Sunday, 17 February 2019

Via Fondo - Fast EP


Labels: Zegema Beach Records/Truelove Entertainment (now known as Through Love Records)
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 15 Jan 2014

Tracklist:

1. Not Yet
2. Rovaniemi
3. Secrets

I want to fit one review in before I head out so here's the third instalment in my Zegema Beach Records series, which I started a few weeks back. This time, I'm featuring the 2014 single-sided 12" EP (with a silk-screened B-side) from Swedish screamo band Via Fondo, that was release in collaboration with Through Love Records. Via Fondo has been releasing music now for eight years (though they've been quite more recently). This is the first time I've featured them on here, which I'm a little surprised about. They're part of Sweden's ever impressive post-hardcore/screamo scene, so if you're not familiar with them now's your chance.

There are so many bands in the post-hardcore/screamo sub-genre that major on quality instrumentation and Via Fondo’s is melodic and on the right side of chaotic on EP opener Not Yet. It’s the vocals that are chaotic though, as they’re delivered in the form of harsh noisy screams, dripping with genuine emotion. While the opener nears the seven-minute mark, Rovaniemi is brief by comparison and as a result is filled with an angst-laden level of urgency and it flits between beautifully controlled layers of sound and noise that increases in tempo before reaching it’s peak. Contrasting yet intelligent.

Via Fondo ends this short EP with Secrets, which once again shows their ability to write scream that’s encompassing and cinematic. It’s the instrumentation that.again creates a dramatic atmosphere as it builds in intensity and volume. Midway through, the song changes and becomes slightly more violent. It’s a journey that take you through various highs and lows, as well as the elation that you feel once you’ve made it out the other side. This is another example of why there is more substance in post-hardcore than people realise. The screamo tag is still overused by people who don’t truly understand the sub-genre, but if bands like Via Fondo are taking on their own merits, then they will surprise and excite in equal measure.

You can stream "Fast" over at Via Fondo's Bandcamp page below:-



You can purchase the EP digitally from ZBR here - https://zegemabeachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fast-12ep 

Through Love Records has long since sold out of their copies of the LP but you can still buy them from ZBR here - https://zegemabeachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fast-12ep


Next up will be La Parade...

Saturday, 16 February 2019

V/A: Trapped Under Ice Vol. 1 - The New Face Of Canadian Heavy Metal


Labels: Temple Of Mystery Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 25 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Traveler - Betrayer
2. Metalian - Streets Of Fire
3. Cauchemar - Comme Un Poignard
4. Occult Burial - Fight For Survival
5. Starlight Ritual - Demons
6. Freeways - Heavy Rescue
7. Barrow Wight - Morgul Blade
8. Spell - Silent Towers
9. Blackrat - From The Tideless Sea
10. Emblem - Fast Rocker

Heavy metal (the genre, not the term) has come full circle in the face of.all of its evolving sub-genres and is healthier than ever. Canadian label Temple Of Mystery feels the same and has recently released a compilation featuring some of Canada's best heavy/speed metal bands. To celebrate both the release and the bands that have contributed to this comp, there even going to a short "Trapped Under Ice" tour in April, taking in four dates across Canada, featuring Metalian, Barrow Wight, Occult Burial, Freeways and Cauchemar, as well as special guests Chainbreaker (Toronto only). I'll post links to the shows and flyers etc below this review.

I love comps, though I don’t feature a lot on here. Trapped Under Ice Vol. 1 caught my eye though thanks to the artwork of Rob Vomitor and also the OBI-style strip on the side of the cover, featuring the band logos. I thought that was a really nice touch! It’s also a cool opportunity to check out ten bands that I’m not familiar with. Opening up the record is Traveler with Betrayer. Melodic guitars, clean falsetto vocals and a twisted take on Iron Maiden is all you need to kick this off. Obviously, there’s much to it than the aforementioned genre forefathers, as you’ll find out. Metalian brings the speed with Streets Of Fire, which is full of neck-snapping thrash and gloriously fantastical vocals. It’s very catchy, sometimes threatening to cross over into cheesy territory but always being saved from that by awesome lead guitar.

