raVen Richards – Staff Poll 2017

Top 5 Albums of 2017

/raVen/ presents his Top 5 Albums of 2017…….then we can return to why we are all here…………..The UNSIGNED ARTISTS!

1.  CODE ORANGE – “Forever” The Underground KINGS make  the biggest impact on Metal in 2017. With their broad appeal and love for the fans the Pitt boys bring the Metal and make my #1 for that reason.   Hard work pays off and this band is living proof that the broadening genre is introducing more masses to the ALTER!


2.  PALLBEARER – “Heartless” Seeing these talented and amazing gents in Missoula, Montana this year instantly propelled Pallbearer and their iconic DOOM metal album into a solid number two for me.



3.  ENSLAVED – “E” The consistent and constant headphone candy errupting from this album is nothing short of orgasmic! This album adds to an already existent arsenal of musical talent and abilities. Beyond most careers in the industry these gents continue to grow in a musical fashion unrivaled by many.



4.  BELL WITCH – “Mirror Reaper” A one hour twenty three mintue DOOM Metal ride that helps killer groups like this complete a leviathan and meteoric rise. Each note tells a story and engulfs the listener on a melodic metal ride that you want to ride again and again!



5.  FIGHT THE FIGHT – “Fight the Fight” Norway’s newest bad asses dropped this on us and although it is typically out of my realm this album caught me with their brutal vocals and blatant disregard for giving two shits what anyone thinks of them or their music.  Although this is their debut they have been existant in one form or another for 10 years.

The 3 on top of the HEAP

Here we take a look at three bands in the US that we will be seeing a lot more of in the next several years. Guaranteed!

PRISON – “NGRI” – The album from Johnny and the boys bring me to a place where solitude is not an option and the bitter rage and angst that rebukes and chastises society as a whole is verbally exorcised.  The personal battles of life and mental illness take center stage as an artist uses his music and the live performances to use the verbal exorcism for those mental demons.  If you’re not in tune with Florida / Carolina Metal allow me to introduce you to J, Cooper, Truck and pH!  Check out the live video below to see why these dudes are NUMBER ONE on my Metal Mountain!

PRISON – “The Knife and the Dying Dream” #1 Underground Artists


2.  AT HOME IN HELL – “In Home Hell” – Currently working on new material in the depths of hell that is Great Falls, MT these gents have skyrocketed faster than most bands across the Northwest of the US.  Expanding their territory and marketability these Metal Goliaths have secured a spot on Combat Records Metal Compilation and it wasnt by accident!  Hard work, approachability, humility and talent beyond talent.  Ben, Paul, Kevin, and Lafe never disappoint live or in person.   NUMBER TWO on my Metal Mountain!

At Home In Hell – “A Poem to Remember Her By” #2 Underground Artists

3.  Walking Corps Syndrome – “Human Delusion” – Recently completing one of the biggest tours of their careers in the “Trash Panda Tour” fans are anxiously awaiting more and more from Leif, Matthew, Tana, Nocktis and Mr. Grimm.  One band to watch again in the Northwest of the US these amazing artists rip, tear, shred and annhilate venues musically and energetically as every performance is at its MAX!!  Their live performances and insatiable fans known only as CORPS WALKERS is just one reason why they are just behind at NUMBER THREE on my Metal Mountain!

Walking Corps Syndrome – “Ending Created” #3 Underground Artists

The Worst of the Best.

The RIP's that can not be replaced in 2017!


Looking forward to in 2018

Just a few of the things in 2018 I am STOKED for!

Corrosion of Conformity – “No Cross No Crown” – Being exposed to these Godfathers of Punk from the Carolina’s involving a plastic spoon, Erica Everest, whip cream and chocolate.  Albatross on repeat at “The Gold Dragon”!



Whitesnake – “Flesh and Blood” – I grew up listening to and living experiences with Zepplin.  From my parents record player, through the casettes, into the CD movement and finally into the digital world, so it should be no surprise to most of the followers here that Whitesnake’s “Flesh and Blood” is on the top of my list of albums I am super excited to hear this year!



Black Label Society – “Grimmest Hits” – Just some of the baddest Southern Hard Rock/Metal in the business today with Zakk Wylde and the boys!  This will be in the tray on repeat for a few days.  Guaranteed.



Judas Priest – “Firepower” – The English Heavy Metal giants that are Judas Priest are set to take on another North American Tour and I can guarantee you my ass will be wherver they are the closest to me.




Ministry – “AmeriKKKant” – What can I say…..with DJ Swamp, Burton C. Bell and Arabian Prince on here why wouldn’t someone be jacked for this one!  See you all in MISSOULA!



Phil Anselmo & the Illegals – “Choosing Metal Illness as a Virtue” – Anticipating pure aggression, hatred and angst to spew violenty from this ablum I am quietly reserved hoping that this will not disappoint.  From the title track of the album Choosing Mental Illness its hard and nasty out the gate!


Local 406 Metal - MONTANA USA

“Best Live Performance”

At Home in Hell Idaho Falls, @ The Waterfront @ Snake River Landing Opening for Butcher Babies.

As you watch the video notice the young man, Ryley, taking center stage while attending the show with his mother, Tess Weaver and family.  Ryley took it upon himself and decided it was time to take the stage and show the crowd how its done.  The video and the people associated with it are all class acts.  Metal Done Right…Parenting done Perfect!

Having had the pleasure of seeing AHIH in person as well as get to know them all on somewhat of a personal level I am proud to post their names and their accomplishments alongside the likes of so many others.  Both Walking Corps Sydrome and In Rapture were a close second and third respectively.

Its time for some the New Year………….Steamroll IT!

About /raVen/ 51 Articles
Metal Man residing deep in the Mountains of Butte, America. I have grown up in music from the earliest I can remember. The variations and absolute stinging differences throughout the Metal Genre keep me coming back for more and more. Honor and a pleasure to assist up and coming as well as top established artists continue to share their passion and art with the world! HORNS UP!

1 Comment

  1. Prison, At Home In Hell, Fight The Fight, Walking Corpse Syndrome, Tess Weaver, Code Orange, Eddie Johnson, Matthew Boyle, Kenny F. Stiffler, In Rapture, Diamondz Event Center, Pallbearer, Enslaved, Bell Witch

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