Monday, January 1, 2018

My year in review

Last night I posted my Best of 2017 list, for today's blog I would write my thoughts on the music I had heard in the past year.

2017 definitely was not a disappointing year for music unlike a couple of years ago. I heard quite a lot of great music this year. There was so much great music this year, I just couldn't include all of it on my list.

My favorite darkwave band Autumn finally dropped a new single "The Fall", which includes a previously unreleased track "Before and After" and a killer dance remix by William Faith. "The Fall" is easily my favorite single of 2017. The band will be releasing their third album Chandelier in February so do keep an eye out for it. The band has a bandcamp page (https://autumn-us.bandcamp.com/). Their other two albums as well as "The Fall" is on it. With all the new music I heard this year, I have been listening to the band's albums on a consistent basis especially their first album The Hating Tree. No matter how many times I listen to The Hating Tree, I can never get tired of listening to it. FYI...there is a 20th anniversary edition on the band's bandcamp page, go download it. It is very good with a previously unreleased track and a slightly different version of "Seconds". Of all the bands I have listened to in 2017, Autumn was the one I listened to the most and I am sure it will be like in 2018 when their new album is released which I eagerly anticipate.



Another favorite single is "Sky Collapse" by Kirlian Camera which features Eskil from Covenant. I really wasn't expecting to hear Eskil on the song when I first heard the track. I will admit I really didn't pay much attention to the title track when I went to listen to the song. If you are a fan of Kirlian Camera's last two  albums, I definitely think you will enjoy the new single.



The song is off the band's upcoming album Hologram Moon. Another 2018 release I am super excited about, according to their bandcamp page (https://kirliancamera.bandcamp.com/), Hologram Moon comes out at the end of this month. I am super psyched about a new album from one of my favorite bands.

2017 really was a great year for synthpop music. Namnambulu returned to the scene with the excellent Borders. I named it my favorite album of 2017. The album is super catchy. I have yet to get sick of their song "Return", one of my favorite songs of 2017. Felix Marc of Frozen Plasma/Diorama released his third solo album Alternative Facts which I love about as much as the new Namnambulu album. Just recently I heard the new X-Marks the Pedwalk, Charlotte Someone, and T.O.Y. albums all I have included on my best of albums. I really didn't pay much attention to X-Marks the Pedwalk but I will be now after hearing their new album Secrets which is so damn good. Same with T.O.Y. .

If I had more room, I would have included Losing Touch by Empathy Test (but they do get an honorable mention), same with The Dischord by Purple Fog Side, a band I have discovered a couple of years ago. I so recommend checking out those albums by Empathy Test and Purple Fog Side. I should have added this album to the honorable mentions list but local synthpop act Finesse put out an excellent release in 2017. Check it out!


One of the biggest surprises I had heard this year was Blume's new single "Blackening".

I definitely was not expecting this abrupt change in the band's sound but I really have gotten into this new sound. I won't lie, I was initially taken aback by the sudden change. The first time I heard the song, Assemblage 23 immediately popped into my head. I was so used to the band's more laid back sound but as time went on and I continued to listen to it, the more the song grew on me.

Another surprise I didn't expect was the new Grendel album. I love harsh ebm but after awhile the sound does tend to get repetitive. I am really happy that the new album Age of the Disposable Body went in a different direction. I really enjoy the electro-industrial sound more so than the harsh EBM sound on the previous albums.



I was super happy to see Anette Olzon return to the music scene with a new band called The Dark Element. Their self titled debut album is excellent. I think this band is better suited for her style of singing than with a certain well know symphonic metal band she was in for a couple of albums. Their album is by far my favorite symphonic metal album of 2017, and I heard quite a few this year. Another great symphonic metal album I heard this year is Rhapsodies in Black by Exit Eden, a supergroup of women . The album is a collection of cover songs redone with a symphonic metal sound.

Pop music is normally not my cup of tea since I think most of it is utter garbage but I did get into some pop music this year About U by Muna and P!nk's new album Beautiful Trauma. I am particularly a big fan of About U which I thought was a stronger album than Beautiful Trauma. Both albums have great pop hooks but P!nk's lyrics tends to drag her down and can come off as ridiculous to me and her melodies often falls flat which does not happen on Muna's debut album About U. Another album I absolutely adore that isn't synthpop, metal, or industrial music is the solo album My Name is Bear by Nahko of Nahko and Medicine for the People. I lost my father over the summer and I found a lot of solace listening to that album and the albums of Medicine for the People. I just wish I discovered Nahko earlier so I could have gone to his show back in October at The Cabooze.

Ari Mason has a new album out but the music is nothing like her 2016 album Creatures (which I really recommend checking out). Musica Lunae is a collection of classical choral music. This album showcases Ari's vocals in its purist form.


Now that it is 2018, I am so looking forward to hearing the new albums by Autumn, The Bellwether Syndicate, and Kirlian Camera. I am also looking forward to my next trip to Chicago to see Nightwish at The Aragon Ballroom. Also excited about the upcoming Kanga and Covenant shows by Kilted Farmer Koncerts. 

No comments:

Post a Comment