The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2017

“We sort of find that music tames the beast, you know.” – Malcom Young

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, and I’m obviously not talking about Christmas and the holiday season. In a year where we lost so many talented and important musicians in rock and heavy music for various reasons, including Malcolm Young (AC/DC), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Trish Doan (Kittie), Martin Eric Ain (Celtic Frost), Warrel Dane (Nevermore, Sanctuary), John Wetton (Uriah Heep), David Zablidowsky (Adrenaline Mob, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Chuck Mosley (Faith No More) and Cherry Taketani (Okotô, Hellsakura, NervoChaos), among several others, not to mention the end of the unmatched Black Sabbath, who we were able to witness live one last time during their farewell tour The End, only the freshness and energy flowing from brand new metal music can give us hope, not allowing Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll to die as many like to prophesy every single year.

Having said that, it’s time to blow our goddamn speakers with The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2017, excluding EP’s, best of’s and live albums, taming the beast inside us all as wisely said by AC/DC’s heart and soul Malcolm Young (R.I.P.). And as 2017 was the year of bands that cannot be considered dinosaurs in metal (or at least not yet), such as Trivium and Mastodon, that certainly points to a bright future ahead for Heavy Metal with their recent releases because, as you know, we won’t have behemoths like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica kicking ass on stage forever. By the way, this was definitely a fantastic year for Mastodon, who not only released one of the best albums of 2017, the excellent Emperor of Sand, but they also had some extra energy to burn with the classy EP Cold Dark Place, which by the way is part of our top 10 EP’s of the year (as you’ll see after our top 10/20 list). Alright, without further ado, turn up the volume and enjoy our 2017 list… LET THERE BE ROCK!

1. Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence (REVIEW)
A superb album full of fast and intricate riffs, poetic lyrics, a sensational new drummer and, above all, the return of Matt’s trademark screams.
Best song of the album: Betrayer

2. Kreator – Gods Of Violence (REVIEW)
We shall praise the best Teutonic Thrash Metal institution of all time, as the gods of violence come alive.
Best song of the album: Totalitarian Terror

3. Blaze Bayley – Endure And Survive (REVIEW)
The indomitable Blaze Bayley returns with the second installment of Infinite Entanglement, his most ambitious project to date.
Best song of the album: Blood

4. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand (REVIEW)
Follow the inspirational story of a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence in this excellent album of Progressive Metal.
Best song of the album: Word to the Wise

5. Accept – The Rise of Chaos (REVIEW)
Let total chaos and destruction rise to the sound of the brand new album by the unstoppable Teutonic masters of Heavy Metal.
Best song of the album: Analog Man

6. Moonspell – 1755 (REVIEW)
An orchestral and emotional concept album that will take you to the year when a giant earthquake destroyed the city of Lisbon.
Best song of the album: Todos Os Santos

7. Striker – Striker (REVIEW)
Canadian Heavy Metal has never been more vibrant and rapturous than this.
Best song of the album: Born To Lose

8. Divine Element – Thaurachs Of Borsu (REVIEW)
Witness the passage of a soldier through various levels of consciousness about the reality of war and human society.
Best song of the album: Thaurachs Of Borsu

9. Torture Squad – Far Beyond Existence (REVIEW)
Don’t cross the path of one of the most respectful bands from the Brazilian Thrash and Death Metal scene.
Best song of the album: Blood Sacrifice

10. Solitary – The Diseased Heart of Society (REVIEW)
Four veteran thrash metallers canalizing all the hatred, degradation and perversions of our modern-day society into their music.
Best song of the album: Architects of Shame

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Karkaos – Children Of The Void (REVIEW)
12. Prometheus – Consumed In Flames (REVIEW)
13. Battle Beast – Bringer Of Pain (REVIEW)
14. Terrifier – Weapons of Thrash Destruction (REVIEW)
15. Body Count – Bloodlust (REVIEW)
16. Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales (REVIEW)
17. Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (REVIEW)
18. Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black (REVIEW)
19. Infernäl Mäjesty – No God (REVIEW)
20. Katharos XIII – Negativity (REVIEW)

As aforementioned, we also have for you this year our Top 10 EP’s of 2017, ranging from the most rebellious form of Deathcore to the most melodic type of Symphonic Metal, from visceral Doom Metal to demonic Black Metal, and so on. In addition, those bands hail from all four corner of the earth, proving once again that it doesn’t matter where you go you’ll always be able to find first-class metal music, including all of its genres and subgenres, to please your avid metallic ears.

1. Primal Age – A Silent Wound (REVIEW)
2. Sinners Moon – Far Beyond The Stars (REVIEW)
3. Aversio Humanitatis – Longing for the Untold (REVIEW)
4. Loathfinder – The Great Tired Ones (REVIEW)
5. Ljosazabojstwa – Sychodžańnie (REVIEW)
6. Lorn – Arrayed Claws (REVIEW)
7. Jupiter Hollow – Odyssey (REVIEW)
8. Dö – Astral: Death/Birth (REVIEW)
9. Mastodon – Cold Dark Place (REVIEW)
10. Afire – Afire (REVIEW)

Do you agree with our list? What are your top 10 albums of 2017? If you want to check another awesome list, I highly recommend Antichrst Magazine’s Top 10 Albums of 2017 (Editorial Staff), a great online publication that we at The Headbanging Moose also contribute to on a regular basis. Also, don’t forget to tune in to Timão Metal every Tuesday on Rádio Coringão for a blazing fusion of metal and soccer, and to The Headbanging Moose Show every Thursday on Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio for the best of underground metal from all over the world!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2018!

