Raul Stanciu

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Last Active 03-30-20 7:40 am
Joined 09-30-07

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01.28.20 Favorite LPs of last decade12.24.19 Favorite K-Pop songs 2019
12.23.19 Favorite 2019 EPs12.22.19 Favorite 2019 LPs
05.09.19 My band released a new album! 12.29.18 Favorite Kpop Tunes 2018
12.28.18 Favorite 2018 EPs12.27.18 Favorite 2018 LPs
10.03.18 Listen to my ambient album! 12.30.17 Favorite 2017 EPs
12.29.17 Favorite 2017 albums12.25.16 Favorite 2016 albums
12.20.16 My band's albums for free! 08.30.16 Saw Kayo Dot last night
04.04.16 My band's new album is out! 12.31.15 Favorite 2015 albums
12.24.15 My band's albums for free! 12.02.15 November CD/LP purchases
More »

Favorite 2018 LPs

While there were many interesting album releases this year, the overall quality is weaker compared to the last couple of years IMO. Even in the top 25 there are some albums that I initially wondered how did they get there. They are strong, but in a different year, they wouldn't have made the top 25. Anyway, I tried to organize 1 - 25 as accurate as possible. Then, 25 - 50 are good/catchy/fun albums that I still check out on a regular basis. 50 - 81 are those I enjoy and recommend to a certain degree. Unfortunately, there are a handful of records that have lower positions due to the fact that I didn't listen to enough. Of course, I missed a lot of stuff too, so feel free to recommend anything.
1Nine Inch Nails
Bad Witch

I find it funny how the 30 minutes of music on this EP have meant more to me than the several, definitely more complex albums in my list. The whole trilogy, especially Bad Witch and Not the Actual Events share the most interesting songs since Year Zero. I’m happy Trent decided not to care about what other people say and release what he (and Atticus) wanted. I’m still pissed off I haven’t had a chance to see them live on this tour cycle. Anyway, the rather uncanny, Nine Inch Nails meets Twin Peaks atmosphere is excellent and each song here has something different to offer.
2The Ocean
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Another excellent Ocean album that falls somewhere in between Precambrian and Pelagial (music-wise). The compositions are all strong and seeing them live on this tour definitely helped me to get into it even more. ‘Devonian: Nascent’ is one of their best tracks so far.
3Crippled Black Phoenix
Great Escape

It took me some years to get into these guys and Great Escape helped most. It’s the first CBP I listened to as a whole and it is their crowning achievement so far. The Pink Floyd and post rock influences are shaping the LP, the atmosphere being lovely throughout. Again, seeing them live too helped keep this album on heavy rotation in my playlist. ‘To You I Give’, ‘Times, They Are A’Raging’ and ‘Great Escape pt. I and II’ are mesmerizing.

Didn’t expect to hit me this hard. Nevertheless, this 32-minute LP really packs a punch and the catchy melodies are melded really nice with riffs and brutally honest yet appropriate lyrics. Can’t wait to see them live in January!
5Coheed and Cambria
The Unheavenly Creatures

There are so many good songs on this album. I’m glad Claudio returned to the Amory Saga, because the whole band seems more eager and excited to play here than on its predecessor. The progressive leanings are a plus, taking cues from early works as well. ‘It Walks Among Us’, ‘Old Flames’, ‘The Dark Sentencer’, ‘Toys’, ‘The Gutter’ & ‘True Ugly’ are all highlights.
6High on Fire
Electric Messiah

Cocaine riffage, conspiracies, ancient history and Lemmy worship make this album goddamned tight. There's no respite for any of the members during these 55 minutes.
7Wang Wen
Invisible City

Chinese post rock act, Wang Wen went far to reach the right atmosphere for this album. An ode to their hometown Dalian, who’s currently fading out as people move to bigger, more prosperous cities in China, Invisible City was recorded in Iceland’s countryside in January. Blend all these together and we receive a truly melancholic, temperamental record.
8Seven That Spells
The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Omega

Blake Flemming took these guys to the next level. The main compositions are prog mania and the (almost) conventional approach is admirable. Severely underrated band.
Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

Post-apocalypse Moby. I’m happy he took his time to create more interesting drumming patterns and branched out a bit with the synth sounds too. I wish he toured again.
10Thomas Dybdahl
All These Things

Great, summery LP, recorded in a few days with a band of veteran musicians. You can make love on these songs or drive your car through the town or go to the beach or read or be sad while listening to them.

Some awesome grooves on this record. Action movies references & not taking yourself seriously attitude are always welcomed.
Suspended in Reflections

Ancestors in a nutshell. This 36 minutes record shows their strengths while adding some new features too. Personally, I would’ve preferred more emphasis on the heavier side, but oh well. Saw them live, opening for Elder and stole the show. They sounded massive!
Primal Heart

I love Kimbra. I was sure she’ll come up with great music as I am sure she’ll continue to come up with great music.
14Red Velvet
The Perfect Red Velvet - The 2nd Album Repackage

As I started listening to Kpop (one reason to fuel my fetish for Asian women), I found some acts that have LPs worth checking out. This is a compilation containing 3 new songs besides the ones that came out last Fall. The first half of the album is strong, especially ‘Look’, ‘I Just’, ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Bad Boy’. Sure, an army of producers pieced this together, so you shouldn’t expect sonic coherence. Nevertheless, if you leave aside the elitism and take them as pop songs, they are catchy and fun.
Our Raw Heart

