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50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

50. Sorcerer – The Crowning of the Fire King
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2017 was a solid year for epic doom metal, with some of the best releases of the last few years arriving in the form of Below’s Upon a Pale Horse, Doomocracy’s Visions & Creatures of Imagination, and Arduini/Balich’s Dawn of Ages. However, if I had to choose just one album that I will be listening to 10 years from now, it would be The Crowning of the Fire King. After disbanding in 1992, Sorcerer acquired a cult status, which their 2015 LP In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross further augmented. Drawing influences from acts such as Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and Martin-era Sabbath, the The Crowning of the Fire King is a continuation of the band’s debut with a slightly more modern production. Those who enjoy traditional ’80s metal will love the Swedish outfit’s sophomore effort, as the combination of epic songwriting and convincing atmosphere is enhanced by an array of amazing guitar leads, solos, and one of the best vocalists in metal today. All in all, Sorcerer might have only two albums under their belt, but in my book, they are one of the best epic doom metal acts of all time. –manosg

49. Benjamin Clementine – I Tell A Fly
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After listening to I Tell A Fly incessantly for nearly a month, I am thoroughly convinced that the lyrics to “Jupiter” are more legitimately autobiographical than satirical. Ben is an alien with extra ability and we mere mortals are fortunate to be graced by the whimsy he has created.

I Tell A Fly is an interesting amalgam of musical styles that comes together like a Picasso. The closest musical neighbor I can think of is David Bowie’s Blackstar – an album full of jazz inspiration, art pop spirit, and an enthusiastic penchant for genuine experimentation unbound by popular perception. Or, in layman’s terms, an album that’s not afraid to get weird – a sentiment shared by Benjamin Clementine with tunes like “Paris Cor Blimey” centering entirely on a lost pen and “One Awkward Fish” essentially being a well-wishing to “one Turkish boy from Camberwell.” The biggest thing that drew my connection to Blackstar, however, was the video for “Phantom of Aleppoville”, which clearly displays a sense of artistic drama, art, and even fashion common to videos released for both albums.

But Ben adds additional wrinkles to his art with specklings of inspiration from the prog playbook, some sudden choral chants that border on the Gregorian, and heavy dashes of influence from classical chamber music. It may sound quite bizarre (and it certainly is to the unacquainted ear), but it’s all polished and packaged in such a way that the oddities of the album quickly become dear to the open-minded listener. Have no doubt that I Tell A Fly is one of the best albums of the year as well as one of its most unique, and that were it solely up to me, it would top the charts worldwide to even higher acclaim than Blackstar–Thompson Gerhart

48. 1800Haightstreet – Endless
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Next to creative output, I’d consider the cultivated persona to be the most endearing quality of a good techno producer (similar to my hip-hop listening habits, though the challenge – and joy – with techno is piecing together much of that profile yourself). So, I’m not sure how Endless eked its way into techno AOTY territory. Their EPs didn’t put derrières in the seats, and hype for their full-length on Lobster Theremin wasn’t sky-high. It’s only by chance that it caught my attention – a tad late for a timely, proper album review. Anyhoo, 1800HaightStreet’s mammoth full-length is indeed endless, but not necessarily in reference to the runtime. It just doesn’t seem to conclude, and has a constant presence in my ears, never quite front and centre, but looming. The album doesn’t quite sound like a pastiche of 2010s techno/house, but it seems to encompass just about everything I’ve come to love in the Detroit-worshiping vein within the past several years. It’s not gimmicky, the pacing is perfect, it can “pick-up-and-go” and then drop without consequence. It has enough crunch and grit to scrape away dead skin, yet enough fluidity and icy textures to soothe. Daily activities that belong to me (gym, morning ritual, the 2-3PM work grind, the evening wind-down) feel a bit incomplete without a morsel of it. It’s ambitious, but modest, and I never sense that 1800HaightStreet are trying to be autobiographical and sell themselves. More often than not, I find myself in the margins, only to shake and erase like an Etch A Sketch and start over somewhere else in the tracklist. –Tristan Jones

47. The World Is A Beautiful Place… – Always Foreign
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I know, I know – “It’s not as good as Harmlessness!” But after jamming out to Always Foreign for months and months with no end in sight, I’m not sure I personally agree.

