TOP 20 songs 2017
Let me start by explaining one thing; I post all the articles in here in the Slovak language, but since this is kind of a wrap-up, I thought it might be more appealing to wider audiences. That´s why I switched to English.
This article will get you through the songs released in 2017. For me, this year was more successful when it comes to songs as opposed to albums. Not only I enjoyed songs from my favourite artists, but I also discovered some never-before-heard names or took a liking to songs from bands I didn´t pay much attention before. So many good songs came out in 2017 and it was really hard to choose top 20.
All of the below-mentioned songs are in no particular order since for me, there´s no way to rank them fairly. As you´ll see, I listen to many subgenres of metal, even some rock and non-rock songs might appear on the list. Maybe you´ll find some of your favourites, too. Enjoy ;-)While She Sleeps - Hurricane
While She Sleeps totally ruled my past 12 months. Their album "You Are We" is a f*cking masterpiece and every song on this record is a f*cking banger with a hit/single potential. It was so hard to choose only one track for this matter. I´ve checked some other top lists and, as I assumed, it was "Silence Speaks" with guests vocals coming from Oliver Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon) that appealed to the people most. So here I am, giving the spotlight to "Steal The Sun".
Architects - Doomsday
"Doomsday" is the first band´s song released after the passing of their guitar player Tom Searle in August 2016. It´s the one he, unfortunately, had no time to finish, and I´m so glad the boys decided to give it a life. The message, every verse, every note is overloaded with emotions, and that´s what I seek in music - emotions, feelings, sincerity and meaning. One of the most powerful and emotive songs released this year, as well as video clips.
Stick To Your Guns - Married To The Noise
This song is massive. I want to tear down the walls the exact second it pops up on my player. Every single time I hear it. "Married To The Noise" has a perfect balance of heaviness and melody. Jessie did an excellent job on both, unclean and clean vocals, making the chorus sound so catchy. I take so much energy from this song. No matter how bad my day is, this song is a true lifesaver.
The Charm The Fury - Echoes
These Dutch metallers escalated from an unknown band to one of my favourite bands pretty quickly. They moved from generic metalcore towards a new direction with their newest record called "The Sick, Dumb & Happy", and I have to say that I love every single song on it. Once again, I appreciate the conceptual element; "Echoes" is a response to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo that took place in Paris two years back. The riffing, the drum work, the vocals... this song is addictive and my mum loves it, too. As much as I wanna bang my head to the first half of the song, the closer we get towards the end, the more calming effect those soothing vocals have. It´s a win-win situation.
Wage War - Stitch
For this song goes the same as for Stick To Your Guns´ "Married To The Noise". Massive sound. Massive breakdown. And I absolutely love the vocals. Briton is a beast and he´s killing it not only on this song but throughout the whole Wage War repertoire. His screams have so much power and the band did only good when they chose to leave out the cleans on this one. Plus, it´s almost impossible not to headbang to those sick instrumentals. What else do you need?
Papa Roach - Born For Greatness
Papa Roach caught me totally off-guard with their latest record "Crooked Teeth". I wasn´t a fan until I heard the title and other songs off this record. "Born For Greatness" is breaking all rules and crossing the borders between genres. It´s a perfect mix of rap, rock, some electro elements and other influences - which I´m too uneducated to name - building terrific dynamics throughout the track. This song has a drive and a positive energizing atmosphere, which we all need at some points in our lives. I would say that this song was made to kick Monday in the balls. Better than a morning coffee. And the live version with a marching band is flawless.
Butcher Babies - Lilith
Spotify generated this one as my most played song this year. And it only came out in September! "Lilith" introduced the band´s new record of the same name along with the balance of the old and new Butcher Babies. This track shows this hot seductive attitude so well-known for this female duo fronted band but dressed in a new and matured coat. Big thumbs up for the singing parts, especially Heidi is killing it. It adds a whole new dimension to the track and yet it´s melodic, it doesn´t kill the heaviness and vice versa. Both parts complement each other.
Eluveitie - Rebirth
Who said that Eluveitie is nothing without Anna, Ivo and Merlin? Well, they´re stronger than ever before. "Rebirth" is a rebirth in the true sense of the word. New members, new ideas, new energy. We finally got to hear a hurdy-gurdy solo (as well as guitar solo) and Fabienne proved herself to be an excellent singer. Did you hear her screams? And that catchy haunting chorus? Please, give me more! I needed to hear something heavy after their acoustic album "Evocation Pantheon" and Eluveitie delivered. "Rebirth" sounds so refreshing and powerful, and I can´t wait to hear more in the future.
Ice Nine Kills - Enjoy Your Slay feat. Sam Kubrick
Ice Nine Kills is one of those bands that have what I would call the full package - screams, power, story-telling and symphonic arrangements. "Enjoy Your Slay" closes the "Every Trick In The Book" cycle, where every song on the album tells the story of different literary work, this one being dedicated to Stephen King´s Shining. I absolutely admire the lyrical work; these guys are masters of lyrics and they somehow manage to collect all the details and atmosphere displayed in the books and turn them into beautiful lyrics and even more haunting music. Nevertheless, the vocalist duo and mainly Spencer is a true master when it comes to singing different roles. I also have to mention the guest vocalist Sam Kubrick. His grandfather Stanley Kubrick directed the movie adaptation of Shining. Now, that´s what I call paying attention to details.
