Khemmis Give Us Their Top 10 Albums Of The Year

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We Hunted them down for their favorite albums of 2017.

The nice and good boys from Khemmis have graced us with their Top 10 albums of 2017. Their handsome faces have smiled upon us and bestowed this 10 albums each, not unlike the Ten Commandments. Gaze in awe upon their choices and heed their words. Also, go see them on the Decibel 2018 Tour with Enslaved, Wolves In The Throne Room, and Myrkur. Who knows? Maybe if we say how awesome their choices and ask them nicely, they’ll be appearing on an episode of the Toilet Ov Hell podcast very soon.

Phil (vocals, guitar)

1. AlgiersThe Underside of Power

Apparently gospel-y vocals, industrial beats, and post-punk guitars go together. I can tell the best is still ahead for these guys but I love their sound and this was the most urgent and innovative musical statement I heard this year.


2. VenenumTrance of Death

Ostensibly another death metal record, but the great production values and cinematic songwriting break new ground. The final, multipart track is really the selling point but everything is great and seems to push all my buttons for this kind of thing.


3. OxbowThin Black Duke

Insane vocals and inventive, dynamic instrumentation make this my favorite of theirs. A wild and unpredictable album that touches on tons of stuff I appreciate.


4. Power TripNightmare Logic
TovH Radio Interview

Probably the most neck-snappingly fun record I bought this year. Great riffs, memorable song writing, and “swing of the WHAAA!” makes me lose my mind.


5. Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva is a Mighty Long Time

It was a great year for hip-hop, but for my tastes this was the best. Simultaneously braggadocios, soulful, and introspective, the overall effect is something like a house party featuring Outkast, Marvin Gaye, UGK and Three-6 Mafia that goes too late until everyone starts drunkenly ruminating about the purpose of life.


6. Bell WitchMirror Reaper

Monumental, especially as a tribute to Adrian—every time that section in the middle with his voice kicks in, I just about lose it.


7. RosalíaLos Ángeles

Far and away, this album has the most amazing vocal performances I heard this year. Accompanied only by fluttering flamenco guitar, moments like the belted, microtonal runs on “De Plata” give me serious chills.

Listen to ‘De Plata

 


8. AosothV: The Inside Scriptures

Like the Desolate Shrine album below, this won me over with big riffs and a cool atmosphere. It is definitely tail-loaded, with the final two tracks being absolute bangers, but I’ve come around on the blastier front end as well.


9. King Gizzard and the Lizard WizardPolygondwanaland

Somehow the 4th album this year by these freaky Australian psych rockers was my favorite. It is about taking drugs in the dungeon of a floating castle so that you can meet with crystal beings to discover a new, hidden color. Or something. I think.


10. Desolate ShrineDeliverance from the Godless Void

The Finns know their shit. This is some ugly, monstrous death metal with great riffs and atmosphere that gets better as it goes and rewards patience and repeat listens.

Zach (drums)

VenenumTrance of Death

Triumvir FoulSpiritual Bloodshed

SlowdiveSlowdive (this is my AOTY)

Primitive ManCaustic

Spectral VoiceEroded Corridors of Unbeing

Bell WitchMirror Reaper 

Spirit AdriftCurse of Conception 

Power Trip Nightmare Logic

Ominous CircleAppalling Ascension 

ElderReflections of a Floating World

Dan (bass)

Bell WitchMirror Reaper

Drab Majesty The Demonstration

ElderReflections of a Floating World

Kamasi WashingtonHarmony of Difference

QuicksandInteriors

RaganaYou Take Nothing

Sharon Jones and the DapkingsSoul of a Woman

SlowdiveSlowdive

Spectral VoiceEroded Corridors of Unbeing

Power TripNightmare Logic

Ben (vocals, guitars)

1. WoeHope Attrition

I’ve been a huge fan of Woe for years, and this album absolutely blew me away. The layered vocals of Chris Grigg and Crypt Sermon’s Brooks Wilson on “The Din of the Mourning” is incredible, one of the many highlights on this record.


2. Bell WitchMirror Reaper

This record has more feeling in a single song (albeit a 74 minute one) than many outfits can manage in an entire career. Heartbreaking and unsettling, this composition is a testament to the talent of Dylan and Jesse (and, of course, Adrian. RIP).


3. Primitive ManCaustic

If Bell Witch’s album is the most heartbreaking one I heard this year, Caustic is the most visceral and disturbing. These songs are the horrors of modern existence rendered in sonic form. P/M transcends traditional notions of what is “heavy.”


4. Spirit Adrift Curse of Conception
Interview

I’ve known Nate Garrett for years and was expecting something special with this release, as I loved Chained to Oblivion. He and the rest of the band decimated those expectations with this stellar record. I don’t think it’s possible to put this record on and not immediately play air guitar.


5. The Ominous CircleAppalling Ascension

The Ominous Circle strike the right balance between disgusting atmosphere and face-smashing aggression. So good.


6. Dead SoldiersThe Great Emptiness

While rootsy Americana/country music isn’t generally my preferred style, this band’s ability to craft compelling songs is undeniable. ‘Still Climbing the Mountain’ is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.


7. IntegrityHowling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume
TovH Radio Interview

I didn’t know what to expect with this one, but halfway through I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Dom Romeo (who was also in the criminally underrated Day of Mourning) pushed an already legendary band to release what might be their best material yet.


8. CormorantDiaspora

Zach turned me onto this record, and I think it’s a fantastic, underrated release. Top notch musicianship, commanding storytelling, and a commitment to a legitimate DIY ethos — what more could you ask for?


9. Skyeater – The Maw of Time – With four tracks of longform atmospheric black metal, there’s a lot to unpack here and it’s well worth your time to do so. Expansive without feeling bloated, emotionally resonant without being contrived, haunting and beautiful…I just can’t say enough positive things about this release. I slept on this album for way too long, and have been listening to it constantly the last few weeks.


10. In the Company of Serpents – Ain-Soph Aur 

Neurosis-meets-Electric Wizard-meets-Nick-Cave-meets-spaghetti western soundtracks. That might sound wild, but Serpents blend those sounds masterfully to produce what you might call “Western Doom.” This band has always known how to doom out, but it’s the softer passages of reverb-drenched guitars and Grant Netzorg’s Tom Waits-esque pained growls that set ’em apart from so many low ‘n’ slow acts.

Other albums that kicked my ass:

Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors
Abrams Morning
The Black Dahlia Murder – Nightbringers (TovH Radio Interview)
Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstacy (Interview)
KralliceLoüm
Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie
Dreadnought A Wake in Sacred Waves (Interview)
Zeal & Ardor – Devil is Fine (Interview)


 

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