“The Future” is an undeniably fun uptempo banger that will get you moving. “Gram” strikes a mellow groove that ebbs, flows, and undulates along with its relatable chorus of “I’m sorry for being sorry”, building up to a shining orchestral-filled sound. “Fuzz Minor” and “Hilltopper” embody the musical component of the weight and angst of the album, making it a round emotional experience. And “Faker”… “Faker” may just be my favorite song of the year for the final minute and a half of the track alone.

It’s hard to articulate a critical, objective reason why I love Always Foreign or why it’s stuck with me more than previous efforts by The World Is A Beautiful Place… The songs presented are chock full of hooks, builds, grooves, and orchestral and/or synthpop flair (two things that will always make an album stand out to my ears). It doesn’t hurt that the band has never had a tough time creating an emotional link to the listener, either.

But for my more prog-centered sensibilities and my many years listening to metal, metal, and more metal, I think there’s a maturing musical complexity and an audible level of frustration to the album that resonates with me. It’s not likely to be the same case for every listener (yes, you will probably still prefer Harmlessness if you do already), but whether or not it’s your favorite album by the group, Always Foreign is easy to count among 2017’s best albums. –Thompson Gerhart

46. death’s dynamic shroud.wmv – Heavy Black Heart
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Vaporwave isn’t a genre known for its emotional value, yet death’s dynamic shroud.wmv really wanted to prove us wrong with Heavy Black Heart. We are presented a moody journey that not only offers a coherent atmosphere full of surprises, but it even makes you want to discover what lies beneath all the sonic layers. Like an essential mixtape, there are several groovy segments mashed with sudden switches and heavy sound manipulation. However, the experimental side beautifully unfolds, thus revealing its detailed nature. If you don’t care to delve deeper than the surface, then take this album as just a fun listen. It easily works both ways, which is a big plus. It also acts as a gateway for those who haven’t gotten into this genre so far. –Raul Stanciu

45. Dad Thighs – The Ghosts That I Fear
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At first glance, the lyrics to The Ghost That I Fear are cliche and awkward. Fantasizing about your funeral, waxing poetic about crying and feeling nothing, sleeping too much, not sleeping at all — these sorts of lyrics have been done countless times and done better by peers such as Carissa’s Wierd and Suis la Lune. “And how I wish I could get over myself, sometimes” isn’t exactly Blake or Keats. But when paired with the music, the lyrics transform, becoming powerful and evocative. It’s less about what the lyrics mean on paper and more about the delivery and how they make one feel. Context is everything. Lines like “She fed her captors three times a day” and “I wish I could get over myself, sometimes” stick out to me because of lead vocalist Victoria’s banshee wail and the way the vocals blend with the music. Her soft, shaking voice ekes pure misery whether she’s screaming, singing, or delivering spoken word. “Airports aren’t the same when you can’t drink at the bar” is not a profound statement — I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to mean — but the way it’s delivered alongside the accompanying music sends shivers down my spine. This line occurs when the music breaks down and all that’s left is the drums and a bassline. The vocals kick in right after, then a haunting reverb-soaked arpeggio kicks in. And isn’t that what music is really about? Giving you goosebumps, causing you to sit there and ponder, making you feel something, rather than checking boxes on some sort of technical objectivity list?

