My Top 50 of 2017

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My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:56 am

The "better late than never" list is finally done - this took way longer to write up than I had anticipated, but now that it's done I have another year until I need to think about this again. I hope it'll provide some ideas for music to check out, and if not, at least you can get a good laugh at how much time I wasted writing this ;)

50. Alestorm - No Grave but the Sea
Since Glenn (Mr. ProgPower USA) decided to have my #2 of the year placed as lowest ranked album on his 2017-list, I decided to return the favor. So, it gives me great pleasure to present to you the very last spot on my list; #50 - Alestorm "No Grave but the Sea"! This disc is full of humor, good time atmosphere and of course the ever-so-clever-yet-slightly-overused pirate theme. While I appreciate the fun included, my absolutely favorite moment with this disc, was one day I was in the car and I heard my 6-year old son in the backseat singing "Yo ho Mexico - far to the south where the cactus grows - Tequila and a donkey show - Mexico, Mexico". I obviously had to ask him how the heck he knew that one; the answer: "It's Moms and mine favorite song". Yup, can't argue with that.

49. Vintersorg - Till Fjälls, Del II
Almost twenty years after the debut album, "Till Fjälls", Swedish folk/black/progressive metal musician Andreas Hedlund (aka Vintersorg) has decided to revisit the sound of that first album, by creating a "part 2", which obviously share the main ingredients with the debut, but also includes some of the more technical aspects of the mid-period albums from his career. Epic compositions, head-on blasting black metal, laid back Scandinavian folk music, and melodic ambience; it's all here. Unfortunately there's one minor flaw with this disc; as we've seen on several of the Vintersorg albums, there are no real drums to be found here, only computer-generated ones, and that's a shame - especially considering that on what I consider to be the best albums of Vintersorg's career, "The Focusing Blur" (2004) and "Visions from the Spiral Generator" (2002), the drums were masterfully handled by Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect). "Till Fjälls, Del II" would have been so much better had Asgeir played on it. Still, it's a solid album, and any Vintersorg fan, be it from the black/folk metal period, or from the more melodic progressive period, will find something to like here.

48. Pallbearer - Heartless
It's no secret that I'm a sucker for good doom metal, and I also have a soft spot for progressive metal - so a band that combines these two genres as well as Pallbearer does will find a lot of love with me. In fact, when I got this album back in March, I was quite certain that this was going to end up in my top 10 by end of the year. However, as the months passed by, I realized how little I actually returned to the album. Yes, I did bring it out for a spin once in a while but compared to how I basically had it on repeat those first few weeks, the "love had gone" so to speak. Still, whenever I play it, I'm reminded by what a great songwriting team these Arkansas guys are, blending together the old school (think Black Sabbath, Rush, Pink Floyd) with the new (think Mastodon, Baroness) and heck, there's even a bit of Katatonia / Type O Negative gloom in there.

47. Kee of Hearts - Kee of Hearts
Once in a while you'll just need to listen to a very basic, uncomplicated, cheesy hard rock album - one of those where you know exactly what you'll get for the next three-and-a-half minute after listening to just 5 seconds of a song. And to satisfy that hunger for simple hard rock, nothing fulfills it better in 2017 than the debut album of Swedish/German band Kee of Hearts. Formed by guitarist Kee Marcelo (ex-Europe) and vocalist Tommy Heart (Fair Warning), the band ends up sounding like … well, you guessed it; a mixture of Europe and Fair Warning : The songs are super well written, and while there are nothing here that'll come as a surprise to anyone who listened to hard rock in the late 80's, the album serves its purpose well.

46. Aeternam - Ruins of Empires
This is a very late entry to the list - but once I heard it the first time, I knew this was right up my alley. This is melodic and symphonic death/thrash metal, with a huge amount of Middle Eastern folklore thrown in (not unlike what we know from bands such as Orphaned Land, Myrath, Arkan and Melechesh) - there's even some more "Asian" folk music here and there (the song "The Keeper of Shangri-La" sounds like a band from India made this) - now the twist here is that the band actually is from Canada of all places! Well, it doesn't stop them from having a healthy dose of desert sand beneath their feet - turns out singer/guitarist Achraf actually was born in Morocco, so I'm guessing that's where the inspiration stem from. The music here is less thrashy than Melechesh, less melodic than Myrath, less symphonic than Arkan, and not quite as progressive as Orphaned Land - however, the basis is along those lines, and I'm sure fans of those bands would find something in Aeternam that they'd enjoy.

45. Tankard - One Foot in the Grace
Love them or hate them - Tankard has always delivered their thrash metal with one foot on the gas pedal and the other one firmly planted in a large glass of the finest (or cheapest!) cold German beer known to man, so how they (according to the album title one is planted in the grave) ended up with three feet beats me. There's absolutely nothing new to see here, so if you were hoping to find ways to innovate the good ol' thrash metal genre, you're looking in the wrong place. Drink up!

44. Firewind - Immortals
Neither "Days of Defiance" (2010) nor "Few Against Many" (2012) were very good, and to be honest, both of these albums seemed to suffer from the fact that main man Gus G had his heart and mind in his other job, as lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Luckily for us, that tenure is all in the past, and with renewed energy, and a new vocalist, Firewind strikes back with their best album since 2008's "Premonition". "Immortals" is an album full of what you'd come to expect and like from Firewind; power metal with slightly epic compositions, lots of guitar hero antics, big melodies, and an occasional nod of respect back to the classic hard rock/metal of the 70's and 80's. I've never thought Henning Basse was a great singer, but what he delivers here must be his best performance ever, because I actually like it. This is not their best album (for me, that album is "Allegiance"), but "Immortals" is very strong, and it has all the elements of what many of us like about Firewind.

43. Eclipse - Monumentum
I know there are people who think Eclipse is the best hard rock band of the last decade, but I honestly never saw the appeal. I have all their albums, except the debut, but most of those I got from their record labels, and I never really connected with them. However, I do find "Monumentum" to be a really strong hard rock album, and throughout the spring and summer of 2017 it got a LOT of spins in the car while enjoying the nice North Carolina weather. This disc is made for those car rides - it's "easy listening" hard rock for sure. There's no reason to complicate things, and it seems like singer/songwriter Erik Mårtensson is well aware of this. The great thing about this disc is that it made me go back and revisit their previous discs, and I now have a bigger understanding as to why they are so appreciated in the scene.

42. Trial (swe) - Motherless
This is an interesting album - I bought it on a whim so to speak, and I'm really glad that I did. Something about the artwork appealed to me, and after listening to a minute or so of it, I decided to give it a shot. Luckily, the album is very good - in fact, if it wasn't for the somewhat "raw" production I think this album would end up a good deal higher on my list. However, the production does make sense to a certain point, as this album is all about paying tribute to the progressive/heavy/power metal of the late 80's, such as Fates Warning (think "Awaken the Guardian" and "No Exit"), King Diamond (think "Them" and "Conspiracy"), Psychotic Waltz, Sanctuary, Crimson Glory, Leviathan etc. While Vocalist Linus with his huge range (coming across like a mixture of John Arch and Bruce Dickinson), the songwriting of guitarists Alexander and Andreas might be the real star here - this is music like we don't hear often enough these days, and to witness it done this well and "authentic" makes an old school fan like myself really happy. I'd love to hear what would happen if Trial (swe) got a more "modern" production on their next album, as I believe their songs deserve it.

41. Beast in Black - Berserker
This album is not going to change the world as we know it - this album will never win the Nobel prize in most adventurous song writing, nor will anyone ever claim that even within the stagnant power metal genre that "Berserker" is bringing anything new to the table. In fact, most people will probably write this off as "we've heard it all before on multiple Nightwish, Sonata Arctica and Sabaton albums". And while I can see why they'd do that, I can't help but liking this disc quite a lot. It's super well done, all the clichés are being used - from the overly epic choirs and harmonies, the symphonic orchestration, the blazingly fast lead guitars, to the lyrics talking about demons and beasts - however, that's what makes this a fun album, and top it with one of the most amazing vocalists in the genre currently (Yannis Papadopoulis - ex-Until Rain), you've got a release that's just too good to be ignored … even if we've heard it all before.

40. Jag Panzer - The Deviant Chord
It really pains me ranking a Jag Panzer release this low - especially when it's a release that I've been anticipating ever since it was announced in 2013, that guitar player extraordinaire Joey Tafolla had rejoined the Colorado metallers (3rd time is the charm?). But the fact is that to me this album falls short - way short - of most of the other JP releases over the close to 35 years existence of this band. I feel that the melodies are lacking and the semi-progressive parts that's been a part of the Panzer-sound since the early 2000's have nearly all disappeared. While there's plenty to like here - great guitar solos, nice galloping riffs and bouncy beats, not to mention Harry Conklin as always standing heads and shoulders above most any other singer in US heavy / power metal, "The Deviant Chord" really doesn't reach the class of albums such as "Thane to the Throne" (which is and always will be my favorite JP disc), "Mechanized Warfare", or the debut "Ample Destruction". Unreasonably high expectations? Yes, probably so.

39. Daydream XI - The Circus of the Tattered and Torn
If I hadn't seen this album on so many people's top lists of 2017 I honestly wouldn't have given them a chance at all - that cover artwork is so unappealing that I didn't see any reason to even bother listening to what was inside. But, behind what looks to be a picture of a dead body with no nose and three equally horribly mauled dead tigers, hides a really strong progressive metal album, which is full of intricate twists and turns, big melodies, and a truly great vocalist in front. This should easily appeal to those who get their prog-fix from Shadow Gallery, Seventh Wonder, Dream Theater and Symphony X. I guess it's true what they say; don't judge a book (or CD) by its cover.

38. SikTh - The Future in Whose Eyes?
This band was once an insider tip of proportions - they were heralded by the mid 90's to become the next big band in the "metal core" genre, although, to be honest, they weren't really what we consider "metal core" today. In fact, what SikTh managed to do was to become one of the creators of the djent sound that we've later on have seen being watered down by hundreds upon hundreds of new acts trying to become that next shining star… As history goes to prove, SikTh broke up and nothing happened to their promised big career - that is until 2015 when they reunited, created an EP that went pretty much unnoticed, and now in 2017 delivered their first full length in 11 years, "The Future in Whose Eyes?". The album still sounds like the SikTh we knew from back then - it's technical/progressive metal with a contemporary aggressive edge (yeah, okay, call it core if you'd like) and a good deal of both Meshuggah riffs and Faith No More melodies - so yes, nothing has changed. The split vocals of Mikee and Justin are still up front and are still pretty great. The problem with this album, or perhaps more with SikTh as such, is that were this once would have been considered original, it now has to compete with a multitude of albums from bands, such as Tesseract, Veil of Maya, Textures, Periphery, Monuments and so on … and to be quite blunt, while "The Future…" is a really well done album, I find it sad that a band who started out as such an original act, nowadays sounds pretty much like all their own followers.

37. Until Rain - Inure
Changing out 75% of your line-up AND changing your style of music between albums is always a dangerous move for any band, although the risk is less when you're a pretty much unknown band; as such, Until Rain were in the perfect position to make the change, since "Anthem to Creation" (while in my opinion a fantastic album in the Symphony X meets Dream Theater style of progressive metal) didn't bring the band to the front pages of the newspapers nor did it create much more than a slight rumble around the prog community. So, when the band got a new drummer, new bassist, new vocalist and a new sound, this time based around the more modern sounds of Leprous, Opeth and Pain of Salvation, it might have been the right time to do so. The result is a really nice album, that have gotten a lot of listening time here with me, but also an album where I'm wondering if this is the defining style for the band, or if we're going to see yet another change in the coming years.

36. Black Star Riders - Heavy Fire
Thin Lizzy will always remain one of the most important bands in the formation of hard rock/metal - and for someone like me, raised in the 70's and 80's, they'll always be one of the most important bands in my musical upbringing. My uncle (the man who taught me to appreciate music) was a big Lizzy fan, and I took to the sounds of these Irish rockers as was it as important as air to breathe. I remember the many great hours spent listening to "Johnny the Fox", "Black Rose" and later on "Thunder and Lightning". Ahhh, those were the days! Thin Lizzy will always be synonymous with Phil Lynott, and rightly so - his voice, his bass playing, and his songwriting was obviously what made Lizzy what they were. However, one often overlooked part, was the guitar playing and song writing contributions of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson (although Robertson was in-and-out of the band over the last half of their career) , and let's not forget the fact that Mr. Gorham single-handedly has kept the legacy of Lizzy alive all these years later, with both the currently on/off active live band and now also with Black Star Riders, who 3 albums deep does their best impression of creating (not re-creating) Thin Lizzy styled tunes. "Heavy Fire" has so much to offer, and yes, it's obviously not unlike something that would have come from the pen of Mr. Lynott, yet it brings in a wonderful unimpressed / free from the weight-of-having-to-recreate-legacy attitude, that makes this one of the best hard rocking discs of the year. Songs like "Dancing with the Wrong Girl", "True Blue Kid", "Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed" or "Cold War Love" all bring that familiar sound to mind, and with the great vocals of Ricky Warwick in front (man, remembering how much I disliked that dude back in the early 90's when his band The Almighty was featured constantly on MTV's Headbangers Ball in Europe, makes it surprising how much I appreciate his performance on the BSR albums), and obviously Scott Gorham's passionate guitar playing, well-supported by guitarist Damon Johnson, the bass playing of Robbie Crane and drumming of Jimmy DeGrasso, all well-known figures from the last 30+ years of hard rock history, the Black Star Riders anno 2017 more than occasionally mimics the soundtrack of my childhood, and that's one of the greatest compliments I can give to any band.

