Gotta say, 1997 was just BRUTAL in terms of good music. A couple of decent albums, but nothing I could even consider better than average. I'll have to search out some lists to see if anything comes to mind better than what I'm already pondering listing.
Edit: Ok, here are my two choices, and neither was the best outting by either band, but both are still more solid than anything I've seen on ANY other list anywhere on the net (so far). Judas Priest - Jugulator Metallica - Reload