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2017 Top Tens

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Wormed and UR are both excellent. Exodromos is a great album. For me the late 90s and early 00s had some of my favorite DM albums. Immolation, Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel, Nile etc.
Love me some Immolation and late 90's MA. Nile and Hate Eternal were pretty good early on, but other than the more forward thinking and riff heavy newer stuff, most of my death metal interest lies in the early - mid 90's.

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9 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Love me some Immolation and late 90's MA. Nile and Hate Eternal were pretty good early on, but other than the more forward thinking and riff heavy newer stuff, most of my death metal interest lies in the early - mid 90's.

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King of All Kings is probably my favorite death metal album ever. 

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2 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

I prefer Conquering the Throne. King of All Kings and I, Monarch have a cool sounding formula, but it wears on me after a few songs.

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Conquering the Throne is a gem as well 

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MacabreEternal's Top Ten Albums 2017

7. Wode "Servants of the Countercosmos"

Manchester isn't exactly famous for Black Metal bands.  The "Madchester" scene that produced the likes of The Stone Roses and later the emergence of Oasis as some bastard offspring from the aforementioned scene go down as some of the more common musical styles familiar with my nearest major city.  Thank fuck then for Wode who after last years' triumphant self-titled debut have stormed straight back with more of their riffy and blasting BM, this time in the form of "Servants of the Countercosmos".

Atmospherics aren't the order of the day here, just solid riffs, thudding rhythms and powerful leads galore.  Fuck yeah baby!

6. Ruins of Beverast "Exuvia"

The perfect soundtrack to most of my nightmares right here folks.  Almost cinematic in quality yet ritualistic by delivery there's an ethereal precision to "Exuvia", it becomes more than an auditory experience if listened to in the right mood (dark room, maybe a candle and definitely some incense).  Ceremonial majesty and shamanic poise are present throughout this record and I am cutting this review short as my delivery of bone necklaces has just arrived from Amazon. 

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MacabreEternal's Top Ten Albums of 2017

5. Fen - "Winter" - the top five opens with one of 2017 more clever albums for me.  There's nothing straightforwards about "Winter" and the really clever bit is that you don't seem to notice how expansive it is, such is the seamless nature of the flow of the record.  The blend of atmospheric and Isis-like post rock is just mesmerising.  With over 75 minutes of music to digest it is still never a tough sitting to get through though.  The arrangement of the song structures and the album as a whole haVE a real sense of flow.  Between this and Pillorian it has been a true reflection of "grown-up" BM that retains the youthful vigour of days gone by.

4. Pillorian "The Obsidian Arc" - pipping the above mentioned Fen to fourth place is Pillorian with their more direct Black Metal style that still retains atmospheric and folk influence but as a result of the aforementioned direct delivery just come off as more memorable.  Whilst no more or less palatable than Fen, "The Obsidian Arc" just stays in my head for longer after I have listened to it.  Being very unfamiliar with Agalloch's work I am lead to believe by the internet that this is just a more starightforwards - almost stripped version - of the former band's style.  I can't compare it in good faith so can only judge it as a standalone dark and melodic BM record that I keep coming back to.

3. Bell Witch "Mirror Reaper" - my list this year has a fair mix of instant and accessible music laid side by side against the more complex, intricate and expansive releases of the year.  "Mirror Reaper" sits firmly in the latter part of the description there, weighing in at one 80+ song that takes your very soul on its own roller coaster of emotion.  The harrowing bottom end of the bass paints a distraught and forlorn picture as it lays down cavernous rumblings that could fracture your pelvis if you aren't sat/stood correctly.  One of the most extraordinary pieces of music I have heard in the past decade.

2. Autopsy "Puncturing The Grotesque" - I remember when Judas Priest dropped "Painkiller" in 1990.  Here was a band some twenty years into their career releasing a kick-ass record that put the likes of "Rust in Peace" and "Cowboys from Hell" into the shadows.  Fast forward to 2017 and death metal stalwarts Autopsy have done exactly the same.  "Puncturing the Grotesque" is all the clumsy, cumbersome and awkward death metal that Autopsy fans need over seven tracks (six of their own and one cover).  Coming thirty years into their existence it is the kind of metal record that just makes me want to quit my job, wear the same clothes for days on end and drink beer all day and night.  I christen it "Fuck It Metal".

