Pryapisme

Best albums and tracks of 2017

The best albums of 2017 contains 60 albums that I listened enough to warrant them a place in this list. Scroll further down for the best tracks as a Spotify playlist and a few pickups that I missed in 2016. Hyperlinks lead to reviews.


Best albums of 2017

Near perfect (9+)

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Loss — Horizonless – funeral doom / deathdoom – Horizonless by Loss is a giant of a funeral doom album. It portrays a wide dispersal of moods, shifting between beautiful, crushing and ominous. The instrumentation and sounds are all top level, even the bass guitar comes to the fore time to time.
     Horizonless seeped among the best albums of 2017 slowly. I dare to say this is my favourite doom release from the US since Morgion’s criminally underknown Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth (2004).


Excellent (9)

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Nyss — Princesse Terre (Three Studies of Silence and Death) – atmospheric black metal – Fantastic atmosphere, riffs and use of effective repetition. Climaxes, build-ups, some melodies, backing ambience. Absolute top tier atmospheric and hypnotic black metal.


Very good (9-)

Grave Pleasures — Motherblood – death rock / post-punk – Everything that Beastmilk, who later renamed themselves to Grave Pleasures did right in the first album Climax (2013) also comes in place on Motherblood. The blasphemous lyrics, deathrock and catchy pop hooks groove together elegantly again.
     The album retains a strong base level through it’s length. Tracks like Joy Through Death dance between two worlds masterfully. It could be an eulogy or as well just a piece of dark humorous obscenity!

Hebosagil — Fortuna / Auta – noise rock / post-metal / hardcore punk – Bursting with melodies and aggression. I don’t think they’ve ever before had this many pop hooks. On the other hand, the 2nd track Auta still flirts with drone and noise rock with violently paranoid lyrics…


Good+ (8½)

Septicflesh — Codex Omega – symphonic death metal

Woe — Hope Attrition – atmospheric black metal – biggest grower of the year.

Oranssi Pazuzu — Kevät / Värimyrsky Psychedelic black metal / stoner doom – Pazuzu re-released their split with Candy Cane with the name Farmakologinen, it’s a 9+/10 album but also released a brand new great single. Värimyrsky is a welcome nod back to their old days.

Slægt — Domus Mysterium – black metal / heavy metal – I really liked the 2015 EP Beautiful and Damned so it’s really welcome to see they are as good a full-length band!

Wintersun  — The Forest Seasons – symphonic metal /progressive metal / melodic metal – Wintersun’s The Forest Seasons might be the album that has split most opinions in 2017. It currently stands at 56 % in Metal Archives which cannot be based on music alone. For the musics in this music album are mostly solid as heck.
     First three tracks (clocking over 40 minutes) are packed with memorable melodies, good songwriting and fine sounding symphonics. Wintersun is not a one trick pony solely based on power metal and melodeath. The album has a few aces up its sleeve. For example, most melodeath bands might not try their skills in black metal or melancholic doom.

Heptaedium — How Long Shall I Suffer Here? – electronic metal / breakcore / nintendocore / progressive metal

Glanko — OsmosiSci-fi IDM – Dark toned themes with sci-fi elements. Glanko has matured and found great melody lines to accompany beats more diverse than ever. Perfect music for reading sci-fi like Dan Simmonds Hyperion quartet! You can add / remove half a point depending if you are reading sci-fi or not!

Sun of The Sleepless — To The Elements – atmospheric black metal


Good+ (8+)

Vallenfyre — Fear Those Who Fear Him – oldschool death metal with connections to Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Abhorrence. Not surprisingly, the best moments on Fear Those Who Fear Him are the slower doomier bits. The sound of the album is quite perfect for this kind of music altogether. Really powerful, far from crystal clear, yet not muddy at all. Piercing, rumbling and ferocious.

The Moth Gatherer — The Comfortable Low – post-metal / post-rock

Wear Your Wounds — WYW – slowcore / post-rock / shoegaze – side-project of Converge’s Jacob Bannon. The highs are really high if you’ve always digged the slower tracks of Converge. WYW strips down almost all heavy guitars and is quite a melancholic slowcore / post-rock / shoegaze album. Unsurprisingly the heaviest moments rank among the best.
There’s over 20 minutes of boring material in the midst of 63 minutes so I’m ranking it more for the good points than for the bad. Just skipping the last two tracks already makes it great. Still difficult to get into. 