I am a bit ashamed I have a Kpop act higher than YOB, but objectively, I listened to Red Velvet more than to these guys in 2018. Anyway, Our Raw Heart is an excellent album, offering all you expect from them. I am happy Mike recovered and kicks ass again.
The Free Life

Great stuff as always. Although less eclectic, the band gets tighter with each album. Listen asap to 'Domino', 'Very Bad', 'The Free Life' and 'Last Three Clues'
17Alice in Chains
Rainier Fog

Lighter than its predecessor, Alice in Chains finally took some risks since reforming. There will always be those people who will write the William DuVall is not Layne Staley comments, but why should they keep caring about that? The alternative rock leanings are actually cool. The title track is brilliant.
18Fu Manchu
Clone of the Universe

The first half brings all sides of Fu Manchu (punk, stoner, sludgier), while the second one is an 18-minute suite featuring Alex Lifeson. They’re still fun and groovy, what's to complain about?
19Yawning Man
The Revolt Against Tired Noises

The two days in which I met, played and hung around with these legends will remain forever in my heart. They are great, humble guys and their music is relaxing and touching. This is another great addition in their discography.
20Tim Hecker

Really interesting record. It’s abstract and moody most of the times, making me come back and spin it again.
Joy as an Act of Resistance

A bit late on the hype train. The band’s front man is one of the most charismatic and bold in a long time.
22Rotor (GER)

For the band’s 20th anniversary, they released a strong record. I am not surprised, since Rotor have crafted a niche of their own and could churn a great LP in their sleep.
You Won't Get What You Want

The second band I started listening this year to due to the hype on this site. Wasn’t disappointed.
Existential Void Guardian

Conan on steroids. More sludge than doom this time, the British act keeps on delivering the riffs.

It was high time we received something new from Bongripper. Ridiculous as always and just as heavy.
New Gods

Fun old school metal record with melodic vocals. Ghost with balls.
Here Come The Runts

This band will continue to be a guilty pleasure for me. There are some really catchy songs here.
28Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Wrong Creatures

The Twin Peaks atmosphere suits them well. Dead serious as always, but more toned down, Wrong Creatures grew on me during the past months. ‘Carried from the Start’ (I admit it didn’t impress me at first) and ‘Question of Faith’ are some of their best tracks.

Disappointing when compared to its predecessor. Half of the album is lacking, plus the lyrics are lazier too.
The Now Now

While Albarn still indulges in minimalist pop, this album is more coherent than Humanz.
31Cypress Hill
Elephants On Acid

Channeling Temples of Boom, this is Muggs tripping harder than ever in South/South-East Asia. The Eastern influences make it an interesting listen, don’t know why people are hating it that much.
32Church of the Cosmic Skull
Science Fiction
33Ghost (SWE)

Check Cauldron's New Gods before. I loved Meliora, but this is a bit forgettable.
The Sciences

Strong album, but weirdly enough, I prefer High on Fire’s album over this one. Can’t say why I haven’t listened to it more though.
35Exit North
Book of Romance and Dust

Late addition to this top. Although a really strong LP, it requires some patience and certain mood to kick in. This is why I haven't placed it higher.
36Chihei Hatakeyama
Void XV
37Viagra Boys
Street Worms

Another late addition. I started listening to them in the past couple of weeks, but they are fun. Gotta love the front man.
38Adan Jodorowsky
Esencia Solar

Fun Latin pop.
Book of Bad Decisions

This album is too long. Had they cut 5 songs or so, it would’ve been stellar.
The Thread that Keeps Us
41Monster Magnet
43The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Something Else
44The Pineapple Thief
45Author and Punisher
46God Is an Astronaut
Thought and Existence
And Nothing Hurt
49Front Line Assembly
53Kacey Musgraves
Golden Hour
54Brant Bjork
Mankind Woman
55Chihei Hatakeyama
Butterfly's Summer and Vanished
56This Will Destroy You
New Others Part Two
57This Will Destroy You
New Others Part One
58The Oscillation
Wasted Space
59Solar Fields
60Midas Fall
61Father John Misty
God's Favorite Customer
62Wooden Shjips
Hear The Rivers

I completely forgot about this album until a few days ago. I didn't have high expectations as they kind of fell into a comfort zone. Nevertheless, being heavier helps.
64Wrekmeister Harmonies
The Alone Rush

3rd late addition. I started listening to them lately and they are really cool.
One Hundred Mornings

Great album that I don't know why I didn't listen to more.
Eye the Tide
69Reverend Horton Heat
Whole New Life
70Future Usses
The Existential Haunting
71The Re-Stoned
Stories of the Astral Lizard
72Zeal and Ardor
Stranger Fruit

Saw them live, they were amazing. I don't know why I didn't listen to it more. Most likely trying to keep up with the new releases, some got lost in the increasing pile.
73Atrium Carceri, Cities Last Broadcast, God Body Disconnect
Miles to Midnight
74Toby Driver
They Are the Shield
75Anton Belov
Piano Works I
77KEN mode
78Chihei Hatakeyama
Calm Black Water
Transcanadian Anger

These guys are playing Weedeater better than Weedeater lately.

It was released a bit late, but I managed to listen to it a few times. It's not their best material, still, it's Hammock, everything they release is solid at the very least. I believe they should take a year off and recharge their batteries though, the quality dropped lately.
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