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2018 Extravaganza Mid-Year Extravaganza

2018 Mid-Year Extravaganza: The Best of 2018 So Far…Part I

I was contemplating writing some sort of clever intro here, but I’ll level with you, Vault Hunters – the rest of the team did such a kickass job with their intros that I want to just get the fuck out their way. Besides, you read the headline before you clicked on this, so you know what’s up here already. 2018 is half-over, and these are our favorite albums thus far this year. So without any further ado…


Aaron Dexter Bray 

So, here’s my favourite 2018 releases so far… I’m notoriously shithouse at narrowing these things down so having a limit of ten was absolute cruelty. This list is also fairly fluid and can change on an almost weekly basis, number one is only in pole position right now because I’ve been utterly flogging it since it’s release a week or so ago and it’s comprehensively incredible. As for anticipated jams, it’s an Australian whitewash: Almost guaranteed that new shit from Convulsing, Norse [EDIT: it was just released, and it’s great], Ploughshare and Mar Mortuum will be in and around the top ten of the final 2018 list if they end up dropping this year. Anyway, check all these out if you haven’t heard them, enjoy, and may your hails be forever infernal.

Slidhr – The Futile Fires of Man (Ván Records)

Mahr – Antelux (ПРАВА КОЛЛЕКТИВ, Fallen Empire Records)

Knelt Rote – Alterity (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz (Eisenwald)

Vilkacis – Beyond the Mortal Gate (Psychic Violence Records)

Funeral Mist – Hekatomb (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Panphage – Jord (Nordvis Produktion)

Spectral Wound – Infernal Decadence (Vendetta Records, Les Fleurs Du Mal Productions)

Judas Priest – Firepower (Epic)

Altar of Perversion – Intra Naos (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Charles Kahler

I’ll admit my backlog far exceeds the number of releases I’ve actually sat through this year. The metal watering hole doesn’t show any signs of drying up, as fresh bands emerge and old guards return with new offerings. There’s so much to wade through, it’s easy sometimes to feel the temptation of drawing a line and sticking to familiar bangers.

Like the rest of the IMV team, I’ve mashed together a quick, dirty menagerie (in no particular order) of ten releases that have stuck with me thus far in 2018. Some are albums, some are demos/promos. No dungeon synth this time – I’ve found my interests changing after the initial ‘boom’ of that genre. Much of what’s on my plate now leans towards the rawer black metal vein, with a few exceptions. While some of these have already garnered widespread attention, others remain rooted beneath the surface.

Let’s get to it:

Purity Renaissance – Promo

Vilkacis – Beyond the Mortal Gate

Wørsen – Stronghold

Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz

Spectral Wound – Infernal Decadence

Cremantur – The Prize of Treason

Slidhr – The Futile Fires of Man

Unholy Sacrament – Profane Apotheosis

Tomb Mold – Manor of Infinite Forms

Nahtrunar – Mysterium Tremendum

Chris Latta

2018 has already proven to be a strong year for metal. Veteran bands like Sleep and Judas Priest have released surprisingly satisfying albums while the efforts of newer bands dare to go toe to toe with beloved classics. I’ve found myself spending as much time in classic and power metal as in my beloved doom and have found more extreme metal releases that have appealed to me than any other year. It’s truly a year where greatness seems to be getting recognized regardless of its source and I’m quite excited to see what could possibly be strong enough to top the following picks.

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath

Wayfarer – World’s Blood

Judicator – The Last Emperor

Wolftooth – Wolftooth

Sergeant Thunderhoof – Terra Solus

Mos Generator – Shadowlands

Blackslash – Lightning Strikes Again

Khemmis – Desolation

Battleroar – Codex Epicus

Yob – Our Raw Heart

Clayton Michaels

2018 has been a hell of a year thus far, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, there’s been a metric fuckton (real measurement) of incredible music already released this year – more than I can possibly process. Frankly, I could probably already do a top-20 on just black metal alone. However, man cannot exist solely on the black stuff. Fortunately, there have been a number of excellent albums released this year all across the metallic spectrum – and the second half of the year is looking just as stacked.

Top 10:

The Atlas Moth – Coma Noir

Byyrth – Echoes From the Seven Caves of Blood

Délétère – De Hora Leprae

Funeral Mist – Hekatomb

Grayceon – IV

Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror

True Love/Thy Dying Light – Split

Ulvesang – The Hunt

Wake – Misery Rites

Wayfarer – World’s Blood

Honorable Mention (or, albums I haven’t spent enough time with yet):

Make a Change…Kill Yourself – IV
Spectral Wound – Infernal Decadence
Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz
Vilkacis/Turia – Split

Most Anticipated:

Black Howling – Return of Primordial Stillness
Black Vice (rumored)
Délirant – Délirant
Faustcoven – In the Shadow of Doom
Gnaw Their Tongues/Crowhurst – The Divinity of Our Great Perversions
L.O.R.E. – TBD
Moenen of Xezbeth – Ancient Spells of Darkness…
Ninhursag (rumored)
Suicide Forest – Suicide Forest

 I would have included Runespell here, but we’re streaming it in full today – so while it’s not technically out yet, I’m also not anticipating it anymore, if that makes sense…

Jason Roach

It seems that every year we do lists like these and we can’t believe that the current state of heavy music keeps getting better and better, but this year is no different. We are living in a golden age of high quality talents that keep on blessing us with their graces. Trends tend to get overblown, but the Stoner Rock community is alive and thriving, but I’ve noticed that Black Metal is starting to swing back into the limelight as we have had some of best releases in recent history. I also want to mention that the quality spreads among many genres, and it’s great to see that there is something for everyone to enjoy. of Here is my list of what I think are the best albums of 2018.

Wolftooth- Wolftooth

Khemmis- Desolation

Visigoth- Conqueror’s Oath

Apostle of Solitude- From Gold to Ash

The Atlas Moth- Coma Noir

Harakiri for the Sky- Arson

Sleep- The Sciences

Light This City- Terminal Bloom

At the Gates- To Drink From the Night Itself

Uada- Cult of a Dying Sun

Honorable Mentions:

Wayfarer- World’s Blood
Exmortus- The Sound of Steel
Galactic Empire- Episode Two
Kissin Dynamite- Ecstasy

Jessie Browne

I’ve heard more new bands over the last six months, when I started writing for IMV, than I had previously discovered in the first thirty years of my life. It was easy to fill a top ten list for the first half of 2018, and my penchant for heavy psychedelic and progressive doom is becoming increasingly more pronounced. There are six power trios and one two-piece in my list — I’m not quite sure what it is about small ensembles that draw me in, but it’s a predilection that’s undeniable. Embedded in this collection of ten occult and transcendental albums are snake charm melodies, trudging riffs, arresting narratives, and a whole lotta fuzz.

Yob – Our Raw Heart

Eagle Twin – The Thundering Heard

Sleep – The Sciences

High Priestess – High Priestess

Merlin – The Wizard

Earthless – Black Heaven

Dead Meadow – The Nothing They Need

Huntsmen – American Scrap

Apostle of Solitude – From Gold to Ash

River Cult – Halcyon Daze

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Brett Strohl
Brett Strohl July 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm

It will be hard to top Panopticon for me 😉

Jort July 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This year has been so good that I started a list of my own as to not forget any of the great releases so far.
There’s a TON of stuff here that I’ve never even heard of. Thanks for this, my working days will start to fly by again 🙂


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