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2017 Relapse Records Staff Album Of The Year Lists

2017 was yet another incredible year for music as an overabundance of amazing new records and reissues were released across all genres and formats. The Relapse Records staff has compiled their favorite albums, musical moments and misc. debris of the year. We decided not to include any Relapse related releases out of fairness to all the equally exceptional records that worked on this year (interns excluded). We look forward to all that 2018 has to offer and to continue releasing the finest independent and underground music for your listening (dis)pleasure. Enjoy!


Matt Blanks

Godflesh – Post-Self
Pallbearer – Heartless
Pyrrhon – What Passes For Survival
Unsane – Sterilize
Devil Worshipper – Inverted Crossroads
Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid
TOMBS – The Grand Annihilation
Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Ufomammut – 8


Matt Diffley


Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Tomb Mold – Primordial Malignity
Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Fennec – One Night Could Change Your Life
Pillorian – Obsidian Arc
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
Triumvir Foul – Spiritual Bloodshed
Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre
Temple of Void – Lords of Death


Tomb Mold – Cryptic Transmissions
Fluoride – S/T
Portrayal of Guilt – S/T
Ultra Silvam – S/T
Sinmara – Within the Weaves of Infinity

Best Performances

Denzel Curry. Death Grips. Blank Banshee. Run The Jewels. Tomb Mold. Angel Olsen. Pageninteynine. Majority Rule.


Frank Huang

Alphabetical Order:

Acephalix – Decreation
All Pigs Must Die – Hostage Animal
Amenra – Mass VI
Axis – Shift
Big Brave – Ardor
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Chepang – A Tale of Wildfire
Converge – The Dusk In Us
Friendship – Hatred
Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Royal Thunder – The Wick
Sunrot – Sunnata
Wailin Storm – Sick City
Woe – Hope Attrition


Rennie Jaffe

New Releases:

Aldous Harding “Party’ 4AD
Anti-Sex “Un Mejor Futuro” Thrilling Living Records
Ash Borer “The Irrespassable Gate” Profound Lore Records
Bedouine ‘Bedouine’ Spacebomb Records
Chavez “Cockfighters’ Matador
The Cowboy “The Cowboy Album” Fashionable Idiots
Death Worship “Extermination Mass” Nuclear War Now! Productions
Haram “When You Have Won, You Have Lost” Toxic State Records
Impalers “Cellar Dwellar” 540 Records
Laraaji “Sun Gong” All Saints
The New Year “Snow” Undertow
Pura Mania “Cerebros Punk” Cvrecs
Spectral Voice “Eroded Corridors” Dark Descent Records
Venenum “Trance Of Death” Sepulchral Voice Records
The Weather Station s/t Paradise Of Bachelors


Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda “The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda” Luaka Bop
Bill Fox “Before I Went To Harvard” Eleventh Hour Recording Company
Blaze Foley “The Lost Muscle Shoals Recordings” End Of An Ear
Fumio Miyashita “Live On The Boffomundo Show” Drag City
John Frusciante “Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt” Superior Viaduct
The Johnson Spiritual Singers “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” Detroit Gospel Reissue Project
Keiji Haino “Watashi Dake?” Black Editions
Midori Takada “Through The Looking Glass” Palto Flats
Nightstick “Blotter” Armageddon Shop
Ragnar Grippe “Sand” Dais Records
Rev. Jodie Holmes “When I Could I Wouldnt Now I Want To But I Can’t” Detroit Gospel Reissue Project
Steve Reich “Drumming” Elektra Nonesuch
Tony Conrad “Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plane” Superior Viaduct
Various “Tokyo Flashback” Black Editions
Vietnam “Vietnam” BFE Records


Mike Juliano

Top 10 Albums Of 2017 That I Didn’t Work On:

Anatomia – Cranial Obsession
Autopsy – Puncturing The Grotesque
Blood Feast – The Future State Of Wicked
Condor – Unstoppable Power
Extremity – Extremely Fucking Dead
Immolation – Atonement
Midnight – Sweet Death And Ecstasy
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Satan’s Hallow ‎- Satan’s Hallow
Undergang – Misantropologi

Honorable Mentions:

