Hey Fuzzers it’s that time of the year to present you my favorite albums of 2017 and some honorable mentions you need to listen in case you haven’t done it so far. This is my third time doing this since I began to collaborate with More Fuzz in 2015 (check my favorite albums of 2015 and 2016 if you like), and this year was the hardest to choose my 20 favorite albums and the respective honorable mentions. Hope you like them as much as I did. Thanks for reading and enjoy the ride!
Top 20 Albums of 2017
20: Fumata – La Perfección De La Muerte
Debut album from this Mexican supergroup featuring current and former members from Vinnum Sabbathi, Terror Cósmico, El Ahorcado, El Escuadrón de la Muerte, Apocalipsis and Weedsnake. With this resume you can wait a strong dose of Sludge/Doom Metal, so be prepare for a BBQ full of heavy and greasy riffs!
19: Savanah – The Healer
The Healer is the sophomore release from these Austrian and here we find a band that has matured and improved its sound since the release of their debut album, it’s like you’re listening to Deep Shades on steroids: you’ll find a tighter group with superb musicianship, fantastic vocals and a stronger, psychedelic gritty vibe.
18: Dopelord – Children Of The Haze
After their fantastic album from 2014 Black Arts, Riff Worship & Weed Cult, the Polish are back with their lysergic and obscure sound. Children Of The Haze is a monumental piece of work where Dark Psychedelia and Doom Metal meets to entertain us with hard-hitting drums and bass, down-tuned riffs and some ethereal and poisonous vocals. This is highly recommended for fans of Dopethrone, Acid Witch, Weedpecker and early Electric Wizard.
17: Paradise Lost – Medusa
One of the founding fathers of the Death/Doom Metal scene and member of the infamous Peaceville’s Unholy Trinity alongside My Dying Bride and Anathema. After few years of experimenting with electronic music ala Depeche Mode, since the release of their 2005’s S/T album, the band has been developing a sound close to their early days with each new release and Medusa is the crowning of the process. The heavy riffs of Gregor Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, the groove of Stephen Edmondson and Nick Holmes’s growl vocals are back and for a moment, you think you’re back in 1992 listening to Shades Of God or Gothic. However, make no mistakes, you’re listening to a band that has returned to its roots with a powerful and fresh sound.
16: Book Of Wyrms – Sci/Fi Fantasy
Book Of Wyrms is a quintent from Richmond, Virginia that plays Stoner/Doom Metal with Psychedelic and Space Rock elements. They released their debut album Sci/Fi Fantasy thru Twin Earth Records at the beginning of the year and I can only say it has all the elements to shine among the best releases of 2017: a lot of groove, down-tuned guitar riffs, cosmis effects and ethereal vocals thanks to their singer Sarah Moore Lindsey.
15: Hela – Death May Die
Hela is a Spanish band that plays occultish Doom Metal in the same vein of bands like Lucifer, Devil Electric, Haunted, and more. For this new album they recruited the talented Mireia Porto (Rosy Finch) to handle guitar and vocal duties and the result is their best material to date. Death May Die is a conceptual work that according to the band it’s focused in “the suffering, revenge and the rise up of a girl in a world that try to punish the freedom to be herself”.
14: The Necromancers – Servants Of The Salem Girl
The Necromancers is a new band from France that released their debut album thru Ripple Music a few months ago. They play an excellent type of Stoner/Doom Rock with Heavy Metal, so you will hear uptempo songs with some shred guitar solos. Add an occultish vibe into the mix and you´ll have one of the best albums of the year!
13: Elder – Reflections Of A Floating World
These guys don’t need no introduction, you know that Elder have a unique sound thanks to their musical approach where they match perfectly the sounds of the Stoner Rock and Progressive Rock scenes. This is multilayered music, a prime example of psychedelic/progressive Stoner Rock!
12: Santo Rostro – The Healer
The Healer is the third album by Santo Rostro, an album where they present five solid tracks, two of them clocking above the 10 minutes mark. On this one the Prog influences are more explicit, demonstrating how they’ve become a tight unit with an improved musicianship, thus creating more complex and intricate songs without losing the heaviness of their previous work. Full review here.
11: Egypt – Crack And Lines
Egypt has become an institution inside the Stoner/Doom underground scene, so you can expect high quality music every time they release new material. Crack And Lines is no exception, with its 5 tracks of solid doomy, bluesy Stoner Rock with tons of fuzz and a desert vibe all over it. jJst check the closer song “What Lights The Ocean” and you will know what I’m talking about!
