Trips to the otherworld!
2017 has been a good year for the music I love and enjoy. We have seen plenty of album and EP releases. Sometimes I wish I have more time to listen to all these jewels. So you find my personal list of excellent albums I enjoyed in 2017 here.
I have also been very busy with shooting a lot of concerts – and I have even been to Desertfest Berlin and Desertfest Antwerp this year. Fun times, a lot of photos, nice people, good music!
My TOP 20 Albums and EPs of 2017
20. Bathsheba – Servus
Bathsheba from Genk, Belgium delivered a haunting and atmospheric occult doom debut this year. Pretty worthy to be included in my Top 20. My favourite track is Manifest.
19. Caronte – Yoni
Italian shamanic doomsters Caronte from Parma brought us their third full-length album. If you ever saw Caronte live, you know how they celebrate a ritual or even a mass on stage, and each of their albums feels like being part of an occult ritual. Enjoyable trip to the darker and obscure realms. Favourite track: Promethean Cult.
18. The Moth – Hysteria
The Moth from Hamburg, Germany returned with a new album in 2017. Hard hitting sludge, pretty primal and raw – an uncut jewel liquifying your bowels. Favourite track: This life.
17. Demonic Death Judge – Seaweed
A real groovy stoner sludge behemoth – this time brought to us by Demonic Death Judge from Kymenlaakso, Finland. Riffs and sludgy grooves – what’s more to long for? Favourite track: Peninkulma.
16. The Necromancers – Servants of the Salem Girl
The Necromancers from Poitiers, France celebrate Sabbath-influenced heavy occult rock on their debut album. It could be a pretty nice soundtrack for a horror b-movie – please someone do this! Party on, Satan! Favourite track: Lucifer’s Kin.
15. Ruby the Hatchet – Planetary Space Child
Ruby the Hatchet from Philadelphia, USA delivered a heavy, spacey psychedelic rocking album this year. My personal highlight: Symphony of the Night.
14. Mars – Precession of the Equinoxes
Mars from New Orleans, USA brought us a psychedelic doom milestone. Heavy slow fuzzy riffage – comparable to Sleep. Yeah! My favourite on this album: Precession of the Equinoxes. – No idea why the release is not available anymore on their bandcamp page, so I include a youtube video.
13. Cities of Mars – Temporal Rifts
Out of Göteborg, Sweden hail the “Fuzzed-out sci-fi conceptual” doom trio Cities of Mars and bring us the finest space doom. My favourite track: Envoy of Murder – the riff kills!
12. Dead Witches – Ouija
Dead Witches based in Bournemouth, UK is the new brainchild of Mark Greening. They celebrate psychedelic occult doom with vintage-distorted vocals, heavy fuzzy rifflines and very accentuated drumwork on their debut. Their first album features Virginia Monti as the singer, but meanwhile she left to concentrate on her band Psychedelic Witchcraft. The new singer is Soozi Chameleone and reportedly, Dead Witches are already working on a second album. My favourite song on Ouija: Drawing Down the Moon.
11. LÂMINA – Lilith
LÂMINA hail from Lisbon, Portugal and their first release is a highly enjoyable psychedelic fuzzy and heavy doomrock-trip from the 60s until today. It’s pretty groovy, you certainly see me airriffing to Cold Blood and certainly grooving to Psychodevil. I would certainly love to see them live! \m/
10. Alunah – Solennial
Alunah from Birmingham, UK released their fourth album this year. Fuzzy doom with the clean vocals of guitarist Sophie Day cutting through the soundscape. Perfect to close your eyes and let your mind travel to distant dark woods. Sophie Days lately left the band and meanwhile has been replaced with Siân Greenaway. Alunah will embark on a tour in Europe in 2018 – hopefully somewhere near where I live – and let’s see how this works out. My favourite song is Light of Winter.
9. Moon Mother – Riffcraft
Moon Mother from the western woods in Sweden released their debut in 2017. Last year’s demo has already been great, so no surprise, the new album follows the trail. Bluesy and fuzzy doom rocking the house. Sara Trollpacka’s vocals remind me a bit of Siouxsie Sioux. And btw, Monolord’s Thomas V Jäger plays the bass and has produced and engineered this little gem. Fav track: Black Hole Demons. Another act I would love to see at a gig.
