My Favorite Albums From the First Half of 2017

Kreator 2017

Remaining as timely as ever, and seeing it’s nearly the end of July, here is my list of my favorite heavy metal albums released during the first half of 2017 (January 1—June 30 release dates).

10. Altar of Betelgeuze : Among the Ruins

This is an album I never got around to reviewing formally anywhere. Imagine a doomier and darker version of either The Sword or High on Fire, and you’ve got an idea of Altar of Betelgeuze’s sound. If you’re looking for something different from the plethora of stoner doom releases, AoB is one to check out. [Not reviewed] Get the album

9. Aldious : Unlimited Diffusion

Japanese all-girl power metal bands are a guilty pleasure of mine, and Aldious is one of the best out there. If you like some of the ideas behind Babymetal but can’t quite embrace the sickeningly sweet cuteness, give Aldious a listen. [TMA Review] Get the album

8. Battle Beast : Bringer of Pain

Noora Louhimo’s transformation into this generation’s Pat Benatar is almost complete. Bringer of Pain showcases a more uniform sound across the entire album along with some much-needed vocal restraint. It’s Battle Beast’s best release to date, so check this out if their previous albums left you cold. [SoMP Review] Get the album

7. Ex Deo : The Immortal Wars

Returning from a self-imposed hiatus, Ex Deo crushes it with their interpretation of the Second Punic War. Martial tempos and building intensity outline the rise and fall of Hannibal, and make this essential for fans of epic death metal. [SoMP Review] Get the album

6. Unleash the Archers : Apex

When I reviewed UtA’s previous album, Time Stands Still, I admitted it wasn’t perfect, but the band had a ton of potential. I love it when I’m right, because UtA nails it on Apex. I’m looking forward to talking about this album in full this August. [SoMP Review coming soon!] Get the album

5. From Below : Undying

Norway’s From Below continue their streak of mixing hardcore and melodic death metal into a unique sound that I find completely engaging. I’m hoping these guys can get a record deal and put out a full-length album at some point, because they’ve got a good thing going right now. [TMA Review] Get the album

4. Avatarium : Hurricanes and Halos

This is probably a case of where my expectations were too high for an album to live up to. I was blown away with 2015’s The Girl With the Raven Mask, and probably wanted more than the follow-up could ever deliver. Hurricanes and Halos is still a solid release, however, and Jennie-Ann Smith’s vocals are still a highlight. [TMA Review] Get the album

3. Satan’s Hallow : self-titled

When I first listened to Satan’s Hallow, I was blown away before the first track had even finished. This is an album that sounds like it could have come out in 1986, but somehow sounds fresh at the same time. [SoMP Review] Get the album

2. Bear Mace : Butchering the Colossus

Any time I describe the band I say they’re the unholy offspring of Bolt Thrower and Dethklok. Cosmic-sounding English death metal rhythms with guttural, but comprehensible, vocals create an amazing soundscape. [SoMP Review] Get the album

1. Kreator : Gods of Violence

Again, the old guard takes the top spot. This may cause some controversy, but I like modern Kreator better than most of their so-called classic albums. Gods of Violence is a blistering, seething slice of modern Teutonic thrash and needs to be in your collection if you like aggressive thrash metal. [SoMP Review] Get the album

Keep in mind this list only comprises albums I’ve listened to, so if your favorite doesn’t show up, maybe I never got around to listening to it. Also, my ranking is based purely on enjoyment and replay factor, not technicality, instrumentation, etc. If you want, feel free to rebut with your own list in the comments section below.

About C. Hagen Radick 103 Articles
SonOfOdin is a 40-something Midwesterner who subsists primarily on alcohol, schadenfreude, and a near-unhealthy obsession with actress Kate Beckinsale. He is also one of the co-hosts of The Sons of Metal Podcast.

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