It’s been an interesting old year release wise has 2017. The old guard still (largely) showing the young ‘guns how to do it and a couple of real curveballs that have been pretty near the top of the “wilds of Scotland” department of Team CB’s playlist.
So, more or less in some sort of order here’s what’s tickled my eardrums in 2017…
OK, so while it technically wasn’t “new”, Sanctuary’s long lost demos from around the time of Refuge Denied served as an impressive reminder of just how good the band were back in what we old buggers call “the day”.
Immolation : Atonement
One from waaaay back at the start of the year, Immolation once again prove that they’re one of the best Death Metal bands on the planet.
Trivium : The Sin And The Sentence
Given recent history this could have gone either way, but as it turned out Trivium have found their groove and the result was, if not stunning, certainly very pleasantly surprising.
Destruction : Thrash Anthems II
The first of a teutonic double bill in my top 10. Destruction are back and better than ever and this reworked trip through their back catalogue hit all the Thrash Metal buttons.
German Thrash (also) done right !!
Paradise Lost : Medusa
Miserable Northern bastards in “miserable and northern” shocker. Makes their back catalogue sound positively upbeat and is their finest work to date.
Shrapnel : Raised On Decay
Yay, a new band kicking out a release that stands up to the best the old guard can manage. We were lucky enough to catch Shrapnel a couple of times of late, and if anyone is going to break through to the next level it’s this lot.
Blaze Bayley : Endure And Survive
You don’t have to be fashionable, and you don’t have to be cool, you can just be Blaze Bayley and channel the distilled essence of proper heavy metal.
Peter And The Test Tube Babies : That Shalott
Ahh, an enigma. After a thousand listens there are a couple of tracks that have me reaching for “skip”, but that’s more than outweighed by some classic punk rock tuneage. Check out Crap Californian Punk Band and None Of Your Fucking Business, the sing along anthems of the year.
Zeal And Ardor : Devil Is Fine
And, finally, the strangest release of the year. Genre defying, history defying and flying in the face of what “should” work, this one was pretty much at number one from the first listen and nothing has come close since.
So there you have it. Something old, something older and a couple of pleasant surprises. Been not a bad old year, and fingers crossed for 2018 which is already shaping up to be a bit special