Riff Relevant 2017 Releases: GOZU’s Doug Sherman Shares 10 Favorites


Article By: Leanne Ridgeway

If you haven’t heard the music of Gozu by now, you’re missing out. First emerged out of Boston’s heavy music scene in 2010, Gozu’s sound pulls up alongside while you walk the street minding your business, and demands you get in the goddamned car. After two lost days, you come-to on the side of a dirt road, dazed and bruised. It happened to me multiple times.

Gozu has signed on with Blacklight Media, the new imprint from Metal Blade Records. They’ve just finished recording their new album, and Blacklight Media is planning for the release sometime in 2018 (hopefully early!). We’ll have more news on that when it’s announced.

I asked Gozu guitarist Doug Sherman if he wanted to contribute a list of his favorite 2017 rock-related music releases. Doug has a wide-range of listening habits and, in my experience from our acquaintance, he has a finely-tuned ear for both the on and off-chart creations of wildly prolific talents in the heavy music world. The man knows his stuff and I pay attention to his suggestions. You should, too.

RiffRelevant.com presents to you Doug Sherman’s Top Ten of 2017! He included a short bit of why he chose each of these albums, along with a video link for his choices.  Doug also was kind enough to create a special Spotify playlist for his choices, which is streaming here:

1 – Power Trip – ‘Nightmare Logic

Everything is big in Texas, including these bad boys. Album is a game-changer, unforgiving, fun, and head bobbing. Chunky horn throwing riffs all day. Buy this album and see them live!


2- Mutoid Man – ‘War Moans

Brodsky can pen a heavy fucking earworm. This album will go down as a classic. Great choruses, slick and tricky riffs, rhythm section bombardment.


3 – St Vincent – ‘Masseduction

Annie Clark is a killing guitar player and songwriter, her visual style is Bowie-esque and her new album is chock full of gooey choruses and quirky sounds. Highly recommended!


4 – Zeal & Ardor- ‘Devil is Fine’

What do you get when you cross African-American Spirituals and Norwegian Black metal?? Holy shit, I spoke of this dude last year and his album didn’t disappoint. Ahead of his time. Straight up killing. Don’t front.


5 – Kreator- ‘Gods Of Violence’

Metal Gods return with one of my fave Kreator albums. “World War Now” and “Satan Is Real” are my stand-out tracks. Relentless.


6 – Queens of the Stone Age- ‘Villains’

Before all start crying… this album rules. Josh Homme has come into his own as a songwriter. Yea, he’s not the stoner rock god Yore on this album, he’s actually a legit pop star, so deal. He also tends to do rock star dick stuff… I promise you, we’ll get through this together. So stop crying over your Russian Big Muff and Orange cabs and get this masterclass in songwriting ASAP!!


7 – Schammasch – ‘The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite’

Thirty minutes of glorious doom. Feels like one song… I love this. This is a follow-up to their triple album released in 2016 called ‘Triangle, an Analysis of’.


8 – Chon – ‘Homey’

Crushing musicians! California Jazz Djent? Who knows, who cares… just listen and enjoy. Fans of Animals As Leaders and Alan Holds Worth.


9 – Ulver – ‘Assassination of Julius Caesar’

Electronica, Black metal, Film noir?  They’ve had a pretty interesting career and continue to shine with their most “Poppy” album to date. Fans of Sigur Ros, Wagner, and Aphex Twin.


10 – Mastodon – ‘Cold Dark Place’

This is an incredible outing. I love this way more than ‘Emperor of Sand’. More harmonies and focus on songwriting. Bravo.

Huge thank you to Doug Sherman for sharing his list, and to all of Gozu for sharing their music with the rest of us. – Leanne

Here is Gozu’s most recent release ‘Revival’. Stay tuned for more Gozu in 2018.

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