Disclaimer: Some of the records on this list aren’t your typical death metal. We just put it in here because they felt the closest to that genre. So, before you call the genre police, read that.
It wasn’t the strongest year for death metal (or even for tech-death, which will be one of the next episodes), but nevertheless, there were some great additions to the genre. Some of them are to be found below, curated by yours truly!
Dying Fetus – Wrong One To Fuck With
Fellow writer Andrew asserted that Dying Fetus’ latest is ‘a work of surprising technicality and delightful, satisfactory brutality‘ in his review. I agree, and for my money, this is probably their best album in about twenty years. It’s calculated, heavy and about as good as grinding American death metal can get.
Dyscarnate – With All Their Might
Good writing, production, a little groove, and audible bass go a long way in death metal. This is a prime example of how to show off the genre’s best without relying solely on the long-established, grimy tropes. This album hits like a hammer, but has surprisingly vivid lyrics and storytelling in its songs, making it the full package.
Pyrrhon – What Passes For Survival
Much like its album cover, this album is a mess, wild and untamed like the beast on it. Pyrrhon’s sound has many faces, all of them ugly to look at. Penetrating the gnarly exterior reveals a blend of death metal, post-hardcore, grindcore, and more. For fans of the dissonant and unhinged side of the genre.
Fleshkiller – Awaken
A big surprise in 2017 was Ole Børud (Extol) bringing us a new project in the form of Fleshkiller. It’s got a dash of that Gothenburg death metal sound, mixed with some light progressive and groove elements. The riffs are catchy, the clean/harsh vocal duo is magnificent, it’s a true delight.
Ulsect – Ulsect
Ulsect‘s selftitled album was on #7 at our AOTY list for a reason. This is dark, gritty and relentless, while retaining an epic and transcendental vibe to it. If you wanna to listen to one death metal (also a bit black metal) album which is stuffed with atmosphere, make it this one.
In Reverence – The Selected Breed
This atmospheric and epic death metal journey came out of nowhere for me, but it stuck through the whole year. It is packed with great riffs, amazing arrangements, and an overall powerful songwriting. The Selected Breed carries on the spirit of Shaded Enmity‘s underrated masterpiece Forsaken And Forgotten.
Shroud Ritual – Five Suns
Another record which sadly flew under the radar in 2017. Shroud Ritual is a one-man project, which creates amazingly-written instrumental extreme metal, incorporating black metal and progressive, but being a death metal album in the core. You can find some of the best metal riffs of 2017 on this album!
Altarage – Endinghent
Altarage are a band from spain which follows the current wave of dense, atmospheric blackened death metal. Their previous album Nihl was already a ‘watch out for them’ effort, and they knocked it out of the park with Endinghent. Signed by Season of Mist, this band is part of the future of death metal.
Seren – Ashen
Our writer Pete wasn’t a big fan of this album, but I loved every second of it. Dark and riffy, with a slight edge of deathcore and certain modern touch, Seren’s Ashen is a great gem for people who like modern death metal.
Immolation – Atonement
With their tenth full-length release, Immolation continued their ascent as one of the most genre-defining death metal acts in existence. The songwriting is strong, the vocals are brutal, and the riffs venture into tech death territory. But it’s how the band allows their songs breathe on Atonement that makes this one special.
Obituary – Obituary
Another heavy hitter of the genre dropped new material last year, and once again, Obituary throws down the gauntlet with eleven examples of their thrash-laden brand of death metal. All cylinders of the band are firing in perfect time, with the some of the flashiest solos you’ll hear on a death metal record.
Ingurgitating Oblivion – Vision Wallows In The Symphonies Of Light
At the top of the list of death metal innovators are Ingurgitating Oblivion, a band that is taking death metal to new places thanks to their complex arrangements, incredible songwriting, and a multi-faceted vocal approach. Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light is a visionary destination for extreme music. Don’t miss this one!
Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black