Metal Injection Junkies Vote MASTODON For 2017's Album of the Year
A couple weeks back, we posted our public poll for Best Album of 2017 allowing all our readers to vote for their favorite records of the year. And after a total over 22,000 votes, our our winner is… *drum roll* Mastodon for their seventh full-length album, Emperor of Sand! The album received 1,271 votes, which came to be about 6% of the overall votes. After their most progressive record Crack the Skye, released in 2009, the band took a slightly more hard rock approach with their following LPs The Hunter and Once More 'Round the Sun, however the group seems to be back on heavy, proggy tracks with this recent release as it is more alike Leviathan or Blood Mountain in intensity and quality.
For awhile there, Mastodon was playing tug of war with The Black Dahlia Murder's Nightbringers, continuously getting ahead of each other back and forth, yet TBDM fell short with 1,019 votes. Trivium's The Sin and the Sentence, which boasts a collective consensus of being likely their best record in awhile, ranked the third highest choice via 704 votes. The remaining contenders in the top 10 (within the appx. 2% range) consisted of classic acts like Converge, Cannibal Corpse, Kreator, and Dying Fetus as well as newer groups like Power Trip, Soen, and Code Orange. Analyzing the top 10, I think the range and variety in styles from progressive and death metal to thrash and metalcore allows for proof that there is without a doubt quality across all metal subgenres.
For me though, the real takeaway is the fact that so many newer or "underground" gathered such large amounts of votes. Acts such as 3Teeth, Mutoid Man, Fleshkiller, and Zeal & Ardor gained over 200 votes. In my opinion, these groups are still relatively new with this year's release being either a debut or sophomore LP, so the notion that they recieved such positive attention is a fantastic sign for the continuation and progression of metal music. And while there are releases on the lower half of the poll results that I thought would make it higher, it should be noted that this poll represents only voters' favorites and not necessarily deeming the choices with less votes to be poor records by any means.