2017 has been one of the most solid years for black metal in recent memory, probably since 2011. Nothing that I would consider perfect or even very close but from the top to bottom of this top 50 list are albums that I genuinely enjoyed and are well worth checking out and remembering.

Created by: Neachy | 10.03.2017

1. Dodecahedron - Kwintessens
(9) (Technical Black) No longer simply a Deathspell Omega clone, these guys have stepped up their game in a big way.
2. Entheogen - Without Veil, Nor Self
(9) (Psychedelic Black) I don't consider myself an Alex Poole fanboy but now this makes 3 albums on which he is at least featured this year in my top 5. Here he is only on vocals but the quality matches what I've come to expect from any project of which he is a part. This seems to me to take some inspiration from a couple of my favorite albums: Wormlust's The Feral Wisdom and Arizmenda's Within The Vacuum of Infinity. While not quite reaching the lofty heights of those masterpieces, this performance stands tall as one of the best albums of the year.
3. Almyrkvi - Umbra
(9) Industrial Black/Death
4. Israthoum - Channeling Death And Devil
(9) Orthodox Black
5. Netra - Ingrats
(9) (Black/Trip-Hop/Jazz) You might not think those 3 genres could come together to create a cohesive sound. You would be wrong.
6. Turia - Dede Kondre
(9) Avant-Garde Black
7. Tyrannosorceress - Shattering Light's Creation
(9) (Black) I saw these guys on the bill for a festival with Skaphe, Volahn, Arizmenda, Yellow Eyes and Inquistion and the terrible band name piqued my interest. Low expectations yielded a diamond in the rough. There is no shortage of memorable riffs here. Its hard to decide what modifying label to put on this black metal. No two songs use the same formula. Some lean progressive, some have post metal moments, some veer into doom territory. All have a good mix of solid riffs, dissonant bending notes and excellent instrumentation. The vocals are harsh and very well done. All in all this adds up to a gem of an album that I've been coming back to all year.
8. Tchornobog - Tchornobog
(9) (Blackened Death/Doom) Think Esoteric with more of a black metal influence. In fact, Greg Chandler lends his vocals to a track or two here. This is a must-listen.
9. Skáphe - Untitled
(9) (Psychedelic Black) This 22 minute track serves as a tasty epilogue to last years full length. Just fantastic.
10. Christian Scott - The Centennial Trilogy
(9) (Jazz) This is actually 3 albums released separately throughout 2017 comprising a single vision. This is modern jazz at it's best. Not too abstract, but brilliant, vivid and well paced.
11. Ashenspire - Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary
(8.5) (Avant-Garde/Victorian Black) I listened to a bit of this album earlier in the year and was too turned off by the vocals to carry on. Decided to power through and was rewarded with an enjoyable listen. The vocals take some getting used to for someone who hates A Forest Of Stars but there are also plenty of instrumental passages to cleanse the palette.
12. Cormorant - Diaspora
(8.5) (Progressive Black/Melodic Death) This album has so much to offer beyond what any genre tag might indicate. A very eclectic mix of sounds, tempos and moods.
13. Impetuous Ritual - Blight Upon Martyred Sentience
(8.5) (Murky Death) This is one of those albums that's so murky and reverbed that you hear sounds that may or may not actually be there... Maybe that's just me. Its a great listen when straightforward melody gets tiring and you just need a borderline psychedelic maze of sound.
14. Ophis - The Dismal Circle
(8.5) Death Doom
15. Pylar - A Ella Te Conduce La Sagrada Espyral
(8.5) (Drone/Free Jazz) I don't find myself listening to much drone. Frankly, I'm too impatient and look for more instant gratification from the stuff I listen to. But this hit me in just the right way probably due to the jazz elements present throughout.
16. Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World
(8.5) (Stoner/Jam/Progressive) I can't tolerate much stoner doom these days as it pretty much all sounds the same or just shitty. But these guys have been making elite stoner doom-lite since 2011. They don't disappoint here.
17. The Great Old Ones - EOD: A Tale Of Dark Legacy
(8.5) (Post-Black) The third full length from these French Chtulu worshippers sees them again step up their game a little bit. I was slightly worried with them signing to a bigger label but Season Of Mist does it right.
18. Spirit Adrift - Curse Of Conception
