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


Logic of Denial – Aftermath (Brutal Death Metal)


Italy, not just a beautiful country but starting to become my go to country for great quality metal releases. 2017 has been a great year overall for metal but for Italy it’s been insane. I’ve mentioned it quite a few times already but wow are bands from that region pulling all the stops this year. Logic of Denial hails from, yes you guessed it, Italy! The band started off as Collapse in 2003, eventually changed name to Logic of Denial in 2006 and got two full-length albums behind their name prior this release. This is my first time with the band but from what I see it seems they’ve evolved nicely, having somewhat average reviews on their debut but on the sophomore and especially on Aftermath getting really good reviews.

I have to say the reviews I’ve seen are completely justified. Aftermath is a fine piece of work that sets the bar high for what Logic of Denial can produce. Just as Unfathomable Ruination was a smashing hit last year with one of the best brutal death metal albums which saw the band take new heights I see Logic of Denial doing the same this year. This is 43 minutes of an unrelenting force you do not want to stand against. Go with it instead, give into the beatdowns, the crushing waves of drums coming at you, the tight guitarplay and gutturals. Tracks like Larvae of Eden are leaving even the mighty Dying Fetus wondering what hit them and here I am wondering how I could not have heard of this album sooner? Everything I want from a brutal death metal release is in Aftermath. Having had a rough week at work this album has been going at least once a day and I’ve loved every second of it.

Aftermath is one of those albums that makes me want to dig into the bands discography and listen to how they have evolved into this sweet sound of death. A splendid release from Logic of Denial and definitely a contender for the best brutal death metal album this year.

Label: Comatose Music
For fans of: Unfathomable Ruination and Septycal Gorge
Favorite song: Larvae of Eden
Score: 4/5

Suffocation – …of the Dark Light (Technical Brutal Death Metal)


Another album I’ve been waiting far too long to review. Suffocation started same year I was born in 1988 and I’ve always had soft spot for them due to them being a major influence in what we hear in brutal and technical death metal today. When I saw them on tour last year in Sweden with Cattle Decapitation, Exuviated, Infernal Tenebra it was fucking sweet to finally get to see them live and I just hope they come here again for a EU tour on their new release.

Just like with Dying Fetus album Wrong One to Fuck With Suffocation are back with a message: …of the Dark Light is hell of a lot better than their latest releases. Even though I thought Pinnacle of Bedlam might have got too much shit I understand it didn’t live up to the expectations one might have on the band (just like me with Origins latest release). On this album no one can say Suffocation are done and dusted though. In many ways this album stands for exactly who they are, creators of the fine balance on technical and brutal death metal. I am quite happy to hear they have found their ways once again and while I still enjoy their first albums the most this might be their best release since Pierced from Within.

What a fine year for the more brutal ways of death metal this is turning out to be. Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Broken Hope and Origin (yes I know I’ve givem them some harsh words but it’s still good) all having released top notch records and the year isn’t even over yet! So far I hold Dying Fetus as my favorite release out of those but hell, anyone would be a good pick and it’s the small things and my personal preference that makes the difference in this case. All I know is Suffocation is back in action for real this time and I am sure they want to retake that crown!

Label: Nuclear Blast
For fans of: Dying Fetus and Cryptopsy
Favorite song: Your Last Breaths
Score: 4/5

Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With (Brutal Death Metal)


Brutality, its not just something you can do when you win in Mortal Kombat but also the first word that comes to mind when I think of Dying Fetus. The brutal death metal kings have been slaying the shit out of mankind since they formed in 1991. Since then a lot has happened though, only original member still standing is John Callagher, but that’s more than enough as they haven’t slown down ever since the start. Granted there has been a few releases which might not be up to the level they can produce but that’s when Dying Fetus says we are the Wrong One to Fuck With.

This is brutal, as you could expect. Want your head smashed by a sledgehammer and put in a blender, then this is for you! I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t been a big fan of Dying Fetus but Wrong One to Fuck With is one of the best releases this year. Everything is just working for them on this album, which I can’t say it have on all their releases. Within their vast discography I would definitely put this as a contender for the best one. Just listening to the first three songs was enough for me to know this is an album when they are on form. One thing that usually puts me off brutal death metal genre is that all the songs on an album tend to sound the same, just sheer force with little thought behind it. There is a lot of crap coming out of it is what I mean. That’s not the case here though, sure it’s a brutal force with lyrics to go with it but Dying Fetus also got some variation on the songs and I can enjoy the whole album over and over again. Not just a song here and there when I work out or want to get fucking mental (although it works for that too!).

Songs like Panic Amongst the Herd, Die with Integrity, Ideological Subjugation and Weaken the Structure are sure to be on my playlist for years to come. Wrong One to Fuck With is Dying Fetus best album in years and fans of the band will love it. As far as brutal death metal goes it doesn’t get much better than this.

