2018 Favourites: (just over) half-way edition

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 MoldOur Place of Worship is Silence, MemoriamSlugdge, 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!

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Review: Body Void – I Live Inside A Burning House

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Label: Crown And Throne Ltd / Dry Cough Records / Seeing Red Records 

Some music should hurt. Such is the vase with the sludge/doom/crust of Body Void; the trio’s music is of such monstrous density and power that it can almost be physically painful to listen to. And yet, as off-putting as that may make it seem, there is something deeply rewarding and cathartic to be found within their cataclysmic, all-encompassing soundscapes. There is no easy route to finding such succor though, and I Live Inside A Burning House is an album that will challenge you; but the more you put in to the album, the more you get out of it.

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Review: Leechfeast – Neon Crosses

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Label: Dry Cough Records / Rope Or Guillotine

Neon Crosses is ugly. As slow as a collapsing glacial, as inevitable as the end of the world, the new album from Leechfeast moves with a singularly terrible purpose – slowly, but unrelentingly, it creeps forwards, spreading decay and desolation as it goes. Each riff is the sound of destruction in slow motion, each drum hit an impact upon an already dying world. It is harsh; it is uncomfortable; it is, in its own hideously twisted way, utterly glorious.

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Review: Vile Creature – Cast of Static and Smoke

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Label: Halo of Flies (North America) / Dry Cough (UK, EU)

Before we go too far in to this review, let’s make one thing clear: Vile Creature are one of the best, most vital doom bands active today. Their music is filled with a sense of pain and emotion that is deeply personal, which lends it an importance and that raw, cathartic edge that is to be found in practically all the best doom. Latest album Cast of Static and Smoke builds upon the foundations laid by debut A Steady Descent into the Soil and 2016 EP A Pessimistic Doomsayer to construct a world of apocalyptic, dystopian fiction that is only one button-press away from our own, its tale told through some of the most searing, emotionally charged metal you are likely to hear this year.

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