death comes lifting’s top 10 albums of 2018

I have to say that the sheer amount of awesome material, coming from the underground independent bands and record labels or even mainstream this year, has been insane. There is so much quality material out there, all you have to do is keep your mind open and have a desire to search for it. Because isn’t that the ultimate quest? The perfect rock n roll record? Or… something like that. The point being, boiling my favorite releases of the year down to a nicely packaged and not overly detailed list of 10 seems a little cheap and very daunting. Some records left in the “honorable mentions” section at the conclusion are just as worthy of a spot on the list, just when putting them under the ‘ol death ray musical microscope, they didn’t quite cut it. I rated these records based on the full album listening experience, my personal overall enjoyment of them, the musicianship and production displayed on them. I hope you appreciate my manic selection and do let us know what yours are. Oh, and they’re all great to fuel workouts with. Thanks in advance for reading, freaks!!!

10. Czarface Meets Metalface by Czarface & MF Doom

Well, nothing like starting things off with an explosive curve ball, yeah? Bet you didn’t expect this one, DID YA?! Honestly, neither did I; not until I began excavating my archives of this year’s release had I realized that I couldn’t not include it. I was quickly reminded how much powerful lyrical genius and action packed tunes were locked and loaded in this comic book come to life of a rap record. And as a full record, in terms of hip-hop/rap, it literally can’t get much better than this in the modern day era. I’m far from shy about the fact that I’m as huge of a Wu-Tang fan as I am a Slayer fan, and I can say the Rebel INS himself along with his partner in crime Esoteric have outdone themselves with this one. Collaborating with he always unique MF Doom, this is a huge middle finger and an antithesis to modern rappers, as there is enough intelligent lyrics and wit in here that will make your head spin, and is almost too much for the casual listener to follow. Set with a super villain narrative and experimental production that sounds like its recorded in the Bat Cave itself, this is by far too dope of a record to not make the list. And quite possibly the best Wu side project release since Swords. Sorry not sorry. Wu-Tang forver.


9. Mirror Reaper by Bell Witch

And now for the exact opposite record of #10, I give you, Bell Witch’s Mirror Reaper. Instead 16 action packed, hardly a second to breathe tracks of fire, this is ONE track. Yes, a singular, 82-minute song, entitled Mirror Reaper. Its slow, sad, heavy, doom-y, death-y, and just a really awesomely composed piece of music. Mostly instrumental with some guest vocals going ranging from the clean, funeral-esque mourning melody, to the black metal growls at the full moon. An extremely impressive and atmospheric composition and wide range of diabolical sounds from only 2 dudes that are Bell Witch. And that album art, I mean, holy shit! Probably the coolest original metal album art I can recall in quite a while. Do yourself a favor, take the time out of your day, and throw on Mirror Reaper. I kind of wanted it played at my funeral, if that ever hurries up and gets here.

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8. A Crown Of Curses by Abduction

Continuing in the same vein of atmospheric agony and black metal voids of oblivion, except we’re taking the 2-piece band down to ONE, with Crown of Curses by Abduction. Yes, Abduction is a UK-Based, solo artist, black metal project… and it’s absolutely killer. Released by the great Death Kvlt Productions, a UK underground record label specializing in black metal cassettes and obscure, evil, releases such as this. Crown of Curses is a devilishly hypnotic trip into the realms beyond our own, and the sounds generated by just one man are beyond impressive on here as it sounds like an army of demons conjured it. Also, it rules.


7. I Tread On Your Grave by The Death Wheelers

This will not be my first album from the Almighty Riding Easy Records on this list, I assure you, but this is by far the most unique. A truly instrumental record complete with samples from obscure cult exploitation films, makes this gritty, sleazy, sludgey, and groovy musical trip an unforgettable experience with tons of replay value. Not to mention it tells the story of an undead biker gang returning from the grave and seeking revenge, soaked in booze and LSD. Quite the power move. But more importantly, this record displays great musicianship and pure shredding on all accounts. Next time you want to impress your significant other; dim the lights, light the candles, and spin “Road Kill 69.” You’re welcome in advance. Great times.