Label: Relapse Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Misery Index
Favorite song: Ideological Subjugation
Score: 4.5/5

Broken Hope – Mutilated and Assimilated (Brutal Death Metal)


Being a very new listener to Broken Hope as I actually discovered them on Twitter a couple of months ago when I followed Suffocation and got them as a recommendation I am sorry to say I will have to review this album as it is a debut basically. Some history about the band to begin with, as I obviously had to check these bad boys out to know what I am dealing with. Created in 1988 (very good year mind you) the band has had quite the history with a band member being kicked out due to basically hustling, disbanding in 2001, reuniting in 2012 and being droped from a Deicide tour in 2013. All that shit aside the band is still going strong and Jeremy Wagner on guitar is the only original member still in the band. Has this made Broken Hope lost….their hope?

As I said earlier I haven’t listened to this band at all before and I am going into this album with a very fresh mind and don’t know what to expect, unlike I did with Origins for example. Holy crap though! If John Carpenter’s The Thing was a music album this could be it! I’m a big fan of Damian “Tom” Leski’s (Gorgasm) vocals and it really sets the tone together with the rest of the band and lyrical theme of Mutilated and Assimilated. This is a brutal death metal album filled with gore and horror. All the pieces are set in the band to make it an experience you deserve in that theme. The album proves to be a good one for me, it lacks that extra punch as I am having a hard time finding a song that sticks out from the rest. It’s solid brutal death metal through and through though but could use that tank of a song that breaks it out of the cage. With Broken Hope re-assembled (or mutilated and assimilated?), having new members and new hope (sorry) I am sure this is just the beginning for the band as they go for that tier one brutal death metal spot.

Mutilated and Assimilated is out now through Century Media Records.

Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse
Favorite song: The Carrion Eaters
Score: 3/5

Origin – Unparalleled Universe (Technical Brutal Death Metal)


From the crazy White Ward jazz-post-black metal experience I go to something I feel right at home with. It’s time to review one of the technical brutal death metal greats, Origin. A band which has given us mortals some of the best brutal techdeath that’s ever existed since their formation in 1997. Since then the band has released one EP and Unparalleled Universe will be the seventh full-length release, something very few techdeath bands have even done actually. With heavy hitting albums like Antithesis and Omnipresent fresh in mind how does Unparalleled Universe stand next to them?

Have to be said Origin still got it, even seven albums and 20 years into their career. However I lack that Wrath of Vishnu, The Aftermath and All Things Dead feel to it. It’s a good album but next to a discography like Origins they almost slay themself. I always hate reviewing albums like this in all honesty. When a band has a really good discography should they get punished for releasing something not on the very very top? I mean if this was a debut or even a sophomore album I would say something along the lines of “omg this is one of the best bands that will tear the future apart!!!”. I don’t know, this is a freaking great album but knowing what Origin has done in the past I know I can expect more. A great album doesn’t cut it this year within brutal death metal, not with Dying Fetus, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth and Suffocation getting releases out. Mithridatic, Dajjal, Burden of Prescience and Origins longest track as of yet Unequivocal are the highlights of this album and especially Unequivocal makes me go all headbang mode and presents Origin in top form. It’s a good album and any Origin fan should get it. As I said they still got the touch. However I know there is more brutality to be unleashed from them, some songs are just too soft for my liking to make this a real heavy hitter as an Origin album should be.

Unparalleled Universe is out now through Agonia Records in EU and Nuclear Blast in the US. With this review I am also bringing back the score scale, this time instead of a 1-10 scale it will be a 1-5 one. 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

Label: Agonia Records (EU) and Nuclear Blast (US)
For fans of: Nile and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Unequivocal
Score: 3.5/5

Scordatura – Self-Created Abyss (Brutal Death Metal)


It’s been quite some time since I put my teeth into a brutal death metal release. Lucky for me Scordatura are here to give me my fix! Formed in 2007 these Scottish madmen have spread their filth with several demo’s, toured with acts such as Aborted, Misery Index, Cryptopsy and Beneath The Massacre until they finally released their debut Torment of the Weak in 2013. Lucky for us we didn’t have to wait as long for the follow-up as Self-Created Abyss is the bands sophomore release.

If you’re familiar with Scordatura then don’t worry they are just as brutal as ever. Self-Created Abyss continues where Torment of the Weak left off just great. Same deep demon growls and gutturals, hard hitting drums and fast technical riffs. Wrapped in with some defiled gore lyrics. Throughout the album they don’t slow down for even a second and you would do best to prepare yourself for the onslaught that’s about to hit your ears. Self-Created Abyss also features a great guest performance by Malignancy’s vocalist Danny Nelson on Malignant Form of Inhumanity. Favorite tracks for me would be the opener Repulsive Miscreation together with Ritual Acts of Malevolence and the closing track Confessions Inscribed.

Brutal death metal fans would be wise to pick this album up. It’s the perfect drog to satisfy your thirst for brutal gore. Self-Created Abyss is out now through Gore House Productions.

For fans of: Cerebral Bore and Guttural Secrete
Favorite song: Confessions Inscribed