Top 15 Records of 2018

Tribulation – Down Below

This is a magical dark collection of songs, full of sultry aesthetics and catchy grooves that get stuck in your head after the very first listening. Personal Favorite Track: Subterranea

Amorphis – Queen Of Time

Everything on this album sounds absolutely majestic and passionate with the perfect blend of Nordic themes, soulful melodies and primordial darkness. Personal Favorite Track: Wrong Direction

Madder Mortem – Marrow

Madder Mortem have developed a quite unique music style resulting in intricate songwriting and genuine emotions plus Agnete is one of the best vocalists in the metal scene. Personal Favorite Track: Until You Return

Shining – X – Varg Utan Flock

Another extremely dark and intriguing album where blackened fury and dramatic melodies entwine. Personal Favorite Track: Gyllene Portarnas Bro

Wolfheart – Constellation Of The Black Light

This album is a triumph of sheer melancholy and epic darkened soundscapes so it’s the proper soundtrack for cold winter nights. Personal Favorite Track: Breakwater

Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

Mr. Dave Wyndorf is back in excellent shape and this bittersweet & groovy album should be played loud on vinyl. Personal Favorite Track: When The Hammer Comes Down

Earthless – Black Heaven

By now you should know that Isaiah Mitchell is an incredibly talented guitarist so you can expect a massive dosage of wild psychedelic rock jams on this album. Personal Favorite Track: Electric Flame

Lucifer – Lucifer II

This is the second coming of rockers Lucifer and the dark heavy rock style of this album will certainly conquer your hearts. Personal Favorite Track: Dreamer

Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross No Crown

After a dozen years on this new album C.O.C. showcases great chemistry and delivers intense groovy songs. Personal Favorite Track: The Luddite

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – Wasteland

Dwelling within a dystopian world this is the album that will get you permanently dazed & confused. Personal Favorite Track: No Return

Helrunar – Vanitas Vanitatvm

Helrunar has successfully composed a poetic ode to darkness and you should join this obscure sonic journey without hesitation. Personal Favorite Track: Nachzehrer

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs

This is an epic Oriental Metal opus that stands out for the remarkable lyrical concept and the passionate creative force. Personal Favorite Track: The Cave

Lucifer’s Child – The Order

The band’s sophomore album naturally conjures immense darkness with a bewitching creative force. Personal Favorite Track: Siste Farvel

At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself

Blending aggressive rhythmic sections and melodic despair this album definitely reconfirms the band’s seminal status in the metal scene. Personal Favorite Track: Daggers Of Black Haze

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

The return of Dimmu Borgir is drenched in darkness, symphonic grandeur and decadent beauty. Personal Favorite Track: Council Of Wolves And Snakes


Top Ten Records of 2018

Haken – Vector 

A band like Haken could easily rest on their laurels, release the same album over and over, and I still would be a fan. Such is not the case with Vector. This time around Haken crafted a decidedly heavier and darker affair. There were no real “silly” type songs akin to “Cockroach King” or “1985”, and while I love those songs, this album is all the better for not having anything like those. They also seemed to take a more song-oriented approach, with a more direct and succinct writing style opposed to just crafting prog for prog’s sake…which they are certainly good at doing! The album feels, dare I say, short? In my eyes this is welcome since as soon as Vector ended, I felt the urge to start it right back up again. Highly Recommended!

Hamferð – Támsins likam

Desolate. Haunting. Crushing. Devestating. These are all words that come to mind when trying to describe Támsins likam. As beautiful as it is heart wrenching, Hamferð crafted an amazing record that should be given much more attention than it has received. Highly Recommended!

Shining – X: Varg Utan Flock

Niklas Kvarforth keeps enduring and consistently releasing great suicidal black metal-ish rock-ish albums. X: Varg Utan Flock continues this tradition and while it’s not changing anything stylistically, that’s not necessarily a detriment. X is most definitely a solid record that seemed to be overlooked!  

AHTME – Sewer Born

Some of the nastiest and catchiest death metal I’ve heard in a long time. The grooves come fast and hard. They don’t stop until your neck snaps and slacks over unable to bang any further.

Tribulation – Down Below

Looking for the catchiest, sexiest, chunk of blackened rock n’ roll? Look no further than this incredible record.

Obscura – Diluvium

Just when you thought Tech-Death couldn’t evolve, Obscura’s Diliuvium up the ante by infusing raw musicality instead of technical chops. That’s not to diminish the chops this band possesses because, holy shit, these guys are frightening behind their instruments. Perfectly paced, technical, but also musical as hell and memorable, this could easily be their best work yet.

Arsis – Visitant

After a five-year hiatus, Arsis deliver the goods with this masterful record of techy-thrash flavored metal. Visitant finds their sound matured and refined that honestly rivals for their best work to date. This record could be the definitive Arsis record, and in my humble opinion, it freaking rips.

Psycroptic – As the Kingdom Drowns

Following up to a game changing record is tough. Equaling one is even tougher. Psycroptic return with an album chock full of majestic passages, hooks, and brutalz all in one delicious epic package.

Gorod – Aethra

This Record is nuts. Gorod keep pushing the boundaries on technical death metal pushing it to musical heights. The fantastic guitarwork continues to impress spin after spin. These guys are doing something special and I will most certainly be listening to Aethra well into 2019.

Craft – White Noise & Black Metal

While “Fuck the Universe” will always be my favorite Craft record, WN&BM is a worthy entry into the bands bleak catalog. The more “rock” styled tunes were my favorites, but any fan of misanthropic/nihilist BM should check this record out.