What a year for heavy music.
It's that time of the year where we scour through the madness we've been delivered week after week in hope of putting together a concise list that will always piss off someone for not sharing their opinion. This is never easy, especially considering what a great year for extreme music we've had thus far, but this is our attempt.
Here's the list:
30. Languish - Unworthy
29. Haunt - Burst Into Flames
28. Brainoil - Singularity to Extinction
27. Extremity - Coffin Birth
26. Jesus Piece - Only Self
25. Gruesome - Twisted Prayers
24. Conjurer - Mire
23. Varathron - Patriarchs of Evil
22. Chapel of Disease - …And As We Have Seen The Storm, We Have Embraced The Eye
21. Evoken - Hypnagogia
20. High on Fire - Electric Messiah
19. Windhand - Eternal Return
18. Outer Heaven - Realms of Eternal Decay
17. Glacial Tomb - Glacial Tomb
16. Skeletal Remains - Devouring Mortality
15. Hate Eternal - Upon Desolate Sands
14. Tomb Mold - Manor of Infinite Forms
13. Pig Destroyer - Head Cage
12. Of Feather and Bone - Bestial Hymns of Perversion
11. Ghastly - Death Velour
10. Khemmis - Desolation
9. Tribulation - Down Below
8. Svalbard - It’s Hard To Have Hope
7. Mortuous - Through Wilderness
6. UADA - Cult of a Dying Sun
5. Taphos - Come Ethereal Somberness
4. YOB - Our Raw Heart
3. Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light
Skeletonwitch obliterated eardrums with Devouring Radiant Light, straying from past album expectations and trailblazing through boundaries with an orchestration of genre bending, virtuosic black metal. This is one of the strongest records I've ever come across and has become a heavy favorite for years to come for its electric riffing and eviscerating screams from the mouth of new vocalist Adam Clemans. Devouring Radiant Light is divine in every sense of the word and should simply be on everyone's playlist.
2. Horrendous - Idol
Idol will tear you a new one upon first listen. It's just that good. Dynamic, explosive, and just so bloody good. With so many death metal records to choose from this year, Horrendous stand out from the bunch. This record is chock full of impeccable fretwork, blood gushing vocals, thumping bass, and cataclysmic drumming. If this record isn't in your catalog yet, we don't know what the hell you're waiting for. I mean shit, who wouldn't want that diabolically good Brian Smith cover art in their record collection?
1. Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name
Here it is, the numero uno. I don't think we've given any other record the amount of spins we've given this one. The PA quintet established themselves in modern death metal with The Conscious Seed of Light (2013) and Monarchy (2015), but they just shatter everything in their path with the beautiful masterpiece that is Where Owls Know My Name. This is a record that takes you on an emotional, atmospheric journey from start to finish, creating a balance between their heavier and light elements by incorporating a trio of saxophone, trumpet and viola on multiple tracks. Balladic, melodic, and aggressive are all words that can be used to describe this grand composition of music and we recommend it to anyone and everyone. Rivers of Nihil have matured with each release and we truly can't wait to see where this band goes from here.
Heaviest of Art would like to thank all of the bands, producers, engineers, and record labels for enriching our lives with phenomenal music week after week and keeping us somewhat sane. 2018 was an incredible year for heavy music and we can't wait to see what 2019 has in store. Cheers!