TORTURE CHAMBER‎ > ‎

WORMWOOD TOP 10 OF 2017


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES WRITERS' TOP 10 OF 2017


This year sees some new faces arrive to Wormwood Laboratories and some old faces leave. Such is the nature of things, even in this dingy realm. But it's always a hoot to see what this band of miscreants regards as worthy listening. We hope you humanoids enjoy perusing these lists as much as we do making them...

And now, let's dig in and get right to it!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


THERON MOORE'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017

My honorary mention goes to Ex Deo (“Immortal Wars”) & the Black Sabbath live DVD / CD capturing their final concert on “The End” tour.  


1. INCANTATION                                                                     "PROFANE NEXUS"

 2. ARCH ENEMY                                                                                  "WILL TO POWER"

3. COME BACK FROM THE DEAD                                                           "CARO DATA VERMIBUS"

4. MARGINAL                                                                                      "TOTAL DESTRUCTION"

5. PAGANIZER                                                                                     "LAND OF WEEPING SOULS"

6. OBITUARY                                                                                       "OBITUARY"

7. KYLE SHUTT & FRIENDS                                                                   "DOOM SIDE OF THE MOON"

8. HOUR OF PENANCE                                                                          "CAST THE FIRST STONE"

9. KING OF ASGARD                                                                            "TAUDR"

10. BELPHEGOR                                                                                   "TOTENRITUAL"
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

DARK STARR'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017



1. STYX                                                                                               "THE MISSION"

2. HAWKWIND                                                                                    "INTO THE WOODS"

3. CHROME                                                                                         "TECHROMANCY"

4. THE RESIDENTS                                                                              "GHOST OF HOPE"

5. ALICE COOPER                                                                                "PARANORMAL"

6. JOE BOUCHARD                                                                               "PLAYIN' HISTORY"

7. NIK TURNER                                                                                    "LIFE IN SPACE"

8. ROADCASE ROYALE                                                                          "FIRST THINGS FIRST"

9. DJABE AND STEVE HACKETT                                                             "LIFE IS A JOURNEY--THE SARDINA TAPES"

10. AURGANIC                                                                                     "DISTANT ECHOES & CLOSE ENCOUNTERS"
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

EL CHIEF'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017

This year was full of fantastic releases, making this list a lot harder to whittle down than normal. Great albums from the Corpse twins (Cannabis & Cannibal), Decrepit Birth and God Dethroned would’ve made the cut almost any other year. While I mostly listen to death metal, you'll find some surprises along the way.


1. XIPE TOTEC                                                                                     "AXOMIMITL"

Never heard of this Mexico City death metal duo? No worries. You can rectify that by steaming this beautiful blend of death metal and traditional Aztec music. Don’t wait. Do it right now.

2. GOATWHORE                                                                                   "VENGEFUL ASCENSION"

Longtime fans say the new sound was too tame. I say it strengthened Goatwhore’s songwriting chops. If your favorite song isn’t “Mankind Will Have No Mercy,” than I don’t know who the fuck you think you are.

3. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER                                                              "NIGHTBRINGERS"

Why is the record so short? This “long play” clocks in at just over 33 minutes. But it’s so good that length could be overrated after all.

4. KENDRICK LAMAR                                                                              "DAMN"

Damn. It’s all I need to say. Damn.

5. DYING FETUS                                                                                     "WRONG ONE TO FUCK WITH"

A technical death metal masterpiece lurks behind one of the worst album titles of all time. The song “Ideological Subjugation” is the standout track.

6. MICHAEL GIACCHINO                                                                         "WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES" (Soundtrack)

No one had a better 2017 than composer Michael Giacchino. He put out soundtracks to four films this year. But, it was his love song to Caesar that finally gave him the one thing lacking in his repertoire: a memorable melody. 

7. HANS ZIMMER                                                                                    "DUNKIRK" (Soundtrack)

Tick tick tick. Hans Zimmer’s idea to record director Chris Nolan’s pocket watch was a masterstroke.

8. KREATOR                                                                                            "GODS OF VIOLENCE"

If talent mattered to the mainstream, Kreator would be selling out stadiums, not Metallica.

9. CONVERGE                                                                                          "THE DUSK IN US"

Kurt Ballou and company finally return to form. Thank fucking God. The goodness dripping from each cut sort of makes up for the fact that Tool gave fans the shaft for another year.

