TPM Top Bass of 2017


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I love a good bass tone, and I love active, dynamic performances, too.  Bass is often ignored for some reason, but a great bassist is one thing that raises my appreciation of an album greatly.  Here are my ten favorites for 2017.

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10. Antti Horttana – Anthriel – “Transcendence”

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Anthriel came back after what seemed like a very long absence, and their sound is refined as ever.  Antti’s bass had a huge part to play in this with the ominous, energetic tone of his style.  His bassy punches accented the album and enriched it to my ears.

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9. Jukka Koskinen – Wintersun – “The Forest Seasons”

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It’s no secret that I love Wintersun’s latest album, and Jukka’s bass is one reason for that.  Regardless of how you feel about the mix, Jukka provides a wholeness and volume to the music that really puts you directly in the middle of the album’s titular metaphorical forest.

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8. Simen Daniel Lindstad Børven – Leprous – “Malina”

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Simen had big shoes to fill for Leprous, and this newcomer excelled.  Some of my very favorite moments on “Malina” are the handiwork of Simen and his haunting, dark bass.

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7. Jason Brown – Life in 24 Frames – “CTRL+Z”

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Life in 24 Frames produced one of the best progressive pop albums of the year, and Jason’s slow burning, persistent bass style added to the colorful and heartfelt tone of the album.

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6. Henrik Fevre – Anubis Gate – “Covered in Black”

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Anubis Gate’s latest album was full of walls of technical fire.  Henrik’s bass was one half of a rhythm section that created a sheer deluge of sound and groove.

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5. Toni Sànchez – On The Raw – “Big City Awakes”

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On The Raw impressed with “Big City Awakes” in 2017, and Toni’s bass was the first thing that drew me into the album.  His groovy, dark style set the perfect tone for the steely, urban feelings presented throughout the album.

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4. Thomas Cochrane – Hologram Earth – “Black Cell Program”

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Hologram Earth is not your typical progressive metal band, and Thomas’ bass is not your typical bass style, either.  His compositions are odd and inventive, but have plenty of punch and energy.  Much of the band’s latest album relies on Thomas’ bass for major transitions and moods.

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3. Jon Poole – Lifesigns – “Cardington”

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Stepping into the shoes of Nick Beggs is never an easy thing, but Jon has done so and also brought his own funky vibe to Lifesign’s latest album.  In fact, as amazing as Nick’s work on the debut was, I think I prefer Jon’s sincere and hefty sound.

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2. Jan Tore Megård – Soup – “Remedies”

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Soup’s recent album “Remedies” is obviously one of my favorite albums of 2017.  This is because many factors all came together to create a perfect package, and one of those factors was Jan’s bass performance.  His bass is the hinge on which so much of the album swings and transitions.  His offering this time is truly extraordinary.

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1. Mariusz Duda – Lunatic Soul – “Fractured”

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Probably my favorite bass player, Mariusz never disappoints.  His bass compositions are always outside the box and even strange at time, and the new Lunatic Soul album sees him take this to what I consider greater heights.  While previous LS albums did feature bass more prominently, “Fractured” sees more balance, but with all the darkness and energy still intact.

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