35. Trivium - The Sin and the Sentence
After spending some quality time with the first two singles, "The Heart from Your Hate" and title track, "The Sin and the Sentence", I was very much looking forward to yet another album of melodic-Trivium (in lack of a better description). The previous couple of albums had seen the band abandon their original metal core sound for a way more melodic approach, and especially the complete lack of aggressive vocals on the last disc, "Silence in the Snow" (2015), hinted towards a band content at being more of a thrash/heavy metal band, than anything more extreme than that. However, with the third single, "Betrayer", it was evident that Matt Heafy's super aggressive "growls" (they actually have more in common with black metal vocals than death metal vocals) were back for real, as was the hints of metal core, but also something else … While this isn't a progressive metal album in the way that most people expect a progressive metal album to be, there's something in Heafy's songwriting that makes me want to call it "progressive". Here's a guy who's not content with just doing metal core, just doing heavy metal, just doing thrash metal, but also feel the need to add some black metal, some hardcore, some death metal, some groove and even some technical "prog" metal here and there. To be completely honest, some of it works brilliantly (and an album where everything worked like that would have been a top 10 contender), but some of it really feels forced and unnecessary. I'm all for bands experimenting, and if this leads to Heafy and band narrowing down or figuring out exactly what they want to do with their music, then I'm all behind them, and I'm sure the next disc will be even better.

34. A Sun Traverse - A Sun Traverse
There's a ton of promise in this little disc - while consisting of only 5 songs (25 minutes) of material, of which 2 are just instrumental parts, there's something "real" about the three songs on display here. This is doom/death done the right way - just like back in the day before Anathema, Paradise Lost, Katatonia etc. started moving towards the progressive and melodic side of things - this is heavy, dark, heavy, atmospheric, heavy and gloomy … oh, and did I mention that it's heavy, as in really heavy!?! Considering that this is a band made up of former Saturnus, Blazing Eternity, Thorium and Withering Surface members, it really doesn't come as a big surprise to anyone who knows their Scandinavian metal history, that this new constellation has all the parts to do this the right way. I'm super stoked about the quality at hand here, and I have no doubt that the full-length release (which hopefully will see the light of day in 2018) will be nothing short of a masterpiece within the doom/death genre.

33. Theory - The Art of Evil
This new Danish band, has created a really great debut album, that is way better than I had imagined. I don't count myself as a big fan of vocalist Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Section A, Evil Masquerade…), but I know there are people out there who think he is the best vocalist on the current Danish metal scene. Well, in honesty, Nicklas' performance on this album might have me joining the ranks of those singing his praise, as this is one heck of a vocal performance. It's right up there with the big guns in the melodic/progressive metal genre (think Russell Allen, Apollo Papathanasio, Mats Leven ...), and the music on this debut album isn't far behind. Yes, it might be inspired just a tiny bit too much by Symphony X and Beyond Twilight (to the point where I hear things that easily could have fitted in on one of those bands albums), but hey, it's a first effort, so let's cut them some slack. With the incredible guitar playing of Odin, the band has another ace up their sleeve - this might be a future guitar hero in the making. I didn't think a progressive metal album from Denmark would make my list this year, but Theory proved me wrong with their debut "The Art of Evil".

32. Kryptonite - Kryptonite
Named "Earth's Mightiest Band" by themselves (tongue-in-cheek obviously), Swedish Kryptonite is the perfect hold-over while The Poodles are taking a little break. This is happy-go-lucky hard rock with all the clichés being pulled out; no holds barred. Vocalist Jake Samuel is as always performing like a little energizer bunny - he sings like he means it when he claims that "this is the moment" where he is out there "chasing fire" or asking the "fallen angels" to prevent him from making the same mistake twice. Yes, it's not rocket science here, and perhaps Kryptonite aren't really the mightiest of all bands, but for certain they are a very entertaining one.

31. Damnations Day - A World Awakens
What would happen if Evergrey actually dared to write more progressive songs? They would probably sound somewhat similar to what Damnations Day does on their sophomore effort if you asked me … This Australian band definitely has an Evergrey vibe, but where the Swedish band suffer from having written only one or two good songs and repeated those over their entire career, not to mention a mediocre vocalist, Damnations Day are blessed with an incredible vocalist in Mark Kennedy and a songwriting that also picks some of the best parts from such bands as Circus Maximus or Fates Warning. "A World Awakens" suffer, in my opinion, from only two issues; it's too short, and it stays too much in mid-tempo. If they continue evolving as much as they have between their first 2 albums, their third disc is going to be a monster!

30. Ayreon - The Source
Mr. Lucassen has once again assembled a cast of some of the very best power/progressive metal vocalists, a bunch of fantastic musicians, and created another hour and a half of superb music. Yes, this sounds like Ayreon, and thank God (or any deity of your choosing) for that. I for one do not need my Ayreon albums to sound like Animals as Leaders, Ghost, Disturbed or whoever the flavor of the day might be - I'm perfectly happy with this sounding like we've been accustomed to for the last 2 decades. Besides the "usual suspects" like LaBrie, Karevik, Simons, Allen, Janssen and Kursch, "The Source" also introduces the Ayreon universe to another few new singers, such as Tobias from Edguy/Avantasia, Nils from Pagan's Mind, Michael from Circus Maximus and Tommy from BTBAM - and I am happy to report that all of them fits perfectly in here. With such a cast, and with some of the very best songs Arjen Lucassen has written in forever, "The Source" ranks right up there as the best Ayreon disc since 2004's "The human Equation", which is quite an accomplishment.