Acephalix – Decreation
FKU – 1981
Oz – Transition State
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing
Tomb Mold – Primordial Malignity

Biggest Disappointment (aka the most HUSS) release Of 2017:

Memoriam – For The Fallen


Drew Juergens

(Production Mananger and purveyor of fine vinyl)

Perturbator – New Model
Mind Mold – Mind Mold
Death of Lovers – The Acrobat
Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him
The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
City Keys – Unrest EP
Beck – Colors
Aosoth – V: the inside scriptures
All Pigs Must Die – Hostage Animal
Eighteen Visions – XVIII
Altarage – Endinghent
Unsane – Sterilize
laze of Perdition – Conscious Darkness
Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light
Slow – V-Oceans
Acephalix – Decreation

Orion Landau

Rakta – Oculto Pelos Seres 7″
Convulsing/ Siberian Hell Sounds Split
Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
Necro Deathmort – Overland
Unsane – Sterilize
Emma Ruth Rundle & Jaye Jayle – The Time Between Us
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch – Blade Runner 2049
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meae
Tchornobog – Tchornobog


Bob Lugowe

Top 15 Heavy (A-Z)

Amenra – Mass VI
Converge – The Dusk in Us
Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Grave Pleasures – Motherblood
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Planning for Burial – Below the House
Progenie Terrestre Pura – oltreLuna
Royal Thunder – Wick
Ruby the Hatchet – Planetary Space Child
Serpent Column – Ornuthi Thalassa
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
Tchornobog – Tchornobog
Ufomammut – 8
Wear Your Wounds – WYW
White Ward – Futility Report

Top 15 Non-Heavy (A-Z)

Chris Stapleton – From a Room: Volume 1
CunninLynguists – Rose Azura Njano
Dan Terminus – Automated Refrains
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration
Gas – Narkopop
Hammock – Mysterium
Heilung – LIFA
Kendrick Lamar – Damn
Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life
Max Richter – Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
The National – The System Dreams In Total Darkness
Slowdive – Slowdive
Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Yazz Ahmed – La saboteuse


Jacob Speis

Favorite dogs I met in the park across the street from my house in 2017:
Zachy Bear the Bernese Mountain dog, Lyla Beans the senior Pitbull, Norma Jean the English Bulldog. Thank you all so much, you give my life meaning and purpose.

Favorite bag I gave my cat to play with in 2017:
Thin wine bag I got from South Street wine and spirits store. Long wait for payoff, but high comedic value.

Favorite 80’s ZZ Top album I started listening to ironically but then grew to love unironically in 2017:
Afterburner, the result of giving your drummer more creative control, an expanded soundboard, and a trash bag of exceptional cocaine.

Favorite fart of 2017:
June 23, 4:17 AM. Aftermath of enchilada night. Tremendous tonal range, admirable length. Woke up fiancé, scared cat. An all-around solid discharge.

Favorite hip-hop song of 2017:
Denzel Curry: Ultimate. I found this song embedded in a video of 4 Pomeranians with bread around their heads, which I assume is how all white people discover new rap.

Favorite cognitive dissonance of 2017:
Trying to maintain anger about wealth accumulation, the disappearance of a strong middle class, and the inability to ever retire while simultaneously remembering that I work in the indie music business and will never be able to retire in any economic condition.

Favorite quote of 2017:
“Is that a red wine stain on your cat?” (answer: literally always yes)

Favorite adulthood failure of 2017:
Starting a 401k in the same year as running out of TP more than once and wiping my ass with napkins from a bodega.

Favorite Pip Soret outfit of 2017:
Birkenstocks and mesh shorts regardless of weather, protein powder shirt, literally whatever hoodie arrived as a print sample that week.

Favorite Relapse achievement of 2017:
Stealing all of Drew Jeurgens’ passwords from the window behind his desk.


