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
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HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)
Review

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

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Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)
Review

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Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)
Review

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

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Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)
Review

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Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)
Review

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Evocation – The Shadow Archetype (Death Metal)
Review

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

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Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

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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

Lvx Hæresis – Descensŭs Spīrĭtŭs (Black Metal)

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Now this is a release many of you black metal fans will like! From Switzerland we got a black metal act that focuses heavily on the ritualistic and occult world of the genre. Much like acts like Ondskapt and Funeral Mist have become famous for. The five-man band were formed in 2013 and have already shared the stage with two bands I really like, Svart Crown (I reviewed their latest album not too long ago) and Dark Funeral. This was before the bands full-length debut, Descensŭs Spīrĭtŭs, was even released. Safe to say they’re quick to build hype around them and been able to perform well on some big stages already.

The six tracks on Descensŭs Spīrĭtŭs are named I, II-III, IV, V, VI, VII as if it were seven verses. I really like this idea, it isn’t something unique or new but it’s something that’s not done really often and adds a lot of mysticism to the black metal arts. Thus it is meant to experience this album as a whole in order to truly get what Lvx Hæresis is about. It’s like hearing a ritual being performed and it leaves you this eerie feeling not too far from how Miserist did with their release.

I personally think this type of black metal is awesome. I need to be in the right mood for it but when I am I get completely caught in the darkness that wants to take over me. Lvx Hæresis will definitely be a band to look out for and their debut is one of the better black metal releases so far this year. Descensŭs Spīrĭtŭs is a debut for the truly wicked. Descensŭs Spīrĭtŭs is out now from Atavism Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lvxhaeresis
Label: Atavism Records
For fans of: Funeral Mist and Ondskapt
Favorite song: V

Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)

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Svart Crown has slowly but steady become a new favorite of mine. I didn’t know about this band until last year when I saw they were about to release a new album called Abreaction. Since then I’ve listened quite a bit to both Witnessing the Fall and Profane (yet to hear their debut Ages of Decay). Both those albums being masterpieces in their own way. Their style of black and death metal is sweet music to my ears and their song-writing is just great. So obviously I was looking forward to listen to Abreaction. Reason I waited this long to listen to it and review it is that when I start digging a band this much I can’t review an album by them. Because either I will hate it because my expectations are through the roof or I will love it more than anything else in the world simply because it’s new music by a band I like. For those reasons I’ve waited until now to review it when my expectations and honeymoon love for Svart Crown has gone down some.

After all that being said I will tell you right away though, this is awesome! It’s just as devilish and spiritual wicked that I hoped it would be. JB Le Bail is still a horrifying vocalist that will give you chills. Just as Ludovic Veyssière on bass is as good as ever. The two newcomers Kévin Paradis (Agressor, Virulent Depravity, ex-Benighted (live)) on drums and Kevin Verlay (Agressor, ex-Mors Principium Est, ex-Aborted (live)) on guitars does a great job and and adds other dimensions to Abreaction that Svart Crown’s earlier work didn’t have.

In many ways I think this is Svart Crown’s best release yet. It’s closer to the Profane sound than Witnessing the Fall but it’s not a pure copy of neither. Abreaction stands tall in a dark world where bands such as Behemoth, Azarath, Deathspell Omega and Ulcerate have released killer albums as of late. This is one of those albums you need to listen to in it’s full in order to get the full Svart Crown experience. If I had to choose some favorite songs it would be The Pact: To the Devil His Due, Khimba Rites and Nganda.

Abreaction is out now through Century Media Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SVARTCROWN
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Scrownofficial
For fans of: Behemoth and Azarath
Favorite song: The Pact: To the Devil His Due

Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire (Blackened Death Metal)

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Shaarimoth were formed in 2004 with the idea of creating a sonic construct that manifests dark current through music. “This is not music, this is ritual” is the first thing I come across when looking at Shaarimoth’s facebook page. When starting to listen to the album I am inclined to agree with that statement. I feel like I am at the black metal festival Mörkaste Småland and their fourth ceremony as the ascension of the dark lord is upon us. Seems like this kind of darkness could spawn only from the dark woods of Norway.

