The best Black Metal albums of 2018

Best of the Beast 2018 Black Metal

All of us are currently experiencing a sometimes very obvious departure from moral values and humaneness. Unfortunately, it fits very well into this picture that I had to cancel some Black Metal bands from my shopping list last year, as soon as I had done some research on them. Do not get me wrong, a dangerous and unadapted demeanor simply belongs to this genre, but when it comes to racism, that is where the fun stops. But of course, the scene (in defiance of its reputation) mostly consists of bands with human ethos, and choosing only ten of them was extremely difficult for me.

Here are my ten politically correct Black Metal highlights of 2018 in alphabetical order:

Arthedain – Infernal Cadence of the Desolate

The debut album of the Czechs is a border crosser of atmospheric Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal, which, apart from the band’s name, unfortunately has no further relation to Tolkien’s works. Instead, the lyrics are about the slow fall to madness, which is in contrast to the fortunately very well structured songs.

Cover Arthedain Infernal Cadence of the Desolate

Firtan – Okeanos

An audiobook-quality passage from Schiller’s “The Diver” serves as the opening for FIRTAN’s progressive Pagan Black Metal experience. The maritime-philosophical textual superstructure is supported by a rousing variety of harsh Black Metal, quiet acoustic passages and Melodic Death Metal elements.

Cover Firtan Okeanos

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods

Even without Blashyrkh-emigrant Abbath, the ninth album of the Norwegians has once again become a lesson in traditional Black Metal. Impetuous, epic and still more than competitive, even nine years after their last release. Do you need to lose even more words about this legend? BLACK METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR!

Cover Immortal Northern Chaos Gods

Listen to the song “Mighty Ravendark” by IMMORTAL on YouTube

Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

The sympathetic duo from Bremen, Germany does not reinvent itself on its third album, but adds many new things to the beloved trademarks. This is reflected in more structured songs and a plus of atmosphere. But despite all stylistic diversity, what the guys deliver here, is still pretty primitive.

Cover Mantar The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

Master’s Hammer – Fascinator

Thank you, Ride Into Glory! Thanks to your review of the debut album of the Czechs from the year 1991, I also became aware of their latest release. The irritating fascination emanating from this obscure piece of music is so hard to put into words, that I can only recommend to listen to it for your own. It is worth it!

Cover Masters Hammer Fascinator

Noctem Aeternus – Winter Spells

The Argentine one-man project presents an impressive debut album that breathes the spirit of the Scandinavian originals of the nineties. Snow-clad mountains and chilling coldness are transcipted into music, not only with the help of atmospheric keyboards and ambient sounds.

Cover Noctem Aeternus Winter Spells

Slaegt – The Wheel

The young Danes were already featured on my last’s year highlights list, with their debut album then. Their second album, which has been done in no time, again is more than convincing, offering yet another successful blend of Black Metal and classic Heavy Metal. In addition, the debut’s success seems to have further encouraged the band to experiment and venture into even more unusual realms.

Cover Slaegt The Wheel

The Spirit – Sounds from the Vortex

When looking at the label you should not be put off, because even if the (strictly speaking already published the year before) debut album of the Germans was reissued by Germany’s industry leader from Donzdorf, it is far from a smooth-ironed production or commercialized songwriting. The big role models are obviously DISSECTION, but you’ll also find plenty of SATYRICON here. And with that everything is already said, what the attentive reader needs to know.

Cover The Spirit Sounds from the Vortex

Listen to the song “The Clouds of Damnation” by THE SPIRIT on YouTube

Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun

The masked band from the USA surprised and excited me right away. Swedish melodies, double-leads, some post-punk and variable growling – all this can be found on this album and thus create a modern but at the same time traditional Black Metal release.

Cover Uada Cult of a Dying Sun

Verheerer – Maltrér

The German band shows an experimental middle finger to the supporters of the true Black Metal doctrine, without even running the risk of being labeled untrue. A very varied and traditional album at the same time, full of unusual ideas and surprising moments.

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