29. Heaven & Earth - Hard to Kill
Classic rock from the Purple/Rainbow/Free school of hard rock, with plenty of blues influences. Band leader, guitarist Stuart Smith, is a monster - his soulful playing mimics that of a young Ritchie Blackmore, and that's truly impressive (and almost impossible). With the powerhouse vocals of Joe Retta in front, and the hard-hitting drums of Kenny Aranoff laying down the beat, "Hard to Kill" is one of those albums that, while being largely ignored in 2017, would have been considered an all-time classic we'd still be referencing had it come out in the late 70's.

28. One Desire - One Desire
I didn't expect a new hard rock / AOR band to come from out of left field and find their way this high onto my list, but that's exactly what happened with One Desire. But, from the release of the first single "Hurt" the expectations for something great were set, and luckily this debut didn't disappoint. This is ultra-melodic hard rock / AOR which wouldn't have been out of place in the late 80's on a White Lion, Fate, Talisman, Danger Danger or perhaps even on an FM or Night Ranger album. There's a nice understanding and appreciation of the old classic pop-metal sound (!) from back then, and also a straight line to the hard rock of today (think the Scandinavian school of Brother Firetribe, Eclipse, H.E.A.T. etc.). This band has a vocalist, Andre Linman (ex-Sturm Und Drang), who'd fit right in with the big singers from the 80's, think Joe Elliot, Mike Tramp, Jeff Scott Soto, Ronnie Atkins, Robin McAuley and those kind of guys - and as long as the band keeps him around, and continue writing songs as good as "Hurt", "Apologize", "Whenever I'm Dreaming" and "This Is Where the Heart Break Begins", One Desire are a more than welcome addition to the hard rock / AOR scene and a band to watch out for in the years to come.

27. Threshold - Legends of the Shires
I've been fortunate enough to watch British progressive metal band Threshold in concert more times than I can count - in fact, I've seen them in 6 different countries over the last 20+ years, and they've always delivered an unforgettable experience, not something you can claim about most progressive metal bands, who have a tendency to be very instrumentally focused and not care too much about the audience. Of course, Threshold has also been extremely lucky in having such incredible front men as Damien Wilson and Mac, that both were superb showmen. However, the very first time I saw Threshold live was with Glynn Morgan in front. This was all the way back to 1995 in a tiny club in Copenhagen, Denmark when they were on tour with Psychotic Waltz. The album they were out supporting at that time was their second album, "Psychedelicatessen", which was their only album to feature Glynn on lead vocals … well, that is until now. Threshold blew my socks off at that show back in 1995, and from that day on I've counted myself as a fan. Years went by, and singers, (only two actually), came and went, and when Damien left Threshold for the third time in 2015, it paved the way for a return of Glynn Morgan - 21 years older and wiser than last time he was there. On what is now studio effort #11 for the band, Threshold has chosen to deliver their first double album, which is a huge risk for a band who twenty years down the road is still struggling to get the recognition they truly deserve - and unfortunately, I feel like the risk didn't pay off. As much as I adore the Threshold sound, a full 83 minutes is commercial suicide and even from a fan boy POV a bit too much. It's really hard to get totally "into" and acquainted with every single song on this album, and while there aren't any of the 14 tunes that seem unnecessary, it just ends up being a very difficult album to digest, which isn't what you'd want or expect from a band trying to break through to a larger audience. Perhaps the guys are happy enough where they are and I'm reading too much into things, and perhaps I should just focus on how awesome it is to hear Glynn front the band again - after all, this album is classic Threshold through-and-through - even if it's a bit longer of a listen than we're used to.

26. Paradise Lost - Medusa
Paradise Lost is a conundrum of sorts - the fact that they were one of the main inventors of the Death Doom Metal genre (alongside their other two country-fellows in the so-called "Peaceville Three", My Dying Bride and Anathema), yet at the same time has changed their sound multiple times over the years in far less inventive ways, is really confusing. In the perfect world, a band with such a clear vision as Paradise Lost back in the day (I remember first time I heard the "Lost Paradise" album and was blown away by the originality), should always continue to move forward as a leader, not a follower. Yet over the years Paradise Lost have gone in such different directions as to sounding like a doomier Metallica ("Icon" and "Draconian Times" albums), to a metal version of Depeche Mode ("One Second", "Host"), back to their doom/death past ("Tragic Idol", "The Plague Within") and on their 2017 album "Medusa" combining the best of what the band originally was known for with a Type O Negative vibe that I swear is so copied down that I could feel Pete Steele come back to life to join Nick Holmes on the vocals here. That little complaint aside (and it is actually only a tiny complaint because I do love me some Type O), "Medusa" is a superb disc that should easily appeal to long-term Paradise Lost fans.

25. Overkill - The Grinding Wheel
I've been an Overkill fan since 1987, and as such have witnessed the band delivering amazing albums, great albums, and also a few turds in between. I never liked the albums from 1999 through 2007 much, however, anything before and after that is Top A class thrash and deserves to be respected. With "The Grinding Wheel" in place, Overkill is now 19 studio albums deep into their career - if that's not impressive, I don't know what is! Once again, the band delivers fast paced heavy metal with great thrash metal attitude, pumping basslines from DD Verni, and of course Blitz' one-of-a-kind vocals on top. There are no surprises here, and perhaps some of the songs won't be counted among the strongest of their efforts once the (New) Jersey Boys decide to call it a day, but it's still heads, shoulders and a bat-skull, above most other thrash releases out there in 2017.

24. The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic
With all these retro bands picking up on the hard rock of the 70's and giving it a somewhat modern spin, yet staying true to the sound and song writing style of back-when, it's refreshing to find a band that doesn't necessarily lean heavy on such bands as Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or Uriah Heep - because, in spite of loving plenty of those (this year alone two of those kind of bands made it to my top 10) it's surprisingly unique to find a band that uses one of the more "ridiculed by metal fans" 70's genre (classic rock/AOR) and make that the basis for their sound - and perhaps even more surprising to see how they now are enjoying somewhat great success with it. The Night Flight Orchestra has, despite sounding like a proud little brother of such bands as Toto, Survivor, Journey, Styx, Boston or Foreigner, something that allows them to cross-over to the metal audience, or should I say "someone"; the reason that they manage to appeal to people who otherwise wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole is vocalist Bjorn Strid, who most recognizes as the front man for melo-death band Soilwork. His fan base is licking this up as was it spilled milk in front of a litter of kittens - and good for them. To me, his voice is actually the only downfall about this band, and I would have enjoyed it much more had they had a better/different vocalist.

23. Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos
Grace Slick and Jefferson's Airplane are back with yet another dose of psychedelic rock … oh wait, wrong time period! Well, to be honest, you've got to forgive me my oversight, as the third full length by the Swedish doom/psychedelic metal band Avatarium bears more than a slight resemblance to the 60's/70's psychedelic West Coast rockers. Originally formed by Candlemass main man Leif Edling, (who apparently still participates in the song writing), Avatarium obviously has traces of doom in their music, but with this 3rd full length the band has definitely taken on a more bluesy feel, that in most places work brilliantly, but unfortunately also becomes a bit contrived. The shining stars here are the wonderful Grace Slick meets Ann Wilson voice of Jennie-Ann Smith and the awesome guitar playing of Marcus Jidell - without these ingredients I'm not sure I'd appreciate "Hurricanes and Halos" as much. While not touching on the class of the first two albums ("The Girl with the Raven Eyes" making it to my #2 of 2015 and the debut landing on spot #5 in 2013), the third Avatarium disc is still an interesting one, and perhaps the slight change in direction might be what helps keep them unique.

22. Europe - Walk the Earth
Europe is unfairly being judged upon their 80's sound - for many music listeners, Europe are the band that did "The Final Countdown" and as one of the most polarizing songs of the 80's, that has been a stigma for this band ever since. However, the resurrection of Europe in the early/mid 2000's after a 10-year hiatus, has seen the rise of a band with a completely different musical onset; a band who should be judged upon the quality of the songs they write today and not what they did 30+ years ago. Musically, todays Europe has more in common with such mighty fine hard rock bands as Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake and Led Zeppelin, than the hair metal scene - and as such, "Walk the Earth" is a very fine example of just how awesome that classic hard rock sound can be when done right.

21. Mother of Millions - Sigma
This is a very late arrival, and perhaps with more time this disc it would end up even higher on the list. Mother of Millions is a Greek prog rock / metal band, with a dark and moody sound, not unlike bands such as Tool, Kingcrow or even like a metal version of Radiohead. I've seen the band compared to Caligula's Horse, but since I don't like that band at all, I obviously don't see the comparison. Main draw here is the vocalist George Prokopiou, who puts in an amazing performance, reminding me a lot of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) with his passionate delivery. George is of course also known as the singer for the band Poem (whose "Skein Syndrome" is one of the best prog albums in recent years). My only negative comment about "Sigma" would be that there are too many interludes / semi-instrumental parts (4 of the songs are like that, and that's basically 15 minutes of the album that's wasted on interludes).

20. Below - Upon a Pale Horse
2017 has been a great year for doom metal - and as a big fan of the genre I have absolutely nothing to complain about in terms of the abundance of quality outputs. Below's "Upon a Pale Horse" is one of the very best of 2017, and an album that should appeal to the fans of classic doom (think Candlemass, Memento Mori and the Tony Martin-era of Black Sabbath), the fans of progressive/power metal (Tad Morose, Heads or Tales, Morgana Lefay) and fans of more classic heavy metal (Iron Maiden, King Diamond). Fronted by the incredibly underrated Zeb (Sebastian Jansson - also known from Malison Rogue), who sings like a young Bruce Dickinson here, Below is right up there with the best of the best in the genre!

19. Sons of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony
There's a lot of Mike Portnoy bashing going on around the mighty inter-webs these days, and while I can understand some of it (sure, the dude has an ego that even the Green Hulk can't match), I do find it ridiculous to judge his output based on a personal opinion about the guy. There's no denying the impact Mike's had on progressive metal as a genre, and there's no way people can claim he is not one of the best drummers in the genre. So, with that said, let's judge Sons of Apollo for what it is - a project put together by Mike with the hope that it eventually can evolve into a fully-fledged band that will become the main priority for all involved. Joining Mike here are guitarist Bumblefoot (G'n'R), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) and my absolute favorite vocalist of all-time Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Malmsteen, Talisman). All together, these guys have appeared on more than a hundred albums, and it shows here. The song writing is top notch (just listen to the impressive 11-minute opener "God of the Sun"), the performances are stellar, and production is spotless. Is it album of the year material? No, not at all - but less can do it. This is great progressive metal with hints of classic hard rock, the occasional prog-rock input, and it's full of enough Dream Theater antics to keep the old guard of Portnoy-fans happy. The MP-bashers can go suck themselves dry for all I care.

18. Sorcerer - The Crowning of the Fire King
I love how this album seem to be working at bringing in certain people from the power and progressive metal circuits, who swore off doom metal years ago - those people who always have claimed that doom metal as a genre was as exciting as watching paint dry are now slowly (!) being dragged towards the dark side - and I'm already there waiting to say, "I told you so"! With their latest release, long-standing Swedish doom band Sorcerer has managed to create an album with more melody, more guitar-noodling, more epicness, more vocal harmonies and more "(Candle)mass-appeal" than any other doom album in recent years. Anders Engberg is a killer vocalist (yeah, we've known that since Twilight's "Eye for an Eye" album in '94), and here he delivers what might be the best performance of his life. The entire album is great, and it's difficult to highlight one song over the others, but perhaps the tune "Ship of Doom" best sums up what this disc is all about.

17. Galneryus - Ultimate Sacrifice
The highest ranked pure power metal album on this year's list comes from Japan - the long running band Galneryus released their 11th album in 2017, and yet, this band is criminally underrated, underappreciated and mostly unknown outside of their home country. And what a shame, as Galneryus is not only one of the very best Japanese metal bands, but also one of the very best power metal acts in the World if you ask me. Musically they're moving around in the territory of early Angra, mid-period Stratovarius, Rhapsody, Majestic / Time Requiem, Helloween, Malmsteen, Symphony X and tiny bit of Dream Theater prog thrown in for good measure. The melodies here are huge, and the performance from all band members are over-the-top. If you have even the slightest interest in power metal, then please do yourself a favor and check out this disc.

16. Communic - Where Echoes Gather
The Norwegian trio of Oddleif, Erik and Tor Atle, are back with their 5th album, which in many ways picks up where they left off after their sophomore effort, the masterpiece "Waves of Visual Decay" in 2006. While the two releases in between weren't really bad, they just never had the impact of the first two albums, however with "Where Echoes Gather" the band is firing on all cylinders again. Yes, Communic still sits comfortably between bands such as Sanctuary, Nevermore, Candlemass, Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz, and Oddleif still sounds like the long-lost child of Warrel Dane. There are no surprises here as to what we're going to get; this is riff-based, heavy as a ton-ton hammer, technically prolific metal - and it's all I had hoped to hear from these guys.

