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Articles : Anwar Rizk’s Top Albums of 2017

By on December 28, 2017

Another year goes by and another slew of ridiculously good releases come our way. It’s been a pretty hectic year for metal, punk and rock music. We’ve seen some great releases coming out of Australia from some of the best in the business. I’m always blown away at how good we have it in the country with the quality of music that our artists produce. Internationally, it’s solid through and through.

While we celebrate the amazing tours that were, and albums on offer over the last twelve months. We cannot forget those who left their mark, and sadly left this world too soon; Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Warrel Dane (Nevermore, Sanctuary) and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) are among the few who left us this year, yet continue to leave a mark with their music.

This year has been difficult to narrow down to just ten albums (just like every other year). Just like every other year, however, I have put my top albums in no particular order.

In the immortal words of Rick Sanchez, “And away we go!”.

Kreator – Gods Of Violence

German Teutonic thrash lords, Kreator, do it again with their fourteenth album, ‘Gods of Violence‘. A veritable assault on the sensors, featuring some crushing thrash anthems. Produced once again by Jen Borgen. The album carries a similar tone to the band’s previous release ‘Phantom Antichrist‘. It’s thrash-by-numbers but done in the most creative and destructive way possible.

Beast In Black – Beast In Black

This is the debut release from Finnish metal band, Beast In Black. The band was founded by Anton Kabanen after leaving native metallers, Battle Beast. I know a lot of people would argue that both bands sound exactly the same. Hell, they even have similar names, but it’s all in the detail. This band is destined to become a sleeper hit in Europe. The album contains all my favourite things in metal. Whaling vocals, fist-pumping anthems, shredding guitar solos with copious amounts of keyboards. Love it!

Thy Art Is Murder – Dear Desolation

This album is sheer chaos enveloped in a political and social commentary. A definite must-have for lovers of all things brutal. Inspired by the likes of Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel. This album is the true epitome of brutality and is utterly crushing. If you ever get the opportunity to see Thy Art live, I strongly urge you go see them. They never disappoint.

Harlott – Extinction

It seems Melbourne’s Harlott have become the next big thing in thrash metal. Their first album, Origin, was a well put together release which struck a cord with metalheads across the globe. That trend continued with the second release, Proliferation, which in my opinion is one of the best thrash metal albums of all time, and gained the band world recognition after signing with Metal Blade Records. Extinction continues the band’s progression, creating a well-structured album with solid bangers.

John Carpenter – Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 

I know this isn’t metal, but I have a rather strong appreciation for John Carpenter. I grew up watching his action, sci-fi and horror movies during my teens, with Escape From New York still being one of my favourite films of all time. Carpenter’s minimalist cinematography approach has no doubt crept into his music, composing some eerie and notable masterpieces, including the themes of Halloween, Carrie, Big Trouble In Little China and Escape From New York. If you’re a fan of synth, electronic, minimalist rock and movie scores, I strongly urge you check out John Carpenter’s Anthology: Movie Themes.

Orden Ogan – Gunmen

Mixing power metal with progressive and folk metal elements, German metal quartet, Ordan Ogan rides again. Their music is in the same vein as metal powerhouse institutions; Sabaton and Powerwolf. Delivering a trademark bombastic sound with massive choruses and chunky riffs. This band can do no wrong.

Stone Sour – Hydrograd

Focusing more on a rock n’ roll approach to their previous releases, Stone Sour, have created easily one of the most accessible albums in metal. No matter if you like your ballads or straight up heaviness Hydrograd has you covered. The album ticks all the boxes and is just a solid feel-good album.

Grave Digger – Healed By Metal

Grave Digger is undoubtedly one of my favourite power metal bands of all time (next to Stormwarror). Whenever they release a new album I instantly gravitate towards it. I know a lot of people would argue this album sounds like every other album they have released, but that’s the whole reason I like this band. They keep to their roots and continually make some solid bangers in the process.

Voyager – Ghost Mile

This album encompasses a large array of musical influences. By definition, it’s a progressive metal album but carries with it so many styles and facets of music its hard to narrow it down to one specific style. I remember when the band released a t-shirt with the phrase “Epic, Electro, Progressive, Power, Pop Metal”. That’s pretty much the best description of the band and this album. Ghost Mile is clearly not for the narrow-minded, but well worth your time if you’re inclined.

Wintersun – The Forest Seasons

This album was definitely up there with my most anticipated release for the year. I know a lot of people were expecting ‘Time II‘ but what we got was something well worth the wait, thanks to the band’s lucrative crowdfunding campaign to fund the album. The album is a multi-layered masterpiece which encompasses solid production values, epic songs and is quite honestly the perfect album.

Honourable mentions: AcceptThe Rise Of Chaos, Battle BeastBringer of Pain, Morbid AngelKingdoms Disdained, Body CountBloodlust, Jed Kurzel – Alien: Covenant OST, Aversions Crown – Xenocide, Ensiferum – Two Paths.


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook