Well, we’re only a quarter of the way through the year, and there are already so many great metal records that make 2017 a great year to be a metalhead. Here are a few more metal albums to keep an ear out for in 2017. Best start scrounging up that spare change for the vinyl fund!
DECAPITATED – TBA (July)
To call Decapitated’s career a rocky one would be an understatement. Founded by the Kiełtyka brothers Vogg and Vitek in the late ’90s, their first four albums are considered death-metal classics, fusing extreme technicality with ass-shaking groove. However, after the release of 2006’s Organic Hallucinosis, the band were in a horrible accident that killed Vitek and left their vocalist, Covan Kowanek in a coma. The future of the band became uncertain, but Vogg returned in 2011 with a revitalized lineup and a positively destructive new album, Carnival Is Forever. Over the next few years, they toured with the likes of Meshuggah and Lamb Of God and building off that momentum, followed up that record with Blood Mantra in 2014. Now, they’re poised to release their seventh LP in July, and if it’s anything like their last two comeback records, expect razor-sharp riffs, convulsing grooves and huge shots of sonic adrenaline.
Intronaut – TBA
Having toured with Between The Buried And Me, Tool and many more, Intronaut’s brand of sludge-tinged progressive metal remains a wholly unique entity in a scene becoming rapidly saturated with bands labeling themselves as “progressive.” 2015’s The Direction Of Last Things was a masterclass in how to do prog metal right, and with the band currently writing their sixth LP, it will be interesting—and exciting—to see how Intronaut further evolve their already innovative sound.
Converge – TBA
Boston’s premier hardcore exports Converge need no introduction. Every time Converge release an album, it’s an event, but the anticipation this time around is a bit more potent, considering we’ve never had to wait five years for a new Converge album. All We Love We Leave Behind received countless accolades in 2012, as did its predecessor Axe To Fall in 2009, so expect the same from the band’s as-yet untitled ninth LP when it’s unleashed later this year.
Entheos – TBA
Formed in 2014 by ex-Animosity members Navene Koperweis, Evan Brewer and Frank Costa, and featuring Chaney Crabb on lead vocals, Entheos is the closest we’ll ever get to an Animosity reunion. After releasing the Primal EP in March, Frank Costa was booted from the band before they began recording their debut record, The Infinite Nothing, and since then, they’ve had two different guitarists. No matter though, because the band seem to have hit their groove with ex-Scale The Summit axeman Travis LeVrier, and the band are currently hard at work recording LP2. Entheos are one of the most promising young metal bands on the scene today, and should appeal especially to those who like their death metal infused with tons of tech and groove.
SikTh – The Future In Whose Eyes? (June 2)
The elusive Wintersun, aka the band that takes forever to make albums, is returning after five long years with The Forest Seasons. It’s important to note that this is not Time II, the long-awaited follow-up to Time I, which Wintersun mastermind Jari Mäenpää has also been hard at work on for the past several years. He claimed he didn't have the resources at his disposal to finish the album, so Wintersun launched a crowdfunding campaign last month to fund a new studio, with the first project being The Forest Seasons. They’ve already set a record for the most successful crowdfunding campaign for a band ever, having raised over $500,000, and the campaign is still live. Regardless of how you may feel about Wintersun’s business ethics at this point, there's no denying that The Forest Seasons is going to be an ambitious and epic slab of melodic metal on a grand scale, and that should count for something.
Impending Doom – TBA
The Doom have returned. The self-proclaimed “Gorship” band have been on hiatus for a couple of years, but with their appearance at this year’s Facedown Fest, and the fact that deathcore is as popular as ever, it seems as fitting a time as any for Impending Doom to stampede back onto the scene and show all these deathcore bands how it’s done. 2013’s Death Will Reign marked a high point for this heavy-as-sin band, but it would be sick to see them go back to the more brutal roots of their first album with this new one. Either way, expect something heavy, honest and completely mosh-worthy.
Sleep – TBA
Yes, you’re reading that right. The legendary stoner doom outfit Sleep are in the studio as we speak, presumably recording a new LP, their first since 1998’s Jerusalem, which was remixed and remastered as the hour-long dirge Dopesmoker in 2003. The band broke up in the late ’90s, with Matt Pike going on to form the equally important High On Fire, and until a few years ago, it seemed unlikely that Sleep would ever make new music again. However, after reforming in 2009, they have been touring sporadically and to many a metalheads’ (and stoners’) delight, they’re conjuring up new riffs to follow to the smoke-filled land. This new album will mark only the third LP from the California trio, which speaks to the vast influence this band has had on the metal scene as a whole. Sleep can’t be held liable if your record player starts to emit a thick, white smoke while spinning this new one.