Fucking 2017 man. Shit year for life, great year for music. Get into it.
Amenra – Mass VI: this was hands down my favorite release of the year. Amenra turned everything up to 10 on Mass VI and produced one of the most affecting and intense releases I have heard in a long time. A Solitary Reign was probably the year’s best song.
Loss – Horizonless: a great step forward from Loss’s excellent funeral doom opus “Despond” from 2011. On Horizonless, the band expands its sound to include some faster tempos, somehow even sadder melodies and explores some new territory vocally. Make no mistake, this is still suicide music, but its also achingly beautiful.
Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie: Yellow Eyes gave us the newest iteration of their signature chaotic, bone scraping black metal, and its like a bag of little hammers being tossed around inside your brain.
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper: a nearly 90 minute long funeral doom lament for the death of former member Adrian Guerra, this record is hauntingly beautiful and sorrowful. A meditation on both life and death. Easily Bell Witch’s finest moment to date.
Lorn – A/D: this is a short release, and a departure for Lorn in that it is a cinematic score originally written to accompany a short film called ReflectionVoid which is also really cool in its own right. No beats on this one, but the dark, lurking intensity that is Lorn’s signature is still there and every time I reach the end of this record I immediately wish it was longer.
Cloakroom – Time Well: the current post-grunge/shoegaze trend meets midwest indie rock and the two hold hands as they walk into some late summer twilight. Gorgeous, engaging record that brought this band from just OK to great this year.
Unsane – Sterilize: Unsane’s new record is heavier than 90% of their catalog. Thick as molasses and still totally pissed, I’m convinced these guys can’t release a bad record.
Cavernlight – As We Cup Our Hands and Drink from the Stream of Our Ache: probably 2017’s bleakest record, Cavernlight takes you on a sonic journey through anxiety and depression. Every second of this record feels like a statement of true agony.
Forest Swords – Compassion: FFO Lorn, Burial etc. This is, I believe, the 2nd full length from UK producer Matthew Barnes. Compassion is an excellent successor to his previous LP Engravings. Combining elements of hip-hop instrumentals, dark ambient, glitch, and dubstep, this record somehow broods and bounces as it carries you through a richly textured sonic landscape.
Sannhet – So Numb: Sannhet is one of the only instrumental post metal bands I have ever liked. Saw them play this record live at the release show, which was in a church, and it made me a believer…in them. Crushing.
Other shit I liked/loved:
Heaven in Her Arms – White Halo
Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
Planning for Burial – below the house
Sunrot – Sunnata
Ether – there is nothing left for me here
Spotlights – Seismic
Godflesh – post self
Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die
Thoughts of Ionesco – Skar Cymbals
EXUL – Exul
Primitive Man – Caustic
Machine Moon – Wire Dreams/Trying to Make Colors
Syndromes – Demo
Scavengers – Ordovician Silurian