Another year passed and another top 10 list to write … but 2017 was better than the last few. This year saw a mass of awesome metal and death metal releases. It was extremely hard to nail down 25, yet take that list to 10. I finally used the album play count on my computer and phone to decide this one. It seemed the most fair way.
The honorable mentions for this year are stellar releases by Kreator, Overkill, Broken Hope, Goatwhore, Suffocation, Immolation, Integrity, Necrot, Venom Inc., Monolord, Scour, and The Black Dahlia Murder.
10. Obituary: Obituary (Relapse Records)
The swamp death metal masters returned to full form in songwriting, performance, and production with this release. It truly ranks among their best to date.
9. Converge: The Dusk In Us (Epitaph Records)
Converge covered everything with this release and appeased every listener with their ability to perform at every level. Blistering at times, yet the title track is emotional and eery.
8. Cannibal Corpse: Red Before Black (Metal Blade Records)
These guys NEVER fail when they release a new album. Yes-it sounds like Cannibal Corpse every time…but that’s the best part!
7. Full Of Hell: Trumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore Records)
Blistering grind that harnesses all the power and brutality that anyone could ever put on an album. This is one album that, from start to finish, will leave you wanting more.
6. All Pigs Must Die: Hostage Animal (Southern Lord)
This super group takes brutal grind to a whole new level. The songs are longer and more dynamic than more traditional grind, and the band never lets up.
5. Code Orange: Forever (Roadrunner Records)
A buddy introduced me to Code Orange Kids a couple years ago, so I am less surprised than most at the successful sound of this album. These guys have been building this for years and have created a masterpiece with Forever.
4. Belphegor: Totenritual (Nuclear Blast Entertainment)
Totenritual is the best black metal release since Behemoth’s The Satanist. It is 100 percent pure evil, and the band are firing on all cylinders on all songs. The production is flawless, and it may be the best produced black metal album ever.
3. Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord Records)
The powerful crossover of thrash and punk that these guys create is so infectious that it will be stuck in your head for weeks. Their live shows are absolutely some of the best out there, too.
2. Dying Fetus: Wrong One To Fuck With (Relapse Records)
Dying Fetus have done no wrong in their history, so why fuck with a formula that works? They tweak and experiment, but never to a fault. Wrong One To Fuck With is absolutely my favorite release from them. Every song is solid. It’s brutal from front to back. Period.
1. Morbid Angel: Kingdoms Disdained (Silver Lining Music)
This is the album hordes of us have been waiting decades for. It harnesses everything Morbid Angel are known for and everything death metal is supposed to be … in my humble opinion. Steve Tucker hasn’t lost the ability to completely devastate everything in his path with his guttural vocals, and Trey Azagthoth is one of the most pivotal and influential guitarists in the genre. This album made metal dreams come true.