15. Ten - Gothica
I love the songwriting of Gary Hughes; he is one of those songwriters that you instantly recognize. Add to that the fact that he is a wonderful vocalist as well, and you've got yourself a recipe for success. 13 studio albums into their career, Ten is still going strong, and while "Gothica" isn't quite in the same league as any of the first 5 albums, it's still quite an impressive melodic hard rock album. I've seen people complain about the album being a tad too dark, but besides the lyrics having a conceptual leaning towards a darker (goth) theme, I don't hear any musical difference from the other Ten albums. From great hard rocking tunes to superb ballads, everything I want from a Gary Hughes disc is here.

14. The Doomsday Kingdom - The Doomsday Kingdom
Leif Edling can do no wrong - yet another of his projects is pure gold. I love the Abstrakt Algebra disc, all the Krux albums, the Avatarium ones and obviously Candlemass. It's incredible that over a 30+ year career, there hasn't been one truly bad album in the bunch. Sure, I've never been in love with the 2 end-90's Candlemass albums ("Dactylis…" and "From the 13th Sun"), but they weren't bad as per se, just different from what I expected. Now, with The Doomsday Kingdom, Leif has launched yet another side project; melodic doom metal fused with classic metal and with a little bit of power metal injected to keep it "fresh" and also to distinguish it from his other bands. At first, I wasn't sure how vocalist Niklas Stålvind (Wolf) would fit in the sound of this, but he does a really magnificent job, as does the entire band actually (Marcus Jidell (Avatarium, Soen) on guitars, Andreas Johansson (Narnia) on drums) - this honestly doesn't sound like a "project" or "solo album" in any way - this is a great album of big melodies and of course. DOOM! Recommended highly for fans of Candlemass (!), Black Sabbath's Dio/Tony Martin periods, early 80's Judas Priest - or, like me, are just a huge Leif Edling fan boy.

13. Witherfall - Nocturnes and Requiems
While a 45-minute album these days almost feel like an EP and by most standards is too short to pass for a full-length album, there's still a lot to be said for what can be accomplished in only three-quarters of an hour, if you're such great songwriters and musicians as the guys in Witherfall. All 4 musicians are talented beyond belief, and it's truly sad that drummer Adam Sagan (Into Eternity) passed away before the album was released. Guitarist Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth) is a beast - think Malmsteen meets Romeo meets LaRoque and you kind of get the idea - and vocalist Joseph Michael fits the music perfectly (note: he has been picked as the vocalist for the upcoming Sanctuary tour - replacing Warrel Dane is a high honor for sure). We are talking about some classic heavy "prog" metal, that sits somewhere between King Diamond, Symphony X, Nevermore and Crimson Glory! If that's not going to sound awesome, then I don't know what will... I'm thrilled to see that the band has now been picked up by Century Media, and hopefully the next album (okay, yeah, please provide us with at least an hour's worth of material) will be even better than this splendid debut.

12. Cradle of Filth - Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay
It's interesting to think that the biggest melodies of the entire year are coming from a band once considered "black metal" - in fact, the amount of melodies spread out across this 66(6)-minute-long album, easily matches up with the amount of great melodies found in all other extreme metal albums released all year! Okay, I'm exaggerating in order to make a point; but to be honest, I'm blown away by how incredibly melodic and wonderful this disc is. I probably shouldn't be shocked, as I've been a CoF fan since the very beginning, and followed them disc by disc over the years, witnessed them in concert multiple times, and heck, even had an unforgettable and intense drinking session with the original line-up back in the day. Now, that said, years have gone by, and just as the line-up has changed more times than vocalist Dani Filth likely has changed his underwear, so has the music undergone quite a transformation; originally starting out as the British counterpart to the early 90's Scandinavian dominated black metal scene, quickly evolving into an overly symphonic band, adding both thrash metal, death metal and lots of gothic rock to their sound, and especially also a sense of melody that rivals the best from the NWOBHM scene - Cradle of Filth has come in to their own with what is best referred to as extreme gothic romanticism (whatever that implies). Album #12, "Cryptoriana", is one of the very best CoF albums ever, full of superb melodies, all the classic trademarks of the band, and hints at heavy metal giants such as Maiden and King Diamond, thrash metal legends such as Sabbat and Annihilator (the cover of "Alison Hell" is phenomenal), and plenty of extreme metal to satisfy even the most hard-core raccoon, sorry, corpse paint wearing black metal fan.

11. Ne Obliviscaris - Urn
This album took more spins than any other album this year for me to be able to decide if I liked it or hated it. I have no idea why, to be honest, as all the ingredients to what I like are included here; technical metal with use of elements from prog/djent/death/black, superb skills of all involved musicians, great atmospheric parts intertwined with fast and heavy stuff, cool mixture of growls and clean vocals (by the way, am I the only one who find that the clean vocals of Tim Charles are a dead-ringer for Ted Leonard from Enchant/Spock's Beard?) and of course the inclusion of a violin as one of the lead instruments (!!!) - heck yeah! But something about "Urn" just wasn't clicking with me - perhaps it's the fact that it's not as immediate as their previous album "Citadel"? Or, perhaps it's the fact that I too am guilty of any music fan' biggest error, which is that any highly hyped album will consequently be met with raised eyebrows and a healthy dose of "nah, it can't be as good as they all claim" skepticism? Luckily, I made myself spend the appropriate time with "Urn" and eventually it clicked. Whether you'll find something to like in "Urn", comes down to whether you're willing to spend the time this album deserves or not.

10. Attic - Sanctimonius
There really isn't much to say about this album, except that it's the best King Diamond album since "The Puppet Master", and that's 14 years ago now … Oh, and this isn't even "the real deal", it's just a German band who apparently adore Mr.Bendix as much as any loyal servant loves his one and only true king.

9. Subterranean Masquerade - Vagabond
"Vagabond" is the World Music album of the year! A superb mix of middle eastern folk music, progressive 70's rock, Indian folk music, avant-garde metal, psychedelica, doom metal, a gothic atmosphere, hints of jazz and a solid slab of melodic death metal. Sure, we could easily just label it "progressive metal", but since that word signifies a genre which isn't truly progressive any longer, I'd rather refer to this as World Music. Lead by songwriter and guitar player Tomer Pink, this international band has something up their sleeve (or hidden in their traditional kurta). A very well produced album, filled with great melodies, amazing guitar playing, cool rhythm section (drummer Matan used to play in Orphaned Land) and of course the incredible vocals by Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation). I've spent countless hours with this album, and every single spin opens up new things that I didn't hear before. It's not easy listening, but it's worth the investment of time to really indulge yourself in the great bazaar where these Israeli and Norwegian guys hang out.

