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1. Warrel Dane "Shadow Work"

in my 25+ years of worshipping at the altar of music, few musicians' death have really effected me the way this one did.

kurt cobain, 1994.-i was 15. didn't really know what to do with it. i loved nirvana. couldn't really grasp the concept of suicide in the prime of your life. or suicide period. seemed like such a waste. i hated nirvana for a long time after that.

layne staley 2002- god such a waste. a talent unmatched in heavy music. many have tried to imitate the pain and purity in his voice. all have failed. "nutshell" is my lone request for my funeral.

johnny cash 2003- if there ever was one human who id have given anything to meet, it would have been him.

peter steele 2010- he just seemed bigger than life. in both size and personality. the others on this list you could almost see coming. not this one.

warrel dane 2017- dammit this one still hurts. i remember hearing he was working on a new album last year and i couldnt wait. then...the end. i didn't listen to anyone other than nevermore for days afterward. i honestly wished that this would never come out after he died. i just had this ridiculous fear that theyd do it anyway and rush out an unfinished album that never would have lived up to his standards. and thank god, satan, buddha, whoever, i have never been so happy to be more wrong. "shadow work" far beyond exceeded my expectations. this album could, for the most part, fit right between "enemies of reality" and "this godless endeavor" nevermore. he knew what he was doing when he put this group of brazilian musicians together. i cant imagine a better swansong to such an amazing voice. 

Image result for nevermore to feel the pain

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2. Thou "Rhea Sylvia"

they finally delivered the grunge. believe me i have no real complaints about thou's career, but it just seemed like this was the album always promised and never fully delivered. until now.

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3. Alice In Chains "Rainier Fog"

there are those out there, and they're morons, that would say alice in chains died with layne staley. layne staley may have have been the magnificent voice, who as stated above, i fucking loved, but jerry cantrell was the brains. attention all bands out there who want to continue after the loss of a key member, alice in chains are 3 albums deep into showing you how to do it.

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4. Baptists "Beacon of Faith"

fuck you canada. why you always gotta be so good at everything.  and then you're too nice to get mad at you for it. you gave us cursed and now baptists. im starting to think you're just showing off. bunch of french fry and gravy eatin' motherfuckers.

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5. Erosion "Maximum Suffering"

so if canada wasn't showing off enough with baptists new album, they had to to take 3 of the members of baptists and put them on different instruments and add the good vocalist from 3 inches of blood and make a d-beat masterpiece. goddammit. fuck america's hat.

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6. Thou "Magus"

i love this band. for a band to put out this much material in such a relatively short career is just insane. it would take bands like tool or system of a down 300 years to put out this much music. and its not just quantity with thou. it's quality. i don't know how they do it.

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7. The Secret "Lux Tenebris"

the only thing keeping this from being #2 on this list is length. 3 songs. it's been 6 years since we've gotten anything new from this amazing bunch of italians. i should be happy with these 3 songs considering that towards the end of last year i thought they were done, but 3 songs from them is never enough.

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8. Wolf King "Loyal to the Soil"

the whole blackened hardcore thing has been done but rarely done this well. i was already a fan before this album but this...this shit right here...well, damn. they took that blackened hardcore and managed to turn it on it's head. constant twists and turns that always keep it it interesting. it's the little things they do that really push this to a whole new level. it'll be awhile till this is topped for this genre.

9. Descent "Towers of Grandiosity"

i have always been and always will be a sucker for that damn boss hm2 pedal. i fell in love with that sound the 1st time i heard entombed 27 years ago. this is one of the best examples of it in top form in a long time. not to mention the fantastic mix of hardcore, grind, death, and a little punk. these aussies have some excellent songwriting chops and i hope theyre around for a long time.

10. Wolvhammer "The Monuments of Ash & Bone"

with the loss of coffinworm, it pretty much leaves wolvhammer alone atop the blackened sludge mountain. this album more than proves why they were there in the first place.

11. Gaerea "Unsettling Whispers"

i spent far less time with black metal albums this year than i have in years past. except this one. i always found my way back to it. powerful and perfectly executed.

12. High On Fire "Electric Messiah"

high on fire is pretty much ol' reliable at this point. matt pike has long been solidified as a riff god. no matter how many toes he has.

13. Churchburn "None Shall Live...The Hymns Of Misery" 

the hymns of misery. rarely is an album titled so appropriately. and also this is, by far, my favrorite album art from this year.

14. Heads For The Dead "Serpent's Curse"

another transcending obscurity release. they are killing it right now. crusty, doomy death metal from one of jonny pettersson's 8000 bands and the singer from revel in flesh. i mean c'mon...

15. Bummer "Holy Terror"

even though it eventually fell out of what i sure was gonna be at least my top ten for the year, i still love this album. this is modern grunge done right. heavy as hell and a damn good time. or bad time as it were...

16. Mammoth Grinder "Cosmic Crypt"

"cosmic crypt"  really feel like the payoff of everything mammoth grinder has done up to this point. all the rough edges have  been smoothed down. all the loose ends tied up. fantastic death metal record.

17. Yob "Our Raw Heart"

i'll be honest here, up until a few months ago i'd never really paid much attention to yob. i liked mike scheidts voice as i'd listened to and liked lumbar and vhol, but i'd always passed on yob. not now. i see the error of my ways and i've been redeemed.

18. Fister "No Spirit Within"

this is pure blackened nihilism. rage at a snails pace. as a reds fan, and being that these guys are from st. louis, i can only hope that rage is coming from a place of frustration with the cardinals. fuck the cardinals.

19. Funeral Chic "Superstition"

by far, funeral chic's best output. and their last album made my list in 2016 as well. they added a pure rock n roll element that makes them so much better than they already were. their questionable past aside, young and in the way were great and this strongly resembles early yaitw and funeral chic are better for it.

20. Dead Oath "Demo 2018"

this falls in the same category as the secret's new ep. if it were longer it would have ranked higher. i fucking love these 2 songs. in my post on these guys a little while back, a commenter informed me they had called it quits. i am beyond disappointed with that news.

so there you have it. my list for 2018. this was a magnificent year for music. as i said above i spent a lot less time this year with black metal and hardcore than in previous years and a lot more time in death and doom metal which i thinks reflects in my year end list. there's a few albums, like cult leader, tomb mold, tribulation, pig destroyer, behemoth, will haven, and zeal & ardor that i just didn't spend enough time with. in a lesser year all those would have been included here.

Honorable Mentions

The Coltranes "White Hag"
Feral "Flesh for Funerals Eternal"
1914 "The Blind Leading the Blind"
Down Among the Dead Men "And You Will Obey Me"
Ilsa "Corpse Fortress"
Wrong "Feels Great"
Centuries "The Lights of this Earth are Blinding"
Subtype Zero "The Astral Awakening"
Atrament "Scum Sect"
Secret Cutter "Quantum Eraser"
Joy "No Light Below"
Slaves BC "Lo, and I am Burning"
Yith "Immemorial"
Zeke "Hellbender"
The Lion's Daughter "Future Cult"
Oxygen Destroyer "Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death"
Wombripper " From the Depths of Flesh"
House of Atreus "From the Madness of Ixiom"
Tragedy "Fury"
Scumpulse "Rotten"
Cave Bastard "The Bleak Shall Devour the Earth"


ADAM said...

Now i have to make a damn list.

You dirty son of a bitch.

Killer list tho.

Jerm said...

C'mon now, all music nerds love this time of year

Anonymous said...

Dammit, now I need to do one. Great list, though!