Best of 2018: Vincent’s List

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It appears I’m destined to be late to the party with my year end list, again.  But really, who reads year-end lists in January anyway?

I do.

And you, apparently, read them as well, so thank you for checking mine out.  This year was quite a ride for me, with not as many ups as there were downs unfortunately, but I made it through, and if there is nothing else for me to hold on to, it’s that.  I made it.  I’m still here, I still have a roof over my head, a loving partner, and the support of a legion of family and friends.  And as always, good music to provide the soundtrack along the way.

Which brings us to what stood out to me in 2018.  While this was a great year for music as any we’ve been having, my list this year is a little more brief than previous years.  I found a lot of albums I liked this year, but the ones that I loved came fewer and farther between.  Perhaps this was a product of my headspace not being the best for most of the time.  Maybe I’m just getting pickier as time goes on.  Who knows.  Lists are subjective, and this is only representative of one humble person.  But if you’re curious about what I kept coming back to over the last twelve months, then read on…

And hey.  Thanks for being here. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Zyklonius’ List

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Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.

As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.

As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.

With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Josh’s List

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I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2018

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Yes, that title is a Dark Souls reference, and it’s a title I would like to have some day.

Anyway, it’s that time of year where we all just want to enjoy the last vestiges of holidays before the new year begins and we all decide to make lists. Whether it is for presents, things to throw out, or just a general shopping list for Christmas, we are bound to make one.

However, here in the hallowed halls of 9C, we are making one better: It’s time for EOY list season!

2018 was an impressive year for music in general. The sheer amount of releases this year was mind-blowing – so much so that I decided to make it into a top 20. That’s right: I expanded my list because 10 ain’t gonna cut it. However, there were a lot of albums left out from this list because they weren’t being as heavily played as they were supposed to be or they came out too late for me to actually put on this list (sorry Within Temptation!). I also decided to cut EPs from this list, as they deserve their own separate thing that won’t be explored until I have some more time. Let’s get started… Continue reading

Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

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We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list.  There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work.  But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.”  I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me.  All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.

So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading