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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



  • ZONAL: Share Self-Titled Song From Wrecked on The Wire

    October 22, 2019

    ZONAL, the brainchild of the critically acclaimed duo Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu/JK Flesh) and Kevin Martin (The Bug/King Midas Sound) are streaming another new track off their forthcoming Relapse Records debut, Wrecked. The band are sharing the full-length’s title track on The Wire HERE and YouTube HERE ZONAL Comments: “‘Wrecked’ is our slo-mo vision for smacked out dub and heavily tranquilized hip hop. A parallel dreamworld […]

  • EXHUMED: Share NSFW “Naked, Screaming, and Covered in Blood” Music Video on Decibel Magazine

    Gore Metal maniacs EXHUMED share the “Naked, Screaming, and Covered in Blood” music video. Watch the SoCal Cinema directed NSFW (nudity, blood) video via Decibel Magazine HERE and YouTube HERE. EXHUMED frontman Matt Harvey comments: “We’re excited to share this video nasty with all you creeps and mutants. There’s a NSFW version [the one below] that hews closely to the title, and then a […]

  • GATECREEPER: Share New Single “Everlasting” On Revolver Magazine

    September 17, 2019

    Critically acclaimed Arizona death metal band GATECREEPER share “Everlasting”, the second single off their highly anticipated new album Deserted, coming October 4th on Relapse Records. Listen now via Revolver Magazine HERE. GATECREEPER vocalist Chase Mason comments:  “Everlasting shows the murkier side of Gatecreeper to close out the A side of Deserted. We incorporated some new subtle elements into this song like the Finnish […]

  • AUTHOR & PUNISHER: Digital Single “A Crude Sectioning” Available Now On All Streaming Services

    Industrial metal visionary AUTHOR & PUNISHER’s digital single “A Crude Sectioning”, previously an Adult Swim Singles song, is available on all streaming services at Additionally, AUTHOR & PUNISHER’s sixth studio album Beastland is out now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages are available HERE and Digital Downloads / Streaming AT THIS LOCATION. A full collection of AUTHOR & PUNISHER music videos are available via […]

  • GATECREEPER & EXHUMED Announce Co-Headlining US Fall Tour

    August 27, 2019

    Sonoran death metal legion GATECREEPER and Gore metal maniacs EXHUMED announce a co-headlining US tour through the Fall. Both bands will tour in support of their new albums Deserted & Horror – both out on October 4th. The tour begins on October 31 in Austin, TX and ends December 4 in Las Vegas, NV. Additional support by Necrot & Judiciary. All confirmed tour […]

  • CEREMONY: Debut Video & Title-Track From Forthcoming Album In The Spirit World Now On August 23rd

    Today, Ceremony reveal their new video and album title track, “In the Spirit World Now“. Front man and lyricist Ross Farrar explains, “The spirit world came about through the reading of Saul Bellow‘s  ‘Humboldt’s Gift‘. The novel’s fictitious character, Von Humboldt Fleisher, writes a long letter to the protagonist, Charlie Citrine, which announces, We are not natural beings, but supernatural beings. I […]

  • OBITUARY: Announce Headline North American Fall Tour Dates

    July 31, 2019

    Florida death metal legends OBITUARY announce headlining fall tour dates throughout North America with Abbath. The 24 date tour begins September 27 in Baton Rouge, LA and ends October 25 in Atlanta, GA. Additional support by Midnight and labelmates Devil Master. Tickets are on sale Friday, June 28th at 10am local time. All confirmed tour dates are available […]

  • CEREMONY: Announce ‘In The Spirit World Now’ & Share Music Video

    Album Art By: Greg Ito | Hi Res Version Here Ceremony are back with their most driving, intelligent collection of songs to date. In the Spirit World Now marks a milestone for the legendary Californian punk outfit who have stayed true to themselves as songwriters throughout massive sonic growth throughout their long, storied career. It sees Ceremony take another step into a space […]

  • TORCHE: Share “Admission” Video

    Miami heavy rockers Torche has unveiled a video for “Admission” (, with the clip for the album’s title track created by the band’s own Rick Smith and Jonathan Nuñez. “’Admission,’ the title track off of our new album, is an extremely important song to us on many levels. Steve has opened the doors to a deep and personal place, lyrically shedding light […]

  • DEVOURMENT: Announce 5th Full-Length Album Obscene Majesty Coming August 16; Share New Song “Cognitive Sedation Butchery”

    After 6 long-awaited years, DEVOURMENT return to raw form, embodying brutality with their ferocious new album, Obscene Majesty, coming August 16 on Relapse Records. Featuring Brad Fincher on drums and Ruben Rosas on vocals – a lineup previously only heard on the band’s 1999 landmark album Molesting the Decapitated – the pioneers of brutal death metal sharpen their blades once again, and unleash some […]

  • PINKISH BLACK’s 4th Full-Length Album Concept Unification Is Out Now

    STREAM CONCEPT UNIFICATIONSpotify | Apple Music | YouTube | Bandcamp Today, Texas experimental duo PINKISH BLACK release their 4th full-length albumConcept Unification! Order and stream now at. A full album is available on YouTube HERE. Concept Unification physical packages are available via HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming Services are available HERE. A full collection of PINKISH BLACK videos are available HERE. “An ominous and dreamlike journey through the sinister world of […]

  • RED FANG: New Song “Antidote” Available On Streaming Services

    Portland rockers RED FANG’s digital single “Antidote” is now available on all streaming services! The track was previously exclusive to the mobile app game Red Fang: Headbang! Listen on all streaming services at Watch an accompanying music video, directed by Ansel Wallenfang & produced by Wieden+Kennedy, AT THIS LOCATION. RED FANG Comments: “For those of you who suck at video games, now you […]

  • INTER ARMA: Announce Fall European Headline Tour

    STREAM SULPHUR ENGLISH HERE:Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube | Bandcamp Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, announce Fall European headline tour dates. The tour begins October 10 in Spain and ends November 13 in Russia. The band is touring in support of their new album Sulphur English. European tour includes festival appearances at Damnation Festival, Desert Fest & more. Sulphur […]

  • TORCHE: Share New Song “Times Missing” via Revolver

    Miami heavy rockers TORCHE, who recently announced a July 12 release date for their first new album in over four years, Admission, share a second track from the Relapse Records’ release. Listen to “Times Missing” via Revolver HERE and YouTube HERE. “’Times Missing’ is a Jekyll and Hyde song about the nights you don’t remember, but everyone else does,” Singer/guitar player […]

  • PINKISH BLACK: Share New Song “Concept Unification” on Revolver Magazine

    Texas experimental duo PINKISH BLACK unveil the hypnotic, third single “Concept Unification” off Concept Unification, coming June 14 on Relapse. Watch and listen now on Revolver Magazine HERE and YouTube 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. Listen to PINKISH BLACK’s previously released songs “Dial Tone” HERE and “Until” HERE. PINKISH […]

  • CHERUBS: Announce 5th Full-Length Album Immaculada High; Share New “Sooey Pig”

    Rightfully hailed as “the noisiest pop music on the planet” by Pitchfork, Austin, TX’s cult noise rock trio CHERUBS have been purveyors of sonic bedlam since their inception in 1991. Today, CHERUBS announce their Relapse debut and new full-length album Immaculada High, coming July 26. Listen to the first single “Sooey Pig” now on YouTube HERE and all streaming services HERE. CHERUBS comments on Immaculada High: “This recording […]

  • RINGWORM: Announce Summer Headline Tour Dates

    May 28, 2019

    Photo Credit: Barb Merritt Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM announce Summer headline tour dates throughout June. The band will be touring in support of their new album Death Becomes My Voice! Support will be provided by All Hell and all confirmed dates are available below. RINGWORM’s 8th studio album Death Becomes My Voice is out […]

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

    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. […]