My latest 2017 release is "Sinner's Lament" by TABERAH. Although I've been aware of this Australian band for some time, their previous albums never impressed me enough to make me open my wallet.
So I agree with the reviewer at Metal Obsession who wrote, "In about every aspect, however, this album is a significant step up from previous releases." He went on to say:
Every year, there is one of those Australian metal albums that you feel everyone should get their hands on. For me, that is this album. I don’t think I could have asked for a better follow up to (their previous album) Necromancer. More of this, please!
My latest 2017 release is "Lightning Strikes the Crown" by IRONFLAME. This began as a one-man solo project inspired by "the untimely passing of a good friend". However, reaction was so positive that a record deal with Divebomb Records, a CD re-release with two new tracks, and a full touring band were the result.
Kit at True Metal Lives gave "Lightning Strikes the Crown" an 8.5/10 rating and wrote:
It is a testament to the man's talent, skill and impeccable attention to detail that you'd never know from listening to this album that it's just one guy. The songwriting is remarkably well developed, the performances are top-notch, and the production values are quite strong throughout. Lightning Strikes the Crown clocks in at 10 songs and 50 minutes of inspired, high-energy melodic heavy metal glory, laden with killer compositions, cool riffs, stellar vocals, and well-crafted hooks that will embed themselves in your cranium and never let go.
I've linked to a sample IRONFLAME song, and their entire 2017 album, in the first post of this thread.
P.S. As Kit notes in his review, there are two versions of this album in existence. The original independent release had eight tracks and a 40 minute runtime. The Divebomb Records version is ten tracks and 50 minutes. The CD I bought from Amazon is the full version. But if you're buying from, e.g., eBay you'll want to verify which version you're getting.
My latest 2017 release is "Against All Kings", the fifth album by VHALDEMAR. I had previously purchased their second album, "I Made My Own Hell".
Bruno Medeiros at The Metal Crypt gave "Against All Kings" a 4.5/5 rating and wrote:
Vhaldemar brilliantly mixes elements from bands such as Grave Digger, Iron Savior, Stormwarrior, Manowar and even X-Wild – especially when Escudero's harsher vocal lines come to surface – like on "I Will Stand Forever" – into their own stuff, which in turn resulted in one of the most awesome, badass and wimp-proof Power Metal albums of 2017. Vicious and relentless, the Spanish quintet floods Against All Kings with inspiring moments and killer attitude. Great album.
My latest 2017 release is the self-titled debut album by NIGHT LEGION. The band was founded by Stu "The Hammer" Marshall (EMPIRES OF EDEN et al.). Although the band formed in 2016, the members go back years.
The reviewer at Lords of Metal gives "Night Legion" an 80/100 rating and wrote:
A very tight rhythm section, a flaming guitar player, an excellent heavy metal singing voice, a bunch of catchy songs on a CD wrapped in tasty artwork, and Australia has a new band full of potency. Night Legion plays heavy metal as taught by the German school, something that explains their quick signing with Massacre Records. But can they do that in the land down under, play German metal?
Yes they can, or at least these four blokes can! ... A more than fine heavy metal album and a recommendation for fans of bands like Rage, Running Wild and Iron Saviour.
My latest 2017 release is "Vicious Breed" by LADY BEAST, a female-fronted band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The reviewer at Dangerdog Music Reviews gives it 4.5/5.0 and writes:
Led by Ms Levine at the microphone, she has a straight forward heavy metal voice: strong, melodic, clean, and often in harmony with the guitar parts. A twin guitar presence follows this, allowing for the depth of riff harmony and bunches of fiery solos. Underneath and alongside, the rhythm section delivers speed, power, and groove. The formula is tried and true, and Lady Beast follows it with consistency...
Needless to say, with Vicious Breed Lady Beast scores another win: a powerful and entertaining album of traditional and classic melodic heavy metal with the power of speed metal tossed in for good measure. Easily recommended.