We’ve officially entered the final section of the year and it’s time to review which are the best albums released so far, in preparation for the last good publications that we expect for the final four months of 2017. Inspired by a few good LPs I’ve been digging during the summer, I’m presenting today my selection of the best Death metal of the year. I consider these as “must have” albums for death metal fans, so scroll the list and check if anything is missing in your music collection!
#1) The World Ablaze by God Dethroned
The last album by the Dutch veteran metallers is a magnificient work and one of the best metal releases you will hear in 2017. The LP arrives seven years after their previous release and shows a fantastic balance between energy and melancholy, the two main and recurring themes of their recent production. God Dethroned have an undeniable capability to forge impressive and engaging guitar riffs which result enough catchy and groovy to make the songs enjoyable to hear but keeping at same time the expected brutality of standard Death Metal
#2) For the Fallen by Memoriam
Memoriam, which is the new death metal band consistings of two former members of Bolt Thrower (singer Karl Willets and the band’s original drummer Andy Whale), former Benediction’s Frank Healy on bass and Cerebral Fix’s Scott Fairfax on guitar, was founded in 2015 when the four musicians started playing together in a number of festivals. The band eventually released in 2017 their debut album, For the Fallen, which is not only a tribute to Bolt Thrower’s glorious past but also a solid and very enjoyable death metal release with an equal share of mid-tempo songs and more aggressive pieces.
#3) Strenght in Numbers by The Haunted
The Swedish extreme metallers have achieved last year the important milestone of 20 years of successful career. On last August they released the ninth album of an impressive discography. In the new release, called Strength In Numbers, the band further consolidates their musical style without any radical innovation and, as usual, we’re in front of a wonderfully played compilation of death and thrash filled with the right amount of brutality, energy and class, with a few tracks emerging on top of the others for their quality. And it’s no surprise, then, that as soon as it arrived the album has reached the highest positions in the chart.
#4) Anticult by Decapitated
Anticult, the new album by Polish technical death metal band Decapitated, is the 7th studio LP released by the group and it arrives three years after their previous beautiful and acclaimed Blood Mantra. The new work confirms both the excellent songwriting skills and the impressive technical capability of these guys, but it also represents a further step towards a more melodic approach to the music. Such evolution in style may alienate some of the more conservative long-term supporters of the band, but it represents in my opinion a physiological and positive phenomenon for a band that has been on the scene for so many years.
#5) Fear Those Who Fear Him by Vallenfyre
Vallenfyre is the side project created seven years ago by Paradise’s Lost legendary guitarist Gregor Mackintosh as a tribute to his father’s death. Today the core of the band is a trio which features My Dying Bride’s guitarist Hamish Glencross and Paradise’s lost session drummer Waltteri Väyrynen. Fear Those Who Fear Him, the third album produced by the band, will likely be the last one released by Mackintosh’s side project, according to what he declared to the media. From a musical point of view the album is characterized by an intriguing combination of blackened death metal with the insertion of thrash riffs and a few doomy elements. The quality of Vallenfyre’s music evolved on each album, evidently Mackintosh and his bandmates acquired more confidence on every release they made.
#6) No God by Infernäl Mäjesty
These Canadian veteran metallers have never been very prolific in their musical production: in more than 30 years of career they released only 4 albums. No God, the fourth and last album from the band, interrupts a period of silence of 13 years in which the band went also through a few changes in the lineup. Nevertheless, the time which passed between their last productions didn’t affect the quality of their songwriting. The album, in fact, offers a very good blend of old-school thrash alterated by many death metal elements. The huge number of heavy riffs and the healty dose of variations that have been put into the songs won’t disappoint the old fans of the group.
#7) Of Chaos and Carnal Pleasures by The Project Hate MCMXCIX
The Project Hate MCMXCIX is the experimental death metal project created by the elusive and mysterious Swedish musician kwown as Lord K Philipson, which dates back to the year 2000. In this time-span, the impressive number of 11 albums have been published. The last one, called Of Chaos And Carnal Pleasures, was released in the early months of 2017 and here in this blog it quickly achieved a great consideration. The albums contains a few long and articulated progressive death metal tracks, each one including an irregular and dynamic sequence of musical segments which alternate violent moments with melodic and expressive pieces.
#8) Obituary (Self Titled)
Obituary, the legendary Death Metal band from Florida, has come back with another record, the tenth studio album of their long career, named as the band. This was one of the most anticipated releases of the year and in general terms the album didn’t failed the expectations, although I shall say that this work shows a little less freshness and innovation than their previous releases. The new album also confirms the slow but regular transition from the complex structures of the first albums towards a more approachable type of death. Their style, however, is still heavy, obscure, violent, and presents the unique and beautiful sound which contributed to elevate the band as one of the best metal outfits across all metal sub-genres.
#9) Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume by Integrity
Integrity is a long-term and influential American metal band which has experimented with so many genres and influences to become a paradigm of creativity and disregard for musical conventions. Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume is the ninth studio album from the band and it’s a beautiful collection of corrosive, violent metallic hardcore songs.
#10) Hamartia by Novembers Doom
Hamartia, the tenth studio album from this death/doom metal band from Chicago, is one of the best works they published in the last decade and offers the usual alternation of dark heavy pieces with a few more melodic moments. All of the songs of the album are pretty enjoyable and quite easy to approach, also because of the increased usage of clean vocals with respect to the past.
Before concluding the post, I take the opportunity to remind of the new series of mixtapes dedicated exclusively to Death Metal: TO FORGIVE IS TO SUFFER. The first issue of the series (and also unique at the moment) was published on last June and features some of the bands mentioned in this chart.