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Top 30 Rock Albums Of 2017

Top 30 Rock Albums Of 2017

Rock is such a vague and far reaching term nowadays. In its most general sense, rock was the biggest musical style of the 20th century. And every other genre of modern music has borrowed elements of it. These days what passes for rock, particularly in the alternative sub-genre, irks a lot of music fans who think of loud, aggressive, guitar-driven music when they think of rock. This list is for them with most of the albums featured here being hard, loud, and fast. A disclaimer: a few of these artists could be considered metal but we put them on this list to differentiate them from their more extreme or traditionally styled peers. Now get to reading! And give a listen to any of these records you haven't heard yet.


30. Ded



29. Living Colour



28. Marilyn Manson

Heaven Upside Down


27. Seether

Poison The Parish


26. Shaman's Harvest

Red Hands Black Deeds


25. Josh Todd & The Conflict

Year Of The Tiger


24. Asking Alexandria

Asking Alexandria 


23. Jessica Lea Mayfield

Sorry Is Gone 


22. The Cell Phones



21. Life Of Agony

A Place Where There's No More Pain


20. Mastodon

Cold Dark Place


19. Paramore

After Laughter


18. Glassjaw

Material Control


17. Doll Skin

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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16. Gone Is Gone



15. Starset



14. Nothing More

The Stories We Tell Ourselves 


13. Silverstein

Dead Reflection


12. Royal Blood

How Did We Get So Dark?


11. Dead Cross

Dead Cross


10. BackWordz


If there was ever a band that could bring respect back to rap rock single handed its BackWordz. Frontman Eric July might be the best rapper to perform over guitars since Zach De La Rocha and brings a similar level of politically charged fire to his lyrics. With the major difference of it coming from a Libertarian perspective.  July also mixes hardcore style screaming into his vocals which contrast with bassist Alex James' melodic singing. This gives the band a Linkin Park style of accessibility which will bring many ears to their message. BackWordz will either piss you off or make you think. Regardless their talent can't be denied. 


9. Death From Above 

Outrage! Is Now

Death From Above drop the year from their name and add a lot more soundscapes to their style beyond the straightforward dance punk they're known for. The track "Never Swim Alone" has a "We Will Rock You" type of beat and a start/stop, high toned bass melody. "Freeze Me" is built around a catchy piano line that the bass follows for the chorus and is an album favorite. And "Caught Up" has a "sexy" rhythm to it with its slinky bass lines and Sebastien Grainger's high toned vocals in the chorus. The album showcases a lot of diversity through the band's simple set up and accents the duo's talent for off beat songwriting. 


8. Toothgrinder

Phantom Amour

Toothgrinder is a hard band to define. Even calling them progressive metal/rock doesn't do them justice. But the best way I can describe their previous work is dynamic, highly aggressive metal with a strong lean towards bass heavy guitars. With Phantom Amour however the band seeks to explore as many soundscapes as possible and explore more melody than they have previously. It's still heavy as hell but blends a lot more clean singing and soothing vibes. It's a proggy, stoner rocky, chuggy, thrill ride that cannot be missed. 


7. We Came As Romans

Cold Like War

After what many considered a misstep on their self-titled album, We Came As Romans have returned to the sound they're more known for with Cold Like War. A winning move as the album sounds as polished as ever and is filled with hit after hit. It contains the more accessible vibe aimed for on their previous album but balances it well with the heavy that will both please old fans and win over newcomers. "Wasted Age" and "Two Hands" are sure fire hits and the heaviest cut, "Encoder", is a personal favorite with its blend of danceable electronics and metalcore fury. 


6. At The Drive In

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One of the most yearned for reunions in rock music happened in 2016 with the reformation of At The Drive In. The highly anticipated album to follow came in May of 2017 and was everything fans could've hoped for. Despite coming 17 years after their breakthrough classic Relationship Of Command, in-ter a-li-a holds all the unique energy and guitar spazz of its predecessor with the additions of slightly rawer production and a bigger focus on hooks. 


5. Volumes

Different Animals

The addition of Myke Terry in the band has given Volumes the missing piece they needed to set their sound over the top. His soulful,  vocal style gives the band unparalleled freedom to explore their melodic side that they only dabbled in on their previous work. It makes for great contrast with Gus Farias' powerful screams and diversifies Volumes sound. "Finite" and "Feels Good" are bona-fide hits that balance heavy and melodic sounds that rival the likes of early Linkin Park. It'll be exciting to see what more the band can do with this new line up in the future.


4. While She Sleeps

You Are We

The level of growth While She Sleeps have made from album to album is astounding. And their latest album You Are We is leaps and bounds from where the band started. Eschewing a lot of the formula many of their metalcore peers follow, the band infused a healthy dose of melody into this record. Giving their guitarists a much bigger role vocally allowed for a new level of interplay between them and the screams of frontman "Loz" Taylor. The band's song craft has also improved immensely with the track "Silence Speaks" being one of the greatest songs to ever be produced by the genre.   


3. Nothing But Theives 

Broken Machine

Conor Mason singing the alphabet would make for a hit song. Let alone a record full of well crafted tracks that go above and beyond what Nothing But Thieves did on their debut. The songs have a greater diversity to them and have more upbeat tracks to make for more exciting pacing throughout the record. "Sorry" and "Soda" are strong examples of the more laid back sound the band had already perfected previously. But "Amsterdam", "Number 13", and especially the soaring "I'm Not Made By Design" show the level of growth the band has made as instrumentalists and Mason as a singer. 


2. Brand New

Science Fiction

Brand New took their sweet time to release a new album. But it was well worth the wait. The band's familiar stylings of atmospheric guitar noise, poetically introspective lyricism, and air tight songwriting sound more polished than ever. "Waste" and "In The Water" are mellowed out favorites. "451" has an infectious bluesy groove. But "Out Of Mana" is the album favorite by far with it's 90's styled loud/soft dynamics and powerful lead riff in the chorus. With the band slated to break up in 2018 Science Fiction is quite the summit to end the band's discography on. 


1. Stone Sour


You'll be hard pressed to find an album more diverse than Hydrograd. Despite being fifteen tracks long and over an hour in length it keeps things interesting. There's some straightforward hard rock in the tracks "Fabuless" and "Mercy", metal in "Whiplash Pants" and "Somebody Stole My Eyes", soft rockers in "Song #3" and "Rose Red, Violet Blue", and even a country tune in "St. Marie". The shift to a more rock focused sound was a good move for the band. The album is quality front to back with a little something for everybody and sets itself apart from most of Stone Sour's discography. 

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