Dead Rhetoric Halfway Through 2018 Best-of

Monday, 2nd July 2018

With the onset of summer comes the yearly tradition – time to get out our lists and see what has made the first half of 2018 enjoyable (from a musical perspective at least). Being that all of our staff enjoys digging into this sort of thing, and start our lists early on each year, it’s a bit of fun to see what everyone comes up with. Given that the late summer and early fall tend to bring out the “big guns” and an overwhelming flood of new releases from both veteran and newcomers, let’s take a moment and simply celebrate the best of what’s come out so far.

David E. Gehlke
Surely it’s unanimous 2018 has been a strong year thus far, with the old guard, mid-career and newbies gunning for position and ultimately, the attention of the metal-buying (or streaming) public. No complaints, here, of course, as metal continues to be rooted in the past while looking toward the future. In the end, it’s good we take this opportunity to look back upon the first six months of the year. It’s never an indicator as to how the next six months will proceed.

1. Totalselfhatred – Solitude (Osmose)
2. Night in Gales – The Last Sunset (Apostasy)
3. Primordial – Exile Among the Ruins (Metal Blade)
4. Judas Priest – Firepower (Sony Music)
5. The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast)

Kyle McGinn
Talk about an impressive year so far – one in which this scribe has given out three 10/10 scores (see the top 3 below), a rarity to say the least. Some heavy hitters have come out with some of their best material to date, and some younger acts are clearly pushing the limits to have their voices heard. The most impressive thing about the year so far has been the diversity present – from tech death to symphonic metal to ’70s/’80s-influenced rock – there’s plenty for all sorts of fans to indulge in. Bring on the fall onslaught and let’s see what other gems that 2018 can bring our way!

1. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)
2. The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast)
3. Phantom Elite – Wasteland (Self-Released)
4. Amorphis – Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast)
5. Deathwhite – For a Black Tomorrow (Season of Mist)

Matt Coe
It’s been another outstanding half year for heavy metal, in a wide array of styles. Diversity has always been the key to the longevity of the genre – there’s something for everyone if they are willing to undertake due diligence and research a little bit with a few keystrokes or taps. Rearing back to the youthful ecstasy for traditional/classic metal, there is also an ear to the progressive/technical categories where bands are willingly experimenting and honing in on their own take of things.

1. Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath (Metal Blade)
2. Khemmis – Desolation (20 Buck Spin)
3. The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast)
4. Graviton – Per Erebus Ad Astra (Self-Released)
5. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)