end of year 2017 lists

2017 End Of Year Lists: Albums Of The Year

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A little overdue but still something that couldn't be missed, the year's most important list catalogs our favorite full length records from the past twelve months. These are D//E's Albums Of The Year...




30. Ride - Weather Diaries



21 years after their previous album, Tarantula and 27 years since those first few EPs and Nowhere, Ride came back strong with Weather Diaries. Mixed by Alan Moulder and produced by DJ Erol Alkan, Ride's latest may not be as groundbreaking as their first couple of brilliant records, but it justified the band's reunion while it documented the respectable new chapter in their celebrated career.



29. Get Your Gun - Doubt Is My Rope Back To You



Three whole years after their acclaimed debut, Denmark's Get Your Gun return with a new album, intriguingly titled Doubt Is My Rope Back To You. Wonderful, poetic lyricism, edgy flirtations with dark Americana, the blues, darkwave and experimental electronica, are the foundations of Get Your Gun's vivid sound, which broadens into a dark blend of contemplative notions and moods which compliment and complete each other.



28. Ulver - The Assassination Of Julius Caesar



While Ulver attempt to avoid repetition and work instinctively as they always have, their thirteenth album, The Assassination Of Julius Caesar, finds them at the most accessible they've ever been. Among its sources of inspiration the band cites Talk Talk, Music Machine, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Factory Records, together with the death of Princess Diana, the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II and the Church of Satan. So, despite how this at first sounds like the easiest to digest Ulver album, it does not mean that the Norwegian wolves haven't stayed true to their dark aesthetics.



27. Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard



Bluesy and with a back-to-basics mindset which almost makes it sound primal, yet, heavy as ever, the latest by Dorset's Electric Wizard was nothing less of the monster anyone would have expected from the veteran doom rockers. Even though it does not offer anything new, it emerges as a firm and solid addition in Wizard's catalog, channeling not only the darkness of Black Sabbath which the band evidently and repeatedly reference, but also enough of what makes seventies' hard rock one of the finest fads of music to ever grace this world.



26. Permahorn - My Blood Carries My Dreams Away



Heavy in both production and feeling, Permahorn's dark debut album, does not hold back neither the feedback nor the fuzz nor the band's abilities of putting their exquisite influences to great use, disassembling them and putting them back together, filtered through their own singular, classy and ultra noisy lens. The excellent My Blood Carries My Dreams Away was mixed and mastered by Kramer, the veteran producer whose work so far includes collaborations with top acts like Galaxie 500, Bongwater, Daniel Johnston, Half Japanese, Shockabilly, Butthole Surfers, Low and more.



25. Stillwave - Sell Another Soul



Dark, brooding and quite esoteric, the debut album by Dutch band, Stillwave, emerged almost out of nowhere, blending together elements form shoegaze and post-punk as well as the lyrical pop of David Bowie and Radiohead, and earned comparisons to the aforementioned two in addition to respected bands like The National, My Bloody Valentine and even Joy Division. Sell Another Soul is an incredible and auspicious debut which introduces us to a band that we suspect we're going to hear much more of in the future.



24. Thurston Moore - Rock N Roll Consciousness



On his fifth formal studio album, indie rock 'n' roll legend, Thurston Moore, showcased how he can master the expansive and more lengthy style of songwriting and execution while remaining concentrated and mindful of his strengths and weaknesses. With the help of a band comprised of excellent musicians, Moore delivered possibly his most distinguished solo effort yet.



23. Ides Of Gemini - Women



After their two excellent full lengths on Neurot Recordings and with a new, revived lineup, California's Ides Of Gemini moved to Rise Above Records and released Women, a wonderful concept album which was themed on women as historical figures and fictional characters, and which deftly blended doom metal, post punk and gothic rock, resulting in the band's own unique heavy rock sound.



22. Uniform - Wake In Fright



Comprised of Michael Berdan (ex-Drunkdriver, York Factory Complaint) and guitarist/producer Ben Greenberg (ex-The Men, Hubble), New York's Uniform have been slowly but steadily powering through the world's bleakness with each step of theirs more impressive than the other. Wake In Fright, their most fully realized effort yet earned the band a prominent place in the elite of today's extreme/heavy/industrial music.



21. Godflesh - Post Self



Much in line with the artist's signature darkness, Post Self emerged as another addition in Justin K Broadrick's flawless total, and marked the return of Godflesh to the purer, harsher, more ambient and heavier industrial sound from which they sort of stepped away with 2014's A World Lit Only By Fire.



20. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Damage And Joy



After a quite long time of absence which span almost 20 years, Jesus And Mary Chain returned with a casual, typical of their sound record, half of which we had sampled before through films and other releases. Damage And Joy wasn't particularly cutting-edge for JAMC, but it's been long overdue and it's arrival has been gratifying and more than welcome.



19. Gold Class - Drum



Australian four-piece, Gold Class, followed their excellent underrated debut with an even more imposing sophomore effort, an exemplary post punk record, full of fervency and agitation, which bears an immaculate production alongside the band's liveliness and lyricism in top form. Drum is an exceptional, dark piece of work, utterly sentimental but firm, and strong enough to establish the band as a very hopeful voice in today's post punk.



18. Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold



Next to The Threshold Of Faith, a stellar piece of work which became an easy pick for the year's best EPs, the collaboration between Ben Frost and Steve Albini also resulted in a splendid full length. The Centre Cannot Hold is a raw and ruthless record which confronts the drawbacks of the contemporary American culture and its relation to war, faith and politics, while it sounds pure and honest, showcasing its composer's unsettling mind which beyond doubt will keep on giving on many levels in the near future.



17. Death Of Lovers - The Acrobat



After the incredible latest album by Nothing, three of its four members returned through their darkwave/synthpop side project, Death Of Lovers, the existence of which had been largely overlooked or underappreciated. Although the band's debut EP which came out in 2013 showed the band's inclinations towards the dark side, this new, revived version of Death Of Lovers, came out a bit different, more polished and more sophisticated, still, gloomy and as expected admirable.



16. Drab Majesty - The Demonstration



Alongside the aesthetic attractiveness and stylish imagery that project Deb DeMure's presence as one of the most winsome in the world of darkwave today, there came a stellar full length this year, exhibiting Drab Majesty's excellent musicianship and the band's flexibility among diverse sounds and styles such as synthpop, post punk, new wave and shoegaze. The Demonstration makes excellent use of its eighties dark pop influences and indeed demonstrates Drab Majesty as one of the finest in this style.



15. Ryan Adams - Prisoner



As far as mainstream rock albums go, no one did it better this year than the always productive Ryan Adams who delivered his most compelling set of songs in a while. Prisoner takes the man's total of studio albums to an impressive number sixteen, and its relevant chart achievement has us thinking that there should be much more works of this caliber among the mediocrity (or worse) of today's popular music.



14. Mutoid Man - War Moans



Like we wouldn't have expected any less from the supergroup comprised of members of Converge, Cave In, and All Pigs Must Die, the latest album by Mutoid Man is alive with traditional heavy metal righteousness and it wears its influences on its sleeves. War Moans stands out as the most forceful and best crafted record the trio has produced so far. While it is the third full length in the just four years of the band's existence, it reveals that Mutoid Man is indeed in top form and not likely to be going away anytime soon.



13. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me



Mount Eerie's eighth studio album is more of a documentation of a tragedy and the grief that goes with it, rather than a regular album, therefore any kind of review or analysis on it is just something superfluous and unnecessary. The album carries so much realness that it is very hard to take in, and if you can make it through the end, it is just a beautiful listen. For all this and more, its rank doesn't matter much. It definitely deserved a place among the year's finest though.



12. Amenra - Mass VI



There have been fourteen whole years since Mass I came out, and here we are five volumes later still considering the Belgian post metal collective for the year's best. On their second album for Neurot Recordings, Amenra emerge unbearably heavy as usual, yet, more mature, more driven and more emotional than ever before. Mass VI is an estimable successor to the quality and magnitude the band's series of records has served so far, and another epic which much like some of their previous efforts will be hard for them to overcome.



11. Cloakroom - Time Well



On their sophomore full length Indiana trio, Cloakroom,took their unique blend of shoegaze, ambiance and heaviness to a more melodious direction. Time Well is a lengthy and thorough record which through its dreamlike textures and hynotic magnetism appears like the heaviest and at the same time most delicate work the band has produced so far.



10. King Woman - Created In The Image Of Suffering



After King Woman's formation into a full band and a stunning EP which was met with a lot of deserved appreciation, the four-piece finally delivered their adequate, much anticipated debut full length. The band's joyless compound of doom metal and shoegaze is cut perfectly for the truthfulness in the album's theme, as well as the pain and profound spirituality that it carries. Through excellent musicianship and poetry, Kristina Esfandiari and King Woman once again turn their darkness into another piece of incredible art.



