Xenophanes
Staff

Reviews 238
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Last Active 05-22-18 12:08 pm
Joined 02-05-09

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 Lists
03.20.18 9 years of Xeno12.20.17 Xeno’s Top Ten 2K17
12.11.17 Xeno's 2017 in Metal 12.11.16 Xeno's Tastiest Metal 2K16
03.09.16 Taking on Seven Years

Xeno's 2017 in Metal

Mostly a list of what I listened to and got "something" out of, not necessarily a running list of what I loved.
1Jordablod
Upon My Cremation Pyre
2Bestial Invasion
Contra Omnes
3Rebirth of Nefast
Tabernaculum
4DADABOTS
Coditany of Timeless


Some nerds fed an AI a black metal album and for some reason chose the worst album from the genre's most unconventional band.
5Desecresy
The Mortal Horizon
6King Woman
Created In The Image Of Suffering


Criminally overlooked, especially around these parts. This is a really beautiful album, eschewing different genre conventions to make something peculiarly understated. It’s a warm combination of shoegaze and sludge, like if Beach House covered Kylesa.
7God Mother
Vilseledd
8Zeal and Ardor
Devil is Fine


This is admittedly not very good. The pieces don't go together well at all and it's a hodge podge of half baked ideas which is made worse by the fact that they are great ideas that are completely wasted. Southern plantation style black metal looks bad on paper (and here, bad in execution) but has such insane promise as a weird and earthy sound.
9Slaegt
Domus Mysterium


NWOBHM mixed into a solid black metal sound yields a surprisingly straightforward and to-the-point record that kicks all kinds of ass.
10The Chasm
A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain - I
11Fuoco Fatuo
Backwater


Long-form doom that’s kind of boring but better than Bell Witch
12Pagan Altar
The Room of Shadows
13Rebel Wizard
Triumph of Gloom


Heavy, cacophonous, and under appreciated black metal. It’s thrashy and chaotic and a very satisfying way. If I had only a few albums that I implored you to check, this would probably be one of them
14Rebel Wizard
The warning of one
15Youdash
Astrophobia


Make death metal funky fresh again
16Nekrasov
The Mirror Void


Connected to Rebel Wizard, this is some nasty black metal that’s hard on the ears but good for the soul.
17Desolate Shrine
Deliverance From The Godless Void


Amazingly consistent and deep death metal. Just like their last album this is some solid, dark, and meaty death metal with a broad appeal. I think Pitchfork said it sounded like “hell” which is pretty fitting.
18Selbst
Selbst
19Krallice
Loüm


Admittedly the weakest Krallice offering but it’s unique amongst their discography for being more blunt and heavy than anything else they’ve done.
20Atomck
Every Room In Britain


Kinda grindy and punky and very British. Not my cup of tea (hehehe) but others have enjoyed it.
21Krallice
Go Be Forgotten


The best Krallice album yet. That either means everything or nothing to you.
22Ensnared
Dysangelium


Pretty earthy and cool death metal with heavy use of interludes that surprisingly doesn’t get tiring. Worth jamming but as a whole experience it defies very little.
23Hallas
Excerpts From a Future Past


Found the vocals to be incredibly unique and at times irritating. The music, initially, is very unique and beautiful but after repeated listens it’s a little superficial. Still, a pretty neat folksy record that’s lush and easy on the ears.
24Taake
Kong Vinter


A little disappointed but this is some rocking black metal from one of bm’s best little bad boys.
25Sielunvihollinen
Ruhonkantaja
26Cloak
To Venomous Depth
27Martyrdoom
Grievous Psychosis
28Gorephilia
Severed Monolith


After repeated listens I have come to the conclusion that I like this better than I should, but still not a ton. It’s solid and standard death metal with a cheese-ball album cover.
29Dawn Ray'd
The Unlawful Assembly


This album has been making some unexpected rounds on end-of-the-year lists and on a good day I feel like it’s deserved. Although hailing from the U.K., “The Unlawful Assembly” is fit for an American’s 2017 more so than any other black metal record. It’s about revolution and shaking up the system; rote for a punk group but pretty inspiring from a genre whose (small) Nazi underbelly is now a part of pop-culture understanding.
30DVNE
Asheran
31Celephais
Monad
32Cormorant
Diaspora


Big, clean, and proggy black metal—the antithesis of what I like these days. But this hit me hard. It’s elegant and forward thinking; uncompromising in its indulgence. It’s another beautiful statement from a band that’s always on it.
33Afterbirth
The Time Traveler's Dilemma


