The Best Of 2017

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Dear readers, I present you the best albums of 2017 according to my opinion and experiences. Compared to The Best Of 2016 list, I have picked up only twenty, to keep it compact and digestible. It was quite challenging to create a suitable order, but rather then giving space to big stars, I followed my instinct and gave space to bands, whose music was emotional experience in various aspects. Hopefully, you will find something new to fall in love with. 

 

01 – Royal Thunder – WICK
02 – Esazlesa – Společnost Psů
03 – Ulver – The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
04 – Leprous – Malina
05 – Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
06 – Bjørn Riis – Forever Comes To An End
07 – Perturbator – New Model EP
08 – Mastodon – Cold Dark Place EP
09 – Sólstafir – Berdreyminn
10 – Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy
11 – Steven Wilson – To The Bone
12 – Bob Dylan – Triplicate
13 – Anathema – The Optimist
14 – Melanie De Biasio – Lilies
15 – The Gringos – The Animal Kingdom
16 – Soen – Lykaia
17 – Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs
18 – Robert Plant – Carry Fire
19 – Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day
20 – J.A.R. – Eskalace Dobra

 

01 – Royal Thunder – WICK

Atlanta based hard rockers are close to me for number of years and it’s amazing to see, they are capable of getting better with every release. Next to incredible internal chemistry, passionate melodies and great vocals by Mlny Parsonz, I also care deeply about the lyrics. That’s why I have chosen emotional track Plans, next to other heavier pieces. Read & watch extensive interview here.

 

 

02 – Esazlesa – Společnost Psů

I am a patriot, but Czech bands only rarely reach an international level. I must say, this year’s release of Esezlesa was a hell of a surprise and almost religious experience. It may be a handicap, if you don’t understand the lyrics, but it’s overall power should reach you anyway. Try track Po zádech at 41:45

 

 

03 – Ulver – The Assassination Of Julius Caesar

I may have considered Norwegian band Ulver, hardly understandable avantgarde formation moving away from their black metal roots in a weird way. However, I was glad, I took Fernando Ribeiro’s tip as it opened up new horizons for me, which I am eager to discover. More than recommended for fans of The Black Queen.

 

 

04 – Leprous – Malina

Similar compliments as for Ulver go to Norwegian Leprous, which take their progressive journey into catchier melodies with class. Interview with guitarist TorO here.

 

 

05 – Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun

American queen of darkness is another great example of bringing top class material to her loyal fans. She might have pushed her creativity into darker and heavier fields, but her latest work is more addictive than any of her earlier releases. Unique combination of artistic maturity, personal growth and band’s chemistry. Interview here.

 

 

06 – Bjørn Riis – Forever Comes To An End

Incredible soundtrack for melancholic walks. No more comments needed. If you differ, read review here.

 

 

07 – Perturbator – New Model EP

The Black Queen, Ulver and Perturbator are terms which take me into new worlds combining all of my current music experiences, ranging from ambient to black or math metal. Next to that, they even speak to my earliest music experiences which include 2 Unlimited or Blade soundtrack, next to many more “obvious” ones. 80’s synth pop and mature experiments with electronics are becoming more and more fascinating combination to me.

 

 

08 – Mastodon – Cold Dark Place EP

Who wouldn’t love these wild monsters?! But to be honest, their latest almost-ambient/fairy tale EP became my most favorite in their discography. If you haven’t heard it yet, it might surprise you. You might be also surprised, their music can be quite attractive for ambient music presentations for blind people.

 

 

09 – Sólstafir – Berdreyminn

Aging with class and being absolute quality security of post metal scene. No need to say more about Icelandic Sólstafir, who are also quite popular within Music For The Blind series.

 

 

10 – Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy

Quite psychedelic fun side project of grunge icons including Melvins’ Buzz Osborne and Crover, alongside Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender and Omar Rodríguez-López of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta.

 

 

11 – Steven Wilson – To The Bone

Big compliment goes to progressive mastermind Steven Wilson, who finally expressed his intelligent pop creativity. Tracks as Permanating might be quite shocking for prog metal conservatives, but to be honest, it’s quite refreshing. On the other hand, you will get more “traditional” genius pieces including Song Of Unborn as well. Interview here and also amazing feedback at Music For The Blind sessions.

 

 

12 – Bob Dylan – Triplicate

To be honest, I was never Bob Dylan fan. Never. Who knows, it might be an age thing, but his latest covers of classic American songs, released as a triple album, are simply heart reaching. Also, so much wisdom in old days lyrics…

 

 

13 – Anathema – The Optimist

Anathema used to win my yearly lists practically every time, starting with We’re Here Because We’re Here released in 2010. Their latest album The Optimist may not have reached the level of its predecessors, but it’s still amazing piece of work. Their music can be also quite amazing for charity activities.

 

 

14 – Melanie De Biasio – Lilies

I have reached Melanie’s music through a recommendation from my press colleagues and overall massive respect within certain intellectual music circles. I have even received her previous album No Deal as a promo press copy few years ago, however didn’t give it adequate attention. I have repaid it to her latest album more than well and absolutely love it. Same as my guests at Music For The Blind sessions.

 

 

15 – The Gringos – The Animal Kingdom

The Gringos were one of the bands, which reached me with their music directly through out 2017 and very soon become one of my absolute favorites. Their music perfectly fits into my rock taste with their talent, drive and passion. Quality doesn’t care about geographical limitations and I love to spread music of those who deserve it. Read full review and amazing feedback from my guests at Music For The Blind session.

 

 

16 – Soen – Lykaia

I have reached music of Swedish progressive metal supergroup Soen rather opposite direction, than it’s usual, I guess. It was actually through their support band from their recent European tour, Swedish Madder Mortem, which are extremely close to my heart. Soen’s third album Lykaia might be more atmospherical than one would expect, but give it adequate time and it will soon show it’s beauties fast.

 

 

17 – Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs

I am a fan of these Swedish bad boys for ages and I am so glad they are back. Be wild, be creative and good luck with a new singer guys! Read review here. Interview coming soon.

 

 

18 – Robert Plant – Carry Fire

“Aging as Robert Plant”. Old dog deserves your attention. Read review here.

 

 

19 – Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day

I may not be excited about recent line-up changes in the band, but their latest album featuring Ragnar Zolberg, is an amazing piece, reflecting all of the dark experiences of frontman Daniel Gildenlöw. Read interview here.

 

 

20 – J.A.R. – Eskalace Dobra

Second rare patriotic moment. J.A.R. are legendary Czech super group experimenting with various genres as rock, funk and hip hop. Not understanding Czech lyrics might be a handicap once again, but their quality deserves bigger international recognition.

 

 

 

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