10. IMPUREZA                                                                                         "LA CAIDA DE TONATIUH"

You’re not going to find too many best-of lists that bookend Aztec-themed death metal acts. Surprisingly, this group hails from France, but their heart beats with Mexico. Breezy flamenco interludes play well with power chords.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

DR. ABNER MALITY'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017


1. PARADISE LOST                                                                                   "MEDUSA"

2. BLUT AUS NORD                                                                                   "DEUS SALUTIS MEAE"

3. IRON MONKEY                                                                                      "9-13"

4. MARGINAL                                                                                            "TOTAL DESTRUCTION"

5. WILDESTARR                                                                                        "BEYOND THE RAIN"

6. SLAGMAUR                                                                                           "THILL SMITS TERROR"

7. DEATHWISH                                                                                          "UNLEASH HELL"

8. IMMOLATION                                                                                         "ATONEMENT"

9. JAG PANZER                                                                                          "THE DEVIANT CHORD"

10. TERRIFIER                                                                                           "WEAPONS OF THRASH DESTRUCTION"

Honorable Mention: Possession, Haemorrhage, Vallenfyre
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

PROFESSOR JOCKO'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017



1. WARRANT                                                                                             "LOUDER HARDER FASTER"

2. DANZIG                                                                                                 "BLACK LADEN CROWN"

3. ADRENALINE MOB                                                                                "WE THE PEOPLE"

4. ALICE COOPER                                                                                      "PARANORMAL"

5. ACCEPT                                                                                                  "THE RISE OF CHAOS"

6. QUIET RIOT                                                                                           "ROAD RAGE"

7. L.A. GUNS                                                                                   "THE MISSING PEACE"

8. JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE                                                            "HE SAW IT COMIN'"

9. EUROPE                                                                                                  "WALK THE EARTH"

10. APPICE                                                                                                 "SINISTER"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

OCTOPI MILLS' TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017


1. PAGAN ALTAR                                                                                        "ROOM OF SHADOWS"

2. DROWNING THE LIGHT                                                                         "VARCOLACI RISING"

3. DROWNING THE LIGHT                                                                         "PARADISE SLAVES"

4. UTRED                                                                                                    "SOVEREIGN"

5. SHATTENVALD                                                                                       "V"

6. SATURNALES                                                                                         "DARENIER HYVER"

7. LOTH                                                                                                      "APOCRYPHE"

8. ARGONATH/SEGRIM                                                                             "FOREIGN FANTASY" SPLIT

9. DANZIG                                                                                                 "BLACK LADEN CROWN"

10. KRAMPUSNACHT                                                                                 "KRAMPUSNACHT"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

COLONEL ANGUS' TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017



1. BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION                                                                "BCCIV"

2. SONS OF APOLLO                                                                                     "PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY"

3. OVERKILL                                                                                                 "THE GRINDING WHEEL"

4. MR. BIG                                                                                                    "DEFYING GRAVITY"

5.  ACCEPT                                                                                                    "THE RISE OF CHAOS"

6. ANUBIS GATE                                                                                           "COVERED IN BLACK"

7. RAM                                                                                                          "ROD"

8. KREATOR                                                                                                  "GODS OF VIOLENCE"

9. ROBERT PLANT                                                                                         "CARRY FIRE"

10. VESCERA                                                                                                 "BEYOND THE FIGHT"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________


THOR'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017




1. BROKEN HOPE                                                                                           "MUTILATED AND ASSIMILATED"

2. DYING FETUS                                                                                            "WRONG ONE TO FUCK WITH"

3. MUNICIPAL WASTE                                                                                   "SLIME AND PUNISHMENT"

4. IRON REAGAN                                                                                           "CROSSOVER MINISTRY"

5. POWER TRIP                                                                                             "NIGHTMARE LOGIC"

6. GOATWHORE                                                                                             "VENGEFUL ASCENSION"

7. IRON MONKEY                                                                                           "9-13"

8. MORBID ANGEL                                                                                         "KINGDOMS DISDAINED"

9. DESECRATE THE FAITH                                                                             "UNHOLY INFESTATION"

10. KREATOR                                                                                                 "GODS OF VIOLENCE"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________


THE GIL-MAN'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017




1. L.A. GUNS                                                                                                  "THE MISSING PEACE"

2017 was a year of many great things in music, not the least of which was new music from L.A. Guns' original members, Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns.  The story was 15-years in the making and it was worth every second.  Being excited about the first new music from one of your favorite bands in 15 years is one thing, but to hear an album full of kick-ass songs after being away from each other for that long just blew me away.  The chemistry is undeniable, the music is awesome!  "The Missing Peace" is easily my Album of the Year.

2. CHEAP TRICK                                                                                             "WE'RE ALL ALRIGHT!"

You might think that making records for 40+ years and a 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might just be enough for most bands, but not for Cheap Trick!  Coming off of the heels of last year's release, "Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello" (another outstanding effort), "We're All Alright!" is just another example of why Cheap Trick is one of America's greatest rock bands.  Hopefully, Rick, Robin and Tom have a few left in them.