Putting the lyrics aside, the music itself is intense and captivating – from the drum fill that ends “Going to the Dump to Watch the Bears part two” and starts “Regarding the Walmart Parking Lot on 88th Street”, to the feedback in “Every Day” and the nonstop guitar melodies found in “Of Summer.” Large sections of the record consist of blaring, minimal chords, always moody, with no sense of pomp or flash. When put together, the music, the lyrics, and the vocal delivery make The Ghosts That I Fear equal parts intense and somber. Lines like “I guess we all make mistakes sometimes” and “Airports aren’t the same when you can’t drink at the bar” imprint on my brain the way only truly special lyrics do. And these lyrics are special. They’re visceral and reminiscent, and that’s the best thing lyrics can offer. Dad Thighs is a stupid name — it’s silly and likely to keep people away from this record — but this record is a gem amongst gems and the best emo record of the last couple years. –Robert Lowe

44. The Smith Street Band – More Scared of You Than You Are of Me
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I’m not sure why I felt such great trepidation approaching The Smith Street Band this year; the sort of devotion I had for Throw Me in the River — still one of the best albums of the decade, still the sound of My Australia — was somewhat stymied by “Death to the Lads” and “Birthday”, classic Smith Street compositions that nevertheless suffered like “Surrender” did in the run-up to River. That is to say that they were songs distinctly flavoured with Wil Wagner’s witticisms, observations, and accented slogans that didn’t arise from the speakers like a great Smith Street song could. I was scared that the rest of Scared would be similar; I was scared that it wouldn’t thrash and thrive in the anxieties that motivated this band’s greatest anthems, or that I would inevitably be dissatisfied as a result of the love and devotion I felt for the album prior.

Thankfully, “Forrest” is their best opener, “Death to the Lads” and “Birthday” are great singles six months after the fact, and “25” is their best song. Their songs are as structurally familiar as ever, and the musical references — Jeff Rosenstock, The Menzingers — are obvious, but in good taste and gesture to their peers. Wagner’s still honest and earnest to a fault, and his admission that he “spills [his] guts for money” is as much a microcosm for this band as it is anybody that’s committed all of their poorer habits and thoughts to record in the vain pursuit of catharsis. In a way, it’s predictable and unoriginal; having said that, I probably wouldn’t listen to The Smith Street Band if they weren’t doing it this way, so I’ll reserve criticism and instead express the sincerity of the love I feel for Wil Wagner and everything he sings. –Arcade

43. Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights
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Messing with something that’s already perfect is tricky business. Julien Baker’s somber debut Sprained Ankle is understated solo guitar brilliance. The reverb-soaked guitar and church vocals are irresistible, and the lyrics, in which Julien Baker tears herself down for 33 straight minutes, is all too relatable. Sprained Ankle didn’t feel like someone in control, its strengths didn’t feel intentional; rather, it came across as pure expression. Now successful and self-aware, Baker threw some piano, violin, and crisp production into the mix for Turn Out the Lights, and the results make for an enveloping, albeit slightly disappointing follow-up record. Piano ballads like “Televangelist” and “Hurt Less” supplement the Sprained Ankle-esque “Sour Breath” and title track for a consistently pleasing listen. If Sprained Ankle is about being in a depression, Turn Out the Lights is about what to do once one is in the early stages of coming out of it: “Am I a masochist? / Screaming televangelist / Clutching my crucifix / Of white noise and static / All my prayers are just apologies / Hold out a flare until you come for me / Do I turn into light if I burn alive?” Baker spends much of the record questioning if she’s still as dark as she used to be. She’s able to pose questions because the answer is less obvious than a time when she would have asserted that her faults outweighed her gifts. As the album cover suggests, it’s a splash of color, although most of the frame is still black.

Julien Baker is clearly more confident in her own abilities. Part of what made Sprained Ankle so genius was the fact that Julien herself clearly didn’t know it was. Turn Out the Lights is a much more sophisticated affair — the lyrics are more dense, more poetic, she sings in her upper register a lot more, and she’s confident enough to base more songs around the piano — and all of these qualities make up for the lack of ‘unwoke’ magic from her debut. Turn Out the Lights has more to offer, but it can’t quite manage to match the magic of Sprained Ankle. Although I only cry 30% of the time when I listen to Turn Out the Lights compared to the 100% undefeated cry rate of Sprained Ankle, that’s still more work for my tear ducts than any other 2017 release. –Robert Lowe

42. Lykantropi – Lykantropi
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The Scandinavian peninsula (Sweden in particular, with Finland and Norway following in that order) is an all-too-known hotbed of ’70s throwback rock bands, to the point where the emergence of good albums is merely a matter of time and research. Most of these acts tend to orbit around progressive and heavy rock, as both genres were mastered by the great old ones in the ’70s, with fewer bands opting to travel even further back in time — where simple melodies, minimal/faintly “electric” arrangements, and a joyful (but at times, somber) naïveté formed the state of play. Sweden’s Lykantropi have undergone such a journey, but in a refreshing way. The actual music bears the moderate ’60s groove, with the male/female dual vocal lines following suit (the female singer’s crystal-clear pitch is somewhat reminiscent of Anneke from Gathering, minus her trademark vibratos). The end result, however, also conveys a restrained demeanor on par with Scandinavian tradition, its inherent nature worship, and the mental/physical shape shifting that the Lycantrope folklore entails. –Voivod

41. And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering
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The Endless Shimmering is a great use of the few words provided by the band to describe the sound of this album. At times it sparkles like a diamond; at others, it’s more like the glossy reflection off the facet of a well-cut piece of onyx. Though there’s a contrast between the two, both the lighter and the darker sides of And So I Watch You From Afar inarguably shimmer throughout the course of the album. From the “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”-inspired synthy guitar leads in “I’ll Share a Life” and the mathed-up jock rock of “Terrors of Pleasure” to the dark, crushing weight reminiscent of Scale the Summit’s The Collective as heard on “Chrysalism”, light and dark are balanced and contrasted with tight control: flair that excites without becoming overindulgent, a mastery of crescendo, and a sense of earnest enthusiasm, making it easy to call The Endless Shimmering one of 2017’s best instrumental rock albums. –Thompson Gerhart

40. King Krule – The OOZ
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The OOZ, Archy Marshall’s second album as King Krule and my favorite album of the year, is an amazing mixture of the young songwriter/guitarist/producer’s many talents. Each and every song eventually hits payload, and ‘eventually’ is key here: Marshall’s untrumpable songwriting trick is to take a progression that sounds odd or unfinished by itself and to keep adding auxiliary elements, bass/drums/horns/whatever, until the basic structure of the song is sonically transformed. That goes for song of the year “Dum Surfer”, whose grumble “Dumb surfer is giving me his cash” is cemented into a bass groove that eventually blooms into a bright and, yes, surf-y guitar pattern that would make The Avalanches blush; this cues the pinging guitar solo, the baritone sax, the “DUM SUFFAH”, etc. What’s amazing about The OOZ is that there’s hardly a sense of labor in the practice of taking excess and melding it into a virtue. King Krule lives within the act of creation here, within the ooze itself. But in case you’re bothered by his unwillingness to shape this juicy, gloppy life-material into a unity, by the whole 66 minutes thing, just know that the hits keep coming at least through “La Lune” and beyond into “Biscuit Town” should you choose to keep the album on loop — and why not? –Alex Robertson

39. Blanck Mass – World Eater
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In 2012, a version of “Sundowner”, the second track from Benjamin John Powers’ debut album as Blanck Mass, was performed by Power and the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Olympics opening ceremony. It was such a glittery, optimistic version of an already glittery, optimistic song, that his follow-up album, 2015’s Dumb Flesh, with its sharded textures and stalking beats, didn’t parse as an evolution so much as a mutation, a violent, sublime transformation into something else, something other. It’s fitting then that World Eater isn’t an obvious continuation or rejection of this growth, but something else entirely, starting off more sinister and muscular than ever in the angry drum & bass (& everything else) of “Rhesus Negative”, but slowly twisting back on itself into a song like “Hive Mind”, whose vocal samples are as hopeful as anything from the first album. Hopeful, but still glitched and stretched into something only barely recognizable as human. –Nick Greer

38. PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell
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PVRIS’ self-titled EP and debut LP White Noise were multifaceted, pinballing between anger, passion, love, and desolation. Their newest LP focuses in on just the last of these, discarding the rest in favor of examining the diversity of misery’s snaking tendrils. It’s a natural progression in that it feels older and more exhausted than anything else the band has put out. There’s still a modicum of varied emotion here – anger, passion, and love are still an integral part of the band’s existence – but everything’s dusted in unfeeling coldness. The furious contrast of their last album’s black and white has been leached away, all its colors tending towards a drab shade of gray. Rage has given way to resignation.

