Albums of 2018

I’m extremely late publishing this list, as I started writing it over the holidays and didn’t have the time to find album covers to include in this write up. So here it is, sans-images and all, a bunch of record I enjoyed from 2018.

Deceased – Ghostly White
Death/Heavy Metal | Arlington, VA, USA | Hell’s Headbangers | Bandcamp
Perhaps one of the most perfect death metal bands returns with their heavy metal and punk tinged horror music. It took 7 years between albums but it’s totally worth it.

Hoopsnake – Snowmanmoth
Doom Metal | Squamish, BC, Canada | Self Released | Bandcamp
This is the third LP from Hoopsnake, and they continue to show everyone they are one of the finest doom metal acts in Canada. Big riffs dominate this record, ranging from nice slow stoner doom parts to all out 70’s rock.

Infernal Coil – Within a World Forgotten
Black/Death Metal | Boise, ID, USA | Profound Lore | Bandcamp
After a couple savage EPs, Infernal Coil unleashed their dense and catastrophic debut LP in 2018. Fans of Knelt Rote, Vermin Womb, and similar black/death/grind concoctions should take note!

Mortuous – Through Wilderness
Death Metal | San Jose, CA, USA | Carbonized Records | Bandcamp
Another debut LP, this time from the death metal hot spot known as the Bay Area. There’s a nice Autopsy influence here, but it’s dynamic enough to have its own identity.

Napalm Death – Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs
Grindcore | Birmingham, UK | Century Media | YouTube
This is a 2CD compilation featuring 90 minutes of non-album material from the grindcore gods themselves. They shook the running order up to make each disc flow like an album rather than a collection of tracks, and it works well.

Outre-Tombe – Necrovortex
Death Metal | Quebec City, QC, Canada | Temple of Mystery | Bandcamp
Sophomore effort from this Quebecois death metal group. They play old school death metal in the vein of Pestilence and old Death, and sing entirely in French. Great follow up to the debut, and the cover art is fantastic!

Pretty Little Flower – Jackhammering Deathblow of Nightmarish Trepidation
Grindcore | Houston, TX, USA | Six Weeks | YouTube
PLF’s fifth album is a non-stop cut of Gulf Coast grindcore. You should probably already know what to expect if you’re into this band. If you’re not, they’re some of the most heinous grinders putting out full lengths today!

Ripped to Shreds – 埋葬
Death Metal | San Jose, CA, USA | Craneo Negro | Bandcamp
Another entry from the Bay Area city of San Jose. This is a solo project, but it sounds like a band with years of experience behind them. HM-2 guitar tone and big OSDM riffs make this a worthy experience. I did the layout for this one so I’m a bit bias but it really does kick ass!

Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror
Death Metal | Portland, OR, USA | Dark Descent | Bandcamp
This Portland based group hasn’t released a ton of material but everything they’ve done so far is of high quality. Ditching the HM-2 sound of their debut album (and follow up EP), this is a truly dark death metal offering.

Siege Column – Inferno Deathpassion
Death Metal | New Jersey, USA | Nuclear War Now! | Bandcamp
This is a unique debut record – I can’t exactly place what it sounds like. It’s got some OSDM influences alongside some stenchcore parts and it hits the spot just right.

Six Brew Bantha – Blight
Grindcore | Victoria, BC, Canada | To Live A Lie | Bandcamp
Third album from one of Canada’s finest grindcore bands. Every album of theirs has become more technical and musically adventurous while never abandoning the true spirit of grindcore.

Ulthar – Cosmovore
Death Metal | Oakland, CA, USA | 20 Buck Spin | Bandcamp
Bay area. Debut album. Death metal. 20 Buck Spin. Should I explain more? It’s got a ton of Voivod influence and sci-fi themes. If you don’t like that, we probably aren’t friends.

Voivod – The Wake
Prog/Thrash Metal | Jonquière, QC, Canada | Century Media | YouTube
Speaking of Voivod, these Canadian legends released their 14th album this year. “Target Earth” was great, but I think this is the best thing they’ve done in decades. Dan Mongrain has been the perfect choice to replace Piggy, and the proof is in this record!

Wake – Misery Rites
Grindcore | Calgary, AB, Canada | Translation Loss | Bandcamp
These guys have to be one of the hardest working bands in Alberta. Each album has taken them into new sonic territory, as the defiantly push the limits of what could be considered grindcore. There’s a lot of black/death like Infernal Coil/Knelt Rote/Vermin Womb, and some nice dissonant chord work like Deathspell Omega.

And here are some EPs/demos/splits below:

Chthe’ilist – Passage into the Xexanotth
Death Metal | Montreal, QC, Canada | Profound Lore | Bandcamp
After unleashing their debut album, this Quebecois death metal act has offered up a two song 7″. The b-side is a Crematory cover, which works surprisingly well against their usual Demilich-esque technical death metal.

Cold Cave – You & Me & Infinity
Darkwave | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Heartworm Press | Bandcamp
I got into Cold Cave earlier last year as my taste of post-punk has got me into more dark/synthwave stuff. The four songs on this EP are guaranteed to make your head move and make you want to wear dangler earrings.

Extremely Brutal – Dead Reconsiderations
Grindcore | Canada / Japan | Self Released | Bandcamp
Dan from Archagathus teamed up with Japanese grinder Hagamoto to unleash some heinous death metal/grindcore. Production is fantastic, and the songs are (as you can guess) extremely brutal.

Human Agony – Goring Christ
Black Metal | Victoria, BC, Canada | Blud Auk Tapes | Bandcamp
The only war metal that excited me this year came from Vancouver Island in the form of Human Agony. War metal is a pretty boring genre but when a band riffs hard, I can dig it, and that’s exactly what’s going on here

Languid – Oblivion
D-Beat | Edmonton, AB, Canada | D-Takt & Rapunk | Bandcamp
Here’s another pick that I’m obviously biased towards (I recorded/mixed it), but Languid are too amazing not to mention. This 7″ came out at the end of 2017 but copies didn’t get over here til early 2018, so here it is on this list. Fans of Discharge, Meanwhile, and Warcry need this.

Lifeless Dark – Who Will be the Victims?
Crust | Boston, MA, USA | Self Released | Bandcamp
The Sacrilege style of crust lives on, as it is apparent on Lifeless Dark’s first recorded offering. Not much else to say about that, but it’s catchy enough to warrant multiple listens despite not being super original.

Rhythm of Cruelty – Dispossession
Post-Punk | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Pseudo Laboratories | Bandcamp
One of my favourite local acts put out a 4 song EP. The opening and closing tracks are fairly minimalist, where as the middle two are lush pieces of dark, gothic post-punk.

Scolex/Mortuous split 7″
Death Metal | Bay Area, CA, USA | Carbonized Records | Bandcamp
Mortuous makes another appearance on this list, this time with their fellow Bay Area peers Scolex. Scolex only has a 4 song EP under their belt, so any new material from that band is welcome.

Spectral Voice/Vastum split 7″
Death Metal | Denver, CO / Oakland, CA, USA | Dark Descent Records | Bandcamp
Another nice pairing of newer death metal bands. Both bands contribute a track from their latest album’s recording sessions, but make no mistake, these are solid death metal songs.

Tragedy – Fury
Crust | Portland, OR, USA | Self Released | Bandcamp
Tragedy hasn’t put out anything since their very Amebix styled “Darker Days Ahead” LP in 2012, and then they suddenly dropped this EP in August. This one is more straight ahead punk, and a little more akin to their related band Warcry.