2017 Top 10 Records

I have the feeling that the 2016 Top 10 just about came out. But time does move fast when you are having fun. And we now need to attack the 2017 Top 10 quickly, lest another few months go by. 

Methinks that the records retained in 2017 were not as blackened as in former years. Instead, we found a fair share of interesting progressive and avantgarde records that bubbled to the surface. Many bands also engaged in all flavors of ‘post rock or metal’, and those – I admit – delivered the best quality stuff, in general. In other words, those outfits striding across the mighty genre list without sticking to one were the most successful. And we got them from unexpected places sometimes.

So, let’s see what juicy record really cut deep and made it onto the 2017 Top 10 Records. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

2016 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Darkend 2016Well, it is time for some 2016 Top 10 reflections on RockmusicRaiders‘ most coveted findings for the last year. And it might turn out to be a few more than ten, but we will keep the official ranking to this magic number. We will just add a few honorable releases to the list that kinda missed this viking fighting ship. The list is also a reflection on those bands that got us thinking and managed to mess up the peace (of mind) and quiet of the writer supreme on this blog.

And it was a funny year: Seamlessly latching on to 2015, many more shades of black have been covered throughout these 12 months. At times it seemed like there is only black, just to find yourself in progressive country for quite long stretches. The symphonic and operatic divisions did not quite convince this year, albeit there are a few pockets of excellence that showed through the blankets of snow copiously covering the countryside. Then what a year it has been with many great names in music calling it quits last year and a new US president nobody expected to win. But enough of this, let’s start, shall we?

Here are the 2016 Top 10 records:

#10 Van Halst – World of Make Believe 

TRockmusicRaider Review - Van Halst - World of Make Believe - Album Coverhe Canadians from Edmonton project a very serious brand of Gothic Metal onto the fan crowd. Their approach to music is two-pronged: First, they take advantage of the amazing vocal presence of Kami Van Halst, wrapping sturdy metal around her singing prowess. Then, they broach serious subjects of social nature throughout the record. This not only renders it a pleasure to listen to musically, but is also challenging intellectually. And this cannot often be said in metal concoctions, where lyrics often are the most neglected aspect of the production.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

2015 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Amalie Bruun - GuitarThe first full year for RockmusicRaider went by and a great many records were reviewed. A wild ride it was and still is, with challenges galore, some overcome and some still lurking nearby. This list covers records that got released in 2015. And who would have thought that the black section of #metal would be getting such attention during this year. Certainly not me. I am looking forward to a even more eventful 2016 and the pipeline does look pretty much filled already – but this is only the beginning.

So, let’s step right in:

RockmusicRaider Review - Finsterforst - Mach dich Frei - Album Cover#10 – Finsterforst – Mach Dich Frei

Talk about crunch, this is very powerful stuff. The boys from the Black Forest (the modern denomination of Finsterforst) in Germany just hit you over the head with some sort of Forest Death Metal of the folksy kind. Mach Dich Frei is probably the best record they released so far and the title song is just captivating. I really enjoyed the record as a whole – crystal clear, brutal and just good. The lyrics are all in German, but they enjoy communicating in English. Go figure. Whatever the language you speak, however, this record should be worth at least a listen. As I said above, powerful stuff. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!