Matthew Thomas’ Top 60 Albums of 2017 + Top 10 EPs + Links to Listen…

Matthew Thomas’ Top 60 Albums of 2017

Top 10 EPs of 2017 + Links to Listen & Buy


1. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light


2. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand


3. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World


4. Samsara Blues Experiment –  One With The Universe


5. Racquet Club – Racquet Club


6. Hobosexual – Monolith


7. Kadavar – Rough Times


8. Our Ceasing Voice – Free Like Tonight


9. Bask – Ramble Beyond


10. Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry


11. Telekinetic Yeti – Abominable


12. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As ___ As You Think


13. Ethereal Riffian – Afterlight DVD


14. Quicksand – Interiors


15. Spidergawd – IV


16. Forming the Void – Relic


17. All Them Witches – Sleeping Through the War


18. House of Lightning – Self Titled


19. The Black Angels – Death Song


20. Pallbearer – Heartless


21. Ohhms – The Fool




23. Mother Mars – On Lunar Highlands


24. Crackhouse – Be No One.  Be Nowhere.


25. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream


26. The Atomic Bitchwax – Force Field


27. Spaceslug – Time Travel Dilemma


28. Slowdive – Self Titled


29. Nekromant – Snakes and Liars


30. Frozen Planet…1969 – From the Centre of A Parallel Universe


31. Egypt – Cracks and Lines


32. Electric Orange – EOXXV


33. Electric Age – Sleep of the Silent King


34. Comacozer – Kalos Eidos Skopeo


35. Pink Frost – New Minds


36. Deaf Radio – Alarm


37. Red Scalp – Lost Ghosts


38. Earth Drive – Stellar Drone


39. I, Captain – Tiid


40. Red Mountains – A Slow Wander


41. Olde – Temple


42. Devil Electric – Self Titled


43. Sautrus – Anthony Hill


44. The Janitors – Horn Ur Marken


45. Electric Moon – Stardust Rituals


46. The Re-Stoned – Chronoclasm


47. Clouds Taste Satanic – The Glitter of Infinite Hell


48. Ufomammut – 8


49. Lamina – Lilith



50. Space Witch – Arcanum


The Final Tasty 10


51. Radio Moscow – New Beginnings


52. Geezer – Psychoriffadelia


53. Gypsy Sun Revival – Journey Outside of Time


54. Tau Cross – Pillar of Fire


55. Aphodyl // Cosmic Fall – Starsplit


56. Summoner – Beyond The Realm of Light


57. Contra – Deny Everything


58. Bloodnut – St. Ranga


59. Poseidon – Prologue


60. Propagandhi – Victory Lap



Top 10 EPs of 2017


1. Mastodon – Cold Dark Place


2. Howling Giant – Black Space Wizard Part 2


3. Kal-EL – Astrodoomeda


4. Cachemira – Jungla


5. Derelics – Guilty of Being Young


6. Bad Monster Black – Diablo




8. Traffic Death – Dead End


9. 1968 – 1968 EP


10. Norea – Norea

Andy Beresky’s Top 20 Albums of 2017 + Tip of the Cap + Disappointments + Links…

Andy “Dinger” Beresky’s Top 20 Albums, Honorable Mentions

& Biggest Disappointments of 2017


1. The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding


2. Slowdive – Slowdive


3. Quicksand – Interiors


4. Converge – The Dusk In Us


5. Pallbearer – Heartless


6. Elder – Reflections Of A Floating World


7. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy


8. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion Of Light


9. Unearthly Trance – Stalking The Ghost


10. Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains


11. The National – Sleep Well Beast


12. Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard


13. Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand


14. Telekinetic Yeti – Abominable


15. Ruby The Hatchet – Planetary Space Child


16. Kadavar – Troubled Times


17. Pink Frost – New Minds


18. OHHMS – The Fool


19. Ufomammut – 8


20. Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun


Honorable mentions:

Vokonis – The Sunken Djinn (Nice take on Sleep inspired stoner doom with a more stripped down edge)


Monolord – Rust (A definite step towards a more original sound)


Poseidon – Prologue (Nice take on YOB inspired doom metal)


Primitive Man – Caustic (This is some righteous sludge, duder)


Kal-El – Astrodoomeda  (Very promising stoner doom, next time, leave off the Kyuss cover!!! Sweet Lucifer His Dark Majesty, just NO!!!!)


Disasteroid – Screen (Haven’t had the time for a full review and super critical listening, as I got it late in the year. Promising, inventful, and deserves a mention for certain.)


Biggest Disappointments:

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper ( Really? Really????  This is what everyone is going so ga-ga about? This????)

At The Drive In – in•ter a•li•a  (You guys may want to take a listen to those new Slowdive and Quicksand albums, and use them as references for how to produce a proper comeback album)

Fleet Foxes – Crack-up (Yeah….this is pretty underwhelming for a comeback album as well, especially given the vitality of their earlier output)

Also pretty surprised that Ufomammut made a decent album and didn’t end up on here, as I generally reserve them a spot under Biggest Disappointments.  Their latest did not disappoint me.

