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  THE BEST OF THE ABYSS 2017

jools green
24th December 2017
Jools Green



jools green

Here's Jools Green's Best Of 2017s - the best of the Abyss.

BEST BAND: ROGGA JOHANSSON

The master of Swedish Death Metal and as well as being 'a band' in his own right, he is the man behind countless bands including Paganizer, Humanity Delete, Lobotomy Dept plus Rogga Johasson and Minotaur Head, to name just a few.

In a career spanning around twenty-three years, he has produced in excess of a hundred albums, not including compilations or guest appearances, and you can't fail to be impressed by that – all because he loves making music.

2. ZORNHEYM

jools green

The 'new' Swedish quartet made from seasoned and accomplished musicians have expanded the boundaries of Symphonic Black Metal with their stunning debut album, 'Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns', going beyond the mere concept album to create an audio/visual concept that includes not just the album or band but, if willing, even the audience.

The whole package is an audio visual experience which even has its own graphic novel, to be released shortly.

3. AKERCOCKE

jools green

Refreshed and renewed after a hiatus of ten years with a mind blowing album and tour. Many bands could not have survived such a long break but this Progressive Blackened Death Metal outfit are better and stronger than before with no suits, just a subtle sophisticated edge.

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BEST NEW BAND: UR

jools green

"The Polish cold winter has created a new beast. The name of this beast is UR!" was the press statement which came with the debut EP, 'Hail Death', from Polish Black/Heavy Metal band UR and they lived up to their promise. Fifteen years coming to fruition and one singularly exciting discovery. Even better is that at the very end of 2017 they have a full length coming out, titled 'Black Vortex'.

BEST GIG: SATYRICON, HEAVEN, LONDON, 28th SEPTEMBER

jools green

Superbly lit, perfect sound and a dynamic and charismatic performance from Satyr and even though it was rammed to the gunnels, nothing could detract from their performance or the occasion.

2. AKERCOCKE, MAMMOTHFEST, 6th October

jools green

Since their return I've seen them four times – all excellent but this particular performance of this had the edge for me. It's hard to put my finger on just why – it just was.

3. AGNOSTIC FRONT, UNDERWORLD, LONDON, 12th NOVEMBER

jools green

A singularly exhilarating and engaging performance and a friendlier audience you couldn't wish for.

BEST ALBUM: ZORNHEYM - 'WHERE HATRED DWELLS AND DARKNESS REIGNS

jools green

A dramatic musical and cinematic narrative revolving around the horrors of a mental institution and its prisoners as an all encompassing concept that shook up the traditional Metal meets Symphony approach. A monumental and breathtaking album.

This idea took a couple of decades developing in the mind of band mastermind Zorn and over a year to come to fruition once the musical foundations were laid and the final result is mind blowing.

2. ROGGA JOHANSSON - 'GARPEDIAN'

jools green

The best album I never reviewed this year. I haD planned on picking a different Rogga release, but this came to my attention late and where it has the edge is that it's pure Rogga; he's fully responsible for the total content. It's Swedish Death Metal with that little bit extra, there's a subtle melodic edge which makes it an even more addictive and engaging listen for me and it has an emotive quality which draws me in. A superb album that shows yet another facet of his boundless capabilities and demonstrates what he can do when completely let loose on his own.

3. AKERCOCKE - 'RENAISSANCE IN EXTREMIS'

jools green

Akercocke have always stood out amongst their contemporaries with their uniquely inventive blend of Progressive Blackened Death Metal, even more so with 'Renaissance In Extremis' awash with elegant yet dissonant melodies, skilfully off kilter elements, the dramatic switches in mood and pace between calm and fury and equally powerful lyrical content. This is the album that opens the door on a new chapter for them and I believe they have even started work on a follow up.

BEST PROMO VIDEO: VENOM INC. - 'DEIN FLEISCH'



2. AKERCOCKE - 'ONE CHAPTER ENDS FOR ANOTHER TO BEGIN'



3. SEPTICFLESH - 'PORTRAIT OF A HEADLESS MAN'



BEST FESTIVAL: PLYMOUTH DEATH FEST, THE JUNCTION/THE UNDERGROUND, 5th FEBRUARY

jools green

I could have chosen one of the many bigger festivals I attended but really you can't beat Plymouth Death Fest – a compact and bijou one day event with a line-up that consisted of Desecration, Unfathomable Ruination, De Profundis, Warcrab, Monolithian, Human Mycosis Craniation and Black Skies Burn. A ton of fun and all for the same price of a pint in London. It doesn't get much better than that.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2018

Both Watain live at The Dome, located at Tuffnell Park in London, and Septicflesh at London's Underworld, the promise of a new album from Akercocke as well as the myriad of as yet un-named live performances or albums. It's what gets me out of bed every day – the promise of newly created Metal!






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