Is 2017 going to be the year we figure it all out? Probably not but who knows. Is it going to be the year that beats 2016 on the metal front? We won’t know for awhile but I’m very optimistic. Our world as we know it is full of uncertainty and precisely what will happen in the coming days, much less the coming year, can be overwhelming and alarming to think about. But as long as the metal stays, at least, as good as we had it last year we will have a place to hide away for that fleeting moment of bliss. I’ve got many things I’m looking forward to this year but the following list represents those that occupy the highest anticipation level for me at the moment. So, endure one more list and we will see you back here at the end of the year to see if these reigned supreme.
Couch Slut – Contempt (Gilead Media) – April/May
I think it’s safe to say anyone reading this has had the opportunity to hear Couch Slut’s debut full length My Life As a Woman. Everything from the incendiary noise metal to the brutal lyrical themes to Megan Osztrosits’ devastating vocal delivery made the album a fast favorite for me and for a lot of you. It was one of those kinds of albums that crawled under my skin, seeped into my psyche and stayed there like a long lost friend. I still listen to it regularly so obviously when Contempt was mentioned over at Gilead Media I was beyond excited for the new material. Even though I’m not ranking these picks this album is my number one most anticipated of 2017.
Mindkult – Lucifer’s Dream (Transcending Obscurity) – Spring
Mindkult completely blindsided me last year with their debut EP, Witch’s Oath. It was dark and brooding yet instantly addictive. So many different ingredients went into Witch’s Oath; doom, desert rock, folk and early 90’s hard rock just to name a few, and that by itself would’ve been enough to make me a fan, but Fowst’s (mastermind and sole member) vocals were astonishing and added a depth to the music like I had not heard in years and honestly I heard nothing that carried this much soul through the entirety of last year. There’s no telling what direction Fowst will take on Lucifer’s Dream but if this track is any indication, we are in for an ever bigger, better and fuller experience than was had on Witch’s Oath.
Corrosion of Conformity – TBD (Nuclear Blast) – TBD
No, I don’t have an inside track that we will actually get a new album from COC this year but it was rumored we would have one last year so I’m hoping for the best. I’ve been a fan of this band ever since the first time I heard Deliverance 20 some years ago and I’m still as big a fan as I’ve ever been. While I do love what they’ve done without Pepper Keenan I prefer their output with him in the band. Maybe I’m biased a bit because that was my first experience with them but at any rate a new album with this lineup intact would make my 2017 a great one. I saw the band live not too long after they rejoined with Pepper and it was like I was 20 again hearing Deliverance for the first time. Put plainly they sounded amazing. So guys, PLEASE get that album out.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed – TBD, EP 2 (Relapse Records) – TBD
It’s been almost a year to the day since Arc, the first in a series of four EP’s planned by the band that will focus on a different genre with each one. Arc was the sludge/doom EP and it was a staunch achievement from a band that can easily cram 100 songs of blistering speed into 6 minutes or less. While it wasn’t anything that tread new ground in the chosen genre the band played flawlessly and Kat Katz gave one of the most emotionally harrowing vocal performances of 2016. I have no idea where the band will go next but if the outcome is anything like Arc it will be another crowning moment and another EP that will find its way onto many year end lists.
Olkoth – Sacrosanctis (Independent) – March
Olkoth are a local death metal band so chances that most of you have heard of them are slim. But that’s the beauty of this site and others like it — to highlight new things that you don’t need to miss. The band is currently working on their debut EP, Sacrosanctis, which is slated for a March release. What got me excited about this particular band is the recent addition of ex-Lecherous Nocturne vocalist Jason Höhenstein — remember “Just War Theory“? I definitely do and am looking forward to what Olkoth will bring to the table. More on this to come.
As stated before, the above are just five out of many I’m either looking forward to or hoping to be released. But I do want to mention a few others that are equally as anticipated; Void Ritual – no album title yet but hopefully it will be out this year and I’m beyond stoked to finally get my ears on the new material. Twilight Fauna – The Year the Stars Fell will be available March 24 and seeing as I’ve already got my vinyl preorder in, this one is very highly anticipated, Paul always amazes me with his emotional brand of folk black metal plus drums, for the first time, from Josh Thieler (SlavesBC). Immolation – Atonement will be available February 24 and I can’t wait to hear their unique brand of death metal once again and see where they take it. Kreator – Gods of Violence will be available January 27 and this band just keeps getting better the older they get, I’m looking for this one to be massive. Fórn‘s newest monolith of doom will be available around August or September, as of now there is no title but that doesn’t have a thing to do with my eagerness to hear it. Will this be the year we finally hear new material from Old Thunder? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m really hoping for it, that demo was a tease but it got me excited for more (Dustin, do this thing man). Rounding this thing out, I would love to hear something new from Pig Destroyer because it’s been too long since Book Burner and I really need the kind of grind that PD brings to the table.
That’s it from me and if you’re still here thanks for reading, if you bailed early thanks for stopping by anyway. In 2017 listen to metal, cherish your family, cherish your friends and for gods sake be better to each other.