As we wind down our Album Of The Year coverage with staff and guest posts, we have another from our newest scribe to join the Ghost Cult team! In her first piece on the site noted music journalist and author Addison Herron-Wheeler shares her personal top albums of 2018.
Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses
This record will pull at all your emotional heartstrings at the same time. Like most of her previous work, it feels like everything Rundle has ever dealt with emotionally is hashed out and worked through on her albums. The lyrics are real and a little too relatable, and there is passion in all of the playing. The songs are even better communicated live, but the record does them all justice as well.
Marissa Nadler – For My Crimes
If you want to get sad, like really sad, listen to the new Marissa Nadler. This album takes country and Americana to a new place of exploration with its lilting melodies and mournful lyrics. The perfect breakup album, catharsis record, or even just cooking music.
King Dude – Music to Make War To
After making a record all about sex, King Dude decided to focus on war in this latest release. While it’s easy for an artist like this to get stuck making the same album over and over, King Dude has avoided this and then some. He has branched out of traditional folky stuff into some super weird, gothy, post-rock experiments that still sound fluid and cohesive when heard together.
Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
If you’ve missed melodic death and black metal and fear that they are tarnished forever because of metalcore, you need to listen to this record. It’s seriously one of the most furious and passionate albums out there, full of memorable riffs that call to mind bands like Edge of Sanity and early Dark Funeral. You will feel this one in your bones, and you won’t want to stop listening.
Windhand – Eternal Return
I’m not going to lie and say that this one breaks a bunch of new ground. It’s pretty much what you expect from Windhand: the same thoughtful lyrics and gorgeous vocals, and trusty, sturdy doom riffs. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not amazing. It’s just as catchy and addictive as all their previous releases.
A Place to Bury Strangers – Re-Pinned
This album, on the other hand, does break a lot of new ground. The new iteration of A Place to Bury Strangers features dual male/female vocalizations, even weirder plays on shoegaze and sound distortion, and some of the catchiest and angriest music out there. This record has gained the band some new fans, and also re-energized old followers.
Zola Jesus – Okavi: Additions
Zola Jesus has never really made a bad album, and this one is no exception. She tries out some new, slightly harsher stuff, but for the most part, keeps it melodic and poppy yet not at all hokey in a way that only she knows how to pull off. I still haven’t figured out her secret.
Of Feather and Bone – Bestial Hymns of Perversion
This band is playing some of the best death metal out there, and I’m not just biased because I live in Denver. They are really pushing new boundaries, infusing hardcore and black metal elements into straightforward death metal and singing songs about the rape of a land stolen from native people. Plus, their name is badass.
Pig Destroyer – Head Cage
Pig Destroyer are one of the greats, and I’m not just biased because I’m originally from the DMV area. Being completely honest, Head Cage is no Prowler in the Yard or Phantom Limb. In my humble opinion, it’s not even as strong as Book Burner. But it’s a solid record and shows that the band still completely has it.
Thou – Magus
This is another one where the artist got bold and took a lot of risks. Even the album cover is colorful and features art that the band has never used before. But if you listen, you won’t be sorry. There’s a lot of variation here, but it’s still an incredibly heavy record that sounds the way only Thou can.