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James Monteith 

In no particular order....

Body Count - Bloodlust

Riffs, riffs, more riffs... and Ice T being a badass... what more could you want?

Danny Cavanagh - Monochrome

 A collection of stunning prog rock songs produced with outstanding finesse.

Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

A wonderfully diverse, intelligent and interesting record with many exciting curve balls.

Igorrr - Savage Sinusoid 

The most bonkers record of the year, hands down. Utterly brilliant.

Bonobo - Migration

An immersive collection of tracks from the master of downtempo / chill / jazz soundscapes.

The Contortionist - Clairvoyant

Having now taken the leap fully into prog, TC prove that they're up there with the best.

Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3

OK, this came out end Dec 2016, but if I'd heard it before i did my list last year it would have 100% been there. Stunning production, slick vocals.. huge.. basically.

The Faceless - In Becoming A Ghost

Technical genius and bold experimentation come together to make this insane and engrossing record.

Entheos - Dark Future

Brutality and tech-metal finesse come together on this impressive debut.

Jakob Zytecki - Feather Bed EP 

Stunning solo EP from one of the most talented young guitarists around at the moment. 


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Lisa Coverdale

1. Couch Slut – Contempt

1. Helpless – Debt

I can’t choose between Couch Slut or Helpless for the most nasty assed brilliance to grace my ears this year. Choose between angry woman or angry man, both howling, shouting and hating the world. Couch Slut are one of the best bands I’ve heard in years, Helpless are one of the best bands I’ve heard in years. Both sound so tortured that vocally they could eviscerate the fur off of a kitten. Fans of nasty would do well to delve into both bands and immerse themselves in the bleakness. You’ll come out a changed person. 

3. Converge - The Dusk in Us

Classic Converge, what’s not to like. An unstoppable extreme force, matched by few others. 

4. Tombs - The Grand Annihilation  

Any year that Tombs put out a release, it’ll be in my top 10. Because they’re fucking brilliant. Bleaker, darker, better. Love them. 

5. Propagandhi - Victory Lap

Propagandhi doing what they do best - face peeling punk thrash with metal overtones and a moral and political back bone stronger than most others. I could listen to this over and over. And over and over. 

6. Dying Fetus - Wrong One To Fuck With

Another band that can do no wrong in my eyes, unless they started rapping and then I’d maybe need to reconsider my love for them.  Absolutely brutal from start to finish, Dying Fetus are a band that just doesn’t fuck about.

7. Bjork – Utopia 

Typically Bjork, beautiful, hauntingly otherworldly and in a league of her own. A classic of 2017! 

8. Battalions – Moonburn

A heavy slab of grooving monstrosity, epic beards and harshly majestic sludge.  

9. Daniel Herskedal – The Roc

Norwegian tuba led contemporary jazz. Just let that sink in. TUBA. Even the word is great to say. There’s a sophisticated Arabian vibe, weaving colours and tones into an album of groundbreaking experimental jazz that is simply out of this world. 

10. Abhorrent Decimation - The Pardoner  

British Death Metal that flirts with the notion of being a concept record, based on a villainous figure that poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about in The Canterbury Tales. An absolutely monolithic and imposing racket from one of the UK’s most promising bands.


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Barley

 

1. Bonobo - Migration (Ninja Tune)

2. Om Unit - Self (Cosmic Bridge)

3. Hundredth - Rare (Hopeless)

4. Claro Intelecto - Exhilirator (Delsin)

5. August Burns Red - Phantom Anthem (Fearless)

6. Lusine - Sensorimotor (Ghostly International)

7. The Contortionist - Clairvoyant (eOne)

8. Enable.ed - Tipsy Haux 2.0 (Clean Error)

9. Ho99o9 – United States Of Horror (999 Deathkult)

10. Converge – The Dusk In Us (Deathwish)


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Hannah Gillicker

1. Enter Shikari – The Spark
They’ve done it again: I cannot fault this record, perfect from start to finish. 

2. Wiley – Godfather
Wiley proves he is the godfather of grime with his latest record, and arguably it features some of the best grime collabs of the year. 

3. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
Although this record came out earlier than planned at the end of 2016 it deserves its place in my 2017 album list – it’s the type of record that keeps me on my toes and their show at Brixton Academy was in my Top 3 of the year. 

4. Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
Pushing the boundaries of grime, this is an innovative and influential debut from a rising star.    

5. Gold Key – Hello Phantom
Another fantastic debut release of 2017, in my eyes Gold Key have cemented themselves as one of the hottest new bands with this stunning record.  

6. Lethal Bizzle - You’ll Never Make A Million From Grime (EP)
Reminding me of two highlights of my year (Reading Festival and Ibiza) Bizzle provided a fantastic soundtrack to my summer. 

7. Bad Sign – Live & Learn
Bad Sign have pushed the boundaries with this hard-hitting debut release, riffs of the year. 

8. Arcane Roots – Melancholia Hymns
I love the dark and light in this record, powerful and mesmerising all at the same time. 

9. Skepta – Vicious (EP) 
This EP features one of my favourite songs of 2017 (Hypocrisy) – Skepta oozes with swagger throughout this record. 

10. Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile To The Surface
Another beautiful release from Manchester Orchestra that pulls on your heartstrings – I wouldn’t expect anything less. 
 


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Matty B

1. Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile To The Surface

Possibly the album of the year and playing the gig of the year, Manchester Orchestra’s Black Mile is a beautiful listen. Mournful, bleak, and yet cathartic and uplifting – their best work yet.

2. Enter Shikari - The Spark

For my money Shikari’s best album – the sound of a band reaching triumphant peak maturity, honing and softening their sound, becoming fully worthy of the arenas they’re now hitting.

3. Gold Key - Hello, Phantom

My musical discovery of the year – new band Gold Key with their mix of Elbow, Pink Floyd, Arcane Roots-ian textures. Enigmatic, intriguing and engaging.

4. Steven Wilson - To The Bone

A slightly polarising record, “To The Bone” is prog maestro Wilson’s tilt at writing a retro-pop record. Joyous and glorious, and some of his first songs fully delivered with a grin.

5. Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar
How far the band have come from their original roots. Ulver’s synth/new-wave “Assassination” is one of the best retro-istic records in a year packed full of throwback releases.

6. Converge - The Dusk In Us
What else is there to say, other than stating this is one of the greatest metal bands doing what they do best. A triumphant return.

7. Employed To Serve - The Warmth of a Dying Sun

One of the UK’s most talked about heavy bands of 2017. Truly deserved – Warmth is a masterful exercise in untamed yet taut brutality.

8. Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy

Bonkers grind-based genre transcendence.

9. Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns
The sound of a band relaxing into their full potential, “Melancholia Hymns” is forward-thinking, mainstream-aspiring rock nearing its best.

10. Glassjaw - Material Control

Casually strolling in at the end of the year is Glassjaw. Experimental post-hardcore riffing at its best; bonus points for the best bass tone of the year too.


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David Perkins

(Our Intern)

1. Converge - The Dusk in Us

2. 68 - Two Parts Viper

3. Iron Maiden - Book of Souls (Live Chapter)

4. All them Witches - Sleeping through the War

5. Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy

6. The Afghan Whigs - in Spades

7.  War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

8. Mastodon - Emperor of Sand

9. Morrissey - Low in High School

10. Wolf Alice- Visions of a Life