We’re halfway through 2017, and there have been some fantastic Melodic Death Metal releases. Here are the Top 5 so far!
Noumena – ‘Myrrys’
While more widely known as that Finnish band from the park ranger meme, Noumena actually produces decent music, and their 2017 offering ‘Myrrys’ is another solid addition to their already impressive discography. This is definitely an album for those that love the more melancholic side to their melodic death metal, with track lengths on the lengthier side, and with many embracing a more ‘doom’ metal sound, but tracks like Sanat Pimeydesta and Roihu definitely have a more energetic approach to them. Where this album really excels is in its sound, and when you consider that the production quality was handled by Dan Swäno himself – then you just know your in for one aural sensory overload.
Wolfheart – ‘Tyhjyys’
If Noumena’s album wasn’t enough to prove it, Wolfheart’s 2017 release ‘Tyhjyys’ will definitely reaffirm that Finland IS the epicentre of the Melodic Death Metal genre. Adapting some of the best aspects of their fellow countrymen to produce an album that teeters in that careful middle ground of furious storm and melancholic wonder, Tyhjyys treads it path carefully. The result is an emotive album that feels very fluid, and has rightfully been very well received. Embracing many of the characteristics that people associate with the premiere melodic death metal acts like Be’lakor, Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum is just one of a very large bundle of tools that Wolfheart has called upon on this release; and it would be a complete shame not to see this one maintain its position on many end of year ending top 10 lists.
Mors Principium Est – ‘Embers of a Dying World’
Mors Principium Est started the year off with a bang, and as alluded to in our review of their album, the group has long been a favourite band for many. Over the last few albums the band has delivered a product of a consistently high quality, and their 2017 release ‘Embers of a Dying World’ was no different. By setting a pummelling pace, highlighted by its foregrounded drum section, and layering the melodic guitars over the top you are given an album that many would break the speed limit listening to. Sprinkle on the venom filled vocal delivery of Ville Viljanen across the top and you are given an album that packs a punch that has been sorely missing from the band for some time.
Nightrage – ‘The Venomous’
These Greek maestros aren’t newcomers to the scene and have been solidly building their craft over several albums throughout the years. ‘The Venomous’, their first release since 2015’s ‘The Puritan’, is another shining example of that hard work and stands proudly as one of the last remnants of the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound which many fell in love that has slowly started to dwindle over the years.
This album is unique in comparison to many of the others in the list, as the band has always had a formulaic way of approaching their sound that has seen very little changes to it over the years; but even when you take that into consideration there is still something very satisfying about listening to it. While this is probably an album that won’t last on many ‘Top Melodic Death Metal album’ lists come the end of the year, it is a timely reminder of an era gone by, and is definitely an album that will satisfy many that take the plunge in listening to it.
Gyze – ‘Northern Hell Song’
For such a very long time, melodic Death metal has been dominated by Scandinavia, but Japan’s Gyze is certainly looking to impart their footprint on the genre with their latest release Northern Hell Song. The trio have somehow managed to bottle up the fury and passion of the earlier offerings from some of the faster melodic death metal acts like Children of Bodom and Norther, but meld that with a more traditional oriental sound to create an album that is unlike most others out there in the genre. While there isn’t much on here that is groundbreaking lyrically, the sound is just downright satisfying to listen to, and that’s where the albums main strengths lay. If you harken for a time where fast melodic death metal reigned supreme then this is definitely an album for you to check out.
But what will the rest of 2017 hold? With big-ticket releases from Wintersun, Arch Enemy, Ensiferum, Scar Symmetry and The Haunted still to come, and with new material in production from bands like Kalmah, Carcass and Ne Obliviscaris, let’s just say that there is going to be a very big conclusion to 2017 for melodic death metal.