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The Year So Far: Our First-Half of 2018 Picks

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Well, we’ve reached the hump in the dump that is the year 2018.

Not everything is bad news, though. So far this year, we’ve been graced with some truly spectacular heavy metal from across (and even outside) the spectrum. The wilder the world, the better the music, or so it seems. Whether this notion implies a curse or a blessing depends on your level (or lack) of optimism; luckily, there’s metal for either pole and everywhere in between.

Diversity is key, both in music and perspective/experience. As such, we’ve amassed current picks from across our staff for your perusal — spanning from December of 2017 to June of 2018. Dig in, and right away it’s pretty obvious that we’ve all embarked on our respective musical journeys from markedly different origins; what might be less obvious is that our paths have actually steered toward each other. Yob showed up on the most lists.

Comment below with your year-so-far picks, which staff member’s tastes you most align with, whether you discovered anything fresh/new/interesting here, or just to say hey. We love you all.

Ian Cory’s Picks:

The Armed — Only Love
Harm’s Way — Posthuman
Svalbard — It’s Hard to Have Hope
Tierra Whack — Whack World
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan — Dirt
YOB — Our Raw Heart
Beach House — 7
Sinistro — Sangue Cassia
Vampillia — Happiness Brought by Endless Sorrow
Respire — Denouement

Jon Rosenthal’s Picks:

The first half of this year has been incredibly strong in its variety, which I really appreciate. There have been new discoveries, re-affirmations of old souls, deaths, and rebirths, all in one fell swoop. There is a lot to look forward to, namely albums by Moenen of Xezbeth, Mamaleek, Khôrada, Immortal, Sulaco, Thou… the list goes on. This year is shaping up to really be… something. Here is a selection of some new favorites from last December through this month, not presented in any particular order.

Nortt — Endeligt
Tor Lundvall — A Dark Place
Sol Invictus — Necropolis
Ifernach — Gaqtaqaiaq
Panphage — Jord
Lychgate — The Contagion in Nine Steps
Abigor – Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition)
Runemagick — Evoked From Abysmal Sleep
ZU93 — Mirror Emperor
Nahtrunar — Mysterium Tremendum
Herr Lounge Corps & Cadaverous Condition — The Breath of a Bird
Ilyas Ahmed — Closer to Stranger

Andrew Rothmund’s Picks:

Basalte — Vertige
The Armed — Only Love
Estuarine — Sic Erat Scriptum
Slugdge — Esoteric Malacology
Ecloss — Diluvienne
Rivers of Nihil — Where Owls Know My Name
svrm — Лихиї вітри стогнуть без упину
LLNN — Deads
Sleep — The Sciences

Andrew Sacher:

The Armed — Only Love
The Body — I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer.
ASG — Survive Sunrise
At the Gates — To Drink from the Night Itself
The Atlas Moth — Coma Noir
Khemmis — Desolation
Sleep — The Sciences
Tribulation — Down Below
Turnstile — Time & Space
YOB — Our Raw Heart

Chris Rowella’s Picks:

Dopethrone — Transcanadian Anger
Tomb Mold — Manor Of Infinite Forms
YOB — Our Raw Heart
Khemmis — Desolation
Judas Priest — Firepower
Heads — Collider
Skinless — Savagery
Hooded Menace — Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Tribulation — Down Below
Corrosion Of Conformity — No Cross No Crown

Ivan Belcic’s Picks:

Messa — Feast for Water
Insect Ark — Marrow Hymns
Slugdge — Esoteric Malacology
Tumourboy — Condemned to Extinction
Bind Torture Kill — Viscères
Cosmic Church — Täyttymys
Afsky — Sorg
Nekrokraft — Servants
Frost Giant — The Harlot Star
Gaerea — Unsettling Whispers
Hawkmoth — Godless Summit

Chris Butler’s Picks:

01101111011101100110111001101001​ –​ S​/​2004S3 EP
Augury — Illusive Golden Age
Crypt Rot/Cringe — Nocturnal Deterioration/Memento Mori – Split
Horizon Ablaze — The Weight of a Thousand Suns
Micawber — Beyond The Reach of Flame
Necrophobic — Mark of the Necrogram
Organectomy — Domain of the Wretched
Slugdge — Esoteric Malacology
TesseracT — Sonder
Usurpress — Interregnum

Aaron Maltz’s Picks:

Howling Sycamore — Howling Sycamore
Portal — ION
Thy Catalfaque — Geometria
Instrumental (adj.) — Reductio ad Absurdum
Lume — Wrung Out
Hot Snakes — Jericho’s Dream
Organized Chaos — Divulgence
Bisbâyé — Synkronyk
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan — Dirt
Antisoph — Antisoph

Spyros Stasis’s Picks:

Portal — ION
Gang Gang Dance — Kazuashita
Chaos Echoes — Mouvement
Father Murphy — Rising: A Requiem for Father Murphy
Chris Carter — Chemistry Lessons Volume 1
Sleep — The Sciences
Sons of Kemet — Your Queen is a Reptile
YOB — Our Raw Heart
Anna von Hausswolff — Dead Magic
Poppy Ackroyd — Resolve

Chris Harrington’s Picks:

Drip — Hell Drags On…
Dark punk from Montreal that sounds totally authentic, this is fucking great!

[Various Artists] — Always is Always Forever (Nekrokvlt)
UK label compilation with some of the best techno, synth, industrial, and experimental you’re likely to hear anywhere.

Insect Ark — Marrow Hymns
The night is left to image as a shadow burns the wall. The smoke nestles and hangs.

Pusha T — DAYTONA
Kayne West is one sad motherfucker, but the beats on this can’t be stopped, and Pusha T is at his brilliant, minimalistic self.

Visitors — Nature Documentary
Free jazz from hot ‘Lanta via Neptune and Mars, Visitors is organic and swirling, pushing mysticism and peace.

Ghost — Prequelle
Dancing like a Euro-prog record from the 1970s, Ghost is making music that sounds very much existential — the poppier, the better.

Pentagram Home Video — Walpurgisnacht II
A little hole that opens a portal into the dream state — here, the concept of nightmares is whisked into a batter of sky fluid.

Wear Your Wounds — Live at the BBC
Jacob Bannon’s art rock project is growing on me like mushrooms in the forest. I’m not typically a live record kind of guy (or a Converge or a digital album guy for that matter), but this is pretty true, showing the real organics.

Amnutseba — Demo II
I don’t usually drink black metal (anymore), but when I do, I drink Amnutseba.

Miracle — The Strife Of Love In A Dream
Little pieces of memory fuse into a dreamscape of stars and highways. One of the coolest records I’ve heard in a bit.

Brian O’Neill’s Picks:

Dwarves — Take Back the Night
Panopticon — Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness
Septic Tank — Rotting Civilisation
Spiders — Killer Machine
Spiral Skies — Blues For A Dying Planet
Stone Deaf — Royal Burnout
Summoning — With Doom We Come
Tribulation — Down Below
Veiled — Black Celestial Orb
Witch Mountain — Witch Mountain

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