Here are what I judge to be the best 25 albums of 2017, complete with brief "tasting notes" to help guide you to what you'll like and Bandcamp embeds for your listening convenience. I usually restrict myself to choosing 10 albums of the year. But since I started this site I've heard so many great new albums that choosing only 10 was just untenable. The whole point of this list is to share what I liked in case you missed something worth hearing. More is better! Now while this list isn't exhaustive, I don't feel like any I left off are being done an injustice. This really is the best of the best. Enjoy!
One last thing: these bands deserve your patronage, so as always I encourage you to pay the folks if you like what they're doing.
(25) Necrowretch–Satanic Slavery (Season of Mist)
Feral as fuck satanic black metal from France.
(24) The Ominous Circle—Appalling Ascension (20 Buck Spin)
Gnarly, occultist death metal from Portugal.
(23) Incantation—Profane Nexus (Relapse)
Old school death metal from Pennsylvania.
(22) Urn—The Burning (Iron Bonehead)
Upbeat blackened thrash from Finland.
(21) Varmia—Z mar twych (Fólkvangr)
Avant garde black metal from Poland.
(20) Venenum–Trance of Death (Sepulchral Voice)
No frills death metal from Germany.
(19) Pallbearer–Heartless (Profound Lore)
Beautiful crybaby doom metal for funerals from Arkansas.
(18) Power Trip–Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord)
Gritty crossover thrash from Texas.
(17) Myrkur—Mareridt (Relapse)
Experimental folk and black metal by multi-instrumentalist from Denmark.
(16) Loss—Horizonless (Profound Lore)
Slow death-inflected doom with some mopey bits for crying to from Tennessee.
(15) Full of Hell—Trumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore)
Ultra aggressive grindcore from Maryland.
(14) Cannibal Corpse—Red Before Black (Metal Blade)
You know what to expect; their best since Kill.
(13) Slaegt—Domus Mysterium (Ván)
Blend of classic and black metal with some surprising southern rock influences from Denmark.
(12) Spirit Adrift—Curse of Conception (20 Buck Spin)
Doom with grunge and classic rock elements from Arizona.
(11) Exhumed—Death Revenge (Relapse)
Slasher film themed death metal from California.
(10) Impureza–La Caida de Tonatiuh (Season of Mist)
Impressive blend of death metal and Flamenco from Spain.
(9) Klabautamann – Smaragd (Zeitgeister)
Dreamy, proggy weirdo black metal from Germany.
(8) Dodecahedron–Kwintessens (Season of Mist)
Mind altering experimental black metal from the Netherlands.
(7) Artificial Brain–Infrared Horizon (Profound Lore)
Aggressively experimental death metal from New York.
(6) Dying Fetus—Wrong One to Fuck With (Relapse)
Hardcore inspired death metal to stomp around to from Maryland.
(5) Black Anvil–As Was (Relapse)
Beautiful and catchy black metal from New York.
(4) Archspire–Relentless Mutation (Season of Mist)
Technical death metal at its finest from Vancouver.
(3) Wormwitch—Strike Mortal Soil (Prosthetic)
Eclectic black metal with doom and metalcore elements from Vancouver.
(2) Wormwood—Ghostlands:Wounds from a Bleeding Earth (Non Serviam)
Good time melodic pagan black metal from Sweden.
(1) Havukruunu–Kelle Surut Soi (Naturmacht)
Expansive blackened thrash with viking vocals from Finland. My favorite album of the year.
So long, 2017. Hail, 2018!