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01.09.19 Top 2018 - black metal and blackened st06.09.18 2017 Favorites
03.02.17 90's Norwegian Black Metal classics01.08.17 2016 favorites

Top 2018 - black metal and blackened stuff

This year, I've spent much more time looking for great new music. It was an absolutely fantastic year for the genre, and therefore impossible to keep it to 10-15 albums only - I ended up with a list of 24. Despite that, there are many big releases that didn't make the list, as I would prefer to focus or those which need more attention. Notable mentions / big names that didn't make the list: Immortal, Sleep, Primordial, Anaal Nathrakh, Behemoth, Zeal and Ardor, Portal, The Body (and probably many more)
25Thou
Rhea Sylvia


While I haven't planned to include EP - this one from Thou got as many if not more listens that Magus.
Part of 3 completely different EPs before full length, each different in style, this one is probably the most interesting in style, that one could call a blackened, sludgy grungy (or blackened, grungy sludge) - there, I said it ;)

Too short to be considered for the list, but I would like to listen to more like this.


(no score)
24Kontinuum
No Need to Reason


It doesn't really belong on this list, but I really like Katatonia and first song reminded me about it. The rest is a little bit different, melodic and romantic post-punk / wave stuff with some catchier songs reminding me of Beastmilk too, so over all a great listen.

4.1
23Drudkh
They Often See Dreams About The Spring


4.1
22Allfather (UK)
And All Will Be Desolation


4.1
21Yhdarl
Loss


4.1
20Acathexis
Acathexis


4.1
19Phantom Winter
Into Dark Science


Since Amenra have not released the new album, this one is my replacement of choice for 2018. While I have never liked Omega Massif (same members as Phantom Winter) because I missed vocals there - it feels that the vocals here are over the top and it might have been higher in the list if they were a bit more digestable. Still a great album.

4.1
18Svartidaudi
Revelations Of The Red Sword


Was really looking forward to this one. Need to give it few more listens, it sounds great at first but I wish there was a bit more to come back to. Might grow on me over time.

4.1
17Sargeist
Unbound


The second best traditional black metal album this year, which is quite something considering the number of new releases. Might not be as memorable as Let The Right One In, but still full of fantastic riffs and dark atmosphere.

4.1
16Convulsing
Grievous


Dark, technical and complex death metal, with slower parts that remind me of Deathspell Omega

4.1
15The Konsortium
Rogaland


The closest thing I could find to Dodheimsgard this year, without the prog/jazzy but with some folk influences added instead. I have no idea why this didn't get any more attention.

4.2
14Kriegsmaschine
Apocalypticists


Technically great, rhythm based mid-tempo black metal from members of Mgla. This is darker and much less melodic than their better known band, which makes it more difficult, but ultimately very satisfying listen.

4.2
13Varathron
Patriarchs of Evil


Probably the best Hellenic black metal album in this century. If you liked their old stuff or early Rotting Christ and don't mind very melodic albums, you will enjoy it.

4.2
12Sulphur Aeon
The Scythe Of Cosmic Chaos


Take a Mid/later era Behemoth intense blackened death, sprinkle some epic doom vocs and great lead/solos and cover in Cthulu stories. What's not to like? Also, one of the best album openings I've heard in a while.

4.3
11Erdve
Vaitojimas


Super enjoyable blackened sludge.
4.3
10Carpe Noctem
Vitrun


There is some fantastic music coming out from Iceland in recent years, and in 2018 Carpe Noctem is the best album. Overall a very solid Icelandic black metal - they have managed to make it their own with specific guitar work. Very enjoyable listen if you like the genre.

4.3
9Outre
Hollow Earth


It needs few more listens, as Hollow Earth is less approachable than Ghost Chants. While still having a decent dose of dark, fantastic riffs, new album is more focus and more aggressive than predecessor.

4.3
8Spectral Wound
Infernal Decadence


Best traditional black metal this year. Full of fantastic riffs and, thankfully, with great production. If you liked early works of Gorgoroth, this is how you want your black metal in 2018.

4.4
7Horrendous
Idol


If you really miss Death (and who doesn't) this is for you.

4.4
6Totenmesse
To


It nearly went under the radar, but no black metal fan should miss it. From people behind Odraza (if you haven't heard their 2013's Esperalem Tkane then go and fix it now) - this is less bluesy, but maybe darker sound and with similarly progressive song structures. You might hear some similarities to Mgla, Thorns or Furia here - or maybe something completely different - but the sound is quite unique. Lyrics are fantastic, if you speak polish. Also best blast beats this year. And there is a fantastic surprise cover in the middle.

4.4
5Conjurer
Mire


The debut of the year. Few young lads recorded an album that absolutely destroys with intensity, technicality and songwriting and was on a replay many times this year. Borrowing from many genres, they've created their own sound and labeled it a "Riff-based UK Metal". Currently on tour in UK, they head off for a massive tour in North America soon with Rivers of Nihil. They are fantastic live - make sure you don't miss them!

4.4
4Thou
Magus


One of the most consistent and productive bands around, they first released a trio of EPs spanning across different styles, to coronate the year with an absolutely fantastic 75 minutes of blackened sludge. If you like Thou, you will love it. If you don't - you should.

4.4
3Slugdge
Esoteric Malacology


Releases early in the year, it seems it was forgotten by many with the number of other great releases. Their third album is an excellent follow to previous two (which are still name your price on bandcamp!) with their evolution of melodic, progressive blackened death metal and slimey themes. Recommended for everyone listenint to metal really.

4.5
2Noise Trail Immersion
Symbology of Shelter


Absolutely out of nowhere, this album got a fantastic reception on Sputnik but not many other places. This is what you would get if you mix (however odd that sounds) Deathspell Omega and Converge, and sprinkle a bit of lows form 7-string guitar. Technically fascinating and super intense, it feels like it ends far too soon.

4.6
1Entropia (PL)
Vacuum


A beautiful, progressive psychedelic journey that needs few listens to truly appreciate. Totally different to Ufonaut, the intensity known from previous albums was dropped in favor of some unusual and oddly satisfying passages. Highlight of the year in music - it is criminal how little attention it received in press and other top lists.

4.6
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