The end of 2018 is creeping up on us, and that means making a personal top ten of all releases from this year. This year was a great year for music, at least in my opinion. With so many releases it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to ten favourites. This year will also be the first time I make one of the top ten lists, since I am only writing for this website since March. While being excited to make the list, I also hope that I include everything that I think is worth mentioning. The music in this list is mostly as hectic as this year was for me, loads of (technical) death metal, some progressiveness and some traditional releases.
10. At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself
At The Gates is a band that does not need too much introduction. The melodic death metallers from Gotenburg, Sweden brought this album to light on the 18th of May this year through Century Media. It is the first time without co-founding guitarist Anders Björler, as he is replaced by Jonas Stålhammer. The band revisited what they are good at and have been doing for a while with To Drink From The Night Itself. The album contains some atmospheric elements along with more straight forward riffage that might remind you of Slaughter of the Soul. While this might not be the best album they ever made, I do think that it is at least worth a listen. I looked forward to this album, and I think it is a solid release. Read our review of the album here: https://www.grimmgent.com/at-the-gates-to-drink-from-the-night-itself/
9. Judas Priest – Firepower
Another band that does not need introduction. The British heavy metal legends released their highly anticipated eighteenth studio album on the 9th of March. If you are a fan of heavy metal music and have not listened to this record, well shame on you!
The album proves that they are still capable to compete with the modern bands, even after five decades. This due to the fact that the production was done by Tom Allom, who had worked with the band before, and Andy Sneap, who leans towards modern metal production. With the album containing fourteen tracks, it sure is a lengthy listen. But it is worth it. Firepower contains energizing and mesmerizing songs. I think it lived up to the hopes and expectations of people. That is why it is on this list.
8. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
The progressive technical band Rivers of Nihil is from Reading, Pennsylvania. They released Where Owls Know My Name on March 16th. This album is their third full-length, and it represents fall. This is a follow up on their album The Conscious Seed Of Light (2013) which represents spring, and Monarchy (2015) which is centered around summer.
Where Owls Know My Name is the best selling record on Metal Blade Records’ Bandcamp, so it is no secret that there are a lot of people that really dig this album. This comes as no surprise, since it is very versatile and unique album. These characteristics are one of the main reasons that this release is to be found in my top ten. From some fast riffage, to an atmospheric vibe to some saxophone work, this album has it all. Very entertaining and intriguing to listen to and I would definitely recommend doing so.
7. Obscura – Dilivium
The German technical death metal formation Obscura released their fifth album on the 13th of July. This is a concept album as well, and it is the last one of a series of four albums. With this release, they also welcomed their new guitarist Rafael Trujillo.
Let’s start with an unpopular opinion. Obscura is a band I had a hard time getting into, it just wasn’t really my cup of tea. Not because it was by any means too technical or progressive to get into for me, but I felt like they were slacking their musical creativity and production. For me, there were just a lot of bands that I would rather listen to. Then why is Dilivium in my list? Well, I feel like they stepped up their game with this album. I think the music is more thought out and overall has better structure. What immediately caught my attention in the first song Clandestine Stars and the track An Epilogue To Infinity, is some Cynic-inspired double clean vocals and overall atmosphere.
Overall I think this might be one of their best, if not their best releases. They are all unquestionably skilled musicians and I hope they continue this way and can further evolve into the talented band they are. Read our full review here: https://www.grimmgent.com/obscura-diluvium/