‘Thas been the season to merrily look back upon the fantastic musical year that was 2018. It is never easy to select the ten best albums of a particular year, since time is a human construct. Just kidding of course. It is never easy simply because there are so many solid releases each year. And 2018 was no different. But if, through great effort in restriction, I had to select 10 of my very favourite albums of 2018, the list would look something like this:
10. Born To Murder The World – The Infinite Mirror Of Millennial Narcissism
Definitely one of the most overlooked releases of 2018, this is the beast that sprang forth from the genius of Anaal Nathrakh mastermind Mick Kenney and grind god Shane Embury (Napalm Death). If you enjoyed Anaal Nathrakh‘s A New Kind of Horror, you NEED to check this out. You get more of that delightfully orderly chaos, only this time without the industrial and electronic influences.
9. GosT – Possessor
GosT delivers another darkwave record on which to rock that corpse paint in your best aerobics outfit. My second favourite synth-packed album of 2018. On here are some dark tunes, my friends. It is gritty, violent and brimming with obscure emotion. Perfect for this time of the year, when you’re feeling lonely and have nowhere to go.
8. The Konsortium – Rogaland
What a gem! You in for some technical and rhythmic black metal with a touch of grind? This release came out of nowhere for me. I hadn’t followed The Konsortium for quite some time, and to be fair it has been seven years since they released anything at all. And it has been worth the wait. This album is pure black metal gold. BUY. THIS. RECORD. RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW.
7. Black Tongue – Nadir
Slow and heavy, this auditory behemoth of misanthropy will knock you down and keep beating you to a pulp right until its very end. Ever tried to explain to someone that you can find positivism in negativity ? Not many people I have met fully comprehend the concept. Especially when you try to convey the role that music can play in that respect. With Black Tongue‘s Nadir, trying as it may be for some, you will find that ray of light amidst the darkness in your life. The release I got out of its violent sound has made me a happier man. A murderous hulk that is more than worth your valuable time.
6. Uada – Cult Of A Dying Sun
A melodic beauty of a tragedy, Cult of a Dying Sun is one of this year’s best black metal releases. The riffs and howls on this one never cease to tug at my heartstrings.
5. The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough
Ah don’t you just miss the 80’s? One of the most effective blasts from the past nostalgically speaking. Only not really, since the band is contemporary. I can hardly believe Björn Strid‘s and David Andersson‘s (Soilwork) near perfect understanding of 80’s AOR, but they have aced all their albums so far. This feel-good delight of a record is a more than worthy follow-up to last year’s Amber Galactic. Read our full review here.
4. Carpenter Brut – Leather Teeth
Speaking of the 80’s. With this record, you’ll be dancing like Rick Astley at one point, and banging your head the next. Franck Hueso definitely knows how to rock the horror synth like no other. Ever since I started listening to his first compilation release Trilogy, Carpenter Brut has become absolutely unbeatable when it comes to synthwave.
3. Aborted – TerrorVision
In my opinion, Belgium’s finest A-grade band. Their latest release is a delightfully melodic and brutal stomper. Their very best yet. Check out my review here.
2. Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind Of Horror
Anaal Nathrakh stay true to themselves with this chaotic, world-ending atomic bomb of a record. If calculated insanity is your thing, look no further. Check out my review here.
1. Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit
My absolute numero uno! This masterpiece of genre-blends is my favourite record of 2018. The strangely perfect mix of black metal and negro soul is heavy, dark, occult, bluesy, brimming with feeling and chock-full of singalongs and catchy lyrics. What’s not to love? Tracks like Ship On Fire, Servants, Gravedigger’s Chant, Row Row, or Don’t Your Dare are all instant classics. I get chills just thinking about it.
So there you have it. My top ten albums of 2018. What a blast it has been. As previously stated, it is nearly impossible to make a clearly defined selection of the best albums of 2018 due to the sheer amount of good releases. Compiling this list has been hard for me, because there were many albums that I utterly adored. This is why I will not forget to mention some honorable contenders who did not quite make the list, but who have had no less of an impact on me:
Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology
Dead Wretch – Hug Division Dead Wretch
Ghost – Prequelle
Skinless – Savagery
Kraanium – Slamchosis
Galvanizer – Sanguine Vigil
Nina – Sleepwalking
Alien Weaponry – Tu
Avslut – Deceptis
Nuisible – Slaves & Snales
Revocation – The Outer Ones
And many more…
Damn, I’m aready looking forward to next year’s releases…