Zachary “+Norway+” Turner’s Top 25 Album of 2017 + Links…

Zachary “+Norway+” Turner’s Top 25 Albums of 2017


In No Particular Order…


Hobosexual – Monolith  (Kitchentable)


Mastodon – Cold Dark Place (Reprise Records)


Björk – Utopia – (One Little Indian Records)


Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want? – (Columbia)


Blondie – Pollinator  (noble id/BMG Rights Management)


Evanescence – Synthesis (BMG Rights Management) 


Ninja Sex Party – Under the Covers Volume II  (Ninja Sex Party)


Superfruit – Future Friends (RCA)


Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down (Loma Vista)


Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun (Temporary Residence Limited)


Hobo Magic – The World Today (Self Released)


Thee Oh Sees – Orc (Castle Face Records)


The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody  (Warner Bros.)


Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spinefarm Records)


David Bowie – No Plan EP – (ISO)


ELARA – Deli Bal – PsyKA Records


FrankJavCee – Vol 2.111 – Self Release


Earth Drive – Stellar Drone (Raging Planet)


Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life (Interscope Records)


Neil Cicierega – Mouth Moods (Self Released)


Steven Wilson – To the Bone (Caroline Records)


Tupperware Remix Party – Ladyworld  (Self Released)


nmesh – Pharma (Orange Milk Records)


Jazz Spastiks – Scratch and Sniff – (Self Released)

Writer Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017 + Links…

Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017


1. Caligula’s Horse – In Contact (Inside Out Records)


2. Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day (Inside Out Records)


3. KXM – Scatterbrain (Rat Pak Records)


4. In The Presence of Wolves – Of Two Minds – Stages 1 & 2 – The Ape And The Cage (Self-released)


5. The Burden Remains and The Horns Of The Seventh Seal – Touchstone (Self-released)


6. Icefish – Human Hardware (Self-released)


7. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore Records)


8. Toehider – “GOOD.” (Birds Robe Records)


9. Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Eleven Seven)


10. Mother Mars – On Lunar Highlands (Pepper Shaker Records)


11. Ayreon – The Source (Mascot Label Group)


12. Sons Of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony (Inside Out Records)


13. Others By No One – Book I: Dr. Breacher (Self-released)


14. Sons of Texas – Forged By Fortitude (Razor & Tie)


15. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn (Season of Mist)


16. Starset – Vessels (Razor & Tie)


17. Subterranean Masquerade – Vagabond (ViciSolum Records)


18. Leprous – Malina (Inside Out Records)


19. Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence (Roadrunner Records)


20. Voyager – Ghost Mile (IAV Records)


21. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand (Reprise Records)


22. Alice Cooper – Paranormal (EarMusic)


23. Steven Wilson – To The Bone (Caroline Records)


24. Big Wreck – Grace Street (ole)


25. 10 Years – (how to live) AS GHOSTS (Mascot Label Group)

“The Ancient One’s” Top 25 of 2017…

Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler’s
25 best albums of 2017


  1. Kadavar- Rough Times


  1. Tau Cross – Pillar of Fire


  1. PILLORIAN – Obsidian Arc


  1. The Flight Of Sleipnir – Skadi


  1. Clouds Taste Satanic-The Glitter of Infinite Hell


  1. Arcadea-Arcadea


  1. Mage- Green


  1. Stone Lotus-Comastone


  1. Thorr-Axe / Archarus-The Hobbit Split-Album


  1. KAL-EL-Astrodoomeda


  1. Lich King-The Omniclasm


  1. Trivium-The Sin And The Sentence


  1. Vokonis-The Sunken Djinn


  1. Psy:code-MØRKE


  1. Red Moon Architect-Return Of The Black Butterflies


  1. Temple of Void-Lords of Death


  1. Paradise Lost-Medusa


  1. Overkill-The Grinding Wheel


  1. Nekromant-Snakes & Liars


  1. Electric Wizard-Wizard Bloody Wizard Bloody Wizard


  1. Devil Electric-Devil Electric


  1. The Black Capes-All These Monsters


  1. Mastodon-Cold Dark Place




  1. The Necromancers-Servants of the Salem Girl


Mastodon “Emperor Of Sand” – Album Review & Videos…


Emperor Of Sand – Vinyl // CD // DD

Reprise Records – Released March 31st, 2017

Reviewed By Andy “Dinger” Beresky


Mastodon have a long and rather complicated history, and it’s been a real treat to witness their constant and unpredictable evolution first hand.  I’ll be totally frank here – I got on board with Remission and saw them support High On Fire live in Boston on that tour.  Excellent drumming first and foremost, good riffs, and a sweet live show, I’ll give them that.  Yet I was never totally on board.  As much as some people love to tout that album as some sort of high point for the band, I see it as a fledgling band flexing their muscles, yet still looking for a focus.  Sure, the drumming is nothing short of astounding, practically a non-stop jazz drum fill by modern legend Brann Daylor.  The guitar interplay was equally impressive, mixing devastating down-tuned riffing with complicated, labyrinthine passages of dueling melodies and harmonies.  Still, for me, much of it sounded one dimensional.  A constant drum fill gets old when it doesn’t have enough groove to offset it, the vocals were largely mono-tonal, and the songwriting didn’t always stick for me.  An impressive debut for sure, and for all the listens I’ve given that album, I can only remember how two songs on the album actually go.  It lacked hooks for me, it just wasn’t catchy enough.