10: Wucan – Reap The Storm
I fell in love with these German two years ago when I discovered them thru a Doomed & Stoned compilation (The Enchanter’s Ball), thanks to their 70’s inspired Heavy Rock where the guitars, the flute and the powerful voice of Francis Tobolsky are the main characters. For obviously reason, every time I’ve heard a band with flute in it Jethro Tull comes to mind, but Wucan have always gone beyond that reference, something that is confirmed with this new album where their Prog and Folk influences are everywhere. This is their best and most ambitious work to date, just check the two last songs of the album, between them they add 40 minutes of the best music that have been made this year.
9: Horisont – About Time
After their fantastic 2015’s Odyssey, the Swedish are back with another gem of Retro Heavy Rock. For me they are the real deal within the Retro Scene, not their compatriots Graveyard, thanks to the keyboards arrangements and the progish vibe that permeates their whole sound, something that can be fully appreciate with About Time.
8: Jupiterian -Terraforming
Second album from this Brazilian band that plays a hypnotic and atmospheric type of Sludge/Doom Metal, a vibe that it’s reinforced by the use of hoods to hide the identity of the band members. This album is heavy, abrasive, somber and ears’ melter, just the kind of stuff you want to hear for his holiday season.
7: Devil Electric – S/T
With their S/T debut LP, the Aussies have delivered one of the best Doom Metal albums of the year. The band plays very good overall, but the major highlights are Christos Athanasias gloomy, down-tuned guitar riffs and Pierina O’Brien powerful pipes. If you’re into bluesy Doom Metal with occultish themes ala Lucifer, Blood Ceremony, Haunted, Witch Mountain, and more, look no further because this one is for you.
6: Vin De Mia Trix – Palimpsests
Besides Drug Honkey’s Cloak Of Skies, this album by Ukranian band Vin De Mia Trix has to be the most interesting and challenging listening I found in 2017. Palimpsests is a double album that consists of 4 lengthy tracks, clocking over 19 minutes each one of them, in which the band shows their numerous musical influences, including Doom Metal, Funeral Doom, Death Metal, Death Doom and more. This album requires full attention and patience from the listeners, so it can be fully appreciate. I can guarantee you’ll be very pleased if you’re able to made the 90 plus minute journey!
5: Argus – From Fields Of Fire
Argus was formed in Pennsylvania 12 years ago they released a demo under John Brenner’s label Bland Hand Records in 2007 and immediately caught my attention because of the well balanced mix between Doom and Heavy Metal, their strong musicianship and Butch Balich (ex-Penance) amazing pipes. From Fields Of Fire is their fourth LP, and probably their best work to date. It exudes dramatics and epicness thru its 9 songs, being the perfect example of a modern Epic Doom Metal masterpiece. I strongly recommend this on for fans of Candlemass, Grand Magus and Solitude Aeturnus.
4: Kingnomad – Mapping The Inner Void
Kingnomad is a Swedish band that released their highly anticipated debut album thru Ripple Music early this year. Their sound is highly anchored in the 70’s aesthetic with influences of Doom Metal, Progressive and Psychedelic Rock. Recommended for fans of: Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Book Of Wyrms, Jesse And The Ancient Ones.
3: Vinnum Sabbathi – Gravity Works
If you’ve been following my post and reviews for the last 2 ½ years or so, you’re probably aware of my particular fondness with this band. Vinnum Sabbathi plays instrumental Doom Metal inspired by NASA’s space travels program and Carl Sagan’s work. Gravity Works is the band’s first proper LP, after releasing some great EP’s and splits for the last 4 years. 2017 was a breakout year for them, since they had the opportunity to tour Europe and the UK for several months, also international labels Stolen Body Records and Aim Down Sight Records released the Fuzzonaut split and Gravity Works on vinyl format.
2: Brume – Rooster
I fell in love with Brume since I started my explorations in Bandcamp in early 2015, their debut EP Donkey was one of my first purchases in the platform, so you can say I was excited when they released Rooster months ago. As its name indicates, Brume plays an atmospheric Doom Metal, enveloped in a dense fog, a mood highlighted by Susie McMullan eerie and ethereal vocals (the best female vocal performance of 2017!) .
1: Drug Honkey – Cloak Of Skies
Drug Honkey is a quartet from Chicago (IL), which has been active for almost 20 years. The band consists of Paul Gillis (vocals, synthesizers, samplers and FX), Gabe Grosso (guitars), Ian Brown (bass) and Adam Smith (drums). They’ve been innovating the underground scene with their unique sound, seriously I never heard anything like them, they’ve created a unique sound where you’ll hear a bricolage with elements from Experimental and Industrial Metal, dark Psychedelic, Death Metal, Doom, Sludge Metal to a little of Post Metal. This new album is their best work so far, it’s challenging, demands your full attention and it’s even progressive. Without a doubt one of the most defiant albums of the last years and my favorite of 2017! Full review here.