That was insanely hard to make this top-list. 2018 was a really great year for metal and extreme music, if you think good music was made only in 70's, 80's, or 90's you are maybe too old for searching new music, new talents, maybe bored with everything and lost your interest in new music! So so, we have had lots of great releases I personally wait till the end of January to collect everything important, so here is my list, yes in particular order.
MOENEN OF XEZBETH – Ancient Spells of Darkness… (Nuclear War Now! Productions, 2018)
Pretty much a new kid on the block, Moenen of Xezbeth from Belgium makes a positive impression on the first full-length. Their debut demo “Dawn of Morbid Sorcery” was quite a good entrance into the dark chasms of underground, but the really great things are happening here on this debut.
Dread Sovereign - For Doom The Bell Tolls (Ván, 2017)
3 years after the storming debut, here is the second Dread Sovereign record. “For Doom The Bell Tolls” what an amazing album-title, right?
Wędrujący Wiatr - O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach (Werewolf Promotion, 2016)
Atmospheric black metal from Poland is the name of the game, using some of the elements of this subgenre, at the same time avoiding the best-known clichés.
Best of the Best, Rest to the Rest! Mirgilus choise from 2016 releases.
Some people say Metal is long dead. If you are lazy, or just deaf with your head in your ass, you are right, but if you want some nice releases from 2016 here is my recommendation, of course not all is metal and no particular order, without any order, just read and listen!
Mirgilus choise from 2015
This is not a “best of 2015” list, there is no order, I’m just made a list with records which I really liked from the last year and listened a lot.
Cemitério - Cemitério (Goatprayer Records / Kill Again, 2015)
My first thought of the name „CEMITÉRIO” was what a cool name and this must be some good old primitve stuff! Partly true...
Night Demon - Curse of the Damned (Steamhammer, 2015)
NIGHT DEMON was formed in 2011 in California and made their debut one year later with the independent self-titled release presenting 4 tracks in the style of NWOBHM. Then they split-up. The EP was made just for fun by the 3 friends. Then they reformed, started touring and after 3 years here’s the debut.
Mirgilus Siculorum 2000 – 2015
15 years in the underground madness, 15 years and closer to death…
Cemetery Fog - Towards the Gates (Terror From Hell, 2015)
CEMETERY FOG, what a simple yet effective and very fitting name!
MORTUARY DRAPE - Spiritual Independence (Iron Tyrant, 2014)
MORTUARY DRAPE grown to be one of the cult bands of the Dark Italian movement. No matter if its 70s bands like JACULA, ANTONIUS REX, progressive bizarre music like GOBLIN, 80s darkness like DEATH SS, BLACK HOLE, BULLDOZER, PAUL CHAIN or some-what later stuff like MORTUARY DRAPE, EPITAPH, ABYSMAL GRIEF, Italians were always able to capture that peculiar feeling beyond the grave.
The report: Brutal Assault # 19, 2014
In the past few years we told almost everything about this nice festival which we attended very often. So, so summarizing the essence: Czech Republic is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, very cool people, nice food and the very best beers on planet, missing something?
Negative Plane / Malthusian live in Kolozsvár (Cluj) Flying Circus PUB, 21.07.2015
I was craving to see NEGATIVE PLANE live, and we were lucky to catch them on European ground, especially here in the eastern part, because the tour went no further far from here.
Tarot - The Warrior’s Spell (Heavy Chains, 2015)
After the promising tape EPs, here is the Tasmanian obscure rocker TAROT’s debut full-length.
Dracula - Black Wings Over Transylvania 7” Ep (Heavy Chains Records, 2014)
After the little stir in the deep underground with a debut demo last year, Tasmania’s DRACULA is back with a 7” vinyl release. 2 songs, 10+ minutes. The cover shows the band members performing a ritual with a goat skull and candles. Well, it is better than psychedelic blue whirls or vintage clothed retro rockers.
Tribulation - The Children Of The Night (Century Media, 2015)
The first two Tribulation albums were just ok releases, I really enjoyed especially the debut (The Horror) a ferocious death metal attack the second album “The Formulas Of Death” also had some great moments and what’s happened then?
Midnight - No Mercy For Mayhem (Hells Headbangers, 2014)
Those who were afraid if this bad ass crew will be able to deliver the goods on the so-so waited second album can sit back and relax with a beer. Cleveland’s misfits MINDIGHT are back with style! The unchanged Motörhead-driven Venom-poisoned deadly black’n’roll onslaught is present on this opus, a field where they are kind of kings at present.
BÖLZER - Soma (Invictus Productions, 2014)
Down to the bone BÖLZER is a black/death metal band, even a duo in the now-fashionable way (see Inquisition, Urfaust), but they are complex and classy enough to avoid clichés, and their clever sophistication bought them admiration lately.
Salem’s Pot - ...Lurar ut dig på prärien (Easyrider Records, 2014)
“Things are getting pretty strange” sings vocalist/guitarist Knate in the first lines of the opening song “Creep Purple” and believe me it is strange from the beginning.