9. Sun Kil Moon - Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood



Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood finds Sun Kil Moon still in a state of existential anxiety, only much more aware of it, looser and more in terms with its creator's despair and mortality. The songs' narratives keep getting more verbose and more self-centered, but at the same time they get to be better detailed and more moderately jocular and evocative of the writer's intricate frame of mind.



8. Converge - The Dusk In Us



With each new addition to their rich discography, Converge, a believe-it-or-not 27 year old band, confirm their status as one of the best ever in extreme music, taking their mixture of metalcore, post hardcore, post metal and sludge to higher levels. The Dusk In Us, their ninth studio LP was not an exception, as it came out as a solid record and a worthy follower to some of the greatest albums this crossbreed genre has ever seen.



7. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun



The ninth studio album by the Scottish post rock pioneers marked the band's reunification with producer David Fridmann for the first time since 2001's Rock Action, and although it featured some of the most "normal" indie rock songs the band ever got to release, it still came out dark, rough and spirited, much alike some of the past works they established their reputation on.



6. Sannhet - So Numb



Coming back from a much impressive previous effort that was 2015's The Revisionist, Brooklyn's heavy post rockers, Sannhet, delivered one more gratifying mixture of post rock and extreme metal which playfully nodded at the band's heavier, black metal background, while it took the sentimentality of their songwriting to a whole new level.



5. Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration



While drawing influence from much of the indie scene of the nineties, alongside inspiration from even more aged and timeless sources like art rock, punk and krautrock, the sound of British quintet, Ulrika Spacek, emerges impressive, nervy and refreshing, evocative of the genre's potency back in the nineties. Their sophomore LP, Modern English Decoration, was one of 2017's most pleasant indie rock surprises.



4. Protomartyr - Relatives In Descent



Inch by inch Detroit's Protomartyr have developed into one of the best contemporary post punk band's in the world, and their fourth studio album is a bright example of their gritty storytelling, artful songwriting and technical dexterity. It carries the emotional anxiety of their existential qualities better than any of their previous efforts.



3. Planning For Burial - Below The House



Mixing together shoegaze, drone, slowcore, doom and black metal, on his third full length the now Pennsylvania-based musician returns to the self-conscious ways of Leaving, his humble and much personal debut album from 2010, just like he returned to his childhood home, family trade and bedroom after spending the last decade living in New Jersey. The routine he got himself back in as well as the remembrances of the place he rebounded to became the foundation for Below The House, a dark and stinging cold 9-track album which includes some of the sharpest material PFB has produced so far.



2. Slowdive - Slowdive



Although it looks like Slowdive was one of the latest bands to play the reunion card among the world of dreampop and shoegaze, the band have been plotting their lasting return since 2014 when they got back together for some live performances. The shoegaze pioneers have surely come a very long way since the release of their debut EP (also simply titled Slowdive) back in 1990 and on their new, fourth full length they reminded everyone that they can still be the mighty and influential band they once were. Together with My Bloody Valentine's m b v this is the best record this latest wave of reunions by shoegaze bands has produced.



1. Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun



Chelsea Wolfe has delivered six solid studio albums so far, and for the last three of them we've been left with the impression that her latest one is going to be the best she's ever released. Same goes for Hiss Spun, the Kurt Ballou-produced tour-de-force of darkness and heaviness whose strong connections to sludge and extreme metal in general made it sound like Chelsea's heaviest album. It is annihilating and phantasmal as much as it is ethereal, and on a technical level it is nothing sort of impressive as much as are the presences of heavy rock veterans Aaron Turner and Troy Van Leeuwen on the album.


Again, in actual list form...


1. Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
2. Slowdive - Slowdive
3. Planning For Burial - Below The House
4. Protomartyr - Relatives In Descent
5. Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration
6. Sannhet - So Numb
7. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun
8. Converge - The Dusk In Us
9. Sun Kil Moon - Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood
10. King Woman - Created In The Image Of Suffering
11. Cloakroom - Time Well
12. Amenra - Mass VI
13. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
14. Mutoid Man - War Moans
15. Ryan Adams - Prisoner
16. Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
17. Death Of Lovers - The Acrobat
18. Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold
19. Gold Class - Drum
20. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Damage And Joy
21. Godflesh - Post Self
22. Uniform - Wake In Fright
23. Ides Of Gemini - Women
24. Thurston Moore - Rock N Roll Consciousness
25. Stillwave - Sell Another Soul
26. Permahorn - My Blood Carries My Dreams Away
27. Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard
28. Ulver - The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
29. Get Your Gun - Doubt Is My Rope Back To You
30. Ride - Weather Diaries




ZR

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