Spotlights – Seismic

Lets say you took My Bloody Valentine, added a bit of Gish-era Smashing Pumpkin, sledgehammered it with Godflesh and then topped the remainder with a twist of Tangerine Dream, you would have New York’s Spotlights. However, the net result of all this crossbreeding is a new hybrid animal. Its own thing, a unique product that stands apart and pushes hard at genre boundaries.

Ufomammut – 8

Italian psych-doom masters Ufomammut’s return to action following their 15th anniversary celebrations sounding somehow more full of energy than ever. Recorded live in the studio ‘8’ sees them at their sludgiest and most furious, and is as relentless a trip as they’ve ever taken us on.

Mastodon – Cold Dark Place

I have already earmarked ‘Emperor of Sand’ as one of my top 3 albums of the year and this EP is a welcome addition to their mighty fine recent output.

Caligula’s Horse – In Contact

2017’s version of the Australian five-piece is just as strong as ever, and are looking to show people that they’re still a major player in the prog ranks.

Akercocke – Renaissance In Extremis

This is Akercocke free of Satan’s leash, completely unrestrained and at their creative best, and not even a goat sacrifice in sight! Welcome back gentlemen. As ‘Unbound By Sin’ states “It’s been too long, too long away”.

Chad VanGaalen – Light Information

Things are dark, mysterious, scary but above all else, just simply fun and enjoyable.

Twelve Boar – No Forgiveness

Board party metallers Twelve Boar’s cabin for some ”Hellspeed Truckin” on their third album ‘No Forgiveness’, where everything is indeed rockin’.

Monarch! – Never Forever

Monarch! have long reigned as one of doom’s most drone heavy outfits, utilising colossal heaviness and hypnotically slow guitar thrumming across typically epic song lengths. On ‘Never Forever’ they add a little more light to the shade and craft perhaps the most distinct album of their career.

Nekhrah – Cosmic Apostasy

Got something to say about politics? Join a political news thread. Here’s news for you – Nekhrah’s ‘Cosmic Apostasy’ kicks ass! It should smack yours up! Make that a headline.

Limbonic Art – Spectre Abysm

‘Spectre Abysm’ is one of those albums that relishes the structure of atmosphere and has no interest in quick stabs of ferocity to tell its demonic story, hence the lengthy tracks and drawn-out blasting. The seven tracks on display are so crammed full of crazed old-school black metal riffage and hyper blasting that it’s impossible not to love it and there’s certainly enough hooks to keep the complainers quiet. Daemon’s song-crafting is otherwordly, passionate and utterly devastating in its density of consuming soundscapes, making the listener tumble through a cosmic journey through a really quite brilliant album.

The Pale Light – Future Eaters

I found the juxtaposition between the somber theme of the album and the animated sound of the album to be pretty smart.

In Twilight’s Embrace – Vanitas

Intelligent black metal like In Twilight’s Embrace’s ‘Vanitas’, trumps mass-media marketing. You are invited to a full-length album’s worth of musical progression in metal. Should you accept this, you will likely be able to experience catharsis, and should you decline, you will with all likelihood, forever plead ignorance.

Guillermo Pizarro – Harmonic Poems

I would highly suggest putting on your headphones, cutting out all of the lights, and listening to this album from start to finish. If you follow these instructions, you are in for one hell of a ride.

Big|Brave – Ardor

Big|Brave don’t change their formula on Ardor, they just refine it a little, distil its essence down into 3 long tracks. The result is an incredible piece of slow, heavy, emotional metal, a landmark for both the band and heavy music in 2017.

Belphegor – Totenritual

Making the most of black metal influences, but built around a dense core of the hardest death metal.

Vanum – Burning Arrow

This release gives off a certain haunting aura that really draws you in, and the ambiance takes a solid grip and doesn’t let go until the instruments go silent.


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