Eli Shaika

Jammed tracks/albums by these artists multiple times this year

Power Trip
Lana Del Ray/Weeknd
Cradle of Filth
Tomb Mold
Morbid Angel
The Killers


Pip Soret

Alphabetical Order:

Amenra – Mass VI
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meae
Carla Dal Forno – The Garden
Gnod – Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine
Godflesh – Post Self
Hey Colossus – The Guillotine
Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology
Rome – Hansa Studios Session
Slowdive – S/T
Unsane – Sterilize


Steven Varsanyi

Albums I Listened To A Lot (A-Z):

All Pigs Must Die – Hostage Animal
Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Celeste – Infidèle ( s)
Converge – The Dusk In Us
Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre
Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension
Incendiary – Thousand Mile Stare
Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
Succumb – Succumb
Tchornobog – Tchornobog
Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Keziah Lilith Media (Chapter X)
Undergang – Misantropologi
Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed II
Woe – Hope Attrition


Cameron Waitman

Alphabetical Order:

Beck – Colors
Broken Hope – Mutilated And Assimilated
Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
Immolation – Atonement
Impure Wilhelmina – Radiation
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Northless – Last Bastion Of Cowardice
Propagandhi – Victory Lap
Suffocation – …Of The Dark Light
Unsane – Sterilize



Chris Jones

SZA – Ctrl
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Code Orange – Forever
Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
Thundercat – Drunk
King Krule – The Ooz
Charly Bliss – Guppy
Converge – The Dusk in Us


Teddie Taylor

Zola Jesus – Okovi
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die
Planning For Burial – Below The House
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration
Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
Ides Of Gemini – Women
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
Full Of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains



  • TORCHE: Announce New Album Admission Coming July 12; Share First Single “Slide”

    May 28, 2019

    Photo Credit: Keans Llamera Miami’s heavy rock quartet TORCHE release Admission, the band’s fifth album, and first new music since 2015’s critically-lauded Restarter, on July 12 via Relapse Records. “This album is more revealing of who we are. I think the core of the band is happier and more inspired than we have been in […]

  • VICTIMS: Share New Song “The Sea and Poison” via Revolver Magazine

    Stockholm’s hardcore crust-punk veterans VICTIMS share “The Sea and Poison”, the second single off their highly anticipated new album, The Horse and Sparrow Theory. Listen and watch the Chariot of Black Moth directed video HERE. Additionally, VICTIMS have announced Fall European headlining tour dates beginning October 25 and ending on November 2. The band will […]


    Headbanging app from Wieden+Kennedy’s Ansel Wallenfang is one part music video, one part video game Download Red Fang: Headbang HERE: GOOGLE PLAY STORE | APP STORE Portland-based metal band Red Fang has unveiled their latest single, “Antidote,” through an app written and directed by Wieden+Kennedy creative Ansel Wallenfang. It is the world’s first music […]

  • GRUESOME: Announce EU/UK Summer Headline Tour Dates

    May 2, 2019

    Twisted Prayers is out now on CD/LP/CS/Digital Photo Credit: Ryan Tamm Death Metal Defenders of the Old GRUESOME announce the Twisting Europe Part Two headline tour. The first leg of the tour begins July 12 and ends July 27. GRUESOME’s UK portion of the tour begins July 30 and ends August 3. GRUESOME continues to tour in support of the 2018-released Twisted Prayers full-length […]

  • FULL OF HELL: Share New Song “Armory of Obsidian Glass”

    Relapse Debut Album Weeping Choir Coming May 17th “Full of Hell leave a crater no matter where they tread” – Revolver Photo Credit: Reid Haithcock Extreme harsh-grinding quartet FULL OF HELL share the official audio for “Army of Obsidian Glass” off their highly anticipated, new album Weeping Choir. Listen to the new track, featuring the inimitable Lingua Ignota on guest vocals, on […]

  • VICTIMS: Sign To Relapse & Announce New Full-Length Album The Horse and Sparrow Theory

    “For nearly twenty years, Stockholm’s Victims have dished out an onslaught of crusty d-beat, hardcore punk, and Motörhead-quality rock ‘n’ roll” – Noisey Photo Credit: Mia Möllberg Stockholm’s hardcore crust-punk veterans VICTIMS make their Relapse Records debut with their highly anticipated new album, The Horse and Sparrow Theory, coming June 28. Watch the official video for opening track “The Horse and Sparrow […]

