Top 15 Rock and Metal Songs of 2017

Story and photos by Anne Erickson

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to once again look back at the best rock and metal songs of the year. With new music from a bevy of longstanding rock favorites (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour) and up-and-coming acts (Greta Van Fleet), our list encompasses a wide range of artists. We have everything from Foo Fighters’ mighty return with “The Sky is a Neighborhood” to Stone Sour’s melodic 2017 hit “Song #3.” Read on for Audio Ink Radio’s Top 15 (okay, 16) Rock and Metal Songs of 2017, and let’s rock into 2018 in style.

15. “Judas,” Fozzy and “Alone,” I Prevail

Chris Jericho-fronted Fozzy hit a new milestone in 2017 with the release of their “Judas” record and single by the same name. The songs off the album have gotten more airplay than any of Fozzy’s previous releases, and the album’s title track is a stand-out, with a message about fighting to do what’s right in life.

Detroit boys I Prevail chart new territory with “Alone,” which sees the post-hardcore group dealing with something to which many can relate: a difficult breakup. Singer Brian Burkheiser croons amid a musical backdrop of heavy pianos and thick atmospheres.

14. “Monster,” Starset

Starset’s “Monster” hit the airwaves in late 2016 and early 2017, and it fits on this list because it became one of 2017’s most popular songs on the rock radio chart. The hard-hitting tune pairs Dustin Bates’ powerful vocals with stunning orchestrations and catchy synths.

13. “Waking Lions,” Pop Evil

The latest single from Pop Evil is the towering hard rock track “Waking Lions,” off the band’s upcoming, self-titled studio album, due out in February of 2018. With lyrics like, “I wanna stand up, a hundred feet tall / ‘Cause fear will never lead the way / I’m ready to run, a hundred miles strong / I will never be the same,” it’s an empowering tune.

12. “Novacaine,” 10 Years

The guys of 10 Years are back on the scene in a major way, and the band’s new single, “Novacaine,” off their new studio album, “(How to Live) As Ghosts,” is a hit on the rock charts. “This time around, we felt comfortable all writing together in a room, so the first big difference for this record was how well we worked together as a group,” guitarist Brian Vodinh told Audio Ink about the new album. “Everyone in the band is a capable writer and musician, and it was a really welcomed process.”

11. “Trouble,” Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch made a triumphant return with Ivan Moody on vocals with the track “Trouble,” a punchy, hard-hitting rock track that totally fits the band. The song, which appears on “A Decade of Destruction,” moves with driving rhythms and galloping riffs.

10. “Highway Tune,” Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet is putting Frankenmuth, Michigan, on the map with their breakout rock hit, “Highway Tune.” The young gents are just out of high school and sound like they’ve been raised on the best of classic rock. Many are calling them the new Led Zeppelin.

9. “Black Wedding,” In This Moment

In This Moment’s latest album, “Ritual,” features a bevy of exciting metal tracks, and one that really stands out features a metal legend. Rob Halford guests on the tune “Black Wedding,” and his thick, majestic vocals paired with Maria Brink’s sultry melodies makes for a very unique track.

8. “Show Yourself,” Mastodon

Mastodon fans rejoiced when the band’s new album, “Emperor of Sand,” dropped, and for good reason. The set is a stunning blend of the Atlanta band’s riff-heavy metal and psychedelic touches. “Show Yourself” shot up to No. 4 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in 2017, making it the guys’ highest charting song to date.

7. “The Sky is a Neighborhood,” Foo Fighters

Surprise! Foo Fighters dropped a rollicking new single in the beginning of June, “Run,” and the band’s chart-topping “Concrete and Gold” album dropped a few months later. While “Run” was a solid introduction to the album, “The Sky is a Neighborhood” really nails Foo Fighters’ melodic sound and style. It’s topping the rock charts right now.

6. “Year of the Tiger,” Myles Kennedy

Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and Slash’s band, The Conspirators, just released the first single off his debut solo album, “Year of the Tiger.” The song shows off Kennedy’s stunning range and versatility, with a musical backing that combines Americana, roots, country, folk and rock.

5. “Breaking Free,” Skillet

Skillet released “Unleashed Beyond” last month, a new, deluxe version of their “Unleashed” album. The new set features a moving, high-octane track called “Breaking Free” with guest vocals from former Flyleaf singer Lacey Strum. It’s a positive song with energizing hard rock backings.

4. “Song #3,” Stone Sour

Stone Sour unleashed “Song #3” and “Fabuless” right at the start of the “Hydrograd” buzz, and the songs perfectly showed off the band’s polar opposite sides. “Song #3” is a melodic, catchy tune that quickly became a favorite, while “Fabuless” showed Stone Sour have a truly vicious, heavy side. Corey Taylor’s vocals sound incredible on both.

3. “The Promise,” Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell’s final track is his moving, orchestral solo song, “The Promise.” The song was created for the movie of the same name, which tells the tale of two men and a woman just before the Armenian Genocide. The song’s simple structure and orchestration really brings out Cornell’s God-given vocals. It’s a beautiful final statement from the late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman.

2. “One More Light,” Linkin Park

This was a tragic year for Linkin Park, with the loss of their beloved frontman, Chester Bennington. When “One More Light” was released in early 2017, the world had no idea of the hardships that were on the way. Now as we listen to “One More Light,” the song’s message of struggle and caring about those fighting to carry through is even more poignant.

1. “The Doomed, ” A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle fans were treated to a triumphant new single from the crew in 2017, the atmospheric “The Doomed,” as well as news of a new album on the way. The upcoming release will mark the band’s first full-length album of originals since 2004, and if “The Doomed” is indicative of the new set, it should be epic.

Publication date: December 19, 2017