– First off I would like to thank Ashley for bringing me on board to contribute to The Metal Wanderlust. My first article will be my top 10 Black Metal Albums list for the year 2017. The first 6 choices to me were set in stone for the most part. There are several albums that could compete with my final 4 picks, but all these albums are stellar in my opinion.
1) The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
Location: Aachen, Germany Genre: Black/Doom Metal Years Active: 2003 – present Discography: 5 full-length albums and 1 EP
-Exuvia was released on May 5th, 2017 on Van Records. I absolutely love the combination of Doom and Black Metal that Alexander von Meilenwald delivers here. This album would be the perfect background for a Haunted House. All the tracks are incredible. If I was one of those individuals that rated albums by percentages this would be one of the few albums I could give a perfect score to. It ranks up there with such other great Black Metal Masterpieces as Storm of the Light’s Bane, In the Nightside Eclipse, and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Yes it is that good. It is my album of the year for 2017 regardless of the genre.
– If you take all that is great from the first 4 albums by Alex and rolled them into one, you are left with this masterpiece. The shrieks and vocal variation that were missing on Blood Vaults are a welcome addition. The heavy guitars and blast beats seen on Rain Upon the Impure are present here in just the right dose. The doomy eerie atmosphere that made Unlock the Shrine so epic has returned in full force. This album is an experience and it is repeatedly on my playlist.
2) Wormwood – Ghostlands: Wounds from A Bleeding Earth
Location: Stockholm, Sweden Genre: Melodic Black Metal Years Active: 2014 – present Discography: 1 full-length and 1 EP
-Ghostlands: Wounds from A Bleeding Earth was released on March 10th, 2017 by Non Serviam Records. This album is very unique and has it all. The is certainly similarities to Dissection but the music is an excellent blend of Melodic Black Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal. Listening to the tracks such as the The Universe is Dying really show some their diversity. Then listening to tracks such as Silverdimmans Atersken I am floored at how beautiful this masterpiece really is. I have goosebumps listening to that song nearly every time. Other favorites of mine on the album are Godless Serenade and the The Windmill which is filled with a steady stream of thunderous riffs.
3) Pillorian – Obsidian Arc
Location: Portland, Oregon Genre: Black Metal Years Active: 2016-present Discography: 1 full length album
– Obsidian Arc was released on March 10th, 2017 on the record label Eisenwald Tonschmiede. Many of you know that Pillorian was formed after Agalloch split. Don’t expect another Agalloch album. This album has pummeling blast beats and heavy riffs. There is a nice mixture of slow and fast moments on this record. The slower moments carry a Doom Metal vibe. This album is great start to finish.
4) Asagraum – Potestas Magicum Diaboli
Location: Netherlands Genre: Black Metal Yeas Active: 2015-present Discography: 1 full length album and 1 promo EP
– Potestas Magicum Diaboli was released on September 29th, 2017 on the record label Kvlt. This is an all female band made up of Trish and Obscura. I like my Black Metal scary and Potestas Magicum Diaboli is just that. This debut album has a doom quality but it is certainly a Black Metal album. The shrieks are piercing and there is pummeling blast beats. The lyrics center on the occult. This is another album that is great from start to finish.
5) Der Weg Einer Frdiheit – Finisterre
Genre: Black Metal Location: Wurzburg, Bavaria Years Active: 2009-present Discography: 4 full length albums and 2 EP’s
– Finisterre was released on August 25th, 2017 on the record label Season of Mist. This album is very solid and has some of the best drumming I have ever heard in Black Metal. Many songs incorporate melodic and ambient elements, but its the drum beats and heavy riffs that keep me wanting more. There is enough change of pace to keep the listener captivated and enough heavy tunes to give you an adrenaline rush.
6) Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Location: Iceland Years Active: 2010-present Discography: 2 full-length albums and 1 Demo
-Farvegir Fyrndar was released on November 10th, 2017 on the record label Season of Mist. I love this album. The music is dark as you would expect from a Black Metal band coming from Iceland. Yes it is atmospheric, but I saw one write up that described it as mid-paced and I agree wholeheartedly. Just listen to Blodraud Sol and at around 3:12 the song has a riff sequence that I can’t stop listening too.
7) Fen – Winter
Location: London, England Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Years Active: 2006-present Discography: 5 full-length albums and 1 EP
-Winter was released March 10th, 2017 on the record label Code666 Records. The music is a
unique style of Atmospheric Black Metal. Each element to the music is balanced and there is no weak element among the vocals, bass, guitar, and drums. Although this album is quite lengthy it is best appreciated when listened to from beginning to end. There is not a bad track on this album but I have included III (Fear) as an example of how well coordinated the instrumentation is utilized to create the desired mood.
8) Cloak – To Venomous Depths
Location: Atlanta, Georgia Genre: Black Metal Years Active: 2013-present Discography: 1 full-length album and 1 EP
– To Venomous Depths was released on November 10th, 2017 on Season of Mist record label. This debut album from Cloak would be considered mainly traditional Black Metal. The sound is a unique blend of Dissection and Entombed. The album has some really great guitar solos that compliment Scott Taysum slightly raspy vocals. The riffs are very memorable and in no way generic. At times the music has a Melodic Black Metal feel to it and at other times the songs bring in a harsher edge. Hence the connection with Dissection and Entombed. Their unique sound should appeal to a wide range of Black Metal enthusiasts.
9) Halphas – Dawn of a Crimson Empire
Location: Germany Genre: Black Metal Years Active: 2014-present Discography: debut album
– Dawn of a Crimson Empire was released on December 15th, 2017 on Folter Records. This was a late release for 2017. Had it been released earlier in the year I might have had it higher on my list. I certainly want to continue spinning this album as to appreciate it in its complexity. It is so dynamic I pick up new intricacies with each listen. It is a powerful 2nd wave Black Metal album. There are multiple changes in the tempo of the songs. The album is melodic and the guitar tones are layered to give the songs a complex yet appealing sound.
10) Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Location: Finland Genre: Black Metal Years Active: 2013-present Discography: 2 full-length albums and 1 EP
– Kelle Surut Soi was released on April 29th, 2017 by Naturmacht Productions. Although this album was released in April, I didn’t really give it a good listen until the end of the year. Had I set aside enough time to listen to this album earlier in the year, I am quite positive it would have landed higher on the list. The music is basically Pagan Black Metal with a Viking and/or Folk feel to it. I am really impressed with all the elements to the music. The lyics are quite varied and include your typical black metal screams, but also incorporate a choir and clean singing. The drums are powerful but no overpowering and they come at you in waves that are certain to leave you with an adrenaline rush. The riffs are plentiful and are very moving. The closing title track is a great example of this is. You really need to try this album if you have not yet.
* I hope you enjoyed my first contribution to The Metal Wanderlust. This list is very diversified so I believe there something for everyone here including even the most casual Black Metal fan. So, until next time this is CarcassBamafan signing out.