr can be best described as EDM for metalheads. That wouldn't even be telling the entire story. Savage Sinusoid is one of the most unique albums to come out since…well, the last Igorrr release. There is no part of this release that feels like a rehash of something else. I've already established my love for anything Patton-esque, and this album would surely make Mike Patton blush. Just go listen to it.
5) Converge – The Dusk in Us
It's been eight years since Converge absolutely blew my mind with Axe To Fall, and while I enjoyed 2012's All We Love We Leave Behind, I really enjoyed this new one. There was way more sludge, way more catchy infectious riffs and way more expert cackling from frontman Jacob Bannon. Converge are one of the most reliable bands in the scene right now. My favorite tracks are the epic two closers, which almost sound like a different band.
4) Body Count – Bloodlust
Leave it to Ice-mothafuckin'-T to make the best hardcore record of 2017. Ice T, Ernie C and the gang teamed up with producer Will Putney of Fit For An Autopsy to create one of most authentic and immediate records I've ever heard. This one has some great riffs and great messages. The repeat value is definitely there and T made sure to bring all of his friends. Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Jamey Jasta and Max Cavalera all make cameos. This one is fun!
3) 3TEETH – Shutdown.exe
With the world in disarray, 3Teeth are here to subversively fuck it up even more. These guys wear their industrial influences on their sleeve and created some catchy earworms that still get randomly stuck in my head for days on end. If you need thick guitars and synthy electronic drums, definitely jam out on this one!
2) Arcadea – Arcadea
Yes, there are two albums from Brann Dailor on my list this year, and it was his psychadelic side project that really piqued my interest. This album will be used as a soundtrack for outer space exploration in decades to come. Very trippy, great riffs, and fun hooks. Go out of your way to listen to this.
1) Mutoid Man – War Moans
Without question, I listened to this album more than any other this year. I know it's pedantic to even comapre these guys to Led Zeppelin, but damn it, Mutoid Man is Led Zep if Jimmy Page and Robert Plant listened to Black Flag and Minor Threat. Frontman Stephen Brodksy croons and whales with the best of them, and the songs are jam packed with great riffs, stellar bass lines and excellent drumming. Simply put, this is the most perfect record of the year.
As for my favorite non-metal of the year, if I wasn't listening to metal, I was mostly listening to Depeche Mode and Killing Joke. That's my list! Don't forget to vote for your favorite album of the year.