This has only worn off slightly but it’s got a good back story and, goofy vocals aside, just nails the spacey death metal aesthetic hard. The songwriting is killer and the album goes down so smoothly.
34The Ruins Of Beverast
Exuvia


Big primal death-y and doom-y black metal from a modern legend. It’s received a lot of acclaim across the board and I’m glad to see it. I love the primal, tribal aesthetic and it fits RoB better than I would have ever thought possible.
35Pallbearer
Heartless


Fine doom from a great band I saw kill it live once. They can’t get me to wax poetic like they once could but this is still a good album with a broad appeal.
36Aosoth
V: The Inside Scriptures
37Purple Hill Witch
Celestial Cemetery


Drenched in old school Sabbath vibes, it’s the aural equivalent to a book with an unreliable narrator as the vocalist slurs lyrics and fades in and out. Combined with that cover this is some of the most tasty and magical doom this year.
38Elder (USA-MA)
Reflections of a Floating World


A band I don’t talk about enough but they’re wildly consistent with their psychedelic brand of metal. Definitely a band (and album) is rec to anyone looking to get into metal but hasn’t had a lick of experience.
39Amenra
Mass VI


Haven’t spent a lot of time with this bad boy but I think I dig it. Sorta sludgy and dark but classy and elegant.
40Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay


After hating this band for years without ever listening to them I decided to check this out and I wasn’t disappointed. Cradle are fun on this album. Their schtick which I’ve always hated feels pretty tongue and cheek and the way they adopt the whole Victorian/goth aesthetic and make it ghoulishly enjoyable is a real treat. I haven’t felt the same way about any of their other albums but his has definitely changed my opinion of the band.
41Godflesh
Post Self


One could make a really strong argument that this is the best Godflesh album to date. They trumped their comeback album, at least, which is no small feat. This is one of the catchiest, grimiest, and brilliantly structured albums to date. There’s a lot of hyperbole to digest in this soundoff but it’s certainly not without merit. Check this album out.
42Artificial Brain
Infrared Horizon


I love this band so much. Their debut was my favorite metal record of 2014 and while this doesn’t quite reach the same heights it’s still some great techy and smart death metal.
43Enslaved
E


I like this band more than I like to admit. This is the first thing I’ve checked from them since the excellent “Axioma Ethica Odini.” This is some fun and reliable black metal.
44Hell (USA)
Hell


What an awesome atmosphere—this is doom straight from...well you can guess.
45Immolation
Atonement


My greatest failing as a metal fan is not liking Immolation. I find “Close to a World Below” to be dreadfully boring. Before “Atonement” I only dug two of their albums, but luckily, things have changed and I’ve really taken to this. Surprisingly varied death metal from a band who defines “by the numbers.”
46Spectral Voice
Eroded Corridors of Unbeing


It’s good. Cavernous and bleak—it’s a lush and dark death metal record that has all the cool kids raving. I personally don’t find it all that arresting, but it is a good record. It has some of the best use of atmosphere this year, even. Just don’t expect me to write home about it.
47Yellow Eyes
Immersion Trench Reverie


Best modern black metal band in the game (to a niche group). That’s arguable, but it must be said that Yellow Eyes are a tremendously talented band. This didn’t hit me as hard as I wanted it to but it’s solid from start to finish. Think modern day black metal condensed into one band.
48Inconcessus Lux Lucis
The Crowning Quietus
49Mutoid Man
War Moans
50Blaze of Perdition
Conscious Darkness
51Botanist
Collective: The Shape of He to Come


Dulcimer black metal is the future. Band is always a pleasure.
52Temple of Void
Lords Of Death


One of my favorite death/doom bands follows up their debut with an arguably better record, this time heavier on the death. This is some dark and brooding metal, equally suffocating and freeing. The vocals are some of my favorite from this year. Earlier I said “if I had only a few albums that I implored you to check…” this would easily be one of them.
53Loss
Horizonless


Haven’t listened to this since it came out and admittedly I forgot about it. Good doom record with the best album art this year. It’s spacey and big but pales to their last album. Definitely a disappointment but check it out anyways.
54Sunless
Urraca


This is some straight up dissonant Gorguts death metal worship. Normally I wouldn’t spend too much time on such an unimaginative creation, but “Urraca” is a joyously clean record whose attention to a higher ended tone sets it apart, it only slightly. What it lacks in inspiration it makes up for in consistency.
55Acid Witch
Evil Sound Screamers


