Anders Sandvall – Best of 2017

Spread the metal:

Best of year list 2017

1. Astral Doors “Black Eyed Children”

Singer Nils Patrik Johansson and the band gives us well executed 70’s influenced heavy metal tunes. The entire album contains nothing but well played music and the band got something most bands don’t have in the singer Nils Patrik Johansson’s golden voice, he on his own brings the songs to a higher level. He is one of the best metal singers in the world and has been for some time now. The bands previous album NOTES FROM THE SHADOWS came 2014 and it sure was time for the guys to unleash something new to the masses this year. The only sad thing is that this album didn’t make much noice when it came out, this band deserves a bigger recgonition. It feels great to be Swedish when we have bands like Astral Doors!

2. Kreator “Gods Of Violence”

On GODS OF VIOLENCE Mille and the guys do what they do best, bring the world some furious thrash metal. The band grows stronger and stronger with every record they put out and I think the past releases have been just as solid as this current one. Mille Petrozza and Kreator is the undisputed kings of thrash metal.

Accept “The Rise Of Chaos”

Wolf and Peter is holding down the fort with this new album and keeps the german flag high. A really good album but however I don’t think it’s the strongest pick since their comeback. Despite that I think the album contains some really good tunes and the Accept 2.0 shows they are important on the metal scene today.

Arch Enemy “Will To Power”

Michael Amott and band is back with a new album which is the first studio album with guitarist Jeff Loomis and just like the bands previous album WILL TO POWER is awesome. Even though Singer Alissa White-Gluz is no Angela Gossow (yeah I still miss her behind the mic) she does a great work on vocals (just as she did on the previous one). This is a great album from the Swedish melodic death metal monsters. It’s moments like these I’m proud to be Swedish.

Coldspell “A New World Arise”

The Swedish band from the far north in Sweden keeps giving it all on this new album. The previous album “Frozen Paradise” came out 2013 so it has taken the guys quite a long time to unveil the follow up, but what a great album of melodic heavy metal this is. It was worth waiting for.

SoulSpell “The Second Big Bang”

It has taken band leader/drummer Heleno Vale about 5 years to get the new album out but what an album he’s created. The great metal opera continues on and the album contains more guest appearances from solid musicians/singers that really put their mark in the music. This album sure qualifies on the list of best album of 2017.

The Haunted “Strength In Numbers”

The Night Flight Orchestra “Amber Galactic”

Pyramaze “Contingent”

Steel Panther “Lower The Bar”

Dream Evil “Six”

Iced Earth “Incorruptible”

Vandroya “Beyond The Human Mind”

Black Star Riders “Heavy Fire”

Cyhra “Letters To Myself”

Within Silence “Return From The Shadows”

Nocturnal Rites “Phoenix”

The Professionals “What In The World”

Danko Jones “Wild Cat”

Angel Nation “Aeon”

Best Live Album

Iron Maiden “The Book Of Souls – Live Chapter”

This year the legendary Iron Maiden released a new live album recorded at the last tour they did on the album “The Book Of Souls”. It’s a great live album and it was refreshing to hear that the band had the guts to play new songs and not totally rely on the old classics. The album “The Book Of Souls” is a great album and a strong one to. Not many bands that has been in the business for so long continues have got the stamina to deliver such strong albums as Iron Maiden have done with “The Book Of Souls”. However the live album was recorded at several shows and not one single show which I had wished for, it’s also too bad that it’s not avaliable at DVD or Blue Ray.

Entombed “Clandestine Malmö”

Entombed members Alex, Nicke and Uffe did something really special when the three members celebrated the birth of the album “Clandestine” with help of Malmoe Symphony Orchestra a cold day in Malmoe Sweden. First act of the show they performed the album together with the orchestra and the second part the band performed the epic album alone on stage. All of this was made at the venue Malmö Live in Malmö,Sweden last year. I attended the show and it was magical to see Nicke, Uffe and Alex together on stage again.

Arch Enemy “As the stages burn!”

The band performed at Wacken Open Air 2016 and had the biggest backline up to date at this show and it was amazing to say the least. This is also the first recording with new guitarist Jeff Loomis. The sad thing was that the band was playing last out on the last day and a lot of people in the crowd started to leave after the big headlines which meant there weren’t too many people taking part of the show, however I was there and could enjoy the metal madness.

