With another Guest Post on tap, it’s time to share more of these End of Year lists from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. Chris Anderson of psychedelic Stoner Rock band Owl Maker released their excellent new EP Sky Road earlier this fall. Check out Chris’ Top 10 albums of 2018, in no particular order.
Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
Insert your own owl joke here. Tech death and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. When done right, it’s amazing. When done badly, it’s a complete wankfest. We get it, you went to Berklee. Can you write something cohesive, please? This, fortunately, gets it right. Great hooks and prog experimentation weaved in with sheer brutality.
Sleep – The Sciences
Well, this one came out of nowhere, didn’t it? Fans of all things monotonous and sludgy need no introduction to the dudes. They certainly haven’t missed a step in their 20-year recording absence. As soon as the second track “Marijuanaut’s Theme” kicks in, you can tell how it’s goin’ down.
Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath
My bass player Jessie actually turned me on to this en route to a gig. Some super catchy traditional/power metal from some dudes from Utah. Really nails down that old-school vibe while skipping out on the cheese.
Clutch – Book of Bad Decisions
Ahhh yes, Clutch. Always a pleasure when these cats put out a new release. This time around, they have a bit more of an energetic swagger and a grimier feel. Neil Fallon continues to bring his quirky lyrical awesomeness as always. “How to Shake Hands” particularly has some funny, kick-ass lines in it. I also dig the horns on “In Walks Barbarella”; weaponized funk, indeed.
Pig Destroyer – Head Cage
People seem to either totally love or totally hate Piggie D, but I’ve always had a soft spot for them. The recent addition of drummer Adam Jarvis’s bro John on bass is most welcomed, thickening up their already molasses thick sound. Get yer grind on.
Czarface & M.F. Doom – Czarface Meets Metalface
Yup, I’m gonna throw a hip-hop record into the mix on a metal blog. Why? Because it’s that damn good. Strait up old school boom-bap beats coupled with amazing displays of lyrical acrobatics. If you long for the days of crate diggin’, peep this bad boy.
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn
Well… it sounds like Bloodbath. More old school Swedish HM 2 worship from these fine fellows. Riffs galore as always; the head riff to “Wayward Samaritan” nearly knocked me on my ass. “Chainsaw Lullaby” is kinda corny towards the end, but hey, pretty much par for the course. Still amuses me that these dudes’ day jobs are in Katatonia and Opeth, though.
Horrendous – Idol
This was a pleasant surprise I made by accident earlier in the Fall. Total old school death metal with progressive elements, yet not to the point that you feel like you’re doing calculus. Hooks galore on this bad boy. The vocals remind me a bit of Spheres era Pestilence. If this is good or bad, I’m not quite sure, but the tunes rock regardless.
Windhand – Eternal Return
Last but not least, we have some sludgy goodness from VA. Guess I’m bookending with doom metal this year. Very hypnotic, droning, haunting stuff. I saw them live in Brooklyn recently, and they definitely bring it.
Order Owl Maker’s Sky Road EP here.