It’s been a good year for heavy music in Australia, with a whole crop of bands making waves both at home and, perhaps more importantly, overseas. Sentinel Daily‘s team of writers have been thinking about which bands in particular rocked their Antipodean sensibilities in 2017, and came up with this ten-strong list of albums, brought to you in conjunction with Sentinel Daily Radio, which they considered to be the cream of the crop of Down Under-based acts in 2017…

10. TaberahSinner’s Lament (Rocket Distribution)
Tasmanian power metallers Taberah have carved a nice niche for themselves in the Australian metal scene, a fact borne out by the great reception they garnered for their new release, Sinner’s Lament. Perhaps the first album they’ve recorded to really harness the band’s boundless live energy, it also features the band’s now-infamous cover of the Eagles‘ classic rock chestnut, Hotel California. – Ferry Templeton, 11/12/17


9. A Breach of SilenceSecrets (Eclipse Records)
 A Breach of Silence
“The album is a rollicking ride all the way through. It has all the big licks, range of riffs, and various breakdowns, yelled, growled and screamed vocals that are expected from this genre. A Breach of Silence albums stand out from their counterparts in one way though, as the chorus is often huge, featuring soaring, clean vocals akin to power metal that can be happily sung along to, leading to the defining of the term powercore” – Paul Kerr, 24/01/17


8. Claim the ThroneOn Desolate Plains (Own Label)
“Tracks like the excellent Mantra see the band really stretching out, but they retain that inner core of steel at all times, meaning this is surely the most universally-appealing Claim the Throne record we’ve been confronted with yet. The band are clearly ready to make a step up – and if you’ve not familiarised yourself with them before then On Desolate Plains is a magnificent place to start” – Scott Adams, 17/10/2017


7. Mental CavityAneurysm (EVP)
Mental Cavity
“New noise from Down Under that really gets the job done… As ever in 2017 there’s not a lot of originality here, but that’s not really the point. The band create an ambience that’s all their own, working within a relatively rigid set of reference points with exhilarating fleet footedness and a surprising lightness of sledgehammer touch. Highly recommended!” – Michael Stronge, 01/11/17


6. ContriveSlow Dissolve (Contrive Music)
“The title track… is an energetic thrasher which ends the album with a beautiful blast of brutal bellicosity. Slow Dissolve is an enjoyable, at times exciting album” – Gavin Strickmann, 21/08/2017


5. Ne ObliviscarisUrn (Season of Mist)
Ne Obliviscaris
Ne Obliviscaris continue to forge their own path at the forefront of the world extreme progressive metal scene; Showing the courage of their not inconsiderable conviction has clearly not hampered these single-minded men of destiny, who now stand as leaders rather than followers on the world stage. Hats off to them, and to Urn, which sees the band refining their prog metal assault to an even finer point. World domination awaits! – Scott Adams, 11/12/17


4. DesecratorTo the Gallows (Dinner for Wolves)
“At the end of the day, Desecrator have done what they’ve long threatened, which is to go into the studio and record a classic of new-meets-old thrash metal genius – and that certainly meets with a thumbs up from us here at Sentinel Daily” – Scott Adams 08/04/17


3. MasonImpervious (Own Label)
“There’s a lot of top notch ‘trad’ thrash coming out of Australia at the moment – it was Desecrator, after all, you’ll remember, who reminded us that thrash is a verb – but I’ll be very surprised if I hear anything better than this worldwide, let alone from Australia, this year. This is what thrash metal should sound like in 2017” – Michael Stronge, 26/09/17


2. King ParrotUgly Produce (EVP/Housecore/Agonia)
King Parrot
“You’ll love this, but you might need some sedatives afterwards… When the album finishes you’ll probably be glad of a few seconds respite, but bugger me if you ain’t reaching to press the play button again once you’ve collected your dignity and donned some clean underwear. Like a say, a bloody, pus-encrusted triumph. Well done, Australian blokes…” – Michael Stronge, 08/09/2017

1. Caligula’s HorseIn Contact (InsideOut Music)
It’s hopefully too early in the band’s career to proclaim In Contact as their magnum opus, but for the moment it certainly stands as their most consistently impressive work to date. Built around the searingly fluid guitar playing of Sam Vallen and the impassioned vocalising of Jim Grey, In Contact is an intensely emotional assault on the listener’s sensibilities that shows the way to the chasing pack of Aussie prog hopefuls. Masterful stuff. – Scott Adams, 11/12/2017

More tracks from all the albums in our top ten can be heard playing on Sentinel Daily Radio, which broadcasts twenty four hours a day, seven days a week via the Tunein platform.