Wonderbox Metal End of Year List – Best Metal of 2017

2017 was an amazing year for music, with so many top-notch albums seeing the light of day. I pretty much say this every year, of course, but that doesn’t seem to stop it being true. With this in mind, the 2017 list was especially hard to put together, and I agonised over this one more than I did for any of the lists in previous years.

As is traditional, I also want to mention some releases by bands that could easily have made it onto the list, and should have by many rights, if only I could have somehow managed to fit them all in –

Abhorrent DecimationAmenra, Apes, Artificial BrainAu-Dessus,

CelesteDesecrate the FaithEarth RotEarth WitchFalls of Rauros,

Full of HellGnawGutslitHelplessHenry Kane,

Hundred SunsIngurgitating OblivionInto OrbitJohn FrumKarne,

KvalLividMorbid AngelPrimitive ManCraven Idol,

SlowSoulskinnerThe Kennedy VeilUlsectWildspeaker.

I urge you to check out all of the above releases, in addition to the ones in the actual list below. I could probably keep adding more bands you should give a listen to, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, I suppose.

So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it… Continue reading

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Nephren-Ka – La Grande Guerre de L’Epice (Review)

Nephren-KaNephren-Ka are a French death metal band and this is their second album.

Ooooh, now this is one I’ve been eagerly waiting for. Nephren-Ka’s debut album The Fall of Omnius was a fantastic record, one that ended up being the number one pick for my best of 2013 end of year list. Its follow up is well overdue, but now it’s finally here. Continue reading

Abominant – Onward to Annihilation (Review)

AbominantAbominant play blackened Death Metal – theirs is primarily a Death Metal style that mixes both brutality and melodies but also has enough elements of Black Metal to be considered blackened rather than just pure Death Metal. Genre pigeon-holing notwithstanding; this is a premier release by these USDM veterans.

I was hoping that this album was going to be a good one, but in all honesty I was unprepared for how much I actually liked it. The songs have a certain feeling that allow them to rub shoulders with the best that Death Metal has to offer and not feel out of place. They may rarely be uttered in the same breath as bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Nile, (etc). as titans of the genre, but then to the trained listener Abominant actually sound very little like those bands. They do, however, stand quite nicely on their own laurels.

This release should satisfy any fan of extreme metal. Strong musicianship? Varied vocals? Songwriting skills? Dynamics? Brutality? Powerful melodies? Hypocrisy cover (Left to Rot)? Unexpected-80’s-speed-metal-song (Hold Your Ground)? All of these and more are the treasures awaiting the unprepared listener!

Along with the recent release by Nephren-Ka this is the strongest Death Metal album I have heard recently. You need this.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abominant/152430868173200