Be sure to check out the Decibel Geek website contributor’s collective compilation of the top albums: Best of 2017 Article
Every year I think these top ten lists will get easier, but they don’t – and that’s a good thing. In 2017, we lost a few legendary musicians along the way but their legacy lives on in the high-quality music that was released this year. Although I wish it were otherwise, I could not personally spend as much time as I would like checking out all the new music. I have had a few albums along the way that made an impression on me but had to turn to the Decibel Geek page to find what else might be out there. I hope you will also use this resource because I discovered several exceptional releases. In the end, some of my rankings really came down to the narrowest of margins. Some of these albums I know well, while others I have just discovered but love. So, without further ado, here is my Top Ten for 2017:
Rich “The Meister” Dillon turned me onto this female-fronted German band. Their debut album, filled with delicious melodic rock, kicks butt from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed every energetic song and cannot imagine becoming tired of them. Seriously, if you are searching for evidence that hard rock is thriving, go get Licence 2 Rock!
As you all know by now, I am a child of the 80’s, so glam rock always gets my attention. This album definitely has a classic glam metal vibe from a band that is revitalizing itself. For the most part, the music is fun and even includes a touching power ballad. I didn’t even mind their political track, “Invasion”, about governmental privacy policies. With some impressive credentials and the support of legendary musicians, Wraith is certainly a band to watch!
I admit to being a Ratt fan from way back in the day. Stephen Pearcy has such a distinctive voice that sounds as incredible as ever on this album! With musical influences ranging from Blues to classic rock to straightforward Ratt music, there is something for everyone here. Pearcy surrounded himself with excellent musicians to perform great songs. This is an excellent way to pass the time until his band is able to record new music!
Although I am still getting to know this release, it is always great to see an old familiar band not so much reinvent themselves as shift their musical focus. By chance, Night Ranger became known as a “ballad” machine in the 80’s when they were previously known as a hard rocking band. After seeing their live performance on a television broadcast and watching their high energy performance, I am so happy to see they have released an album of new music that showcases their rocker side.
From the first second I heard this album, I was in love! I had not previously heard of the band but saw this suggested on the Decibel Geek Facebook page as a suggestion for album of the year. Am I glad that I gave it a spin! With heavy rock guitar riffs and powerful melodic vocals, every song grabs you by the throat. Well-known in Europe, I feel this album could gain them a loyal following in the States as well. They certainly have found a new fan in me!
I was so very excited to see that Kickin Valentina was releasing a new album this year! I jumped at the chance to review this one as I loved their debut album. Imaginary Creatures did not disappoint. Their bluesy, sleaze rock sound delivers on every song except, in my opinion, their cover of an Elvis tune. Incredible stuff and I look forward to more from them in the future!
A melodic metal band once nearly lost in the grunge era, Every Mother’s Nightmare persevered and built up a loyal following based on their live shows. Their sound and look have evolved but the music is superb. The studio recordings are fresh and fun and the bonus live tracks give you a taste of how they have survived all these years. I was not all that familiar with the band before this album but now I really hope they perform near me soon.
Composed of successful veteran musicians, this trio released their second hard rock compilation. I missed the boat on their debut but am so very happy to have found this one. The complex melodies coupled with the mature harmonies lift these songs above many of the younger bands from this year. Every tune is well-crafted. Of note, the vocals on the ballads draw you into the emotion of the lyrics through experience that can only be found from decades of performing.
This Swedish melodic hard rock band is so committed to perfection that they will not compromise on performance or writing. That commitment is the reason this album shines above many others. The music is incredible, the performances are tremendous and the sound of the album is unparalleled. Eclipse is consistent in this way across all their releases, which is why they are at the top of their game. If you don’t know Eclipse, this release is the perfect introduction to them. If you do know Eclipse, you probably already own Monumentum.
To be honest, I really did not expect to love this album as much as I do. Accept has gone through so very many changes over the past few years, I wasn’t sure they could live up to the legend they have become. Those fears were put to rest with this release. Holy cow! The energy on The Rise of Chaos goes to eleven! Every song on here is excellent with many being stuck in my head for days on end. The lyrics are fun, the band is fantastic and the sound is fabulous. If, like me, you had written off Accept as a thing of the past, this album will change your mind. They are back and very much alive!
For the purpose of Top Ten Albums, our staff does not include live albums or best of albums but I did want to mention my favorites in those categories for this year because I discovered a couple of great ones. Armored Saint – Carpe Noctum is one of the best live albums it has been my pleasure to hear (check out the review here). I have only been a fan of the band for a couple of years now but Primal Fear – Best of Fear is a must for any heavy metal fan. I am definitely looking forward to 2018 and all the terrific music that we shall find together!
~~ Metal Mama