As part of out 2017 Year-End Extravaganza, we’ve reached out to some of our favorite people in the metal world and asked them if they’d be interested in contributing lists of their own – 10 records, ranked (or not), metal (or not), with a sentence or two (or more, if they felt like it) about each. Much to our surprise, several actually said yes.
Our friend Christine Kelly of Tridroid Records asked us if she could do something a little different with her list and talk about the record labels she thinks are worth keeping an eye on next year instead of ranking albums from 2017. We thought that looking forward to 2018 sounded like the perfect way to round out our 2017 Year-End Extravaganza.
Top 7 labels to Watch in 2018
I may run a small metal label myself, but I’m mostly a fan who’s been nerding out on this shit for a buttload of years now. People tend to ask me for year-end top lists, but I’d rather write about other labels I look to for inspiration. I wrote one for The Sludgelord for 2017, and I have a whole ‘nother batch for ya for the coming year.
Mark at Folkvangr is so CAF (cvlt as fvck) he’s spawned a cult of completist tape nerds associated with his label. Every single release of his is quality (both in look and sound) and it’s no secret I’m a fangirl – I brought him on to work with me on the Violet Cold release this year just so I could talk to him more. Sorry, Mark.
Sentient Ruin is another label that kills it every. single. time. The Necrot, Aversio Humanitatus, and American tapes were some of the best-designed of 2017.
This label is brand new but already has some excellent releases under their belt from Slaves BC, Twilight Fauna, and Unleash the Archers. Can’t wait to see what they have coming up!
Along with Battleground Records (RIP), this tiny but quality label released the CHRCH/Fister split this year. That alone puts them in the realm of labels to watch. Releases from Hexis, Hive, and Body Void just solidify it. Also this dude lives where I live and needs to get a drink with me so we can nerd out on shop talk. First one’s on me!
This label is so new, there aren’t any releases on it yet. So why is it on this list? Because it’s a new label by the owner of Graven Earth Records (my #1 label to watch last year) and it’s dedicated to old school heavy metal. I can’t wait to see what gems come outta this imprint.
These guys are true metal maniacs dedicated to DIY. The world needs more of ‘em. This year they released a tape by the band with the best name – Gloryhole Guillotine (!!!) – and it’s that kind of no-fucks attitude that sets them apart.
WYLN is run by Jeremy Sosville (of Sanhedrin and Black Anvil fame) and is dedicated to re-releasing ‘lost classics’ – things that just never got their due. He’s a wiz at finding old recordings by bands like Leather Nunn and Death Squad (the long-lost one from Olympia) and re-issuing them on beautiful vinyl and cassette. Can’t wait to see what he uncovers next!
These are labels that are putting out some of the best releases, but are a bit more known than the ones above. Someday I hope to be as rad as they are:
Some of what’s coming up on Tridroid in 2018:
and more! Support the underground in 2018!!!!