So, we’re a bit over halfway through 2018, and there’s been some excellent records released. Most notably, 2018 is shaping up to be an excellent year for death metal – bands such as Tomb Mold, Our Place of Worship is Silence, Memoriam, Slugdge, and practically everyone on the Dark Descent Records roster are killing it with top-tier death metal. Things aren’t quite so grand when it comes to black metal, but the new Immortal is pretty note-worthy, and there’s been a few other strong releases in the underground – including the final release by Cosmic Church.
Here, I’ll pick out ten of my favourite records released so far this year, in alphabetical order. Hopefully you’ll find something new here to enjoy, or be reminded of something you were in to earlier in the year. Enjoy!
Prepare to be Let Down? Hardly. The debut album from American hardcore band Ruiner might have had a self-effacing title, but far from letting the listener down, this is one of the most urgent, emotionally devastating, and ultimately excellent records you could possibly listen to. Moving with a desperate pace, self-destructive urges, and sense of nihilism, this is the soundtrack to an emotional breakdown; uncomfortable, bleak, but oh-so cathartic. Bridge9 have a stupidly strong discography, but Prepare to be Let Down is one of the best things the label have ever released.
The self-titled album from War on Women was one of the best punk/hardcore albums of the best… well, in a really fucking long time. Funny and furious in equal measure, its contained feminist anthems of protest and self-empowerment. New album Capture the Flag had a lot to live up to, and more than delivered. As stated in my review at PureGrainAudio, the album is tighter, stronger, more focused – all the things you’d hope for from a follow-up. It is also a modern classic, and one of the most inspiring albums since… well, since the last War on Women album.
There’s some records that, when you’re in a bad, pissed off mood, you know you can turn to, because you know they sound exactly how you feel. Terror’s debut record, Lowest of the Low, is one of those records for me. Their demo was released just as I was getting into hardcore, and the release of this record was a big deal for me. It’s testament to the quality of the record that, even now, songs like the title track and ‘Better Off Without You’ are what come in to my head when I’m in an angry mood, and want some quality hardcore to blast.