Sarah Riley’s 2018 in metal

Every year, Hellbound writers submit their top albums of the year. They all get compiled into Hellbound’s Top Metal Albums of the year (coming soon).

Sarah Riley (R) with Laura Wiebe (L)

Top Albums of 2018

Revocation - The Outer Ones

10. The Outer Ones

  • Artist: Revocation
  • Label: Metal Blade

Being a massive fan of Deathless and Revocation the self titled album, The Outer Ones sits a little awkward with me. The album feels like it’s taking a weird space odyssey shot that didn’t make it past the earth’s atmosphere. Is it physically possible for Revocation to deliver a lousy album? I honestly don’t think so. The ambience of this record just falls a little to unremarkable.

Behemoth - I Loved You at Your Darkest

9. I Loved You at Your Darkest

  • Artist: Behemoth
  • Label: Metal Blade

Even though I can’t wrap my head around how I’m the only one who seems to think the title I Loved You at Your Darkest is outlandishly cheesy, this album is a twist from the insane blackened death metal band I’ve grown so used to, but simultaneously proves that change isn’t always a bad thing.

Genocide Pact - Order of Torment

8. Order of Torment

  • Artist: Genocide Pact
  • Label: Relapse Records

In October, I found myself going to see Dying Fetus during their Contamination Tour and recognizing every band on the list but one, Genocide Pact. The show started and rapidly I found myself utterly fixated on this heavy cataclysmic-vibed band.

Skeletal Remains - Devouring Mortality

7. Devouring Mortality

  • Artist: Skeletal Remains
  • Label: Dark Descent

Looking for an album that doesn’t waste any time getting to a cut throat beat-down and full stank? Devouring Mortality is THAT album. What I’ve continually expected from Skeletal Remains is never having anything that screeches inventive material and keeps drawing me in for more. I believe my opinion has been rightfully changed.

Deicide - Overtures of Blasphemy

6. Overtures of Blasphemy

  • Artist: Deicide
  • Label: Century Media

There has been an array of mixed emotions from listeners about Deicide’s new album to say the least. But, after what I would call nothing more than a rocky boat ride of a duration, Overtures of Blasphemy has redeemed all my faith in one of death metal’s most iconic bands.

Thrawsunblat - Great Brunswick Forest

5. Great Brunswick Forest

  • Artist: Thrawsunblat
  • Label: Ignifera Records

Nearly turning my back to this record, I am beyond grateful I ended up giving it a second chance. The ultimate go to for the time spent daydreaming of being a wood nymph.

Omnium Gatherum - The Burning Cold

4. The Burning Cold

  • Artist: Omnium Gatherum
  • Label: Century Media

The Burning Cold is filled with heart-rending lyrical composition about human tragedy and misfortune. I don’t know what Finland has been feeding their children, however it has been creating some killer metal groups for years past and I hope for many more years to come.

Windhand - Eternal Return

3. Eternal Return

  • Artist: Windhand
  • Label: Relapse Records

Already being infatuated with Dorthia Cottrell and her hypnotizing vocals, Eternal Return was awarded a head start in my books. The entire album creates a beautifully doom filled psychotropic trip. Breathtaking.

Khemmis - Desolation

2. Desolation

  • Artist: Khemmis
  • Label: 20 Buck Spin / Nuclear Blast

This is the third released album by these Denver, Colorado doomsters, but it was a first for Khemmis to have an album released under Nuclear Blast… and to no disappointment. Releasing a sound extremely similar to Hunted would’ve satisfied my eagerness, but the musical sweeps taken on this record left me longing for more Desolation.

Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

1. Devouring Radiant Light

  • Artist: Skeletonwitch
  • Label: Prosthetic

If you’re familiar with the work of Skeletonwitch past, opening an album with top notch thrash isn’t a rarity. The soft, tintinnabulating guitar intro of “Fen of Shadows” automatically set a stage for a different kind of Skeletonwitch, one that feeds their more distinct melodic black metal side – exposing a band that never ceases to amaze me.

 

Album Cover of the Year

Proliferation – Woodborn
Released July 20th 2018
Artwork: Dymond Starr Illustrations

Most Honourable Mention:
Invicta – The Executioner
Released March 23rd 2018

Best Gig of 2018

Visceral Disgorge, Krisiun, Cattle Decapitation & Suffocation – October 24th, Toronto Ontario @ Lee’s Palace

Great crowd, a first time for me at Lee’s Palace, insane bands and Suffocation’s one and only Frank Mullen on his farewell tour. It can’t get much better than that.

Favourite Physical Item Purchased

With Cattle Decapitation releasing Medium Rarities this year, a rarities album fully stock piled with previously unreleased music, demos and bonus tracks, I picked up a killer long sleeve with the gruesome album cover art on the front and the iconic Cattle Decap logo on the back.

Most Anticipated Album(s) of 2019

Insomnium, Amon Amarth, Children Of Bodom, Devin Townsend, King Diamond…

My 2018 in Metal

As the world spun and the metal kept roaring, I found 2018 to be a big year for my local metal scene. Although I did see my fair share of out of town shows and bigger named bands, almost every weekend I seemed to be at a neighbourhood venue head banging to upcoming bands and metal musicians, many I have the amazing opportunity to call friends of mine and my metal family. I wouldn’t have spent 2018 any other way.

Looking Forward To in 2019

The first announced bands for Quebec Deathfest 2019 have me over the moon. I’ve decided I will do everything in my power to get to that festival this upcoming year. Nuclear Assault in la belle city of Montreal?! A MUST see.

Metal Person of the Year

I’ve come to pass so many metal folk that spread positive energy into this dark world everyday, so many wonderful souls. Although, there is one person who stands out in my mind when I look back on 2018, a man who I would classify as one of the founding fathers of Technical Death Metal, Frank Fucking Mullen.

After almost 30 years of cutting off our oxygen supply on this little blue marble of a planet with his band Suffocation, Mullen decided it was time to hit the road on a farewell tour heading into retirement. After witnessing Frank and Suffocation live in Toronto, they now fall into first place on my list of live bands. The atmosphere, the riffs, the crowd, Frank hand chopping his way into retirement! So Perfect! A more than wholesome man who thanked the crowd for the support too many times to count, sharing his love for metal and paving a road for so many bands to come. I wish Frank Mullen the best retirement and thank him for penetrating the minds of those misfortuned at birth.