Another year on the books, another year packed with excellent metal in every style. And while we didn’t see any significant trends emerge this year, you will notice if you look at our collective lists that there’s very little overlap in our picks. The new releases from the old guard, the standard bearers, and the heavy hitters of death, black, doom and beyond only make up a fraction of what’s offered here – everything else is new arrivals and recent rising stars. No matter where you find it, metal has never been so prolific or diverse, and that is great news for all you out there who are black of heart and hard of hearing. So get ready to dig in and get lost in the deepest bowels of the metal underground – when you come up for air, it’ll be 2018.

by Staff

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Mikko K.


Kauan – Kaiho

The most resonating album Kauan has done since Aava Tuulen Maa. An absolute blitzkrieg to your emotions, Kaiho simply tears you apart and builds you up anew again.

Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis

What the fuck? Last I saw Max Cavalera he was rehashing the whole Roots album on stage with his brother, but I’m just gonna go and say that Psychosis is the most inspired effort from the Cavalera’s that I’ve heard from them in years. It’s a throwback to their history without being too much on the nose. Quite the opposite. It’s fresh. It’s new. It’s pummeling, relentless, sinister and at times, downright cold. If spiritual continuation to Nailbomb‘s Point Blank and Sepultura‘s Beneath-Arise-Chaos, spliced with some Ministry and Mortal Kombat sounds good, then pick this up for sure. Where some of the albums of the past were bloated, they really could have added more minutes to the songs here to get the most out of these excellent riffs and motifs. This. I want more of this.

The Wounded – Sunset

This might be a bit of a cheat as Sunset came out in late 2016, but screw the technicalities… It took 12 years to get a new The Wounded album but I’m more than excited that they’re back. The first three albums have become classics for me, and while Sunset is not yet that to me, it’s a damn good album full of the band’s original goth/post-punk/goth metal -inspired sound that has sorely been missed all these years. Marco van der Velde remains as one of the most expressive vocalist in the business.

Body Count – Bloodlust

In just three years Body Count have become one of the most relevant bands around. Again. Manslaughter was excellent. It was fun. Bloodlust on the other hand is a brutal testament of the past few years and it blows my mind how 25 years later Ice-T still has to spit the same facts like we’re stuck in 1992.

Sólstafir – Berdreyminn

Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World

Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar


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  1. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    Killer list, although i don’t get Bell Witch at all.

  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    amped to see Tetragrammacide and Godflesh getting some love here.

  3. Commented by: F.Rini

    The Godflesh is great

  4. Commented by: Don Roberts

    you didn’t like the albums from Immolation, Incantation or Cannibal Corpse ?

  5. Commented by: ben orum

    Thanks for the Oblivion love!

  6. Commented by: M Budziszewski

    Spectral Voice and Dying Fetus would’ve been my
    11 and 12 but I didn’t really have a solid 13-15. I’d rather agonize over a limited 10.
    Didn’t finally listen to the Dying Fetus until last
    month but haven’t been on a brutal death metal kick since earlier in the year.

  7. Commented by: EmmersonBiggins

    Don’t understand the love for a band as mundane as spectral voice… You mongos be sure to check out azarath, ascended dead, tomb mold, Acrimonious, degial, lluvia (for fans of Swedish DAWN)

  8. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    The Spectral Voice is interesting, not quite Bestial Blackened Death, not Funeral Doom, not quite OSDM…just a huge atmospheric sound world.

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