Ayreon — The Source (album 1) – progressive rock / musical

AlNamrood — Enkar – Middle Eastern blackened deaththrash – one of the biggest growers of the year, initially I did not even like Enkar it as it does not repeat the mystic and even majestic atmospheric tricks of their 2015 album Diaji Al Joor. Enkar is quite a punk album compared to Diaji but after over 10 listens the Middle Eastern instrumentation, nuances and straightforward fierce song-writing started to really feel like a tight package.


Good (8ish)

Over the Voids… — Over The Voids – black metal

James Elkington — Wintres Womasinger-songwriter / acoustic / folk – At best Elkington channels Nick Drake’s gentle guitar virtuosity. Fortunately he is not a one-trick pony but I admit I’m a sucker for the more complicated pickings.

Ulver — The Assassination of Julius Caesar – avant-garde synthpop / experimental

Converge — The Dusk In Us – metalcore / hardcore / post-hardcore

WÖYH! — KRTKRTK – progressive rock / children’s music for adults

Janne Westerlund — There’s a Passage singer-songwriter / folk / acoustic / experimental

Au-Dessus — End of Chapter – atmospheric black metal / post-metal

The Faceless — In Becoming a Ghost – progressive death metal – Half really good (Digging The Grave, The Spiraling Void, Shake The Disease, I Am, half of Black Star), the rest is filler. Extra points from how the melodramatic intro sets up Digging the Grave. The jumpiest album start since Ghost of Perdition by Opeth!

Pryapisme — Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium – Avant-garde metal / experimental metal


8-

Ochre — Beyond The Outer Loop – idm / downtempo / ambient

Troldhaugen — Idio+syncrasies – avant-garde metal / humour metal – Half funny, half annoying, half great. This is a true love it or hate it album, yet I am inbetween because the compositions are mostly great but vocals oft times annoyingly over freaky. The metalcore / crabcore influences aren’t that much of my liking either, some of the avant-garde elements are outrageously good and only a few outrageously annoying (the rap part of It’s Morphine Time, yet the chorus is a hilarious stadium rock sing-a-long). The album has hints of Crotchduster-like greatness. Bullseye track has the best track title of the year: I Ordered A Taxi Driver Not A Taxidermy.

Riitaoja — Täytettyjä lintuja – experimental indie rock / art rock / folk

Wvrm — Can You Hear The Wind Howl – grindcore / death metal – 10 minutes is just the right length for this kind of furious album. 6 tracks with a 3 minute doomy headbanger in the midst. Epic track length in their standards.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Flying Microtonal Banana – garage rock / psychedelic rock

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Gumboot Soup – garage rock / psychedelic rock – The rest of the 5 (!!!!!) albums they released this year I did not check properly yet. Quick check on Polygondwanaland sounds like another real quality effort. It’s concept would also be worth a mention. Here’s a great Youtube video sumup of their 5 album plan. King Gizzard is probably the most innovative rock band at the moment. Maybe one of the albums will match their 2016 album Nonagon Infinity.

Hanging Garden — I Am Become – atmospheric rock / doom metal – Blackout Whiteout was one of the biggest surprises of 2015, the first tastes of I am Become were great, yet it did not have the growth of the last album. The best bits Kouta and Our Dark Design are top class and the album does not really have bad sections either.

Lantern — II: Morphosis – new wave of Finnish oldschool dark death metal in the vein of Demigod and Convulse


Kardinaalit — Primus Culpa experimental / rock / humour – Primus Culpa demo should be annoying but mostly it is actually funny. These guys also have some high class material in their soundcloud (also a lot of junk), eagerly awaiting if they piece their shit together out of humour terrains and develop their stronger tracks. At least 3-4 are already fully ready and would be a backbone of a very strong release

Enslaved — E – progressive metal / viking metal / black metal – possible grower

Eneferens — In The Hours Beneath – atmospheric rock / atmospheric black metal

Wolves in the Throne Room — Thrice Woven – atmospheric black metal

Fen — Winter – atmospheric black metal – possible grower

Vulture Industries — Stranger Times – progressive metal / avant-garde metal – The first three tracks of the album are really fucking good which is why it’s such a shame that the rest of the album is strangely mediocre to almost useless. Three other tracks do stand out a bit. Something Vile’s last half is driven by good lead guitars and heavy drum pounding, matching the beginning. Midnight Draws Near and Screaming Reflections do have great vocals and good dynamic going on but constantly slow paced pretty good compositions fail to resonate much after the beginning of the album does everything a few notches better.