With the label’s home of Quebec being French Canadian, it would have been strange for them not to feature any bands that sing in French. Enter Cauchemar and Comme Un Poignard. They’ve nailed the true old-school sound on here and the French language vocals make it all the more authentic and it’s tempo is perfectly restrained. Mixing up the tempos again is Occult Burial who also fly the flag for speed metal on Fight For Survival. Unlike those before it, it starts of in an oddly menacing way with more of a bass-heavy sound and continues with harsh vocals, that sit somewhere between Venom and Immortal, without being true black. It’s a change that reminds you of how diverse the traditional heavy metal scene is. 

The movie sample that kicks off Starlight Ritual’s Demons only hints at the theatrical nature of the band and their music more than does the rest. The vocals sit a bit deeper in the mix on this one, allowing the galloping instrumentation to take hold. It still have bucket loads of attitude though. As the mid-point passes by, you’re greeted with the twin-guitar harmonies of Freeways and their classic hard-rock/heavy metal. Heavy Rescue is mid-paced and slightly less gung-ho than it’s predecessors here, but it’s still great for a singalong and will get buried in you head. Actually, it reminds me a lot of Queen.

From there you’re transported into the seedy underground thanks to Barrow Wight and Morgul Blade. Again, it’s on the heavier side but instead of leaning towards black metal this time, it’s got a goth/horror punk edge hiding amongst it’s dark thrash. The instrumental opening to Silent Towers by Spell, suggests there might be progression in their chops and things certainly get a bit weird at times. The vocal effects and off-kilter time signatures are at odds with some of the more straightforward metal on show here, but then again so were Voivod back in the day and they’re cult legends now, so Spell need not worry. 

As well as Spell before them, Blackrat also takes some cues from the more progressive ends of the genre, though there’s also plenty of black thrash on From The Tideless Sea. The reverb and buzzsaw guitars keep pace with the pounding drums. It’s super exhilarating. It’s left to Emblem to close things out with the aptly titled Fast Rocker, which once again is a more than solid slab of occult hard rock. It rounds out a comp that’s been full of variation and great bands. There’s more than enough here to suck you in and make you crave your fix of heavy metal madness!

You can stream and purchase "Trapped Under Ice Vol. 1" via Bandcamp below:-



Physical copies are available here - https://www.templeofmystery.ca/product-category/tom/

The flyer for the up-coming "Trapped Under Ice" tour is below too:-


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Sense Offender/Pupil Slicer - Split


Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 28 Feb 2019 (Physical release TBC)

Tracklist:

1. Sense Offender - God Complex
2. Sense Offender - Godless Complex
3. Pupil Slicer - Crusher
4. Pupil Slicer - Spectral

I've been a little bit quiet over the last few days but here's scoop for you. An early listen to the new split from North-East England's mathy hardcore band Sense Offender and London's similarly noise Pupil Slicer. This four-tracker comes out around the end of the month and will be self-released digitally, prior to a physical release later in the year. This marks the first of two splits to come from Sense Offender this year and is their first recorded output in almost a year. Pupil Slicer are new name for me and this is the trio's first release in over eighteen months. Both bands are kindred spirits, as they shared stages with Hexis during their UK tour last July/August.

This promises to be a violent blast and first up is Sense Offender. Their opener God Complex is a tech-laden sub three-minute smash to the head, with blasting drums, metallic riffs and deep bellow ranging from hardcore to death metal. Amongst all of the chaos, Sense Offender slots in a short and quiet passage that lulls you into thinking that’s it, before the grinding their way to the end. It’s a sharp jolt and one that reasserts your attention in time for Godless Complex. There’s even more ferocity in their second song and the grind is mixed with breakdown-inducing guitar work and scream a-la Trap Them. If you’re in need of a true eye-opener then look (or listen) no further, 

Pupil Slicer waste no time on the appropriately named Crusher. Their mix of grind and death is raw in a good way and also groovy too. The metallic flourishes and higher-pitched screams remind me of Sikth, which is more than solid while their glichy/pinched riffs later on are perfectly placed. Their second song Spectral is very much more of the same and get gradually more madcap as it progresses. As with Sense Offender before them, it’s pretty staggering how much music Pupil Slicer fits into these two songs but as they descend into a sludgy slow/fast mire, you’ll be left smiling.

