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This will be my last Editor’s Choice as Editor In-Chief at Invisible Oranges.

Christ it feels strange to type that, but I’ve nearly typed it many times.

One week from today I will turn in my keys to the office of this fine establishment. I will miss doing this very badly. When I joined this site I had a list of potential projects about three Microsoft Word pages long. I have now reached the end of that list, and those projects are either now public on this site, or unable to be completed to my satisfaction. And besides, as our founder Cosmo Lee said when I interviewed him, I like it when there’s a new Batman.

First and foremost I want to extend my thanks to all of you readers, those who were commenting with me in the early days of the site, and those who joined while I was scribbling alike. Second, I wish to extend my thanks to the writers, photographers and designers who made this site what it is. Give them all a round of applause.

In this post you will find the last of my picks as editor, plus staff lists for the best albums from the first half of 2017. It seems ridiculous to do this now when so many amazing records are just on the horizon, home runs by Tau Cross, Cormorant, Decrepit Birth and of course Paradise Lost, but those are for a different hands to write than mine.

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Coldfells - Coldfells
Immolation - Atonement
Kreator - Gods of Violence
Life of Agony - A Place Where There’s No More Pain
Locust Leaves - A Subtler Kind of Light
Memoriam - For the Fallen
Pillorian - Obsidian Arc
Run the Jewels - RTJ3
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him

-Joseph Schafer

Kendrick Lamar - Damn
Asira - Efference
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day
Wear Your Wounds - WYW
John Frum - A Stirring in the Noos
Sampha - Process
Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial
Elder - Reflections of a Floating World
Earth Electric - Vol. 1 Solar

Runners up for the “metal is a closed circle” folks:

Aseethe - Hopes Of Failure
Pallbearer - Heartless

-Ian Cory

This year's musical sense started of slow, at least as far as quality versus volume. These last few weeks have definitely brought about some great records which have warranted multiple listens and broke me out of my "Jon only listens to five albums when he doesn't check out new stuff" rut. The rest of the year has some great releases in store, too. Can deal. The first three of these are definitely my top favorites, but the rest are just kind of jumbled.

Planning for Burial - Below the House
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
Circle of Ouroborus - Ruumistähdet
Ozama - Rio de Basura
Wode - Servants of the Countercosmos
Abigor/Nightbringer/Thy Darkened Shade/Mortuus - split (but just for the Abigor and Thy Darkened Shade tracks)
Helheim - landawarijaR
Oxbow - Thin Black Duke
Charnel Winds - Verschränkung

Looking forward to new records from: Pyrrhon, Spectral Voice, Heaven In Her Arms, Yellow Eyes, the 2nd installment of the Wigrid discography boxset series, and maybe new The Elemental Chrysalis and Abigor albums.

-Jon Rosenthal

Bròn - Зарђала Круна
Ex Eye - Ex Eye
Havukruunu - Kelle Surut Soi
Ingurgitating Oblivion - Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light
Isenordal - Shores of Mourning
Mind Mold - Mind Mold
Svrm - За смертю
Tanakh - Unwilling
Viscera/// - 3 | Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals
White Ward - Futility Report

What a year so far. As the world burns, so does the fury of heavy metal's underground. Perception-bending music is in style: "mind-molding" stuff like Mind Mold, or Viscera///. Darkness abounds itself, like with Tanakh or Ingurgitating Oblivion. Don't pass on the super-passionate atmospherics of Bròn and Svrm. Be swooned by saxophone with White Ward and Ex Eye. Charge up with Havukruunu, tune out with Isenordal. And be prepared for new releases from False, One Master, and Pyrrhon.

-Andrew Rothmund

In alphabetical order, here are the ten records that have stuck with me the most thus far this year, though there are probably at least half a dozen more (Necrot, Pharmakon, Power Trip, Coldfells, Ascended Dead, Dynfari, etc.) that could have just as easily appeared here instead. There’s been a lot of good music thus far in 2017.

Black Cilice - Banished From Time
Délétère - Per Aspera Ad Pestalentiam
Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perrential
Isenordal - Shores of Mourning
Jordablod - Upon My Cremation Pyre
Show of Bedlam - Transfiguration
Suffering Hour - In Passing Ascension
Triumvir Foul - Spiritual Bloodshed
Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X)
Woe - Hope Attrition

-Clayton Michaels

Ruins of Beverast - Exuvia
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
Locust Leaves - A Subtler Kind of Light
Pallbearer - Heartless
John Frum - A Stirring In The Noos
Emptiness - Not For Music
Fall of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial
Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him
Craven Idol - The Shackles of Mammon
Walpyrgus - Walpyrgus Nights

-Jason Roche

Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Schammasch - The Maldoror Chants
Need - Hegaiamas
Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial
Kepler Ten - Delta-V
Imber luminis - Nausea
Vintersorg - Till Fjälls Del II
Bestia Arcana - Holocauston
Unleash the Archers - Apex

-Kevin Zecchel

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Without further ado, here’s the editor's choices for June, 2017:

Dying Fetus are better at marketing than making music, at least most of the time. The best thing about their upcoming record Wrong One to Fuck With, besides its on-point title, is this stupendous basketball jersey. But what about the music itself? The title track to the record is a furious, punky moshfest that lives up to the band’s high-water era with Jason Netherton, at least in terms of playfulness.

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Similarly, Trapped Under Ice were always adept at the moshy side of hardcore. The band’s been too-long absent since 2011’s Big Kiss Goodnight, but this year's upcoming Do It shows off a band that’s honed its craft while out of the spotlight. FYI I am TUI till I die, guys.

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Featuring members of Twisted Tower Dire, and While Heaven Wept, North Carolina’s Walpyrgus unsurprisingly deliver an epic take on traditional heavy metal. Vocalist Jonny Aune soars on thermals provided by white-hot guitars. The eminent listenability of their debut, though, does surprise me. I don’t love Twisted Tower Dire or While Heaven Wept, because I find those bands usually a little long in the tooth but short in the hook. A hefty dose of Misfits worship, and maybe even a hint of 80s Ramones, keeps songs like “Dead Girls” lean, mean, and entertaining.

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I don’t usually put a lot of stock into drone music, although I know some people lust after it. This collaborative album by [B O L T] and bilbo, though, ignites my imagination. It feels as though I’m listening to the soundtrack of a very experimental horror film that is playing just outside of my field of vision. Something with art deco robots and also maybe tentacles. I wish I could turn my head, but maybe it’s better that I cannot.

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Alasce, France’s Klang sound a lot like Trap Them. Crunchy, moshy, I dig. Then the vocals come in. Emotive cleans stand off against more predictable grunting. It’s all a bit rough, but puts me in a similar headspace to Burst, and that’s always a good thing.

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File likewise under odd French metal-hardcore fusions. Yurodivy play with the heavier ends of sludge and post hardcore. That is to say they remind me of Refused and occasionally The Ocean. They have something those bands do not, though: one of the most gnarly bass tones I have ever heard.

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It’s almost a shame that A Perfect Circle are back in action. Their kind of unclear proggy, goth alt rock metal hybrid has been played with enough times that a few bands are quite adept at it. Ukraine’s Septa are one such band. The individual pieces of their music, the clean guitar arpeggios and pushing-so-hard singing remind me of an embarrassing part of my youth that now I kind of remember with nostalgia. The songs, though, are really very good. Remember when Klone released their album Dreamer’s Hideaway in 2012 and you wished every song was as good as “Rocket Smoke”? This is the record you were hoping to hear.

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Sweden’s The Sign records are re-releasing albums by TID, one of the sort-of unknown acts that funnelled musicians into an early incarnation of Ghost. Cruising through their bandcamp, however, led to Siberian. In broad strokes an atmospheric sludge record, the band’s Through Ages of Sleep swings madly from mood to mood, and makes for a rollicking listen.

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Boston’s Crowfeeder would not have sounded too out of place on their hometown’s former heavy-hitter record label, Hydra Head. The duo roughly find the sunny side of sludge with a hefty dose of blue notes. Most musicians would take this template and come up with a lacklustre Baroness clone. No Flowers, though has a little edge to it, they don’t sacrifice noise for hooks. The two-member band configuration is pretty common in the Pacific Northwest, but Crowfeeder’s sunnier disposition suits the configuration well.

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