Pillorian Obsidian Arc – atmospheric black metal


7+

Ne Obliviscaris — Urn – progressive metal

KANASHIMI — INORI depressive black metal / funeral doom / japanese pop influences – yes you read right, Scar of the heart is a bullseye of a track, a nicely unique dsbm sound. Then the one man project repeats it nearly all album long… Classic one man band problem really.

Havukruunu — Kelle surut soi – pagan black metal – hello Moonsorrow, these guys are pretty good in their own right too. Bullseye track: Kelle Surut Soi.

Inferno Requiem — Nüwa 女媧 – oldschool black metal / atmospheric black metal

Igorrr — Savage Sinusoid – avant-garde metal / breakcore / electronic

Skyclad — Forward Into The Past – folk metal / heavy metal – metal-observer’s review seemed to sum most of my thoughts. I just have to add the best track “Change Is Coming” is at part with almost any of their tracks and “State of The Union Now” a fresh reminder of their thrash past. Judging by the 2015 album Atom by Atom, Steve Ramsay might just leave his best tracks for his other project, Satan.

Myrkur — Maredit – black metal / indie rock / dream pop – fantastic beginning then the mediocre but well sung indie / dream pop elements come to the surface. Most of the metallish tracks are slow, doomy and boring. The blastbeating chaotic atmosphere appears too scarcely. Luckily there’s Gladiatrix.


Okay (7ish)

Falls of Rauros — Vigilance Perennial – atmospheric black metal

Planeetta 9 — Koivut – Finnish metal / rock / doom

Falaise — My Endless Immensityblackgaze

Akercocke — Renaissance In Extremis – avant-garde metal / black metal – Possible grower, ~8 listens doesn’t seem to be enough

Alfahanne — Det Nya Svarta – post-punk / death rock – One track miracle Satans Verser, probably the best rock track of the year, there’s a good mellow post-punk atmosphere but Avgrundsgravitation and Det Nya Svarta are the only tracks that completely succeed in tension. Mitt mörkär är mörkäre än ditt is weirdly catchy, I can’t quite put my hand on it, if i like it or don’t. Same catchiness goes for Även an Hund Har Sin Dag. For a while I thought the album is great until it crashed down to mediocre. I admit I might like it more if I bothered to understand more of the lyrics.

Ayreon — The Source (album 2) – progressive rock / musical

Paradise Lost — Medusa – doom metal / death doom


Okay- (6½) aka class c black metal

Fleurety — The White Death – One track miracle The Ballad of The Copernicus, few ok tracks besides it (White Death, Future Day). Special credit to the worst riff of the year in the peculiarly, chosen single track Lament of the Optimist.

Ajattara — Lupaus – black metal – One track miracle Saatanan Sinetti, few good tracks besides it (Sinä, last half of Lupaus). Most lyrics a bit stupid: Pimeä, pimeä, kuolema, kuolema blah blah blah.. Special credit to stupidest choruses of the year in Ristinkirot and Machete. Too bad as Machete is musically quite a great headbanger.

Charnel Winds — Verschränkung – Avant-garde metal / black metal

Asagraum — Potestas Magicum Diaboli – black metal


Best tracks of 2017

Best tracks arranged to a playlist in quite random order. Playlist in text-pdf format + a few tracks that aren’t in Spotify: Best_tracks_of_2017


Bubbling under

Brilliant tracks just below the first category. Except on a good day…


2016 reprise

Bunch of interesting 2016 releases found too late

9ish

Downfall of Gaia — Atrophy – atmospheric black metal / post black metal

W. Iivarinen — Melankolia – Finnish metal / rock

8ish

Blood Incantation — Starspawn – Progressive atmospheric death metal
Jpefmafia — Black Ben Carson
– underground hiphop / experimental rap / trap
Cantique Lepreaux — Cendres Célestes
 – atmospheric black metal
Ultha — Converging Sins – atmospheric black metal / post-black metal
明日の叙景(Asunojokei) — 過誤の鳥 (A Bird in the Fault) – post-black metal/post-hardcore

7 to 8-

Khid — Ohi – experimental rap / trap
Baptism
— V: The Devil’s Fire – black metal
Jpefmafia — The 2nd Amendment
– underground hiphop / experimental rap / trap
Saor — Guardians
– atmospheric folk / black metal
Radiopuhelimet — Saastan Kaipuu
– melurock / finnish rock
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra — Broken Lines
– alternative metal / alternative rock

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MonuMENTAL Metal oddities

MonuMENTAL Metal oddities collection is wrapped around bizarre bands BUT NOT humour music. Odd turns, eccentric elements, milestones of human vocal capacity and also some instrumental extremities. This collection ought to surprise and bewilder the listener, however its middle point is still great compositions.

