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
19702785_10155484678847090_5722176182786103950_o

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

Advertisements

Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler (Death Metal)

24862633_1984730378458856_2152715767253632187_n

Yay more classic death metal from Sweden! After basically not a single swedeath review for months I get two in two days, lucky me! Coffin Creep is a rather unknown band, formed in 2014, coming from Sweden but been very active in the underground scene around here, playing a lot of shows showcasing their demos live. Corpse Defiler is the bands debut album which consists of re-recordings of mentioned demos and a brand new song in Corpse Defiler.

It’s raw filthy rotten sound brings back memories from a time when swedeath was at it’s peak. The mixing is usually something I think it really hard to get right at this day and age for my ears. I don’t want it too raw because I think the music has evolved in production enough to make it sound good yet filthy. Coffin Creep manages to get a good mix with the right amount of editing to make this album sound really good to me. As a side note I noticed when reading up about Coffin Creep is that the drummer is the vocalist, cool stuff and I don’t see that too often.

Song by song I think Coffin Creep does a good job on catching the ways of the old making a death metal fanatic like me happy. I am sure Coffin Creep is going to be one of the bands from Sweden that keeps the old corpses still rotting instead of withering away. Seeing this is just their debut album filled with demos it’s interesting to hear what they come up with next. Give these guys an album or two and I am confident you will see them go toe to toe with the bigger Swedish acts such as Entrails or Grave. Obviously some of you will think this is just another death metal album you’ve heard before but when it’s done so well like this and manage to capture the essence of the horrors death metal can do it’s not something you should sleep on. One can never get too much swedeath in their life so I suggest fans of Entrails, Grave, Dismember and the likes gets this pile of defiled corpses into your collection right now.

Label: Unearthed Production
For fans of: Entrails and Grave
Favorite song: Puking Necrophilia
Score: 4/5

Throne of Heresy – Decameron (Blackened Death Metal)

a3558812376_10

Throne of Heresy is a band I’ve always thought it very underrated. Since their formation in 2009 they’ve released killer music with last years Antioch being one of my favorite death metal albums coming out (which I sadly didn’t review) that year. Sure they have their ups and downs, good and bad songs but who doesn’t? When Throne of Heresy are on point I would say they are one of the best blackened death metal bands going at the moment.

Decameron is the bands latest offering and The Shores of Issyk-Kul starts off the album insanely well. Classic death metal riffs with a touch of black metal aggressiveness that makes me think of the mighty Firespawn. With Decameron being a concept album based on the old book with the same name I had a rough idea on what to expect, a dark album with tales of the black death (the plague). 10 tales into 10 songs of death, brutality and utter horror. The essence of this is captured really well in Decameron, as I said before The Shores of Issyk-Kul sets the tone with it’s aggression, atmosphere of doom and death. Which sets the pace for the rest of the album. Every song have a eerie feeling to it and is very dark, from lyrics to the whole overall performance. In that sense Decameron is almost a perfect concept album for what Throne of Heresy want to broadcast, one of the darkest eras of mankind.

Musically this is an album on par with Antioch, even if they are quite hard to put against each other seeing as they are very different. While Decameron offers an even more atmospheric feeling and blackened death metal take, which I can see as a mix of Naglfar, Dissection and Firespawn at times, Antioch was a more head-on death metal approach in my opinion. I think this is Throne of Heresy’s best work yet and they keep evolving with each release, honing that blackened sound. I hope that soon their plague will spread among the metal community to make more people give into their darkness.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/throneofheresy
Label: The Sign Records
For fans of: Firespawn and Dissection
Favorite song: Siege of Caffa
Score: 4/5

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…..so far!

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)
Review
a2636742155_10

HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)
Review

a1182396330_10

Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi (Pagan/Black Metal)
Review

a4135593751_10

Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)
Review

a3270878332_10

Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)
Review

Svart-Crown-Abreaction

Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)
Review

a1986601359_10

Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)
Review

1400x1400

Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)
Review

Firespawn-The-Reprobate-1170x1170

Evocation – The Shadow Archetype (Death Metal)
Review

Evocation-The-Shadow-Archetype

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

a3569519969_10

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

a2636742155_10

Mordbrand means arson and is not only a horrible act but also one of Swedens best death metal acts that’s spawned this last decade. Having listened to their compilation album Hymns of the Rotten several times this past year I knew Wilt was something to look forward to. Why you ask? Because in this trio you got Per Boder, the vocalist who has been on the frontline to create the Swedish death metal sound with God Macabre. Joining him we got Björn Larsson (who plays for God Macabre since the resurrection in 2013) and Johan Rudberg. This trio has made some of the best death metal music these past years (their debut Imago came out in 2014) and it’s a band that I personally feel will should be up there among the greats soon if they keep this up. My only question to this release is if they can? Is Wilt as good as Imago or Hymns of the Rotten?