Actually, before all is said and done, here’s for you the 2017 Christmas single from Norwegian Melodic Power Metal project Aldaria called When The Time Has Come, featuring several renowned guest musicians such as Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Yannis Papadopoulos (Beast In Black),  Lars Rettkowitz (Freedom Call) and Morten Gade Sørensen (Pyramaze), among others, with 100% of all income of this single being donated to Cancer Research. “This is a very important cause for me, as I lost my mother to this horrible disease in 2010. The single will be available across all streaming and digital platforms, and on Aldaria’s official webstore, where you will get a special edition with a lossless audio file, instrumental, high resolution cover art, and lyrics”, commented guitarist Frode Hovd, the mastermind behind Aldaria. Let’s all support such important cause!

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Album Review – Terrifier / Weapons of Thrash Destruction (2017)

A Canadian army of Thrash Metal proves through their phenomenal new album that thrashing is their business… and business is good.

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terrifierwotdalbumcoverasofdec21If you have already checked out our Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2016 you know that, at least for us at The Headbanging Moose, 2016 was the year of Thrash Metal, with bands like Testament, Anthrax and Death Angel delivering the cream of the thrashing crop. With that said, how about keeping the flame of Thrash Metal burning brighter than a thousand suns, with the first review of 2017 being not only a kick-ass album, but a tribute to this always thrilling subgenre of heavy music? Formed in 2003 in the city of Kelowna, in the province of British Columbia, Canada, but currently located in Vancouver, here comes Thrash Metal squad Terrifier (originally known as Skullhammer) armed to the teeth with their brand new opus, the thundering Weapons of Thrash Destruction.

The album’s old school straightforward artwork already tells you what you’re about to face in Weapons of Thrash Destruction, and after listening to such amazing album you’ll agree that the band’s motto could well be “thrashing is our business… and business is good.” Having release their debut album Destroyers of the Faith in 2012, followed by the EP Metal or Death in 2013, Terrifier offer in their new album exactly what diehard thrash metallers desire, being highly inspired by icons like Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Megadeth, Metallica, Overkill and Kreator, also adding to their musicality hints of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera, Iced Earth and several other of their influences in heavy music. The band’s frontman and mastermind Chase Thibodeau explains their reason for being. “We formed this band because we love thrash and play what we think sounds cool… our music is fast, technical, heavy and melodic and shredding.”

Guitarists Rene Wilkinson and Brent Gallant waste no time and begin slashing their instruments in the opening track, the superb Reanimator, delivering the thrashiest riffs you can think of, with Chase screaming the song’s lyrics in a frantic Paul Baloff style. Inspired by the 1985 cult horror flick Re-Animator, it’s five minutes of nonstop action perfect for getting some hardcore bruises in the circle pit. In Deceiver, it’s confirmed Terrifier is a band that definitely knows how to craft true old school Thrash Metal, blasting more of their unstoppable blazing riffs while drummer Kyle Sheppard showcases his passion for metal through his insane beats; followed by Nuclear Demolisher, bringing forward sheer madness in the form of music. After an amazing rhythmic start, we’re treated to a heavy and cohesive sonority led by the beats by Kyle, with highlights to its electrifying guitar solos and to Chase’s hellish vociferations.

terrifierKeeping the speed over the “recommended” limit, fans of old school Exodus and Overkill will go crazy with the demented tune Violent Reprisal, especially due to its belligerent riffs, solos and vocals, whereas Skitzoid Embolism pays a fun tribute to one of the most iconic scenes from the 1990 classic Total Recall. This is yet another top-notch display of traditional Thrash Metal by Terrifier, with both Rene and Brent having sensational performances with their flammable guitars. And galvanized by the music bred by Exodus with Zetro on vocals, Drunk as Fuck epitomizes what Canadian Thrash Metal is all about, including the song’s spirituous lyrics. As the band states, “Heavy Metal is not just music, it’s a way of life”, so raise your beers to this awesome drinking hymn!

In Bestial Tyranny,  yet again we witness a tenacious band that is never tired of blasting high-octane thrash music, with Chase sounding completely demented with his screams while Rene and Brent, together with bassist Alexander Giles, form a “stringed trinity of Thrash Metal” throughout the song’s six breathtaking minutes. And violence never ends in this fantastic album, with Riders of Doom, an instrumental bridge displaying some nice guitar solos, setting the stage for their last onslaught of old school Thrash Metal, titled Sect of the Serpent, a song inspired by Conan the Barbarian (they do love the almighty Arnold, don’t you think?) played at the speed of light. Chase leads his demented troop of metallers, with Kyle’s berserk beats crushing the listener mercilessly.

In a nutshell, the sonic Armageddon caused by Terrifier and their Weapons of Thrash Destruction goes beyond all expectations, proving one more time how underground metal can be just as mighty and exhilarating as the classic bands we love so much. In order to know more about the band’s fantastic arsenal of Thrash Metal, go check their Facebook page, SoundCloud or ReverbNation, and if you want to put your hands on such awesome thrashy armament, simply go to Terrifier’s BandCamp page or to the Test Your Metal Records’ Big Cartel page. Weapons of Thrash Destruction will provide you the precise amount of ammunition you need to kick some serious ass into the mosh pit, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Reanimator, Nuclear Demolisher, Drunk as Fuck and Sect of the Serpent.

Worst moments of the album: Deceiver.

Released in 2017 Test Your Metal Records

Track listing
1. Reanimator 5:24
2. Deceiver 5:15
3. Nuclear Demolisher 4:26
4. Violent Reprisal 4:17
5. Skitzoid Embolism 4:08
6. Drunk as Fuck 4:12
7. Bestial Tyranny 6:13
8. Riders of Doom 1:40
9. Sect of the Serpent 6:44

Band members
Chase Thibodeau – vocals
Rene Wilkinson – guitar
Brent Gallant – guitar
Alexander Giles – bass
Kyle Sheppard – drums