The dreaded time of the end-of-the-year lists has come again! It’s always a hassle but it’s also the best way to discover new stuff. There are so many great albums being constantly released throughout the year that one is bound to miss some along the way – and boy, I can tell you that I missed quite a bunch! But do not worry, the ones I found are still top-notch and I hope you’ll like them too. Enjoy the read fellow fuzzers!
Top 10 Albums of 2017
10 : Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Feed The Rats
PIGS X7 is a psych-bomb ready to fry your brain-cells and beak your bones. The explosive cocktail brewed by the English quintet is a massive punch in the guts. Right off the first seconds of the album, the rhythm section gives you a taste of what’s coming at you for the next 36 minutes or so: prepare being trumpled to death by a horde of mad gods going to war. In other words, it is a joyful, psychedelic mess that’s not to be missed.
9 : Toke – Orange
Toke is the band you need to listen when everything around you seems bleak and dull. Toke is the kick in the butt you need when you’re down and angry. Toke is the shit because they are more than just “three dudes writing riffs” as their Bandcamp description states. Those guys also have a great sense of groove and fun. You cannot resist the urge to handbang like crazy with a big smile on your face when you listen to their songs, especially Legalize Sin which is by far my favourite sludge song of the year.
8 : Geezer – Psychoriffadelia
Psychoriffadelia is one of the nice suprises 2017 delivered. I don’t think a lot of people expected them to release anything so soon after their superb self-titled album from last year. Psychoriffadelia is relatively short but as always, it is packed with groove, bluesy riffs and a great deal of psychedelia. So pack your favourite whisky, hop on your motorcycle and let’s head to Geezertown!
7 : Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard
I didn’t have high exceptations at first and I’m glad I didn’t because this album did not hit me right away. In the same manner as Time To Die, I had to give it a few tries to really let it grow on me. But the thing is that it just won’t stop growing. Indeed, Wizard Bloody Wizard is a real slow burner: once you get your head around their new sound, it’s a treat. This come back to the 70’s sound is more than welcome at this point of their carreer. At a time when everyone is just trying to claim the title of the “heaviest band” ever, Electric Wizard took a different path and went where no one was really expected them while still keeping their sound weird and somewhat heavy. It feels like we have finally something interesting and different to listen.
6 : Dopelord – Children Of The Haze
Dopelord are back at it again with new odes to two of their favourite things : weed and riffs. Children Of The Haze sounds more atmospheric and mature than their previous releases while still being heavy and nasty as hell. There is no denying the fact that they know how to write transcendental crushing riffs. In my opinion it’s simply the best stoner-doom album of the year – it’s truly inspiring. Also, one has to mention the stunning cover art!
5 : Goya – Harvester of Bongloads
Listening to Harvester Of Bongloads is like meeting an old friend you didn’t see since highschool: you realized things have changed, the dude grew up. Indeed, this new offering shows a new, reborn Goya – more serious than ever. Although their songs were never really optimistic about our future, I always felt that they displayed something to look up to – maybe it was the small quirks that could be found here and there in the riffs or the lyrics – but this time guitarist and vocalist Jeff Owens wants everyone to know that there is no hope left on this doomed planet and it’s masterfully done.
4 : Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Crusing through still-unexplored areas of the riff-filled land, Elder seems to be gaining more and more (well-deserved) attention. Indeed, it amazes me to see how they manage to reconcile everyone around their music. But when you think about it, it’s not really that surprising because they greatly complexified their songwritting without sacrificing much of what made them popular in the first place. Besides, I like to think that Lore and Reflections of a Floating World tell their quest to reach and find the very concept of Beauty – and it’s a quest I’ll happily follow in the coming years.
3 : Radio Moscow – New Beginnings
To be fair, I didn’t really take the time to listen to this album until after their performance at Desertfest Belgium last October. It was only then that I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. Those guys are just unstoppable, once you’ve hit “PLAY” the album hits you hard from the first to the very last riff. Do not make the same mistake I did, listen to this new offering if you haven’t yet.
2 : All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War
I’m gonna be honnest, I don’t enjoy this album as much as their previous ones but it’s still packed with great songs and they are still an amazing experience live. Sleeping Through The War feels more intricate and less introspective than Dying Surfer. They have taken a different approach, and thus, conjure up a very different atmosphere but the bigger picture remains the same: the songs still have this wonderful organic feel and those sometimes-delicate-sometimes-hardhitting bluesy riffs.
1 : The Cosmic Dead – Psych Is Dead
The new output by The Cosmic Dead is not an easy listening but it’s damn rewarding. The first track demonstrates how good they are at playing with different atmospheres throughout a long song while still keeping a strong sense of progress. It’s heavy, abrasive and mind-altering – it’s a never-ending journey through the rabbit hole that takes you so deep underneath that you somewhat end up lost in the deepest corner of space, totally alone and whacked but surprisingly serene.