The results are in for the Fourtheye Readers Top 10 Albums of 2017. The poll didn’t get a huge amount of entries this year (partially my fault, since I didn’t push it too hard) but also a reflection of lower traffic these days on Fourtheye (I think partly to to many now consuming Tool news via various Social Media channels rather than older style websites).
Anyway, without further delay, here are the results, as well as my thoughts on these albums.
1. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Seeing this as number 1 on this list wasn’t a huge surprise for me (in fact it’ll rate quite highly on my list as well). Mastodon are a band that inspire plenty of discussion, mostly people lamenting that they’re not as good as they used to be. While I don’t disagree, I the band aren’t trying to be that same band that recorded Leviathan. Emperor of Sand is the best album they’ve put out this decade, and could well be the high point of modern-era Mastodon.
2. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
Queens of the Stone Age are a long time favorite of Tool fans, and while I thought this album was pretty forgettable, it seems to be good enough that many of you nominated it. QOTSA notably brought on a pop producer for this album, which added a subtle pop vibe to the album, but ultimately was let down by bland songwriting.
3. At The Drive In – In*ter*a*lia
Relationship of Command was an easy 10/10 album. A few years back At The Drive In reformed, and as many reformed acts do wrote a new album, this time without one of their main songwriters. The results were mixed I though, some great tracks, and a bunch of filler.
4. Code Orange – Forever
Another album that will be featuring in my top 10 – Code Orange delivered a great album full of hardcore punk with several surprising moments. The album covers a range of punk moments, but also unexpectedly shifts into grunge, pop and even Nine Inch Nails sounding moments.
5. Pallbearer – Heartless
I’m not a huge fan of these guys, so only listened to this album once or twice. Pallbearer seem to be pretty popular among Tool fans though, and they’ve featured in these lists several times before.
6. Primus – The Desaturating Seven
Primus delivered another concept album, this time based on a children’s book The Rainbow Goblins. It features Justin Chancellor narrating on track 1 in case you missed it! I really enjoyed this album, it was step in a more progressive direction, which I think suits Primus really well. Only drawback was that it felt like a really short album.
7. Leprous – Malina
Never listened to this band before, and have it playing while I write this. Wikipedia tells me Leprous are a Norwegian progressive metal band. Based on what I’ve heard I’d categorise them a bit more as rock. The album isn’t bad – if Karnivool (and the like) are your thing then you’d likely enjoy it.
8. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
The last Elder album was pretty great, and while this one didn’t quite live it to that, it’s a really solid effort from a very talented band!
9. Converge – The Dusk in Us
Converge are one of those punk bands that are considered cool enough that they are automatic inclusions into many top 10 lists. While I really like Converge, I didn’t think this album was anything special. If modern hardcore punk is your think though, make sure you check it out!
10. Steven Wilson – To The Bone
Well know progressive rock artist Steven Wilson is one who often rates highly among Tool fans. I listened to this album a few times earlier this year, and it sounds almost exactly like a Steven Wilson album. You know whether or not you’re going to enjoy this even before you listen!
Leprous’ catalog is worth checking out, as the music is different from album to album.
Malina didn’t do anything for me, but it’s just a phase in their career and I’m sure they’ll release more music that I’ll enjoy as much as some of their past albums.
Bilateral, although not my cup of tea, seems to be a fan favorite, so go check some of its songs out if you’ve never heard anything by these lads.
Wow what a weird top 10. Can’t believe Death From Above and Glassjaw weren’t more popular. They both came out with great albums and I agree, Villains was like a bunch of the leftover shit that didn’t quite make it to the garbage from “…like clockwork”.
Anyways… check this out if you haven’t already seen it…
It’s great seeing somebody’s reaction when listening to TOOL for the first time. Their initial comments are pretty hilarious but their attitude changes when they get into the song.
I’m not buying into the stupidity that is reaction videos.
HAHA! It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch so I thought it would be fun at most. Not like it’s going to enlighten anybody of course.
With Our Arms To The Sun’s “Orenda” is definitely worth checking out.
Forgot to mention their previous album, “A Far Away Wonder” is also excellent.
Listening to Leprous for first time. Agreed, HB, more “rock” than anything else but it’s definitely interesting. His voice is a bit much for me though.
How did I miss the new At The Drive In?
Don’t worry, you’re better off missing it.
Even at only three tracks, I preferred At the Drive In’s Diamante EP to interalia. Feels more like new territory than trying to recreate RoC.