Heavy Blog Staff’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

Our staff has shifted quite a bit since we posted our first aggregate AOTY list back in 2014. From refocusing our content to implementing The Brooklyn Plan™ to publishing our 2017 AOTY list, our roster of contributors has fluctuated substantially in terms of numbers and genre preferences. This ebb and flow…

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained

After finally listening to Kingdoms Disdained, its clear that guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s deterioration as a songwriter has been a key, unaddressed factor that’s affected Morbid Angel’s recent output. While he may have written some of death metal’s greatest riffs during the band’s heyday, Kingdoms Disdained is the best case study thus far in terms of demonstrating Azagthoth’s slipping capability as the driving force of Morbid Angel’s sound. It was easy to overlook Heretic given how generally forgettable it was, and the predominant critiques of Illud Divinum Insanus revolved more around the band’s decision making than anything else. But now that Morbid Angel have entered into the perfect setup for a successful comeback, it’s difficult to overlook how complacent Azagthoth’s songwriting is across the entirety of Kingdoms Disdained. There’s no denying the album is an incomparable improvement over their industrial metal excursions, but it’s also difficult to avoid comparing the album’s aggressively average delivery with the milestone records that have preceded it in the band’s discography

Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis

Psychosis has come out during a period when it seems the Cavalera name is more visible and relevant to the metal world than it has been in a long time. The iconic Max Cavalera appeared to have hit his post-Sepultura peak with the back-to-back release of Dark Ages (2005) and Inflikted (2008)—the later of which saw him reuniting with estranged brother Igor and the establishment of the Cavalera Conspiracy. From there, however, it seemed Cavalera senior was content to churn out a steady flow of serviceable yet largely unremarkable Soulfly records, while each of Cavalera Conspiracy’s subsequent releases—though certainly each embedded with their own distinct personality—failed to excite in the same manner as their masterful debut. Yet, beginning with 2014’s superb supergroup collaboration, Killer Be Killed, Max’s career looks to be, once again, on the upswing, and Psychosis only further supports such speculation.

Release Day Roundup – 11/17/17

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Low Estate – Covert Cult of Death

The inevitable collision of expectation and reality when it comes to new music has its roots in the initial album description pitched to listeners. This is where the pervasive dilemma of hype is born; what’s said about an album on paper has to balance the desire to attract interest with…

Heavy Delinquency – Street Sects // End Position

As obsessive music fans, we have a pretty intense love/hate relationship with the constant onslaught of new music that crosses our paths on a weekly basis. By the time we sit down to compile our Release Day Roundup every Thursday, there’s a whole new slate of records that we need to tack onto our backlogs of new albums from weeks past, a list that remains replete throughout the year. This being the case, there are bound to be a handful of these albums that slip through the cracks, only to cross our paths months or years later and leave us wondering what possible reason we could have had to not listen to it sooner. While the time has passed to recommend these albums for your 2017 year end lists, we’ve decided to tweak our typical “Hey! Listen to…” series to launch Heavy Delinquency, which will allow us to talk about albums we slept on and make sure they receive the attention they deserve. Which brings us to Street Sects, the inspiration for this column and one of the greatest bands in modern synth punk.