|Papa's Top Albums of the Year 2018 202-102|
standout tracks included, shoutouts included, descirptions included, positive vibes included
Road To Knowhere
This album barely has anything that could be remotely considered a standout cut. But that is not what it is about. It's all about that mood, atmosphere and overall vibes that will make your day a shade brighter.
Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur
A cosmic journey that was supposed to be black metal (I think), but seems more like a noisy fairytale. It's interesting how the more this band distances itself from black metal, the better they are.
Ugly-ass classic doom fuckery.
Rid of Sunlight
Pan And The Master Pipers
shoutout to Sniff
Nobody is ready for a David Lynch directed space opera.
Distantly psychedelic and very much pop-y summer album of jolly sweet rock-ish tunes.
How Was I Supposed to Know
shoutout to anatelier
This album's opener is dissonant and loud, but really misleads you into expecting more of that. The rest of the album is still pleasant serenity, but you do still want to hear that opener's coolness again, which you won't.
True Love Death Dream
It's a fun time, alright.
Moving in a Liquid
Ghosts of the Timeless Void
Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy how relentless and hard-hitting this is, it does end up rather samey.
The grandpas of 2000s black metal are still at it and still with the same thing that made them what they are and still just as skinning and crushing.
The Bosom of Wisdom and Madness
This album builds on build-ups. The choruses, even when they are clear are still a building block to be expanded upon.
Kiss Yr Frenemies
Probably one of the most banal albums on this list, but by god is it sweet and heartwarming. You need albums like this in your life.
Paying Off the Happiness
|90||Zeal and Ardor|
black metal and more
From banal to one of the most creative. Not only is the metal component as strong as it can be, it is also spiced up with catchy and haunting soul chants.
Fire of Motion
|89||A.A.L. (Against All Logic)|
I cannot pretend as though I suddenly understand techno or electronica because of this album, but I feel somewhat closer to that.
I Never Dream
I don't exactly enjoy country music. I enjoyed this album. That is not the beginning of a trend.
Here's one that jumps from a little bit rock'n'roll to a little bit of indie, a little bit of folksiness and a little bit of catchiness. It's a little bit of everything. Not saying it is undercooked or run-of-the-mill, it just has its own audience that will certainly appreciate it way more than I did.
Way lower than even I myself expected this to land. That is probably due to the fact that it only truly has an impact on me as a whole album. I wouldn't be able to obtain the same level of enjoyment and emotional resonance listening to even the highlights separately. So for that fact that it really only works as a whole, but not necessarily track-by-track, here you have a lower spot.
Another Head for Hydra
|85||Noise Trail Immersion|
Symbology of Shelter
shoutout to MarsKid
By no means a revelation in the world of blackened death metal, but a bloody damn solid release nonetheless. Its greatest flaw is that it get a little too repetitive and the song-writing just isn't necessarily that memorable all the time, but will I be damned if this band doesn't make it heavy as all hells.
|84||In Twilight's Embrace|
Even though thte year itself has been rather fruitful on great metal records, I have largely skipped many Polish releases. Judging from this album, I did wrong.
Dziś wzywają mnie podziemia
There is always free space for a decent singer-songwriter easiness.
Barely a mindblowing album, but it'd be foolish to pretend, as though it is anything but consistently great.
shoutout to bgillesp
neo-classical jazz hip-hop
Not exactly a listen I'd put on because "why not", but rather something you need to dress up for, bust out a beret and and a pipe and contemplate about cosmos.
A Blooming Bloodfruit in a Hoodie
This mini-album's biggest flaw is its samey song-writing. It's biggest strength is its production and relentlessly crushing atmosphere.
Across the Primordial Sea
Cult of a Dying Sun
This is going to be a quickie: it's heavy and epic, don't miss out.
A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable
Could this be considered the original emo rapper? I mean, his lyrics are a high-level woke and emotionally charged and he delivers them with all the urgency of an emo record. So it technically could be emo rap.
Night Time People
shoutout to Conmaniac
Thought Connor's gonna rec me some low-grade emo. Bamboosled again.
Maybe just a little too samey at times, but what does that matter, when the whole thing is just so damn heavy and diabolical.
|75||Coldworld and Farsot|
There's been a lot of great splits this year, but I don't recall many being conceptual. Admittedly, the concept of this album is rather vague, Coldworld writes two songs about water and Farsot two about earth. What is that supposed to mean other than a few banal references to horizon above water and dirt is beyond me, but it sounds pretty damn great.
A little odd, a little glitchy, a little out there, a little cute.
It's Hard To Have Hope
This is political. Very political. And if there is a lick of conservatism in you, you might find this album as cringy as I did. But if you like some hard-hitting, wild craze of hardcore, you will love the music as much as I did.
For the Sake of the Breed
Who Do You Love
Perhaps they went a little too flat on the production and the instrumentation this time around, but the atmosphere of diabolical fun is still there.
|71||Ars Magna Umbrae|
Another by-the-numbers atmospheric black metal record. But do you really care that it is not reinventing anything, if it's so goddamn good?
Chthonic Torches Of Gnosis
It's good to know that there is still raw black metal out there that doesn't hurt the ear, but shreds you to pieces anyway.
|69||Murder by Death|
The Other Shore
Watch (or listen) and learn, Typhoon, how one makes tuneful, but grandiose folk songs.
neoclassical folk stuff
Solan Goose is technically a folk album, but I keep thinking, whether or not it is actually soft ambient post-rock (or post-folk, whatever).
|67||Chapel of Disease|
...And As We Have Seen The Storm
Not necessarily the most innovative death metal record out there, but a textbook definition of solid.
Song of the Gods
Time and Space
A mixed bag of all sorts of things that sounds like a mathematically calculated formula of "how to make yourselves sound like we're punks, but still live a lavish lifestyle", but is still an outstanding batch of fun tunes.
|65||The Pineapple Thief|
The soft side of prog music this year, but emotionally and melodically maybe much, much more potent than many of its contemporaries.
Uncovering Your Tracks
If only this band could have sorted out their song-writing, which doesn't always hit home, I would have really loved this. It is this close to being a truly outstanding debut record.
I had some disagreements with people over his voice, because I will still insist that his vocals are too rusty and undertrained and the high moments he just doesn't handle. However, I cannot deny that there is a charm in those [insert vocal quality of your preference] vocals.
Full disclosure, I haven't heard their records before, so any disappointment from this record missed me. I actually enjoyed the cheesy over-the-top metalcore inclinations of the record and its relentless attempts at sounding deep and gargantuan.
Hold Your Breath
I admit, I initially loved this much more, but with time it became sort of the victim of 'too much good music' and got consistently pushed down by albums I was more interested in and ones that were just plain better.
Anti Teenage Sensation - Part 1
shoutout to SowingSeason
This is the cheesy kind of pop-punk I like to hear.
My interest in indie rock is at this point somewhat depleted. The genre doesn't really offer anything all that exciting and its already established bands that once have shown promise are now descending into softness and musical rut. But every now and then comes a band like Frog Eyes and reinvigorates my hopes for the genre. By no means are they a unique project, but a certainly admirable one.
Don't Sleep Under Stars
The Golden Age of Not Even Trying
A group of yougsters with youngster angst, youngster musical taste, youngster skill and youngster lyricism.
Enough Enough Enough
One last ride of a grandiose performer who got truly big only towards the last years of his life.
Heart of Gold
In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind
As a multitude of extended plays this was pretty good. As a full-length this is way too long, but still pretty good.
No One Left
shoutout to suppatime
The good side of deathcore. (It's deathcore, right?)
Not a full album, but more of a taster of what is actually to come in their full length (see a few entries higher), a heavy jelly of noise and harshness.
The Vaccines are to me what one might condsider a guilty pleasure, though that would constitute realising people's general dislike of that what you enjoy. With The Vaccines, I don't necessarily get people's lukewarm reception of the band. In my view they are a bit banal, sure, but also with instantly memorable song-writing and fun-loving energy.
Surfing in the Sky
|52||They Might Be Giants|
I Like Fun
How many times I've been accused of not liking fun. Well, here's a proof that I do. Meanwhile, it seems like majority of other people over here have difficulty understanding what fun is.
I Like Fun
Probably not something that'll amaze anyone at all, but a decent and pleasant enough electronica-induced pop record.
A Woods of Desolation side-project and much like WoD this also suffers from its overly lo-fi production. It certainly does add to the grandiosity and feels like you're hearing the music in echo in some ginormous cave, but I'd still love to hear the details better. Still, the gargantuan scale of the music is overwhelming and the atmosphere is undeniable. It is a musical atrocity to behold, but in a good way.
Never Again Seen
The Winter Silence
Another WoD side-project, but much folkier and a little cozier.
Fate to say that this will not blow your mind, but vibing with a half-hour long danceable, pulsating electrorock is a great way to kill time anyway.
