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2017 Year-End Extravaganza Guest Lists

Guest List Extravaganza: Caiaphas (L.O.R.E.) and Tyrant (Black Vice)

As part of out 2017 Year-End Extravaganza, we’ve reached out to some of our favorite people in the metal world and asked them if they’d be interested in contributing lists of their own – 10 records, ranked (or not), metal (or not), with a sentence or two (or more, if they felt like it) about each. Much to our surprise, several actually said yes.

This time we have guitarist Caiaphas of L.O.R.E., and Tyrant, drummer for Black Vice and Ninhursag.

Caiaphas (guitars, L.O.R.E.)

Top 10 Albums of 2017 (in no particular order)

Bell Witch- Mirror Reaper

This Seattle doom/Sludge band focuses heavy on atmosphere and dirge paced riffs. This album is composed of one 1hr 23 minute song that has numerous tempo and dynamic shifts. It should be uttered in the same breath as Sleep’s Dopesmoker it’s that good.

Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven

This Washington-based black metal band has captivated people with their atmospheric brand of black metal. This record is a very mature step and does a wonderful job of marrying their dark ambient and black metal material. Favorite track: “Born From the Serpent’s Eye.”

Mastodon- Emperor of Sand

Georgia progressive/sludge-metallers Mastodon build upon their last record, Once More ‘Round the Sun. This album is their most accessible to date, but does not mean they have compromised their sound. This concept album about cancer has powerful choruses but yet very creepy riffs and further cements Mastodon as one of the best bands in metal to date. Favorite track: “Sultan’s Curse”

Incendiary- Thousand Mile Stare

This hardcore outfit from Long Island produce no frills hardcore that beats the listener down. Thousand Mile Stare is very politically charged as evidenced by the lyrics. Incendiary are a cut above most hardcore band that churn out recycled Slayer riffs. They stand out and this record proves that. Favorite Track: “Hanging From the Family Tree.”

Drudkh/Paysage D’hiver – Somewhere Sadness Wonders

Ukraine’s Drudkh and Paysage d’Hiver from Switzerland produce ambient atmospheric black metal. Drudkh is more on the atmospheric side with traditional Ukrainian folk elements also included, while Paysage d’Hiver is very ambient and trance inducing. Together in the this three song split they take the listener on a journey into the depths of sadness. Favorite Track: “All Shades of Silence”

Weltesser- Crestfallen

This doom/sludge band from St. Petersburg, Florida recently signed with Prosthetic Records and put out one hell of a debut with Crestfallen. Noisy, ugly, and full of feedback Weltesser can be compared to Eyehategod and Grief who also produce a similar type of doom. This is probably my favorite record released this year and is a must listen for anyone into extreme music. Favorite Track: “Guide”

Falls of Rauros- Vigilance Perennial

Hailing from Maine, this post-metal band fuses black metal with folk and post-rock elements. They tell the stories of the New England landscape with beautiful clean guitar passages that culminate into aggressive blast beats. Favorite Track: “Labyrinth Unfolding Echoes”

Elder- Reflections of a Floating World

Boston based stoner rock/metallers Elder produce their most lengthy and mature record to date. Full of grooves and progressive elements, these six songs push the stoner rock genre to new heights. Favorite Track: “The Falling Veil”

Amenra- Mass VI

This sludge/doom band from Belgium are Europe’s equivalent to Neurosis. Formed in 1999, they have quite a few releases but none are as effective as Mass VI. Heavy and extremely brooding, this record hits the listener with desperate screams and dissonant guitar passages. Favorite Track: “Children of the Eye”

Power Trip- Nightmare Logic

This is my guilty pleasure entry. Power Trip are from Texas and produce crossover thrash that doesn’t reinvent the wheel but is very entertaining. Pure brutality and catchy riffs dominate this record. The Exodus and Sepultura influences are evident. Nonetheless, this record won’t disappoint. Favorite Track: “Soul Sacrifice”

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Tyrant (drums, Black Vice/Ninhursag)

Instead of doing a write-up for each release, I am just going to take a moment to verbally vomit, and then you can dive into my top 20 black metal releases for 2017.

This was a tough list for me to put together – too many great albums to cover and appreciate fully. I am still trying to get through my list of releases to give all of them proper listen. So I am sure when I get caught up, there will be a few albums that should have been on this list that I missed/slept on. I will at least talk about the top black metal album of the year for me, which has to be a battle between Gnipahålan and Ungfell. Both these releases are on constant rotation for me since they dropped. They don’t live in the same realm -Gnipahålan is haunting riff driven project of Swartadauthuz/Ancient Records, and the other is the strange musical journey of the Ungfell project from the Helvetic Underground Committee. Ungfell is my favorite overall experience listening to the record from start to finish – each song has a unique journey that has different elements that keep you engaged, questioning, and headbanging. But the overall production, riffs and everything from the Gnipahålan release plays to all of my wants in black metal, so I am going to have to say I Blodets Kamp is my favorite release of 2017.

I am going to take a moment and put out a special shoutout to my boys in Haunterwho are not only creating an insane compositions with their songwriting. They are a force to be noticed, so take the time to listen and support them. And for a non-black metal mention – if you are wanting cryptic doom, be sure to lay down, and die and listen to Crawl, the most unique live show that you will see. I had the pleasure touring with both of these bands while playing in Black Vice, and will continue to support these bands with releases from Red River Family Records. If you enjoyed this list, or hated it – Please leave your comments below.

20. Mûspellzheimr – Nidhöggr

19. Adzalaan – Adzalaan

18. Haunter / Sovereign – Split

17. Skáphe  – Untitled

16. Entheogen – Without Veil, Nor Self

15. Drudkh  – Somewhere Sadness Wanders

14. Sortilegia – Sulphurous Temple

13. AOSOTH – V: The Inside Scriptures

12. FIN  – Arrows of a Dying Age

11. Solar Temple – Rays of Brilliance

10. Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven

9. Haunting Depths – Death’s Sacred Fire

8. Battle Dagorath – II: Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness

7. Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie

6. Lluvia – Enigma

5. Voidsphere –To Call | To Speak

4. Chaos Moon – Eschaton Mémoire

3. Sanguine Eagle/Oppression – Split

2. Ungfell  – Tôtbringære

1. Gnipahålan – I Blodets Kamp 

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