AOTY 2K17 As Chosen by Our Celebrity Guests


We’re continuing our celebrity guest top 10’s with killer lists from Paul Gillis of Morgue Supplier and Drug Honkey, Morten Müller of Bog Studios and Trollfest, and Pete Lloyd of Replicant. Get in here for some good-ass artist picks!


Paul Gillis – Morgue Supplier/Drug Honkey

Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
Van Records

Known for his dark & grandiose layered masterpieces, Alex Meilenwald once again comes through with some damn impressive music. Not much here to not enjoy. Multi-genre specialist in fine form, no doubt.

Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Profound Lore

While not a huge fan of the gurgling vocals at times, there’s no denying that this is impressive. Technical stuff, but also memorable. It left me wanting more, which is rare for me within the genre. Awesome album cover artwork as well.

Avantgarde Music

One of the bleakest projects on Earth. Had a 10 year gap between albums, & yes I was definitely waiting for this. Continuing in the same vein, Nortt is about one thing – creating the soundtrack to the end of your life. As dark as it gets, but amazing. A Black Funeral Doom nightmare. Another favorite of mine

David Bowie – No Plan
Columbia Records

A dark album. Knowing you are terminally ill & writing your last album = that has to be a very strange, yet powerful experience. I can feel all of this in the music. Fantastic players joining together for an extremely powerful send off to a legend.


Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Southern Lord

Most Thrash that is done nowadays does nothing for me. These guys do it right. Throw in a dash of hardcore, along with some killer vocals & the outcome here is great. They tweak things just right for it to feel familiar, yet fresh. Something special about the way this album feels.

Fleurety – The White Death
Peaceville Records

Odd is the first word that pops into my mind concerning Fleurety. Imagine Blut Aus Nord & Serdce completely deconstructed & then mixed up through a weirdo/sour filter. Sometimes sounding almost amateur, but pulled off in just the correct manor. Moments on here could have been left off, but there also some enthralling ones as well that really grabbed me. Definitely not for everyone.


Godflesh – Post Self
Avalanche Recordings

My favorite band… But this album is not a homerun. There are some killer tracks on here, especially a couple of the bonus ones. Overall way better than their last one, which I did not like at all. Some of it still lacks what to me is a true Godflesh feel, yet there are some fantastic moments as well, that put me in that zone that only they can.

Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ
Debemur Morti Productions

Another of my favorite “bands” here. Much of their discography is up there with my favorite stuff. Known for their ever-evolving/rotating stylings, this album sees them at their darkest/dirtiest/& most bleak. While of course this is a good thing in general, especially from masters of their craft as they are, this isn’t their best work. Definitely enjoyable & some amazing moments, but not calling me back quite as much as some of their other material.

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
Profound Lore

I never thought I could possibly like a band with the word Witch in their name after 10,000 other bands have done so, but I’m definitely digging this.. The album consists of one ultra long track(83 minutes) is adorned with sweeping, lush sections that mesh with crushing ones, & are quite easy to get lost in. Plus, the album artwork is fucking amazing.

Fret – Over Depth

Having Mick Harris back in any form, is a good thing. While this release is similar soundwise to the latter Scorn discography, it is faster tempo-wise. This is a bit of a negative, as I enjoy the down-tempo vibe of Scorn more. But, this is still quite an enjoyable release nonetheless. Mick never fails to supply the endless ear candy.

Morten Müller – Manhunter/Bog Studios

10. Terror – The Walls Will Fall
Pure Noise Records

Some of the best HardCore in years!

9. Lock Up – Demonization
Listenable Records

Total fucking chaos strikes again!!


8. Trollfest – Helluva
Napalm Records

Balkan metal madness!




7. Sepultura – Machine Messiah
Nuclear Blast

These guys still manage to produce healthy, juicy metal!




6. Metallica – Live at Webster Hall
Blackened Recordings

Metallica playing a club? Excellent! The sound is beyond fantastic, and I’ve played that club as well! ?

[Ed. Note – This is a 2017 vinyl release you can order here.]


5. Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Silver Lining Music

Oh glory! The lava masters are back! I love Tucker’s vocals, as well as Mr. Vincent’s!




4. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Live Chapter

One of the best live bands ever!



3. Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard
Spinefarm Records

Fantastically doomy and delicious! Has been a huge inspiration for Manhunter.



2. Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis
Napalm Records

Max Cavalera is one of my heroes, and this album has some really good nods to
the good ol’ Sepultura glory days ?

1. Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
Metal Blade

These guys are a guarantee! Every album is bought asap without hesitation. Massive, ugly, nasty. Makes me laugh!

Pete Lloyd – Replicant

10. River Black – River Black
Season of Mist

Having got into Burnt By The Sun WAY later than I should have (especially being from New Jersey – shame on me), I was really excited to hear that most of the band got back together to form River Black. Their debut album provides the perfect blend of hardcore attitude and metal riffs, resulting in an aggressive and intense experience for the listener.


9. Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Profound Lore

When Labyrinth Constellation arrived in 2014, I was completely floored by the band’s ability to mix lightning fast skronk riffs, melodic passages, and catchy hooks together in such a seamless and interesting way. Infrared Horizon continues that sound, enveloping the listener in a bleak, desolate environment that feels like you’ve been forgotten in space.

8. Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Relapse Records

You know exactly what you’re going to get with a new Dying Fetus album – punishing, slammy riffs interlaced with sweeping guitar passages and double kicker pandemonium. Wrong One to Fuck With is no exception. Continuing where Reign Supreme left off, this album is fifty-four minutes of in your face, brutal death metal. Put on the track “Seething with Disdain” at the gym and I guarantee you’ll lift 15-20 more pounds than normal.


7. Incendiary – Thousand Mile Stare
Closed Casket Activities

Having played in a metallic-hardcore band for a bit, I had the good fortune to share the stage with Incendiary on multiple occasions. The sheer intensity and energy this band produces live in unparalleled, and that energy transfers over perfectly to their excellent third album, Thousand Mile Stare. With scathing lyrics about modern society and razor-sharp riffs, this album will make you want to fight the world.


6. Akercocke – Renaissance in Extremis
Peaceville Records

I remember hearing Antichrist in 2007 and being totally blown away by the band’s ability to blend so many genres of music into a cohesive, flowing and memorable album. Having to wait ten years for the follow up allowed me to deep dive into their back catalog, and with Renaissance in Extremis finally, here, I can say it was worth the wait. Taking more of a progressive edge than earlier recordings, and incorporating more singing and guitar solos, Ackercocke has crafted a progressive metal masterpiece.

5. Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ
Debemur Morti Productions

Continuing in the realm of meandering, depressing black metal is veterans Blut Aus Nord. I really respect this band for being able to switch back and forth between two radically different styles, and pulling off both so well. I loved 2014’s Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry, which is a total 180 from their latest, Deus Salutis Meae. The bleak, swirling atmosphere created on this album is intoxicating, and if you let yourself be enveloped by it you will truly be rewarded.

4. Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
Season of Mist

When Dodecahedron’s eponymous album came out in 2014, I initially dismissed it as another Deathspell Omega clone. That couldn’t have been further from the point. This band blends the dissonant, misery-laden melodies of DsO and adds a mechanical, sterile feel on top that incites feelings of dread and despair like no other. Kwintessens continues to build on the feel of the first album and rewards the listener with a plunge into the inner psyche.

3. Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Silver Lining Music

As a huge fan of Formulas and Gateways, I had SUCH high hopes for this record that I felt no matter what it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Boy, was I wrong. After seeing the new lineup at Maryland Deathfest, I knew this album was going to be a return to form – it was, and so much more. Kingdoms Disdained is forty-seven minutes of punishing, swirling and disgusting death metal that Morbid Angel is known for. The future is looking good once again for these death metal stalwarts.

2. Taake – Kong Vinter
Karisma & Dark Essence Records

I remember hearing Hordalands Doedskvad for the first time and being completely blown away by the furious melodies and intricate songwriting of Hoest. The band took a step backward with 2014’s Striden Hus, but return to form on Kong Vinter, blending their black ‘n roll sound with the classic melodies and frosty riffs Taake is known for.


1. Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival

By far my favorite album of 2017 is Pyrrhon’s third, What Passes For Survival. The swirling complexity of the music, combined with the sheer emotion and force makes for an enthralling listen from start to finish. Even after twenty-plus listens, I still manage to find something new each time. The more time you put into this album, the greater you will be rewarded.


Many thanks to our special guest celebrities for their excellent lists!

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