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Senior Editor Dave Cantrell and crucial contributer Victor Montes Sort out 2017’s Top 25 Post-Punk Albums For You

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“Holy shit. 2017, what a fucking year!” may perhaps be the most uttered phrase on people’s lips as the drawbridge comes down and a new dawn beckons. But of course the sentiment behind those words will differ dramatically depending on what end of the castle you’ve been keeping yourself since the inaugural days of this particularly pivotal turn around the sun. While certainly discouraging insofar as partisan politics is concerned – and pardon me for saying but where one places oneself along that divide has never betokened a starker contrast between empathy- (and, well, fact-) based reality and its raving polar opposite – when that same opening phrase is applied to music – quelle surprise! – it takes on a whole other meaning, not least in the (ridiculously) still-thriving world of post-punk, darkwave, dark synthwave, etc etc. Viewed through that lens, it’s been a crazy good year. So good in fact that it’s been difficult for one too-busy editor to keep full abreast of it all, and so for this end-of-year we’ve invited the none-so-keener perspective of tireless darkwave hunter Victor Montes, whose contributions have been critical to our view of the current landscape over the past twelve months. Vital youth aids long-in-the-tooth experience, yeah? Yeah. The result, we feel, is an overview quite possibly without compare. While many such lists will include the words ‘in no particular order,’ we say ‘Screw that.’ All of these were superior but, frankly, some more than others (if only by the merest of degrees). Given SEM’s propensity for profiling and contextualization when presenting the NEXT lists, we’re going to let the titles and their artists speak for themselves this time via the links provided, and just give you a 1-through-25 rundown of the best this year had to offer. To reiterate, “Holy shit, 2017, what a fucking year.” [check down below for purchase links]

1. DRAB MAJESTY “The Demonstration” (Dais Records)

 

2. PROTOMARTYR “Relatives in Descent” (Domino)

 

3. GLAARE “To Deaf and Day” (Dune Altar)

 

4. SNEAKS “It’s A Myth” (Merge)

 

5. SECOND STILL “Second Still” (Manic Depression)

 

6. SIXTH JUNE “Virgo Rising” (aufnahme + wiedergabe)

 

7. VEIL OF LIGHT “Front Teeth” (Avant!)

 

8. MEMENTUT “In the Shadow of God” (self-released)

 

9. PLOHO “Bumazhnie Bomby” (self-released)

 

10. PAST “Czarno/Biala” (Last Hour Records)

 

11. M!R!M “luvenis” (Manic Depression)

 

12. SALLY DIGE “Holding On” (Avant!)

 

13. EYE STEAL “Burning Out” (self-released)

 

14. CRYING VESSEL “A Beautiful Curse” (Manic Depression)

15. SUPERNOVA 1006 “Unique World” (Sierpien Records)

 

16. ÖTZI “Ghosts” (Last Hour Records)

 

17. SUIR “Ater” (Black Verb Records)

 

18. DEATH BELLS “Standing at the Edge of the World” (Funeral Party Records)

 

19. ARIEL MANIKI & the BLACK HALOS “Ritual” (Deepland Records)

 

20. SEXTILE “Albeit Living” (felte)

 

21. THE SHYNESS OF STRANGERS “Time” (Unknown Pleasures Records)

 

22. ANTIPOLE “Northern Flux” (Unknown Pleasures Records)

 

23. THE SECRET LIGHT “Mirror Mirror” (self-released)

 

 

24. AZAR SWAN “Savage Exile” (aufnahme + wiedegabe)

25. HAVAH “Contravveleno” (Maple Death Records)

 

To buy:

DRAB MAJESTY

PROTOMARTYR

GLAARE

SNEAKS

SECOND STILL

SIXTH JUNE

VEIL OF LIGHT

MEMENTUT

PLOHO

PAST

M!R!M

SALLY DIGE

EYE STEAL

CRYING VESSEL

SUPERNOVA 1006

ÖTZI

SUIR

DEATH BELLS

ARIEL MANIKI & THE BLACK HALOS

SEXTILE

THE SHYNESS OF STRANGERS

ANTIPOLE

THE SECRET LIGHT

AZAR SWAN

HAVAH