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Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier's Top Ten Albums of 2017.

Added 30 December 2017, 6:29 PM

No. 10:

Album: Psychotic Symphony

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2017
Record Label:  InsideOut Music

If you like prog metal, you should pick this up. If you like music at all, you should pick this out.  Not only does it sound like the missing link that DREAM THEATER is still looking for but it’s the sound of what happens with musicians play with both immense talent and immense heart.

No. 9:

Band: The Black Dahlia Murder
Album: Nightbringers

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2001
Record Label:  Metal Blade Records

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s “Nightbringers,” is the musical equivalent of perseverance, blood, sweat and tears wrapped up in a rotted corpse at the bottom of a boggy grave.  An instant classic for long time fans and the best place to enter for newcomers.  If the band keeps making albums like this, they will find themselves becoming future legends alongside the bands that inspired them.

No. 8:

Album: Medusa

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1988
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

This late in their career, it is hard to believe, yet refreshing, that PARADISE LOST still find a way to get darker and heavier while moving their sound forward yet still maintaining their roots.  The Doom Metal contained within this album is slow, crushing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

No. 7:

Band: The Vicious Head Society
Album:  Abject Tomorrow

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2010
Record Label: Independent

THE VICIOUS HEAD SOCIETY’SAbject Tomorrow” album is immediately impressive.  From the opening keys of the first track to the last notes, the album is a thousand wet dreams of a thousand progressive metal fans. Crazy and twisted in the best ways with surprises at every turn.

No. 6:

Band:  Next To None
Album: Phases

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2012
Record Label:  InsideOut Music

Progressive metalcore?  This is a thing now? Well, it better be because I’m pleasantly shocked about this album and how good it is.  This band took me out of my comfort zone, pulled me back in, and slammed my body into a brick wall. I could probably go on and on about this album my fingers bleed but it would be better for you to just listen and absorb this musical gift.  A truly stunning and standout effort from a band that will hopefully continue to grow into the legends I know they have the potential to be.

No 5:

Band: King Zog
Album: King Zog

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2014
Record Label: Independent

Apologies to my girlfriend but can I marry this album? Because I’m absolutely in love with it. Why?  Because KING ZOG’s impressive self-titled, full-length debut is a journey thru the heart of doom.  The atmosphere is dirty yet modern but also has uses that old school to it. The album just never lets up, even for a second.  It doesn’t matter if they are playing slow, mid, fast, or throwing in a solo or a jam session—the band always retains this distorted wall of sound that over takes everything in its path.  Like Doom Metal? Grab this album.  Don’t like Doom Metal? Grab this album and find redemption.

No 4:

Band:  Iris Divine
Album:  The Static And The Noise

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2008
Record Label:  Independent

Honestly, I can’t find anything wrong with this album.  It melds the tried and true sounds of metal with the expansive sounds of prog while still retaining a sense of melody, fun, and even some catchy riffs and choruses.  As the year quickly winded down, this album has become a personal highlight for me and should for you as well.

No 3:

Band:  Epica
Album:  The Solace System

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2002
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

With six tracks and a run time of 30 minutes, this EP packs a load of content.  A lot of Eps contain demos, rare tracks, and random stuff but EPICA stuffed this package with six high quality songs from last year’s “The Holographic Principle.”  The tracks here are as good as anything on that album, if not better, and several are some of the best the band has written to date.

No 2:

Band: Enslaved
Album: E

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1991
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

E,” is an album that shows the strength of a band that is willing to push their sound to places most Metal bands, especially Blackened ones, would never go while still letting the Metal flow. It is an album that will never get old and contains a tone of depth. In the many weeks I have been listening to it, I am still finding new things to enjoy.

No 1:

Band: Iced Earth
Album: Incorruptible

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1985
Record Label: Century Media

ICED EARTH have so many good albums and even among them, this one stands stall but it’s definitely their best with Stu Black.  In addition to being the best album of the year, it also holds the title of being the most dynamic.  It has epics, mini-epics, heavy ragers, and even a ballad and instrumental.  The ten tracks are so well written that it comes off as feeling like a love letter not only to their fans but to the band themselves, who still clearly love what they do.  Each track is a story and journey until itself and the listener is put on one wild, epic journey.

Edited 07 July 2022

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