Thursday, December 23, 2010

Year in Metal: 1997

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


  1. This is the first time I don't have any of your picks. And off the top of my head, I can't think of anything worth mentioning from this year. It must have been a sad one indeed.

    I did a little brief research (I don't have my full iTunes in front of me to help) I would mention Lake of Tears - A Crimson Cosmos, but I can't find another one worth mentioning.

  2. Yeah, I think 1997 was kind of a rough year. There may be a couple more years like that as nu-metal took over.

  3. I love seeing In Flames get a nod, but I've honestly never quite liked Whoracle as well as most of their other early output.

  4. Whoracle is not really one of my favorites either. In Flames got the nod for this year due to a lack of other options. I prefer Colony to Whoracle and, of course after that, In Flames started to go for the more modern rock sound.

  5. Yeah, in Clayman they were still holding it together somewhat, but the shift was unmistakable. Still, In Flames are for me what you always describe CoF being for you, so I'm happy to see any of their stuff mention in a positive light. Seems like a lot of metalheads have grown to retroactively hate all their older material too these days.

  6. I do enjoy a significant amount of In Flames stuff. I even like the later stuff on occasion. It's not nearly as good as the early stuff, but it's catchy and fun to listen to once in awhile. That may be because Reroute to Remain was my first album by the band.