Sense Offender’s caustic aggression has not wilted one bit since the release of their debut I last year, while Pupil Slicer is definitely another new band to watch in 2019. Our little island continues to produce the goods, so make sure this is at the top of you list of release to check out when it’s set free to feast at the end of the month.

You can listen the previous output from both Sense Offender and Pupil Slicer below:-






Keep an eye on their social media pages below for more news on the release:-

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Descubriendo A Mr. Mime - ...Y Ya No Me Quedan Dientes Por Arrancarme


Labels: Dog Knights Productions/Walking Is Still Honest Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 10 Jan 2013

Tracklist: 

1. Constanza
2. Annapurna
3. Guindilla
4. 3yre
5. Astillas
6. La Forma Es El Vacio
7. El Vacio Es La Forma
8. Le Temps Détruit Tout

Today's been great, as I've been relaxing and enjoying plenty of music. This review will be the final one for today and it's one that I've been really excited about doing. It's the second in my retrospective series focusing on the catalogue of Canadian label Zegema Beach Records and it's about a record that I've had in my collection for sometime now, thanks to Dog Knights Productions here in the UK. I first discovered Spanish screamo band Descubriendo A Mr. Mime thanks to a split 7" (also featuring Silencio, Ahora, Silencio, that was released by DK Productions in 2011). I snapped this single-sided LP up when it came out in 2013 and still spin it regularly. It was ZBR's second release as a label and was limited to 249 copies (if Discogs is to be believed). As with my previous review in this series featuring Amber, Descubriendo A Mr. Mime is no longer an active band. Let this be a celebration!

This single-sided LP is a thing of beauty. From the cover art to the ultra-clear vinyl, which features a screen-printed bird along with other motifs (my copy /83), it was my introduction to the artistry that was put into many of the screamo releases that I went onto buy and cherish in the years following. Descubriendo A Mr. Mime managed to fit eight quick-fire songs onto one side of wax and in turn provided something truly brilliant. LP opener Constanza is filled with atmosphere straight from the get go. The opening melody and feedback give way technical screamo that is truly engaging. The song is mid-paced for its majority and doesn’t descend into chaotic territory, with the band preferring a measured approach. Annapurna is where they turn up the urgency and tempo. It’s still off-kilter and technical in places yet at times, musically at least, it reminds me of early era AFI (please feel free to tell my how wrong I am here). 

The sound is so clear on the record and Guindilla stands out thanks to it’s simplicity and slightly more stripped back approach. It’s over all too quickly but what follows banishes any such thoughts. 3yre is fast and very much bass-heavy, with the inclusion of cinematic melody that’s become synonymous with European hardcore/screamo bands in recent years. Guiding you passed the record’s midway point, Astillas features the guest vocals of Polee from the band Rio Bravo (RIP). Immediately, there’s a subtly more caustic approach to the vocals, while the music retains a level of melody and restraint that fits so well. As I mentioned above, this gets a lot of spins from me but actually sitting down and writing about it brings a new perspective (without sounding pretentious).

The two-parter that begins with La Forma Es El Vacio contains a whispered intro, which may be  a sample but I’m unsure, and sees a shift in sound with regimental percussion and a threat of implosion. That implosion occurs as the layers of instrumentation and harsh screams build. It’s one of those songs that exaggerates the feeling of anticipation and elation (in the best possible way). El Vacio Es La Forma follows it with a stop/start structure that’s at odds with it’s predecessor. It is, however; a well structured and delivered song that relies on different passages to both diffuse and build excitement as the record nears it’s close. Final song La Temps Detruit Tout uses up the final three-or-so-minutes of the format to great effect, sealing in the quality of Descubriendo A Mr. Mime and their music. Dramatic and enticing in every way, it’s a record that undoubtedly leaves you craving more…

You can stream and purchase a digital copy of the record directly from Descubriendo A Mr. Mime below:-



Vinyl copies are long since sold out from all three labels. There is a copy available on Discogs (should you be unable to find one elsewhere). 


