Tuesday, 27 June 2017

THE 16 MOST POPULAR ALBUMS OF YEAR SO FAR: The Sour 16 January - June 2017

As I reflect incredulously upon 2017 so far, it continues to confound my expectations that THE SLUDGELORD exists at all, let alone being able to reflect upon six months worth of albums. 

2017 is like any other, we predict this year’s releases will not top the last, but invariably we are proven wrong, there have been highlights and disappointments, shocks and surprises, and as we approach July, we’ll continue to separate the good, from the bad and the ugly.  But today we reflect upon the 16 most popular records at THE SLUDGELORD so far in 2017.   

This list does not reflect the contributors own tastes, rather they are articles that have received the most clicks, therefore by virtue of that, you could argue they’re the most popular (it’s a pretty loose hypotheses I know, but we wanted the list to reflect your tastes not ours).  The fact that the albums cover a variety of genres is indicative of how the site has grown and is central to the philosophy we promote, which is to review albums we like, not solely on the basis of genre.

The results of this chart as ever are compiled based on page views alone.  For more information on the bands, click the artwork.   We have included album streams wherever possible. (Total views since their publication is highlighted in red).  Thanks for reading. 

16). Brutus“Burst” (1455)

Straddling the line between hardcore punk and a post-rock/metal riff fest, Brutus pounds, hurls, and howls at volumes so loud and levels so intense that it’s impossible to look away. Harmonies, hooks, and sing-a-longs are part of the Brutus recipe, but it’s the sheer intensity that will have heads turning, bopping, and banging.

15). TokeOrange(1458)

Toke seamlessly blends the precise amount of head crushing, belly thumping riffs with greasy, bluesy lead breaks and melody. This band has struck a balance between tried and true classic archetypes within this genre and has pushed the envelope in so many forms of noticeable nuance.

14). Mutoid Man“War Moans” (1529)

“War Moans” is fast, heavy and vocally arresting, it is an album that is certain to leave you breathless. 

13). Spidergawd“IV” (1568)

“IV” is eight tracks that follow the verse-chorus-verse-chorus formula and does so with licks, vocals, lyrics and melodies that are sharp, fast, and poignant. As far as that’s concerned, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about

12). Bathsheba“Servus” (1603)

The biggest strength of the album is its tactful and haunting use of atmosphere. This is achieved through the skilful use of dynamic contrast, organically unfolding transitions and changes in the timbre of the music, particularly in the playing of guitarist Dwight Goossens.  Tracks such as “Manifest” and “Demon” see Goossens change from chilling, ambient clean tones to rich, roaring fuzz tones that could satisfy even the hardest to please doom fans.

11). Sleep“The Clarity” (1681)

“This track sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a huge robotic entity slowly trudging through space. ‘The Clarity’ is exactly what every Sleep fan wanted to hear after being dormant for such a long time. If these guys can pull an album out of the bag in the near future with anything remotely close to the calibre of power involved in this, then we are in for a serious slab of mind-altering, heavy doom.”

10). DOOL“Here Now, There Then” (1698)

It is rare that an album is able to make one completely forget about their real world surroundings and bring them somewhere else entirely.  “Here Now, There Then” is an otherworldly brew of eeriness, effective hooks and nefarious rock and roll.  It is the soundtrack of a lost soul stumbling upon something evil and long forgotten, only to find it wide awake and waiting.

9). Unearthly Trance“Stalking The Ghost” (1780)

8). Pallbearer“Heartless” (1921)

“Heartless” is an incredible achievement from Pallbearer, a set of huge songs that consolidate the best elements of their previous releases while moving into fresh sonic territory. This is the album that should see the band make the transition into stadium-bothering all-time greats, and deservedly so.

7). Widows“Oh Deer God” (2075)

The strongest part of “Oh Deer God” are the bloated, swaggering riffs that invade every one of the album’s seven tracks. The riffs loom over the music like a giant surveying a small village, resolve in just the right way, and give the album a raw, beefy strength that makes it so enjoyable. At just under half an hour total, “Oh Deer God” is a brief, but delightful venture into where vaporous desert rock meets viscous sludge metal.

6). Sepultura“Machine Messiah” (2196)

Will this convert early-Sepultura-only fans? Unlikely. Will it convert Cavalera only Sepultura fans? I doubt it, as those people have made their decision and won't entertain that a Sepultura can exist without the Cavalera brothers. However, this is yet another high quality entry into the Sepultura discography and is one of the best records the band has made.

5). Dopelord“Children of the Haze” (2516)

“Children of the Haze” is defined by loose grooves, ghoulish riffing and a very vintage sense of wickedness. Dopelord prove that, unlike many other stoner metal bands, they are not content to just create the same song several times over and call it an album.

4). Blaze Bayley“Infinite Entanglement” & “Endure & Survive” (2819)

Both “Infinite Entanglement” and “Endure and Survive” are the best work of his entire career, better than Wolfsbane, better than his tenure with Maiden and better than his past solo work.  Blaze's fire is burning brighter than ever

3). Dead Witches“Ouija” (3528)

This is another perfectly fuzzed out slab of doom from a band that doesn’t seem to know any other way.

2). Soen“Lykaia” (3565)

On Soen’s third full length record their own explorative hunger is satisfied in the most delicious of ways, resulting in their most dynamically versatile but free flowing release to date.  An explorative and colourful record, there is a lot to take in with this record, many dimensions in which to get lost in. Repeat listens bear gorgeous fruits.

1). Telekinetic Yeti“Abominable” (4181)

All in all, the recording has a huge sound and the production is absolutely amazing. It has everything you could ever want and I would rate it as a perfect 10. The album is truly remarkable and is sure to go down in history as one of rock’s greatest debuts. These guys are definitely heavyweight contenders to find their place at the top of the scene