2018…. It’s a year. It’s a year where valves broke, meters bust, and scars were laid afresh. It’s a year where anguish scaled the void, filling it, making it home. Nary did a ray of hope pass, nor did shadows not congregate. I’d want to go on like this. Laying descriptors after descriptors to suggest my current state of being. Let’s say it. It was a sad year.
Hope then is a slippery slope isn’t it? All these years of listening to metal haven’t really elevated my mood really. I’d even thought of taking up the outsider’s jeer “How do you listen to such depressing music all the time?”. Maybe it’s just subjective. The familiar personal.
And yet…A really long ‘yet’.. If I may place hope in a tiny little cradle, maybe and just maybe, Metal can be its proverbial nudge. Maybe I’m just reiterating metal’s constant dialogue with all things ‘power’. That transgression of the mundane. Oh well…
Here’s to 2019 and the eternal hope for hope! These are some of the tracks that really held my attention.
“stay awhile and listen” – deckard cain
Artwork by Metstazis
1 – Kaleikr – The Descent
This’d be a stretch. I reckon people who’ve read Alan Moore’s ‘V for Vendetta’(forget the movie) remembers the ‘The Vicious Cabaret’. A chapter that is grandiose, intricate and let’s admit, a mindfuck. Transcendent too. That’s what Iceland’s Kaleikr does. Weaving death and black metal into a heady mix that reminds of the theatricality of say Akercocke, but far different from them in style.
Kaleikr’s Heart of Lead releases on February 15th through Debemur Morti Productions.
Gautham Khandige writes about his favorite releases of 2018.
It’s been a really good year for music. Discovered a lot of new stuff and some old favorites turned in great albums. Here’s my Top 20 favourite metal albums from 2018 in order of preference.
20 – Usurpress – Interegnum (Agonia Records)
This Swedish band started with a crusty sludgy death metal sound but over the course of 4 albums have transformed into a different beast. This is progressive, heavy, melodic and filled with great songwriting.
19 – Morgengrau – Blood Oracle (Unspeakable Axe)
2nd album from this american death metal band. Erika Morgengrau sounds like an extreme version of Martin Walkyier and the songs are quite memorable. Solid death metal slightly let down by a muffled production that doesnt really do the riffs justice.
18 – Hyperdontia – Nexus of Teeth (Dark Descent)
This one blew my head off. More excellent death metal this year.
17 – Revororum Ib Malacht – Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas innoble (Annapurna Prod.)
I don’t know if the whole catholic black metal thing is for real or just a gimmick but Revororum’s music continues to captivate me. Noise, ambient and black metal clash to make some powerful music.
Rohit Chaoji comes up with his favorite releases of 2018.
In this day and age of high speed internet, there exists an abundance of streamable music, such that it makes creating this list a much harder task than it would have been a few years ago – unless you were an avid record collector.
A personal top 10 albums list would have been dominated by extreme metal a few years ago, but I will try to keep this varied so that anyone reading this would get a chance to treat their ears to different sounds.
1. Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples (Guruguru Brain)
Genre: psychedelic rock
The Japanese psychedelic rock band, Kikagaku Moyo is relatively new, but has been releasing albums and EPs consistently since 2013. Their latest release has them carry forward their established sound of lush guitar leads with an accompaniment of electric sitar and fairly tight krautrock jams a la Can, as heard in the songs Fluffy Komisch and Majupose. Kikagaku Moyo is among the rare modern psychedelic rock bands that focus on songwriting before drowning them in effects.