8. Smoke Mountain – Smoke Mountain
Florida doomsters Smoke Mountain bring us slow, heavy and fuzzy stoner doom on their EP. Pretty groovy occultish! Heavy riffs! Yeah! Favourite track: Smoke Mountain. Smoke Mountain! Teach me! \m/
7. Dopelord – Children of the Haze
Dopelord from Warsaw, Poland are back with a new album. They release an avalanche of stoner doom, spiced up with some sludgyness on the listener. Highly groovy, too. Personal highlight: Reptile Sun.
6. The Devil and the Almighty Blues – II
The Devil and the Almighty Blues from Oslo, Norway released their second album, reservedly titled “II”. More melancholy dripping stoner blues from the North. Just close the eyes and let melancholy overwhelm yourself. If you have the chance to see them live, do it! They are also an excellent live band. Favourite track: Low.
5. Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales
Jess and the Ancient Ones from Kuopio, Finland bring us a new psychedelic rock album. At first I was alarmed at seeing the runtime of 35 minutes, but it works. An enjoyable trip back to the 60s era of occult psychedelia. Keyboards are pretty prominent this time and Jess’ fantastic vocals run like a golden thread through this album. My favourite track: You and eyes.
4. Electric Moon – Stardust Rituals
On their latest album, heavy acid psych trio Electric Moon from Neuental, Germany embark with us on a long space trip. Pure awesome psychedelic space trippyness! It will blow your mind. My favourite: You will live forever.
3. Year of the Cobra – Burn Your Dead
Doom duo Year of the Cobra from Seattle, USA deliver a new EP brimming with fuzzy bass lines and excellent drum work. Experiencing their music, you really begin to wonder, it’s just a duo? Having seen them live this year, I can only say, yes, they are “only” Amy and Jon and hell yeah, they rule live, too! Favourite track this time: Cold.
2. Electric Wizard – Bloody Wizard Bloody
Electric Wizard from Wimborne, Dorset, UK are back! And what a surprising release. With every listen, it grows on the listener. Electric Wizard take us back into the early 70s with a more bluesy approach of doom rock and ending the album in good old-fashioned doom. Could somebody please make a horror movie to this album? Favourite track: Wicked Caresses
1. Monolord – RUST
Alastor – Black Magic
Alastor – Blood On Satan’s Claw
Decasia – The Lord is Gone
Demon Head – Thunder On The Fields
EGYPT – Cracks and Lines
Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Kurse – Tales of the Wizard
Mephistofeles – (((I’M HEROINE)))
Monarch – Never Forever
Orsak:Oslo – You’re all gone
The Obsessed – Sacred
UFOMAMMUT – 8
Witchfinder – Witchfinder
Witchthroat Serpent – Striped Dragon
- Außerwelt – Transitions (Post-Black Metal)
- Decaying Days – The Fire of a Thousand Suns (Melodic Death Metal)
- Enojado – Mist & Thunder EP (Stoner Metal)
- Neorite – Oversleep EP (ProgRock, Stonerrock)
My top concerts of 2017
- AIRBUS, Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- AVON // The Devil and the Almighty Blues // Dirty Sound Magnet, Jägerklause, Berlin, Germany
- AVON, Desertfest Berlin, Germany
- AVON, Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Church of Misery, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Domkraft, Desertfest Berlin, Germany
- EGYPT, Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Electric Wizard // Angel Witch, Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany
- Graveyard, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Honeymoon Disease, Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Jess and the Ancient Ones // Caronte, Bi Nuu, Berlin, Germany
- Monolord, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Monolord, Vortex Surfer Musikclub, Siegen, Germany
- Mos Generator, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Mos Generator, Vortex Surfer Musikclub, Siegen, Germany
- Mountain Witch // Wedge, Gleis 22, Münster, Germany
- Scissorfight // Backwoods Payback @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Sleep, Desertfest Berlin, Germany
- The Devil and the Almighty Blues, Desertfest Berlin, Germany
- The Freeks // Komatsu, Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- White Manna, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Wight, Desertfest Berlin, Germany
- Windhand, Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
- Year of the Cobra // Plainride, Don’t Panic, Essen, Germany