What a great metalised year 2017 has been! It will go down in history as one of the best years ever, in terms of metal album releases!

We have been going through this list for quite some time now and the final rankings are the result of hard thought and repeated listening/headbanging sessions! Rankings were determined by the level of musicianship, song writing, creativity, production, how much enjoyment we got from the album, the impact the album had, but above all from what we like to call  “The Goosebumps Meter” which is the intensity of goosebumps given to us from each album!

Here are the top 15 Metal albums that have rocked our socks off over the last 12 months:


15. Havok – Conformicide

Origin: USA, Genre: Thrash Metal

Listen to: Intention to Deceive, Hang ‘Em High

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GT9m0jX9vw


14. Trollfest – Helluva

Origin: Norway, Genre: Folk Metal

Listen to: Professor Otto, Sputnik

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2OwDmvdfdQ


13. Leprous – Malina

Origin: Norway, Genre: Progressive Rock

Listen to: From the Flame, Captive

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZSlX1zXnfM


12. Black Sites – In Monochrome

Origin: USA, Genre: Heavy Metal

Listen To: Dead Languages, Hunter Gatherer

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5uwDCVPd14


11. Sawthis – Babhell

Origin: Italy, Genre: Melodic Thrash Metal

Listen to: Seabed, Through Hell

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZfsWWpovzU


10. Fozzy – Judas

Origin: USA, Genre: Heavy Metal

Listen to: Running With The Bulls, Judas

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqURPBtGJzg


9. Need – Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom

Origin: Greece, Genre: Progressive Metal

Listen to: Rememory, Tilikum

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEt3O3vMogI


8. Archspire – Relentless Mutation

Origin: Canada, Genre: Technical Death Metal

Listen To: Relentless Mutation, Remote Tumour Seeker

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lsnTQyGI78


7. Pain of Salvation – In The Passing Light of Day

Origin: Sweden, Genre: Progressive

Listen to: Reasons, The Passing Light of Day

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qZpLgvdOI


6. Enslaved – E

Origin: Norway, Genre: Black/Prog

Listen to: Sacred Horse, Storm Son

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRlhMyXmTYQ


5. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light

Origin: USA, Genre: Post-Metal

Listen to: A Mass for Metaphysicians, The Queen’s Constellation

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvZddkash0E


4. Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence

Origin: USA, Genre: Thrash/Groove Metal

Listen to: The Heart From Your Hate, Betrayer

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAoKcM54Q1Y


3. Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid

Origin: France, Genre: Breakcore/Experimental Metal

Listen to: Opus Brain, Cheval, Houmous

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zRU-VU87HI


2. Firewind – Immortals

Origin: Greece, Genre: Power Metal

Listen to: Ode To Leonidas, Wars of Ages

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF_nYCnVjcM


1. Byzantine – The Cicada Tree

Origin: USA, Genre: Groove/Prog/Thrash Metal

Listen to: Incremental, Vile Maxim

Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpdNtOjFifw


Honorable Mentions: 

VUUR – In This Moment We Are Free – Cities

Brutus – Burst

Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis

Night Demon – Darkness Remains

Threshold – Legends of the Shires

Marty Friedman – Wall of Sound

Beast in Black – Berserker

Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

Undead Corporation – No Antidote

















1. BABYMETAL – Metal Resistance

Origin: Japan

Genre: Kawaii Metal

Listen To: Sis. Anger, Karate


So, BABYMETAL is a Japanese band fronted by three teenage girls! So, they dance to choreography routines! So, they don’t write the band’s songs! So, they are singing pop vocals and in Japanese! SO, WHAT?

In my book it’s all about the music and the music in their sophomore album ‘Metal Resistance’ is phenomenal! ‘Metal Resistance’ is comprised of impeccable METAL songs of rare quality, most of which could easily have been released as singles. Each and every song has inspiration, originality, hooks and passion, and they are so excellent that they give ‘Metal Resistance’ the air of a “Greatest Hits” album, that any other band might release. This is partly because the songs were not written by one or two members of the band, which is what usually happens in metal bands, but by a team of composers/musicians – some of the most talented, renowned and established musicians in Japan.

