Brett's Top Albums of 2018: Deafheaven, The Story So Far, Trash Boat & More

25. Organectomy - Domain of the Wretched

This album is balls-to-the-wall slamming deathcore. There is no letting up with this. It has my favorite trope of this type of music, as it includes movie samples in the tracks. If you like nothing but heavy slamming riffs, gurgly vocals, and breakdowns, check this out.

24. Light This City - Terminal Bloom

This group is a well-renowned melodic death metal group with an incredible female vocalist. I am for some reason not normally a fan of screaming vocals from women, but this album is one of few exceptions. The riffs are great, and the vocals are passionate as anything: two key factors for me loving music.

23. Greyhaven - Empty Black

Did you ever wanna listen to Every Time I Die but a little different? Cool, throw on Greyhaven. They take ETID’s unique style and spin it to their own more melodic approach. The performances from every member are absolutely fantastic. While this may not be the most memorable record all the way throughout, it is seriously an enjoyable listen.

22. Brockhampton - Iridescence

Everyone knows about this album. It's seminal. It slaps. In every way. Listen to it.

21. Dave Matthews Band - Come Tomorrow

I have a really weird relationship with DMB in that everyone close to me can’t fucking stand them. It rubbed off on me until I stopped being a sheep and gave them a fair shot. I threw on Come Tomorrow only about a week ago, and it immediately shot up my list of best albums this year. This album, while missing one of the key members, Boyd Tinsley on violin, still holds up to what the band has done in the past. "Samurai Cop" might be one the best songs that they have ever released.

20. Svalbard - It’s Hard to Have Hope

Svalbard kinda came out of nowhere for me. I was so not ready for what I was about to experience when I turned on It’s Hard to Have Hope. The vocalist’s voice is insanely passionate in her screaming, seeming to speak from so much experience and true pain. The songs are all about feminism and equality/rights for women. The style of music, in general, is absolutely fantastic, combining melodic hardcore with black-gaze (the first time I’ve seen so many god damn fusion genres all in one). It's hard to explain how this album does what it does, so I would just recommend to experience it for yourself.

19. A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant

Blah, blah, APC returned after a long time… The album is really good. Maynard sounds amazing on the mic, and their limited style does wonders for the eerie atmosphere that this album gives off all the way through. "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" is one of the greatest songs released of the year.

18. Alterbeast - Feast

A real BEAST of a record.

17. Trophy Eyes - The American Dream

When this album first came out I absolutely couldn’t stand to listen to it. One day recently, I was listening back to Chemical Miracle, and I couldn’t help but think, “Why can’t their new album be this amazing?” So I went back to listen to The American Dream, and it's extremely good. Misunderstood and a 100% natural progression for Trophy Eyes, I stand by this album.

16. Haken - Vector

Here we reach the first band to make my top ten in a previous year. Haken’s masterpiece Affinity was my third favorite album of 2016, so needless to say I was extremely excited for this release. Upon release of the first single, I was a bit disappointed, but everything grew on me. Vector didn’t come close to topping Affinity, but this is because they are two very different albums with two very different goals. Vector still stands up and holds Haken’s place as one of the best modern prog-metal bands around.

15. Ghost - Prequelle

And again, a band to make my top ten in the past. Meliora was my favorite album of 2015. I still hold that album near and dear to my heart. This release was another highly anticipated one, and they didn’t disappoint much at all. There are incredibly catchy vocals and riffs on this record that make me want to sing and dance every time. Ghost took liberties with instrumental tracks and saxophones, which they pulled off very well. A little fat cut off and this album could be way higher on my list.

14. Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

This album was so hard to place. Being over an hour long, it is hard for me to get the time to sit through the whole thing while listening intently. With this style of music, I often forget most of the song structure and what it sounded like. But every time I go back and listen to OCHL, I remember why I love it so much. Deafheaven doesn’t pull any punches and embrace their unique style of shoegaze filled black metal.

13. The Wonder Years - Sister Cities

In 2015, No Closer to Heaven was one of my favorite albums of the year. TWY quickly was becoming one of my favorite bands ever, and they remain there to this day. Sister Cities took a few listens to grow on me, and same goes for relistening for finalizing my list. The album is truly an experience, but it fails for me by trying too hard to be a sort of magnum opus. Nonetheless, it's a great release from a fantastic group of musicians who seriously know what they’re doing.

