Best Metal & Rock Albums of 2017 (So Far)
We are officially half way through with 2017, and it's been a busy year for heavy metal and rock music. While the second half of the year has a good amount of releases to be excited about, the first half has proven to be a pretty good year for metal. So without further delay, we bring you our favorite albums of 2017 thus far from both genres.
Code Orange - Forever
Code Orange’s Forever came with more than could be imagined for this band. While at the forefront there is anger and aggression, there lies underneath a whole other beast just as devastating and unique. There is great use of structure, heaviness, surprises, and pure energy from beginning to end in this album. It is not just simply that this is great heavy music, but effective heavy music. It raises the blood pressure, gets the muscles going, and swims around the mind. If Forever is just the beginning, then there’s going to be a hell of a lot more excellence to come with Code Orange.
Dying Fetus - Wrong One To Fuck With
Wrong One To Fuck With is an album that not only accentuates in speed but also in groove, not only in technical guitar work but also their more melodic and catchy tones. This album is a must-have for any fan of the death metal or brutal death metal genre, as 2017 has been an incredible year for death metal so far and this is just another testimony to that fact. With a resurgence in old school death metal and thrash metal, we've seen some incredible and refreshing releases this year and this is one to add to that list. It blows all of the bands that try to do the brutal, gore sound that's normally laden with breakdowns. This is just some straight up awesome death metal that will punch you in the face and make you want to come back for more. This album cements Dying Fetus as one of the most dominant forces in death metal today,
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
A very refreshing Thrash/Crossover album. Power Trip excel in blending retro thrash elements without it sounding forced or incredibly obvious that they are trying to pay homage to old school thrash. This approach results in a great blend of metal that captures what the greats were able to accomplish in years past but still sounds like a 2017 effort. Short and sweet at 33 minutes long, the average track length of about 4 minutes allows each song to stand out on its own. They really did a great job with the layout of the tracks here. Aggressive, full of soul and in your face. This album is one that any fan of metal should spin at least once. It will be interesting to see where they go from here and hopefully it isn't another 4 years between albums.
Seraphic - Journey To Illumination
With this debut release, Seraphic should be well established as one of the best bands of the genre already. If this is what they can offer us for their first full length album, then I can't wait to see a natural and exciting evolution to even greater heights. It doesn't sound rushed and it definitely does not sound boring, and even someone who may not be familiar with this genre will find this very accessible. This is a landmark album for Australian metal that will certainly give Seraphic the attention they deserve. It’s phenomenal instrumentation, production, and collaboration within its members makes Journey To Illumination an enjoyable and powerful debut album.
Voyager - Ghost Mile
Voyager is the rare act that has a sound and style that is completely their own. Ghost Mile is a very intelligent, thoughtful and introspective album with dark moments mixing with light effortlessly and playfully. It’s also an insidious grower that gets deeper under the skin with each spin. If you like your prog-metal catchy and creative, look no further. Every track is a standout on the entire album from beginning to end. There’s just no way I can pick out standout tracks on this masterpiece. Ghost Mile should be the album that finally projects this extremely talented band into the upper tier of progressive rock royalty that they deserve to be in. It is most definitely a magnificent addition to their already stellar catalogue and one of the stand out releases of the year so far. Do yourself a favour and check it out now.
Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand
Mastodon continue to push the envelope and develop their sound without selling out and going fully mainstream. Not many bands out there can sound so accessible whilst staying complex and crushingly heavy. One can't help but wonder what exactly would happen if they dropped the heaviness and the structured riffs and went full on spaced-out mode, because part of me thinks they're playing it safe. But for now, Mastodon continue to knock it out of the park with one of their most powerful and overall impressive albums so far.
Rise Against - Wolves
Wolves is a fantastic middle ground between their old, classic sound and their newer, more stadium rock influenced sound. It's the high energy, defiant punk attitude of The Sufferer And The Witness mixed with the maturity and succinct songwriting of The Black Market. It's exciting, interesting, and just a fantastic listen from beginning to end.
Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark
Royal Blood have impressed ever since their debut self-titled album burst forth and showed us exactly how modern rock and roll should be done, and this new album will be sure to get you hook, line and sinker. While How Did We Get So Dark doesn't pack quite the in-your-face, foot-to-the-floor-from-beginning-to-end punch that their first album does, it doesn't mean that it is any less high quality. Instead, their songwriting has matured and grown, with the album showing a lot more musical diversity, ensuring it's dynamic, powerful, pure rock 'n' roll on every single track.
Society of Beggars - An EP Called Night
Society of Beggars have truly perfected the ability to create a huge sound out of limited components, making sure that their sound is stripped back and raw on their EP, but still knocks you off your feet with how powerful it is. The entire release is strong and compelling, making me listen to it on repeat. It's raw, hard hitting, and soothing all at the same time. If you're looking for a new band to obsess over, definitely check out Society of Beggars and give their latest EP a try. I'd definitely recommend it to any bluesy rock fan.
Bare Bones - Bad Habits
With its combination of gritty vocals full to the brim of swagger, crushing guitars that never relent, driving drum beats, and Southern feel, the album starts at 100 and doesn't let up. It's high energy, high quality, and highly enjoyable to listen to. Every member of the band work together in harmony, creating some incredible hard rock/punk that'll knock your socks off.
Royal Thunder - Wick
From the very first track, 'Burning Tree', you're in with this album, and they don't let you go. The musicianship from the entire band is solid from beginning to end. With the stellar guitar work, steady bass, and tight drumming forming the perfect partner to the incredible vocals, Royal Thunder clearly know their way around writing a song. The album is hard rock at it's finest.