2018 like every year has come to a quick close and it's fair to say this year has been one of the most prosperous in recent memory. It is becoming more evident to me that the underground is taking over this genre and continuing to put forth strong music which will hopefully move the genre in an evolving direction. I wanted to write about my top albums from this year and what I perceive to be some of the best material that this year had to offer.
-Behemoth: I Loved You at Your Darkest
As I've previously written on this page I definitely have a strong affiliation and love for Behemoth's unrelenting music. To me they have pushed the genre forward in so many ways it's difficult to quantify. Behemoth's music is continuously evolving, never remaining stagnant and each record is a monument of its own. 2018 saw the band's first release since their critically acclaimed album The Satanist. Like Behemoth's previous record the first note until its end is a perfectly crafted body of work which stands firmly on its own, bringing influences from their past but also redefining what extreme music can contain and be. This album is definitely one of my top picks for 2018 and a staple in anyone's extreme music journey.
It is fair to say that 2018 was one of the best years for death metal in quite some time. This album is no different in my eyes. Horrendous have unleashed an unrelenting record of precession and aggression in early 2018. Taking a leaf from the legendary Death, it is easy to see where this album was spawned from. However it is refreshing to hear a band pay homage to that 1990's classic sound but also set death metal onto a prosperous path.
-Rivers of Nihil: Where Owls Know My Name
This list was in no particular order however the latest Rivers of Nihil album is my number 1 pick for 2018. This album showed me how metal music can be warped and transformed into something quite incredible. The band's musical reach with this record is impressive, with influences reaching as far as jazz (yes there's saxophone) whilst delving into the depths of technical death metal. This album is a complete work of art, it has a natural progression which tells a story with its instrumentation and lyrical content. The band has laid out this work in a thoughtful and thorough manner that it takes time to really understand the complexity of it. I wouldn't say that this album is heavily reliant on technical playing, however the complexity component arises in the arrangement of the songs and their ideas. This album took the underground by storm and has broken ground for heavy metal and I am thankful for that.
-Outre Tombe: Necrovortex
Like I mentioned earlier, 2018 was an impressive year for death metal. If you are fan of that Chainsaw Bloodbath/Entombed type of riffing, distortion and sound this is the death metal record for you. This album is the perfect mix of that 90's classic death metal tone/vibe which many people love and miss. This album draws on everything that was great about that era but takes it in a new direction. This album is unrelenting, heavy, fantastically produced and in my top albums for 2018.