Oh, hey! I almost didn't see you there. I'm glad you could find your way from Part I to check out Part II. Feel free to mingle with everyone else here and enjoy the party.
But for real, let's continue on shall we?
Night Demon- Welcome To The Night
FFO- Heavy Metal, Speed Metal
Keeping their classic sound while exploring new ground, Night Demon returns from the darkness with their sophomore album hellbent on catchy NWOBHM riffs, classic horror lyrics and and overall fun vibe that's impossible to ignore. Absolutely solid.
Novembers Doom- Harmartia
FFO- Doom Metal, Death Metal, Progressive Metal
The death metal sound of Novembers Doom has taken more of a back seat on this album in favor of doom, prog and clean vocal approaches of dark sounds. While there are still many great moments of brutality, the darkest moments are always when Paul Kuhr's chilling clean vocals consume you. A great mix of everything you love about ND, but at it's very best. Easily my favorite Novembers Doom album to date.
FFO- Old School Death Metal
There's not much that needs to be said about this album other than this is the best Obituary album to date. Everything you love about the band with all new material. Modern day death metallers could learn a thing or two about melody, harmony and groove from this album.
The Obsessed- Sacred
FFO- Classic Metal, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal
The first album from the band since 1994 and the band feels like they never went away! combining all of the best moments and sounds the band is known for and bringing them to life in the modern day. If you need that throwback metal album, this delivers!
Pain Of Salvation- On The Passing Light Of Day
FFO: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Sadly an album I can relate to for so many reasons described throughout, this album is single-handedly the greatest achievement of Daniel Gildenlow's career so far. The right amounts of heaviness musically and lyrically mixed some of the truest emotion ever laid onto record. If you or anyone you know has come close to their own demise; you owe it to yourself to check this album out. I defy you not to not to shed a tear by the end.
FFO- Doom Metal
Pallbearer has been crushing the world for a good long time now. Their latest album, Heartless, does so even more now with the inclusion of expanding beyond their doom roots. Showing off more prog, sludge and rock moments helped to create the band's most ambitious and greatest album to date. A sheer masterpiece.
FFO- Progressive Death Metal
Persefone continues to be one of Europe's best kept secrets. An absolute masterclass in musicianship and songwriting. Aathma explores even more ground in prog and death metal than ever before. What it sounds like you mix Cynic, The Faceless, and Opeth in a blender for a smoothie. A sheer beauty of an album.
Power Trip- Nightmare Logic
FFO- Crossover Thrash, Heavy Metal
This band is exploding all over the world and for good reason. Power Trip unleashes their latest album, Nightmare Logic with a perfect mix of crossover thrash, heavy metal, and punk. If you want a band that focuses on simplicity in their brutality, all while staying original, Power Trip is the band for you.
Scale The Summit- In A World Of Fear
FFO- Instrumental Progressive Metal
Like any band that has lasted through the years, STS has had it's share of ups and downs both musically and personally. In 2017, it looks as though the past is in the past and band has become anew. In A World of Fear feels more like a film soundtrack than just a collection of songs. Great landscapes, astounding playing and some of the best work of the band to date.
Seven Kingdoms- Decennium
FFO- Power Metal
Without question the best album from Seven Kingdoms ever. This hearkens back to the golden age of power metal yet stays new. Beyond catchy hooks, excellent songwriting and top not musicianship. The band has found their prefect formula with Decennium.
SicociS- Requiem Of The World
FFO- Progressive Metal, Power Metal
Evergrey meets Dark Tranquillity meets Unearth. It's an unholy combination, but it works so very well. Breakdowns in all the right spots, the ppower of European melody and crushing prog, power, & melodeath. This band really has it all and the band has just begun it's decimation of the world.
SikTh- The Future In Whose Eyes?
FFO- Progressive Metal, Mathcore, Experimental
Before metalheads of the current age started playing syncopated riffs and exploring the heavy sides of prog thanks to Periphery, there was SikTh. The band has returned with their first full length album since their landmark album, Death Of A Dead Day. Even with the band being gone for a lot of that time, it feels as though they never left! Staying just as modern edged, heavy and experimental as ever, the new album makes you question if you are happy with the world today and what you can do to improve yourself and the world around you. A sheer masterclass of songwriting and through provoking lyrics.
