Best Albums Of June 2018
It's the halfway point of the year and we've had some classic records released so far. June is no different with plenty for rock and metal fans to smile about. We've listed seven albums this time for our Best Of June list but have some huge names to tip our hat to for honorable mentions. The mighty Ghost is one of those with their artful Prequelle album. Nine Inch Nails' Bad Witch record brought the trippy noise how only Trent Reznor can. Bullet For My Valentine changed gears for a resurgence with Gravity. And Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda turned tragedy into triumph with his solo hip hop album Post Traumatic. Now onto the main list.
"Errorzone" By Vein (Metallic Hardcore)
Boston band Vein have swiftly made a name for themselves in the hardcore world. While their sound is rooted in early metalcore, they display elements that echo bands such as Converge and Slipknot. Fast paced and frantic compositions, clever use of piercing feedback, and surprising passages of pure melody. Errorzone is an album that sounds like a band much deeper into their career than Vein currently is. If they can maintain and surpass this first impression the future is looking bright for this quintet.
"The Sin And Doom Vol II" By Impending Doom (Deathcore)
Christian deathcore outfit Impending Doom made fans wait a little longer than normal for a new album. But it was well worth the wait. The Sin And Doom Vol II excels by sticking to the elements that made the band so popular in their scene in the first place. Bottom heavy grooves, head banging aggression, and a deceptively accessible catchiness in their song composition. While most other notable deathcore bands are moving away from the style, Impending Doom stick to their guns and prove there's still life in the genre.
"Meditations" By Kataklysm (Melodic Death Metal)
Canadian metal veterans Kataklysm have proven themselves once again with latest effort Meditations. Similar to At The Gates, the band infuses a thrashy edge into their melodeath attack. Giving the tracks the best of melodic metal beauty mixed with razor sharp guitar work. And with only ten tracks, Meditations is all killer no filler. An effort of pure metal excellence that is not to be missed.
"Desolation" By Khemmis (Doom Metal)
The previous effort from Khemmis, Hunted, received much praise. And their now third full length Desolation is sure to continue that trend. Employing a traditional doom metal style, the band infuses some upbeat, classic metal guitar work into their sound complete with twin harmonies. This allows them to have doom's brooding heaviness mixed with Maiden-like heroic vibes. The strong melodic vocals also add to this with "Isolation" being a favorite example on the record. This unique spin on the doom genre make Desolation a must listen for metal fans.
"For The Cause" By Madball (Hardcore Punk)
New York hardcore legends Madball strike again with For The Cause. A record that continues to walk the line of the fast paced hardcore of the 80's and the heavy hardcore that grew in the 90's and beyond. There's plenty of anthems to be heard on the record including "Rev Up" and "Old Fashioned". Ice-T makes a notable guest spot on "Evil Ways". And the favorite track on this one is also the heaviest. The Spanish language "Es Tu Vida" or "It's Your Life" in English. For The Cause is a record by hardcore fans for hardcore fans and has plenty of fuel to get the pit moving.
"Our Raw Heart" By Yob (Post Metal)
Mixing doom's darkness with a healthy dose of emotion and psychedelic exploration, Our Raw Heart is quite the ride. From the haunting opener "Ablaze", to the lurking march of "The Screen", to the calm serenity of "Beauty In Falling Leaves", there's a lot of ground covered in the album's seven tracks. And there's many a layer to be peeled back on repeat listens. Like many progressive albums Our Raw Heart takes a patient ear. But the journey is well worth it.
ALBUM OF THE MONTH: "Stranger Fruit" By Zeal & Ardor (Avant-Garde Metal)
While the idea behind progressive music is to explore new aural avenues, many progressive rock and metal albums bear many similarities. Manuel Gagneux's Zeal & Ardor project is one of the rare occasions where an artist is truly breaking new ground. Combining the soul of American negro spirituals and the intensity of Norwegian black metal, the project's first album Devil Is Fine was an engrossing experience. And now with Stranger Fruit the music sounds more focused, confident, and aware of the direction it wants to go. Dark imagery delivered with emotional depth and, when needed, familiar metal aggression. A true work of art, Stranger Fruit is not to be missed.