YEARLY RIPPERS: JUSTIN’S FAVORITE TOP BEST ALBUMS OF 2017

revealing my favorite albums at my annual year end party METAL MASS (and wearing comfy slippers is the best part of hosting, fyi)

[insert reflective diatribe re: 2017’s dismal climate and express gratitude for heavy metal here]

In all seriousness, it is and thankfully, it was another great year for metal. After the countless hours spent on Bandcamp, Twitter, and my friends’ Slack channel, 2017 boiled down to the following 20 albums (EPs count if they’re ~20mins long = my rules). They hold the highest personal replay value. Of course, some got neglected due to time, length, and the sheer magnitude of releases.

So give these a whirl and let me know what sticks with you. Hang ’til the very bottom if you want to see my crabbypants rant re: the albums that caused extreme irritation.

As always, thank you for reading!
-Justin

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JUSTIN’S MID-YEAR RIPPERS 2017


Hey! I moved my site from goodshakes.com (RIP) to here. This is unimportant as I only post twice a year. So I’ll get right to it! You are here to read my digest of 2017 rippers (so far).


Woe – Hope Attrition (Vendetta)
Woe is one of my favorite bands, period, and this new batch of pissed-off, hardcore/aggro USBM songs properly rips some shit. Chris Grigg’s screams are more vicious than ever on topical tracks “No Blood Has Honor” and “Drown Us With Greatness” (iseewhatyoudidthere), and this is one of the finest drum performances in recent memory (Lev Weinstein, also of Krallice). The bright, large, and crisp production makes it so easy to spin again, and the 3-minute instrumental intro of “Unending Call of Woe” might be my walk-out song of 2017.
Bandcamp


Below The Sun – Alien World (ToT Records)
I slept on their 2015 album Envoy, and I’m trying to make up for it with newly released Alien World. I was instantly hooked with “Mirrors” (above), a crushing doom number that boasts an intriguing atmospheric mid-section that doesn’t get soft or boring. They jump genres gracefully, and “Black Wave” (my personal fav) even has a Soundgarden vibe to it, made especially chilling given recent events. Their sound and image are not to be ignored, even if the bass player wearing the mask on his head gives me the gd willies.
Bandcamp

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