My Favorite Records of 2018

2018 I consumed about as much as 2017, I think. Played even more guitar than last year. According to last.fm that is confirmed. I also released an EP and a single with two different bands, hopefully there will be more in 2019.


Albums I released in 2018

Uncouth - Ego Depletion

Google Play | Spotify | Bandcamp

About Thieves - Bridging the Old and the New

Google Play | Spotify | Bandcamp


And now, on to my favorites of the year…

25.) Misery Pimp - The Swans Were For Him

Google Play | Spotify

Rocky Price, my partner in crime in Tides|Cult and Filth Sermon, delivers some seriously thunderous tracks on his Misery Pimp solo project. Frightening industrial beats behind his unique blend of rap makes for a great record. Nicely done, my dude.

24.) Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Wasteland

Google Play | Spotify

I really enjoyed this. This one felt like the same band that made Mind Control. Fuzzed out riffs galore and the usual head nodding melodies you have come to expect from good ol’ Uncle Acid.

23.) Obscura - Diluvium

Google Play | Spotify

I’m not the biggest Obscura fan, but this record really grew on me a lot. I was unaware of the conceptual nature of their releases so that was fun to read about all that and relisten to everything.

22.) Alex Ludovico - pretendtobe

Google Play | Spotify

My homie from LA’s first LP in a long time. I love this record, probably his best yet. Infectious beats and wordplay make some truly memorable musical moments from beginning to end. L.I.T, Uberpool, I Quit are damn near masterpieces. I look forward to seeing a live show soon!

21.) Bongripper - Terminal

Google Play | Spotify

I got to hear them rehearse these pieces of music in the practice space, so loud, so crushing. I had the pleasure of seeing them twice in 2018. I love the cleaner interludes woven throughout these songs. Another chapter to their punishing legacy of stoner doom greatness.

20.) Windhand - Eternal Return

Google Play | Spotify

Dorthia Cottrell belts out another LP worth of gold on Eternal Return. I love the guitar tone on this record (and, really, all of Windhand’s records up to this point). Even more cohesive and tight than Grief’s Infernal Flower, but I think I liked that one better.

19.) Ghost - Prequelle

Google Play | Spotify

I am a huge Ghost mark, I don’t care what anyone says. They haven’t been a metal band since their first record. That said, this album is damn near a flawless pop rock record and I love it. It plays out like a short film in a way, I feel. Great production and song writing, Tobias knows how to craft a catchy tune, that’s for sure. They also really leveled up the live show on the last tour. That 2 hour set was pretty spectacular to experience. Dance Macabre and Life Eternal give me goosebumps every time I hear them, still.

18.) Khemmis - Desolation

Google Play | Spotify

Killer record! I’ve always enjoyed Ben and Phil’s guitar harmonies and riffs and they didn’t let us down with any on Desolation. Fantastic sludgy, doomy record.

17.) Behemoth - I Loved You at Your Darkest

Google Play | Spotify

This record is Nergal at his finest. This is already one of my favorite Behemoth record, as good or better than The Satanist and Demigod, in my opinion. Some mighty fine blackened death metal.

16.) Graveyard - Peace

Google Play | Spotify

I listened to this a lot throughout the year. I was so bummed when they announced they were breaking up and was so happy to hear they were getting back together. It seems like they’re reinvigorated on this record, great bluesy rock tunes front to back.

15.) Black Thought - Streams of Thought Vol. 1 & 2

Google Play | Spotify

I didn’t realize this was released until Vol. 2 dropped, which was sort of fortunate because then I didn’t have to wait for the follow up. What a fantastic pair of incredible hip hop records! I love The Roots and Black Thought brings all that signature word play here and then some. Great beats and rhymes.

14.) Tomb Mold - Manor of Infinite Forms

Google Play | Spotify

Shred city. Riffs for days. Tomb Mold wrote a classic in Manor of Infinite Forms. These Canadians are slowly becoming one of my favorite death metal bands. I really like the slower, sludgier stuff they do, too (like in the closer, Two Worlds Become One). Very memorable death metal songs, one of these days I’ll actually get to see them live.

13.) The Armed - Only Love

Google Play | Spotify

Who is The Armed? I had the pleasure of seeing this hardcore collective at Beat Kitchen opening for Mutoid Man, and Ben Koller even sat behind the kit their entire set. They were incredible live, their singer hulking around the strobe-light lit room carrying moshers on his back, the rest of the band acting like they didn’t care for half the show and belting out break neck performances the other half. It was truly breathtaking. This record captures the feeling of that sweaty room perfectly. I love this.

12.) Sleep - The Sciences

Google Play | Spotify

Stoner metal legends emerge once again from their slumber to drop their best record on us, on the most fitting of surprise release days. Start to finish this record is a classic in the making. I got to see them at The Riv and if Matt Pike had one more cabinet on stage I think it would have collapsed.

