Today is the final day of the roll-out of this list. As I’ve said more than once, the closer I’ve come to this day, the more conflicted I’ve become about which songs to choose before reaching the end. To resolve that consternation, I took the coward’s way out: I let someone else choose for me.
My NCS colleague Andy Synn usually makes no recommendations to me for this list, perhaps because he usually writes an article about his own favorite songs from the preceding year. He didn’t do that his year, but he did agree to make choices for the final installment of the 2018 list after looking through what I had already picked in the preceding 36 Parts. So these are his three choices.
Actually, he made six choices. These three are “Best of British” picks, named after the series of reviews that he has traditionally written as the year goes on which focuses on releases by UK bands. The other three are just “general purpose extreme and nasty songs”. Without asking permission, I’ve decided to get all six of them on the list, and so there will be a Part 38 today, in addition to this Part 37.
It just so happens that the song Andy picked from Black Tongue‘s 2018 album Nadir is the one he mentioned first in his review, and so I’ll quote that passage, as well as a few other thoughts from what he wrote:
While I was a big, big fan of the Black Tongue’s previous album (to the extent I declared it to be one of my highlights of 2015), the shuddering, slow-burning crawl of “The Eternal Return to Ruin” was, on first exposure, so much darker and doomier than anything I’d expected that it honestly took me a few moments to get my brain into the right gear to really appreciate just what I was hearing.
It’s not that the song is a huge departure from the band’s previous style (essentially a crossover between the slowest, heaviest Deathcore and the darkest, most pitilessly oppressive Doom), it was just a little shocking to hear how much that “The Eternal Return…” (and Nadir as a whole) had cut back on the ‘core quotient in favour of an even more desolate, and appropriately ruinous, sound.
And whilst the band still aren’t afraid of putting the pedal to the proverbial metal when the time calls for it (as blastastrophic bangers like “The Cathedral” and “Contrapasso” so clearly demonstrate), these moments of rapid-fire fury are merely the icing on a singularly dense, doom-flavoured cake, whose best moments stem not just from the band’s enviable ability to craft an almost endless array of apocalyptic breakdowns, but from their keen ear for atmosphere and well-honed sense of dynamic….
…Black Tongue still refuse to be bound or restricted by the box into which others (both critics and fans) have tried to put them, and remain one of the goddamn heaviest bands on the face of the planet.
Without further ado, here’s “The Eternal Return to Ruin“:
HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN
Andy characterized Hundred Year Old Man‘s 2018 album Breaching as “sonically weighty” from beginning to end, delivering “an imposing and immersive brand of doom-laden, sludge-scarred Post Metal”. Of the song he picked for this installment of my list he wrote:
“Long Wall” is definitely the doomiest, probably the heaviest, and possibly the best song on the entire album, delivering a depth-charge of humongously heavy riffs and gut-churning rhythms right to the base of your brain….
“Humongously heavy” and “gut-churning”? Definitely. And it really does get stuck in the head quite easily too:
The third of these “Best of British” picks is a track from You Took the Sun When You Left, the full-length debut by Leeched released last year by Prosthetic Records.
Andy introduced the album in his review by describing the music as an “apoplexy-inducing, eye-poppingly aggressive blend of Metal and Hardcore”, while also making references to Brutal Truth, Godflesh, and Obituary. He also called it “one of the most relentless and violent albums of the year”.
In that same review, Andy highlighted the “humongous grooves” in the song “By The Factories“, which is clearly a big factor in qualifying it for this list, but not the only one. Prepare for a traumatic but addictive experience: