Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.
The first full-length album from Seattle’s Greyhawk is a particularly interesting iteration of the NWOTHM scene. A focus on hooky songwriting with an epic tone makes for easy comparisons to such contemporaries as Visigoth and Traveler as the production carries a polished sheen similar to the likes of Haunt or Idle Hands. While these factors would initially suggest that the band is just another notch in a long line of derivatives, they find a lot of ways to set themselves apart on Keepers Of The Flame (Fighter Records).
2019 seems an odd year for me to be writing a post about my albums of year, and to have so many albums I want to name-check or mention. See, early in the year I stepped down from my role within Ghost Cult – nothing the Cult did wrong, just a question of life and balance. Stepping back from direct exposure to every rock, metal or alternative release should have meant I had fewer albums to care about, but, actually, it’s afforded me more time with each of the albums that I have connected with.Continue reading
Carcass with Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) in 2013, Behemoth and The Satanist (Metal Blade) in 2014, Ghost in 2015 and 2018 with Meliora and Prequelle (both Loma Vista), Magma (Roadrunner) by Gojira in 2016, and 2017’s Emperor of Sand (Mastodon – Reprise) is our legacy. Those incredible, scene-enhancing, ear-destroying releases are the standard-bearers by which Ghost Cult‘s albums of the year are to be judged. These are the albums of our times; and following another sensation year of great alternative, rock, and metal, the pantheon cries out for more, for another slab of wax, another Album of the Year to join them… the very best of 2019.
With a fully democratic poll of the views and votes of the length and breadth of Team Ghost Cult (including our photographers, reviewers, newshounds, podcast and YouTube contributors) taken, with no editorial steer or amendment, we present to you Part 1 (75-41) of the Official Ghost Cult Albums of the Year for 2019, for your vulgar delectation…Continue reading
There is more life in the old dog of Traditional Heavy Metal now than at any time since the glory days of the early eighties, as a whole new generation of Classic Metal loving reprobates are making their mark in the world, while the original protagonists continue to release new material. Ghost Cult runs the rule of the best of the latest releases, including a new EP from Gatekeeper and full-lengths from Traveler, Rhapsody Of Fire, Last In Line and Matt Harvey‘s Pounder while also taking in Vision Of Atlantis’ new live album, and it is the hot new puppies that are taking the plaudits…Continue reading