Best Albums Of September 2018
September was a different month from the recent ones previous with most of the high profile releases delivering at a high level. So much so that the best we could narrow this month’s best of list down to was nine albums. With that said, honorable mentions go out to hardcore kings Terror, grindcore leaders Pig Destroyer, and black metal upstarts Dodsrit for strong albums that just missed the cut this month. Now onto the main list.
“Disease” By Beartooth (Melodic Hardcore)
After exploding onto the scene with their excellent debut Disgusting, then going softer and more radio friendly with their ironically titled follow up Aggressive, Beartooth has struck a happy balance between the moods of their two previous albums while adding in something new with Disease. The band’s latest infuses more pure rock energy with it’s focus on unique riffs while keeping the hardcore energy alive on bangers like “Bad Listener” and “Infection”. The hooks are stronger than ever but don’t do all the heavy lifting like they did on Aggressive. Showing a progression on what Beartooth’s sound is and can be in the future.
“Lifehunger” By Vreid (Black Metal/Black N’ Roll)
Vreid aren’t your typical black metal band and that’s exemplified on the variety to be found on Lifehunger. One minute they’re brandishing melodic black metal fury in “One Hundred Years”. The next they sport melodically sung, goth rock on a track like “Hello Darkness”. With each new track the band surprises you and keeps things interesting. All while keeping the record cohesive and high quality.
“Palms” By Thrice (Alternative Rock)
Thrice have always had an exemplary musical record. Even as they experimented more and more with their sound. Newest album Palms sounds the least like a “typical Thrice record”, if that even has a definition. But stands as one of their best with quality songwriting and emotive lyrics. And holds a great degree of diversity with hard rockers like “Hold Up A Light” and slow ballads like “Everything Belongs”.
“TerrorVision” By Aborted (Death Metal)
Aborted have become a standout among modern brutal death metal with their balance of technicality, visceral aggression, and just enough groove to hit every mark an extreme metal fan could ask for with every release. TerrorVision continues that trend with bangers like the title track, “Squalor Opera”, and the groovy “Altro Inferno”.
“Pilgrims” By Stoned Jesus (Stoner Rock)
Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus take the bottom heavy base of stoner rock and infuse a healthy dose of proggy psychedelics into the mix. This makes for a sound that’s very atmospheric yet forceful. While never neglecting the power of the riff. Spacey acid trips like “Hands Resist Him” and “Feel” are balanced with straight forward riff monsters like “Excited” and album favorite “Thessalia”. Making for a wild ride that turns the stoner rock genre on it’s head.
“The Outer Ones” By Revocation (Technical Death Metal/Thrash)
While blending tech death and thrash isn’t too uncommon of a combination. Revocation add in a bigger dose of melody than your average tech death band. Further setting them apart from the usual guitar wizards of the genre. The vocals are still kept exclusively aggro and hellish so the softer parts won’t scare away extreme metal die hards. This focus on diverse musicality rather than virtuosity is what keeps Revocation and latest album The Outer Ones something you should listen to.
“Existential Void Guardian” By Conan (Stoner Doom/Sludge Metal)
The “caveman battle doom” of Conan has been refined on Existential Void Guardian. The band plays with faster tempos and a deeper pool of riffs than in the past. Rather than rely on the power of one main riff per song to carry each track. The increased dynamics make each song more interesting and easily keeps your attention without you having to be a doom devotee. And truly shows the potential the band has been capable of.
CO-ALBUM OF THE MONTH “Overtures Of Blasphemy” By Deicide (Death Metal)
Death metal legends Deicide have come with one of their best albums yet in Overtures Of Blasphemy. While they stay brutal as ever, the band infuses melodic guitar riffs and solos into their sound as well as catchy vocal hooks that make things a tad more accessible than the usual extreme metal album. And Glen Benton’s vocal performance has just gotten better with age, holding as much clarity as you can possibly balance with extremity. Catchy, borderline melodeath songs like “Consumed By Hatred” and “Crawled From The Shadows” are mixed with barn burners like “Excommunicated” and “Seal The Tomb Below”. Making for a diverse tracklist that’s enjoyably balanced.
CO-ALBUM OF THE MONTH: “Book Of Bad Decisions” By Clutch (Stoner Rock)
Clutch are widely heralded as one of the best modern rock bands and for good reason. Their unique blend of stoner rock, blues, southern rock, and funk is endlessly entertaining. And their recent albums released on their own Weathermaker imprint has been some of the group’s best. Latest album Book Of Bad Decisions continued that streak and is arguably the best of their recent work with its diversity. Raucous bangers like “Gimme The Keys” and “Ghoul Wrangler” are balanced with soulful ballads like “Emily Dickinson” and “Lorelei”. As well as humorous tracks like “How To Shake Hands” and “Hot Bottom Feeder”. Clutch are at the top of their game and Book Of Bad Decisions is not to be missed.