12. Trash Boat - Crown Shyness

For some reason, Trash Boat went hard for us this year, and they really didn’t have to. I wasn’t expecting to love this so much, but the way they infuse hardcore into their sound on this record makes it unavoidable. Crown Shyness should go down as a pop-punk classic in the future.

11. Internal Bleeding - Corrupting Influence

Slam. Who created it? Internal Bleeding did. The grandaddies are back, and they still know what they’re doing. Holy hell this album slaps in all the right places. With the loss of their drummer in a firefighting accident not so long ago, they trucked on into being one of the best death metal releases of the year. Check this.

10. Denzel Curry - TA13OO

This is officially the first rap album to make my top 10 albums of the year. To be fair, if I decided to include it, To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar would have made 2015, but still… Denzel Curry seriously blew all of my expectations out of the water with this release. Having only known him for the song "Ultimate" and all of the Vine memes that came out of it, I had no idea what to really expect. I was blown away by the result of TA13OO. The aggression and the overall emotion displayed in every song on this record is perfect. Denzel’s lyrics address important topics as well as intriguing personal topics, which makes for a varied and interesting listen.

9. Harm’s Way - Posthuman

Interesting tidbit: I have at least one album produced by Will Putney on my list almost every year. This year there’s two, one of which comes later. Posthuman came like a truck on a dark highway when I first turned this thing on. The vocal delivery, as well as the riffage, simply hits you like a ton of bricks. The sheer energy on this album is insane. This is a must listen for hardcore fans.

8. The Amity Affliction - Misery

My girlfriend’s favorite band is The Amity Affliction. For a long time, I couldn’t really get into them. For some reason, upon listening to lead single "Ivy (Doomsday)" for the first time, I was hooked. I got super into their music. When Misery finally came out, I was pleasantly surprised. The experimentation on this record pays off so well in my eyes, and what they are doing to push the boundaries of this scene and post-hardcore music is great.

7. Fit For a King - Dark Skies

Best Christian metalcore band there is. Period. They’ve all stepped up their game this time around. While nothing will ever top Slave to Nothing for me, this record comes damn close. A grower for sure, and a banger no doubt. Seeing this band live is always a treat, and the songs they performed from Dark Skies translated so well. The riffs are super catchy, Tuck’s singing is insane as always, and Ryan’s growls are executed with such perfection it hurts. Open up that living room pit. Jam Fit For a King.

6. Vein - Errorzone

This album is an experience. A nonstop 27-minute sonic assault. Lyrically introspective and sonically hectic, there has not been a hardcore album like this in a long time. Vein is changing the game. Embrace the human form, enter the Errorzone.

5. The Story So Far - Proper Dose
This band can do no wrong. Read my review for my full thoughts, but wow… This album is on a new level and helping to redefine the pop punk scene in a crazy way.

4. Nekrogoblikon - Welcome to Bonkers

It’s hard to explain why I really love this album. Nekrogoblikon is a comedy band at its core, but in every other way, they are insanely talented musicians and songwriters. Their melodies in all different instrument departments are insane. Writing this album off as something to not take seriously based on its lyrical content would be doing yourself a huge disservice. This album was stuck on repeat for me for a long time, and every time I revisit it, I can’t turn it off until it's over.

3. Dance Gavin Dance - Artificial Selection

Mothership still stands as one of my favorite albums ever released, and while this doesn’t top it, it's up there. Every single member of this band does what they are supposed to do in the craziest and most skillful way they possibly can. It meshes in some ways it shouldn’t. It may not be my album of the year, but it definitely wins the sexiest album of the year.

2. Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name

You want to talk about an album that is an experience? Here it is. Rivers of Nihil have delivered what many people will call their album of the year. It came close. These guys are innovating and changing what will be considered death metal in the future. Saxophones, clean vocals, it all seems wrong but feels so right. Their groove is impeccable, the vocals are unmatchable, the drumming is stellar, the melodies (when present) are infectious. The lyrics go to a deep place and feel relatable in a strange way. Do yourself a favor and experience this album.

1. ?

...And that’s it for now. When we release our album of the year post with all of the staff members, you can see my pick. It came from nowhere. It's something I didn’t expect to get this high up but damn, if it isn’t the best album of the year.


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