Dog Knights Productions - https://www.facebook.com/dogknights/
Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords/

Next in the series will be Via Fondo.

Vintage Crop - Company Man 7"


Labels: Drunken Sailor Records/Anti Fade Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 18 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Company Man
2. Guarantees
3. Right To Censor
4. Stock Options

I think this is a 7" that many of us can relate too. Aussie punks Vintage Crop have just released a new EP that focuses on the unconventional subject of working for the man! It's been released by UK label Drunken Sailor Records and Anti Fade Records, who share their hometown with Vintage Crop. It's also canny timing because the quartet will be touring Europe and more pressingly, the UK in April. They'll be playing shows in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton and London (in that order). The flyer is underneath this review.

Vintage Crop’s sound is so much fun. The short and sharp title-track is filled with spoken/shouted vocals and riffs that sit at the rock n roll end of the punk spectrum. It reminds me a little of the music that graced the Grange Hill or Only Fools And Horses theme songs (strenuous links there to classic UK TV shows of the past). Guarantees is no different, as it talks about the frustrations of being low down in the office pecking order. It’s actually really clever and musically Vintage Crop nails it in a simple but very effective way.

There’s a hint of bands like The Stroked and The Vines woven into Right To Censor, mainly in the guitar work and the drumming. It also feature the lyrics that appear on the EPs cover. Closing song Stock Options is more laid back and takes cues from surf punk/rock, which is cool. The song is super positive and will definitely leave you in a good mood. Overall, this is a super happy and (slightly tongue-in-cheek) EP. Go get it and check out Vintage Corp when they’re in the UK in April if you happen to be in any of the cities they’re playing in.

Stream and grab "Company Man" digitally/physically from the band here:-




Physical copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-



The flyer for the up-coming Europe/UK tour is below:-


Sixes - Methistopheles (Mikey Ortega)


Labels: Black Bow Records
Formats: LP/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 Mar 2018

Tracklist: 

1. Acid God
2. A Cross To Burn
3. Fog Breather
4. Methistopheles
5. Motherless
6. Voidkiller

The day Stephen Cummings announced he was starting a Doom band, I was pretty stoked. Around this time, I’ve been following Stephen’s podcast, called Stevil’s Podsmash.  It was a fun podcast. I wasn’t to big on the bands he had on, but it was quality entertainment.  And the effort he made to make his podcast sound great, I knew he was gonna put a lot of effort to make his doom album not only sound very heavy and crushing, but also legit. Months and months later, and he finally announced the name of his new band, in which Stephen has named Sixes. Of course everyone wouldn’t hear anything until months later when the first single, A Cross To Burn, came out in February of 2017. Then early this year, it was announced that Black Bow Records has signed Sixes, and will help to release their debut album, “Methistopheles”. Of course this shouldn’t be a surprise as Cummings made sure to get the name out there across social media and by performing live with bands like Conan and Year of the Cobra. So was Sixes’ debut album worth the wait?

The album opens up with Acid God.  Upon hearing it, you pretty much know there isn’t gonna be a light at the end of the tunnel, after this journey.  The sound of a grim bass with guitar feedback, followed by a crushing riff, pretty much prepares you for what to expect from this album.  A Cross To Burn would be the track that got me excited for Sixes. It has all the ingredients that makes for a killer doom song, with it’s apocalyptic dirges and mammoth intensity. Fogbreather sounds like something that Goliath will listen to get himself pumped up. Pretty sure he would have annihilated David if this song was blasting through Goliath’s headphones. Voidkiller is the track I’ve seen many bloggers and journalist phrasing. It’s definitely different from the other tracks. Not so much because of the singing.  But it just has a very different vibe from the rest of the album.  It’s a track that I can imagine the late Leonard Cohen doing.  It just has that bleak and depressing vibe. Like being outside at 3am, leaning on a lamp post, and holding a brown bag, with a bottle of whiskey inside. Just waiting for your life to come crashing down.