8. Persefone - Aathma
Persefone is the future of modern prog/death metal - easily combining the skills of a Dream Theater or Symphony X with the classic death metal sounds of Cynic or Atheist, adding the emotional connection from Katatonia or Riverside, or even the core/modern-metal outbursts of a Gojira or Between the Buried & Me. Now 5 albums into their career, Andorra's #1 (and probably only) metal band deliver their masterpiece "Aathma" (no, it's not a concept album about asthma), that combines everything that this band is about - it's technically over-the-top, yet surprisingly accessible and melodic. With each album, and subsequent tour, they've gained more and more fans, and when you can write songs as good as those on "Aathma" it's obviously well deserved. I'm proud of the guys in the band, and it has been an amazing journey seeing them build the band up from the debut album to where they are today, and while no longer working with (after 10+ years of being their manager), I can't wait to see where they'll go next.

7. Horisont - About Time
I do like me some good retro-metal that brings back those fond memories of the 70's prog rock (Kansas, Yes, Rush), some solid song writing (like Thin Lizzy or Deep Purple) and a nice slab of metal riffing (old Maiden is always a winner), and Horisont fulfills all of those points. It's not original in any way, but it is so well done and so incredibly melodic that this might actually have been the album I've listened to the most in 2017. It has something for every time of day, time of year, or mood.

6. Soen - Lykaia
I really liked the first two Soen albums, which is quite an achievement considering their obvious Tool influences (and I don't care much for Tool to be honest), but "Lykaia" is a true home run for me. I've seen reviews stating that this is more of an Opeth-tinged sound that Soen has opted for this time around (given drummer/main-man Martin Lopez' past with that band, perhaps not too surprising), but that's not one of my favorite bands either, so again it's surprising how much Soen actually appeal to my taste then. To be honest, I hear more of a Katatonia influence ... Oh well, Tool/Opeth influences or not, "Lykaia" is a more-than-great album, with an incredible production courtesy of guitarist Marcus Jidell (yes, this is the 3rd album in my top 25 this year with his brilliant guitar playing on it), and I'm super stoked to see where the band heads next.

5. Hällas - Excerpts from a Future Past
Years ago, my favorite thing to do was the weekly trip to town to go browse the record stores for new releases. In this day and age however, the same action of shopping for new music is mostly limited to Friday mornings checking out the iTunes store. Once in a while a cover or an album title looks appealing and I'll give it a listen, and on one such occasion I stumbled upon a band called Hällas. This young Swedish band sounds like no one else - sure, it has a definite retro-sound (think bands like Graveyard, Ghost, Witchcraft), it has an authentic flair for 70's prog/pomp (think Rush, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Hawkwind …) and it has that warm Swedish sound that permeates multiple releases from Abba to Hammerfall, from Tiamat to Ace of Base … but the end result is something truly unique. Fronted by the strangest vocal performance I've heard in years (honestly, I can't tell if this guy is a singing genius or a horrible vocalist), Hällas is the future of retro-metal, no matter how much of an enigma that might look like on paper - "Excepts from a Future Past" is an album the like of which you won't find anywhere else, and for that this young band should be applauded.

4. Hallatar - No Stars Upon the Bridge
Undoubtedly the most emotionally heavy album of the year- if not longer. It's one of those albums that will sit with you forever, that will make you think and feel emotions you'd probably prefer to be without, and most likely make you want to cry and curl up in a dark room feeling sad and miserable. At the same time, this is also an incredibly uplifting (!) album, as it truly is a love declaration of proportions. Hallatar is guitarist/song-writer Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) pouring his heart out to mourn the loss of his soulmate, Aleah Liane Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity), who died from cancer in 2016. To assist Juha in this deeply personal journey, we find drummer Gas (ex-Him) and vocalist Tomi (Amorphis), both delivering their absolute best performance ever. Musically we're talking about dark, slow and sinister doom metal - obviously considering the subject at hand this makes perfect sense, but also lies perfectly in line with where Juha have gone in the past with both Swallow the Sun and Trees of Eternity, although Hallatar is even darker, even heavier and even more impressive than any of the aforementioned. This is one of those albums that takes a lot of effort to listen to, due to its heavy nature, but also one that is so much more rewarding on an emotional scale than most other albums you'll ever come across.

3. Kreator - Gods of Violence
It was 1986 and a friend of mine played me the "Flag of Hate" EP by this German speed metal band called Kreator (yeah, we didn't call it thrash then, it was all just speed metal), and there was something unique about it. The following year I had all their releases in my collection (by end of 1987 that included not just the aforementioned EP but also the 3 full length albums "Endless Pain", "Pleasure to Kill" and "Terrible Certainty") a handful of patches sown onto my jeans and my leather jacket, and posters all over my walls. To say that Kreator had come to stay in my musical life was an understatement. Throughout the years I've always followed their career, but the special feeling those first couple of albums left me with has been unmatched … that is, until 2017 when Mille, Ventor and their new lead guitarist and bass player (let me rephrase that, those two "new" guys have been in the band for 16 and 23 years respectively) created a pure masterpiece of speed metal. There is just as much melody as there's aggression on "Gods of Violence", and while it unmistakably smells, sound and feel like Kreator, it's also a more mature and well-rounded outfit. No, I won't be wearing patched-up jeans and leather jackets anytime soon, but I am going to be playing this louder than any ENT would approve of … and I might be bobbing my head a bit in silent acknowledgement of how great this album is.

2. Jono - Life
In a year without a Leprous album out, this would easily have been #1 of the year. However, unfortunately for Jono, Leprous snagged the top spot, leaving runner-up to this Swedish ensemble based around vocalist Johan Norrby. For those not familiar with the band, and only judging by the record label (Frontiers), this is not your typical AOR album - instead this is over-the-top pomp-rock, leaning not only on the legacy of bands such as Queen or The Sparks, but also adding excerpts of Meat Loaf, Supertramp and even the extravagant rock-operas of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lead by Johan's amazing voice, Jono manages to create a sound that I haven't heard from any other bands in recent years. The closest comparison (besides those dinosaurs already mentioned) would be A.C.T., Moahni Moahna or the now defunct Danish band Barock. As you can imagine, this album really is a beast on its own - it's huge, it's cheesy, it's massive, and it's absolutely incredible.

