This year charges on and doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down. As we near the six month mark (and our own Top 25 of 2017 So Far), it’s becoming apparent that 2017 hits on broader fronts than 2016 did. While the previous year was an amazing year for some very specific genres, there were others that suffered less than stellar performance. With 2017, there’s very little that’s left untouched, with great releases coming from left and right. The list below is a great example of this; it contains post rock, grindcore, jazz, psychedelic electronics, death metal, stoner and oh so much more. Each of these sub-genres have been producing great releases this year, giving 2017 the illusion of a siege. From us, the nominal besieged, a measure of elasticity is required; we must keep our ears open and listen to new places, places we might have abandoned up until now.
Black metal is having a fantastic two years. Besides the sheer volume of great releases, the best tell-tale of this prolific outburst is the sheer variety of sub-genres actively contributing to the main genre. This year alone, we've seen more "straight-forward" contributions (like Orm's excellent, self titled release), atmospheric releases (like Somnium Nox's excellent Terra Inanis), and more avant-garde experimentation (like Dodecahedron's death metal tinged kwintessens or netra's weird Ingrats). To this latter category, of black metal blended with unusual influences, we can now add White Ward's Futility Report, a third release from a relatively unknown band which should, hopefully, garner them more attention.
We've mentioned Transcend Obscurity Records on our podcast but it's time to give them some love in a post as well. The outfit release all manner of abrasive, extreme and heavy music, with bands running the geographical gamut from Australia, to India and Dubai. Their genre classifications are usually focused on black metal but they range into wherever good music is played. Playing into their strengths, they recently reached out to us regarding an Australian band called Somnium Nox who managed to grab their attention with their released single, "The Alnwick Apotheosis". Somnium Nox, as displayed on this single, write and play a furious breed of atmospheric black metal and, now that we've heard Terra Inanis in full, we wholeheartedly recommend it.