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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Album of the Day: Of Feather and Bone – Bestial Hymns of Perversion

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Label: Profound Lore Records

Of Feather And Bone haven’t so much evolved in recent years, as they have morphed into something new. The change from their early, more hardcore sound on Embrace the Wretched Flesh to the cavernous death metal of Bestial Hymns of Perversion is remarkable – especially when you consider that Bestial Hymns… is one of the most impressive death metal albums of the year. Filled with that sense of the other that the likes of Incantation tap in to, whilst also possessing a very human feeling of brutality, what Of Feather And Bone have created is remarkable.

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Album of the Day – Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate

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Label: Profound Lore Records

There’s good reason that Ash Borer are one of the most respected names in underground USBM. Since their first demo in 2010, the band have consistently pushed at the boundaries of what atmospheric black metal can be and achieve, whilst also keeping true to its spirit and sound. 2016’s The Irrespassable Gate is a prime example of this, being a journey of Weakling-esque atmospheric black metal that, like that mighty band, feels completely soul-consuming and transcendent when it hits its stride.

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Album of the Day: Portal – Vexovoid

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Label: Profound Lore Records

There are few bands whose reputation precedes them like it does for Portal. The Australian act may be renowned for crafting other-worldly, mind-consuming death metal that is the musical spawn of every Lovecraftian horror ever dreamed of; and their early works certainly upped the ante for how twisting and difficultly chaotic death metal can be, following in the footsteps of Gorguts and Immolation. Yet Vexovoid is, by their own standards, a fairly accessible release, and it’s no surprise that it found their biggest audience yet – at least, until the release of ION next week.

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2017 Favourites – Part II

Following on from the first ten of my A-Z 2017 favourites, here is the second part. As the title says, this is my favourites – not necessarily the best records of the year, but the ones I enjoy or connected with the most. Feel free to tell me what I missed, why I’m wrong, or whatever else. There’s only so many hours in the day, and not all of them can be spent listening to records, sadly.

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