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David Crossbowmen's Top Ten of 2018

Added 30 December 2018, 5:37 PM

(In no particular order)

No. 10:

Band: Skeletonwitch
Album: Devouring Radiant Light

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2003
Record Label: Prosthetic Records

SKELETONWITCH have outdone themselves with “Devouring Radiant Light”. Going for more of a melodic blackened death metal, this proves that SKELETONWITCH are difficult to pigeonhole. “Devouring Radiant Light” teeters into various genres at times (Fen of Shadows, The Vault) but stays on the melodic blackened death side. Definitely no filler on this album. This album will no doubt appear on many critic’s top picks of 2018.


No. 9:

Band: Dee Snider
Album: For the Love of Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1995
Record Label: Napalm Records

DEE SNIDER is an ageless wonder. On “For the Love of Metal”, we see Dee hit on all cylinders. His vocals are as grizzled and sharp as ever. After retiring Twisted Sister, this might be the comeback album Dee needed to make to show everyone he ain’t done yet. Heavy tune after heavy tune, this album can stand toe-to-toe with any metal/hard rock album of 2018. After seeing him play live, I can with certainty attest that Dee Snider brings the love for metal.


No. 8:

Band: Deafheaven
Album: Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2010
Record Label: Anti-Records

DEAFHEAVEN are in a world of their own. “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” is more of the elegant and divine post-black metal that DEAFHEAVEN know to craft and we have come to expect. With songs that are hypnotizing like “Canary Yellow” and “Night” People to awe-striking moments in “Honeycomb” and “Glint”. This is an album not to be missed!


NO. 7:

Band: The Night Flight Orchestra
Album: Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough

General Information

Year of Formation: 2012
 Record Label: Nuclear Blast

Holy shit talk about a blast from the past! Bjorn Stride and company bring 80’s arena rock back to life with “Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough”. Immediately the listener is transported back to the 80’s to greet Foreigner, Electric Light Orchestra, and Journey. This is not an album to be missed. Stand out tracks: “Barcelona”, “This Time”, “Paralyzed”, and “Sometimes the world ain’t enough”. Perfect album to have blasting while hosting a get together and over a few drinks.


No. 6:

Band: Judas Priest
Album: Firepower

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1970
Record Label: Sony Music

JUDAS PRIEST have arguably released their best and heaviest album since “Painkiller” (NOT counting the Ripper Owens era). The combination of Tipton and Faulkner on “Firepower” bring back that spark that JUDAS PRIEST needed. Rob Halford sounds the best as he has ever sounded with full command of his voice. The highlight of the album are the ripping solos by Tipton and Faulkner, which show such amazing chemistry together. JUDAS PRIEST are back and “FIREPOWER” is here to execute any non-believers. Hail to the riff!


No. 5:

Band: Immortal
Album: Northern Chaos Gods

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1991
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

I was quite skeptical about an Immortal release without Abbath. Well Demonaz certainly put any non-believers in their place because “Northern Chaos Gods” is undoubtedly the best album since “Sons of Northern Darkness”. Same IMMORTAL sound that we all fell in love with. Absolutely crushing, grim, and cold, this might be the best black metal album of 2018. Beware the mighty Northern chaos gods! Well worth the wait.


No. 4:

Band: Harakiri for the Sky
Album: Arson

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2011
Record Label: Art of Propaganda

If there is anyone who is going to carry the torch that the mighty Agalloch left behind, it’s going to be HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY. Hauntingly beautiful post-black melodic death metal at its best. These Austrians are absolutely brilliant in creating soundscapes that reflect a simpler time. “Arson” is a perfect album around a campfire in the middle of winter. Sleeper hit of the year.


No. 3:

Band: Amorphis
Album: Queen of Time

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1990
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

AMORPHIS have found themselves once again. Having gone through changes in sound throughout their career, “Queen of Time” embodies all of the changes in sound and embraces them. A culmination of layers and layers to make this flawless jewel. Traces of “Am Universum
and “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” remain in AMORPHIS. As such, the listener is rewarded with arguably their best album ever. For fans of melodic progressive metal but can still appeal to fans of early AMORPHIS. The entire album is perfect and should be in everyone’s playlist!


No. 2:

Band: Ayreon
Album: Universe (live)

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1994
Record Label: Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group

What is there to be said of Arjen, other than he is underrated and has a penchant for writing music that is otherworldly? With “Universe”, AYREON performs a “best of” hits live. The performance is incredibly professional and took two years to bring together. Everyone hits their mark and all singers are just mesmerizing. While the CD is entertaining, the best way to enjoy “Universe” is Blu-ray no doubt. Watching the all-star ensemble of musicians is such a privilege and a joy.


No. 1:

Band: At the Gates
Album: To Drink from the Night Itself

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1990
Record Label: Century Media Records

AT THE GATES bring forth their special brand of melo-death as only they can. “To Drink from the Night Itself” is a masterpiece and provides comfort food for the soul (pun possibly intended). AT THE GATES have outdone themselves yet again. “To Drink from the Night Itself” is frantic, unrelenting, cathartic, and rifftastic. Easily one of the best albums of 2018. Not to mention that the cover art is marveling in its enigmatic splendor.

Honorable Mentions:

Snowy Shaw - White is the New Black
Psytropic - As the Kingdom Drowns
Vried - Lifehunger
Kingcrow - The Persistence
Khôrada - Salt

Edited 09 August 2020

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