2017 has been an interesting year for me. Aside from one stand out album (Trivium’s The Sin and the Sentence) almost every other album on this list could have been put in any other spot and I would have been okay with it. There’s also about 10 other albums that I considered putting on here, like the Foo Fighters’ Concrete and Gold, Pvris’ All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, Stone Sour’s Hydrograd, and so much more. Goes to speak for how consistently good this year has been for music, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

10. Harry Styles – Harry Styles

If you would have told me two or three years ago that a guy from One Direction’s album would become one of my favorites, I don’t think I would have believed you. But here we are, me getting “Sign of the Times,” “Kiwi,” “Sweet Creature” and prety much the rest of his first album stuck in my head more times than I’d probably want to admit. Credit where credit is due though, this is quite the catchy album and honestly really well made. Every live performance I’ve seen from Harry Styles is just as good, so mad props, and count me in as a big fan.

9. Paramore – After Laughter

This new album of Paramore’s is such a contradictory one. I shouldn’t like it because I was a much bigger fan of the band in their Misery Business days, but I do. The music on After Laughter sounds so cheerful, but there such a dichotomy between that and what the actual lyrics are saying, like in “Fake Happy.” Maybe the combination of the two working together well is what draws me to listen to it so often.

8. Seether – Poison the Parish

Seether’s Disclaimer albums and Karma and Decay were essential teenage music for myself, so it makes me happy that I was able to enjoy another Seether album as much as those three, especially since the last few that came before Poison and the Parish I thought weren’t that good. The darker turn the band took for Poison the Parish just sounds right, and Shaun Morgan’s voice sound as good as ever.

7. Lights – Skin&Earth

It’s cool to see how far Lights has come these days. I remember her from her Myspace days back in 2007 or so. It makes me happy that she’s still doing her thing, doing it well is enjoying a great amount of success. I’m always in favor of unique approaches to music, and Skin&Earth is one of them, releasing along with a series of comics.

6. Stick to Your Guns – True View

Stick to your Guns’ EP Better Ash Than Dust last year ended up being one of my favorites, and the band have taken all that made that album great and expanded upon it for a full length record. Guitarist Josh James wanted to make an album that gave “a feeling of breaking through the dark shit in life and the journey of the struggle that ends up elevating you to a new, smarter, stronger, better version of yourself” and I’d say they succeeded. True View is an inspiring energetic, dark, brooding piece of music.

5. Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves is the secret bassist inside me’s dream album. I love how the bass and it’s tone on this album is so prominent and well mixed. Every song on here is a keeper and made interesting by all the breaks between. Instead of getting exhausted by listen to nine out of like a 15 song album, these break tracks like “Accept / Disconnect’ and “Alone / Together” gives the album some breathing space and uniqueness. The Grammy nomination for “Go To War” is very well deserved.

4. Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?

It’s crazy how fast these guys blew up. It’s also crazy that their first huge single “Figure It Out” came out three years ago already, when I would have swore it was only like a year ago. I love how a band of just a drummer can create such full, rich music. Short and sweet is How Did We Get So Dark? and that’s exactly how I like it. 60+ minute long albums with 15+ songs are so hard to get entirely into without getting exhausted, so it’s so refreshing to hear an album go all in, do it’s thing and not over stay it’s welcome. The title track and “Hole In Your Heart” are absolute bangers.

3. In This Moment – Ritual

This is a weird pick for me because before last November, I honestly don’t think I could have call myself a fan of In This Moment. There was a point in time where I would turn off the radio every time I would hear “Blood” come on. But come to the time I saw them live in November, I was quickly won over by how great they were and then Ritual quickly stuck to my regular rotation.

2. Hell or Highwater – Vista

Not entirely sure why it took me so long to find out about these guys as I’ve been listening to Atreyu for longer than a decade now and their drummer is the front man, but I’m so glad I did and got to see them live twice this past summer. I love that this album isn’t the fastest paced, but is still able to be incredibly groovy. If you ever get a chance to see this band live, do it. So energetic and all the songs played from this album translate incredibly well to a live setting.

1. Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence

What a comeback. This is the album that myself and a whole lot of other Trivium fans were hoping for, but had to wait two (three for some people) albums and six years to get. Equal parts brutal and melodic, this is the perfect amalgamation of everything Trivium has done up to this point. I legitimately have no complaints about The Sin and the Sentence. It’s almost an hour long yet it’s so easy to listen to all the way through. Every song has it’s own identity, and thankfully ditches the formulaic kind of writing that was on the previous album Silence in the Snow. I’ve never been so proud of this band.

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