A lot of music writers publish a list of their favourite releases at the end of every year. It can be stressful constructing a comprehensive list. But, apparently, I’m a fucking masochist in that regard. Because I make four lengthy lists every year.
I do that because Six Noises features punk, metal, experimental, and New Zealand music. That's a lot of ground to cover, and I genuinely want to share great music from all of those spheres. But, just to make things difficult, I'm also terrible at making cut-throat decisions.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I could list all the albums from 2017 that I didn't like easy enough. But making a definitive list of the releases that I did like means I have to cast aside a mountain of worthy challengers. (And honestly, choosing this or that release over another often comes down to some fairly capricious decision-making at the best of times.)
This year, I decided I'm not going to leave those worthy challengers dying in the dirt. Instead, I've gathered 'em all up, and I'm handing them over to you.
None of the releases below made my final end of year list in 2017. But they're all definitely entertaining. And who knows, maybe you'll discover your favourite release from this year amongst the horde.
Here’s a bunch of neck-wrecking metal from 2017 to dig into. And keep an eye out for my final end of year metal list, which will be published in early December.
King Woman:Created in the Image of Suffering
"A profoundly crafted opus of brooding, ethereal doom-rock."
Skyeater: The Maw of Time
Stunning transcendent/atmospheric black metal from Californian quartet.
Hellripper: Coagulating Darkness
Rip-rip-rip-roaring metalpunk from one-man Scottish band.
Trenchgrinder: Peace Is Forfeit
Bludgeoning death metal + battle-hardened crustcore = wonderfully violent noise.
Jordablod: Upon My Cremation Pyre
"May my deathly Mother dance upon my cremation pyre..."
Cloak: To Venomous Depths
"Perfect amalgam of Nordic black metal with catchy hooks and melodic rock."
Havukruunu: Kelle Surut Soi
Ice-cold, epic black metal from folk-fuelled Finnish band.
Aseethe: Hopes of Failure
Crushing, droning doom with a mystic feel and mammoth-sized riffs.
Faceless Entity: In Via Ad Nusquam
Lo-fi and red-raw black metal: heavy on the nerve-shredding vibes.
Expulsion: Nightmare Future
"Combines grind, punk and crust into a caustic musical vomit guaranteed to stack the corpses high."
Striborg: A Procession of Lost Souls
Lo-fi Tasmanian black metaller returns with more bone-chilling backwoods thrills.
Falls of Rauros: Vigilance Perrential
Bewitching fourth LP from folk/black metal ensemble.
"Intense, murky, and claustrophobic" noise from abrasive death metal band.
Another beautiful/masterful/imaginative release from Icelandic band.
"Frenzied and disorienting black metal, frantically striving for nihility."
Coltsblood: Ascending into Shimmering Darkness
"Ungodly concoction of painful, crawling doom and tar-black sludge."
Much-anticapted full-length debut from "filthy 'n' furious" death/black horde.
Eighth album of mind-expanding sludge and pyschedelic post-metal from Italian trio.
Impetuous Ritual: Blight upon Martyred Sentience
"Vortex-like death metal chaos ... abstract, cavernous ... otherworldly."
Ascended Dead: Abhorrent Manifestation
"That foul stench they ooze from every pore is their true nature."
Malefic Levitation: The Ancient Plague
"Levitating black/death madness from the bowels of hades."
Crust-caked atmospheric black metal from one-man Swedish band.
Bell Witch: Mirror Reaper
"An immersive, enveloping, cinematic piece of work ... ranging from crushing heaviness to spacious, minimal beauty."
Skáphe: Untitled EP
Deranged, dissonant, and psychedelic black metal from acclaimed duo.
Sinmara: Within the Weaves of Infinity
Bitter and orthodox black metal from Icelandic five-piece.
Voidsphere: To Call | To Speak
"Voidsphere is worship of the void. It is that, and only that."
Necroblood: Collapse of the Human Race
"A diseased & disgusting fist in the face of all that is pure and pristine."
Throane: Plus une Main à Mordre
"Ultra-modern meditations crisply rendering the esoteric as familiar and the everyday as phantasmagoria."
Elder: Reflections of a Floating World
Dazzling heavyweight psych/prog/doom/rock from Boston band.
The Great Old Ones: EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy
Lovecraftian terrorscapes from imaginative French post-black metal band.
Weregoat: Pestilential Rites of Infernal Fornication
Inflammatory black/death 'n' filth/fury from Portland, Oregon trio.
Acid Witch: Evil Sound Screamers
"A heady (and headfucking) brew of gutted doom-death riffage and spooky synth embellishments."
Spirit Adrift: Curse of Conception
Richly rewarding and deserved critical darling of 2017.Memoriam: For the Fallen
OG ten-tonne meat and potatoes death metal done right.Beastmaker: Inside the Skull
Magnificent second album from Fresno, California doom trio. Overkill: The Grinding Wheel and Kreator: Gods of Violence
Powerful, punchy and invigorated releases from veteran thrashers.