All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell is PVRIS’ best album so far. Its dulled edge cuts more viciously than anything else the band have released, the bluntness of the album’s depression a greater danger than the sharpness of the cathartic release of White Noise and their self-titled EP. The shade cast by “What’s Wrong” — the band’s best song released so far — tints its synthpop aggression with a frenzied hopelessness, converting an otherwise two-dimensional song of anger to three by sucking its center towards a nihilistic black hole. Similar things happen on “Anyone Else”, where a theme of devotion is corrupted by a gnawing anhedonia as torpid synths overpower the propulsion generated by a bouncy bassline and sharp guitars before swirling everything into a soup of mid-range saturation. That’s the story of the album, though — the torrential emoting PVRIS have always done still happens, but it’s made less vibrant (and, quite frankly, more interesting) by an inexorable pull towards wintertime. As a result, we’re left with the band;s most mature, most nuanced, and most complete album to date. –Brostep

37. Do Make Say Think – Stubborn Persistent Illusions
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Do Make Say Think have always managed to not completely eschew post-rock conventions, but borrow them to use towards their own machinations. They may condense builds and climaxes into short and explosive statements, while epilogues and transitions may take up entire songs, going nowhere but packing in an album’s worth of emotional context.

Stubborn Persistent Illusions, surprisingly, fashions the band’s musical bravado into something entirely domestic. That isn’t to say that flashes of the old Do Make Say Think don’t rear their head (“War on Torpor” feels ripped from You, You’re a History in Rust, for example), but the band have never sounded so post-rock. Well, not in over a decade, that is. But that’s what makes the album so majestic: it’s Do Make Say Think being predictably unpredictable, crafting a big show of how, even after years of wandering experimentation, they can render their sound into a well-worn formula and do it better than everyone else.

Stubborn Persistent Illusions is majestic, sweeping, and most of all, smartly restrained. It’s post-rock on Do Make Say Think’s terms, with all that personality and ingenuity you’ve come to expect. –Eli K.

36. Cradle Of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay
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Having witnessed the rise and fall of Iron Maiden’s evil little sibling, their previous effort was like a breath of fresh air. For longtime fans, it was an opportunity to reconnect with the band and – at last – stop referring to them as has-beens. Nevertheless, it also increased expectations and created a high benchmark for any subsequent release. On Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay, the masters of Victorian gothic horror built on everything that made Hammer of the Witches such a revelation, expanded on those ideas, and created a less instant but deeper and more developed offering.

Maintaining the same lineup, and especially their two guitarists, proved to be a sound display of judgment, as the guitarwork on Cryptoriana is among the best among Cradle of Filth’s discography. It feels as if Smerda and Shaw brought new life to a classic formula, infusing it with an array of brilliant riffs and solos while contributing to one of the most guitar-driven albums in the band’s career. Actually, if one could transport Cryptoriana right between Cruelty and the Beast and Midian, it would make sense. The vocal lines of album highlight “Wester Vespertine” bring the Midian vibes hard, while the emotional background and immediacy can only be found on older material. In addition, Dani’s vocals are once again solid, while the reduced number of shrieks makes Cryptoriana an appropriate starting point for potential new listeners. All in all, please disregard the poor attempt to recreate Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus on the album cover because what lies within is enough to make the Suffolk outfit reclaim its throne. –manosg

