As if three genre-related annual highlights lists were not enough! But I can not help wanting to present some more releases to you, that are not full-fledged albums, but still had importance to my personal 2018.
Here are my ten Metal demo/single/EP highlights of 2018 in alphabetical order:
Abhorrence – Megalohydrothalassophobic (EP)
Lovecraft always works! That’s what the Finns, who had been active at the beginning of the 90s, probably thought as well and chose his stories as the second driving force for their comeback EP. The first driving force are clearly the strong old school Death Metal songs, which devour the nostalgic listener like monstrous waves and draw him into dark depths. Iä! Iä! Debut album fhtagn!
Cirith Ungol – Witch’s Game (Single)
The band from California is the definition for unique Epic Metal. Not only did they decisively influence it, they were also formed even earlier than MANILLA ROAD, BROCAS HELM and the likes. Their last album was released 27 years ago! Thus it is sensational enough that these icons even give a new musical sign of life. But on top of that, “Witch’s Game” also shows, in nine exciting minutes, that the band has unlearned absolutely nothing during this time!
Doublegeddon – Two Geddons (Demo)
Both band’s and demo’s name suggest that these guys do not take themselves too seriously. Luckily, the mysterious duo does not drift off into mischief. Musically, a highly entertaining mix of Epic and Power Metal is offered. Hopefully the two songs are not just a one-off fun project!
NyreDolk – DEMO (Demo)
Punk-based Black Metal mixed with Death Metal elements is nothing unusual, of course. Nor do a creaking production or filthy songs count as original. But when you do it all so consistently and with such a zero-fucks-given attitude as the two Danes, then it’s simply great and deserves your full attention.
Skullcrush – Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse (EP)
Anyone expecting raw and brutal Death Metal from the band’s name and cover artwork will certainly not be disappointed here. But anyone who listens closer will discover that these US-Americans are far from being as simple as they initially seem to be. A crucial part of the hidden diversity of this band, in addition to the varied and at the same time extremely heavy riffing, certainly is the captivating drumming.
Snorlax – Splintering (Demo)
The band’s strange name turns out to be even stranger when searching for it on Google, as it turns out to be a Pokémon. Whether the Australian one-man project is actually named after a Japanese video game character or not, remains unanswered. In any case, the band’s dirty Black Metal with Death Metal elements is anything but cute and child-friendly.
Throne of Iron – 2018 Demo (Demo)
Epic Heavy Metal in the best MANILLA ROAD tradition, with D&D atmosphere and unusual vocals. Perfectly tailored to fit the target audience, and – amazingly – invented and played by a single person. The band has since grown into a quartet and has announced a full-fledged album. Throw a D20, at 1 to 19 it will be a direct hit, at 20 it might even play in a league with the likes of ETERNAL CHAMPION.
Traveler – Demo 2018 (Demo)
At the time of the publication of this list, the debut album of these Canadians has already been released, containing all three of these Heavy Metal retrospectives in the form of even better produced new recordings. Since the tape is sold out, you may easily buy the self-titled debut and with it then own an early contender for the Heavy Metal album of the year.
Warp Chamber – Abdication of the Mind (Demo)
Old School Death Metal from the USA, which could hardly sound more American and could be described as “unusual” in its best sense. It does not take more than two tracks to become curious about a debut album. And if the level of the two demo songs can be kept on a full-length, it will be an essential purchase.
Whyte Diamond – Scream in the Dark (EP)
To describe a band by naming other bands always seems a bit lazy and unimaginative, but the comparison with ANGEL WITCH and CAULDRON is simply at hand with these Canadians. This is where NWOBHM, some Speed and maybe even a little bit of Glam burst into each other, creating a NWOTHM bang that will hopefully echo in the form of an album soon.