(Here’s a personal list by Andy Synn identifying eagerly anticipated forthcoming 2018 albums.)
One week ago Islander published a list of upcoming albums expected to be released over the course of the next twelve months, and also solicited comments and recommendations from our readers concerning which albums (and EPs) they were most looking forward to.
Well, as successful as that endeavour was, now it’s my turn to talk up some of my most anticipated album scheduled for release in 2018.
Now, to be clear, the following list purposefully omits any albums which I’ve already heard (and which I will probably be reviewing very soon), such as the upcoming new releases by Ancst, Conjurer, Horizon Ablaze, and Neter.
It also doesn’t feature any of the really obvious names like At the Gates, Necrophobic, Dimmu Borgir, or The Crown… nor does it cover any of the recently-announced releases from Dagon, Sunlight’s Bane, or Acherontas, all of whom declared that they’d be putting out new material this year not long after Islander published his initial post last week.
And it doesn’t go into detail about any of the three releases – Beyond Grace, Twilight’s Embrace, and Apathy Noir – which I’m personally going to be involved in this year.
But what it does do is feature ten albums, most of which weren’t mentioned last week, which I am seriously looking forward to hearing this year.
AGRYPNIE – ALBUM #5
Despite some recent upheavals in the band’s line-up, 2018 should still see the release of the long-awaited fifth Agrypnie album, the follow-up to 2013’s sublime Aetas Cineris (which you can read about here, and listen to below).
I’m expecting some seriously intense blastery, brilliantly moody melody, and artfully applied aggression… along with a heaping helping of brooding atmosphere… and a bevy of unpredictable twists and turns designed to expand the band’s already expansive “Post” Black Metal sound.
ENDOLITH – ALBUM #2
The bombastic metallic grooves and gloriously melodramatic melodies of Voyager, the debut album by Norwegian progronauts Endolith, quickly made it one of my favourite albums not just of 2016, but in recent memory, delivering a blast of humongous heaviness and refined emotional intelligence that sounded like a cross-pollination of Meshuggah, Arcturus, and Devin Townsend.
2018 will see the release of the group’s second full-length, which I have it on good authority is going to be a full-blown concept album, and I cannot wait to hear it.
While we wait though, you can find Voyager on Spotify, or give “Velocirapture” a listen below.
ERYN NON DAE – ABANDON OF THE SELF
It’s been over five years now since French complexicore cultivators Eryn Non Dae released their second album, Meliora, and the lengthy delay – with little to no communication from the band themselves – between then and now has felt positively interminable to anyone who is a fan of the group’s unique blend of calculated cathartic chaos and thrillingly dark, brooding atmosphere.
Still, I fully expect Abandon of the Self to be more than worth the wait, and look forward to sampling its many unorthodox, unpredictable delights when it’s released on March 9 by Debemur Morti.
INFESTUS – ALBUM #5
If, as they say, great suffering breeds great art, then the fifth Infestus album has the potential to be something truly great indeed, coming as it does hot on the heels of numerous injuries, delays, and setbacks which, at one point, seemed set to leave the entire project hanging precariously in limbo.
Thankfully band mainman Andras has persevered through the pain, and the album is now finally nearing completion, and I expect it to finally see the light of day sometime towards the end of the year.
For those of you unfamiliar with the band’s devilishly dark and immersive brand of atmospheric, riff-centric Black Metal, you can listen to their most recent album, the phenomenal The Reflecting Void, below:
THE KONSORTIUM – ALBUM #2
Mysterious Black/Thrash weirdniks The Konsortium haven’t been all that active in the years since the release of their self-titled debut in 2011, most likely due to the fact that all their members (even though I still don’t know who they all are) are busy with multiple other bands/projects which take up the lion’s share of their time and energy.
But last year the band’s facebook page suddenly began to show signs of life again, with the revelation that the group had reconvened to finally write and record their second album (and, in the process, ditching the creepy masked aesthetic which they’d previously used), which means 2018 should be the year we find out what these Norwegian oddballs have had brewing in their collective unconscious for the past few years!
LIGHT THIS CITY – ALBUM #5
The break-up of Light This City back in 2008, just after the release of their fantastic fourth album Stormchaser, was pretty heartbreaking for yours truly, as the band had rapidly risen to become one of my favourite acts in the nebulous sphere of “Melodeath”, and now it looked like I’d never get to see them live or hear any more music from them.
Thankfully the quintet must have felt like they still had more to say, and more to offer the Metal world, as they suddenly announced that they were reforming out of the blue last year, and were already working on a new album, to be released sometime in 2018 via Creator-Destructor Records.
So let’s celebrate this by jamming their best record – 2006’s blistering Facing the Thousand – while we wait, shall we?
MEPHORASH – SHEM HA MEPHORASH
The first two albums by Swedish occultist Mephorash may not have set the world on fire, but their third album, Rites of Nullification, was an absolute game-changer, and one which still gets regular rotation by me (and, if I’m not mistaken, by many others) today.
As you might expect then, I’ve been anticipating the follow-up for some time, and late last year we were given our first taste in the shape of “The Third Woe”, which you can check out below.
Considering how much of a major step up Rites… was, I can’t wait to hear how they’re going to follow it.
PHANTOM WINTER – INTO DARK SCIENCE
Sundown Pleasures, the second album by these German firebrands, was an ugly, uncompromising, and utterly irresistible blend of raw, rough-hewn riffs, sickening, sludge-soaked grooves, and savage socio-political polemic, showcasing a band more than willing to buck the trends and go against the grain wherever necessary, as long as it meant they were able to do things their own way, and on their own terms.
And I don’t expect that to change on Into Dark Science (although I do expect the promo to land in my inbox any day now).
TURBID NORTH – ALBUM #3
What more can I say about this band that I haven’t already? Eyes Alive was, without a doubt, one of the best (and most hideously underrated) gems of 2015, fusing the prodigious metallic might of Misery Index to a sense of monstrous groove reminiscent of classic Crowbar, and a knack for intricate, proggy melody that recalled Leviathan-era Mastodon, all delivered with a powerful, distinctive voice and a knack for big, bruising hooks.
It really was something special and, if the band can replicate that same mix of energy, extremity, and exceptional creativity, I can see their upcoming album being one of the year’s best.
WILD HUNT – AFTERDREAM OF THE REVELLER
After the unfortunate passing of the group’s guitarist Drew Cook in 2015, the future of Proggy Blackened Doomsters Wild Hunt seemed very much in doubt, and I don’t think anyone would have held it against them if they’d decided to hang up their spurs after the release of the Scroll and Urn EP.
However it seems that the band – original members Greg Brace and Harland Burkhart now joined by Avinash Mittur on the bass and Jamison Kester (also of Void Omnia) on guitar/vocals – weren’t quite done just yet, and earlier this year confirmed that their second full-length, Afterdream of the Reveller, was scheduled for release via Vendetta Records sometime during the first half of 2018.
I’m not entirely sure what to expect sound-wise at this point, as the band haven’t released any music from it yet, but if it’s anywhere near as good as Before the Plane of Angles (which you can check out below) then it’s bound to be one of the year’s best.
So there you have it, ten bands/albums which you may or may not have heard of before, but whom you’ll all definitely be hearing a lot more about here at NCS over the coming months.
Obviously there’s a lot of releases I had to cut in order to get the list down to a manageable size (the new Alkaloid, for example, which I fully expect to be mindblowing), but it definitely felt like these ten albums really deserved to be singled out, and I hope they all live up to my expectations!