35. Brockhampton – Saturation II
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Self-proclaimed boy band and hip-hop collective Brockhampton have had an amazing year, saturating the scene with their incredibly eclectic three-part behemoth of an album. There’s a wealth of raw talent on show here. Kevin Abstract may be the mastermind of the project, delivering one sticky hook after another, yet the brilliance of the boy band lies in diversity. Every rapper in the group has his own distinct personality and expresses himself with unfiltered honesty, which lends their music youthful charm quite unparalleled in the scene. The production from Romil Hemnani and the duo Q3 is anything but plain as it finds the middle ground between pounding braggadocio hip hop, smooth R&B, spaced-out sonic experimentation, and unadulterated pop. Artists like Kanye West and Outkast immediately come to mind, but there’s enough genre-shifting ingenuity (and voice modulation) to make for a wholly identifiable style. Saturation 2 is the most consistent release out of the three with the highest ratio of bangers that are equal parts hard-hitting and inventive. “Gummy” goes hard with its playful G-funk beat and infectious chorus, while tracks such as “Tokyo” and “Jello” use jazz influences and PC music pitch shifts to sublime effect. “Junky” might be the most essential cut on the entire record, bouncing between verses about homophobia, drug addiction, pursuing one’s dreams despite family backlash, and sexism over a sparse ominous backdrop. Brockhampton are in a class of their own, and if they continue to put out top quality music like this, the only way for them is up. –Greg

34. Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
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Krallice don’t need an introduction, but they still take some caveats. For ten years, guitarist Mick Barr and his band of revisionists have been retooling a jackhammer black metal aesthetic from the molecular level, leaving the elements relatively intact across a prolific eight-album career, even as their composition shifts with an ambient (and in more recent years, an earthquake) precision. The result is a body of work that can feel absurd in its overwhelming fidelity to an aesthetic as it veers into newer, more lucid genre conventions. This should be considered when examining why this second album of the two offerings Krallice released in 2017 feels like such a minor revelation. Riskier impulses seemingly already espoused on October’s release Loüm, an earthier agitation of death metal styles featuring Neurosis’ Dave Edwardson, November’s Go Be Forgotten is a charitable, nigh accessible unspooling of Krallice’s signature knotty guitar solos and throttled drum patterns, emboldened by the liberal use of a synthesizer and genuinely angelic arrangements. There has always been a progressive influence present, but none which announced themselves with the clarity here. Having already exhausted the discourse on “yet another” Krallice album (even one as challenging as Loüm), Go Be Forgotten has the time to surprise us yet for doubling down, and thus opening up, the things that made them noticeable ten years ago. And it might, for the first time in their career, leave room for a follow-up that needs no introduction, nor caveat. –plane

33. Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven
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While I would argue that every previous Wolves in the Throne Room record was unique in its own way, none of them spawned a new era for the band. Key traits carried over from their meditative yet raw black metal roots all the way up to the spacey synth experimentation of Celestite, which even had fans expecting a permanent transition into the dark ambient sound of the album. What we got in 2017 was instead a return to roots in some ways. Black metal is alive and well in the hearts of the Weaver brothers, but it has shaped itself to match the musical landscape. There are still hints of the patient, Cascadian crescendos from Two Hunters and Diadem of Twelve Stars in “Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon”. Yet it’s also apparent that the attention span of the millennial generation has embedded itself in the album. Where individual movements used to be stretched generously, but appropriately, across tracks, now the Weavers find themselves prone to jump, occasionally haphazardly, between sections and styles. While the grace of previous WITTR albums is missed, the excitement spawned by this approach is more than welcome, allowing room for old school black metal and funeral doom to permeate otherwise normal post-black metal songs. The transition is too slow for this to be a one-off experimentation in songwriting techniques; instead, I’m inclined to think that the future of Wolves in the Throne Room is one of a more immediate and varied sound, one not so inclined to toy cautiously with the core principles they themselves popularized. In any case, it’s good to know the Weavers still have a knack for making great black metal. –Gameofmetal

