Dave’s Best of 2018 Awards!

Hello folks! I am back with my second “Best Of” Awards article…..but with more sections to spice things up. Newcomer Vick wrote hers and I’m here with my valued or unvalued opinion with some possible bias. The numbers aren’t important in my article I DO NOT RANK I just list my favorite albums. I’m going to apologize right meow as I have a lot of categories if it’s too long…..but then again its for a full year and there were lots of GREAT releases and new bands starting up that should be put to the forefront.  I hope you enjoy the new categories too.  Let’s get it on!

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Up and Coming Bands

Inanimate Existence– Artisan Era (my favorite label) tech/prog death metal powerhouses released a great album “Underneath A Melting Sky” in 2017 and Guitarist Cameron Porras’ songwriting and playing only gets better every release.  The guys work great as a cohesive three piece band.  If they get put on the Summer Sumerian/Slaughter/Summer’s Disappointment tour or a big festival like Download/Hellfest/Graspop they would kick the shit out of the same pop metal bands that have graced some of those stages.  I have a lot of faith in this band and are vastly underrated.  Keep an eye on the IE dudes.

Dischordia– Oklahoma dissonant/tech/progressive death metallers released a great EP that is the most experimental and original thing I have heard in a bit in the genre.  It’s becoming blatantly obvious how much I love the different experiments some death metal bands are doing.  If a genre stays stagnant…..are you really making any progression? Does one ALWAYS have to abide by the rules and stereotype of a genre? NO! As artists, we hate feeling creatively suffocated (so to say) to a label and want to write what we want and how we want! Dischordia just keeps pushing that envelope and their crazy 2 song 24 minute EP “Binge/Purge” really surprised me.  Earlier this year I heard the guys and it blew my mind.  Ukulele, Flute, Mandolin and other various instruments are included in their latest release.  Also, there is a plethora of  heavy influence of dissonance and cool rhythms the trio has come up with.  Every release Dischordia’s sound and songwriting has progressed “Binge/Purge” has really helped push their experimentation to the forefront.  Keep an eye on them as well.  Below is my article of the EP stream through Decibel Magazine to get your Dischordia on!

Dischordia- Binge/Purge EP stream via Decibel Magazine

Burial In The Sky– Another great up and coming band that’s helping break that stereotypical extreme metal sound.  Why do I dig this band a lot? Their latest album “Creatio Et Hominus” includes a lot of saxophone! The band also has hits of psychadelic rock sprinkled throughout the album.  BITS has been pushing progressive death metal’s boundaries as well.  Their first few offerings were more straightforward but got real experimental with the album. They’re a young and promising band who you need to look out for. Originality and talent can make for a promising career….and I hope Burial In the Sky achieves everything they want to because they deserve it.

Burial In The Sky April 2018 Interview

BEST EP’S AND SINGLES OF 2018

  1. Mordant Rapture- The Abnegation
  2. Carnal Decay- When Push Comes To Shove
  3. Dischordia- Binge/Purge
  4. Widow’s Peak- Graceless
  5. Infinitee- The Possibilities Are Endless
  6. I Am Destruction- Violence Devours
  7. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 1
  8. Divine Realm- Nordicity
  9. Leprous- Golden Prayers (Single)
  10. Cynic- Humanoid (Single)
  11. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 2
  12. The Odious Construct- Shrine Of The Obscene
  13. Godless- Swarm
  14. Oppressor God- Mechanical Manslaughter
  15. Promethean- The Nameless Colour
  16. Weaponex- In The Nick Of Time
  17. Infinite Nomad- Luminous Throat
  18. Catalysis- Catalysis
  19. Astrolabe- The Hermit, The Fool, The Hanged Man
  20. Crevassian- Crevassian
  21. Fawn Limbs- Thrum
  22. Ash prison- Prophetic Automation

