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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Initial Descent: November 11 – 17, 2018

ævangelist
Ævangelist

By the time this goes to print, I’ll be on the way back from the Holy City where I’ll have indulged in breweries, old architecture and a graveyard or two (hey, old architecture there too) but for sure will have several of this week’s new offerings in my ears for the duration. What exactly is new this week? Read on to find out…

Kicking this thing off in grand fashion is the ever suffocating and esoteric maelstrom of darkness that is Ævangelist on Matricide In the Temple of Omega, this is a band that defies categorization but always pushes the boundaries of black and death metal as well as its listener’s limits. Don’t just sample it, completely bury yourself in its hour of audio terror. Next up is Ghostly White from Deceased who over the course of 30 years and some change have put out consistently great death metal and this eighth full length is no exception but furthermore after all this time the band seems to have more energy than ever and dare I say the best chops yet. Moving along is Introvert from Norway’s Slegest which really scratches that black ‘n’ roll itch I get from time to time, this things just rocks. Period. Last in this week’s opening four is Arête with their debut full length Hymnal which expands on everything that made their 2016 EP such a hit. They’ve taken a genre tag, atmospheric black metal, and offered us the very definition of its parts – as the weather turns cold this is an outstanding companion to steal away from the surrounding world and its crazed pace.

Plenty more inside to explore so jump in and don’t miss a thing. Continue reading

Premiere: Anchorhold – “Five Weeks”

Anchorhold - From A Father's Son

Atmospheric black metal can take many shapes and forms, that much we’ve definitely seen and heard in the recent past. But when the subject matter deals with the decline and eventual loss of a loved one, it takes on a whole new meaning as well as provide a bottomless canvas to document the harrowing experience. This is exactly what Jimmy Sisco (Platoon 1107, Absolved) did with his project Anchorhold after his father was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. From A Father’s Son, due out August 10 on The Fear and the Void Recordings, is a four track documentation of the human side to this process and unfolds in an extremely stirring maelstrom of emotions. Today, Nine Circles is pleased to bring you a premiere of the EP’s third track “Five Weeks.” Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 11 – 17, 2018

Slaves BC
Slaves BC

Lots of things happening this month: March Madness, warmer weather (sort of) and the time change. So if you’re into any of that, have at it. Around here, new metal is what’s happening and if you came here looking for it you’re definitely in luck. Long list ahead so let’s get to it — first up is the absolutely vicious yet cuttingly personal black/death of Lo and I am Burning from Slaves BC. As you are all aware (or not) Josh Thieler writes for us from time to time and we love him dearly but that has nothing to do with top billing this week, this band has grown exponentially and have put their best foot forward here. Next up is Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil and this is another album where a band has put their best foot forward, technical death metal that bleeds forward thinking and rules. Moving along is the extremely soothing dark folk of Ulvesang on The Hunt, this is the one you need while contemplating life or just trying to get through it — perfect soundtrack. Closing out the top slots this week is the EP Question from the Mexican quartet of the same name Question, this thing is ultra-aggressive, extreme and with four tracks it steamrolls the senses in the best way possible. Plenty of fodder already for end of year thoughts but there’s much more to get to. Stick around and bask in the rest… Continue reading

Album Review: Slaves BC – “Lo and I Am Burning”

Slaves BC Lo and I Am Burning

Pittsburgh blackened metallers Slaves BC are back with a new album, Lo and I am Burning, and it’s one that shows just how far a band can go to reinvent their sound in a relatively short time.  Slaves BC’s musical jump between their latest offering and 2016’s All is Dust and I Am Nothing is less a jump and more an oblique step, but in a way that highlights the maturation of the members through time spent refining their sound. Continue reading