If there’s one thing to say about “Methistopheles”, it’s that it shows that Sixes can be major players in the doom scene. They got a presence that you can feel around you, when they hit that riff. Your just sitting on a bean bag chair, ripping into that bong, when all of a sudden, a group of druids break down the door. They drag you out of your room. You’re grabbing on anything to keep the druids from taking you away. But they are too much. They bring you into a sonic abyss, where you feel your body just caving in. They show you a World that will make angels weep (and they have wept). It’s these type of listening experience is what Sixes exposes to the listeners. It’s dark, bleak, and raw. It’s a part of reality that people don’t want to touch and it’s because of this, I enjoy Sixes, and for what they’re doing, not only for the doom scene, but in music in general. 

You can stream and purchase "Methistopheles" digitally below:-



Physical copies and other merch can be purchased here - https://sixesdoom.bigcartel.com.


Look out for more reviews from Mikey this year and check out his project Diclonious here - https://www.facebook.com/dicloniusdoom/. Thanks man!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Barshasketh - Barshasketh


Labels: W.T.C Productions
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 15 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Vacillation
2. Resolve
3. Consciousness I
4. Consciousness II
5. Ruin I
6. Ruin ii
7. Rebirth
8. Recrudescence

Back to the normal schedule this evening and to the latest album from a band whose music and members have featured here before. This is Barshasketh's fourth full-length and it was recently released via W.T.C. Productions on LP, CD and digitally. It's the first album of theirs that I've featured, which I couldn't believe when I looked back. It's good to be finally putting that right.

Furious black metal steeped In the mists of both Scotland and New Zealand is what Barshasketh does well and this self-titled album is a clear sign of their experience and quality. Album opener Vacillation doesn’t feature the usual brooding build-up, with the band choosing instead to hit the loud pedal almost instantly. They don’t let up either as the symphony of pummelling instrumentation and rasping growls take hold. Resolve is black metal at its purest. The steadfast approach that Barshasketh has is obvious by the intensity in which they perform, No inferior influences make themselves known here and nobody is safe from the evil that protrudes from the speakers. 

The other thing that’s striking is the pace at which the songs pass. All bar one are over five-minutes in length but without the need to ponder, Barshasketh proves that the no nonsense approach can be applied with ease even to longer songs, as is with Consciousness I. The layers of melody poke through here and provide an even greater glimpse into their musicianship. The haunting atmosphere that you thought would be present, finally washer over the music on Consciousness II. The lowly strummed guitar and percussion that leads is unnerving but it gives way to something a lot faster and (dare I say) upbeat, at least in tempo anyway. Sound-wise black metal has always been on the more lo-fi end of the extreme metal spectrum, but here there’s a difference thanks to the recording and production that was split between Necromorbus Studios (vocal, drum, guitar) and Chamber Studios (bass guitar). It’s all been brought to life in a very engaging way.

The urgency of Ruin I is plainly obvious. Guiding you through nearly five minutes of tortured extremity is one thing but making it sound effortless is another. Morbidity never sounded so appealing. By comparison Ruin II seems sedate, but only briefly because it’s not long before Barshasketh turns the wick up again. The guitar work is almost orchestral here while there’s more than a hint of death/doom later on. With Rebirth, things head back in a direction that more blast and brimstone, allowing the momentum to lift once more. It’s unrelenting pace is tempered a little by the guitar melodies, that pierce the sheer battery that’s produced. The icy vocals adding an extras claustrophobic edge to the song.

Barshasketh’s final offering is filled with alluring (if that’s the right word) and spacious atmosphere that  initially offers a breath of crisp cold air. Those intro bars on Recrudescence are followed by one final black metal tome that’s fused together with elements of traditional metal, which have been nestling in the shadows throughout the record but that are more obvious here. It’s as if they injected it with thrash without turning it into a black thrash song. It’s subtle and it rounds things out in style. This record is right out of the top drawer. Biting, old-school black metal has been granted new life by Barshasketh here and with 2019 still in the relative infancy, they’ve set the bar very high indeed. Experience counts for a lot these days and it’s paid off here. Great record!

