LISTMANIA 2017: BLASHPEMOUS FOUNDATIONS (A YEAR-END ROUNDUP BY THEMADISRAELI)
(We present here the lists of 2017 releases that proved to be the favorites of NCS writer TheMadIsraeli.)
2017 was a fucking great year for metal of all kinds, but most particularly the extreme kinds. Keeping it short and sweet again this year, I’ve decided to call this list Blasphemous Foundations. I picked a Top 6 of thrash, black, and death metal, the central pillars of extreme metal (heuhueheue 666 get it!?) followed by a miscellaneous Top 10 of stuff either not in those categories or was its own thing to the extent I didn’t think it fit into them. This will probably be my year-end list format going forward, although there will be differing amounts of exposition and me generally being an overly verbose fuckhead.
But first, some hot takes, and not-so-hot takes I’d like to offer:
1: The number of year-end lists I’ve seen that include Trivium’s The Sin And The Sentence is pretty depressing. This band peaked at Shogun, and it really makes me question the standards of the people who praise this album. Trivium can do better than this record, and have; Ascendency and Shogun are still essential metalcore albums in my mind to this day.
2: Out of the perceived but silly idea of a Sepultura vs The Cavalera’s rivalry, Sepultura certainly came on top this year. Cavalera Conspiracy’s Psychosis was a decidedly lukewarm album from a man who’s always felt he was the heart and soul of Sepultura. While Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy continue to retread old ground and cling to the past, Sepultura continue to take risks, which really paid off in this year’s Machine Messiah.
3: Arch Enemy was a double downer. Will To Power was the band’s most stale record since Anthems Of Rebellion AND Jeff Loomis didn’t get to contribute? I think the band knows they made a mistake here.
4: The saddest musician death of this year, undoubtedly, was Warrel Dane’s. A unique voice who wrote some of the best lyrics with a tonality that will probably never be heard again. I had always hoped Nevermore might reunite, but now it just wouldn’t be right. RIP.
5: Stoner and sludge metal have become an exhaustively derivative corner of the sub-genres, populated by far too many bands (though not all) who never progress or do anything interesting. There are also too many metal blogs that give this stuff too much press.
With all that said, here are my lists, with links to the music:
TOP 6 DEATH METAL
TOP 6 THRASH METAL
TOP 6 BLACK METAL
The Clearing Path
Cradle of Filth
TOP 10 MISCELLANEOUS
Solid list! Benighted and Power Trip took me completely by surprise this year — two solid releases from bands that deserve so much praise for their fantastic work.
I’ll chime in with my opinion regarding sludge and stoner — they’re definitely overpopulated sub genres, but for good reason; they tend to be fairly accessible from a non-metal listener standpoint. Much of the song structures mirror popular bands of yesteryear (i.e Nazareth, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) and modern trends appear to indicate that nostalgia is a driving force in people’s consumption of — well, anything in pop culture, really. So long as it sounds familiar and hearkens to “the good ole’ days,” people will consume/produce a certain image or sound faster than flies swarm a pile of shit. I could nag on this particular subject infecting the film industry, but that’s for another day. Needless to say, I agree with your observations regarding the state of stoner and sludge music. Still, we should revel and praise the good music that does emerge from those sub genres.
Great picks! Sepultura, Body Count, Origin, and Havok, all killer! 🙂
THIS LISTS IS AMONGST MY FAVORITE
Hotter Take: there is no such thing as “essential metalcore”
Even Hotter Take: You’re wrong.
Nice inclusion of The Clearing Path. Quite a late release in the year too.
I seem to be in the minority, but I was kind of lukewarm on the new Dying Fetus.
Power Trip and Kreator were excellent, Immolation was probably the strongest release by an old death metal fixture (in a year that saw many such releases), and while Benighted aren’t really my style I thought their album was strong.
I will say that my black metal picks are quite different than yours, but to each his own.
totally with you. I’ve wanted to love the new DF and listened to it a bunch but its not clicking. I’m just not hearing t ass kicking riffs that Reign Supreme had all over.
I’m really surprised at the lack of recognition for Pain of Salvations, absolutely phenomenal album, “In the Passing Light of Day” all over peoples best of end year lists!!! I realize it came out last January but that’s no reason for it to have seemingly gone unnoticed at end of year. Definitely one of my top discs of the year, bar non.
Pain Of Salvation has been irrelevant to me and falling short for quite some time now.
Theres a few picks Ive been seeing on a lot of year end lists that leave me scratching my head.
Pain of Salvation is one of them. I guess its not objectively bad in any way, its just absolutely something I have zero interest in. Same with Night Flight Orchestra and Unleash the Archers. Again, none objectively bad, clearly all of this bands are very talented and playing right into the wheelhouse they want to be in. They’re just playing in a style that leaves me disinterested.