As we near the end of 2017, here’s our rundown of our favourite albums from 10 genres…
Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms
Creeper’s first full album had a lot of expectation placed upon it, riding on the back of the hype built up by their theatrical story of The Stranger and the disappearance of James Scythe. The record is certainly impressive, retaining their ability to make you feel nostalgic about a time, a place and events that have never even happened. The modern rock ‘n’ roll style is best showcased in Suzanne and Hiding With The Boys, while the well-loved ballad Misery is re-released. Only occasionally can it feel like they’re trying a little too hard, such as with the overly ‘inspirational’ I Choose To Live. On the whole, however, it is easy to see why an entire cult has formed around this band.
Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound
Safe In Sound certainly seems to have been produced with radio play in mind to a much greater extent than their previous releases, meaning that LTA lose some of the raw elements of their earlier sound. This secures them as more of a pop-rock band, but allows an abundance of big, catchy choruses and strong melodies. Each song seems to vary from the last and stand alone in its own right.
Of Allies – Night Sky
Of Allies’ self-funded debut album builds on the sound defined by their first two EPs – haunting melodic vocals, melancholic opening notes and powerful choruses – to produce impressive tracks such as 17, Collapse and Lost Not Found. However, it also includes new elements, most notably the punk influences on CMD-Q. The theatricality has also been ramped up to give it a more immersive feel. It seems that a full album has given them the freedom to experiment and further distinguish themselves from the pack. 2018 will surely be a big year for them.
Nothing But Thieves – Broken Machine
The second release from Nothing But Thieves builds on their first, with vocals ranging from soothing melodies to towering cries upon a backdrop which channels the usual indie-rock sounds but gives them a distinctly modern feel. The contemporary theme also runs to the lyrics, which will no doubt appeal to the young generation. The whole thing has been intricately put together as one entity rather than merely a number of individual songs, each element with its own sense of drama.
Asking Alexandria – self titled
The return of Danny Worsnop sees AA take on a rather new sound in their fifth album, beginning a move away from their metalcore beginnings and towards a more arena-filling rock sound. The lyrics throughout have a very personal touch, relating to the singer’s experiences during his time away from – and returning to – the band. The record winds alternately through heavy, anthemic, and ballad-like tracks, and though it can feel a little uncertain in its trajectory at times, this is certainly the beginning of something new and exciting from the band.
Rise Against – Wolves
The melodic-hardcore quartet retain the essence of their sound and their politically charged lyrics, whilst adding in diverse elements where punk roots meet with pop undertones. It is not as heavy as some of their previous releases, and can take a few listens to fully appreciate, but the energy and talent behind it ensure that it stands as an impressive headliner for the genre.
Never Found – The Human Condition
Never Found’s debut album came crashing into existence in 2017, feeling like they’ve managed to successfully capture all of the hatred and anger at the world that they’ve been trying to express since their first EP. This is channelled into an impressive, well put-together album which includes rock, metal and punk influences, and even a secret ballad at the end of the physical CD. Songs such as Misanthropy – a fan favourite at their live shows – finally get an outing on record, and are all the more impressive for it.
While She Sleeps – You Are We
The album that is finally pushing While She Sleeps into the limelight is a self-funded release that manages to stay true to their original sound. The slashing main vocals and forceful riffs keep their raw edge as the record is not over-produced, but experimental touches such as the rapping on Steal The Sun ensure that it is full of variety. It also features guest vocals from Oli Sykes of BMTH on Silence Speaks.
Motionless In White – Graveyard Shift
Reflecting on their past but taking their music in a more experimental direction with some new sounds, Graveyard Shift shows that MIW are not willing to sit back and let things come easily. Heavy, breakdown-filled songs such as The Ladder and 570 contrast rock ‘n’ roll/nu-metal influenced Loud (Fuck It) and emotional anthem Eternally Yours. The usual industrial influences are still abundant, but this definitely feels like something fresh.
Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence
The latest release from Trivium manages to meld together some of the best elements from their often hit-and-miss backlog, putting a new spin on them to give it an up-to-date sound. The classic sounding clean vocals become increasingly prominent, and provide a pleasing contrast to the more modern harsh screams. Abundant riffs fill the songs, the majority of which are rather lengthy. A band as well-known as them could have gone down a more commercial route, but it has certainly played in their favour that they did not.