I know I say this a lot lately, but I really do intend to get back to posting more regularly. Starting up a law firm is a bit more work than I thought. I still do not have office space at this time. Once that is taken care of, perhaps things will be a little easier.
DECEASED...: FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINES
A concept album covering George A. Romero's zombie movies such as Night of the Living Dead and others, this album is all about zombies. On this album, Deceased... shed most of their death metal sound and went for a more thrash/heavy metal style. The vocals were still rough though. This is the band's masterpiece album, heavily melodic and powerful at the same time. Deceased... is one of the most underrated bands in American metal.
DESTROYER 666: UNCHAIN THE WOLVES
Australian blackened thrash metal masters Destroyer 666 released their first full-length album in 1997. This one is far closer to black metal than their more recent output, bearing a strong resemblance to acts like Blasphemy and Bestial Warlust. Tons of imitators sprang up after this album was released and the "war metal" scene was born.
EMPEROR: ANTHEMS TO THE WELKIN AT DUSK
One of the more popular Norwegian black metal albums ever, Emperor truly found their sound on this one. Featuring bombastic symphonic elements amidst the black metal riffing, Emperor truly came into their own here. Unfortunately, it was all downhill after this album. The only complaint I have about this album is that the vocals get a little buried, other than that, it's a great album.
GAMMA RAY: SOMEWHERE OUT IN SPACE
One of the better albums from the band that was formed by Kai Hanson after leaving Helloween. This is German power/speed metal at its best. Melodic and infectious, Gamma Ray put out a great album at the height of this scene. This album holds up very well next to the best albums from Blind Guardian, Helloween, Hammerfall and other European power/speed metal albums.
IN FLAMES: WHORACLE
The second In Flames album under Anders Friden was the first fully developed melodic death metal album by the band. In Flames had ditched most of the folk influences by this point and the result was a streamlined melodeath masterpiece. In Flames took over the throne as the top Gothenburg band with this album, but would lose it soon after to Dark Tranquillity.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: I had a hard time coming up with five albums. If I forgot something, I probably have not heard it enough.
BANDS THAT FORMED IN 1997: Akercocke, Finntroll.