Kyle’s Picks: Top 10 Albums of 2017

Resurget Magazine has a unique mix of contributors with a span of music tastes, allowing for a more diverse experience in content. 

Our contributor Kyle Smutzki is an established and recognized local photographer. He has worked with numerous local, up-and-coming and national hardcore bands and is regarded as one of the best hardcore photographers in the Midwest area.

Check out Kyle’s Top 10 albums from 2017 below! 

10. Heron – You Are Here Now (Self Released)

Heron is an instrumental collective group (post-rock band) from Pennsylvania and with this record they were able to find a way to perfectly capture and embrace resonant blends of beauty with some of the most melodic elements and record them into audio files… From what I have been able to gather this record is the first release for this band and it has taken the spot for my favorite post rock release this year.

Check out: “Drop”

 9.  Backtrack – Bad To My World (Bridge Nine Records)

Backtrack is a band in hardcore that has always stuck out to me with both their distinctive sound and the way they can add so much energy into their art.

It has been three years since their last record and they haven’t really done many shows since, but it was clear that they spent time working on this album. I was waiting for this album and they definitely delivered what I wanted. I was lucky enough to catch them on this years “Life After Death Tour” and I hope I get to see them tour this record in the future.

Check out: “Sanity”

8.  Orthodox – Sounds of Loss (Unbeaten Records)

To me Sounds of Loss draws influence from the early nu-metal sound (Korn & System of a Down) and master it by taking out everything that was awesome with that sound throwing a more modern metal/hardcore style into it. It sounds absolutely insane in the very best way possible.

Check out: “Panic”

7.  Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex (Partisan Records)

I stumbled upon this album while going through the musical “blackhole” that YouTube seems to be, and after hearing the first song off the record, “K”, I knew this album would be one I wouldn’t soon forget. Needless to say, it has stuck around and I am still hooked as I was since my first listen. This album is the perfect mix of reverb, soft vocals, and beautiful lyrics, formed into a story of an intimate relationship.  If the sound of this album doesn’t relax you, there is a good chance that you might not be human.

Check out: “Sunsetz”

6.  Freedom – Never Had a Choice (Triple B Records)

Detroit Hardcore at it’s very finest. Never Had a Choice delivers you a package of 100% hardcore and leaves you with some of the most unforgettable riffs attached with some of the catchiest verses you’ll be able to find in hardcore in todays current age.   

Check out: “Eye To Eye”

5. Breaking Wheel- Ceremonial Torture (Self-Released)

It is absolutely crazy to me that this band is not bigger than they currently are. Lyrically, Breaking Wheel is my favorite band in metal and they bring the best live show I’ve seen so far.

This record is evil in the best way possible- with their unique patterns of spoken word before some of the absolute heaviest breakdowns and the face crushing riffs, this “Promo” is one of my favorite releases this year.

Check out: Teleology of Annihilation

4.  Alvvays – Antisocialities (PolyVinyl Records)

This has been my go-to for the night drives, and usually the first album I play when I open up Lightroom to begin editing photos. This album not only introduced me to the band, but it left me craving more artists in the same genre.  What I take out of this record is that it mainly reflects on misery of a failing relationship, but portrayed in the most “easy-listening” perspective way. Though the subject isn’t the most cheerful- in many ways in the record I can relate, and the way they made the connection makes it a favorite release of mine.

Check out: “Dreams Tonite”

3. Citizen – As You Please (Run For Cover Records)

Citizen has been a favorite band of mine for years now, and this record might be my favorite release in their discography. There are points in almost every song on this record when I actually feel overwhelmed with how good it sounds, and I am not over exaggerating that; this album is absolutely emotive in beauty.

Check out: As You Please”

2. Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life (Interscope Records)

Lana is an absolute professional with her craft of finding the catchiest musical patterns and combining her hauntingly engaging vocals to make some of the most beautiful music out there and with this record is, and she did it again but in a way a little different than her previous releases. 

Lust For Life is the first of her five full-length albums she has released featuring other artists (excluding the remix of “Born To Die (ft. Woodkid & The Shoes” off of Born To Die) and I think it’s not out of the bag that the features of the *almighty* Stevie Nicks, Weeknd, A$AP ROCKY, Playboi Carti & Sean Ono Lennon indicate that she may have gone a little bit of a different route with this album. I’ve heard some flack from others about this record for going more poppier, but I cannot relate to seeing it as a flaw of the album. I see this as a great piece of work.

Check out: “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” (feat. Stevie Nicks)


1. CODE ORANGE – FOREVER (Road Runner Records)

Code Orange released this behemoth of a record within just the first few days of 2017 (January 12th to be exact) and has consistently knocked down any other releases that tried taking the spot for my personal favorite album of this year.  Forever shatters the mold that has formed the metal/hardcore scene, and takes the crown as their own by adding elements of apocalyptical dark-wave tones. Unforgettable song structures throughout the album and breakdowns will draw you in and leave you wanting more.

Check out: “Forever”

Kyle Smutzki