1. Aosoth "The Inside Scriptures" - I nearly missed this release.  Aosoth's final album sees them go out on a definite high having recorded an album that shows maturity without any loss of the visceral intensity of previous releases that drew me to drink from their trough so long ago.   There's an intense and burning bitterness to "The Inside Scriptures" - possibly due to the divisions that had developed between members at the time of recording - that stays at inferno point for most of the release.  Add to this the variety of pace, style and - at times - genre and you are left with a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  The album builds with each track, cementing the solidity of the record as each one passes onto the next.  I could criticise it by saying that it is bottom heavy with the final three tracks of a slightly better quality than the opening tracks but it still overall leaves me with a deep felling of satisfaction at the end of each listen I give it.

There's a real sense of accomplishment in the sound of the album especially given the warm reception "Arrow In Heart" received prior to this release.

Albums that deserve an honourable mention:

 The King Is Blind "We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer"

Spectral Voice "Eroded Corridors of Unbeing"

Blut Aus Nord "Deus Salutis Meæ"

Altarage "Endinghent"

Incantation "Profane Nexus"

Obituary s/t

Albums that can fuck off and stop wasting my time:

Electric Wizard "Wizard Bloody Wizard"

Morbid Angel "Kingdoms Disdained"

Albums I haven't listened to enough and will probably make a "post-2017 best of list with":

Wolves in the Throne Room "Thrice Woven"

Power Trip "Nightmare Logic"

Immolation "Atonement"

 

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On 12/24/2017 at 9:15 AM, FatherAlabaster said:

Death metal is my most-listened-to genre as well, but a lot of newer brutal death leaves me pretty cold. I dig the bands that spice it up a bit, like Wormed and Unfathomable Ruination. I've found myself getting into a good bit of recent tech DM, which surprises me since I don't tend to go for widdly shit and sterile production, but my favorites tend to be of the progressive/dissonant/blackened varieties, and the 90s continue to be a goldmine.

I feel the same about the brutal stuff.  I sometimes listen to it on rare occasions, but usually avoid it. 

Your description of tech death describes my feeling of the style.  I do not find it moving at all.

On 12/31/2017 at 7:13 AM, MacabreEternal said:

Albums I haven't listened to enough and will probably make a "post-2017 best of list with":

 

Be sure to check out "Terra Damnata" by Nightbringer if you haven't already.  It was an awesome example of atmospheric bm.

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7 minutes ago, Balor said:

I feel the same about the brutal stuff.  I sometimes listen to it on rare occasions, but usually avoid it. 

Your description of tech death describes my feeling of the style.  I do not find it moving at all.

I've been actively trying to get into modern DM over the past three or four years. Before that I was turned off by flash and hung up on the production. I had to grit my teeth and train myself to tolerate it. On balance I'm happy I did, because I think of it as a win if I wind up finding music I enjoy, but I'm still pretty surprised to find myself digging something like Inanimate Existence or Fractal Universe or The Last Of Lucy. I blame Anata...

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15 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I've been actively trying to get into modern DM over the past three or four years. Before that I was turned off by flash and hung up on the production. I had to grit my teeth and train myself to tolerate it. On balance I'm happy I did, because I think of it as a win if I wind up finding music I enjoy, but I'm still pretty surprised to find myself digging something like Inanimate Existence or Fractal Universe or The Last Of Lucy. I blame Anata...

In a way, that was how I felt when I first got into black metal.  I had to train my ears to like it.  However, I could feel from the beginning that there was something in bm that I would like.  I just don't feel the same with modern death metal.  Every time I hear it it sounds bland and sterile.

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It’s almost time for our 2018 Lists, and it’s interesting to look back on what I posted a year ago here, seeing where my allegiances lay at the time. 

As I was thinking about my 2018 list I had it in my mind that 2017 produced several full blown classics, but for me that’s only true of a small handful of albums. 

I think I’ll be ready to post my 2018 list in about two weeks’ time. 

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  • Our picks

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