|Nocte's Q1 2018|
Inspired by Sowing's Q1 list I guess it's time to see a few more of these on the site. Here's the noticeable releases I've been listening to Part 1 of 2018.
Greyhaven's 'Empty Black' came largely out of nowhere for 2018. A mix of frenetic Dillinger inspired mathcore ties in with an ala Every Time I Die soundscape. The combination of both is a welcome addition to the start of 2018, showing that "core" releases can remain relevant, even if it's not innovative.
The Incubus of Karma
Australia's Mournful Congregation build a funeral pyre to which all other pyre's should be measured. Continually, funeral doom metal is a lot to take in but 'The Incubus of Karma' shows a band continuing their long stride to success, even if they're shaking things up a little. Yet another AOTY contender.
|3||Oceans Of Slumber|
The Banished Heart
An album splitting listeners' opinions. 'The Banished Heart' is built on a foundation of emotional story-telling, particularly, that of loss and blame. It also defines itself as a "slow grower" needing the listener to be fully engaged, to be invested in the lyrical content. The album is a definite improvement from the band's previous effort doing away with 'Winter's' misgivings.
Slugs... That is all.
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
Another surprising AOTY contender. Rolo Tomassi's latest offering came with instant gratification. A veritable pool of changing sounds, the album walks a tightrope between expansive and unyielding. 'Time...' comes close to transcending, blowing away their on paper sound.
A combination of soundscapes, defying simple genre classification. 'Interregnum' has equal parts death metal, prog, black metal and touches of fusion jazz. Usurpress have both come a long way, and not very far with their latest release.
'Vaitojimas' is a titan of a record, ready made for hyperbolic references, bringing a rather suffocating atmosphere that combines both the heaviness and technical ability to create an album as beautiful as it's well-written. 'Vaitojimas' almost over achieves on its delivery being yet another early AOTY contender.
Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs
Orphaned Land hit back strongly in a way that little were expecting. Cheese aside, 'Unsung...' is the band's most promising release since 'Mabool' and while the jury is still out deciding whether it surpasses their magnum opus, 'Unsung...' is everything the band needed to release at this stage of the band's career.
Pagan black metal goodness from Russia. Translating to 'Temple', Arkona has released another solid release. Prone to some levels of repetition between tracks, 'Khram' manages to stand above these short falls to put out another great record.
The album about sevens. 'Nebula Septem' unfortunately falls short of the band's Roman Numeral era albums. Fortunately, it still solid enough to stand alone.
The Weight Of A Thousand Suns
The unmentioned love child of early Emperor and Gojira that we actually needed to know about. It's like all the best parts of a baby Frankenstein, without being dragged into a Mary Shelley novel.
2018, the year of the quality veteran metal album. Saxon have been at it for forty-ish years. Putting out rocker after rocker. 'Thunderbolt' is yet another solid release for the band's discography.
One of metal's most long standing acts releasing one of the group's best records in years. 'Firepower' stands as a testament to Priest's longevity within the hard rock/metal industry. A few questions remain: Is this the last J.Priest album we're going to get before Halford and co ride off into the night? What will happen to their leather jackets? And will there be one last album to help long time fans say goodbye?
Exile Amongst the Ruins
The hype train may have just killed this one for me personally and is slightly underwhelming. 'Exile Amongst The Ruins' has a lot of room to grow with repeated listens (hopefully). At the moment, the record would do better with twenty minutes shaved of its run time.
Folk metal with art that promises a great listen. Too bad the battle cries and sword clashes are forced cheese. It's good, but not much else.
Metalcore from Italy. Diverse vocals, stereotypical metalcore. Solid, enjoyable and fun, but far from a revolutionary record.
Scandinavian meets 90s Swedish black metal. While there isn't a lot to say about this release it fits the bill. Unremarkable, but solid black metal.
Jazz Fusion off Art As Catharsis. I'm not a jazz fanatic but I love this sensual little album. Coast dances across the speakers, fulfilling a light ethereal listen.
They Often See Dreams About The Spring
Drudkh return with a record of bombastic achievement. The album leeches quality. Haunting atmosphere and conjured bleak outlooks permeate throughout the album's run-time. It may not be as "atmospheric" as the group's older releases but it's better written in strides.
The Shadowed Road
Another album to fill the wanting void Summoning left earlier this year. A quick cursory spin of this record will tell you that Sojourner haven't exactly done anything out of the ordinary. Rather they just do it well.
VILSNA ANDARS BONING
A little two-tracked EP that brings out the folk. Mostly acoustic and quaintly sung this Swedish act bring a sense of black metal melancholy and drag the listener through the proverbial ringer.
Atmospheric in your face black metal. Fairly this album will probably be ignored by the larger metal community but 'Antelux' is well worth a visit. The production suits the music so very well. It's atmospheric, dark and twisted, just like I like my coffee... I mean metal.
|23||Sleep in Heads|
On the Air
Female-led post rock that brings a few elements reminiscent of Lacuna Coil. It's not a bad sounding combination. Giving way to a short, yet completely solid release.
Chaotic, frenetic, forward thinking death/noise that combines a pool of genres to culminate in an apocalyptic sound. 'Mouvement' lifts in its ferocity, especially as the album progresses. It's not going to make many AOTY lists, as it will just fall short of the cut.
Reductio ad Absurdum
Another one off Art As Catharsis (my favourite label if you hadn't already worked that out). Imagine a proggier Dillinger and you're not even close.
Melodic metalcore album about the star signs? Sign me up, it's not like they'd interest me at any other time of my life. The usual traits are here, always. As much as I want to see a metalcore resurgence in this vein it's becoming increasingly unlikely.
See description for #22.
Nature Stays Silent
Mike Lamb (from the band « Sojourner ») gave these guys the extra push to finish this record. Fairly, the music's that good that the "push" could be considered a light nudge. 'Nature Stays Silent' is a great record from start to finish.
|29||Rivers of Nihil|
Where Owls Know My Name
Chances are if you’re reading this list you’re already aware of the opinion splitting nature of this release. First impressions are great until you notice little niggling features of the record that grow like a virus, accentuating the fact that this just does not have the sheer lasting power it was meant to have. Identity issues mix with production flaws and what’s lett is ‘Where Owls Know My Name’.
Aussie death metal legends Portal have once again redefined the heaviness of their art. Stripping back on their sound has done two things: refining their technical prowess into new levels Of listenable content and allowing for a huge development of their current fan base. ION takes more of the same Portal sound and remakes it into another clusterfuck of solid death metal.
Make Them Bleed
My current contender for “worst album of 2018” and it’s going to take a miracle for this supposed “supergroup” to crawl away from this with some other victim in its place. Consider this my attempt at telling you to stay far, far away from this release - if only for your own good.
Trident Wolf Eclipse
Watain are developing a spine for their music finally. Trident Wolf Eclipse cut away a huge amount of the filler found on most of their catalog and make an album that will actually start to define the band.