2017 is today officially at it’s last day. Rather late than never, this the last Top 10 list of the ME crew members: Wouter. Hereby also a big thanks to my fellow Metal-Exposure crew for making 2017 a fun, terror, party and at times beer filled parade. Seeing Mork Gryning re-united in Stockholm, Midgardsblot fjord swimming and having a festival on the ferry to Turku are just some of the highlights. And last but not least: you, for reading all the stuff we pen down.
To be completely honest, I did not get to listen to quite as much as I would have liked to. Beside the normal reviewing, I only got to ‘glimpse-from-under-my-rock’ a bit. For various reasons I will not go into too much, this mostly resulted in lack of time and/or patience to really listen to new stuff. Besides this, a few very strong exceptions aside, nothing really (mind)struck me, so I struggled to put up a Top 10.
A Top 5 then, with honourable mentions, the latter in no particular order.
Heretoir – The Circle
When first seeing Heretoir at Summerbreeze 2014, I was awestruck. With their 2011 self-titled full length I struggled long after and gave up in favour of other music. Their 2017 release The Circle is gripping, laden and extremely well played. One of the better post/depressive-black metal Germany has to offer.
Dystopia – Chaos Philosophorum
Dystopia is probably one of the best up-and-coming symphonic black metal the Netherlands has to offer. It takes you along, ensnares and surprises. The talent of these relative youngsters, both live and on studio, is only slightly marred by the somewhat musty recoding of their second full-length.
Der Wer Einer Einer Freiheit – Finisterre
Be it because of wolves as a theme, because of the relentless dissociation towards humanity I feel reflected in their music, because of the drummer (Tobias Schuler)…Well suffice to say I like them, and Finisterre as well. It is brilliant. Less of Stellar more of Agonie, although it is no Unstille.
Nightbringer – Terra Damnatta
As above…well so many use it but nobody approaches Nightbringer in their rigour, Emperor-overtopping blast of occult darkness. Terra Damnata is the logical next step in their ouvre.
5. Farsot – Fail Lure
The find of 2017? Well almost. A welcome change to the black metal en-masse messe-noir, that would be helped with fresh wind. Farsot gives welcome natural influx of new styles without becoming forced eclectic. While maintaining desperation, darkness and aggression, Farsot gives all of this and more, with a psychedelic undertone that is just enough: an undertone.
4. Myrkur – Mareridt
The voice of wonder, the growls of a nightmare. Amalie’s formidable musical multi-talent has evolved up and sideways since M. Mareridt offers more melody and depth and has made room for subtle folk influence.
3. Wolves in the Throneroom – Thrice Woven
The Wolves are back, howling as they should. After a rather strange experimental dabble in ambient and atmospheric sound scaping on Celestite, I feared for their metal continuity. Thrice Woven brings back (or forth) the layered, dense and, lest I forget, pummelling aggression a la Black Cascade. Though at times a bit less aggressive, even friendly, the album shines for it’s quality and diversity.
2. Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants : Hermaphrodite
The Swiss poster boys of avantgarde (black) metal have shown to be brilliant on Triangle. On Hermaphrodite no less, while they also showed they are able to evolve musically. Their ‘magick’ with metaphors throughout their work is clearly present on this release.
1. Audn – Farvegir Fyrndar
Audn was the find of 2017 for me, also the album that I’ve listened to almost non-stop since the release. Hell, I even pre-ordered Farvegir Fyrndar. A first time for everything, right? The intricate mix of fast, melodic, Scandinavian riffing, a bass that is addictive to listen to and drums to awaken the Giants…Lest we forget: proper recording on this album also helps pushing this gem high above many others.