1. Leprous - Malina
There are plenty of reasons why I shouldn't like this album, all of them personal and business related, but at the end of the day "Malina" still stands head and shoulders above everything else released in 2017!

There you have it. Thanks for reading this far.
Last edited by introclaus on Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Mardoch » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:21 am

A) you win the award for bands I'm not familiar with in your list and B) I guess I should probably cobble mine together....

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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Chris R » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:40 am

Waykuul list....

1.looked at my list and forgot to include Nightlight Orchestra (I remember posting about them and save for one or w people was greeted with crickets)

2.Malina is easily my favorite Lepros disk.
Especially the song Mirage...which gets an automatic 10 replays when I hit that one..

Great list,you always pull things I've never heard of that I go back and check out.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Guillaume » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:11 pm

Nice list! I should do mine too... I'd say we share many.

But, to write that Tom Englund is a mediocre vocalist is quite weird... And not true.. Also, that Evergrey did only a couple good songs and repeated them all over their career? Wow... Is there a little beef between you and the band? Seems so... If not, well, let's agree to disagree. BTW, I quite like the Damnations Day album too, but never thought of Evergrey while playing the album. And, the singer is excellent indeed, but I'll take Englund over him. :twisted:

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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:12 pm

Guillaume wrote:Nice list! I should do mine too... I'd say we share many.

Thanks - looking forward to seeing your list.

Guillaume wrote:But, to write that Tom Englund is a mediocre vocalist is quite weird... And not true.. Also, that Evergrey did only a couple good songs and repeated them all over their career? Wow... Is there a little beef between you and the band? Seems so... If not, well, let's agree to disagree. BTW, I quite like the Damnations Day album too, but never thought of Evergrey while playing the album. And, the singer is excellent indeed, but I'll take Englund over him. :twisted:

keep in mind that all music is based on personal opinions. I remember you and I disagreeing on a Feinstein album 13 years ago, where you felt John West was awesome, and I felt it was his worst performance. Obviously we can't agree on everything :) If you feel that Tom is a great singer, then good for you. If I disagree, then that should be fine as well...
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Hearing Aid Man » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:51 pm

Not to open the flood gates, but I never got into Evergrey because of their vocalist. Also, being selected as the new Redemption was mind boggling IMO.

Enjoyed the detailed list!

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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby ToddS » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:41 pm

Wow monster post Claus! Much to go through here. Thanks for posting.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:45 pm

Hearing Aid Man wrote:Enjoyed the detailed list!

Awesome - glad you enjoyed it!!!
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:47 pm

ToddS wrote:Wow monster post Claus! Much to go through here. Thanks for posting.

Yeah it did turn out quite “monstrous” - I guess I should have started earlier in the year writing down my thoughts lol :)

Hope y’all will find something interesting in there - if it just makes one person find a new album to like then it was worth the time spent writing it.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Harvester » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:14 am

Remember the Robert Frost poem? "Two roads diverged in a wood..." That describes the musical preferences of Claus & I. I just cannot follow him down the gloom/doom and classic/retro path. If he mentions those words, then fuck that stuff. I'm out without even listening. That said, there are a few here that I missed that need further investigation.

*Theory sounded pretty damn great to me. Loved the riffing and the vocals were fine to me, especially in the chorus. Must hear more.

*I was surprised with the SikTh. I dismissed it expecting more core shit. I can handle this.

*If Vintersorg ever sings in English, sign me up. My racist language ways will persist for now.

*Ten should call themselves Four now cause they aren't anywhere near as good as they used to be.

*I will say that the Sons of Apollo disc is climbing the ladder for me even more since I went back to it. I always liked it, but really enjoying it lately.

*I started to listen to the Hallatar based on your excellent words without finishing reading it. Doom riffing hits..fuck.

More thoughts later.

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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:25 am

*Ten should call themselves Four now cause they aren't anywhere near as good as they used to be.

Gothica is much better; they could be an Eight instead of Ten on this one.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:30 pm

Chris R wrote:1.looked at my list and forgot to include Nightlight Orchestra (I remember posting about them and save for one or w people was greeted with crickets)

Yeah, I remember you were one of those mentioning it back when it was released. My problem with that disc is that I think Strid is a pretty mediocre singer as best ... just don't get the love.
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby introclaus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:35 pm

Harvester wrote:Remember the Robert Frost poem? "Two roads diverged in a wood..." That describes the musical preferences of Claus & I. I just cannot follow him down the gloom/doom and classic/retro path. If he mentions those words, then fuck that stuff. I'm out without even listening. That said, there are a few here that I missed that need further investigation.

LOL - that's how I feel every time you talk about some instrumental band - I just can't deal with that.

Harvester wrote:*Theory sounded pretty damn great to me. Loved the riffing and the vocals were fine to me, especially in the chorus. Must hear more.

Yes, I would imagine you digging this one - lots of SX to it.

Harvester wrote:*I was surprised with the SikTh. I dismissed it expecting more core shit. I can handle this.

Yup, you like some djenty stuff, so this one should work for you.

Harvester wrote:*If Vintersorg ever sings in English, sign me up. My racist language ways will persist for now.

Hah!!! I guess that's why you hate me ... my poor command of the English language.

Harvester wrote:*Ten should call themselves Four now cause they aren't anywhere near as good as they used to be.

Nice one! Don't agree obviously, but I lol'ed

Harvester wrote:*I will say that the Sons of Apollo disc is climbing the ladder for me even more since I went back to it. I always liked it, but really enjoying it lately.


Harvester wrote:*I started to listen to the Hallatar based on your excellent words without finishing reading it. Doom riffing hits..fuck.

Such an incredibly emotional disc, and considering you like Amorphis, at least give this one a solid shot, as Tomi has never sounded better.

Harvester wrote:More thoughts later.

Looking forward to that - I would imagine that Below (although having the "doom" label) would appeal to you, since you seem to like the Sorcerer disc, and obviously Trial (swe) should hit home with what's left of your old-school-prog-metal heart ;)
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Re: My Top 50 of 2017

Postby Mardoch » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:03 pm

introclaus wrote:
Chris R wrote:1.looked at my list and forgot to include Nightlight Orchestra (I remember posting about them and save for one or w people was greeted with crickets)

Yeah, I remember you were one of those mentioning it back when it was released. My problem with that disc is that I think Strid is a pretty mediocre singer as best ... just don't get the love.

Wow, talk about different strokes. Strid is one of my favorite vocalists ever. Never heard him sound bad.

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