My Favorite Albums From the Second Half of 2017

Temple Of Void

Although I didn’t check out as much music the latter half of 2017, there was some solid stuff released. Here is my list of my favorite heavy metal albums released during the back half of 2017 (July 1—December 31 release dates).

10. Diablo Swing Orchestra : Pacifisticuffs

This is a late-year release, so I haven’t got to spend as much time with it as I would have liked. Nevertheless, Diablo Swing Orchestra demonstrates why they’re one of the premier avant-garde bands. The embedded track above is unfortunately one of the lesser tracks on the album, so look it up on your music service of choice and see why this album is such an engaging listen. [Not reviewed] Get the album

9. Hallatar : No Stars Upon the Bridge

Another late-year discovery for me, Juha Raivio’s salute to the late Aleah Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity) is forty minutes of heart-wrenching sadness at the loss of his lover. While I like the Trees of Eternity album more, this is still some solid depressing doom metal. [Not reviewed] Get the album

8. The Black Dahlia Murder : Nightbringers

TBDM was a band I had written off back in the early 2000s because they were part of the newer movement that didn’t grab me. When I saw this getting rave reviews and new SoMP co-host Doug picked it, I realized what I’d been missing. This album has callbacks to the legendary Reign in Blood in that it’s short and nearly nonstop aggression. [SoMP Review] Get the album

7. Bell Witch : Mirror Reaper

This is possibly the most divisive pick on my list. I understand this is not for everyone. It’s a huge, weighty beast that takes its sweet time transitioning from one movement to the next. If you’re of the mindset to enjoy a single eighty-five minute funeral doom track, you’ll find a lot to like here, and it gets better with multiple listens. [Not reviewed] Get the album

6. Myrkur : Mareridt

Love her or hate her, Amalie Bruun deserves credit for exiting the commerical-friendly pop music world and indulging her love for atmospheric black metal. I thought Mareridt was an improvement on its predecessor, and I like the more folky direction she took on this release. [TMA Review] Get the album

5. Moonspell : 1755

I’ll admit it: Whenever Moonspell puts out an album, I’m interested whether I end up liking it or not. 1755 is a concept album about the Lisbon earthquake of the titular year. It’s sung completely in Portuguese and Fernando stays in his aggressive vocal range for the album’s entirety. While it took a few listens, I grew to really appreciate the bombast and emotion present on 1755. [SoMP Review Coming Soon!] Get the album

4. From North : From North

Masquerading as just another Amon Amarth or Ensiferum clone, From Below subvert the standard formula by incorporating traditional folk instruments, mixing clean and harsh vocals, and employing non-traditional song structures to create something familiar but fresh. [TMA Review] Get the album

3. Troldhaugen : IDIO+SYNCRASIES

I had the pleasure of welcoming Doug to SoMP with possibly the weirdest album of the year. I thought Obzkure Anekdotez for Maniakal Massez was utterly bizarre, but IDIO+SYNCRASIES turns everything up a notch by also adding dubstep and even crazier ideas. If you don’t like avant-garde, stay far, far away, but if you have any inclination for whimsy, give this a listen. [SoMP Review] Get the album

2. Sorcerer : The Crowning Of The Fire King

I loved In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross, so I was definitely looking forward to the follow-up, and Sorcerer did not disappoint. The vocals, the music, and the songs check all the same boxes as the band’s debut. It’s only edged out of the #1 spot due to a bit too much repetition in the riffs, but Sorcerer have still put out one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, so give it a listen. [SoMP Review] Get the album

1. Temple of Void : Lords of Death

I guess Ryan called it. While their debut was closer to the doom side of things, Lords of Death upped the tempo along with the dread and atmosphere. Add some vocal variation, and Temple of Void have released an album that’s too good to ignore. Even if you normally eschew doom metal, Lords of Death is more of a death metal album with doomy undertones. If you haven’t listened to this yet, what are you waiting for? [TMA 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 102 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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