Musically there are a lot of influences to be heard here from Behemoth and Nile due to it’s death metal ritual like music. While I also draw parallels to Dissection’s lyric contents Shaarimoth got a mix that works. Funny enough Norway aren’t really known for death metal music, however they are for their satanic black metal. This draws some of the best from both worlds creating an entity that can portray Norwegian metal in a new way. The more I listen to Temple of the Adversarial Fire the more I think back on Behemoth’s award winning album The Satanist. The dark and satanic atmosphere, production, mix of black and death metal (or blackened death metal), riffs, vocals and lyrics got a lot in common with one of the best albums to come out this decade.

Shaarimoth (just as Earth Rot did yesterday) has surprised me. This is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I can’t find nothing wrong with it and when I tried to pick a favorite song from the album I had to literally close my eyes and pick a song at random. That’s how good it is. It’s meant to be played in full to get the whole experience as it’s meant to be, as a ritual. Even the album cover screams of darkness and it’s the perfect way to wrap this package in. To end the review here is another quote from their facebook page that I like “To rid ourselves of our shadows – who we are – we must step into either total Light..or total Darkness”. Now join us to celebrate The End times, Kali Yuga, The return of the Dragon, when the Infinite Waters have finally turned calm.

Temple of the Adversarial Fire is out now through World Terror Committee.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Shaarimoth
For fans of: Behemoth and Dissection
Favorite song: Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams

Earth Rot – Renascentia (Death/Black Metal)

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Starting as a two-piece by Thomas Waterhouse and Jared Bridgeman who wanted to create some grindcore Earth Rot was formed in 2013, all songs were eventually discarded though and the band added three more members as well as changing genre to a mix of black and death metal. Now the band play their music to celebrate all that is dark and vile in music, taking influences from grim bands such as Gorgoroth, Anaal Nathrakh, Septicflesh, Svart Crown and Naglfar. All bands who got different takes in music style but also got that mist of darkness surrounding them. Since the start Earth Rot have been very active already released two EP’s and a full-length and now adding their sophomore full-length to the discography with Renascentia.

Active as the band may have been I’d actually not listened to any of their songs before grabbing a hold of Renascentia. Hence I did not know what to expect coming into this album. Now I know though, this is the same type of darkness that Naglfar ships out from when setting sail to conquer the world. Earth Rot is such a fitting for a band of this filthy caliber and at times I can even hear some of their early grindcore influences. Hell on The Bones That Lay Beneath the Earth they even got a freaking saxophone solo! When I read up on Earth Rot’s history, their influences and how they want to portrait sinister noise shaped by the world around you I had my hopes up that this was going to be good. I am glad to tell you guys that they deliver exactly what they promise.

This is one of those happy surprises that makes me want to dig into a bands whole discography. It’s not perfect but the world isn’t perfect, it’s sinister just as Renascentia. Take it from the band itself Earth Rot will rain down filth upon you. Earth Rot’s Renascentia is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EarthRotband
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EarthRotAus
For fans of: Naglfar and Anaal Nathrakh
Favorite song: Funeral Pyre

Virulent Depravity – Fruit of the Poisoned Tree (Technical Death Metal)

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What do you get when you get three very talented technical musicians together? You get Virulent Depravity! The band was created by Colin Butler, who is on guitar, bas and vocals duty. He quickly got the attention from well-known musicians within the technical death metal community and before he knew it he had guitarist Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, ex-Entheos) and drummer Kevin Paradis (Svart Crown, ex-live Benighted) in his line-up.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is the bands debut album. Get ready for a flurry of blasting solos, high speed tech-death with a very high level of quality throughout the album. You can definitely tell this is the craftsmanship of some veterans in the scene who knows how to maintain quality and pushing themselves all the way through. The guitars and the sound of it takes me back to Spawn of Possession and their legendary Incurso album. Not a small feat. This is one of the more technical albums I’ve heard in a long time, even for a technical death metal album it’s very heavy on the solos and tempo changes. Meaning this is the wet dream to people who like their tech-death as technical as humanly possible. Whereas I am personally more of a Hour of Penance kind of tech-death type of guy I still need my fill of this type of thing too, I just need to be in the right mood.

Virulent Depravity delivers what most metalheads hoped for, a freaking sweet technical death metal album for fans of Spawn of Possession, Origin and Archspire to dig into. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is out April 7th through The Artisan Era Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virulentdepravity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VDepravity
For fans of: Spawn of Possession and Origin
Favorite song: Mechanized Defilement