In essence BABYMETAL, is the brain-child of self-proclaimed metal fan Kobametal (Key Kobayashi). He found three of the most talented girls in Japan – Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal – who were part of Japan’s ‘Idol’ scene and a part of the Japanese music industry’s future. He then found Japan’s best metal musicians to play as the backing band. They have now become an integral part of BABYMETAL, the so called ‘Kami Band’ (Kami meaning God or Divine in Japanese). He even got the most famous Japanese choreographer to create the girl’s dance routines and as mentioned before he recruited some of the crème de la crème of the Japanese music industry’s composers to write the band’s songs. So basically what we have with BABYMETAL is a Japanese super-group! Right from the start of this BABYMETAL “project” every little detail was well thought through and planned for years to come. It has been executed in a way that characterizes the well-known Japanese perfectionist way of doing things.

As the band’s name suggests, BABYMETAL is a new-born metal. A new sub-genre of metal and its name is Kawaii Metal (kawaii meaning cute in Japanese). Their music is an insane, out of this world, ingenious and unique blend of Power Metal, JPop, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Progressive Metal, Metalcore, Punk, Symphonic Metal, Folk Metal, Nu-Metal, Gothic Metal, Industrial Metal, that has to be heard to be believed. In this author’s opinion BABYMETAL is the most exciting, original, innovative, talented, ground-breaking, genre defying and genre defining new band since System of a Down and one of the most fascinating live acts in the world right now. Your first reaction when you will listen to this album will be sheer shock and if you are a metal elitist you may also feel revulsion. By the 3rd listen, however, it will have crawled under your skin and will stay there… FOREVER!

The criteria by which I pick the best albums of the year are: song writing, the level of musicianship, creativity, production, how much enjoyment I got from the album and the impact the album had to the world but above all, what I like to call “The Goosebumps Meter”. In other words it is the intensity and number of goosebumps given to me while listening to an album – and let me tell you – ‘Metal Resistance’ is one mean, hair-raising, spine-snapping, goosebumps fest! If after listening to this album a few times you still can’t feel that… you should have your pulse checked.

So take my advice metalheads… open the eye of your mind and stop being immature, depressed, angry, narrow-minded metal elitists. Life is too short to waste like that. I also used to be a metal elitist until BABYMETAL came my way and changed me for the best. I wholeheartedly recommend this album to all metalheads and music lovers. It’s an album that has already converted legions of new fans to metal. The ones who didn’t reject BABYMETAL, for not being “true metal” – I have named them ‘BABYMETALHEADS’ – we are really having a blast since 2014, when the band’s self-titled debut was released. Something evident from BABYMETAL FAN CLUB (babymetalfanclub.com facebook.com/babymetalfanclub) that has 33,000 passionate BABYMETALHEADS from all over the world!

BABYMETAL, you have turned our lives from grey to colorful.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for that.

~ Mr Metalised (Arnold Metallo)


dystopia2. Megadeth – Dystopia (Deluxe Edition 13 Tracks)

Origin: USA

Genre: Thrash Metal

Listen To: Dystopia, Bullet to the Brain






stuckmojoinfidelscover3. Stuck Mojo – Here Come The Infidels

Origin: USA

Genre: Rap Metal/Nu-Metal

Listen To: Charles Bronson, The Business of Hate






anciients-voice-of-the-void-album-art4. Anciients – Voice From The Void

Origin: Canada

Genre: Progressive/Sludge Metal

Listen To: Following the Voice, Worshipper






gojira_magma_album_cover_15. Gojira – Magma

Origin: France

Genre: Progressive/Groove Metal

Listen To: Silvera, Stranded






destrage6. Destrage – A Means To No End

Origin: Italy

Genre: Progressive/Mathcore/Alternative/Nu-Metal

Listen To: Symphony of the Ego, To Be Tolerated






Caliban-Gravity7. Caliban – Gravity

Origin: Germany

Genre: Metalcore

Listen To: Paralyzed, For We Are Forever






affinity8. Haken – Affinity

Origin: England

Genre: Progressive Metal

Listen To: The Architect, The Endless Knot






killswitchengageincarnatecd9. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate

