2017 And Some Of The Best So Far
26th April 2017, 10:30
Posted by Tristan

Despite it only being April, there have been some absolutely staggeringly good releases so far. I thought that it might be pertinent to show just what kind of calibre of releases we have been treated to in the first four months of the year and its an absolute white wash across the board of talent.

Obituary – Obituary

March 17th 2017 via Relapse Records

Ester Segarra

Now four months into the year so far we have had the absolutely blistering self titled Obituary release which suitably crushed skulls. Made up of classic swamp stomp style riffs the Florida boys know how to do it better than just about anyone else. The ferocious ripper being just over half an hour long a la Reign In Blood is a stroke of genius on the band’s part giving it that repeat playback value and ensuring it never gets old!

Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora 

March 3rd via Southern Lord


After their Sumerian output back in 2014 the band, quite rightly, decided to cut its ties with the label and forge its own path. Giving back to the fans, the band wrote a record that was just what both fans and the band needed. Arguably their most vicious record since Undoing Ruin, the DC Metallers go through an absolutely visceral journey with you riding shotgun. Not to mention the clever marriage of Kurt Ballou’s belligerent production style that simply makes you keel over right from the beginning of “Knife In The Safe Room“. Re enlisting previous member Kris Norris for one track the band understand exactly what direction they’re going in and just how important they are in the world. Now more than ever, an absolutely spectacular listen from front to back.

Pallbearer – Heartless 

March 24th via Nuclear Blast


Less on the rabid side but no amount softer, Pallbearer recently announced their new signing to Nuclear Blast. Unleashing their first record upon the unsuspecting, now vastly wider Metal community, the band have written an absolute masterpiece of epic proportions. Straddling the line between Doom and Prog the band understand exactly what to include and where to trim the fat to create one of the most expansive and strangely innovative, for an a new take on an old genre, of album. Absolutely essential listening.

Sepultura – Machine Messiah

January 13th via Nuclear Blast


They say a tiger can’t change its stripes. I beg to differ with the most recent offering from Brazil’s biggest export after Brahma beer. Sepultura are of course not the Cavalera band that we once knew but instead are something far more exciting. Experimenting with all sorts of different style on their brand new album, the band remain in the classic Metal vein of Sepultura yet explore different tonalities not traditionally associated with the band. Look at instrumental “Iceberg Dances” as a prime example. Absolutely inspired musicianship and Green’s vocals are stronger and more powerful than ever on tracks like “Resistant Parasites”. Perhaps not everyone’s favourite but you certainly shouldn’t ignore it!

Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

March 31st via Reprise Records


After their holiday around the universe it seems that Mastodon have indeed returned to earth. With their highest charting place ever, the album early the coveted number one spot on the Billboard chart, its unanimous that Emperor of Sand is absolutely sensational. Growing from their last output, EOS contains some Mastodon’s best moments to date. The highlight of “Roots Remain” Where drummer Brann Dailor’s voice reaches new levels. Every time the band put out an album they consistently up their game. This is also the first release to return to the idea of the concept album. Titled together by the theme of death, despite its bleak subject matter it’s a bountiful listen that rewards just as much after the first play as it does the last thousandth.

Kreator – Gods of Violence 

January 27th via Nuclear Blast


Breaking their five year absence from new material this January the door was for only kicked down by the German’s and their new offering Gods Of Violence. Without a doubt one of the angriest records the band have put out, the likes of “Totalitarian Terror” simply rip through you. Whereas the thunder of “Army of Storms” still rings true. Nevertheless it wasn’t revolutionary new material from the band but it just goes to prove that the group have an absolutely unbeatable formula, making them still the reigning kings of Thrash.

Immolation – Atonement 

February 24th via Nuclear Blast


Returning after their release that was Kingdom of Conspiracy, my hopes weren’t very high for Immolation’s follow up. Returning four years afterwards, the band have quite simply created some of their best music to date. Ferociously accurate, all elements of the band have been tightened. With more of an emphasis on songwriting itself the band have forgone the more dissonant technicalities for a more well rounded and streamlined approach making for some of the most devastating Death Metal to come out of this year.

Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence 

February 24th via Nuclear Blast


Running the gauntlet, lips were tightly bound for the sound of Suicide Silence’s brand new, self titled LP. Throwing the rulebook completely out of the window the band pretty much reinvented themselves entirely with their new sound. Polarising fans all over the world, the record has had a huge amount of criticism. Personally however, I champion the bands ability to not rely on what the fans expect them to put out but something that goes against all principles the band have previously stood for. Though simultaneously, if you listen carefully does sound like the natural progression you would hear from the band. Its the hallmark of a truly interesting album that has definitely taken many by surprise but I would bet that it might worm its way into a number of Album of The Year slots by the end of 2017.

Pain of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day 

January 13th via Inside Out


Discussing a subject matter as delicate as your own mortality can be difficult with even your closest friends and family let alone with the world. Using the album as perhaps a vehicle for the coping of the illness, Pain of Salvation‘s Daniel Gildenlow was diagnosed with a flesh eating bacteria that could have changed his life drastically had conditions worsened. Luckily the disease was caught at an early stage and the doctors took the necessary requirements to save Gildenlow. Overcoming the odds and bettering the disease, the experience served as the perfect subject matter for the new Pain of Salvation record. Using his own experience as the bridge in the concept, the band have created a truly emotive piece of work that despite its lengthy 71:00 tag is worth every second.

Body Count – Bloodlust

March 31st via Century Media


Last but certainly not least is the latest offering from Body Count. The follow up to previous effort Manslaughter saw the band write material that was even more intense. Launching themselves onto the scene with the absolutely blistering “No Lives Matter“.  The track is very much the albums set piece moment but is of course not the only highlight here. Appearing across the album a host of guest appearances ranging from Dave Mustaine on the albums first track, Max Cavalera on “All Love Is Lost” and Randy Blythe on “Walk With Me” even throwing in a cover of Slayer’s almighty classic “Reign In Blood” its a no holds barred ride into the world of Metal. Nevertheless the addition of all sorts of cameos is merely a distraction from the absolutely air tight songwriting presented here. The likes of “The Ski Mask Way” or “Black Hoodie” both have pertinent points to be made but coupled with the near faultless writing style the band have adopted are sublime. You might not think that you would dig this release but trust me when I say this, you need to hear it.

While She Sleeps – You Are We

April 21st via Arising Empire


Just coming in at the last gasps of April sees While She Sleep’s brand new album You Are We. Entirely crowd funded and set up themselves the record is the most DIY the Sheffield band have ever been. Wanting to give something back to the fans the group made this the most intimate process yet. Inviting fans to be a part of the process from the word go the band wanted the spotlight to be about not only the longevity of the band but the true passion of their fans. With the unifying title of You Are We, the band are showing this sense of unity not only in their fanbase but the sense of unity in the Metal subculture. Single “Silence Speaks” for example, says that we should be a united front rather than battling each other. Despite its somewhat hippie message the band deliver it with a serious punch with tracks like the whirlwind “Hurricane” and the anthemic “Wide Awake“. With bands self releasing more and more it begs the question that could this be the way forward? Is this the future that we are looking at to see the band return directly to the consumer. Thats not to say that record labels will become obsolete, far from it, but the musical zeitgeist is changing and its being brought forward screaming into the present with the likes of While She Sleeps. Top class.