December is always a tricky month, as generally the releases slow down in the run up to the new year. That doesn’t mean there were no notable releases during this time, however. Check out the outstanding metal albums below and let me know which your favourite is…
We’ll start with Sulphur Aeon‘s much anticipated The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos, one of two releases from December to make it to my Best of 2018 list. This is crushingly inventive and atmospherically absorbing death metal, with a firm brutal streak and a depth of substance that feels like you’re being pulled into a maelstrom of darkness. Sulphur Aeon have once again proven that there’s a reason why they’re so highly regarded in extreme metal circles.
The next album featured here that ended up on my Best of 2018 list is Abjection by Embra, placing highly due to its raw strength as a musical force of nature. Embra’s monstrous, menacing sound floored me when I heard it, and hasn’t stopped knocking me down every time I approach its atmospheric black/death metal. A truly colossal work, I can only recommend you listen to its dark treasures as soon as you can.
December was a good month for doom, and Of Spire & Throne‘s Penance is one of three quality doom-related albums on this list. Filled with extreme doom that seems born from nightmares and malevolent darkness, Penance boasts probably the most apocalyptic sound that Of Spire & Throne have ever had.
Dirge made a welcome return with Lost Empyrean, another highly anticipated album from my perspective. The band’s highly atmospheric post-metal is once more on fine form, and Lost Empyrean is an absorbing and compelling listen.
I really enjoy the work of Majestic Downfall, and their latest album Waters of Fate is a monstrous chunk of death/doom if ever there was one. Anguished and slow, with crushing riffs and mournful melodies, this is a layered and multifaceted album of epic songs and compositional depth.
We’ll end with Prometheus by Xenobiotic, which is one of the better examples of deathcore that I’ve come across lately. Full of modern muscle and thundering might, Xenobiotic’s spiked combination of timeless death metal and beligerent deathcore has resulted in a raging, devastating slab of virulent aggression.