I’m still furious that this dropped so close to Halloween. Even worse, I didn’t listen until November 1st. With such a niche appeal, timing is everything and they failed hard. Regardless this album is fulla great hooks and spooky charm. Psychedelic death-doom FYI.
56Paradise Lost
Medusa


Not the biggest follower of this band but this surprisingly heavy doom album took me by...er, surprise. Lovely listen from start to finish.
57Full of Hell
Trumpeting Ecstasy


Slick album from the number-one art-house grinders on the planet. There’s more death metal influence this time around but it still retains that caustic energy. Easily one of the most impressive heavy records of the year.
58Cannibal Corpse
Red Before Black


Fun and catchy death metal from the legends themselves.
59John Frum
A Stirring In The Noos


Bizarre and progressive black metal
60Spirit Adrift
Curse of Conception


Really awesome doom that’s gathered some impressive acclaim. It’s sweet at times and feels soft, even. This is one of those albums whose impression Is felt immediately.
61World Narcosis
Lyruljóra
62Nodachi
Beyond Death Beyond Reason
63Endon
Through The Mirror
64Ex Eye
Ex Eye
65Wode
Servants of the Countercosmos
66White Ward
Futility Report


Weird and jazzy bm iirc
67Ulsect
Ulsect


This is a death metal album whose immediacy hit me hard and let go just as quickly. I still don’t hear the metalcore influence because to me this sounds like Ulcerate worship with some trimmed fat and accessibility.
68The Black Dahlia Murder
Nightbringers


This was my first TBDM album and honestly I had no clue the following this band has. There is a huge swath of fans that see this band as top tier, and their impressive album sales render them one of the most successful extreme metal bands of all time. Now, I don’t really think “Nightbringers” is that good. But unlike a lot of other trendy albums that I don’t particularly enjoy, I definitely see the appeal of this band. They aren’t just a well oiled machine—they’re the sturdy and unshakable factory making the machines. This is absurdly tight death metal, perfected by years of work. Again, while I don’t love this record, I do think “Widowmaker” is the de facto metal banger of the year. What a way to open up an album.
69Falls of Rauros
Vigilance Perennial


So this was put on the back burner way too long. Subtly atmospheric, this has some of my favorite moments in all of 2017 metal. It’s beautiful black metal that’s written to near perfection.
70Ingurgitating Oblivion
Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light


Chunky and progressive death metal—it’s four songs covering nearly an hour of material. There’s a little Meshuggah grooviness, Gorguts dissonance, Deathspell wickedness, and Artificial Brain atmosphere. It’s unwieldy and typically the sort of album I don’t rec strongly, but it’s a fascinating listen nonetheless, whose ending, with its smoothness, feels ripped straight from one of the middle era Toby Driver projects.
71Tetragrammacide
Primal Incinerators of Moral Matrix


Not as noisy or weird as their early stuff but still some acerbic and hateful black metal nonetheless.
72Unbeheld
Dust
73Ufomammut
8
74Black Cilice
Banished From Time


Raw bm from the master himself. Retreading makes this a hard sell but he’s doing the overdone harsh aesthetic better than anyone else.
75Jute Gyte
Oviri


Perennial list maker, Jute Gyte makes the weirdest and noisiest black metal out there and he does it A LOT. Recommended for those looking for a bizarre trip but admittedly you probably won’t return once the novelty wears off.
76Cranial
Dark Towers, Bright Lights
77Der Weg Einer Freiheit
Finisterre


Standard and great black metal (I feel like descriptors such as this make up half this list). You may not be rendered imobile by greatness but you’ll surely be treated to a solid bit of modern black metal.
78Exhumed
Death Revenge


Fun death metal with a rocking energy and cool theme. Gets old fast though.
79Incantation
Profane Nexus


After years of releasing the same death metal album over and over again, Incantation return with an album that’s a bit better than anything they’ve released since their “classic” hey day.
80Lantern
II: Morphosis
81Nokturnal Mortum
Verity
82Apostate Viaticum
Before the Gates of Gomorrah
83Wampyrinacht
We Will Be Watching...
84Draugsol
Volaða Land
85Acherontas
Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II)
86Heavydeath
Sarcophagus in the Sky
87Thaw
Grains
88Faceless Burial
Grotesque Miscreation
89Isenordal
Shores of Mourning


Black metal with cascadian influences and with a sorta Agallochy tone. Lots of atmosphere with female vocals a la WiiTR. Worth checking.
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