Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Donuts & CANTO: Wolves in the Throne Room, Vallenfyre, Megadeth and more!

wolves in the throne room band 2017
Wolves in the Throne Room

June 29, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from the last couple of days:

    • Leading off, Wolves in the Throne Room have announced a new album, titled Thrice Woven. The album will drop September 22 via the band’s own label, Artemisia Records, and features a guest spot from Neurosis’ Steve Von Till. Sounds better than Celestite already!

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Donuts & CANTO: Rammstein, Meshuggah, Origin and more!

rammstein band 2017
Rammstein

June 5, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from over the weekend:

    • Leading off, Rammstein‘s Friday evening set at the Rock Am Ring festival was cancelled as the festival was forced to evacuate due to concerns over a possible terrorism threat. Thankfully, nothing came of the threat and the festival was able to resume the next day.

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Initial Descent: May 28 – June 3, 2017

Vallenfyre
Vallenfyre

Small talk just won’t cut it this week as there is much to get to. Jumping right in is Vallenfyre‘s third full length Fear Those Who Fear Him and if you even remotely liked the first two then this is the one that blows the lid off, extremely good death metal that is summed up best by vocalist and guitarist Greg Mackintosh: “No samples. No triggers. No bullshit.” INDEED. Unleash the Archers return with their fourth full length Apex and within the first spin of this power metal epic I honestly believe it’s their best yet, such fire and passion throughout. Sweden’s Dråp stir the crust punk and death metal stew into an absolute hurricane on Rotten Till Allt Ont, it’s aggressive and nasty in the best way possible. Next up is Scott Endres’ (MAKE) project The Pod with their wildly experimental and extremely dark/ambient Self Titled album, it covers so much ground that tags don’t do it justice, definitely one you need to check out. And closing out the opening slots is Vattnet with their new single Dark Black, and while their black metal edge may have softened a bit this is an amazing journey into a more progressive sound and one that has us ready and excited for the full album. As you can see this week’s releases are already stacked but there is sooooo much more lying in wait, right after the jump.  Continue reading