1. The starting track, Dysrhythmia‘s probably most rhythmic and meaningful song, Room of Vertigo starts with a lot of groove. Dysrhythmia excels in making seemingly random mess that starts to make sense on further listens. Room of Vertigo is one of the easiest tracks to grasp as it has immediately catchy dreamlike melodies and a steady beat.

2., 3., 4. Next to follow are tracks from Pryapisme’s Futurologie epic, which is one track divided to 11 different movements. At best Pryapisme is masterful in combining everything possible in their soup and yeah, they are French. Obviously the last track of Futurolgie release is a 23 minute orchestrative version of the release. Figures.

5. Havoc Unit started as Festerday in the beginning of 90s, quite a regular grindcore/death metal hybrid. They switched their name to Cardinal in 92, to Peacefrog in 93, to Raw Energy in 93 and 95 they finally slid off to oddland by becoming …And Oceans, symphonic black metal electro hybrid.

Their second album The Symmetry of I / the Circle of O was a double release with a symphonic black metal album + a electronic/ambient/noise album. Which is really quite boring to be honest. Later on they incorporated more electronic and industrial elements and kept having extremely weird track titles in various languages. How about Äcid Sex and Marble Teeth (You-phoria), I Wish I Was Pregnant, Mikrobotik Fields / Uråldrig saga och sång or Angelina: Chthonian Earth: Her Face Forms Worms. The list goes on.

In 2005 …And Oceans became Havoc Unit and released a brilliant brutal death / industrial / experimental album h.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia) 2008, along with a few splits. Klan Korps [Volkssturm & Erregung] (feat. Strom EC.) is a piece from this album. The circle (of O) closed in 2013 when Havoc Unit became… you guessed it, Festerday!

6. After Havoc Unit there are a few milestones. First Demilich’s When the Sun Drank the Weight of Water. A finnish progressive death metal band which is musically magnificent and also has a distinctive feature. Their singer Antti Boman (un?)officially has the deepest growl in human history. His growl goes so deep that in the 90s when they were active Terrorizer hired an expert to state that the growl cannot have been made without pitch shifting. But apparently it is! Demilich is also known for weird track titles. Some of my favourites are. The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed) and Inherited Bowel Levitation – Reduced Without Any Effort.

7. Fleurety is exactly the opposite extremity in pitch. Their singer Alexander Nordgaren ruined his vocal chords by shrieking like a fucking eagle. It sounds really painful and it is incredible singing like that is even possible. Profanations Beneath the Bleeding Stars is also a surprisingly solid track, however their next release Min tid skal komme is the real jewel of their discography. One of many “lost” metal releases that many consider a classic but most people have never heard about.

8. Amesoeurs can be thought to belong to what some people not all unscornfully regard as hipster metal. Their only full length from 2009 is in my opinion not too great but it appealed to a lot of people. Sure enough it has some brilliant bits. La Reine Trayeuse sums it up well by starting as a weak pop track. In the middle of its length things turn so bewildering I’m not sure any other except French people could pull this off so magnificently. First the pop base turns to fast paced black metal then the female vocalist puts on quite a lot more a torturous shriek you’d ever expect this band to be capable of. And I mean its not just 3 seconds, it lasts about half a minute. The end of the track is also damn excellent.

9. Meads of Asphodel and 10. Sigh are rare breed who both formed to monsters of mixing different genres to their mostly metal basis on their own. Just listen how My Psychotic Sand Deity switches between hard hitting metal and dreamy interludes turning into angelic female singing to hard rock soloing to black metal. Or how Amnesia Blues’s away with growling vocals and the smoothest piano jazz solo in metal history.

11. More monumental vocal and instrumental extremities with You Suffer by Napalm Death. The shortest track ever recorded and also one of the fastest lyrical outputs ever. “You suffer, but why?”. All this in exactly 1.316 seconds.

12. Behold… The Arctopus annoys me quite a bit when listened in large quantities but they work well served in careful small doses. Like the short bursting Putrefucktion. They are one of the most extreme bands in terms of the amount of different sections every track contains. Putrefucktion is more just a mindfuck, a very entertaining and peculiar mindfuck.