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

  1. Oubliette- The Passage
  2. Aethereus- Absentia
  3. Obscura- Diluvium
  4. Jollymon- Voidwalker
  5. Lago- Sea Of Duress
  6. Xenosis- Devour And Birth
  7. The Beast Of Nod- Vampire: Disciples Of Chaos
  8. AHTME- Sewerborn
  9. Burial In The Sky- Creatio Et Hominus
  10. Unflesh- Savior
  11. Alkaloid- Liquid Anatomy
  12. The Slyde- Awakening
  13. At The Gates- To Drink From The Night Itself
  14. Skinless- Savagery
  15. Galactic Empire- Episode Two
  16. ISA- Chimera
  17. Ingested- The Level Above Human
  18. Inferi- Revenant
  19. Aepoch- Awakening Inception
  20. Slugdge- Esoteric Malacology
  21. Augury- Illusive Golden Age
  22. Rivers Of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name
  23. Montheist- Scourge
  24. Alterbeast- Feast
  25. Decrescent- Blackened Bequest
  26. Forever In Transit- States Of Disconnection
  27. Pestilence- Hadeon
  28. Into The Great Divide- Into The Great Divide
  29. Aviations- The Light Years
  30. Soreption- Monument Of The End
  31. Exocrine- Molten Giant
  32. Trigger- The Harbor
  33. Serocs- Phobos/Deimos Suite
  34. Cognitive- Matricide
  35. Haken- Vector
  36. Gorod- Aethra
  37. Internal Bleeding- Corrupting Influence
  38. The Ocean- Phanerozoic 1: Palaeozoic
  39. Neptunus- Alien Conspiracy
  40. Torturous Inception- Arcane Dominion
  41. Dysmorphic- An Illusive Progress
  42. Inertia- Teratoma
  43. Kraanium- Slamchosis
  44. Sarah Longfield- Disparity
  45. Psycroptic- As The Kingdom Drowns
  46. Arsis- Visitant
  47. Halothane- A False Reality
  48. Zac Leaser- Redeemer
  49. Gourmand- Blossoming From The Grave
  50. Tesseract- Sonder

Best Independent Bands

  1. Aepoch
  2. Unflesh
  3. Dischordia
  4. Xenosis
  5. Promethean
  6. Bleak flesh
  7. Gourmand

What releases I’m looking forward to in 2019

  1. Bleak Flesh
  2. Promethean
  3. Inanimate Existence
  4. Black Crown Initiate
  5. The Haarp Machine
  6. Opeth (maybe a single? Just…maybe?)
  7. Animals As Leaders
  8. Mastodon
  9. Scar Symmetry
  10. Aepoch (maybe?)
  11. Abbath (maybe?)
  12. Anabasis already won the best local release of 2019 already unless something changes my mind. If you supported the Syracuse band’s campaign, you would have received a digital download of their upcoming album “Of Conviction” due out officially in January.  If you want to grab a cd or some merchandise to help out the lads on their debut full length, go ahead and do so right here.
  13. Turning Virtue
  14. The Tao Of Davey K
  15. Fire Garden
  16. Continuum
  17. Desecravity
  18. Allegaeon
  19. Divinex
  20. Disentomb
  21. Fields Of Elysium (I hope!)
  22. Godeater
  23. Blasteroid
  24. A Novelist
  25. Contrarian
  26. The Zenith Passage
  27. Fractal Universe
  28. Organectomy
  29. Arkaik
  30. The Ocean
  31. Oblivion
  32. Devin Townsend
  33. Equipoise
  34. The Ritual Aura

Personal Favorite Music Industry Trends of 2018

  1. Increasing number of bands doing as much as they can independently. Record labels are becoming bigger blood suckers. Props to the increasing number of musicians going this route, also really great for more income coming back their way.
  2. More instrumental bands! I love seeing instrumental bands! Not every band needs a vocalist, or music needs a singer….the music can sing on its own.  Remember classical music? It was instrumental, then opera singers came along.  It’s just good to change it up….ya know, like Divinex or The Surrealist.
  3. The Artisan Era signing so many killer bands that are only strengthening their roster that has been a label since 2014.  A grassroots label run by guys in bands ON THAT LABEL there’s no suits involved….a label made by musicians, run by musicians, for musicians.  How can you not love the rise of The Artisan Era? OKAY, maybe if you don’t like or appreciate technical death metal and instrumental bands I guess I could see it.  How many did they add in 2018? Like 10 bands? But….10 GREAT BANDS.

