Top 10 Albums of the Year 2018
Since I take photos of a lot of bands, I obviously listen to a lot of albums every year. And buy far too many records. 2018 was no exception. For the first time in years, I have a fully fledged top ten, and for the first time in years it features a lot of really, really great heavy music.
For my money, all these records are must haves, but whether you’re into them or not is up to you I guess. Here’s my top choices because what else would even be on the internet if it wasn’t for lists?
1. Palm Reader “Braille”
A truly stunning record that sees Palm Reader not only realise the potential of their first two records, but surpass it. Blending chaotic angular hardcore with post-rock and the more artistic end of alternative music, the songs on this album ripple with sincerity, ferocity and vibrancy.
Also, riffs. Lots of really, really sick riffs. And breakdowns,
2. The Black Queen “Infinite Games”
A dark, brooding sensual journey into electronic sounds made all the more exciting by the 90s r&b vocal twist. Deftly Bringing the gap between club bangers and soothing, inventive soundscapes.
It takes a good few spins to unlock all the secrets of this record, but it’s worth the effort to discover all the shifting, subtle and sensual compositions.
3. Rolo Tomassi “Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It”
As desperately raw and savage as it is delicate and beautiful, a career highlight for one of the UK’s most creative hardcore bands.
Jazz, chaotic mathcore, pulsing electronica and a whole range of other influences come together like beautiful, detailed paintings to form this stunning record.
4. The 1975 “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”
Calling it Ok Computer for the millennial generation is clearly ludicrous. But this record is undeniably creative, richly textured and sophisticated pop music. A triumph for a band everyone expects to dumb themselves down at every turn.
A true demonstration that being a pop act doesn’t mean you have to be devoid of art or creativity.
5. The Xcerts “Hold Onto Your Heart”
The feel good, instantly relatable and satisfying sounds of Americana without the turgid, stale and uninspired subject manner and aesthetics of Americana. Working class love songs for the post-grunge generation.
6. Frontier “Unloved”
So much of heavy music is derivative and uninspired. its all like a photocopy of a photocopy . Frontierer are proof that there is still room for wild creativity in aggressive music. A true masterclass in barely restrained chaos and devastatingly honest emotion.
7. Architects “Holy Hell”
There’s no way this record could live up to perfect storm that was it’s predecessor, but it comes really, really close at points. A tour de force of focused and sophisticated song writing from a band pulling themselves from the depths of tragedy.
8. Behemoth “I Loved You At Your Darkest”
Satan is cool. Behemoth are cool so more songs about Satan from Behemoth are cool. Though not quite as definitive an artistic statement as their previous record, this album sees a veteran band take creative risks that affirm their place as the world’s premiere extreme metal band.
9. Black Peaks “All That Divides”
No sophomore slump in sight for Black Peaks as they deliver a confident and ambitious record that takes them for buzz band to cult heroes in the making. If you love adventurous heavy music, you need this album in your ears.
10. Bernhoft & The Fashion Bruises “Humanoid”
A slick, richly melodic and infectious slice of modern pop. “Humanoid” sees Bernhoft return to a band scenario and throwing together some of his funnest material in yours all topped by his distinctively smooth vocals.
Nine Inch Nails “Bad Witch”
Jon Hopkins “Singularity”
Idles “Joy As An Act of Resistance”
Cancer Bats “The Spark That Moves”
Bloodbath “The Arrow of Satan is Drawn”
Bleeding Through “Love Will Kill All”