Unisonic “Live in Wacken”

Unisonic live! What more can you say but what a great show with this supergroup! What can go wrong with Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske on the same stage. I witnessed the show at Wacken Open Air 2016 and it was epic in every possible way. It was the one of the best shows the festival delivered for sure.

Best Book

Bruce Dickinson “What Does This Button Do?”

Best DVD

Entombed “Clandestine Malmö”

In the first act the full Malmö Symphony Orchestra and a choir performed “Clandestine”, arranged for orchestra by Thomas Von Wachenfeldt, with the original members from Entombed sitting in as part of the ensemble and with Orvar Säfström on vocals. In the second act, the band for the very first time play the entire album live in the original version with the addition of Edvin Aftonfalk on bass guitar and Robert Andersson on lead vocals.

Accept “Restless & Live”

This is the first relese with the new members in the band and what a show this is! Captured on blueray from Bang Your Head Festival 2015, the two cd’s is from “Blind Rage – Live In Europe 2015” this is nothing but how german heavy metal should be played. My heroes from the 80’s do deliver big time with this box.

Arch Enemy “As the stages burn!”

Primal Fear “Angels of mercy/Live in Germany”

Kai Hansen “Thank you Wacken – Live”

Best Concert

Rob Zombie Helveti Stage at Copenhell Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark

Avantasia Wacken Open Air Festival Germany

Astral Doors support act to HammerFall at Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden

Kreator Gods Of Violence European Tour 2017: Leg 1 at Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark

Slayer Helveti Stage at Copehell Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark

Alice Cooper Liseberg Gothenburg Sweden

Best local band

Va Rocks

This all female trio delivers nothing but pure energetic and powerfull hardrock/punk rock’n’roll. The band has the potential to go really far with the right people backing them up. My expectations for 2018 is for Va Rocks to release a new ass kicking album.


“Chained In Blood” is the name of the latest album from 2013 by this explosive death/thrash metal band from Malmoe Sweden. Well, isn’t it time for a new release 2018? I really long to hear more from the masters of death/thrash metal!

Team Anarchy

From Malmö comes the new band Team Anarchy that contains of well known skilled local musicians, the band performed at Malmöfestival this year and what a show that was! Well played political crustpunk/metal. That was one of the best shows at Malmöfestivalen! Until today the band relesed a single and a video but I hope to see a studio album coming from Team Anarchy this year.


It has been silent from this progressive metal band for a while now but I hope that they guys soon will come to live again and deliver some new music. Band leader and guitarist Johan Reinholdz is now a part of the ground breaking Dark Tranquility and that maybe effect Andromeda’s situation.

Best new band

Cyhra “Letters To Myself”

What can go wrong when five super experienced metal heads comes together and write music? Well nothing really and “Letters To Myself” is the excellent handy work of people from In Flames and Amaranthe. I’m eager to see what they’re up to in 2018.

Best Discovery

The Professionals “What In The World”

Ex – Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook started the band The Professionals after The Sex Pistols broke up 1979 to early 1982 and again from 2015. They reunited in 2015 and under 2017 the band announced via their official Facebook page that the lineup of founding member Paul Cook along with Paul Myers and Tom Spencer would be releasing the first new music under the Professionals name in 35 years. Although Steve Jones isn’t officially listed as a member of this new incarnation of the group, the band confirmed it is with his full blessing and that he is featured on the album alongside other guests including Marco Pirroni,Billy Duffy,Duff McKagen, Steve Jones, Phil Collen and Micke Jones etc. This is simply one of the best albums of 2017 and I can’t stop listening to it.

Angel Nation “Aeon”

Major events in the Metal world

The death of guitarist of ex-The Hallacopters, ex-Dundertåget etc Robert “Strängen” Dahlqvist. I was so sad when I heard of the 40 year old Dahlqvist’s passing. He was a modern legend.

Backyard Babies “Live At Cirkus”
Unfortunately I have to bash one of my favorite acts for years… I can’t understand why the band wanted to release this DVD/BluRay in the first place. It feels like the band lost their energy, power, the edge, and the punk attitude that once made them and their music so popular, it feels like the guys lost their mojo and they certainly didn’t find it at the show shot at Cirkus in Stockholm Sweden.

