Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks for 2018

The way we do the TOP 2018 list here at Teeth is that we’ve waited until the year was actually over. That way, we’re sure we didn’t miss giving proper credit to that one album that released a minute before midnight on the 31st. So just in case some metal band from Tonga got an idea, we were ready for it. Nonetheless, every year there’s more and more material out there for us to listen to and it’s pretty much impossible to cover it all. Yet, 2018 saw plenty of albums that deserve to be remembered next year — and some being which will stick around longer. Maybe you missed something? Maybe you have your own ideas what ruled in 2018 and what should never have been released in the first place? Check our lists out, see how our picks matched up, and let’s hope 2019 doesn’t prove to be worse.

by Staff

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Erik Thomas

Yet another year of great metal. So many releases, so little time. Bands like Binah, Chapel of Disease,  Irreversible MechanismNova, Inferi, Eroded, The Ocean, Deafheaven, Serocs, Apatheia, Aktarum, The Ocean, Creeping Flesh, Depravity, Monotheist, Journal, Wolfheart and Omnium Gatherum were all on and off my list right up to the last minute, causing much stress over the holidays. Also – this year seemed to be the year of great album covers, as cover art on albums by Deicide, Valdur, Pyrexia, Construct of Lethe, Exocrine, Inferi, Soulfly, Eskhaton, Lividity, The Occult, Serocs, Drift of Genes, Vvilderness, Storm Upon the Masses, Sulphur Aeon, Heresy, Dragonlord, Bloodbath, Hate Eternal, Carnal Decay, Cryogenic Defilement and others all really caught my eye. Daemoth Art and Eliran Kantor had a really good year.


1.Vallendusk Fortress of Primal Grace”. (Northern Silence Records). Man these Indonesians know how to write the most triumphant, melodic black metal and now with added In Flames influence, took their sound to the next level.Sheer bliss.

2. Solstice “White Horse Hill” (Dark Descent Records). It took long enough, but with the addition of Paul Kearns on vocals, was sooooo worth the wait.

3. Shylmagoghnar Transcience” (Napalm Records). An epic, progressive melodic and symphonic masterpiece for the ages,

4. Abysmal TormentThe Misanthrope”. (Willowtip). You know how you feel when you hear absolutely perfect death metal? This was
absolutely perfect death metal.

5. Altars of GriefIris” (Hypnotic Dirge Records). The spirit of David Gold and Woods of Ypres lives on via this amazingly emotional doom /death/black metal record.

6. Gorod Aether” (Overpowered Records). Yet another tech death marvel , and even with strong competition from the likes of Obsura and Beyond Creation– was the best release of the year in tech death.

7. Maladie Of Harm and Salvation”. (Apostasy Records). A brittle production and weird mix job away from being my #2 album and recreating 2015s top 2.

8. Demonical Chaos Manifesto. (Agonia records). Another strong effort from these Swedish death metal vets and contains one of the best songs in the genre in the last few years in “Välkommen undergång” .

9. Gravestone The Sickening”. (Raw Skull Records). Project from Entrails guitarist Pontus “Penki” Samuelsson, that gives Entrails a run for their money. Also has my favorite guitar tone of the year.

10. Frost GiantThe Harlot Star” Transcending Records). Best US epic/pagan/folk act since Hammer Horde and the best clean vocal use of the year.

11. Funeral Mist Hekatomb” (Norma Evangelium Diaboli). The best black metal album of the year from Arioch’s consistently brilliant and most volatile black metal act around.

12. Sulphur AeonThe Scythe of Cosmic Chaos”. (Van Records). Yet another slab of crumbling immensity from these reliable Lovecraftian Germans.

13. Blood of the Wolf “II: Campaign of Extermination. (Self Released). A truly rousing swath of blackened war/death metal and “With Fire and a Thousand Flashing Blades” stirs my battle lust every time. Also available from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions as a compilation with the bands debut The Law of Retaliation.

14. Corpsessed Impetus of Death” (Dark Descent Records). Another monolithic slab of crumbling death metal from Finland and Dark Descent.

15. Northwind WolvesDark Cold Grim”. (Self Released). The best 90s symphonic black metal record throwback of this generation.

16. Construct of LetheExiler. (Everlasting Spew Records). An intelligently crafted take on twisty, atonal Morbid Angel styled death metal .

17. Hate EternalUpon Desolate Sands”. (Metal Blade Records). Remember what I said about perfect absolutely death metal earlier? Yeah that applies here too. Rutan can do this shit in his sleep.

18. Nightmarer “Cacophony of Terror”. (Season of Mist). Who would have thought that two guys involved with average deathcore act War from a Harlots Mouth would release one of 2018s most aptly named, crushing, oppressive death metal albums?.