You can stream the full album below:-



You can purchase digital copies of the album from W.T.C Productions here - https://wtcproductions.bandcamp.com/album/barshasketh-2 and grab vinyl copies from them here - https://w-t-c.web-republic.de/store/product.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Amber - Amber

(Cover art for the Zegema Beach LP pressing)

Labels: Zegema Beach Records/Halo Of Flies Records/Narshardaa Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 11 Apr 2012

Tracklist:

1. Cold Hands Warm Heart
2. More Than We Can Bear
3. Long Walk Home
4. For Better Or Worse
5. I Wish I Wouldn't Dream

Now that I'm fully over the technical issues that recently blighted me and my progress, I wanted to start something that I've been planning for a little while. Alongside my current review schedule of newer releases, I wanted to go back and review the back catalogue releases of some bands I've written about over the years and also of some labels that I follow. Its nothing new, as back in the blog's earlier days I pretty much wrote about the entire roster of labels like Church of Fuck and Headless Guru Records here in the UK. I've decided to go further afield now and focus on the bands aligned to Canadian label Zegema Beach Records as a starting point and the first review focuses on German post-hardcore band Amber.


To set the scene for this one; I previously wrote about the band's 2014 releases "Lovesaken" and the "Split" with Locktender, so I'm now going back to Amber's debut self-titled release. It was originally self-released digitally by the band in 2012, before being released on tape via Narshardaa Records and Halo Of Flies Records (RIP) and on vinyl by Zegema Beach Records the following year. Amber is no longer playing music but it's member are (in other bands) and are still sharing great German music.

(Original digital cover art from Amber's Bandcamp page)

This begins a series of review that I’m hoping will give people some respite from the constant wave of extreme metal that I’ve been writing about and will be writing about. Amber’s post-hardcore still fills me with butterflies when I listen to it and being able to go back to the very beginning of the band feels exciting. This self-titled debut shows exactly what Amber were setting out to achieve with their sound and opener Cold Hands Warm Heart shows no sign of ageing, with It’s cinematic instrumental work and harsh vocals. 

Amber counted the likes of Cult Of Luna and ISIS (the band) as influences and you can see why, with their sprawling songs that favoured substance over style (apologies, that was not meant in a disparaging way at all). More Than We Can Bear is the perfect example of my previous statement because of it’s length and delivery, which is both off-kilter tempo-wise and aggressive in parts, while not losing any of their post-rock backbone.

There are so many bands like Amber, whom released a handful of EPs/Albums and then called it a day and/or went on to form new bands. At least in these modern time it’s easy to keep their music alive through Bandcamp and the like. This is sort of where the song Long Walk Home becomes quite apt, because for me at least, It’s a reminder of those bands and what they mean to me, with Amber being one. Not so much with a feeling nostalgia, but with one of warmth and fondness. 

There’s a good hint of screamo in Amber’s music here, which is to be expected I guess and even though their self-titled EP was their first release, it doesn’t suffer from the usual nerves or sound-searching that a lot of bands suffer from. For Better Of Worse is quite upbeat, especially thanks to it’s melody and the layers of instrumentation present. Once again, you’re left with a massive instrumental section in the middle that is so easy to get lost in. So much so that when the final sixty seconds of screaming kick in, it’s a bit of a shock to the system.

Closing song I Wish I Wouldn’t Dream could have been the unassuming epitaph for Amber, as it’s the most caustic song here and is filled with true raw emotion. You can hear that emotion cutting through the music in the screams. The more ominous nature of the music leaves an uneasy atmosphere that hints at a darker direction from the band, but that also leads to light. The light of knowing that Amber’s music still exists for all to enjoy and is still able to leave it’s mark on the scene that the band were a part of.

