Spanish Death Metal/Grindcore act Ernia, just released their brand new album, The Limits of Purity on Absolute Contempt Records. Guitarist Daniel Valcazar has shared his top albums of 2018 with Ghost Cult and our readers
10. Chapel of Disease – …And As We Have Seen the Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye.
A last-minute addition to the list, I was very impressed by Chapel of Disease but need more time to assimilate everything better. Try to picture a band playing death metal through a 70s rock, or think of what Tribulation are doing now but with more emphasis on riffs.
9. Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
If you aren’t familiar with Rolo Tomassi’s post-rock/shoegaze meets mathcore stylings, Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It is a good place to start. The heavy parts are grimy and packed with odd time signatures and riffs; the melodic bits are rife with lush synths and beautiful vocals, and none of it ever feels out of place.
8. Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades
Where All Hope is quality death/doom metal with an ear for eerie melodies, changes from heavy riffing to subdued clean guitars, tons of counterpoint and a very roomy, wet sound to everything that makes it blend together and resonate all the better.
7. Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology
Melodic death metal riffing with almost melodic black metal sensibilities that alternates between tight tremolo lines and more classic, harmonized gallops, utilizing almost ritualistic-type vocal chants to contrast the main screams. Esoteric Malacology is an exercise in memorable death metal, the most well-rounded album in the Slugdge catalog thus far.
6. Jesus Piece – Only Self
Whatever you’d like to call it (HM-2 hardcore, Entombedcore with hardcore shouts… which I guess is just Entombedcore), Jesus Piece’s meaty, groovy riffs go incredibly hard in any context I can think of, and if you’ve slept on this you’re a sucker and I’ll see you in the (metaphoric) pit.
5. Sinistro – Sangue Cássia
The doomy atmosphere, subdued vocal melodies and by crushingly heavy guitars of Sinistro’s Sangue Cássia were worth the wait of my forgetting about the album’s release. No other doom-adjacent release I’ve heard this year sounds quite like this, so I would have been hard-pressed to not include it in this list.
4. Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror
I was really skeptical going into A New Kind of Horror but in the sample-heavy ‘Forward!’ has grown to be a true banger. The rest of the Industrial-King–Diamond-Meets-Djent-with-Blastbeats tracks are equally as enticing, and has warranted many repeat listens pumping iron to the beat of the gun-drum.
3. Azusa – Heavy Yoke
I don’t think ex-members of Extol and The Dillinger Escape Plan are capable of making anything bad, but this is really good. The Extol-isms are very apparent in the way a lot of the guitar are approached, but it wouldn’t be fair to just call this Extol-lite; Heavy Yoke is an album of contrasts, full of ever-evolving songs that are full of new surprises each time you listen to them.
2. Sectioned – Annihilated
Annihilated is everything I wanted this year’s The Armed album to be and more: a crazy HM-2 mathcore/hardcore/grind/groove amalgamation with oppressive, grimy-but-clear production, whammy guitar deedlies, and ridiculous drum fills and breakdowns.
1. Harm’s Way – Posthuman
Harm’s Way upped their production and heaviness for Posthuman, a half hour lesson in groovy, sometimes dissonant metallic hardcore with industrial samples that has had me going very hard and very nearly breaking my neck at the gym, in the car, at work, and at home for the entire year.
Order Ernia’s new album here: https://erniatheband.bandcamp.
Daniel E. — Guitar
Daniel V. — Guitar
Gabi — Drums
Omar — Vocals