Hopefully by now, no one is tired of seeing another End Of The Year list. As a music fan, I always enjoyed these, especially if I see something on someone's list that I must have missed. But today, I give praise to some of this year's releases that helped me get through the year. This one was tough because a lot of my favorite bands and artist came out with a new album. And there were a lot of new bands and artist that just caught my attention. But I was able to bring it down to 20. So hopefully some of you will enjoy this list. And let's hope for another awesome year for music lovers.
#20. Succumb - Succumb
When it comes to The Flenser, I usually rely on them for some post-punk/shoegaze influence bands. Never did I think that they would put out something so brutal and haunting. One of the reason why I love Succumb's self-titled release. It is so gut wrenching and a vile atmosphere, which makes this album one of the most unique death metal albums of 2017.
#19. Kamikaze Girls - Sea Foam
A huge shoot-out to James of This Noise Is Ours. After hearing Sea Foam, I can't help but adore Kamikaze Girls. Their blend of pop-punk and indie punk is just in-your-face. This UK duo create some great riffs to rock out and a chorus to sing along. Every track on Sea Foam is just well written, that it really takes you to a happy place.
#18. Sick Wish - Riddlevoid
Who would have thought that Brett Nelson of Built To Spill would start a killer post-punk band in Sick Wish. Everything about Riddlevoid is the reason why I'm so in love with the Boise music scene. The textures in Riddlevoid is really dream-like. As if you're up in the sky, just spinning around the clouds.
#17. Brain Fragment - LSD Is Good For You
LSD Is Good For You is a album that makes you see a very different side of punk. What Dave and Luis have created is something that makes Brain Fragment stand out in the punk scene. To me, this defines what artistic freedom can take you. The shape of jazz and punk to come with this album.
#16. Iron Reagan - Crossover Ministry
Can't have a heavy metal party without blasting Crossover Ministry. One of the most fun record to listen this year. Every track on this record is meant to be turned up to 11. Just like with Municipal Waste, Tony brings his love for 80's crossover to a generation who didn't grew up when DRI and Cryptic Slaughter where making some noise in the underground scene. Crossover Ministry is a album that will take you back to the days of ripped jeans and denim vest.
#15. Unearthly Trance - Stalking The Ghost
Unearthly Trance is one of those bands that totally changed on how we look at doom and sludge. With Stalking The Ghost, Unearthly Trance continue to push their sound. The album is heavy, it has sweet riffs, and it takes you to a sonic paradise.
#14. King Woman - Created In The Image Of Suffering
Created In The Image Of Suffering is a step forward from their ep, Doubt. For sure it's way heavier. When listening to this album, I imagine being in a dark room, surrounded by fog, while a angelic voice is sing in the background. The riffs are very crushing, and goes very well with Kristina's vocals. If you want your doom with singing, and not growls, then this album is perfect for you.
#13. Dr. Colossus - The Dank
The Dank is a perfect doom love letter one of my favorite tv shows of all time, The Simpsons. These heavy blokes from the land from down under sure made doom/stoner a fun experience. Some of the best Simpsons episodes are mentioned here, and you can't help but look back at being a wee lad, watching the telly on Sunday night. The fact that there's a song about our favorite school bus driver (Otto), should bring a warm feeling in your heart.
#12. Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks - Aes Sidhe
From As in the Wilderness to Mo Anam Cara, Joy Shannon has come a long way to creating a sound that will make her the artist she is now. On Aes Sidhe, we hear Joy and her Beauty Marks evolving their sound. Sarah of Ides of Gemini does guest vocals on a track, and it's everything I hoped for. And Xasthur contributes to a track, which makes Aes Sidhe more enjoyable. It's really great to hear Ms. Shannon pushing herself and creating something so genuine. This was a album that got me through 2017.
#11. Myrkur - Mareridt
What Myrkur contributes to black metal, isn't something very fond to the more traditionalist. But for someone like me who grew up listening to bands that create their own World, from many atmosphere and soundscapes, it is very welcoming. Amalie Bruun may not be considered "trve", but she is one hell of an artist. On Mareridt, Amalie holds her sound with pride. It's who she is now, and I can't help but show admiration. Her track with Chelsea Wolfe is beautiful and goes to show how much other artist respect Myrkur. If there's anything about Mareridt, it's that Myrkur has found her place.
#10. Bathsheba - Servus
A awesome addition to the doom scene. When you hear those apocalyptic riffs, you know that Servcus is gonna be one crushing album. When the album opens up with "Conjuration of Fire", it feels like walking into a city of ruins. And Michelle Nocon's vocals guides you through it. If you're a fan of doom, definitely have this in your collection,
#9. Black Pussy - Power
Black Pussy is a band that I discovered this year, thanks to Doomed and Stoned. Sadly for some reason, this over political correctness society took issue with the band name. But of course this did not stop me from purchasing Power. Listening to Black Pussy, it's everything I was hoping for. The band just ooze of 70's sleaze and psychedelia. On Power, they capture everything from an era that had a impact on my generation, when that retro phase was blossoming. Spin this on your turntable and you're gonna have a great time.
#8. Sun Blood Stories - It Runs Around the Room with Us
I like to think that Sun Blood Stories defines what the Boise music scene is all about. And that's finding your own identity. It Runs Around the Room with Us is a great experimental rock album that takes you to places that you probably didn't think exist. "Great Destroyer" is a track that shows what Sun Blood Stories are capable of. It Runs Around the Room with Us made me a fan of Blood Sun Stories, and really looking forward to what they brew next. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
#7. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Murder of the Universe
I really feel like people should keep their ears open to the Land Down Under. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard should be a band on your radar. Murder of the Universe is one of five albums that they put out this year. And it is one hell of a psychedelic trip. King Gizzard take you into a fantasy journey that will satisfy your inner geek. I assure you that you haven't heard anything like Murder of the Universe.
#6. Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
We need more aliens from outer space to create more post-punk music. The Demonstration feels like a blast in the past, into a World that was ruled by synthesizers, reverb drenched guitars, and vocals full of melancholy. When giving this album a spin, you can't help but slow dance all alone, in your room. Drab Majesty is one of those bands that made the whole 80's synth pop revival very genuine. The Demonstration sounds like a album that came from the 80's, instead of "trying" to sound like the 80's.
#5. Mutoid Man - War Moans
When I heard Mutoid Man's first single, "Kiss Of Death", I got super psyched for War Moans. And when I heard the whole album, it did not disappoint. Where almost every metal band screams, Mutoid Man is one of few heavy bands that sing their heart out. War Moans is a album full of catchy riffs and songs that makes you sing along. And I'm pretty sure this exceeded everyone's expectation.
#4. Gold - The Optimist
One of the most amazing shoegaze bands to come out in recent years is Gold. Their latest album, The Optimist, brings new life to the shoegaze genre. It's heavy, has lots of atmosphere, it can get dark, and very dreamy. The Optimist creates a wall of sound around you, and builds a soundscape that feels like an oasis.
#3. Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
Listening to Hiss Spun, I feel that Chelsea Wolfe has really exceeded herself. It feels like the more Chelsea delves into the dark, the more we hear her create something that makes Chelsea Wolfe stand out more. Hiss Spun feels like a lucid dream, where you just want to dig deeper and see what else lies ahead. Hiss Spun has sealed herself as Queen of doomy-dark rock.
#2. Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy
Full Of Hell is a band that breath new life into extreme music. They really capture the intensity of what death metal and grindcore means to us fans. Trumpeting Ecstasy is a album that fans have been waiting. Once you give this album a spin, it just rips your face off, with aggression. It's a album that continues to push boundaries, which is what makes Full Of Hell one of the most unique bands out there. And they will continue pushing their sound as long as they're around.
#1. Monarch! - Never Forever
Since listening to Dead Men Tell No Tales, about 7 years ago, I knew that Monarch! were gonna be major players in the funeral doom scene. Just the way they presented themselves, I knew there was something special about them. Never Forever is a perfect evolution to Monarch's heavy sound. It brings a nightmarish soundscape, which drags you into their dark World. The use of glass bottles clinking together on "Cadaverine" was a fun addition. The way Monarch! is able to add beauty to something that's heavy on gloom, is what makes them so special. If you want to know what's the buzz about Monarch!, then go pick up Never Forever, and be sure to have it blasting.