2018 in review

Date:2019-01-29 21:57:27
My list where I compare bands to other bands and add nothing of value:

Azusa - Heavy Yoke
Members of Extol and Dillinger Escape Plan playing complex proggy thrash with a female singer. This is as great as that sounds.

Sacral Rage - Beyond Celestial Echoes
Pretty great thrashy power metal again from these guys. This is every bit as good as the last one and really gets stuck in your head.

Khorada - Salt
Members of Agalloch and Giant Squid make an album that sounds about as awesome as that mashup would sound.

Voivod - The Wake
Wtf is this? I like a Voivod disc? Not just like, but love? I only checked it out on a lark, not expecting to like it, but this is fantastically superb. It’s like they finally perfected their own sound and dropped all the annoying punk trappings that held them back previously. I’m sure people will claim I’m taking crazy pills, but for me, this is so much better than anything else they’ve ever done.

Slugdge - Esoteric Malacology
Our favorite space-slug themed progressive death metal band has returned with another winner.

Arkheth - Twelve Winter Moons Come the Witches Brew
Weirdo black metal meets goth.

Aura Noir - Aura Noire
For some reason I’m really enjoying this non-complex blackened thrash. It’s pretty raw and stripped down to the essentials, but the riffs are working for me.

Zealotry - At the Nexus of All Stillborn Worlds
DaveG’s description got my curiosity piqued, and I liked what I heard. Dirty old-school death metal with some awesome fretless bass. This is working for me more than the tech death this year.

Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want
Fairly deconstructed dissonant noisy math rock. This reminds me a lot of Technician (band that used to tour with Dysrhythmia). There’s a lot of rhythmic repetition with minor variations building up over time, so if that’s not something you enjoy, you’ll hate this. There’s a bit of Ahleuchatistas, Skeletons, and maybe even some Sleepytime Gorilla Museum in there, too. Not all the songs work, but there’s some really great ones in there if you like that style. Thanks DaveG for pointing these guys out.

Riverside - Wasteland
A lot of melancholy on this one, which is not surprising given that a member of the band died. Easily the best thing they’ve done since ADHD. It’s a bit of the mellower approach of the last couple mixed with some of the crunch of their early work.

Madder Mortem - Marrow
Another great release from Madder Mortem. It’s brought back a little of the moodiness from Eight Ways but is otherwise in the direction of Red in Tooth and Claw. It’s a good combo, but I still give the edge to Eight Ways.

Beyond Creation - Algorythm
Another solid tech death outing with tons of widdly bass. If you liked their previous work, you’ll probably enjoy this one. No real surprises, which is the weakest part of it, but it was the best of the tech death this year.

Howling Sycamore - S/T
Ephel Duath guy plus Jason McMaster in weirdo black metal. It’s as weird as you’d expect, but I like it. Another hat-tip to DaveG.

Alkaloid - Liquid Anatomy
This tech death supergroup continues to deliver with their 2nd outing. Elements of lots of other tech death bands, but with their own atmospheric flourishes.

Grayceon - IV
Grayceon continues to deliver their mix of post-metal, folk, and doom that they’ve been so good at for a while now. Nothing especially stands out about this one. If you like Grayceon, it’s a solid addition. If you don’t, this one won’t likely convince you.

Gorod - Aethra
A solid return to form for Gorod after their really terrible thrash EP and mediocre A Maze of Recycled Riffs… er… Creeds. It’s not up to par with their previous work, but it’s a step back in the right direction. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not pulling me back like Process of a New Decline or A Perfect Absolution did when they came out.

Obscura - Diluvium
Solid tech death that continues in the vein of their previous outings. ‘Dat widdly bass!

Hago - Hago
Djenty take on Panzerballett’s combo of jazz and metal. Mostly instrumental, but the few vocal tracks are fine (reminds me of Orphaned Land, vocally). There’s some klezmer/gypsy stuff going on at times, too. I’m digging this.

Lychgate - The Contagion in 9 Steps
Orchestral blackened doom? Sort of reminds me of Virgin Black, but more drama and less melancholy. I was on the fence for a while, but it won me over.

Augury - Illusive Golden Age
More weirdo tech death from this Quebec supergroup.

Virgin Black - Requiem: Pianissimo
Out of the blue they put up 2 songs from the long-awaited 3rd album in the Requiem trilogy, then shortly after announced a release date. It’s all the mellow gothic side of the band, but it works. Nice to finally have a finale.

Zevious - Lowlands
Jeff Eber side project that’s not too dissimilar from mid-period Dysrhythmia. I dunno how I missed these guys before; they have 3 previous releases. All caught up now, though.

Into Eternity - The Sirens
Wait, what?!! Into Eternity returns with a female singer. The mix on the drums is pretty bad, but overall it’s an enjoyable disc. Better than Scattering Into Ashes at least.

Warrel Dane - Shadow Work
Posthumous release of the disc he was working on when he died. It’s pretty much in line with the final Nevermore release. It is better than his first solo disc and anything Loomis has done since Nevermore split up, but that’s the best I can say for it. I liked it enough to buy it, or maybe just because Warrel died before it was finished and I felt like I should buy it to support his family in some very miniscule way, I dunno.


Drottnar - Monolith II
Drifting slightly away from the tech to a bit more spacey black metal, but still pretty great, but also still, why so short?

Drottnar - Monolith III
Final Monolilth EP, so I guess it was 9 songs split into 3 EPs. Another solid effort, although they’ve now seemingly moved completely away from their tech leanings.

Aeviterne - Sireless
Really good post black/death metal mix. Reminds me of a mellower version of Howls of Ebb. Only 2 tracks, but a good start.

Teleport - The Expansion
MJoP recommended tech-black-thrash band from Slovenia. Think Vektor. Their older material isn’t as Vektor-ish but is also solid.

Ysengrin/Stargazer - D.A.V.V.N. (split)
Solid new Stargazer tune on a split EP. Vinyl only release (doesn’t seem to even have a digital version). I was before unfamiliar with Ysengrin, but they feel like a natural pairing. More black metal based to Stargazer’s death metal, but sharing the same creepy vibe. I’d pick it up if they had a CD or even maybe a digital version.

Tried but decided against these (in no particular order):

Subsignal - La Muerta
Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name
A Dying Planet - Facing the Incurable
Unreal Overflows - Latent
Panopticon - The Scars of Man...
Metal Allegiance - Volume II
Shadowkeep - S/T
Kobra and the Lotus - Prevail II
Onysus - Dyosun - Between Two Worlds
Negacy - Escape From Paradise
Vermithrax - Imperium Draconus
Witherfall - A Prelude to Sorrow
Sulphur Aeon - The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos
Zeal & Ardor - Strange Fruit
A Forest of Stars - Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes
Sadist - Spellbound
Baring Teeth - Transitive Savagery
Black Fast - Spectre of Ruin
Hypnotheticall - Synchreality
In Vain - Currents
Anachronism - Orogeny
Kevin Hufnagel - Messages to the Past
Judas Priest - Firepower
Ghost Ship Octavius - Delirium
Xenosis - Devour and Birth
Panegyrist - Hierurgy
God is an Astronaut - Epitaph
Barren Earth - A Complex of Cages
Sulaco - The Prize

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