2018 Album of the Year: The Night Flight Orchestra’s Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough

Tuesday, 1st January 2019

As we now take our first step into 2019, let’s begin with a celebration of what made 2018 such a strong year of metal releases. Below is a sampling of our collective favorites from the year that was, which in and of itself shows the variety present today in heavy metal. But before we do that, here’s all of our staff’s personal best-of lists:

David E. Gehlke
Kyle McGinn
Matt Coe
Matthew Bowling
Sifting Through Bandcamp

As always, thanks for your continued readership as we continue to grow and expand as a dedicated heavy metal website. We appreciate all of the interest, shares, and comments bestowed upon Dead Rhetoric. As the tradition continues, each album listed below has to be included on at least two staff writer’s personal lists to be a part of this. So consider these as the very cream of the crop.


1. The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast)
I don’t think there was an album that exuded fun and pure joy like Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough. It’s not often that you can find an album where you can listen to it at least 50 times over and it still feels as fresh and entertaining as those first initial listens. The ‘70s/’80s rock vibes are so lovingly on display and it’s clear they’ve learned from masters. Still can’t beat the review’s description: this is truly musical bliss. Bring these guys over to the States ASAP. – Kyle McGinn


2. Primordial – Exile Among the Ruins (Metal Blade)
Primordial has certainly released its share of excellent albums, in particular, 2000’s Spirit the Earth Aflame, but nothing on the level of Exile Among the Ruins. The band’s unique set of spirited, sub-black black metal that is guided by the torch by Alan Averill’s potent, hearty vocals, has never sounded so invigorating and determined. – David E. Gehlke


3. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)
If there was a ground-breaking album this year, this one was it. We’ve had more experimentation into the atmospheric side of death metal, but the sense of gloom, sorrow, and reflection here was not only palpable but genuinely moving. But while the songs displayed a sense of beauty, they were still able to give you that throttling death metal experience. The best of both worlds in that sense, there’s a reason why everyone has been raving about this one since March. It sets a new bar for death metal as a whole. – Kyle McGinn


4. Judas Priest – Firepower (Sony)
What is it? Their best since Painkiller? Screaming for Vengeance? Both are viable choices, but the fact of the matter is Priest whipped up and delivered the goods, bringing their venerable sound into the modern age with the help of Andy Sneap. Let’s hope they never retire. – David E. Gehlke


5 (tie). Amorphis – Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast)
Comfortable in transforming from their progressive death/doom roots in the early 1990’s to a more melodic heavy metal band with nuances from that era, Queen of Time pulsates due to its hypnotic keyboard/guitar combinations against clean and growl vocals. The push and pull of music to words keeps listeners riveted, from opener “The Bee” on through to the epic 6:19 conclusion for “Pyres on the Coast”. We all know Tales from the Thousand Lakes is a no doubt classic – but this effort could reach that same status a decade or two down the line. – Matt Coe


5 (tie). Omnium Gatherum – The Burning Cold (Century Media)
Melodic death metal just didn’t get any more exciting than The Burning Cold this year, which is a high compliment considering how much of it I still consumed in 2018. OG hits all of the sweet spots of the genre while barely breaking a sweat. From gorgeous, to die for melodies (“Rest in Your Heart”) to more frantic material (“Driven by Conflict”), the band can do it all, and with charisma and style to go around. Glad to see them finally getting more of the recognition they deserve. – Kyle McGinn