Short answer is yes, yes it is. I am not sure how Mordbrand does it, have they made an pact with Satan? Have they found the pick of destiny? Becuase wow I keep getting stunned by this band. Every single song is a hit to me. Every single song. It’s pure death metal which is perfectly produced and every single riff is a headbanger. The songwriting is great and heck even the album cover is freaking art. This year has been too kind to me. As a lover of death metal I’ve not only got to listen to releases from the more known acts such as Immolation, Firespawn, Evocation and Entrails but also found new bands like HerezA and now got something confirmed. Confirming that Mordbrand are here to stay, they are one of Swedens best death metal bands full stop. If you think otherwise listen to Wilt, or any other album in their already great discography.

I am basically too much in awe of this band right now that I shouldn’t even write in all honesty. I usually take an album for a few spins, cool down and then try to make a fair judgement (read my Svart Crown review for example) but this is so good I starting writing this review before I’d even give Wilt it’s first run. I mean fuck, already three tracks in I was asking myself if Bleed Into Nought, Delivering the Gods or Worship Predation was going to be choosen as my favorite track. Fact is they are all good in their own right and I could pick a song at random and still be happy with my choice.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mordbrand is one of Swedens best death metal bands. It’s a beast that’s been unleashed and ready to ravage the world with death. I suggest you get Wilt now through Carnal Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialmordbrand
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MordbrandBand
Label: Carnal Records
For fans of: Evocation and Grave
Favorite song: At the Larvae Column

Sarcasm – Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds (Death Metal)

a3740997770_10

For those unfamiliar (I have to confess I was) with Sarcasm their career goes all the way back to 1990 but after six demos the band disbanded in 1994. A few years ago, 2015 to be precise, the band re-merged from the shadows though with most of the members all having a past in Sarcasm from the 90’s. Sadly the sudden death of Oscar Karlsson (Defleshed, Gates of Ishtar) struck the band but they never wanted to give up, they wanted to keep on going and honour his memory. Matte Modin (Firespawn, Usurpress, ex-Dark Funeral, ex-Defleashed) took over the drums as Sarcasm were getting ready to work on Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. However both Fredrik Wallenberg and Henrik Forslund left the band and Sarcasm had to assemble a new line-up once again. Eventually they did and Sarcasm now consist of Anders Eriksson, Jonas Söder, Matte Modin, Peter Laitinen and Heval Bozarslan.

This stormy past has probably influenced the band a lot in creating music. Raging speed and hard as a rock death metal, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when listening to Sarcasm’s opener Bloodsoaked Sunrise from their latest album Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds. Sarcasm delivers a great mix of melodic death, your classic Swedish old school death and even some black metal elements in there. It’s like At the Gates, Dissection and Necrophobic joined forces. Some of the best from the Swedish metal scene that is. There is a track here for fans of any these bands as the songs do differ a bit in sound and that’s also what makes this a great album. There is variety and a sweet old school feeling to Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds that a metalhead who loves this sound will find right at home with.

If you haven’t heard Sarcasm before now is the time! Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is an ode to the Swedish metal scene of old and even with all the hardship Sarcasm has suffered they’re back in form. If you only want a sample then I suggest listening to Scars of a Land Forgotten or the epic A Black Veil for Earth. Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is out now through Dark Descent Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarcasmsweden
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Necrophobic and At the Gates
Favorite song: A Black Veil for Earth

Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)

Firespawn-The-Reprobate-1170x1170

I’ll be honest with you guys I shouldn’t even be reviewing this album. Know why? Because Firespawn is one of my absolute favorite death metal bands and I am bound to give it all the praise it should get. Then again fuck it, I loved this album before it was even announce and listening to the singles Serpeant of the Ocean, Blood Eagle and Death By Impalement didn’t make me love it any less. The album even starts with Serpeant of the Ocean and Blood Eagle, just to get me into the death metal mood and loving ways of the Firespawn straight away.

You might also wonder, “Jimmy how is it you’re such a fan of Firespawn?”. Well let me tell you why! The band consist of one of my favorite vocalists L-G Petrov (ex-Entombed, ex-Nihilist), with members from some of my favorite bands Unleashed, Necrophobic and Dark Funeral. Would you call this a super group? Fuck yeah! Does it live up to the expectations you might have of a band featuring those said members? Fuck yeah! This is Lucifer made into flesh. Darkness is upon us friends and it is bloody sweet. To me this is death metal perfection, it has the vocalist we all think of when it comes to death metal, the riffs that screams for a headbanger to groove to it and drumming of thunder that even Tor would be jealous of. I simply can’t give these guys enough praise. I did say I shouldn’t review Firespawn due to it but here you are still reading me rambling on about how great they are. If you like death metal you will like Firespawn’s sophomore album The Reprobate, that’s just the way it is. They might not have made everything right with Shadow Realms (that said it is bloody great, I just don’t think it lived up to the hype) but with The Reprobate they have. It’s an album filled with darkness and great music to come with it, wrapped up in a great album cover. What’s there not to like?

If I still gave scores to my reviews this would be a perfect ten. I like many genres but death metal is closest to my dead soul. This is the kind of music I live for, or die for. Firespawn – The Reprobate is out now through a brand that has most of my favorite bands signed, Metal Blade Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firespawnofficial
For fans of: Entombed and Unleashed
Favorite song: Serpeant of the Ocean