Best TMR Moments of 2018

  1.  That wild voting race for the website’s May artist of the month….who remembers? And, who voted? That was fun!
  2. Getting a handful or more of EP, song and video premieres throughout the website’s first 10-ish months of being online.  Hard work pays off, promote yourself and your work….make connections.  I’m grateful for the friendships and opportunities I have been given in the short time Technical Music Review has been online.  I’m equally as humbled for all the music I have received through many sources. Being a musician and music freak I have learned of so many solid bands through this short journey.  And to boot, I also premiered a few playthroughs as well….the musician in me absolutely enjoyed them!
  3. Becoming the Prime Minster of Indonesia.  Not really, but seriously though their music scene is very killer and uncovered.  I discovered a few bands towards the end of the year from there and developing a growing interest in that country’s metal scene.  I’m buddy-buddy with a small record label from there and a band from said label.  It’s a tech driven country with plenty of death metal bands too.  Check out a few of their bands right here.

2018’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Yeah there are always letdowns it’s a big part of life.  Let me dive into some from 2018.

  1. Machine Head’s shitty album Catharsis.  This album was so bad, it forced two of it’s long time members to quit.  Now you’re talking about someone who has been a big fan of Machine Head since I got into them during the Ashes Of Empires era.  Besides The Burning Red and Supercharger I loved this band.  I’m more Conservative than anything, and even with their Liberal lyrics I still appreciate their emotion opinions and stellar musicianship.  I get it, most musicians are Democrats or Liberal to an extent.  Rob Flynn has had a solid career as a musician but the last few years have gotten bad and leading up to Catharsis (to me at least) was a totally different band.  It’s like his songwriting was uninspired and teenager like (random lyrics about sex, drug use, and not to mention bringing back nu metal to the band sound) for a band that has put out much deeper sets of lyrics.  I try to get in bed with the album, and every time I have to leave.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” was an absolutely awful song and a rant most likely about Phil Anselmo.  I had a bad feeling if their upcoming album was going to be like this song, it was going to be rough….and in my eyes I think it was.  I thought when Robb posted the acoustic set of “Bastards” I envisioned it as another rant and spur of the moment song venting frustration….I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO BE A MACHINE HEAD SONG! Voilatile is a good song musically, but when I heard he admitted he wrote the lyrics after the Charlotteville attacks was even more sketchy.  As soon as a big event happens, you decide to write song lyrics about it…..and bitch about politics again. How, original.  Let’s see if the band is done forever, or he can pull more rabbits out of his ass like he did for Ashes Of Empires and arguably the band’s greatest effort The Blackening. Oh, and the whole band costume thing is kinda gay…..like KISS gay.
  2. Threatin.  Yeah that shit was rough too.  Great for the guy he self booked and funded a European tour for his music, but feel bad for the poor bastards that temporarily took part in this shitshow.  Nobody bought the guy’s merchandise or even went to the shows.  I feel just as bad for the bands that opened up for the few shows Threatin played.  Just an absolute embarrassment all around.  To play devil’s advocate, it is pretty impressive logistically how the guy pulled this thing off financially and got artists to play his music (well for a few shows at least).  Disappointing to say the least but was there any stigma at all when he booked? Was it his fucked up masterplan that was to create a huge online presence (after he bought many Facebook likes) and promote himself? We won’t really know…or will we?
  3. Unique Leader Records and their fuckery.  COME AT ME BRO! It’s true, and their ever-growing laundry list of bands that have left the label is just insane.  They keep signing so many bands to the point they’re overloading their roster and also possibly ignoring bands.  Death metal made that label, modern metal bands are filling up their roster and the number of bands on the record label is sky rocketing unlike The Challenger.  With the unfortunate passing of label founder Erik Lindmark (Deeds of Flesh), other label coworkers took over the work in Erik’s absence.  It took them over a month to put some of their releases on Bandcamp, and kept making excuses (when it doesn’t take long) why they haven’t yet.  They recently signed another band, and I mentioned it again on their facebook announcement of another generic death core band.  They ignored and asked me if I listened to that band yet and said they should promote the bands on their label already instead of adding more.  They immediately took down their comment on their facebook page, trying to divert my attention from my comment and they failed….like they’re failing Erik who’s currently rolling over in his grave.  AND GET THIS…..they’re currently running a contest to buy one of their albums on their band camp website, and you’re then entered to WIN A CHANCE TO OWN THEIR ENTIRE LIBRARY OF MUSIC! Doesn’t that reek of even more desperation?  This shit is fishy as fuck metalheads. While they may house some great bands, shame on Unique Leader for their unprofessional fuckery and ignorance.  Shit like this is why more bands go independent.
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