|Nocte's Best Albums Of 2018|
I think you guys/gals and tugboats know the drill by now. 2018 has been a big year, full of hugely positive releases and its share of disappointing albums. Despite this 2018 somewhat rivals those so-called big years in music. Here's what I've been listening to in a somewhat un-ranked list.
The funeral doom supergroup to end all supergroups. Tracks of longing and loss fill the void between halls and caverns alike. With its roster made up of Shape of Despair and Eye Of Solitude members (as well as others) there's appeal to those that appreciate the more accessible but completely gravid forms of doom.
My usual misgivings to anything musically thematic is now a thought to the wayside as Esoteric Malacology takes over my self indulgent mind and fills it with slime filled fantasy. The death metal is fierce, on point and casts no doubt as to what species is the superior.
Death metal has had a big year indeed. There was controversy (not to mention a staple of saxophone parts), but no controversy could outmatch the fierce and unwavering sonic assault of Idol.
|4||Sul ad Astral|
A quick look through sput's rating's says that this guy hasn't had too many spins or received anywhere near the attention it deserves. The immersive space between post metal and natural progression. Admittedly, it's a slow grower and at times a hurdle but the journey is as rewarding as the album itself.
The Only Way Out
Doom metal has taken a definite backseat to the powerhouse of death metal this year. That's not death's fault, rather the likes of Clouds and Mournful Congregation just couldn't match the quality and quantity of albums popping up every week. Funeral Tears is another slow moving display of melancholy and not quite as memorable as the other acts mentioned above.
It's early release date hasn't aged Arkona's latest too well, namely because it's been forgotten about. Another quality album that got buried all too quickly.
Nebula Septem is admittedly the weakest offering Monolithe has dressed up in their career. It's not bad, per se. Rather the motif of "seven" doesn't carry well enough into the songwriting to give validation to the fact that Monolithe turn everything to doom filled gold.
Erdve dropped the debut of the year. There I said it.
The Weight Of A Thousand Suns
Yeah the love child of Gojira and Emperor is heavy, interesting and all over the place in the best possible way. It may not be as heavy as the title suggests but it's one of the year's more interesting metal releases.
Another genre bender blender. More focused on the band's previous releases and all the quality to match. The 'jazzier' elements run parallel to the death metal grandiosity. It's hard to see how the band will move forward after the death of their drummer shortly after the album's release.
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
This album has been popping into general discussion throughout the year and deserving of the praise it has been receiving everywhere.
Leather jackets, flame throwers and an aging legacy that can still bring shame to the kids trying to be like their idols. We all have heroes, we just don't want to see them go.
A Complex of Cages
With a bit more polishing these guys could be the next Opeth (the heavier version, not the hippy prog version). The clean vocal work takes some getting used to for sure but there's merit to be found here every day of the week.
Exile Amongst the Ruins
Man crushes are okay for Primordial right? The 'black n' roll' approach of their latest album left a few heads being scratched when one considers the band's past works but Primordial are going to do what they want, even if it's dragging its listeners to the Hangman's Noose.
Nature Stays Silent
A few production issues but Can Bardd are on the way to becoming Saor-tier.
VILSNA ANDARS BONING
A short blackened folk piece for Atari. Gentle, smooth and pleasantly bringing the Swedish mountain.
When metalcore started letting everyone down this year Caliban were just waiting in the wings with their stock standard formula and occasional banger.
People got on the hype train quickly for Tesseract, and then got off at the next stop once the album dropped. It's not fantastic, but it's not bad either.
All hail Ihsahn
|20||Letters From The Colony|
It's a tech death album with a saxophone, you work it out.
One of the year's more contentious death metal albums. More cohesive than the band's last offering, Liquid Anatomy is a highlight, even if you don't agree.
All hail the apocalypse, the world's ending and of course cheese.
|23||Joan of Arc|
I'm not one to waver too far from what's normal and known to me, but I couldn't help appreciate the quirk, the minimalism or the outright abrasive smoothness of Joan of Arc's experimental pop.
Blackened thrash that doesn't suck or blow. It's over quickly enough to ensure no one becomes sick of it, plus the art's pretty.
Profound Lore have a knack for signing the bands we should be keeping more of an eye on. Hissing's brand of death metal is their own but hearkens both Portal vibes and death revival.
|27||In Chasms Deep|
The Realm Between
Death, Decay, And Magick Foul.
Yet another solid release to add to death metal's 2018 tally.
The Passage of Existence
Nothing new, but everything to see here. Another top-tier release from the Monstrosity camp.
Another definition of a slow grower, Abstracter provide doubt on whether they're moving from strength to strength but this shouldn't be missed on a whim.
|31||Until Death Overtakes Me|
I've always followed the long winded funeral dirges that seep slowly into the mind penetrating the subconscious and reinforcing why it's okay to not be okay. Missing may not have the same potency as A Prelude To Monolith but carries the same vibes.
A New Kind of Horror
The same kind of horror, but cleaner and less vehement than the album's predecessors.
Death metal consistency appealing for supremacy.
Roots, Bloody Roots! Turns out Max has some fight left in him, he just has to remember the good ol' days to bring back the relevancy of Soulfly's groove based mainstream thrash.
The Phobos / Deimos Suite
Cavern built tech death that doesn't feature the use of a certain saxophone.