19. Our Place of Worship is Silence “ With Inexorable Suffering”. (Translation Loss Records). A labyrinthine mix of Angelcorpse and Bolzer, pity I’ve read that that one of the members might be total douche.

20. Abhorrent Deformity “Slaughter Monolith (Comatose Music). This is what happens when Comatose releases brutal death metal with a bit pf depth and variety.

21. House of Atreus “From the Madness of Ixion” (Iron Bonehead Productions). More rough and ready Shakespearean death metal from one of the US’s most underrated acts.

22. Dalriada Nyaruto” (Nail Records). On of my favorite discoveries of the last few years does not disappoint with big, burly catchy folk metal goodness.

23. Amorphis ”Queen of Time”. (Nuclear Blast). Ho hum, another year another Amorphis album on everyone’s year end list. How consistently brilliant have have these guys been since Far From the Sun?

24. VVilderness Devour the Sun” (Cassu Belli Musica). One man Russian black emtal that’s simply gorgeous.

25. Ayahuasca Beneath the Mind” (Kernkraftritter Records ). A big tribal death metal world music jamboree that imbues classic Sepultura and Soulfly.

Biggest Surprises: Skeletonwitch Devouring Radiant Light-, Rivers of NihilWhere the Owls Know My Name
Biggest Let downs : Panopticon The Scars of Man , Horrendous Idol, Soreption Monument of the End
Best Reunion : Grayceon –V, – Light This City  Terminal Bloom.
Not as bad as I was expecting : Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Best EP: Cast the Stone Empyrean Atrophy
Best reissue : Crimson Relic – Purgatory’s Reign.
Best Swansong: Cosmic Church – Täyttymys
Best Video: Alien Weaponry- “Kai Tangata”
Best Songs : Mourning Sign “Homage to a Dying World”, Dimmu Borgir – “Alpha Aeon Omega”, Amorphis “Amongst Stars”, Demonical – “Välkommen undergång” , Nova ““Pietra della corona di Lucifero” 
Guilty Pleasures : Organectomy – Domain of the Wretched,  Black TongueNadir.

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  1. Commented by: Morbid

    Some good stuff in here, lots I missed or haven’t got to yet. Checked out the Aepoch and regret not looking into it earlier.

    Nice to see the Abysmal Torment mentioned a couple of times, it’s phenomenal for the genre but seems to be getting missed elsewhere.

    For me:
    Thrash AOTY (by a mile): Sabateur – Vicious Circle. Fun as hell thrash, charismatic vocals, plenty of ’80s twists, fantastic dual-guitar solos, and unlike some other late thrash albums that won’t be named, the songwriting doesn’t involve stretching 3 minute songs to 6+ minutes by spamming the chorus over and over again and re-playing build up sections. Every song is memorable and has its own character. Could be my AOTY as well, but there’s still a few things I need to check out before making that claim.

    Proggy tech death AOTY: Exocrine – Molten Giant. This album worked its way into my head and has stuck with me better than the Obscura, Beyond Creation, or Gorod, for whatever reason. Hayato is an awesome track.

    Best EP: Teleport – The Expansion. Vektor-twisted Blood Incantation-y death metal. Just got signed up with a label so interested to see what is coming up for them.

    How the hell have I not listened to this yet: Deceased – Ghostly White. Loved the rest of their stuff and part of why I’m not ready to call the Sabateur my AOTY.

    “I’m not yet sure how much I like this, but it intrigues me and I want more” award: Λ S T R Λ – (some Russian writing stuff, a pair of singles released this year). Weirdo atmospheric/avant/blackened death I guess? Their 2017 release is pretty cool too so I can listen to that while I wait.

    Disappointment of the year: Chapel of Disease – ..And As We blah blah blah. Had never listened to them before, but it was an initial AOTY leader for me when I first heard it and after a few more listens while I was working/gaming etc. Then I finally gave it a few dedicated listens where I didn’t have something else distracting me, I fell out of love with it. Too much pointless repetition that left me wishing the song would move on or just end too many times. A disappointment from initial impression, rather than something that failed to deliver on expectations… but that counts.

    Best single-musician release: Nott – The Wretched Sounds. Bleak, heavy stuff that I guess is sorta “deathcore” but that doesn’t seem quite fitting. (Honorable mention to Dysmorfectomy as well though, some good slam.)

    Most irritating song: Exmortus – Strength and Honor. Obnoxious chorus that for some reason they felt needed to be repeated over and over for a solid minute instead of just ending the song. Irritating because it makes me get up and go to the CD player to skip track every playthrough. Yes, I’m a grouch.

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