Raffy's Top Tens of 2017 - Day 1: Most Enjoyable

Reviewer Dave Raffy presents his personal picks for this year's top ten most enjoyable releases!

Dec. 20, 2017


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With 2017 coming to a close in a little less than two weeks, it is now time to discuss the releases, EPs and albums that I've enjoyed the most out of all of the ones that came out. This top ten list will consist of releases from all genres.

10 1755 See Details for 1755

Kicking off this list is the latest offering from Portuguese gothic metal act Moonspell1755 is one album that is very dark, dreary, emotional and lengthy for all the right reasons. The themes are as fun to follow as the rest of the music...and the instrumentals aid the vocals so well in creating an almost perfect atmosphere of despair and gloom. Every note played, every melody displayed, and every clean or harsh vocal sung is heard loud and clear. This album has a ton of character and strength; two aspects that make the music itself so addicting and fun to listen to. 

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9 You Owe You Pay See Details for You Owe You Pay

Up next we have the latest release from Carnal Decay titled You Owe You Pay. This particular effort is one that is strong and assertive in its own ways. The energy on this record is very convincing and the band manages to give it their all while refining and reincorporating all of the past elements that made their music so addicting. All the slams, blast beats, relentless riffage and edgy lyricism and themes you'd want in this type of music is here to find. Carnal Decay have always put a spin on the deathcore genre with the little quirks they add into the mix...and this album is indeed a testament to that.

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8 You're Not You Anymore See Details for You're Not You Anymore

Melodic hardcore outfit Counterparts has yet to disappoint. With their melodies, rhythms, mystifying guitar riffs, stellar vocals, production and everything in between, this band has it all. You're Not You Anymore is both compact and eclectic, with a hefty amount of variety in terms of tempo, heaviness, and song structure. The chorus lines stick with you for ages and the breakdowns within are a ton of fun to listen and head-bang to. This one is definitely a recommended listen for any and all hardcore and metalcore fans alike.

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7 Gospel of Despair See Details for Gospel of Despair

This next entry from UK doom metal project Monolith Cult has many things going for it...ultimately making it a very enjoyable and amusing releases. From the mesmerizing guitar riffs to the gloomy themes and ambiance as well as the energetic vocals themselves, the cacophony and arrangement of different sounds into this one record makes for a sweet, yet somber listen. Everything sounds so crisp and dynamic, even operatic and balladic at times. This entry is undeniably catchy and charming in its own right, with a sort-of nostalgic, old-school feel to it.

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6 Disconnect See Details for Disconnect

Cracking in at number six is the newest addition to metalcore band Threat Signal's discography. Disconnect is a fast and sharp album with many bone-chilling melodies that juxtapose with the face-melting breakdowns in between. The record is decently paced and consistently heavy along with some of the best production quality ever. The vocal variety and striking melodic breaks add a certain level of aesthetic to the overall finished final product.

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5 The Disfigurement of Existence See Details for The Disfigurement of Existence

The Disfigurement of Existence by Signs of the Swarm is a fun and exciting album for several reasons. While the release is a bit on the longer side for the genre, it never stops at being entertaingly heavy. While the musical tracks sound similar in many respects, the musicians manage to put a little spin on each song. Sometimes there'll be some variety thrown in, with a guitar solo or symphonic section here and there. The guitar tone is great for the slam parts and it even tries its hand at being melodic at times. The instrumental track is probably one of the best ones I've heard in this kind of music.

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4 Nightbringers See Details for Nightbringers

And here we have the latest offering from The Black Dahlia MurderNightbringers is a well executed and brutal album that incorporates all of the elements that have made the band's past music so great. The release is very memorable with all its refined sounds, and every intrument helps to bring about a strong, heavy and entertaining experience. The riffs are better than ever and the vocals are more aggressive than ever before. Everything comes together so wonderfully.

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3 Through The Chaos, Through Time, Through The Death See Details for Through The Chaos, Through Time, Through The Death

Ungoliantha's dark atmosphere, diverse instrumentals and piercingly high vocals in this effort are the strongest points of the music that make the album so enjoyable. Production quality and tones are phenomenal for such a low-fi calibre release. The riff variety and melodic aspects throughout are a definite plus and the ambiance and structuring of the whole thing only add to the fact. This little album has lots of emotion and aggression, with the overall wall of sound giving it a fresh feeling for the symphonic black genre.

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2 Wrong One To Fuck With See Details for Wrong One To Fuck With

Wrong One To Fuck With truly lives up to its name with all of its slam-infused, hardcore undertoned, and death metal powered brutality. The album is fairly technical, with many guitar solos, melodic sections, and the usual slammy riffs all thrown into the mix. The dual vocal experimentation gives it more character and aggression, with as much heaviness as the insturmentals. The album is always fast-paced and manages to keep you at the edge of your seat and begging for more. It is a consistent listen due to how fun, heavy, edgy and pulse-pounding it is.

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1 Death Revenge See Details for Death Revenge

In hindsight, this album is undoubtedly my most enjoyable pick for 2017. Exhumed's newest offering Death Revenge presents itself as a concept album that revolves around chilling stories regarding reported grave robberies and murders that occurred in early 1800s Scotland. This fleshed out release sports a dozen tracks as well as all of the elements that Exhumed fanatics have surely grown to love. The guitar riffs consist of both the death metal and grind variety and some chuggy sections are thrown in too, albeit with a more thrashy vibe. The concept itself works all too well and the instrumentals add flair to the vocals. Meanwhile, the vocals always manage to provide 110% of their energy. In addition, the album also sports some melodic sections that break away from the brutality at times. Overall, this album is an entertaining change of pace and the story it tells never gets boring. There are many more reasons I could give as to why I enjoy this album so much, but the gist of it is that Exhumed have outdone themselves this time around.

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