Dirkschnider “Live – Back To The Roots – Accepted!”
Here comes one more live blueray/dvd/cd where Udo sings Accept songs. This version is basically the same show with songs he sang on the previous release that came 2016, this new version is pretty much the same show but now packaged on bluray/DVD/CD/vinyl and not only on CD. Question is: haven’t we heard the songs before? I wonder if the label is out cramming fans on money with this release?

Kiss live in Gothenburg, Sweden on “Kiss World Tour 2017”

This summer Kiss once again toured Europe which was OK. The band did deliver what they use to fires, big lights and a lot of good songs. The big problem is original member Paul Stanley that couldn’t take on the high notes or for that fact sing well any more, sad but true. The new members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer did a great work as well as original member Gene Simmons. The weak link during this tour was clearly Stanley’s voice that left a lot more to wish for. To be honest, his voice haven’t delivered solid for quite a few years now. I also think that it’s too bad that Singer and Thayer have on the same make-up as Frehley and Criss. And why does the band continue to release compilations and live albums…bring us some new material please.

The death of AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young was a chock for us all. Despite the fact he was ill and not had been in the band for a long time it’s sad to know that one of the world best rhytm guitarists no longer is with us.

The fact that matter of meet and greet is taking a bigger and bigger part of the musical experience is a shame. Many of the bigger bands are now selling meet and greets and charge a ridiculously amount of money from the fans to meet them. Why is that?? It’s a shame that artists or bands wants more money, is it not enough that fans are buying your cds, vinyls , live dvd’s/blueray, concert tickets, go to the shows, shirts and much more. Are you now going to have to pay to meet your idols? Nah, I think I pass.

Motörhead “Under cöver” why is this album even out? The band have done a lot of covers and if you are a fan of the band you probably already have the songs. This is only a cheap way to take more money from the fans and I don’t like this at all.

The re-united The Hellacopters put on more shows and I saw the, perform at Liseberg in Gothenburg Sweden. Besides that the band put on a few festival shows. And what a show the band did that night!! It was fun to see the best rock ‘n’ roll/garage band come alive again. Sad that not orignal bass player Kenny Håkansson was in the band any more, he was replaced by Sami Yaffa (ex-Hanoi Rocks, Ex- New York Dolls etc and now with Michael Monroe band).

One of the true rock’n’rollers Chuck Berry left us this past year at the age of 90. Too bad about his passing but on the other hand was the man 90 years and maybe it was this time to go now.

Firewind “Immortals” is not what I thought it to be and had expected. Not many great songs made it on to the album songs and I’m not keen of new singer Henning Basse one bit. He doesn’t sing well at all and the band was much better when old singer Apollo Papathanasio was in the band.

Predictions for 2018

Iron Maiden will once again go out on tour which is going to be great, fun to once again see that band play live.

Saxon “Thunderbolt” the new album with the legendary Saxon is about to come out next year. It’s about time for the guys to deliver some new goods to the fans, their previous album came 2015…

Arch Enemy will finally tour Sweden, the band hasn’t toured Sweden for a while now so it’s about time.

Michael Monroe is going to release a new album next year and I can’t wait to hear what he has got going on.

Nightwish is heading out and tour again a lot of tour dates and festival dates are already clear. The band says this about their tour – “We will have a very special setlist for the tour, featuring rarely heard material from the earlier era, and excitingly for both band and fans, they will revisit the old songs with some new twists. This setlist will be a ‘one-off’ and only performed on this DECADES: WORLD TOUR 2018”

At The Gates is going to release a new album next year which is considered to be a follow up to the comeback album “At War With Reality” that come out 2014. The band also got some shows are booked for next year.

A lot of fun festivals are taking place in Europe like Wacken Open Air, Graspop Metal Metating and Copenhell Festival. And in Sweden Gefle Metal Fest, Sabaton Open Air and the new festival MelodicRock Fest to name a few. Always fun with festivals.

The Swedish legendary alternative metal band Clawfinger is back again and this year a new single was released in “Save Our Soul” . Lets hope that the guys is following it up with a studio album. I saw the band perform at Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany this summer and what a show that was. The band is hopefully back for good now.

Looking forward to see The Hellacopters perform more live.

D.A.D the danish legends is soon about to release a new album and, It has been a long time since they did relesed new songs with the album “Dic.nii.lan.daft.erd.ark” from 2011.

More bands are going to release albums next year like Judas Priest, Behemoth, The Dead Daisies, Hardcore Superstar, Powerwolf, Mustasch and more.