Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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Receiving the Evcharist: Ulthar and Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Ulthar’s Cosmovore and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale.   Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Extremity and Newton’s Folly

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offering: Extremity’s Coffin Birth and Newton’s Folly Semi Dry Cider.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 17 – 23, 2018

Khemmis
Khemmis – photo courtesy of Alvino Salcedo

With our fearless editor still banking massive quantities of cocktails on an undisclosed beach I am once again taking keyboard in hand to deliver your weekly dose of Initial Descent.  And there’s some killer tunes arriving on the solar wings of Summer, so let’s get to it.

Khemmis return with their particular blend of melodic doom with Desolation, and it doubles down on everything that worked on their previous albums, but with a slight tweak to engage a classic hard rock vibe. And hey, how about those harsh vocals?  If you’re into black metal then the rest of this paragraph is going to make you very, very happy because first off Unsettling Whispers, the debut LP from Gaerea is a gorgeous dark and brooding example of atmospheric black metal you just might be hearing a lot more about on an upcoming episode of the Nine Circles Audio Thing.  Next up Anicon return with Entropy Mantra, and I make no excuses: these guys have completely keyed into my love of modernizing traditional black metal since their Aphasia EP back in 2015.  The new album just rips with great drumming and blistering guitar lines.  Finally, Sweden’s Craft are back after seven long years with White Noise and Black Metal, and it’s a clarion call to all the crusty, old school black metal you love with just a hint of progression to show you these veterans can take the face off anyone around nowadays.

And that’s just a taste of what came out this week, so check out the list below and let us know in the comments what’s been whispering evil things to you in the dark.   Continue reading

Album Review: Khemmis – “Desolation”

Khemmis - Desolation

Denver’s Khemmis took the fast lane to acclaim on debut Absolution and quickly followed it with the ante-upper Hunted and now return with Desolation which will catapult the band into a stratosphere they’ve yet to see. And it should because it’s THAT good. Take everything that made those first two a success, split it, mix it, swirl it and make it, for lack of a better word, better and you have this album. Weird right? Not really, since in my opinion bands with any salt at all will do their best to better themselves and their craft. Khemmis are hungry and it shows time and again. Here they’ve topped themselves but more than that have truly entered the all exclusive hall of heavy metal legends and with three albums of top quality I can’t see this stopping anytime soon. Continue reading