Following a phenomenal metal year that I went on record declaring the best in recent memory, 2017 sure has a lot to live up to. Without any unnecessary prefacing, I present to you my veritable murderers’ row of bands I expect to slay and decimate with their upcoming releases.
Emptiness – Not for Music
Whatever fear or reservations I might harbor regarding the quality of metal in 2017 following an unbelievably incredible 2016, metal is off to a great start this year with the release of Not for Music by Emptiness. Their 2014 LP Nothing but the Whole was an eerie, spellbinding trip of experimental black/death metal through uncharted territories. Based on the preview tracks, Emptiness continues to slither and morph on the new LP (out 20 January on Season of Mist), which appears more synth-driven and genre-defying than Nothing but the Whole. Make no mistake though, these guys paint unsettling laudanum-drenched urban vistas of creepy dread. I expect Not for Music to be a perfect accompaniment for waking up in freezing cold stairwells in strange cities without any memory of the previous night.
Fórn – TBA
More colossal than the mountain Molecule Man dropped on the heroes during the original Secret Wars, Fórn has impressed with its brand of highly atmospheric doom/sludge by raining molten lead and slinging majestic guitar leads. I was thoroughly amazed by the band skill and success in evoking a perfect sonic embodiment of the intense resonance and impact of the emotional idiosyncrasies of weltschmerz, saudade and dolor on its 2015 EP. Having mastered density and catharsis so early in its career, I expect Fórn to reach a dazzling artistic pinnacle on its upcoming album.
Psudoku – Deep Space Psudokument
I am still in the process of regaining my sanity after hearing Psudoku’s space avant-grind for the first time. The upcoming Deep Space Psudokument promises to incorporate surf rock, doom and electronic classical to an already bonkers mix. As soon as the album materializes from the future into our primitive plane of existence, my reptile brain will have a one-way ticket to a nanorobot orgy on an alternate timeline.
Thantifaxath – TBA
Thantifaxath’s debut full-length Sacred White Noise was one of my favorite albums released in 2014, a mesmerizing descent to bleakness and mayhem supported by an abrasive, wildly spiraling storm of abrasive off-kilter riffs and looping dissonance. For the sake of prudence and self-preservation, thou shalt immediately commence preparations to bolster mental defenses in anticipation of the arrival of the sonic onslaught encapsulated in their upcoming EP.
Slugdge – TBA
I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR NEW GASTROPOD OVERLORDS.
Propagandhi – TBA
I know, one can hope, right? The time in the political history of humanity would be absolutely right and outright prophetic for a new Propagandhi album full of lyrical vitriol, grind-like intensity and insane shredding. Propagandhi’s maturation from snotty skate punk origins into a technical, progressive thrash machine that kills fascists has been one of the most exciting developments to happen to a band in heavy music in the past, well, 30 years. The band’s latest albums have increasingly incorporated Voivod and Rush influences into an unimpeachable sonic mix which forsakes neither rousing melodies nor full-on technical blitzkrieg and blasting, so the next one—whenever it may be released—will without doubt be a much-needed kick in the groin of conservative and reactionary politics that should inspire legions of metal bands.
Apart from the above sampling, I am keenly awaiting to witness the wildcard, the currently unknown hungry newcomer to appear from the void without any warning and surprise everyone by delivering a decimating blast wave of metal. In 2016, bands such as Youdash and Setentia unleashed prodigious masterpieces under the guise of respective debut albums, paving the way for others debuts to come and pummel our collective eardrums to oblivion in 2017.
Alas, here’s to a bountiful 2017!