2017 was, once again a great year for music. While many of the heavy hitters were kind of disappointing (I’m thinking QOTSA, Arcade Fire, did anyone listen to the new U2?), the underground flourished. It was a joy to behold, and some monumental releases have seen the light of day. Belgian bands in particular really surprised me this year, with a slew of great albums. Without further ado let’s get into it.
10. Jozef Van Wissem – Nobody living can ever make me turn back
A man and his lute, making music from another time. It was hard to wrap my head around this release, but after a few listens, I was hooked. A beautiful, haunting album that stays with you well after the last notes have left your speakers.
9. Run The Jewels – RTJ3
Officially released in 2016, but fuck it, I enjoyed it most in 2017. Saw them live for the first time aswell, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the experience. Still the illest duo in hiphop. Read the original review here .
8. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
A return to form for my favourite miserablist, Prisoner was that rare beast these days: a consistently good Ryan Adams album. Read the original review here .
7. The National – Sleep Well Beast
An album that buried its way into my head, it’s dark instrumentals and lyrics setting the tone for another great album by the Cincinnati natives.
6. Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
Another miserable album, but much more subdued and introvert, Julien Baker confirmed what fans already knew: she’s the real deal. Read the original review here .
5. Paramore – After Laughter
An album that’s full of happy 80’s tunes, but look closely and you’ll find that not all is well under the surface. An album that needed repeated listens, but once it nestled in, it never left my rotation.
4. Conor Oberst – Salutations
Ruminations was excellent,but in Salutations Oberst really showed his vision for these songs, and it resulted in one of his finest albums yet.
3. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
The perfect combination of Good Kid and Pimp, DAMN. was an album that cemented Kdot’s status as the alpha rapper. Musically or lyrically, there are few rappers that can reach the heights he is touching these past years, and DAMN. was just a reminder for us mere mortals that we should be happy to experience his greatness.
2. Brand New – Science Fiction
An album that was like a puzzle, you had to put the pieces together before you could see the full picture. Read the full review here .
1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Probably the album I listened most to this year, Father John Misty’s pure comedy was a masterclass in storytelling, and I think mr Tillman will become one of the great songwriters of our time. I loved Pure Comedy, and I think it will stay in rotation for years to come. Read the full review here .
11. Hell – Hell
One man doom wrecking crew. Abandon hope all who listen. Read the full review here
10. Lento – Fourth
The one post-metal album that really killed it this year. Read the full review here.
9. American – Violate And Control
Violence. So much violence. Read the full review here.
8. Converge – The Dusk In Us
Return of the masters. Emotional hardcore at it’s best. Read the full review here .
7. Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed II
Follow up to the acclaimed DDHHG, another album of raw, emotional black metal. Read the full review here .
6. Altarage – Endinghent
The Spanish death metal sorcerors deliver on their second album. Read the full review here .
5. Gateway – Scriptures Of Grief
One man death/doom destruction crew. Read the full review here
4. Brutus – Burst
The band that should be bigger than Metallica. And I’m hellasure they will be. Read the full review here.
3. Primitive Man – Caustic
Return of the Man, so you know what that means kids, lube your anus cause these guys always go in HARD. Read the full review here.
2. Friendship – Hatred
As good as Abandon All Life. Waited for ages to receive it, but so so worth. A release that cements their status as one of the most exciting bands in the world right now.
1. AmenRa – Mass V
It was always going to be like this. Read the full review here .
Best concerts :
I saw a lot of great concerts this year, but there were 2 that stood out : Nick Cave and Amenra. Both were emotional rollercoasters, trips that took you to places you might not always want to visit, but would come out catharticly cleansed. Those 2 experiences will stay with me for a long time, and are expiences I can recommend to everyone.
Before I finish this article, I’d like to thank 2 labels aswell : Consouling Sounds and Sentient Ruin . Both these labels have had an excellent year, and released some of my favourite albums. The love and care that goes into these releases is evident the moment you receive them, and I have nothin but praise for the people that make sure great music gets released to us, the masses. So kudos, and keep up the good work!
Consouling sounds is offering a subscription at the moment, where you get all their releases for 2018, I did it last year and I’m doing it again this year, recommended!