As I look back through 2017, there has been a large amount of retro inspired music out there. This is most definitely reflected in my choices for my top albums of 2017. Where you will find a mix of punk, goth and dark synth inspired bands. You can check out what other albums I was listening to on my Spotify 2017 playlist – here
The Birthday Massacre ‘Under Your Spell’
This is a delicious mix of goth and pop, for any good night out. The catchy songs and dancy tunes, have had me bopping around for months. Having seen their Halloween show in Bristol a few months back, I was taken at how fantastic a front woman Chibi is. Always talking to the crowd, blowing kisses and posing with the numerous toys and dolls that landed on stage. Birthday Massacre really do appreciate their fans and that love is reciprocated.
Godflesh ‘Post Self’
The industrial gods are back with their 8th album, and the follow up to ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’. This is another heavy slice of phat riffs and bellowing drums. Godflesh has always been experimental with their sound, this album is no different. The thick sound scape throughout the album is full of reverb and distortion, making it an intense listen. The album ‘Street Cleaner’ will always be a favourite, but this reflects a lot good elements from it.
Dead Cross ‘Dead Cross’
This self titled debut is 30min of pure craziness, which is of no surprise given that Mike Patton is onboard. Featuring Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain & Justin Pearson. This album is a fantastic mix of thrash and punk, with aggression and intensity. Given Patton’s range of vocal skills you are in for another musical ride, as he will swallow you whole. It is a fantastic listen and the Bauhaus cover ‘Bel Lugosi’s Dead’ is a great addition to the album. Lyrically Patton has added his wit and humour ‘put your pussy on the trigger’, I would expect no less from him. Give it a listen!
Marilyn Manson ‘Heaven Upside Down’
It has been a few albums since I listened to a Mazza album that really grabbed my attention, as much as this one has. This album combines the aggression of ‘Antichrist Superstar’ with the melodies and catchy riffs of ‘Mechanical Animals’. What got me was how quickly I was singing along and wanting to listen his back catalogue, it’s great to have a good slice of Mazza back on the scene.
Paradise Lost– Medusa
With this being their first release through Nuclear Blast and the follow to ‘The Plague Within’(a more doom and raw album). I was intrigued to see what they came up with, that said it wasn’t a disappointment. It takes the doom elements from ‘The Plague Within’ and develops them, with a mix of old skool goth. With the recent 20 year anniversary of ‘One Second’ I felt that the nostalgia might of influenced the mix of sounds on this album. Which is why I enjoyed it.
Gary Numan Official – ‘Savage (Songs From a Broken World)’
Whether your familiar with other Numan songs other than his hit ‘Cars’, or the numerous samples of his work covered by other artists. It goes without saying that Gary Numan has a fantastic back catalogue, that is as relevant today as ever. ‘Savage..’ takes back a lot of Numan’s older catchy synth style, with a slight industrial feel. The album is laced with quality tunes and electronic influences. I was hooked from the first listen, due to his ability to produce something so fresh sounding and beautiful. A truly talented musician.
Ulver – ‘The Death of Julia Cesar’
This is an album I discovered months after its release, due to hearing the song ‘Nemoralia’. It is another departure for Ulver, who’s sound just keeps on evolving. This time there is a 80s vibe that runs throughout, with melodies and beautiful vocals spliced together to create a magical album. I found myself getting lost in the enchanting songs, which got stuck in my head for hours.
Dance With The Dead – ‘B Sides: Volume 1’
This year has seen a continued resurgence in the retro 80s styling of movies, TV and music. With that the dark wave synth band DWTD have produced fantastic slices of retro tunes, with songs that will have you tapping your foot. Even though this is a collection of unreleased tracks, the quality of these tunes is amazing. I can’t listen to this album without imaging it playing to scenes in 80’s movies, it really is an addictive listen. With songs like ‘The Man Who Made The Monster’ and ‘Banshee’ these dark synth masters know how to mix riffs, dancing beats and electronic melodies.
The future is bright for 3teeth, after a great couple of years touring with other artists including Tool and HIM to name but a few. They released their second album <shutdown.exe> which has a more metal industrial feel, compared to their debut. For myself this was a great move, as the heavy riffs and thumping beats just grabbed me. The album does have some lighter moments, with a slight 80’s vibe. Overall it is a fantastic mix of beats, energy and visual intensity.
Grave Pleasures – ‘Motherblood’
‘Motherblood’ is a jaw dropping mix of post punk and goth, wrapped up in catchy tunes. For those not familiar with the bands previous incarnation Beastmilk and the album ‘Climax’, I would recommend you check it out if you enjoy this album! As it feels like its natural follow up, with its melodies and choruses that will capture your soul. I can’t describe how much I enjoy listening to this album, plus the joy of first hearing it. It is my album of the year.
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