I am still not entirely sure, whether this album even actually deserves to be on this list, because I did not find it groundbreaking in any way, nor was it a particularly stand-out moment in metal music this year. It was merely an immensly enjoyable record. So I suppose it does actually deserve a spot here. I did enjyo myself with it, after all.
Not for everybody, but an instrumental treat of weirdness and uplifting easiness (wrapped in complex instrumentation).
It would have been a regular plain black metal, but these crazies actually tuned it up a mile by adding choir vocals and that orgasmic double-bass drumming (nothing special, really, but it really popped up nicely here).
Let God Sort Em Out
Who let these fuckers make good punk in 2018? Who do they think they are, a good band or something?
No Problem, but fun-loving.
Khemmis band members have designated a side-project for expressing their purely classical death metal urges.
Of Flesh and Worship
Pillar of Na
It is the more instrumentally rich Murder of Death and song-writingly intriguing Typhoon. For the fans of folk in its most beautiful form, do not miss out.
Ladder to the Sun
Family of Aliens
Teleman is one of those bands that is probably insufferable to anyone who finds Modest Mouse too soft. This is softness galore, nothing but pillowy, sparkly, tender, plush, blanket-wrapped kindness and careful happy-go-lucky niceness. I also pussy-out every now and then.
This is gorgeous, utterly and mind-bogglingly beautiful. The only possible gripe I have with it is that it goes on for a little too long. But so far it might be Julia's most ambitious and triumphant record yet.
Les Jeux to You
shoutout to Sniff
Old-school Gang of Four-isms. What's not to love?
shoutout to SowingSeason
And I thought that Damien Jurado would be the only bittersweet guitar-wielder to crack me this year.
shoutout to Sniff
It is so easy to see this album turning people off. After all, it has barely any structure, barely any catchy tunes, barely anything likeable. What it has is an hour and a half of absolute sonic insanity.
Housing Act 1980
For those of you who demand new punk music to sound like anger and harshness (i.e. like punk), do not miss out on this feature of a dozen artists to look out for.
What Did You Say?
The Brown Tape
I really do not understand people's disregard for this album and its quality. Ghostface Killah has lately been on a streak of quality and everyone's sleeping on it. For shame!
Beware of the Stare
Face the Brutality
They just, just move between extremely catchy and moderately decent. Just, just.
Laugh in the Face of Darkness
Almost Ruined Everything
shoutout to Dewinged
Although it does carry the tag of pop-punk, it is somewhat heavy and instrumentally intriguing. Not to mention catchy as hell.
There was a time, when this album sat higher on my list, but unfortunately it dropped a little, because it just isn't that tight. The banging songs it has are fantastic, but it is just too short.
A little lo-fi, a little grainy and a little standard black metal. It is as solid as black metal tapes come.
Streams of Thought, Vol. 1
This'll be short: 5 solid-ass tracks. Wish that solid quality translated into a longer project (I was mildly lukewarm towards Vol. 2).
|28||The Lion's Daughter|
black death and such
This thing is just a goddamn travesty of sound, but it is never all-over-the-place. You can hear stoner doom, you can hear death metal, you can hear black metal and even some electronica and it is all produced with the glossiness of a pop album and it sounds fantastic and fun.
The Official Body
A cause of some disputes, I still hold my ground on loving this record. The guitar work and the zany song-writing are too charming.
Shave Your Head
When the End Began
What a surprise, I enjoyed this record, even though I should have by all means hated it. Indeed, the song-writing is not necessarily the most memorable and in the long run the tunes feel rather samey and I guess it barely stands out as the best of the year, but by god is it powerful.
|25||Golden Dawn Arkestra|
Children Of The Sun
shoutout to Dewinged
Not a lot in psychedelic music can surprise me nowadays, but this record had song-writing unmatched by many today.
o One Like You
Care For Me
This is one of those times an album tries to sound thoughtful and somewhat serious, but still presents itself as really calm and pleasant to listen to. Everything here is just so mild and easy-going, even when it tackles something harder, it manages to be pleasant.
Ambition will Eat itself
A short, but striking release that barely provides anything innovative, but serves as an example of a well-executed project by people obviously passionate about this sort of music. It is atmospheric and catchy.
bluegrass indie rock
This type of music is rarely my cup of tea. I usually find it rather tapid and forgettable. But if this album was anything like its contemporaries, it wouldn't have landed here. A song, a hit. Really, the vocals might put some off, but ultimately it is nothing you can't get used to. Tunes are a delight to listen to, while the instrumentation, while samey, softly caresses you.
