The Metal Gamer Best of 2017

Another year another best of the year list! This one is long overdue as I planed to post this several weeks ago but something always came in the way. Some of you might know I also write for Swedish site Rocknytt and I’ve of course submitted a best of to them as well. Difference from that list versus this one is that, just as last year, my list here will be based on albums I’ve reviewed in this blog. So the two lists will differ but I rather keep my blog to the more underground music (even though I do review some mainstream stuff as well). Some big changes to this year is that the list is now a top 40. I’ve added some more categories as well with best debut, concert and more. List is in no order (except for the categories I’ve chosen) and without further ado here it is, The Metal Gamer albums of the year!

Album of the Year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation

The complete Top 40:
Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence
Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi
Ereb Altor – Ulfven
Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Mordbrand – Wilt
Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone
King of Asgard – :taudr:
Firespawn – The Reprobate
Svart Crown – Abreaction
Mordbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Desultory – Through Aching Aeons
Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Hideous Divinity – Adveniens
Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky
Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire
Throne of Heresy – Decameron
Amentia – Scourge
Legacy of Emptiness – Over the Past
Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales
Solbrud – Vemod
Ofermod – Sol Nox
HerezA – I Become Death
Svartsyn – In Death
Entrails – World Inferno
Oceano – Revelation
Lorna Shore – Flesh Coffin
Enterprise Earth – Embodiment
Wolfheart – Tyhjyys
Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World
Persefone – Aathma
Benighted – Necrobreed
Gutslit – Amputheatre
Corpse Garden – IAO 269
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Rings of Saturn – Ultu Ulla
Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

Deathcore album of the year: Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Technical death metal album of the year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Death metal album of the year: Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Atmospheric black metal album of the year: Solbrud – Vemod
Black metal album of the year: Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Debut album of the year: Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Best concert I went to in 2017: Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Chevelle (Royal Arena, Copenhagen, March 4th)
Five albums I missed but need to listen to:
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Fit For An Autopsy – The Great Collapse
Azarath – In Extremis
Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
Most anticipated album of 2018: Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram


Necrotted – Worldwide Warfare (Deathcore/Death Metal)


Coming out with their third full-length album just a few days ago we got Germany’s deathcore/death metal unit Necrotted. Worldwide Warfare has a lot, and I mean a lot, in common with Despised Icon and Thy Art is Murder. The breakdowns and brutality are on point which really does make me think of some early Despised Icon or newer Thy Art is Murder. It’s heavy and filled with class riffs. Worldwide and No War but Class War could be what Puppet Master and The Son of Misery is for Thy Art is Murder on Dear Desolation. Heavy but also really catchy.

My favorite however is Hunt Down the Crown. The drumwork on this song is so freaking fast and brutal, almost 1349 Hellfire style of intro and outro which I love! Overall the song just feels more aggressive getting me headbanging along wanting to get bat-shit crazy and mosh. I kinda wish they took this route more often on the album because the rest of the songs are too much alike Thy Art is Murder and Despised Icon for my taste. As much as I like those bands and think Necrotted does it well it won’t make me go back to this album much in the future as then I might as well pick up an album by TAIM or DI.

Worldwide Warfare is worth a listen for deathcore and death metal lovers out there. Necrotted promises fast, heavy music and they deliver just that. A bit too repetitive in the end so Worldwide Warfare loses me around The Lost Ones which also lowers the score. However I did dig the start of the album and especially Hunt Down the Crown has been on my playlist for a few weeks now.

Label: Rising Nemesis Records
For fans of: Despised Icon and Thy Art is Murder
Favorite song: Hunt Down the Crown
Score: 2.5/5

Funeralglade – May the Funeral Begin (Melodic Death Metal)


Hailing from Finland a five-man band named Funeralglade was formed a year ago. Since then they’ve worked to release their debut EP May the Funeral Begin whereas the time has come for me to review it. Funeralglade incorporate a lot of different genres into their music, goove metal, black metal and deathcore just being some of those but they are labelled as melodic death metal. May the Funeral Begin features six tracks and Funeralglade gives the listener an album filled with class riffs, vocals and drumming.

What makes me like the album more the more times I listen to it is the fact that all songs features new elements to them. The opener Shadow of Misery builds up the tempo nicely which gives you that crushing but melodical black metal feel. With Death (Only Way Out) being a more classic melodeath approach with some trash and black touches to it. Hollow then turns it more aggressive with symphonic elements into the mix, making this my favorite track on the album. The intermission Cadence of the Aching Breath adds more symphonic music, giving me the chills. Leading up to A Bedtime Story: Bloodlust which starts off like a powermetal song with the first riff and made me look if I was listening to the same album but that quickly turn into a fast paced death metal track with some added symphonic deathcore to it. Paincauser keep that sound alive and ends the album well. The whole packaging of the album with these six songs giving me different experiences is rather nice. If I could put their music in a box it would be with Carach Angren meeting Anaal Nathrakh and Shadow of Intent.

There are some flaws here and there but overall I had a good time with May the Funeral Begin. A good debut from Funeralglade they can build on.