(8.5) (Traditional Doom) Far and away the best doom album I've heard in a few years. Well fucking done.
19. Pyrrhon - What Passes For Survival
(8.5) (Technical Death) Excellent slab of outside the box tech death. This album has proved to be not unlike much other elite tech death in my book: the first listen is near orgasmic. Upon revisiting, I find myself scratching my head wondering why I was so in love while still appreciating the album for what it is.
20. Chaos Moon - Eschaton Mémoire
(8.5) (Atmospheric Black) Alex Poole returns to his most prominent project with the dark wisdom of his Skaphe project on full display without simply being a rehash of those ideas. Wobbly, disorienting guitar leads are complimented by more standard rhythms and melodies to great success. The utilization of a full band adds a more organic feel than what we've heard in the past from this project.
21. Wormwood - Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth
(8.5) (Melodic Black/Folk) Undeniably good. Kind of a Windir/Dissection vibe going on. You've just gotta listen.
22. DSKNT - PhSPHR Entropy
(8) (Black/Death) Lets start by saying this is very obviously yet another DsO clone. However, much like Grey Heaven Fall from a couple years ago, the form is so well done that one is forced to accept the album for what it is: terrific.
23. Kyomdarak - 夢の続き
(8) (Black/Ambient/Grind/Noise) This has become one of my favorite projects of the last few years. Three fantastic albums over the last three years. This one leans more ambient than the last two which leaves less for someone as impatient as me to latch onto but still a great listen.
24. Nornahetta - Synesthetic Parcidolia
(8) (Psychedelic Black) Iceland has been rather quiet of late in the excellent metal department. None of the promising acts of the last 5+ years can seem to find a way to record a sophomore full length so I must satiate myself with tasty little slabs of putrid darkness like this. Supposedly improvised, chaotic, swirling, paranoia inducing excellence.
25. Alfa Mist - Antiphon
(8) Jazz/Ambient/Hip-Hop
26. Lorn - Arrayed Claws
(8) Dissonant Black
27. White Ward - Futility Report
(8) Atmospheric Black/Jazz
28. Biesy - Noc Lekkich Obyczajów
(8) Black
29. Merkabah (POL) - Million Miles
(8) (Avant-Garde/Jazz Metal) This is a bit too abstract for my liking but an eye opener nonetheless.
30. Dumal - The Lesser God
(8) (Black) This is purely old school black metal but its so fucking good it simply can't be ignored.
31. Blut Aus Nord - Deus Salutis Meæ
(8) (Industrial Black/Death) Vindsval is back to making the industrial black metal that made this project great. Not unique enough (despite an overall heavier sound) among his discography to justify a higher score.
32. Hidden Orchestra - Dawn Chorus
(8) (Nu-Jazz/Ambient/Trip-Hop) So mellow. So good.
33. Rebirth Of Nefast - Tabernaculum
(8) Black
34. Progenie Terrestre Pura - OltreLuna
(8) (Sci-Fi/Electronic Black) This is the heaviest this project has sounded. Not many mellow ambient moments like the first album and the vocals are much harsher. Lost some of their unique charm in the process.
35. Dan Terminus - Automated Refrains
(8) (Synthwave) Haven't been a fan of much of this fad. But this album is a step above what else I've heard in this style.
36. Bestia Arcana - Holókauston
(8) (Black) The sound achieved here is amazing. Unfortunately its all a bit too samey throughout the course of the album to be elite.
37. Succumb - Succumb
(8) Death
38. Oranssi Pazuzu - Kevät / Värimyrsky
(8) Psychedelic Black
39. Frailty - Ways Of The Dead
(8) Death Doom
40. Portico Quartet - Art In The Age Of Automation
(8) Electronic Jazz
41. Daemogog - Ancient Extradigestional Rites
(8) Psychedelic Brutal Death
42. Whoredom Rife - Dommedagskvad
(8) Orthodox Black
43. Gravetrails - Gravetrails
(8) (Black/Spaghetti Western) If there was more to grab onto here than like 10 minutes of music, this would be way higher up methinks.
44. Desolate Shrine - Deliverance From The Godless Void
(8) (Murky Blackened Death/Doom) They're still doing the same thing they've been doing for 4 albums now. Its good, but it doesn't hit me like it used to.
45. Death Fortress - Triumph Of The Undying
(8) Black
46. Mûspellzheimr - Nidhöggr
(8) Dissonant Black
47. Blattaria - Blattaria
(8) (Psychedelic Black) This sounds like it could be Arizmenda on a bad day. Which is still pretty good imo.
48. Throane - Plus Une Main À Mordre
(7.5) Industrial Black
49. Regurgitate Life - Obliteration Of The Self
(7.5) Brutal Death
50. Nightbringer - Terra Damnata
(7.5) Black

