Ah metal, the terribly misunderstood genre of the world. Catching flak from people for coming off as angry, anti-religious, and screamed vocals, metal is much more than just that. There is beauty and elegance within the intricacy of instrumentation - and of course there is the other part people think what metal just is. Metal has always been a genre I've known most people to actively dislike (along with country and rap), and I always try to educate people just how deep the genre actually is. As a lot of you may be aware, I've always been heavily into metal. I'm no stranger to heavy vocals which is generally the part that turns people away the most. One thing metal will always have is deeply beautiful artwork, and you'll see just that in this section. Unfortunately this list will not be a beginners entry into the genre, but I still implore you to check the albums out if you're curious.
2018 in metal I honestly didn't pay much attention to mainstream acts. I usually prefer my metal nowadays on the weirder underbelly of the genre. Labels like I, Voidhanger and Profound Lore provide deep catalogs for that. Labels such as Dark Descent, Transcending Obscurity, and the more mainstream Relapse, continue to all put out consistently good music. Metal has taken off in popularity of the forms of death, black, and doom (at least these genres are recognized more than others). Death metal has been nostalgic lately, focusing on the sounds of the old school (OSDM). Black metal has always been a genre to experiment, and while the atmospheric scene has started to die, the more avant-garde side thrives. Doom metal has also been taking the front seat lately, due to a lot of publications recognizing the revival in the retro Black Sabbath sound (throw in some sludge metal for good measure as well). Metal is genre with a richly deep scene, that can be problematic. With all the great, comes the extremely terrible. So fair warning to anyone exploring the genre - hopefully this opens the eyes to more outsiders to experiment.
As always, this list is just a section of my favourites of this year. I will only be posting the album art along with a short description. My full list will come after I'm done these lists, with more in depth discussion attached to the albums.
Death/black experimental returns with another mind-bending album. From jazzy instrumentals to batshit crazy Gorguts inspired riffing, Vile Luxury is one of the years best.
Death metal weirdos sound like no other band. Giving you a sound that feels like suffocation, the band pummels you for a good 37mins.
This death metal band has been on the rise the past couple years, and for good reason. Hailing from the OSDM scene, with more proggy touches. The band is reminiscent of later Death and Atheist.
A band calling themselves "transcendental ashen death metal" - if that doesn't peak you're interest, hopefully the artwork will.
This dark and dissonant album gives the Portal album a run for its money.
Avant-garde black metal but with a Christian background? Sign me up for the wild ride everyone should experience this year.
This is doom metal but now lets add a little jazz thrown into the mix. Fans of Subrosa will be loving this.
This black metal band takes hardcore and mends it into the genre effortlessly.
We discussed this one on the podcast already, but prog/post-metal band The Ocean's first part of their massively ambitious concept. The band never fails to impress.
Uh... post-metal? Avant-garde black metal? Psychedelic? Yeah, this album isn't easy to describe and is something to just be heard.
Carpe Noctem - Vitrun
Sleep - The Sciences
Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure
Svartidaudi - Revelations of the Red Sword
Ritual Necromancy - Disinterred Horror
Mol - Jord