11.) Tribulation - Down Below

Google Play | Spotify

When this first came out in January I thought it would be in my top 5. I am a big fan of this record, much in the same way I dug Cloak’s debut last year. Hooky riffs for days and a borderline black metal meets death metal meets classic rock mix of great tunes throughout. They stole show opening for Pallbearer at Bottom Lounge, what a fantastic performance. Looking forward to the next record and show already.

10.) Flatbush Zombies - Vacation in Hell

Google Play | Spotify

Meechy Darko, Eric the Architect, and Zombie Juice come together once again for another trophy on their mantle with Vacation in Hell. While not quite as captivating as 3001, in my opinion, this record shows them maturing and coming into their sound even more. Some pretty good features (especially Joey Bada$$ on Vacation) sprinkled throughout really bring the Zombies out in the forefront of hip hop. I still hum along to Headstone all the time.

9.) Fister - No Spirit Within

Google Play | Spotify

Inter Arma is fast becoming one of my favorite bands. They didn’t put out a record in 2018. However, Fister did, and it belongs right in that same conversation. Incredible record. Marcus Newstead seriously channels Mike Paparo at numerous points throughout this record, and it’s chilling to hear. Screaming bloody murder throughout this incredible record, I found myself looking up their discography and really enjoying all the splits they’ve released. Great stuff from St. Louis.

8.) Wayfarer - World’s Blood

Google Play | Spotify

Not quite black metal, not quite death metal, kind of like Americana blackened metal? I don’t even know anymore, who cares? This was my introduction to the Colorado natives and it blew me away. There’s not a wasted moment to be found on this record, just check it out. On Horseback They Carried Thunder is an incredibly well written song and one of my favorites of the year.

7.) Slugdge - Esoteric Malacology

Google Play | Spotify

This band’s name is fun to pronounce. Kinda like Luggage with an S at the beginning, amirite? Anyway, this record is very close to perfection. Blackened sludgy death metal that’s pedal to the floor almost all the time. I wish these dudes would tour the US sometime. I really, really liked the Cosmic Cornucopia collection, and this record is just as brutal and interesting.

6.) High on Fire - Electric Messiah

Google Play | Spotify

Matt Pike, riffs for days. This is my favorite High on Fire record. Start to finish, this thing rips the whole time. Steps of the Ziggarut / House of Enlil is probably my favorite track, but they’re all great. Also, some of the best album art to ever be summoned into this dimension.

5.) Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It

Google Play | Spotify

This one grabbed my attention early in the year and didn’t let go. Glossy clean production and vicious music. I had zero exposure to Rolo Tomassi before this dropped and after listening to it for the fourth or fifth time I checked out their back catalog and was surprised to find a diverse collection of releases and utterly chaotic live video. Eva Spence sings her mind out on this whole record. Aftermath is one of the best songs of the year.

4.) Cult Leader - A Patient Man

Google Play | Spotify

Fantastic sophomore LP from Cult Leader. Lightless Walk was a lot more straightforward hardcore, which I loved, but this record is just weird in all the right places. The swerve at To: Achyls and A World of Joy is awesome, in my opinion, and I love that change up in the mood. This one is an instant classic front to back. Give it a chance even if you’re not that into heavy music.

3.) Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Sunlight

Google Play | Spotify

I, for one, wholeheartedly endorse the addition of Adam Clemens to Skeletonwitch. What a completely different and far superior band they have become with him in front. The party hearty thrash metal falls away for a much more black metal sound, and it’s awesome. The Apothic Gloom saw them growing in that direction, but Devouring Radiant Sunlight is their coming out party. Some of my favorite guitar tones of the year were captured throughout this record (of course Kurt Ballou tracked them). Fen of Shadows and the title track are two of my favorite songs of the year. This easily could have been in any of my top 3 slots this year. Phenomenal record, and I hope they keep this up for the foreseeable future.

2.) Panopticon - The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness

Google Play | Spotify

Austin Lunn is one badass musician and human being. I listened to Part 1 of this double LP so many times this year that I could probably write out all the music to it if hard pressed (yea right…). Part 2 was ok, and I really enjoyed how it brings together all the themes, but for me personally, Part 1 is where it’s at. Those 8 tracks are a masterpiece of atmospheric black metal. You can feel the wood cabin and nature emanating from every pore of this record. I would love to see this performed live, perhaps some day. Oh, and he surprise released a two song EP a week ago that is pretty, pretty good, too…

1.) Yob - Our Raw Heart

Google Play | Spotify

Mike Scheidt has been through some shit, literally. Diverticulitis is no joke, nor is MRSA, and he emerged from the other side of both triumphantly and with the inspiration to record this brilliant masterpiece, penned mostly from what he thought might be his deathbed. This record just oozes emotion and the human condition and is coupled by a truly complimentary soundtrack that ebbs and flows with the weight of life. Beauty in Falling Leaves is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and the title track is not very far behind. Sludgy, doomy metal that I feel is timeless and will be a high mark to aim for in the coming decade. A true masterpiece.

Honorable Mentions

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