Best of 2017


Yes, it’s that time again. As some of you have probably noticed, the reviews have been more scarce with the focus being mainly on the podcast. With very few exceptions, just a few swipes of a phone screen and you can hear nearly every release there is, so my opinion of said release seems less and less relevant. Expect more (or less) of the same in the coming year. Many thanks to those who continue to support us, and thanks as well to both the staff and guests who were kind enough to contribute to this little “Top Ten of 2017” list.

I couldn’t, and wouldn’t do it without you……




  • Grave Pleasures – Motherblood (Century Media / Secret Trees)
    I’ve been a fan of both Beastmilk and GP for awhile. The latter project of course having a more divisive sound among fans from its earliest days. This new record, though, blows everything out of the water. I dare say I like it even more than Climax. Impeccable Death Rock for an inevitable apocalypse.
  • Cultes des Ghoules / Sepulchral Zeal – Ageless Malediction / Saturnine Templar (Malignant Voices)
    The best split release this year. CdG has an eternal place in my music library. The split highlights everything I like about the band during it’s, “Henbane”‘ era. Sepulchral Zeal offers their first track since their debut demo a few years ago.
  • Carpenter Brut – Carpenterbrutlive (No Quarter)
    A lot of people often wonder how well the synthwave and retro 80’s sound translates live. I was thoroughly impressed with how it all came together on this recording. The cover of “Maniac” at the end is the show stealer for sure.
  • Death Like Mass – Jak Zabia Diabel (Malignant Voices ‎/ Under The Sign Of Garazel Productions)
    Unreal! The sound of Dr. Faust’s worst nightmares made manifest. Black Metal with a similar vibe as Cultes des Ghoules.
  • Dodsengel – Interequinox (Debemur Morti Productions)
    One of the few records that saw a written review from me this year. Another all-time-favorite band of mine. After the exhaustive and ambitious “Imperator” some years ago, this recording marks a more subdued return to form for the band while still applying a healthy bit of progression.
  • Rammstein – Paris (Universal Music)
    Exactly what the title says. Rammstein in Paris. Playing live and loud. The song selection is what most fans have come to expect, but there’s something about the in-your-face recording itself that I found quite enjoyable.
  • Weregoat – Pestilential Rites of Infernal Fornication (Iron Bonehead Productions / Parasitic Records)
    Wergoat is a special band. I’m not sure what it is that separates them from the rest of their ilk, but It’s quite an immense sounding record. Hellish, monstrous, etc.
  • Sortilegia – Sulphurous Temples (Ván)
    Sortilegia gets a much needed bump in production (it bothers me when a full length sounds like a demo tape or a 7″) as well as song writing. I absolutely loved this record. While pretty much anything from this band is worthy of a physical purchase, I think Sulphurous Temples is now my go-to album by the band.
  • Nightbringer – Terra Damnata (Season Of Mist Underground Activists)
    A world in ruin, illustrated by the progenitors of the so-called, “orthodox” sound. Nightbringer deliver another excellent record worthy of standing alongside the greats.
  • Perturbator – New Model (Blood Music / Music Of The Void)
    Aptly titled, given that the Parisian master of retro futurism has now shifted his sound and to some degree, his presentation and style. Great record nonetheless, James has delivered another thirty-five minutes of synth mastery.


  • Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae // Proselytes (Caligari Records)
    This was hands-down my most played release of the year. Who are these guys and where did they come from? I have no idea. My gut tells me this is probably Metal dudes fulfilling their Post Punk fantasies, but in the end it really doesn’t matter. This release collects both their “Personae Ingratae” EP and “Proselytes” 7” previously released by Iron Bonehead.
  • Wülfskol ‎– Hellshock (Heretic Thorns)
    You can read my review here. There’s now a tape version on vonfrostrecords. Get this or forever perish in Poserdom.
  • Drab Majesty ‎– The Demonstration (Dais Records)
    The Drab ones continue to rewrite the 80’s Synth Pop text book. Not content to rephrase those that came before, they’ve taken the formula and perfected it.
  • Haunt – Haunt (Self-Released)
    Like the operation of the apparition from whence it takes its name, Haunt seems to have appeared from nowhere. After a demo that completely floored me earlier in the year, this obscure entity returned with an immaculate full-length. Adhering to old-school aesthetics without being cliched, Haunt has singlehandedly made Black Metal dangerous again… and without the use of petty politics or gimmicks. Keep your eye on this one.
  • Malokarpatan – Nordkarpatenland (Invictus Productions / The Ajna Offensive)
    Usually, I find when I get sucked into some hoopla surrounding a band, especially in Metal, it almost always ends in disappointment. This was not one of those times. Flawlessly executed Heavy Metal. Hey dudes, your roots are showing.
  • Trepaneringsritualen – Kainskult (Tesco Organisation)
    At this point it’s possible that Thomas Ekelund can do no wrong. And that this release is on the label started by the gentlemen that wrote the book on what I define real Industrial as is completely fitting. This should be consumed in one sitting, and repeatedly.
  • Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar (House of Mythology)
    I’ll be honest, I haven’t really kept up with Garm and companies output since 2007’s “Shadows of the Sun”. It wasn’t intentional, just sort of happened. I picked this one up on a whim and immediately fell in love. This record has barely left my turntable in months.
  • Michael Idehall – Machine Spirit Transmission (Raubbau)
    A limited to 100 copies cassette release, this one flew under a lot of radars. If you love Industrial music, and if you’re reading this I’m going to guess that you do, do yourself a favor and seek this out. Physical copies are still available, but the digital version is available from all of the usual suspects.
  • Anji Cheung ‎– Diamond Hand (Strange Rules)
    Another Industrial masterpiece you probably missed. At 50 copies, you’re only slightly forgiven. Like Leviathan rising from the depths, Anj always leaves us wanting more.
  • Aosoth – V: The Inside Scriptures (Agonia Records)
    Sadly this is reported to be the swansong of these French masters of Black Metal, but in like a lion, out like a really angry fucking lion. MkM and company have always had their hands in other projects, so this is far from the last we will hear from them. Alas, it’s still with a bit of sadness that I will bid them adieu as Aosoth represent the absolute pinnacle of the genre for me personally. I’d also like to mention the amazing cover art by Benjamin A. Vierling. If I had to pick my favorite of the year, this would win with flying colors. Their partnership is one I will miss and hope that in continues in some other form.


  • Abscheu – Pretense LP (Unrest Productions)
    Didn’t hesitate to pick this up after very much enjoying their debut cassette. Heavy Industrial that sits within the usual framework of European electronics, executed with mastery and a high level of skill. Bound to become a contemporary name in the coming years.
  • Acherontas – Amarta अमर्त (Formulas Of Reptilian Unification II) LP (World Terror Committee)
    If you’re going to buy one Acherontas release, make it this one as it’s definitely their best yet.
  • Agonal Lust – Body Of Death CS (Self released)
    Murderous gutter electronics from the USA, sound wise more in common with something like Alfarmania than Slogun or Deathpile though. Subtle and tension filled for the most part. Quite skilled in delivering his intended sound which even leans towards a more death industrial approach at times, and abrasive PE at others. Simply great stuff.
  • Black Cilice – Banished From Time LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)
    Another masterpiece from Black Cilice. I struggle to find a fault in their discography and this is far from an exception.
  • Cervical Smear – Cervical Smear CD (Obsessive Fundamental Realism)
    Rotten and perverse Industrial Noise/PE. Depraved and hateful. First release from this anonymous project and it’s bound to leave deep scars.
  • Demonomantic – Blessed In Eternal Cruelty LP (Final Agony)
    Chaotic Black/Death, Swedish I believe. Same folks from the Ancient Records circle. Nothing new to be heard but for what it is – it’s fucking good.
  • Grunt / Bizarre Uproar / Deathkey / Caligula031 – Beyond LP (Deathsangle Absolution)
    Stellar contributions from both Grunt and Deathkey, probably the best and most focused material I’ve heard from Deathkey yet. Caligula031 delivers as well, this project has grown quite consistent lately and I’m liking each release even more than the last. The Bizarre Uproar track however didn’t hit me as hard as the others, being more of a percussive piece rather than the tension filled grinding or tinnitus inducing feedback that I prefer from him.
  • Krüel Kömmando – Synagoga Satanæ LP (Final Agony)
    First full length after almost ten years of very limited split releases, I was lucky enough to grab a copy of the first pressing upon release. Raw and scathing Black Metal of course.
  • Obskuritatem – U Kraljevstvu Mrtvih… CD (Black Gangrene)
    Vampyric Black Metal from Bosnia, and Black Metal album of the year for me personally. Second track “Gospodar Samoce” alone is confirmation of this. I get the same feelings from this as I did listening to old Black Funeral or Belketre all those years ago as a teenager. The cassette version features a cover song of Satan Panonski, whom I was not previously familiar with but he’s apparently the Bosnian equivalent of GG Allin.
  • Steel Law – Stomping To Power CS (Punishment Private Release)
    Subscription only release, so good luck getting it…but just to rub it in – this is some solid Industrial Noise/PE with an unwavering ideological overtone as confronting and menacing as the sounds within.

Runner ups – Scatmother, Shift, Vesicant, Heresiarch, Impetuous Ritual, Byyrth, Vernichtung Durch Arbeit, Phrenelith, Moras, Orgy Of Carrion…


Anji Cheung

Andrew Grant (The Vomit Arsonist / Longpig / Danvers State Recordings)

Shawn Haché (Auroch / Mitochondrion / Night Profound)

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