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Neachy ]


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Comments: 13   Visited by: 61 users
10.03.2017 - 11:16
Account deleted
I did enjoy your earlier lists. There are some things that I disagree with here already but thats how it should be, like TOC being just a 8 - I love that album. But good that you made a list again
10.03.2017 - 22:26
Written by Guest on 10.03.2017 at 11:16

I did enjoy your earlier lists. There are some things that I disagree with here already but thats how it should be, like TOC being just a 8 - I love that album. But good that you made a list again

Yeah, I know the feeling. I get mildly aggravated when the stuff I love is underappreciated as well. Still, I don't give out 8s to just anything. I've heard a lot of shit this year, this is just the stuff worth remembering.
21.03.2017 - 19:27
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Glad you're keeping this up. I had no idea that Bestia Arcana had a new album out, I'll have to get on that soon.

get that bag
22.03.2017 - 04:53
Written by Alex F on 21.03.2017 at 19:27

Glad you're keeping this up. I had no idea that Bestia Arcana had a new album out, I'll have to get on that soon.

Yeah, I've only seen it streaming in one place. No idea when it will get an actual release date. I dig it though.
22.03.2017 - 09:41
ex-News Man
My current AOTY is missing
22.03.2017 - 15:01
Written by Paź on 22.03.2017 at 09:41

My current AOTY is missing

I listened to it once and wasn't really feeling it. I'll have to give it another listen.
26.03.2017 - 23:15
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
I would definitely recommend checking out the new Svart Crown and Grima albums if you haven't yet.

get that bag
28.08.2017 - 05:14
Check 777Babalon - Eschatological Beast of the Revelation for some of the most eaoteric, devil sounding stuff this year . It is like gnaw their tongues + good aevangelist gone psychedelic.
Giving my ears a rest from music.
16.10.2017 - 21:19
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Glad to see you liked that Ashenspire album! Still think it's my AOTY thus far.

get that bag
14.11.2017 - 18:30
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
That Christian Scott album sounds great! Glad to see Hidden Orchestra, Alfa Mist, and Portico Quartet on here as well.

get that bag
19.11.2017 - 19:13
ex-News Man
This one's right up your alley. Fierce BM from Denmark.

20.11.2017 - 03:11
Written by Paź on 19.11.2017 at 19:13

This one's right up your alley. Fierce BM from Denmark.

Nice! Sounds great on the first listen. Not quite as immediately memorable as Ustalost but good indeed. Have you heard that Tyrannosorceress album?
20.11.2017 - 08:52
ex-News Man
Written by Neachy on 20.11.2017 at 03:11

Have you heard that Tyrannosorceress album?

Not yet.. It's on my checking list.

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