6. Manor Of Infinite Forms by Tomb Mold

At this point, I believe it is no secret that I have a huge place in my heart for gross, loud, vile, and brutal death metal. Especially the old school death metal as those were the first kinds of metal records I ever really gravitated towards, therefore I may be just a little biased here. BUT, among the plethora of incredible death metal releases this year, this Tomb Mold record, Manor Of Infinite Forms, is easily my favorite. Released on 20 Buck Spin, a fantastic label operating here in our hometown of Pittsburgh (represent), this record explores every grim and disgusting area of death metal you can imagine; and sound like complete masters of their craft doing it.


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5. Prequelle by Ghost

Well, I’ll be damned. This fucking band continue to outdo themselves every year, so it seems. No matter how popular they have become, and make no mistake this is their most mainstream sounding record yet (and definitely the most easily listenable record on this list), they continue to up the quality of their music. Starting off as a kind of occult rock band and expanding into this progressive beast of a rock ‘n roll band is absolutely impressive and deserves recognition. With crazy instrumentation and sexy satanic ridiculousness coming from every angle; and hooks that’ll stay in your head for days, this is the closest were ever going to get to the next “big” metal band. And that’s just fine with me. If you’re not buying the record, please just check out their live show. This is the next KISS, Cooper, Zombie, etc. No one else is even coming close. Say what you will, Ghost deserves it.

4. Svartmálm by Svartmálm

I know, there’s tons of black metal on here, and that’s something I wasn’t even expecting while compiling this list. But, this one, is by far the best and most impressive, unique, and insane listening experience I’ve had all year. From the Faroe Islands, Svartmalm, isolated in their own cold and dark world have composed a record that is simply out of this world. Pure atmospheric, haunting, evil, poetry. Every time I bring myself to listen to it again, I’m more blown away than I was the first time. Truly epic.


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3. Slave To The Grave by Alastor


And here’s some real DOOM. Probably the best doom since Sabbath, the great Alastor have teamed up with (once again, the ALMIGHTY) Riding Easy Recs, for their masterpiece; Slave To The Grave. An exercise in death, doom, sex, drugs, and rock n roll, Alastor have outdone themselves with this one. It’s doom metal with flavor and melody, not just the same old jaded stoner rock. Beneath all the skeletons, fuzz, guitar pedals, and bong smoke, are buried the most true occult rock n roll songs that are undeniably classic. I can envision this record being dusted off 30 some years from now on a chilly autumn evening, being spun and sound just as excellently haunting and relevant as it does right now. Timeless. ALL HAIL.

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2. Firepower by Judas Preist

JUDAS. FUCKING. PRIEST. Honestly, what more can I say? Priest is back with easily their best record, since, oh, PAINKILLER. In fact, as an album, it might be BETTER than Painkiller. It’s heavy as hell, catchy as hell, and ultimately classic. Simple as that. And the Metal God himself still reigns quite supreme with the vocal performance on this one as do the rest of the band proving they’re not about to slow down for a second. Quite the contrary, actually. There’s a reason why they’re still reigning and still kicking.. and by kicking I mean the teeth out of any younger metal band that even thinks they can do it better than Judas Priest. What a gift this was from the Metal Gods. Thank you.


1. Fame And Fortune by Mick’s Jaguar

Aha! My boys. Bet you may not have expected this one either? Although I did declare it my favorite record of the year months ago upon its release… from, yes, once a-fucking-gain, THE ALMIGHTY RIDING EASY RECS. Never underestimate the power, or my love for, a good ‘ol fashioned rock-and-motha-fuckin-roll record, done right. Not an easy feat these days, but Mick’s Jaguar pull it off to perfection. They have riffs, hooks, solos, insightful party anthems and arena ready choruses for days. Hailing from the beaitfully grimy dungeons of NYC, where so many classic records and bands were made (and killed), they excrete that spirit through their blend of classic punk, glam, rock, roll, metal, blues, and everything in between. They’re a wild bunch of dudes and killer musicians. Greatly look forward to their next record. Not to worry, children, for the real bosses here to save rock n roll!!


Honorable Mentions:

  1. Heads for the dead by serpent’s curse

  2. Lucifer II by Lucifer

  3. suspiria by thom yorke

  4. mutant flesh by deth crux

  5. joy as an act of resistance by idles