Dec 142017


Stereogum easily qualifies as one of the “big platform” web sites whose year-end lists of metal we perennially include in our LISTMANIA series. Of course, the site appeals to an audience of music fans much larger than devoted metalheads, but its staff includes a talented and tasteful group of metal writers who among other things are responsible for the site’s monthly “The Black Market” column, which has been a great source of discovery for extreme music for five years running now.

It follows that Stereogum‘s annual metal list is one I especially look forward to seeing every year, and the 2017 edition appeared a couple of days ago. It again includes a ranked list of 40 albums.

As the introduction to the 2017 list explains, it was compiled by “The Black Market” crew of Doug MooreIan Chainey, Aaron Lariviere, and Wyatt Marshall — although the intro further explains that Doug Moore has chosen to depart Stereogum. His three remaining collaborators will continue “The Black Market” column in a revised format (10 songs featured each month instead of 15, and a shorter introductory essay).


Not surprisingly, this year’s Stereogum Top 40 again dives far deeper underground than any of the other lists we’ve re-posted in this year’s LISTMANIA series, and includes a bigger percentage of my own favorite 2017 releases than any of the others as well. It includes a few of this year’s “usual suspects” (albums that you’ll see on almost every list), but not many.

Of course, it’s also missing some of your (and my) favorite 2017 albums; that’s the nature of the listmania beast. But as a resource for discovering compelling metal you might have missed, this is a very good one.

Before stepping aside and letting the list speak for itself, I’ll add just one more comment about it: I think Doug Moore hit the nail on the head in the paragraph he wrote to accompany the albums chosen for the No. 1 position (that’s right, “albums”): “Suffice it to say: there has never been another band quite like these guys, and there never will be. People are gonna be looking back at this run and marveling for years, so enjoy living through it.”

P.S. Go HERE to see the list in its original context, along with the accompanying commentaries and Doug Moore’s farewell introductory essay.


40. Sarcasm – Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds (Dark Descent)
39. Pillorian – Obsidian Arc (Eisenwald Tonschmiede)
38. Délétère – Per Aspera Ad Pestilentiam (Sepulchral Productions)
37. Ingurgitating Oblivion – Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light (Willowtip)
36. Jute Gyte – Oviri (Jeshimoth)
35. Vanum – Burning Arrow (Profound Lore)
34. Dodechahedron – Kwintessens (Season Of Mist)
33. Necrot – Blood Offerings (Tankcrimes)
32. Au Dessus – End Of Chapter (Les Acteurs De L’Ombre)
31. Arkhtinn – V (Fallen Empire)
30. Demonic Death Judge – Seaweed (Suicide)
29. Heretoir – The Circle (Northern Silence)
28. Gigan – Undulating Waves Of Rainbiotic Iridescence (Willowtip)
27. Condor – Unstoppable Power (High Roller)
26. With The Dead – Love From With The Dead (Rise Above)
25. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore)
24. Paradise Lost – Medusa (Nuclear Blast)
23. Turia – Dede Kondre (Altare Productions)
22. Unearthly Trance – Stalking The Ghost (Relapse)
21. Chaos Moon – Eschaton Mémoire (Blood Music / Fallen Empire)
20. Psudoku – Deep Space Psudokument (PSUDOKU)
19. Grift – Arvet (Nordvis)
18. Jassa – Incarnation Of The Higher Gnosis (Fallen Empire)
17. Verge – The Process Of Self-Becoming (I, Voidhanger)
16. Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie (Sibir)
15. Tchornobog – Tchornobog (I, Voidhanger / Fallen Empire)
14. Hell – Hell (LowerYourHead)
13. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World (Stickman)
12. Sabbath Assembly – Rites Of Passage (Svart)
11. No Faith – Forced Subservience (Iron Lung Records)
10. Couch Slut – Contempt (Gilead Media)
9. Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (Silver Lining Music)
8. Locust Leaves – A Subtler Kind Of Light (I, Voidhanger)
7. Succumb – Succumb (The Flenser)
6. Kairon; IRSE! – Ruination (Svart)
5. Violet Cold – Anomie (Tridroid/Fólkvangr)
4. Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae (Caligari)
3. Cleric – Retrocausal (Web Of Mimicry)
2. Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon (Profound Lore)
1. Krallice – Prelapsarian / Loüm / Go Be Forgotten (Gilead Media)


  1. Andy Synn says:

    What, no Gorguts?

  2. Eli says:

    Ooooo this is an interesting list, I quite like the Couch Slut pick, even though I don’t think that Contempt was as good as My Life as a Woman.

  3. blend77 says:

    These guys are my kind of metalheads. And NCS of course.

  4. TGLumberjack says:

    As someone who has never given Krallice more than a passing listen, where is the best place to start?

    • Islander says:

      I think their last album this year, Go Be Forgotten, is their best work (but it’s a very close call). I would start there, and if you like that, follow it with Loüm. If you’re still on board, I’d then go back to Diotima.

      • Andy Synn says:

        I do not think it’s their best work, but it is still very good. And surprisingly listenable, so should work as a good introduction.

        Of the three mentioned here I think Prelapsarian is the best myself.

      • Matthew L says:

        Go Be Forgotten is excellent, but I think Years Past Matter is their best album, closely followed by Ygg Huur which was deeply influenced by the band-members’ involvement in Gorguts.

    • TGLumberjack says:

      Thanks for the recommendations! Just gave Go Be Forgotten a listen found myself enjoying it more the further into the album I got. This is super crazy and dense though, so I’ll have to give this a few more listens before forming much of an opinion.

  5. jab says:

    Nice to see Necrot finally made a list. That album is killer.

  6. blend77 says:

    Don’t think we didn’t see what you did with the Doug Jones thing. 😛
    Interjecting a little ray of light here at NCS?

  7. Andreas says:

    Rope Sect!! They released one EP and a two song 7 inch. I have listened so much on those two records, so good. Glad to see them on the list.

  8. Benjamin Brandon says:

    This list is pretty great, you’re right. Obviously they can’t cover everything, but a lot of stuff that has been overlooked by some other sources were included here, which is nice. I definitely agree with the Krallice sentiment. They really outdid themselves this year with those albums. I recently received my physical copies in the mail and have been listening to nothing else.

  9. Will says:

    What a disappointment for a list. No Bell Witch? That’s a really blatant error.

  10. Glenn Whitehead says:

    That is an interesting list. I like it.

  11. Ant says:

    Morbid Angel’s latest has been high in a few lists now. Did these people actually listen to that album? It’s not the atrocity that their last one was yet it’s hardly any good.

  12. brklyner says:

    Based on a comparison with my personal list, Stereogum’s is the most accurate I’ve seen so far this year 😉

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