Count in Odd Numbers
They put 'fun' back into satanic fanatic.
Book of Bad Decisions
It's great to know that there still is a band out there that doesn't really try to pry on people's emotions too much, doesn't try to become a hawk of social commentary or be in with the excessive trends of the times, and just does what they feel is good and fun music.
In Walks Barbarella
|19||In the Woods...|
Cease the Day
hardcore black metal
I guess, what happened to post-hardcore is now happening to black metal. I mean, post-hardcore went from an amateur-centric underground dirty-sounding genre to a bloated, overproduced yelp-fest. Now In the Woods are more or less trying to do the same thing with black metal. It is only a matter of time before it annoys me, but as of right now (probably because I am not over-exposed to this kind of stuff yet), I enjoy what I'm hearing.
|18||Half Man Half Biscuit|
No One Cares About Your Creative Hub so Get Your F
The kings of sassy lyrics, the godfathers of UK musical snark and the grandmasters of UK underground punk scene. It is their usual dose of good enough tunes and Nigel's rants on everything he encounters on a day-to-day basis. Don't expect any surprises, it is just solid.
Knobheads on Quiz Shows
A little too much muddy noise to really enjoy it in its pureblooded corniness, but at least this isn't their only release this year.
Would you look at that, I said he has room to grow and he has indeed grown.
Under the World
Not a lot in modern coldwave or darkwave or any post-1980s -wave surprises me anymore, but Vowws managed to. It's not like it is anything particularly new or outstanding, but it has charisma, atmosphere and catchiness I cannot deny.
Suspended in Reflections
My big problem with doom has usually been that it only focuses on being gargantuan in sound and heavy in execution, but its substance (song-writing and such) is virtually non-existent. Ancestors found a great balance in between. It could use being slightly longer and it does have unnecessary moments, but it is a fantastic beauty.
Through a Window
|13||Dave Matthews Band|
I suppose this definitively confirms me as a dad. I don't have kids, but I enjoyed a new Dave Matthews album. I am a dad.
Virginia in the Rain
New Hymn to Freedom
One of the more accessible jazz records of the year. Or at least certainly one of the more serene and pleasant ones.
Did not expect this at all. Who could've guessed a Sputnik user project will end up this striking? But it really is, it is a heart-breaking three-tracker.
metallic noise punky rock or something
Between Tropical Fuck Storm and The Armed, this is another messed up noisy insanity-rock.
It's very surprising to see an acoustic rendition of an album end up sounding better than the actual album. But yeah, Masseduction was probably her attempt at turning a little more linear and simple. This is an attempt at making it more soulful and even more personal.
Happy Birthday, Johnny
Television / Sweet
odd goth pop-rock
I warn you, you might be put off by the froggish vocals, but once you get used to that barricade, everything else is oddly beautiful and powerful. The album occasionally gets a little too mellow, but it is all part of the charm.
House of Hounds
|7||The Wonder Years|
What a surprise this was. I was honestly only vaguely familiar with this band's music, having heard them a long time ago, and so I expected some heavier Brand New (which is never good), but I actually got a really emotional and instantly memorable slap of heaviness, both instrumental and topical.
We Look Like Lightning
Fusing flare and flamboyancy with aggression and angst. Delightful.
After The Rain
I am really sad that most of 2018 hip-hop failed to wow me beyond a 4/5 rating, but this album came pretty damn close. It is probably some of the catchiest hip-hop of the year, as well as the album that managed to present heavyweight issues and themes with ease and extremely smooth production. Some incredible talent flowing here, shame people largely ignore this group. Guess they live up to their name.
Music To Make War To
This new King Dude album is maybe not as stylistically scattered as his previous record, but at the same time doesn't contain as many outstanding tracks. It is as solid as a King Dude album can be, but maybe just a few hits away from being one of his best.
I Don't Write Love Songs Anymore
I don't always go for metal that is only brutal and heavy and doesn't really go into much melodic depth, but Vanhelgd managed to surprise even me. Listening to this record I just feel the need to go into the woods and burn something… that is normal, right?
Vi Föddes I Samma Grav
|2||Man with a Mission|
Chasing the Horizon
shoutout to ZombieToyDuck
Don't judge. Listen for yourselves.
In a short timespan, this record is a punk atrocity. I can forgive the slight corniness, because the album was just oh too catchy and wild. Cheerfully angry and melodic.