3. ACCEPT                                                                                                      "THE RISE OF CHAOS"

Another classic metal album from the German group, "The Rise of Chaos" is a hard-rocking good time, which, despite all of the line-up changes, including lead singer, Mark Tornillo, was one of my favorite metal albums of the year.

4. OVERKILL                                                                                                  "THE GRINDING WHEEL"

An incredible 18 albums into their existence and Overkill is still putting out classic thrash albums.  There is nothing new in this album's formula, which suits me just fine.

5. STYX                                                                                                         "THE MISSION"

One of my favorite bands growing up, Styx is certainly no stranger to concept albums and after a 14-year wait for new music, "The Mission" is right up there with their best.  An impressive release, after a 40+ year career, Styx will always find a place on my turntable.

6. HERO JR.                                                                                                  "SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA GIVE IT THE BUSINESS"


Luckily, I got to hear this band live for the first time in 2017 while they opened up for John 5 in Chicago.  What I heard during that set made me a Hero Jr. fan for life.  Monster blues riffs pour out of every song and with a hint of influence from Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and others, they create their own unique sound that's getting noticed nationally.  Go see this band and pick up this release.  You heard it here first.

7. DEEP PURPLE                                                                                           "INFINITE"

Call me nostalgic, but Deep Purple's 2017 release takes me back to the classic '70's blues/prog Deep Purple that was my favorite.  I'm not quite sure what the future holds for Deep Purple, but hopefully, this record means that there is eventually more to come.


8. NIGHT DEMON                                                                                         "DARKNESS REMAINS"

If you are into the NWOBHM bands as I am, then you will really like Night Demon's second studio record.  The fact that Night Demon is originally from California, and not from across the pond, makes the sound that much more amazing.  A great live band, the connections to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon, while maintaining their own unique sound, will make this album a favorite of mine for a long time.


9. BLACK STAR RIDERS                                                                                 "HEAVY FIRE"

To me, Black Star Riders' third release is their best yet.  While still not fully escaping the band's Thin Lizzy roots (and who would really want to?), this record finally sees Scott Gorham and the band breaking away just enough to create their own style of hard rock that was music to my ears.


10. SHOKKER                                                                                                 "III"

Chicago metal favorites, Shokker, debuted their very first full-length album in April and it was instantly met with a ton of local support.  This female-fronted, heavy-metal group was formed in early 2011 and has definitely gotten better with age.  They've got it all; outstanding musicianship, the look, the experience, and now a wicked release that has me excited for more.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

LORD RANDALL'S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2017



1. ENSLAVED                                                                                                 "E"

“Now headed for the wild / Called from afar and within – through soil”

2. BELL WITCH                                                                                              "MIRROR REAPER"

“Seven eyes sewn open, bestows / As above, so below”


3. HERESIARCH                                                                                             "DEATH ORDNANCE"

“Carrion reaping for an iron harvest / Sanguine beasts of slaughter grind onwards…”


4. WITH THE DEAD                                                                                        "LOVE FROM WITH THE DEAD"

“Circles of monotony / I’ve wandered endlessly / In sadness I love thee”

5. BLACKFINGER                                                                                            "WHEN COLORS FADE AWAY"

“Let us now pretend I’m already dead / Grateful for all the tears you shed”


6. FEN                                                                                                             "WINTER"

“Sickly, these pale shafts press / At a gruesome fog, an entangling torpor”


7. HARVESTMAN                                                                                             "MUSIC FOR MEGALITHS"

“As birth’s fire arises / Up through the spine / Filling the heart / Exploding the mind”

8. GALLEY BEGGAR                                                                                         "HEATHEN HYMNS"

 “Countdown / Daylight has gone / Mortals are seeking peace”


9. NARGAROTH                                                                                               "ERA OF THRENODY"

“So I’m drawn to the world / That’s neither strange nor home”


10. THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA                                                                 "AMBER GALACTIC"

 “The way our minds entwine / Maybe there’s a way I could make you mine”

HONORABLE MENTION:

DEAD LIMBS                                                                                                      "SPIRITUS SULPHUR"

  “If only I was made of righteous power / If only I was made of something more”

JOHN FRUM                                                                                                       "A STIRRING IN THE NOUS"

“A land forsaken for a crafted surfeit / Will be a land that none deserve”
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

As always, an interesting mixture of releases. It is certainly difficult for any new band to break through to the top....every #1 spot was taken by a veteran band, many with 30 years or more of service. It was a good year for German bands, as ACCEPT and KREATOR popped up on several lists. Also a bit of a comeback for Cali hair bands with WARRANT and L.A. GUNS standing tall.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!