(Mexican maestro Jacobo Córdova has had a busy year, with great new albums released in 2018 by both of his bands Zombiefication and Majestic Downfall — both of which we reviewed, HERE and HERE — but he found time to once again share with us his lists of the year’s best metal releases (and a couple of disappointments)).
Another year, another list, and I want to thank once again No Clean Singing for giving me the opportunity to share my top albums of the year. 2018, for me, was once again a stellar year in Metal releases (will it ever stop!!!). Many highlights and great comebacks took place, but unfortunately I will just pick 10 not to bore you to death (well maybe 15). So with no further introduction, let’s get down to it.
TOP TEN ALBUMS 2018
10) Dautha – Brethren Of The Black Soil
It’s always great to hear a new band that instantly hits the nail on the head. Once I pushed the play button and heard the first riffs of Brethren…, I knew I was in for a treat. If you are into high quality and melancholic Epic Doom, give this one a try, it will surely be spinning for some time in your player.
9) Satan – Cruel Magic
How can a band that was so magic in their heyday come back 18 years later with an album called Life Sentence, later release two other killer pieces of music, and just piss all over their even magnificent past by saying, “This is how you play Heavy Fucking Metal!!”
The great thing about Satan is not only their name, jaja, it is how they manage to sound so old yet so relevant. The powerful vocals by Brian Ross and the so many killer, over-the-top riffs will have you drooling all the way to the end of its almost 50-minute mark.
8) Galvanizer – Sanguine Vigil
Three extremely young Finnish lads who really know how to Death/Grind like the old school non-young lads wish they could today. This is just superb aural filthy aggression for the likes of the first Carcass albums, Abhorrence, Demigod, Funebre, and other Death/Grind gods! Buy or die!!!
7) Varathron – Patriarchs of Evil
In Patriarchs Of Evil, Varathron sound so revitalized and hungry that they created what is and will surely be their greatest release ever! Yes, even better than His Majesty At The Swamp! The Greek sound is there, of course, and the music is catchy as only this part of the world can make. They prove that together with Agatus, Varathron today lead the Greek pack.
6) Sorcier Des Glaces – Sorcier Des Glaces
I have always been a big fan of storytelling music. Music that makes you feel different emotions or that takes you to very different places and ambiences. This is not an easy task, especially since many bands have their own sound and in most of the cases all their songs can somewhat fall in the same basket.
That being said, one of my favorite “storytelling” bands has always been Sorcier Des Glaces and this new 50-minute, one-song opus is plain magic. They are as Black Metal as they can be, yet are able to open their minds to so many ideas and landscapes that the result is crushing. Fenriz could say it better and without so much bullshit: Canadian Metal.
5) Funeral Mist – Hekatomb
This is how you play uncompromised, original, all-guts don’t give a fuck Black Metal. This album caught me by surprise; many bands should learn a bit or two about expanding their sound. Simply amazing!!!
4) Tribulation – Down Below
Some bands are here to sound as themselves and Tribulation once again proves this point. This also “storytelling” band released this year a Blackened Heavy Metal masterpiece that is so gothic tinged that it gives you goosebumps all around. Yes, it is that good, even better than The Horror (haters gonna hate though).
3) Evoken – Hypnagogia
We always knew that Evoken had a big MDB influence, but we were wrong, IT IS HUGE! Hypnagogia has so many passages that remind us of the first 3 MDB albums (violins included) that you won’t leave the bathroom from excitement. This may not be the slowest, swampiest, darkest, and whatever other things we may have come to know from the band, but it surely is the most heartfelt album they have released, at least to my ears. That being said, it’s great to hear Doom/Death Metal that really know what Death Metal is about!
2) Mare – Ebony Tower
Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions, Terratur Possessions… need I say more?
1) Solstice – White Horse Hill
If one album really stood out from the pack this year it surely was White Horse Hill. Epic Doom and Metal in general doesn’t get any better than this. Magic hooks, well-thought riffs, feeling all over the place, damn this album is magic, and the best part of all is that it takes place 20 years after the incredible New Dark Age. Some bands like Satan and now Solstice prove that you can really come back in a fashionable way!!! I guess the Brits are making better potatoes with gravy these days!
CIST – The Frozen Casket
Awesome Death Metal from Russia inspired by Death (old) and Pestilence. Highly recommended.
Unanimated – Annihilation
Being a huge Unanimated fan since the early days, it is no surprise that this made it in my list. They still have that Blackened Death Metal feel that few can deliver nowadays. Superb.
ALBUM THAT DIDN´T MAKE IT IN LAST YEAR’S LIST BUT THAT MADE IT IN THIS ONE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF IT!
Inconcessus Lux Lucis – The Crowning Quietus
When (old) Judas Priest, Nifelheim, Iron Maiden, and Dissection have a party, this is what it sounds like!
DISSAPOINTMENTS OF 2018
Carpenter Brut – Leather Teeth
Being a huge Carpenter Brut fan, I was really looking forward to the new release. Once it hit the mail I ran to my player, pressed the play button, and started listening to my most anticipated release of 2018. It is not bad, it is actually good, and some songs are superb, but half of the album just sounds like fillers that could easily be in the top 10 category of an elevator. I hope in the next album/release they go for their dark/distorted synth sound instead of the corny uninspired one.
Slaegt – The Wheel
If any of you read my last year’s top 10, you will know that Slaegt’s Domus Mysterium was by far the best release of that year. It was superb in every single way. When hearing about the band releasing a new album on so short notice after the 2017 masterpiece, I was very excited, and as it came out ordered it. To my surprise, even if it is a killer Heavy/Black Metal release it is not a Slaegt Killer Heavy Metal release. It is evident that from the momentum the band was having, they rushed this one and failed to care for the details that made Domus Mysterium what it is and will be. I just hope the next album catches up to their previous release, I really really hope. And I hope.