32. Bedwetter – Volume 1: Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth…
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Volume 1: Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth… is ugly. This is hip-hop hammered out of shape, beats made out of grinding metal smelling like copper underneath heat-warped abstractions and half-formed sentences. Or, to put it plainly, this is the truest reflection of Travis Miller’s mind; a shifting, anxious place where snatches of conversation repeat until you’re ready to scream – “I’m not sure what it was” – and every neuron firing brings back another painful memory. At the album’s frenzied peak, his rapping transforms into a near-scream of “You’re treated like a muse – are you happy now, Travis?!” Like the other instance when the album shifts perspectives, when “man wearing a helmet” reveals that the terrified kidnapped child was Travis himself, it’s a breathtaking bit of bait-and-switch where our entire understanding of the song’s foundation is altered. You might say it’s just a piece of lyrical flair or a mood-enhancing twist for the genius.com crowd, but I beg to differ. Bedwetter confounds our expectations, shifts our perceptions, and unsettles our entire reality, because that’s how we can tell we’ve been inside Travis Miller’s head. –Rowan

31. Steven Wilson – To the Bone
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No matter how metal, jazzy, or psychedelic the records got, you could always spot the pop influences tying everything together. Steven Wilson always spiced his music with infectious melodies, and finally, To the Bone displays them in all their beauty. The LP is a truly satisfying, hour-long run through the man’s discography. You get heavy rockers, haunting hooks, straightforward numbers, and electronic-infused cuts. Wilson’s incredibly consistent songwriting, alongside a vast array of influences, makes this such a rewarding experience. From the Aladdin Sane inspired cover, ’80s ambient synths, and flashy solos to the moody loops and raging guitars, the man boldly brought classic rock/pop into a contemporary setting. To make this journey even stranger, Wilson the Meme Lord inserted some uplifting moments that inevitably sparked some backlash from his fanbase. Weirdly enough, it clicks. Nevertheless, this effort to constantly challenge himself got Steven such great results, and To the Bone is just as inspired. –Raul Stanciu

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Jom
12.20.17
Hello! Comments are working on blogs again.

Sniff
12.20.17
Gonna have to take a sneak peak on 45

anatelier
12.20.17
39 is 1

AsleepInTheBack
12.20.17
Great write-ups, and pretty good picks

Piglet
12.20.17
glad to see steven wilson in this installment instead of the next two (:

Papa Universe
12.20.17
Aaah I love these. Benji Clem only slamming that 49th spot is a bit disappointing though.

AsleepInTheBack
12.20.17
gotta get on 49 before the year is up

DinosaurJones
12.20.17
Glad to see 41 on here, one of my personal favorite releases this year.

SowingSeason
12.20.17
Beautiful job on the artwork Willie.

DoofusWainwright
12.20.17
48 is class.

Sniff
12.20.17
Better check that next then

TheSpirit
12.20.17
CRADLE OF FILTH ON A STAFF LIST NOW I'VE DONE SEEN IT ALL

plane
12.20.17
King Krule deserved better but Alex killed it

Xenophanes
12.20.17
Changed my CoF placement last minute to get it on the list which is hilarious because I’ve always disliked the band.

mifzal
12.20.17
so far so good

hesperus
12.20.17
some great write-ups here, gj everyone

nice to see 39 made the cut

LionLotus
12.20.17
I expect this year's list to be quite good.

neekafat
12.20.17
43 shoulda been top 10 but regardless this is an excellent list!

elliootsmeuth
12.20.17
32 has three good songs, but those three songs are some of my favorites of the year.

BlackTaxi2d
12.20.17
agreed with Julien baker, that album just doesn't go anywhere for me

bgillesp
12.20.17
Are y'all gonna bring back the weekly releases thing? I liked that

SowingSeason
12.20.17
^yes, just kind of ran out of steam both time wise and worthy release wise. Will pick things back up in January.

DoofusWainwright
12.20.17
Yeah, agreed, the weekly release feature was great.

EvoHavok
12.20.17
Good stuff so far.

RadicalEd
12.20.17
lol. 31.