Label: Inverse Records
For fans of: Shadow of Intent and Carach Angren
Favorite song: Hollow
Score: 3/5

Thy Art is Murder – Dear Desolation (Deathcore)


Even as a fan of deathcore I’ve always had a weird relationship with Thy Art is Murder. While everyone seems to praise their early albums (especially Hate) I always had a soft spot for Holy War. With Dear Desolation and the singles that’s been out it was clear the band was moving in a new direction. More towards death metal than deathcore. Is this something that will fit Thy Art is Murder or will it be a big disappointment?

The truth is I initially did find the album rather lacking something. It took me a few playthroughs to really get to enjoy this album but once I did I found Dear Desolation being a good album. Thy Art is Murder isn’t the first, nor the last, deathcore band to change direction to evolve beyond the somewhat harsh label deathcore has. Whitechapel and Suicide Silence have both done this recently (with mixed results) but Thy Art is Murder is actually the first band I think does this well. CJ McMahon’s growls makes perfect use here for both styles so the transition works wonderful. The songwriting is still spot on, which is something I think have made Thy Art is Murder stick out from most deathcore bands from the very start. Whereas I think some songs are a bit weak tracks like Puppet Master and Slaves Beyond Death shows that this is the right direction for the band that they can keep on improving with the next release. It’s not as good as their past two releases but this change of wind is good for them in the end and I am certain the follow-up to Dear Desolation will be spectacular once they take this sound even further.

Label: Nuclear Blast Entertainment
For fans of: Whitechapel and Carnifex
Favorite song: Puppet Master
Score: 3/5

Integral – Resilience (Technical Death Metal)


I’ve said it before and I will say it again. 2017 is a great year for Italian death metal, be it technical, brutal or whatever. Integral is probably not a name you know when you think of the Italian scene. Which isn’t strange since Resilience is the bands full-length debut and they were formed in 2013. That being said do not take this band lightly! When you can draw in guests like Steffen Kummerer from Obscura and Tommy Talamanca from Sadist on your debut you know this band is going to go places.

So what do they sound like? Well this is where it gets tricky! I label Integral as technical death metal but in reality they sound like a mix of a lot of different genres and bands. Vocals I think is rather close to The Black Dahlia Murder, while the instrumental play is as much The Faceless as it is Gorod, Obscura and Beyond Creation. Add some deathcore groovy breakdowns to it and you got yourself an Italian Chimera that’s ready to devour you. This is an album full of surprises. I mean even having the different influences in mind there are plenty of tempo-changes, riffs and what not that makes me go wow. There are also equally many parts that makes me go urgh I didn’t like this. A perfect example of this is the song Hieroglyphica. While it features some really awesome segments it also got leaves me wanting to almost skip the song at times, really weird roller-coaster ride for me musically. Both the bands strength and weakness to have all these mashups, I am sure they can only improve their sound in the future.

All together the ten songs Resilience offers is a good start for Integral and this album is sure to make at least one of you become a fan of their style. While I am not completely sold yet I think this is a superb debut and I am interested to see where they take their sound on the sophomore album.

Label: Ghastly Music
For fans of: The Faceless and The Black Dahlia Murder
Favorite song: Realm of Atlantis
Score: 3/5

Best of 2017 so far

Picking a top 10 is always hard, I personally try to mix it up with various genres as well. There were some albums which on any other day could be in this top 10 but this is what I am sticking with! Also just like last year I only choose albums I’ve reviewed. Meaning there are some albums that’s actually good and been out before this is written but I haven’t had the time to review them, hence they are not in the running. So here you go The Metal Gamer top 10 albums of 2017… far!

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)


Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi (Pagan/Black Metal)


Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)


Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)


Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)


Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)


Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)


Evocation – The Shadow Archetype (Death Metal)


Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)


In Reverence – The Selected Breed (Atmospheric Death Metal/Deathcore)


In Reverence is something as weird as a Swedish deathcore outfit, or at least that’s how it started out. Since the demo “Necrosis” in 2011 the band has not only changed members but also their sound to a much more death metal oriented style, or as they call it atmospheric death metal. The two founding members still remains, Oscar Krumlinde on drums who some of you might know from the upcoming Swedish black metal act Avslut, and Filip Danielsson on vocals. Pedram Khatibi Shahidi, who you hear shredding on the guitar, adds oriental instruments into the mix and is the main songwriter, has been with the band since their very first demo as well.

It’s not easy to change the sound when the majority of the lineup has stayed the same throughout but with the decision to make Pedram the main songwriter for the band it seems to have gone rather smoothly. In Reverence offers a much more atmospheric and oriental death metal approach than before, and even if the deathcore sound is still there at times I find this a much more enjoyable listen than I did with Hallucination. The sound reminds me of Lord of War if they would be joining forces with Pyres of Kiev and I Shall Devour. Death metal and deathcore joining together in a nice mix that is. During their time together as a band they have grown a lot tighter together as a unit as well. The riffs are more on point, vocals more brutal and drumming releases thunder like never before.

I always find it enjoyable to hear a band evolve their sound and not being scared to change. Sometimes it can lead to the better and sometimes worse, in this case definitely the better, but either way it’s something I respect a band for trying. In Reverence has found their new sound and it’s now a new beast (the selected breed one could say) that’s coming to take the metal world with brute force. Favorite tracks are Gods of Dehumanization, Anthropogeny and Red Waves.

In Reverence debut full-length album The Selected Breed is out now through Non Serviam Records.

Label: Non Serviam Records
For fans of: I Shall Devour and Lord of War
Favorite song: Red Waves