VUUR - Your Glorious Light Will Shine
I love Anneke van Giersbergen! I couldn´t have been happier when she announced her new band and return to heaviness. The album "In This Moment We Are Free - Cities" is based on a concept of different world metropolis and freedom. I absolutely fell in love with the one dedicated to Helsinki - "You Glorious Light Will Shine". The difference between this song and others on this record is that this one includes slight symphonic elements e.g. intro. Guitar riffs are brutal, Anneke´s voice is mesmerizing and so powerful, and the guitar solo towards the end is captivating. And just as the name suggests, there´s something positive and bright about the track that speaks to me and goes perfectly with Anneke´s gloriously warm character.
This track is so easy to enjoy. I like the catchiness of it and the contrast of dark lyrics and fast-paced instrumentals. Lynn did a good job on vocals and I have to praise the drum work, as well. It´s more of a poppy song, but I really dig it. PVRIS is one of those pop/rock/alternative bands I can enjoy because there´s something unique not only about their sound but the overall philosophy and aesthetically pleasing visuals. Lynn is this special creature you have to adore.
Neck Deep feat. Sam Carter - Don´t Wait
Honestly, I can´t stand pop punk bands of this era because there´s usually nothing punk about them. For me, Neck Deep is one of more decent bands within the genre, that still carry a bit of that punk attitude. And, what´s more important, they´re not your typical sweet boy band that makes you gag. Even though I don´t listen to them properly, I find their song "Don´t Wait" hilarious. Why? Sam Carter of Architects! He totally smashed those guest vocals. You need to save the day (or the song) - just give him a call.
Nothing More - Don´t Stop feat. Jacoby Shaddix
I´m not a die-hard Nothing More fan, but these guys are nominated for three Grammys this year! Do I need to say more? There are two versions of "Don´t Stop"; solo and the second one with guests vocals coming from Papa Roach´s Jacoby Shaddix which is a total bomb! This track is a literal energy ball. Jonny has an insane vocal range and is cherry on top of what´s an excellent representation of modern rock in my opinion.
Marmozets - Major System Error
Once again, not a massive fan of this band. However, I´ve been listening to their songs pretty frequently for a few weeks now. I have to agree that they´re one of a kind. A new material, including "Major System Error", is not that raw and chaotic as their older stuff, but this is a helluva catchy tune. It´s simple, but it works. The trumpet and Becca´s scream make a great finale.
Tarja - O Tannenbaum
German is an awful language, and I don´t even like Christmas songs, but Tarja wiped my eye with this one. She´s got a voice of an angel. The instrumentals are a piece of art. The orchestra work is phenomenal and I´ve got chills when it reaches a climax. Brilliant work! My favourite track off "From Spirits And Ghosts".
Hollywood Undead - California Dreaming
Hollywood Undead is probably the only band that makes me accept rapping and enjoy it at the same time. They took all the good parts of metal and rap world and made it blend in nicely on "California Dreaming". This song is a perfect example of what I want to hear from this band - loud guitars, fast tempo, the boys smashing those verses, and Danny caressing my soul when the chorus takes the lead.
We Came As Romans - Cold Like War
We Came As Romans are one of my first ever discovered metalcore bands. Many bands in my music library have surpassed them since then, but this song hits the spot. There´s a perfect balance of cleans and unclean vocals, and the chorus doesn´t sound too soft for my liking. The build-up from 2:11 to 2:21, and the heaviness afterwards - backed by Dave´s unclean vocals - are so well-done. I like the faster tempo and also the electronics that doesn´t fell disturbing at all, they just click in the place.
My Indigo - Out Of The Darkness
This year, Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation decided to try a solo project. She called it My Indigo and already released two tracks. "Out Of The Darkness" could safely fit one of her band's albums after slight changes in arrangements. The piano melody is beautiful, Sharon´s vocals soothing, and I don´t even mind those intensified poppy beats towards the end.
Danny´s back in the band and AA´s fifth album is out now. "Into The Fire" is one of the heavier tracks on their self-titled record and it´s also the leading single. Maybe that´s the reason why it appeals that much to me. Ben did a great job on the opening riff, but it´s Danny and his psycho-maniacal vocals before the final chorus what makes "Into The Fire" so outstanding for me.
Motionless In White - Eternally Yours
I had no idea which song off Motionless In White´s latest album "Graveyard Shift" to choose. I like all of the so-far-released singles equally. In the end, I decided for "Eternally Yours", because it´s different. I mean, a love song by these guys? I would never ever in my life expected them to do such a thing since their speciality is to write hateful, pissed-off post-break-up songs. Chris tailored the lyrics to his dark picture and I like it this way, it´s authentic and true. The album version includes a nice acoustic outro which is another innovation for the band.
PS: Feel free to share your faves or to express your (dis)agreement with my choices.