Sunday 14 January 2018

2017'S MOST POPULAR ALBUMS: The Sour 16 of 2017

Morbid Angel
When reflecting upon 2017’s releases,  we all love music and we all create lists, therefore with that in mind the “SOUR 16” draws those two things together and is simply a fun way to present good music to the readers over the course of the year.. 

So, with that in mind, today we present the culmination of our efforts and present “THE MOST POPULAR ALBUMS OF 2017 for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you had as much fun checking out new music on the blog last year, as much as did presenting it to you. I’d like to bestow an immeasurable amount of gratitude to the contributors, who made this year so awesome. 

The results are compiled based on page views alone and calibrated into the list below. All reviews can be viewed by clicking the artwork and we have included album streams wherever possible. (Total views since their publication are highlighted in red).  

16). Monolord - "Rust" (2820)

Monolord hits all the superlative notes when it comes to doom and the album's closing tracks, "Forgotten Lands" and "At Niceae," are as close to perfect as you can get.

15). Godflesh - "Post Self" (2954)

It may be a disturbing, challenging last will and testament of humanity’s futurist hopes and dreams, but “Post Self” is an invigorating, complex, and honest piece of industrial metal.  Perhaps most importantly, in a genre that can be glutted with repetitive speed metal riffs and samples of shouting despots, Godflesh stands as one of the smartest bands working today.

14). Blaze Bayley - “Infinite Entanglement” and “Endure and Survive” (3018)

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

13). Norilsk - "Le Passage des Glaciers" (3335)

French Canadian doom duo Norilsk return from a two-year layoff with a surprising new album, one that gives a reengaged sound to the pair's signature style.  Norilsk manages to be bold without being alienating, and that is indeed refreshing.

12). Bell Witch - "Mirror Reaper" (3692)

With "Mirror Reaper," the music conveys the reflection back of life and of death; literally that the Grim Reaper is a facsimile of the cycle of life. As with anything Bell Witch, though, such a realization is not engaged with in a fashion that rips at the pain of loss or terror, but rather builds into a deeper, though no less excoriating, meditation on the passage of time

11). Soen - "Lykaia" (3819)

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.

10). Pale Horseman - "The Fourth Seal" (3982)

 Pale Horseman offers a special sort of heft to their music, with mesmerizing guitars convulsing, vocals crunching  and the drums creating a war beat that is stifling in weight.

9). Dead Witches - "Ouija" (4227)

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

8). Blut Aus Nord - "Deus Salutis Meae" (4386)

What is truly most evident is an extreme music group that will not be bound to definitions, or at least is willing to experiment to ascend beyond what we think we know of a genre.

7). Primitive Man - "Caustic" (5216)
"Caustic" is an ambitious project, among the band's longest and most complex to date. Like their past work, the group explores nihilism in sound that rivals some of the most hopeless metal you've heard. That unrelenting quicksand of guitars and bass is here, as are those vocals of your nightmares.  Primitive Man offer up some of its most excellent music to date, making this sprawling and charging full length worth the wait.

6). Telekinetic Yeti - "Abominable"(5325)

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

5). Paradise Lost - "Medusa" (5461)

Depthless despair, thick production with pounding drums accentuating the force of the material and those classic melodic leads are all encompassing, making this their heaviest album in years and amongst their best. “Medusa” can and will turn you to stone- as you will be shocked and stilled by just how good it is.

4). Electric Wizard - "Wizard Bloody Wizard" (9859)

“Wizard Bloody Wizard” transcends whatever the in-thing of the moment is, and focuses instead on musicianship, the album's all-analog approach creates a warm, vintage sound for the songs and on the whole Electric Wizard feels re-energized, whilst remaining true to their seedy pedigree

3). Satyricon - "Deep Calleth Upon Deep" (9963)

‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ is something of a spiritual successor to ‘Rebel Extravaganza’ in that the goal appears to have been to take an established sound and create the weirdest, artsiest version of it they could and there is evidence of a sweeping creative resurgence throughout the album as a whole.

2). Iron Monkey, "9-13" (11329)

"9-13" offers a shredding sludge attack and is a violent rejoinder of why Iron Monkey got its reputation as a doom/sludge vanguard. All these years later, Iron Monkey remains gritty and uncompromising. Predictions for a return were invariably high. "9-13" does not blow those expectations out of the water. Nor does Iron Monkey disappoint. For that, there's much to smile about.

1). Morbid Angel - "Kingdoms Disdained" (31062)

This album is a statement of intent, placing the focus on convulsive rhythm changes and dissonant, jagged riffs over accessibility.  ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ is Morbid Angel's most uncompromising album of their career and their best album in nearly twenty years, and I don’t consider that light praise.

A big thank you as always to our amazing writers, your dedication knows no boundaries and for that I am truly grateful.  The 2017 MOST POPULAT ALBUMS featured reviews by:  Richard Maw, Daniel Jackson, Andre Almaraz, Ernesto Aguilar, Phillip Weller, Josh Nicholls & Mark Ambrose