|Evok’s 2017: In Retrospect|
Nothing quite like making a ranked retrospective list to make you question how you even came to rate a bunch of half-remembered albums from 3 years ago. That said, 2017 was a very pivotal year of music exploration for me, and most of these still find fairly frequent rotation on my listening apparatuses. I figured I’d take a trip down memory lane and rattle off all the full-length albums that got 4 stars or more in my collection. What a bloody waste of time this is.
|1||The Ruins Of Beverast|
Esoteric to its core, Exuvia is a fascinating exploration of entheogenic ritualism wrapped in a dense layer of blackened doom metal. It writhes like an oily liquid between the realms of the flesh and spirit, firing its pitch-black hallucinations through a kaleidoscope of shamanistic power that transmutes the clutches of mortal comprehension. This album will break you apart, it will show you things, it will cleanse you, and it will put you back together. What more could you arrogantly ask for? Kneel before the void and let it speak.
In my humble and ever questionable opinion, Cormorant are up there with Opeth and Neurosis as ranking among the very best metal bands to ever grace this mortal sphere. Lofty praise I know, but I just love their brand of black metal/heavy metal/progressive metal/progressive rock to bits, and Diaspora is among their finest work. Epic, expansive, colourful, passionate and memorable; this is peak music, pure and simple.
With enough immediacy to wrought splendour from breezy springtime walks and a nuanced nature that makes a perfect sidekick to a blossoming mushroom trip, Crack-Up is the definitive statement on modern folk music. Infinitely replayable and staggeringly detailed, in this case hearing really is believing.
When Fen came around and dropped Carrion Skies on the world, I was of the staunch opinion that they crafted the best black metal album of the new millennium, and I still stand by that sentiment. Now, with Winter unleashed as a follow up, I'm of the opinion these wizards lay claim to not one, but two black metal albums of the absolute highest order. Winter is a sprawling behemoth of pure majesty that perfectly encapsulates its namesake season from an angle that no other album has pulled off so... perfectly. In a word, it's a goddamn landmark.
|5||Cigarettes After Sex|
Cigarettes After Sex
Nothing beats a cigarette after some good sex. Detractors be damned, when you sound this lovely, being one-dimensional isn't so bad. Keep at it you hopeless romantics, your music is the perfect nightcap.
|6||Falls Of Rauros|
Passion, valour, catharsis. Screams from the mountain tops above the forest. Feathers and stone. Blood and ice. Fire and wind. This is atmospheric black metal at its most triumphant.
Edamame might not be the biggest name in downtempo, but his consistent output year after year brings forth some of the most chilled out and lush beats you could ever hope to find. Bask is simply another amazing LP from a guy who humbly does his thing better than everyone else in the scene. He's just flexing on us at this point, and that's perfectly alright.
I have nothing to say about Brand New that hasn't already been said. Please consult staff writer extraordinaire SowingSeason for more information on this album.
|9||The Great Old Ones|
EOD: A Tale Of Dark Legacy
Viciously writhing Lovecraft inspired atmospheric black metal with a heavy bite that damn near leans on sludge metal. An absolutely essential album if you want a proper ass whoopin'.
Theory Of Colours
Immersion Trench Reverie
Yellow Eyes have their share of detractors but for the life of me I can't figure out why. They levelled up in a big way with Immersion Trench Reverie; an album overflowing with unique amalgamations of Eastern European mystique and clever atmospheric black metal that creeps towards a Krallice-esque sense of angular oddity. With a timbre rich in orange and brown hues, this album is an essential autumn companion.
Atrocities From Beyond
From a production standpoint, Atrocities From Beyond is one of the heaviest albums ever put to tape. This thing -and I cannot emphasize this enough- absolutely fucking SLAPS. This is some serious balls-to-the-wall slamming death metal that stands well above the vast majority of its peers in a genre rife with wholly forgettable brutality. If you want a broken neck, just turn that volume knob to 11 and let 'er buck because this gurgling slab of mindless fun is irresistibly juicy.
Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
|16||Der Weg Einer Freiheit|
|17||Full Of Hell|
"All matter is just the devil crawling back to God."
Trance Of Death
Portals Into Futility
Servants Of The Countercosmos
A perfect marriage of ballistic-grade melodic black metal and sprinkles of the NWOBHM. Servants Of The Countercosmos will suck you in like a black hole.
Take Me Apart
I'm gonna quote fellow sputnik swami Slex regarding this alternative r&b masterpiece because they summed it up better than I could ever hope to; "A deep focus rumble of effortless cool and crackling heat, Kelela creates a transportive world of sounds and voices that conveys longing, passion and independence on her own ever-shifting terms. A stunningly generous and singularly alien album."
The pitch black mechanizations of Chee's debut LP are a shining example how multi-bpm bass music can still push the sonic envelope. Swaddled in the young South African producer's unmistakable style and nestled uncomfortably between dubstep, drum & bass, halftime and glitch, Fear Monger is an all-out assault of the senses that you won't soon forget.
V - Oceans
A modern take on classic death metal meat. Cut thick and piled high.
The Dusk In Us
Reflections Of A Floating World
Sleep Well Beast
Kelle Surut Soi
|37||Gang Of Youths|
Go Farther In Lightness
You're Not You Anymore
The Lesser God
Modular ambient experimental techno made with euclidean rhythms. It's an absolute mindfuck, but it's also a beautifully meditative experience.
|43||Below The Sun|
A Black Mile To The Surface
Divide And Conquer
Stranger In The Alps
Red Before Black
After The Party
I usually despise pop punk with a burning vitriol, but this album is simply a blast. It's catchy and memorable, but above all else, it's a genuine exploration of the emotional ups and downs that come with being a touring band and entering your 30's. It's an interesting take on an uninteresting genre, and gets by on pure charm and honest heart.
|58||The Black Dahlia Murder|
Dark Towers, Bright Lights
Janky curbside rhythm meets ethereal ambiance. DJ Python's blend of moombahton, deep house, and ambient is a seriously one-of-a-kind of sound with an equally singular vibe that you just can't find anywhere else.
Go Be Forgotten
A Fever Dream