(Cover art for the Narshardaa Records/Halo Of Flies tape release)


You can stream and grab all of Amber's releases digitally (name-your-price) via Bandcamp below:-



You can still buy vinyl copies from Zegema Beach Records here.

Members of Amber are now playing in Yanos - https://www.facebook.com/Yanosband/.


The next band I'll be focusing on is - Descubriendo A Mr. Mime!

Saturday, 2 February 2019

2018 End-Of-Year-List - Mikey Ortega (Diclonious)


2018 was everything I was hoping for. Just like every year, it was full of established bands still killing it. Showing everyone they still got it and new bands making their presence noticed. Trying to prove to everyone that they belong. All of my anticipated albums lived up to my expectations. Mike Schmidt recorded YOB’s most stellar record, after coming back from a life threatening health issue.  We had two killer Doom Metal debuts from Sixes and High Priestess, that totally crushed it in 2018. and finally, Brain Fragment recorded something with their new vocalist, Ashley. 2018 was also a great year for the Noise scene, as a lot of killer acts put out their best material to date. Gnaw Their Tounges’ "Genocidal Majesty" was an album that sure disturbed the neighbours. It was great to see Impulse Kill put out another release in "Ruined" and of course Hailey Magdalena putting out some new Ritual Chair and the debut of Cult of Mary. Making these Year-End lists, as always, are so hard to make. But after many many listens, I feel confident that I made my definitive Top 20 Albums of 2018. Like always, most of the albums on my list are from my own collection. There are some albums out there that would have made my list, but I never got around them. Of course being out of a job and going back to school made it a bit difficult to follow some new tunes but luckily I was able to get by. Especially with Bandcamp’s “Pay As You Like” option, I was able to get some albums, that I wouldn’t get in full price. Hopefully after you read this Year-End list, you’ll go out and check out some of these albums that you probably missed. Hope everyone had a great Winter break and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Let 2019 bring us so many awesomeness.

20. Rare Form - Six Months In Hiding
Labels: Wishful Thinking Art & Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 13 Jan 2018





19. Identity Combat - Time Will Tell
Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 20 Nov 2018




18. Impulse Kill - Ruined
Labels: Lost Light Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 30 Nov 2018




17. Coffin Torture - Dismal Planet
Labels: Sludgelord Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 16 Feb 2018





16. Goshen - Goshen
Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 09 Jun 2018





15. Ritual Chair - Brock Turner
Labels:: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 28 Jul 2018





14. Brain Fragment - Fungus
Labels: Hellasuarus Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 19 Sep 2018





13. High Priestess - High Priestess
Labels: Ripple Music
Foermats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 18 May 2018



12. Gnaw Their Tongues - Genocidal Majesty
Labels: Consouling Sounds/Tartarus Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 09 Feb 2018





11. Them Are Us Too - Amends
Labels: Dais Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 29 Jan 2018





10. Sixes - Methistopheles
Labels: Black Bow Records/Forbidden Place Records/Medusa Crush Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 Mar 2018






9. Bible Black Tyrant - Regret Beyond Death
Labels: Argonauta Records/Anima Recordings
Formats: CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 16 Feb 2018





8. Judas Priest - Firepower
Labels: Columbia/Sony Music
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 09 Mar 2018



7. Neko Case - Hell-On
Labels: Anti- Records/Lady Pilot
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 01 Jun 2018





6. Grajo - Slowgod II
Labels: DHU Records/Underground Legends Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 15 Jan 2018





5. Frayle - The White Witch EP
Labels: Lay Bare Recordings/Seeing Red Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 01 Apr 2018





4. Hide - Castration Anxiety
Labels: Dais Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 23 Mar 2018





 3. YOB - Our Raw Heart
Labels: Relapse Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 08 Jun 2018





2. Miracle - The Strife of Love in a Dream
Labels: Relapse Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 16 Feb 2018





1. CHRCH - Light Will Consume Us All
Labels: Neurot Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 11 May 2018





Once again, thanks to Mikey for submitting his list. Watch out for more guest posts from Mikey this year and please check out his project Diclonious here - https://www.facebook.com/dicloniusdoom.