13., 14., 15. Meshuggah the old odd groovemonster that somehow influenced one generation of teens to create an own popular genre, Djent. The album Catch-33 is clearly my favourite bit of Meshuggah discography with its lovely rhythmic background. It is nearly a one track album as it flows from one track to another so smoothly. Just when you think you get the rhythm, it changes to something else! The last four tracks are all diamond, but in this collection I left out the last one, ending it with Shed, Persona Non Gratae and Dehumanization.

I am getting an unsubstantial amount of satisfaction about the unpredictability of these tracks, especially the end of Dehumanization. I tried to further help the listening mood by placing the tracks in rather eccentric order. The plan was to fuck with ones brain, but also to deliver logical transformations too. This was probably the funniest compilation to do and I think it transfers well to listening experience.

Favourite albums and tracks of 2015

Top 5 (alphabetical order)

A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
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Leviathan – Scar Sighted
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Mgła – Exercises in futility
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Paperi T – Malarian Pelko
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Tähtiportti – Tähtiportti
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Top 6-7

Abyssion – Luonnon Harmonia ja Vihreä Liekki

Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North I

Top 8-15 (random order)

Sigh – Graveward (possible grower)

Venetian Snares – Thank You For Your Consideration

Enshine – Singularity (possible grower)

Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields – I really wanted this to be awesome but its just good, allthough the first ~4 minutes of The Blank Journey are among my favourite metal moments this year.

Tribulation – The Children Of The Night

Pryapisme – Futurologie

Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu (possible grower)

Ghost Bath – Moonlover

Possible growers that I haven’t listened enough

Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North II & III

Venetian Snares – Your Face

Arcturus – Arcturian

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within – I actually got a semi-kick out of it but then started listening to Tragic Idol and so far I haven’t seen any reason why to go back as Tragic Idol is so much better.

Carpenter Brut – Trilogy – Recently used it as background music for

Binding of Isaac Afterbirth and it worked really well in it, but haven’t tested longevity yet.

The Morningside – Letters from the Empty Towns

Opeth – Pale Communion

Mogwai – Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1.

Disappointments

Melechesh – Enki – Almost the whole album makes me want to fall asleep. I would use it as sleeping music if I wasn’t so annoyed that it is so fucking boring.

Last Step – Lost Sleep – Sideproject of Venetian Snares, I suppose Acid (genre) is not my thing.

Messer Chups – The Incredible Crocotiger – What happened to Messer Chups, they used to be so fun, merging b-movie clips and incredibly imaginative melodies with surf. Now they are just plain surf without any other flavours.
Lasten hautausmaa – Lasten hautausmaa – overhyped, yeah they aren’t bad but no they aren’t the new Mana Mana or even close.

Grave Pleasures – Dreamcrash – What a suitable name, after the surprise debut, still with the name Beastmilk, this album is so shy. All the great melodies and freshness are gone. Beastmilk was dangling on the edge of hipsterness and ridiculousness but miraculously avoiding it and being stunning. Grave Pleasures crashes headfirst, being both annoying and pretty good in every track. There may be a jewel there but I haven’t got to powerlistening this mess yet.
Trepaneringsritualen – Perfection & Permanence – Such a ridiculously bad album it created a time paradox and appeared in this list even though it’s been released in 2014.

Favourite tracks (random order)

Top 11

Venetian Snares – Ötvenöt 3

Tribulation – Melancholia

A Forest of Stars – Drawing Down The Rain

Mgła – Exercises in Futility IV

Ghost Bath – Happyhouse

Swallow The Sun – Lost & Catatonic

Leviathan – Scar Sighted

Mgła – Exercises in Futility VI

Tähtiportti – Viimeinen Tähtiportti

A Forest of Stars – Lowly Worm

Paperi T – Mainstream Solo

Next 6

Pryapisme – Futurologie 3–5

Opeth – Eternal Rains Will Come

Tähtiportti – Tähtiportti IV: Luciferin Pylväs

Tähtiportti – Tähtiportti I

Ufomammut – Daemons

Misþyrming – Söngur heiftar

Favourite cover art

Ufomammut – Ecate

BONUS – Top 2 2015 games to play while listening music

Rocket League (anything with a bit of a pace)

Binding Of Isaac Afterbirth (anything grim and gloomy)