Origin: USA

Genre: Metalcore

Listen To: Embrace The Journey…Upraised, Strength of the Mind







10. Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue

Origin: Greece

Genre: Psychedelic/Progressive/Black Metal

Listen To: Riders to Utopia, I Mean You Harm






theocracyalbumaug11. Theocracy – Ghost Ship

Origin: USA

Genre: Power/Progressive Metal

Listen To: Paper Tiger, Wishing Well






fates_warning_-_theories_of_flight12. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight

Origin: USA

Genre: Progressive Metal

Listen To: Seven Stars, The Ghosts of Home






lacuna13. Lacuna Coil – Delirium

Origin: Italy

Genre: Gothic Metal

Listen To: The House of Shame, Delirium






death-angel14. Death Angel – The Evil Divide

Origin: USA

Genre: Thrash Metal

Listen To: The Electric Cell, Lost






ihsahn-arktis15. Ihsahn – Arktis.

Origin: Norway

Genre: Avant- Garde/Progressive/Black Metal

Listen To: Celestial Violence, Frail






serpentinedominioncdcover16. Serpentine Dominion – Serpentine Dominion

Origin: USA

Genre: Death Metal

Listen To: Sovereign Hate, This Endless War






devintownsendprojecttranscendencecd17. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

Origin: Canada

Genre: Progressive/Symphonic Metal

Listen To: Failure, Offer Your Light






blackcrowninitiateselves18. Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive

Origin: USA

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Listen To: Belie The Machine, Again






allegaeon-proponents-for-sentience19. Allegaeon – Proponent For Sentience

Origin: USA

Genre: Technical Death Metal

Listen To: All Hail Science, Proponent For Sentience III






ghostlights_by_avantasia20. Avantasia – Ghostlights

Origin: Germany

Genre: Power Metal

Listen To: Master of the Pendulum, The Haunting






Honorable Mentions: Wardrum – Awakening, Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, Deftones – Gore, Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake, InnerWish – InnerWish, Alcest – Kodama, Cult of Luna – Mariner, Dark Tranquility – Atoma, Kvelertak – Nattesferd, Suicidal Angels – Division of Blood









#1 Killswitch Engage – Alive or Just Breathing

Released in 2002 by Roadrunner

Best Songs: My Last Serenade, Just Barely Breathing, Numbered Days

Listen Also To Their Albums: Disarm the Descent, The End of Heartache

Interesting Facts: Alive or Just Breathing has been viewed as a landmark album in the metalcore genre and was well praised upon its release by fans and critics. The lyrics, which were all written by vocalist Jesse Leach, were aimed to bring a positive message through the music. Shortly after the release of Alive or Just Breathing, Leach left the band for personal and health issues. Killswitch Engage quickly recruited Howard Jones to replace Leach. Jones would stay in the band for nearly ten years, until his departure in early 2012, which prompted Leach to rejoin the band on the ten-year anniversary of Alive or Just Breathing. This is also the last album to feature Dutkiewicz on drums, as he would switch to guitar before the touring process.

In June 2000, Killswitch Engage released their debut album, titled Killswitch Engage through Ferret Records. The label’s CEO, Carl Severson signed the band without a contract simply to get the album out to the public because he thought the album “ruled”! After the album was released, Severson showed it to Roadrunner Records A&R man, Mike Gitter, who played the album for other Roadrunner employees and stated “The feeling was this was something that touched upon classic metal, pulls it up through hardcore, and creates something fairly new and completely exciting. When their music started circulating around the office, there was an immediate ‘Holy … this is great!’ feeling about it. After signing to Roadrunner, the band began work on their major label debut, which would become Alive or Just Breathing. Gitter has claimed that signing Killswitch Engage was the most gratifying signing of his career! The label agreed to let Dutkiewicz produce Alive or Just Breathing because they were impressed with his production skills.

