Notable albums of 2018
What a year it has been for music and especially metal. Some outstanding releases from a myriad of bands! It was a joy revisiting a selection of albums which truly raised my horns and mind. thought-provoking, instrumentally peaking and challenging the old guard (who ALSO delivered!).
Here are my “notable albums of 2018” in no particular order because F numbered lists:
I had not been paying particular attention to these behemoths of the prog stage, but they had utterly grabbed me in 2018. Raw emotions, touching lyrics and outstanding instrumental prowess are all showcased in this album. A great homage to their late member who passed in shocking circumstances.
Stoned Jesus -Pilgrims-
Further blending their signature stoner rock with prog elements, the heroes from Kyiv come back with a new album. Their most experimental product to date packs a punch as well as brings up some more intricate elements (esp on “Water me”). Hoping to catch them again on tour as they deliver a great energetic show!
Nine Inch Nails -Bad Witch-
The album (or 3rd ep?!) which completes the recent saga of the wild musical journey that NIN brought us along on. This last instalment delivers a myriad of aesthetic flavours from Bowie’s abstract ‘90s pseudo-industrial art/rock, with a little of the late '90s D&B to a return to the heavy beat and distortion driven With Teeth vibes. Good.
Thy Catafalque -Geometria-
One-man band and mastermind Tamás Kátai delivered an album packs full of varied flavours. Reaping inspiration from diverse genres such as ambient, folklore, jazz, metal, electronica, rock, pop and wave. You will find it all here!
YOB -Our Raw Heart-
The album, the journey and the question of where the time went. YOB delivered a monster which consumed many and not without reason. Masterfully delivered the expected prowess of their craft in a peak of their abilities. “…Shining Dreams Of what We are Sown in fields of stars Blaze In the heart Of the beyond…”
BRONCHO -Bad Behavior-
Classic indie with quirky lyrics and joyous riffs. Could not get their tunes out of my mind in '18. Pure fun.
Weedpecker: a big blissful delight full of airy atmosphere, with encroaching storm of guitar rolling on until a deep bass, drums and mellotron set the tone for the journey to come. Melting butter since '12.
When you are craving some new Dimmu but new Dimmu does not deliver, Shylmagoghnar are here to the rescue. With their blackened take on symphonic black metal, they are slowly forging a position at the forefront of this genre. Full of quality riffage, tremolo picking, double bass and symphonic ingenuity.
Tech death of the finest calibre. As some fine minds put it: Death meets Cynic meets Gojira meets Mastodon. Gorod deserves much much more exposure than they are currently offered. Hope to catch them in '19!
Most likely Germany’s best prog death metal export to the world, Obscura delivers the goods and in what style. Diluvium showcases its variety and vibrant interlayered goodness that is progressive death metal. It would be hard to big up Obscura without a humble mention to their previous drummer new venture: Alkaloid which also put out a stellar piece of work in Liquid Anatomy.
Judas Priest -Firepower-
Not many bands can boast a strong 40-year carrier. After such a length of time nobody expects an old dog to deliver new tricks however Judas Priest came around to prove everyone wrong, with one of their best pieces of work in this decade: Firepower. The riffage is sharp with a mix of classic and new whilst Rob Halford seems reinvigorated with an outstanding vocal performance.
One of the most atmopsheric and dangerous albums I’ve had the joy to experience in 2018. A wild, wild ride down to the deepest depths of musical ingenuity within doom metal. As someone perfectly put it: “100 tons of breathtaking instrumental doom of the highest order, more atmospheric and 'post’ this time, and as suffocating and skull crusher as usual. Unquestionable majesties.” More this in 2019.
Thank you for checking out my list. Let’s see what 2019 brings us!