Thrash/death. I wish I had more to say about this apart from it does exactly what it's supposed to and I'm definitely okay with that.
Another contender for death metal supremacy circa 2018. It comes from nowhere and leaves nothing left when it's done.
The Last One
Why is this so god-damn fucking catchy?
Another contender for death metal supremacy circa 2018. Horrendous tier as far as the year's efforts in metal are concerned.
Solid, albeit meandering death metal.
Thirty five minutes of solid deathened glory. Overshadowed by its peers, but in the best possible way.
Gorod equals god? No wait, don't answer that.
Dewi reviewed it because I told him to. He loved it like I knew he would and you should too.
The Arteries of Heresy
This is beautiful, but dank.
The Hallowing of Heirdom
Why did you guys stop talking about this? Folk you can leave on repeat with a glass of wine in hand.
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
I don't think I could get away with posting a 2018 list without mentioning what actually is my Album Of The Year. Luckily I reviewed it so I don't have to keep repeating myself.
Suffocating, entrancing and everything in between. Entropia can keep genre hopping, I'll just try and keep up with it all.
While mainstream metalcore may have been a let down this year, the left of field stuff is exceptional.
Into The Eternity A Moment We Are
Doom metal that can sit on the shelf right next to my Eye Of Solitude collection. The female led vocals are a nice deviation from the standards the genre now finds itself falling into.
Another album that suffered from an early release date. Forgotten too early in a year filled with solid to excellent releases.
Smooth tones hide a dark secret.
Let the love flow through your locks, caress your back and whisper sweet nothings into your ear.
|54||The Atlas Moth|
Another early album which to be fair found itself overrated slightly, but only slightly.
Straightforward black metal, up tempo and fierce.
I Loved You At Your Darkest
A quick glance over a few others' lists and I'm wondering why this isn't getting a similar recognition from when it was released. Regardless, it's deserving of the praise.
|57||Bleed From Within|
While Rob Flynn was disappointing us with Machine Head's latest, Bleed From Within were releasing the album metalcore desperately needed this year.
Sit back, grab a beer and stop giving a fuck.
Disruptive and pleasurable noisy death al a Portal
Another death metal album inviting hell on its unwitting victims only to be spat out a shell of their former selves.
|62||Crippled Black Phoenix|
Album of the year potential. Built with grace and beauty.
Cobra Speed Venom
If you like metal (at all) this is a must listen for 2018.
Overtures of Blasphemy
Glen Benton and co. cookie monster their way through one of their better releases in the last few years.
Call of the Wild
Call of the metal fan.
The Colder The Night
Such pretty music.
Completely overlooked as far as the year's better music goes. There was a lot that was better, even more that is worse.
Lost tales of a fallen soldier wrapped into a less than succinct of funeral doom. Sign me up.
The White Witch
Gators rumble, Apostates quake.
|72||God Is an Astronaut|
Not the best thing ever, but we needed more God Is An Astronaut this year.
Not quite as good as everyone was making out, but it's definitely still great.
|74||Hands Of Despair|
Well of the Disquieted
Well Of The Disquieted runs rampart, building on a foundation that is melodic, deathly and venomous enough to qualify in the realms of black metal. It's forgettable, and unfortunate in design.
Epic, straight forward and everything we love about Kalmah.
Debt Of Aeons
Drudging along disquiet.
Under the Mountain
They tried for full Sabbath, fell short of copycatting.
Sea of Duress
Fans of Erdve's debut should give this one a go. I seem to have misplaced my wine.
More pretty music from another act that's been left back at the start of the year.
Ancient Shadows of Saturn
Atmospheric Black Metal
Under The Fragmented Sky
An acquired taste.
Pretty lo-fi black metal, genre hopping stuff.
|83||Noise Trail Immersion|
Symbology of Shelter
What is a genre tag for?
|84||Oceans of Slumber|
The Banished Heart
Cammie Gilbert is quickly becoming one of my favourite vocalists. Her dexterity bridges genre gaps and puts heart back into stagnation. The Banished Heart is all the more emotional because of her vocal performance and is a legitimate highlight of the year.
Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs
Despite being released way too early in the year to be remembered recently, Orphaned Land has made one of their career highlights, rivaling even that of the legendary Mabool.
The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness
So magnificent it needed to be shown in two parts The Scars Of Man... should be a feature of many music fans end of year lists.
Portal toned down the swarth and released an album that can appeal to a slightly larger audience. With repeated listens ION even matches the band's best performances.
Admittedly, the songwriting here is missing that little something that woulld allow Riverside's newest offering to transcend the classifications and be the album it deserves to be.
Campfires, Trees and a cold winters' night all leave us with how great this little EP is. Solstice is over too soon.
Obligatory Saxon mention.
Death metal revival, pure and with no frills.
|94||Sleep In Heads|
On the Air
For fans of Alcest and Lacuna Coil simultaneously.
The Shadowed Road
"We're taking the Hobbits to Isengard"
With Doom We Come
"We're taking the Hobbits to Isengard" with less production values.
Come Ethereal Somberness
Another genre bender bridging the gaps between black, death metal.
This year is truly the year of Thou. Three EP's and a full length, all top quality. Us plebs can only dream of being that good.
Manor of Infinite Forms