Metalenema’s Best Metal Albums of 2017

Metalenema’s album of the year!

Your list sucks, our list rules. Sorry, pussies. It was another huge year for death metal, with some sprinklings of  black metal and thrash here and there. The best thing about 2017 was that creating this list was the easiest it has been in a while. There was a lot to like, as you’ll hear!

Top Ten:

Album of the year: 
Ritualization, Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss  – This absolute monster of a record is quite possibly the best album out of France that isn’t by Antaeus. The drums blaze, the guitars shred, the vocal roar, and the razor-sharp production slices your eardrums. Fast as fuck, yet expertly executed and memorable, Ritualization offers a diabolical thrill-ride that you’ll want to take again and again.

The rest of the best (in no particular order):

2) White Death , White Death This Finnish upstart came out of nowhere with some scathing, screechy black metal that recalls the darker days of the Norwegian greats. Finland often misses the mark in this arena, but White Death hits the bullseye with caustic production, icy riffs, goblin screams, and some surprisingly anthemic twists.

3) Unassprechlichen Kulten, Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X) Discordant and dark death metal from the bowels of Chile (Chile bowels, get it?), this long-running unit returns with a deadly chokehold on the sound that is at times confounding and unapproachable while being frighteningly effective throughout.

4) Phrenelith, Desolate Endscape –  This Danish outfit is the most notable name from their neck of the woods in quite a while, and they don’t squander this distinction by overthinking things. Get in, be heavy, crush skulls, get out – the way death metal was intended.

5) Ascended Dead, Abhorrent Manifestation – Blistering death metal madness from one of America’s most promising acts.Ascended Dead performs with the frantic speed of a war metal while creating riffs befitting of a Floridian classic.

6) Condor, Unstoppable Power – Norway continues its proud tradition of evil thrash with this band’s breakout full-length. While worshiping at the well-established altar of Aura Noir, Condor pins the pedal straight to the floor and succeeds in setting themselves apart through sheer aggression.

7) Immolation, Atonement – The New York death metal titans return with a fresh take on their current model, and it works beautifully. Atonement broods and seethes with strong riffs and even stronger performances that will please the faithful, while winning over lapsed fans and newcomers alike.

8) Blood, Inferno – The gold-standard for Satanic death grind, Blood returns with another album that extols death and destruction instead of whining about what people eat for dinner. Rock-steady as ever, Inferno blasts with confidence and delivers a relentless beating.

9) Crurifragium, Beasts of the Temple of Satan – This debut full-length from the new underground vanguard of the Pacific Northwest offers a blast furnace of black/death fury that recalls Fallen Angel of Doom in the best way possible. But don’t dismiss them as another war metal band, because Crurifagium has hooks to spare, ones that promise to drag you into the darkness.

10) Degial, Predator Reign – Just under the wire for 2017, Degial bursts into the party with a new lease on life. Predator Reign is confident, vicious, and it kicks the new Morbid Angel album right in the balls.