You may recall in January, I was one of many here at Nine Circles who published a list of albums I was excited for in the coming year. With 2017 almost over, it’s time now to look back and see how these albums stacked up against my expectations. Who delivered, and who left me wanting more? Read on to find out.
The Great Old Ones – EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy
The Great Old Ones’ latest album was but one of many black metal releases I was excited for in 2017. EOD met any expectations I could have had for it, delivering the kind aggression and atmosphere that I knew the band had in them, and I made sure to get my physical copy as soon as I could, but to be honest, this was not an album that I turned to very often over the course of this year. There is certainly nothing wrong with EOD, and I know a lot of people who would place this high on an end-of-year list, which is most assuredly deserved for this band. For me, it’s simply that there were other albums I liked more, and this got lost in the shuffle. Maybe now that its on my mind I’ll go back and spin it again, but I don’t think this will end up unseating anything on my personal year end list.
Cavernlight – As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache
Now here is an album that not only met my expectations, but struck a deep enough chord to stick with me through all the turmoil that this year brought on. Maybe it was because of just what a nightmare 2017 has been that I turned to Cavernlight’s mournful and cathartic doom metal as often as I did. I’ll keep this brief, because I will be talking about this album one more time, but As We Cup Our Hands… was definitely worth the hype that I placed on it.
Panopticon – The Scars of Man and the Once Nameless Wild
Well, this turned out to not be a 2017 release after all. Such is life, and the nature of art made by someone who is a musician in addition to being a father and small business owner. I’m certainly not upset, and in fact all the Panopticon I listened to this year to prepare myself for this album caused me to go back and finally find my love for Kentucky, the band’s most celebrated work that, until recently, I could take or leave. I will gladly talk about how excited I still am for this album at a later time.
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
As excited as I was for Mirror Reaper when it was an as-yet unnamed project, nothing could have possibly prepared me for the monumental work that has been laid out here. One of this year’s absolute best albums, and a profoundly emotionally affecting work that moves me time and time again. Once more, I will keep this brief because I will be talking in greater detail about this album later on, but to say that this was worth the wait is an understatement.
Yellow Eyes – RELIC93 aka Immersion Trench Reverie
I love when my hunches turn out to be exactly right, although this was probably a pretty easy guess. RELIC93, a teased forthcoming album on Gilead Media, turned out to be Immersion Trench Reverie by NYC’s Yellow Eyes. Any year that we get new material from one of the most ahead-of-the-curve bands in black metal the world over is a year I count myself lucky. This is another one of the year’s best albums, and one that will feature high on my year end list.
I am pleasantly surprised that pretty much all of these albums delivered on what I could have wanted from them. As someone who writes about music, I would rather have too many good albums to sift through than not enough, and such is the case this year. No matter what else 2017 may have brought us, I had a good time with the many albums I listened to and reviewed. Look out for my list of my favorites of these coming soon.