Promo Image


That’s where Leviathan came in, where the band was able to balance the drumming, work some melody into the vocals, and hone the songwriting to mix their more proggy elements with legitimately catchy choruses.  Looking back, I like this album best, as do many other fans.  It was a rough road ahead from there, filled with major label contracts, near ceaseless touring, and more experimentation in the songwriting department.  Blood Mountain had its moments, though it lacked coherency and was generally all over the place.  Despite this, it earned them new fans and brought their music to a larger crowd.  This brings us up to Crack The Skye, a rather contentious album in their catalog, especially for me.  I will state up front, I do not like Brendan O’Brien as a producer.  He has a tendency to take guitar-heavy bands and totally neuter the guitars in favor of a radio-friendly wax job.  Do you remember the vast contrast between Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger and Superunknown??  Sure, both are great albums with great songs, though listen to the difference in how the guitars sound, and where they are in the mix.

O’Brien did the same thing with Mastodon, and I initially didn’t like Cracke The Sky.  I saw them on this tour.  Live, it came across much more powerfully; it was thick and commanding.  Guitarist/singer Brent Hines was sighted pissing on parked cars outside of Fenway Park afterwards, so you know that he felt good about the performance.  I’m digressing a bit.  My point is that the material was strong, the concept was there, and though they’d incorporate more melodies and even fairly impressive three part harmonies into the overall fold, I don’t think the vocals were strong enough to be placed that far in the forefront of the mix….which is exactly what O’Brien does.  However, I have to hand it to O’Brien on Emperor Of Sand – there’s a nice balance to the harmonized vocals and the weighty guitars, they’ve still got some rawness and bite.

At this point, I’m kind of at a loss as to what to write, and more importantly, what not to write about Mastodon.  I’ve had a long personal history with the band, having seen them multiple times, sometimes good and sometimes not.  I’ve played with them, which was….special.  I have heard stories from mutual acquaintances that have toured with them.  There’s plenty of personal anecdotes I could write about that would paint them in a rather unflattering light, and as interesting as that would be, as we love to watch train wrecks here in the United States, thus our current political makeup.  I could write 100 pages on the things I’ve witnessed and the things I’ve heard about the band.  However, do I really need to go there and be an asshole??  No.  That’s one of the other problems with our current political makeup – where is the line between “free speech” and just being a disrespectful asshole?? Most of us know by now that Brent Hinds is a total wildman who says and does some crazy pants things, and the other members of the band have had their own struggles.  Let’s just focus on the struggles that are relevant to the music itself rather than the gossip, shall we?

I think the most important struggles have been how the members of Mastodon have processed deaths of family members.  This is the second death of a loved one that has led to a concept album, with the first being Crack The Skye.  To me, that’s what art is really about, and I’ll give them all sorts of kudos for channeling that kind of sadness and loss into creative, poignant and powerful works of art that explore the nature of being an authentic human.  Emperor Of Sand indeed has an intriguing concept, though I’d need many, many more listens with it to fully unravel the meanings and personal connections.  For the record, I’ve already listened to the album more than thirty times.  It’s very dense conceptually, in terms of both the music itself and the lyrical content.


Pro band Shot


Another thing I really like about the album is how it combines the rock oriented songwriting of their two prior albums with the conceptual and progressive tendencies of their earlier works.  The album is really top-loaded with the more straightforward, catchy tunes like “Show Yourself”, which almost sounds like a Queens Of The Stone Age outtake from Songs For The Deaf.  The first few songs are definitely the rockers, while as the album deepens, the more progressive elements begin to dominate – the synthesizers, the odd time signatures, the mathy riffs, and the epic finale “Jaguar God.”  I like this a lot about the album, how its paced and structured.  There are a few things that I do not like.  I’m feeling annoyed about their continued reliance on guest musicians, especially how it feels like they over-utilize Scott Kelly.  I love Neurosis and all, and seriously….does he have to be a guest on EVERY album??  It’s become quite an old shtick at this point.

Much like everything the band has done, this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  It’s sometimes tough for an established and successful band to do so.  Fans always want to hear something “more like the old stuff”, and yet, when a band just regurgitates the same album over and over, fans tend to tire of that as well.  It’s like Bob Marley said, “you can please some people sometimes, but you can’t please all the people all the time.”  Quoted for truth.  I tend to respect artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Smashing Pumpkins, artists who deliberately try to redefine themselves with each recording.  I think that the most important people one can please with a release is themselves, accomplish that and the rest will follow.