RadicalEd
12.20.17
Also this was a great read as usual. But still. lol 31.

cor22222
12.20.17
Nice to see 36 and 31 but 38 is a joke here

captaincrunch11
12.20.17
I've listened to two of these albums

brainmelter
12.20.17
nice so far, didn't expect 32

calmrose
12.20.17
glad to see 37

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.20.17
@newuserPartWays - the way the votes are weighted, #1 picks are given a lot of points. I wanted at least one techno-y album to make the list. it was tied with 49 (AtomicWaste's #1 pick)

macman76
12.20.17
It’s true, but where does it say that jspot was the only vote for 49?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.20.17
i told sach in a previous discussion that Endless was maybe my aoty and no other staff have it voted rn so he probably assumed correctly

FreddieDelaney31
12.20.17
King Krule should be wayyyy higher damn y'all

altertide0
12.20.17
really surprised (positively) to see the Brockhampton hacks so low, and also to see Bedwetter here at all. Not too bad!

Divaman
12.21.17
Not much here for me so far. The only two of these I've listened to are the Julien Baker and the Pvris albums, and neither one thrilled me.

SandwichBubble
12.21.17
Can't wait to see the rest!

GreyShadow
12.21.17
43 is so good. I expected top 20 but oh well, definitely a top 10 for me

Lucid
12.21.17
King Krule deserved better but Alex killed it [2]

Trebor.
12.21.17
Most of these were in our individual top 10s

Snake.
12.21.17
was harmlessness even on the last top 50 list? lmao

bgillesp
12.21.17
@Sowing, very understandable. Glad to hear though!

SowingSeason
12.21.17
I have to say that even though only a select few of my choices reside in this 50-31 installment, this is a great list. A very diverse blend of music and not all popular/obvious picks...definitely the kind of year-end feature that a passer-by or casual reader could dive into and discover a ton of great new music. I'll be starting with Benjamin Clementine and working my way down, seems my list of music-to-listen-to just got a lot longer.

Voivod
12.21.17
Excellent work everybody, places 50-31 are increasingly shaping up to be the experimental/all-over-the-place part of the year-end list.

JayEnder
12.21.17
So glad bedwetter made the list. Travis Miller rules under his Lil Ugly Mane alias and this new one alike.

Kompys2000
12.21.17
Hell yeah,always cool to see dds getting some love

neekafat
12.21.17
Benjamin Clementine is a weird one Sowing, but it's pretty great!

NewBallistics
12.21.17
UHHH is sputnik getting a redesign???

guitarded_chuck
12.21.17
the ooz is too low

SowingSeason
12.21.17
"UHHH is sputnik getting a redesign???"
if you're referring to the banner, then no...happens every year around this time.

Artuma
12.21.17
36 alone makes this a terrible list

good job with the write-ups though

ScuroFantasma
12.21.17
Great list guys, nice blurbs

Dewinged
12.21.17
Nice to see the banner in the front page already. Missed some of these but I am too lazy to catch up haha. Nicely written boys.

Veldin
12.22.17
Enjoyed the write ups for each album. Only 4-5 of these made my top 50. Excited to see 30 thru 1!

ProjectFreak
12.22.17
Julien Baker being this low is a downright tragedy

RadicalEd
12.22.17
Nah. Julien Baker released roughly the 7th most interesting sadgurl indie-folk album of the year tbh.

EaglesBecomeVultures
12.22.17
lol steven wilson

Conmaniac
12.22.17
ayy its up nice! some great writeups here and glad to see a lot of these

BlazinBlitzer
12.22.17
Time to cram 2017 stuff.

neekafat
12.23.17
Wait... no Afghan Whigs but 46 made it on here??

hellpickle
12.25.17
As I went through the list, I thought whether Converge was that great to be so close to the top?

Saw DAMN. and thought, I guess, it's better, but not by much, but then again I haven't heard all of these albums, so Converge might make the #1.

And then I got to the top.

IAMERROR
12.25.17
Someone really thinks that the new TWIABP album deserves to be anywhere near a top albums list? I'd reckon its their worst album ever released (by far) and I even removed it from my library. I had really high hopes because the Body Without Organs single was so fantastic. It sounded like their best material off of Wherever, If Ever and Harmlessness with cleaner production. However, that single didn't appear on Always Foreign, but one strong single couldn't have saved such a weak, watered-down album anyway.

FourthReich
12.30.17
hope i did 32 justice, shocked to see it here

mvtante
02.22.18
The Black Angels' Death Song deserves a spot on this list

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