  • Levitation Announce Relapse Records Official Showcase

    April 26, 2019

    Relapse Records is proud to partner with LEVITATION in Austin TX for an official label showcase at Empire Control Room & Garage on November 9, 2019. Portland rockers RED FANG will headline with support from Miami’s TORCHE & Sweden’s MONOLORD. More bands will be announced soon. Stream RED FANG’s discography: Bandcamp HERE Spotify HERE Apple Music HERE. Stream TORCHE’s discography: Bandcamp HERE Spotify HERE Apple Music HERE. Stream MONOLORD’s discography: Bandcamp HERE Spotify HERE Apple Music HERE. OFFICIAL […]

  • USNEA: Announce U.S. Summer 2019 Headline Tour Dates

    Photo Credit: Orion Landau ‘Portals Into Futility’ Is Out Now And Available HERE Portland doom quartet USNEA announce Summer 2019 headlining tour dates throughout the United States with Chrch. The band continues to tour in support of their 2017 released full-length album Portals Into Futility. The tour commences July 5 in Sacramento, CA and ends July 18 in Denver, CO. […]

  • GATECREEPER: Enter Studio To Record New Full-Length Album

    Photo Credit: Joseph Maddon Arizona’s death metal legion GATECREEPER have begun recording their second full-length album and follow-up to 2016’s Sonoran Depravation. The yet-to-be-titled album is being recorded at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, AZ and will be mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity. The album is expected to be released late 2019. Stay tuned for more information in […]

  • FULL OF HELL: Share New Song “Silmaril”

    Relapse Debut Weeping Choir Coming May 17th “Full of Hell Push the limits of Grind at an accelerated clip” – Dectbel Magazine Photo Credit: Reid Haithcock Extreme harsh-grinding quartet FULL OF HELL share the official audio for “Silmaril” off their highly anticipated, new album Weeping Choir. Watch the accompanying visualizer and listen to the new song on YouTube HERE. FULL OF HELL Comments: “Silmaril […]

  • PINKISH BLACK: Announce 4th Full-Length Album Concept Unification; Share New Song “Until”

      Texas experimental duo PINKISH BLACK will release their 4th full-length Concept Unification on June 14th. Listen to the first single, the slow-burner “Until” on YouTube HERE and all streaming services HERE. Concept Unification is due out June 14th on CD/LP/Digital. Physical packages are available for pre-order via HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming Services are available HERE. Concept Unification Tracklist: Concept Unification Until Dial Tone Petit Mal […]

  • RINGWORM: Share New Song “Dead To Me”

    Death Becomes My Voice is out May 3rd on CD/LP/Digital Photo Credit: Barb Merritt Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM share a new song “Dead To Me” less than two weeks before the release of Death Becomes My Voice. Stream the third single from Death Becomes My Voice on YouTube HERE. Additionally, RINGWORM’s Death Becomes My Voice record release weekend is approaching fast on May 3-5. […]

  • INTEGRITY: Digital Catalog Reissues Out Now; Begin April U.S. Tour Dates Next Week

    April 9, 2019

    Photo by Lenoir INTEGRITY’s entire digital catalog has been reissued and is out now via Relapse Records. The band’s highly influential albums, including the 25th-anniversary edition of their landmark Those Who Fear Tomorrow debut full length & 20th anniversary of Humanity Is The Devil, are now available for streaming across all digital platforms. INTEGRITY mastermind Dwid Hellion comments, “I am very proud to […]

  • RINGWORM: Share “Acquiesce” Music Video

    Death Becomes My Voice is out May 3rd on CD/LP/Digital Photo Credit: Barb Merritt Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM share the official video for “Acquiesce” less than one month before the release of Death Becomes My Voice. Watch the new video, directed by Don Tyler and Human Furnace, HERE and listen on all streaming services HERE. Frontman Human Furnace Comments: “The Acquiesce video […]

  • INTER ARMA: Share “Howling Lands” Music Video

    Sulphur English is due out April 12th on CD/2xLP/DigitalPhoto Credit: Joey Wharton Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, share the “Howling Lands” video less than two weeks before the official release of Sulphur English. Watch the full music video, directed by Marcos Morales (Dirt City Studio), HERE. Additionally, INTER ARMA will perform at Decibel’s Metal & Beer Fest Pre-Festand celebrate the release […]

  • RED FANG: Announce Summer European Headline Tour Dates

    Photo Credit: James Rexroad Portland rockers RED FANG announce headlining Summer European tour dates throughout June. The tour includes two festival appearances at Download Festival Madrid & Arsenal Festival. Tickets are on sale Wednesday at 10am CET. RED FANG Tour Dates: May 03: Los Angeles, CA Heavy Psych Sounds @ House of Machines May 04: San Francisco, […]

  • YOB: Share Amoeba Green Room Session; Begin North American Tour Next Week

    Click the image above or follow this link to view Yob’s Amoeba Green Room session: YOB, who kick off a new round of North American tour dates on Tuesday, share a recently taped Amoeba Green Room session: The session was filmed during the band’s previous national tour and features the songs “The Lie That is Sin,” “Breathing […]

  • PIG DESTROYER: Share Adult Swim Singles Track “Cameraman”

    Adult Swim Singles have teamed with grindcore luminaries Pig Destroyer for the 31st installment of the current program. “Cameraman” is Pig Destroyer’s first release since last year’s highly acclaimed album Head Cage, which itself was the first album in six years from the prolific outfit. The new single mines a similar territory as the preceding album; an aggressive and sonically rich […]

  • GATECREEPER: Enter Studio To Record New Full-Length Album

    Arizona’s death metal legion GATECREEPER have begun recording their second full-length album and follow-up to 2016’s Sonoran Depravation. The yet-to-be-titled album is being recorded at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, AZ and will be mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity. The album is expected to be released late 2019. Stay tuned for more information in the […]

  • EXHUMED: Enter Studio To Record 7th Full-Length Album; Begin Latin American Tour Next Week

    March 28, 2019

    Gore Metal maniacs EXHUMED are currently in-studio recording their 7th full-length album and follow up to 2017’s Death Revenge. The currently untitled album is being recorded at the band’s home-built studio Darker Corners, a first in EXHUMED’s legendary career. The album is the first to feature new guitarist Sebastian Phillips (Noisem), is being produced by […]

  • FULL OF HELL: Share “Burning Myrrh” Music Video

    March 20, 2019

    Relapse Debut Album Weeping Choir Coming May 17th Extreme harsh-grinding quartet FULL OF HELL make their Relapse debut with their most explosive album to date, Weeping Choir, coming May 17th. Dynamic, pissed, and wholly urgent, the highly anticipated Weeping Choir is a definitive statement of intent by one of the underground’s most dynamic and virulent entities. Watch the official video […]

  • OUTER HEAVEN: Share Digital Single “Cryptic Vision”

    March 15, 2019

    Pennsylvania, death metal legion OUTER HEAVEN share the exclusive new track “Cryptic Visions” via Decibel Magazine’s Flexi Series. Stream the song and subscribe to the physical flexi series HERE. Realms of Eternal Decay was included in various Best Albums of 2018 lists including Decibel Magazine and Exclaim’s Best Metal & Hardcore albums. OUTER HEAVEN is: Austin […]

  • AUTHOR & PUNISHER: Announce West Coast Tour w/ Wear Your Wounds & Xasthur

    Industrial metal visionary Author & Punisher has teamed up with Wear Your Wounds (solo project of Jacob Bannon) and the notorious Xasthur for seven West Coast shows beginning May 26th. Check out the full list below: 05/26: Seattle, WA @ Highline 05/27: Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge 05/28: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop 05/29: Los Angeles, CA […]

  • RINGWORM: Announce Album Release; Release Tour Dates

    Death Becomes My Voice is out May 3rd on Relapse Records. 30 years into their storied career, Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM ascend to new levels of hostility with 35+ minutes and 11 tracks of no-holds-barred aggression on Death Becomes My Voice. Tracks such as “Let it Burn”, “Acquiesce”, and the band’s explosive title track unleash RINGWORM’s visceral urgency, spawning one […]

  • MONOLORD: Begin Recording New Album

    March 13, 2019

    Swedish hard rock trio MONOLORD have entered Let Them Swing Studio to begin recording their soon-to-be fourth studio album and Relapse debut. The yet-to-be titled album is expected to be released Fall 2019. Stay tuned for more updates. Additionally, MONOLORD return to North America this Spring. The headlining tour begins April 19 in San Diego, […]