Critical reception of Alive or Just Breathing was extremely positive.Metalreview.com said “it stands as a pretty trendsetting, stellar must-own example of metalcore”. AllMusic stated “This is a pure metal album that seemingly has ignored any fashionable trend and instead relies solely on skill and expertise to sculpt some of meatiest heavy metal since the glory days of Metallica and Slayer.” Dom Lawson of Kerrang! magazine (now of Metal Hammer) gave the album five “Ks” (or five out of five stars). He praised the album’s unique new sound, music, and vocal performances from Leach. CMJ said, “This album is more addictive than crack cocaine that’s been smothered in caffeine and nicotine and drenched with chocolate! Reviewing the 2005 re-release of the album, Blabbermouth.netsaid that Alive or Just Breathing is “one special album” and that its release “marked a defining moment in metal” and “one of the greatest albums of the new century”. Alive or Just Breathing is one of only 21 albums to have a perfect site rating on Blabbermouth.net!


Released in 2006 by Epic, Prosthetic
Best Songs: Walk with Me in Hell, Redneck, Blacken the Cursed Sun
Listen Also To Their Albums: Ashes of the Wake, VII: Sturm und Drang
Interesting Facts: Sacrament was the top-selling heavy metal album of 2006 and received the Album of the Year award from Revolver magazine. As of 2010, it has sold over 331,000 copies in the United States. The song “Pathetic” was performed live on the February 9, 2007 edition of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. This marked the first major network performance for Lamb of God. The song “Redneck” was nominated in the 2007 Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance, but lost out to Slayer’s “Eyes of the Insane”.
In 1994, guitarists Mark Morton and Matt Conner, bassist John Campbell and drummer Chris Adler started a band named Burn the Priest. The band members knew each other from the college they were all attending, Virginia Commonwealth University. By the time Burn the Priest released their first full-length self-titled album, vocalist Randy Blythe and guitarist Willie, Adler’s younger brother, were added to the line up. A year later year later, a deal with Prosthetic Records was signed and they changed their name to Lamb of God to avoid being mistaken for a satanic metal band.


Released in 2005 by Roadrunner

Best Songs: Like Light To The Flies, The Deceived, Pull Harder On the Strings Of Your Martyr

Listen Also To Their Albums: In Waves, Shogun

Interesting Facts: Ascendancy marks the first Trivium album to feature guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto. It has won the “Album of the Year Award” award from Kerrang! magazine and since its release, Ascendancy has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.

The band formed in 1999. At his Lake Brantley High School talent show, Matt Heafy performed a cover version of “No Leaf Clover” by Metallica. Singer Brad Lewter noticed Heafy and asked him to try out for his band. The pair went over to drummer Travis Smith’s house where they played a rendition of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Impressed with Heafy’s performance, they accepted him into the band known as “Trivium”, which is a Latin three-way intersection they used to explain their music as combining metalcore, melodic death metal and thrash metal. Two weeks after Matt joined the band, Brad had left the band before performing.


Released in 2007 by Metal Blade

Best Songs: Forsaken, Within Destruction

Listen Also To Their Album: Frail Words Collapse

Interesting Facts: Upon its release, it debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200, with sales close to 39,500 and No. 1 on the Top Rock chart. The album features singles “Nothing Left”, “The Sound of Truth”, “Within Destruction” and “I Never Wanted”, with music videos produced for all four. An Ocean Between us won for the band the “Ultimate Metal God” award from MTV2 at the first annual “All That Rocks” special; was named “Artist of the Year” at the San Diego Music Awards and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for the song “Nothing Left”.

as i lay

Released in 2004 by Roadrunner

Best Songs: At the End of August, The Heart and the Shape

Listen Also To Their Album: Rest Inside The Flames

Interesting Facts: The band’s name comes from the Jackie Chan film Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists. 36CF originated from the remains of three bands from Anchorage, Alaska: Grin, Hessian, and Broke. JD Stuart played in Grin, Brock Lindow in Hessian, and Steve Holt and Ryan Brownell in Broke. One of the circumstances influencing the formation of 36CF was the murder of Broke’s drummer Duane Monsen. On 28 January 1994, Broke played a set at the Underground bar in Anchorage. Later that night there was an altercation between Monsen and a drunken soldier. According to an article in the Anchorage Daily News, Monsen tried to apologize and defuse the situation, but was fatally stabbed in the neck. He was 27 years old. In the wake of this tragedy, Monsen’s friends organized a benefit concert to raise funds for his family. Monsen’s protégé Thomas Noonan played the drums at this show and the musicians decided that they were an excellent match. In retrospect, it became the first 36CF performance.