Six Feet Under- Torment
FFO- Death Metal
I'm pretty sure this was the album Chris Barnes has been waiting to write for a long time. The band fires on all cylinders on this release. Brutal in all the right spots all while showcasing more groove and dynamics than ever before. It doesn't need to be a groundbreaking album to destroy, it just needs to be solid. That's exactly what SFU does here.
Tokyo Motor Fist- S/T
FFO- 80s Melodic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Sometimes all you need is catchy melodic riffs and a positive message. That's exactly what this monstrous supergroup does. The perfect throwback to the 80s heyday while being just as relevant in 2017. Some may find this album dated; I find it exactly what the world needs now, besides love sweet love.
Tombs- The Grand Annihilation
FFO- Experimental Metal
Tombs is one of those rare band that will change their style every album, yet still sound like Tombs. This album explores more of the Avant Garde amongest it's sludge, doom, and black metal roots. Surprise changes on the turn of a dime and moments you would never expect; Tombs continues to be a complete innovator in metal and proves that you don't need to be pigeonholed in any genre.
Vallenfyre- Fear Those Who Fear Him
FFO- Death Metal, Doom Metal
What else is there to say? Another sinister album from the Paradise Lost founding guitarist that further pushes the boundaries of doom and death metal while staying completely cohesive. An unbelievably solid album.
FFO- Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Vangough continues pushing the boundaries of their sound with Warpaint. Arguably the heaviest album in their catalog, the band explores mind bending riffs that close the gap between Pain Of Salvation and Tool while forging their own patented sound. Such a fantastic album.
Vintersorg- Till Fjalls Dell II
FFO- Black Metal, Folk Metal, Progressive Metal
The sequel to the seminal debut album, this album showcases Vintersorg at his absolute best. Such beautiful songwriting mixed with the dark and evil tones that comes standard with Vintersorg. Jaw dropping doesn't even begin to describe this album with justice; you just have to listen for yourself.
Voyager- Ghost Mile
FFO- Progressive Metal
The first Voyager album not to feature the letter V at all, this album marks a bit of a new chapter of the band. While still maintaining all of the goodness that Voyager has brought to the table, the band pushes itself into new territory with musical direction and finesse. I can only imagine that these songs will sound massive live. Such a fun listen.
Warbringer- Woe To The Vanquished
FFO- Blackened Thrash Metal
It's not even an option. This is the BEST Warbringer album ever. Culminating in all of the best elements of the band, but expanding their blackened tendencies, the band has produced a landmark album for the ages. Excellent songwriting and production matched with superior musicianship make this album you simply can't miss.
Wednesday 13- Condolences
FFO- Heavy Metal, Horror Punk
Simple, catchy, thought provoking, creepy, and sexy. That describes the solo material of Wednesday 13 to a T. Condolences continues this trend while staying completely fresh and innovative. A sheer horror delight of an album.
Witherfall- Nocturnes And Requiems
FFO- Progressive Metal, Power Metal
This is the hardest album for em to write about as this features the last drum recordings my dear friend, Adam Sagan, who succumbed to Lymphoma late last year. He was one of the most positive and greatest guys I will ever know and it was an honor to get this album and hear him play one last time. Even if it wasn't for the personal reasons attached to the album, this album slays in it's songwriting, musicianship and sheer talent. This may fall under the radar to a lot of people, but don't let it! Buy it, play it, and tell everyone who may dig it to check it out.
Zeal And Ardor- Devil Is Fine
FFO- If African American Spirituals were inspired by Satan
The brainchild of the phenomenal musician Manuel Gagneux, Zeal And Ardor mixed African American Spirituals, Black Metal and experimental music for the perfect representation of what would happen if African American slaves turned to the devil instead of God. It feels like the perfect soundtrack to a horror movie that should be made of this concept. This band is only going to explode in popularity as time goes on. Do yourself the best favor you can give yourself and check this out.
And that does it for the Mid-Year Report of the best albums of 2017 so far. Go out there, explore some new music, see what you dig and spread the word of what you enjoy!
Till Mid-December, continue to check out my radio show, interviews, and all things That Drummer Guy!