It's incredible but, after 9 years of existence of this 'zine, this is the first TOP 10 playlist published on these pages! The fact is that 2017 left us after a lot of amazing releases, and I hope that some of them are destined to be considered in the future times to come as real classics of the extreme metal! But I have to stress that this TOP 10 albums of mine could be also a little bit different in the near future. This because there are many releases edited during 2017 that I have still listen to but who cares? The following 2017 releases, listed in RANDOM ORDER, are my favorite ones in this exact moment, and that's it!
ASCENDED DEAD - "ABHORRENT MANIFESTATION" (Dark Descent Records/Invictus Productions)
THE OMINOUS CIRCLE - "APPALING ASCENSION" (Osmose Productions)
One of the many talented bands from Portugal emerged during these years, The Ominous Circle, 5 guys with secret identities also due to their mysterious masks, impressed me a lot in the first days of 2017. Their debut album "Appaling Ascension" is a collection of monumental songs able to crush your souls with a dark, oppressive and advanced death/doom metal. The result of all this is a lethal combination between the carnality of Incantation, the darkness of Temple Nightside and the absorbing madness of Portal for a unique and, indeed, "appaling" solution. Absolutely terrifying!
CRURIFRAGIUM - "BEASTS OF THE TEMPLE OF SATAN" (Invictus Productions)
From Seattle, Washington (USA) and after some years under the name of Warpvomit, Crurifragium summoned this first album, that's an anthem to the total devastation of the Planet Earth! These guys adore literally Blasphemy, so expect a completely demented bestial black/death metal devastation characterized by an incredible chaos and grinding intensity, as shown perfectly through very short songs like "Flayed Angels" and "Utter Sadism". All this supported by an hostile and raw production! Prepare for the nuclear apocalypse!
RITUALIZATION - "SACRAMENTS TO THE SONS OF THE ABYSS" (Iron Bonehead Productions)
Even 11 years into the ranks were useful to these French madmen known as Ritualization to vomit a debut album of the level of "Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss"! An amazing cover artwork by nothing else than Chris Moyen, release by Iron Bonehead Productions (a label, a guarantee) and a band that is a sort of blackened version of Morbid Angel for a death metal able to be, at the same time, merciless, chaotic, technical, well-arranged, imaginative, dark and malign. What do you can ask better from a death metal album?
ABATUAR - "PERVERSIONS DE MUERTE PUTREFACTA" (Dunkelheit Produktionen)
Surely, this is one of the most heinous and crazy albums of all times! Why? For two...nay...for three things: 1) a black/death metal massacre strongly contamined with grindcore madness that mix Blasphemy with the repulsive ultra-metal from Colombian bands like Parabellum and Reencarnacion; 2) the lyrical themes full of a bad taste about mass extermination, tortures, terrifying experiments on human beings and other beautiful things mainly inspired by really existed violent regimes; 3) the country of Abatuar, Panama, certainly not so famous for its rock and metal music. And some months ago I bought even a t-shirt of Abatuar!
NADIMAC - "BESNILO" (Xtreem Music)
ROTENGEIST - "THE TEST THAT DIVIDES US ALL" (Defense Records)
A real surprise for me, this third album by the Polish band Rotengeist thrilled me a lot due to a progressive thrash metal where there is everything: imagination, technical skills, intensity, furious aggression, apocalyptic atmospheres and melody in order to create an amazing mix between old and new, taking inspirations from bands like Coroner, Machine Head, Pantera and Meshuggah with killer death metal touches. And don't forget a tribute to the Polish punk/HC band Karcer through the cover "Gest Idoli", a metallized HC anthem like few others!
WEREGOAT - "PESTILENTIAL RITES OF INFERNAL FORNICATION" (Iron Bonehead Productions)
Another bestial black/death metal attack from USA, precisely from Portland, Oregon! Weregoat are incredible because, with this debut album, were very good to mix a barbaric intensity with a creativity rarely so relevant in this genre and counting also and endless series of moments and riffs truly memorable. Another good thing is that this album seems to be, at least initially, a more chaotic version of the classic "Vengeance War Till Death" of Bestial Warlust. Is it enough for you, bestial maniacs?
ALL MY SINS - "LUNAR/SOLAR" (Black Death Productions)
GRAVESITE - "NEVERENDING TRAIL OF SKULLS" (Xtreem Music)
Album still not reviewed here, "Neverending Trail of Skulls" is the second full-lenght by these Italian death metal worshippers called Gravesite. Pure and wild Swedish Death metal characterized by a great dynamicity since they ranges from abyssic doom tempos to blast-beat outbursts through scrapping crust punkish moments able to make more and more intense the entire music. Great is also the expressive singer, that seem to me the Italian version of L.G. Petrov of the early Entombed. 4 days ago, at the gig of Hierophant/Onryo here in Rome, I bought the debut album of Gravesite, fantastic as the second one!