Denial Of God - Death And The Beyond (Hells Headbangers, 2012)
2012 was supposed to be the end of the world according to many people, we could see speculations, movies and prophecies regarding that year. Well like every year, it actually was the end of the world for many people who die every day. If you are reading this review it means you too survived and you can have few more thoughts about life and death before the end of your world.
Profetus - As All Seasons Die (Svart Records / Weird Truth, 2014)
The 36 minutes album starts with the mellow haunting piece “The Rebirth of Sorrow”, performed on church organ, accompanied by acoustic guitars transmitting a pious, but dark feeling.
John Gallow - Violet Dreams (I, Voidhanger Records, 2014)
Some of you may know John Gallo from the super-underrated epic horror doom act ORODRUIN. They made a few nice releases in the past one and a half decade, even before the words “doom”, “occult” or “horror” became fashionable.
Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws And Graves (Peaceville Records, 2014)
Autopsy is my favorite death metal band (following by Bolt Thrower and Morbid Angel) and they are delivering the goods once again! After the prosperous comeback “Macabre Eternal” and “The Headless Ritual” they released this new album without warning.
Dread Sovereign - All Hell’s Martyrs (Ván Records, 2014)
I didn’t expect such an atmospheric record from Nemtheanga. I anticipated something more in the vein of pre-calculated retro heavy/doom. Although DREAD SOVEREIGN it is made by people knowing their metal lessons, this is nothing like retro.
Vowels - Seasonal Beasts (Sun & Moon Records, 2014)
VOWELS approaches from North of Italy, the cosmopolitan town of Vicenza known as a ground for culture, especially music and theatre and there you have the major kits you will notice when you will listen to the magical new LP “Seasonal Beasts”: you can sense from the first note that this is an Italian band, only they can make music so graceful. Besides that, there is also the theatre stage sensation plus a cinematic mood. It’s like they just walked out from Fellini’s “La Strada”.
Genocide Organ - Live in Japan 2007 (Tesco Organisation, 2009)
Every musical genre has a pioneer, a leader, a godfather, a legend. When we are talking about Power Electronics the first band which came into my mind is the German death industrial quartet from Mannheim, Genocide Organ. Power electronics was originally coined by William Bennett as part of the sleeve notes to the Whitehouse album ‘Psychopathia Sexualis’, so they are the real godfathers of the genre, but for me Whitehouse is below Genocide Organ.
Joel Grind - The Yellowgoat Sessions (Acid Rat / Ljudkasett / Hell’s Headbangers, 2013)
This is a kind of solo-album from Joel Grind from TOXIC HOLOCAUST if I get it right. He recorded all instruments and vocals on this. Congrats Joel! The first impression is that this is pretty much in the sign of the first two Bathory LPs and the sign of the D-beat.
Jex Thoth - Blood Moon Rise (I Hate Records, 2013)
Although released in 2013, it would be mistake to not write about JEX THOTH’s second full-length. JEX THOTH leaded by female vocalist by the same name is not “more than the usual occult rock/doom”, it’s actually different, totally apart from the actual so-called occult trend.
Satanic Supplicia - Devotio 7” EP (Necroterror Records, 2014)
Satanic Supplicia is a project from Cyprus, two of the members being from Greece, The One (The One - bass), Acherontas (Gionata Potenti - drums) and Necrosadist (Dictator - guitar) members with Chris Magos from Necroterror Records at the vocals.
Hellsodomy - Masochistic Molestation (Deadbangers, 2014)
Hellsodomy is a four men entity from Turkey and they play fast and uncompromising death metal with lots of thrash and black elements so the final result is DEVASTATING!!!
Peste Noire - Peste Noire (La Mesnie Herlequin, 2013)
I have difficulties with this album after 1 year of eavesdropping. It seemed quite a letdown at the first stages, maybe I was expecting too much and got less? Maybe I expected less and Peste Noire had to offer too much?
Bölzer - Aura (Iron Bonehead, 2013)
Bölzer is a highly thrilling band from Switzerland. I don’t know too much Swiss bands, but all the Swiss bands I know and listened have their own charisma and quality metal music: Helhammer/Celtic Frost/Triptykon, Coroner, Messiah, Samael, Darkspace, Paysage D’Hiver and why not….Nychts!
Magazin special: Iron Fist, bi-monthly metal bible for those that can’t live without their denim and leather.
Label special: The Arcane Tapes, underground label from Transylvania/Romania, releasing small editions of professional tapes, mostly from the doom metal and related genre.
The Wizar’d - Ancient Tome Of Arcane Knowledge (Buried by Time and Dust Records, 2013)
THE WIZAR’D hails from the town of Hobart, Tasmania. They formed in 2004 and since then they freed to the world a good bunch of EPs, 7” singles, demos, one live album and three studio full-length albums. I enjoy all their releases, since the first demo it’s the same quality old school proto doom metal.
Inquisition - Obscure Verses For The Multiverse (Season of Mist, 2013)
I wondered before the release of this album what the heck could Inquisition do different, or make better regarding their songwriting? With 5 albums released, most of them already classics, and one of the best guitar players in black metal in the person of Dagon can they top the previous ones?
The report: Brutal Assault # 18, 2013
Once again we packed the front of the car with CDs and mp3 sticks, put some crazy people in the back of the car and we rode to Czech Republic’s very own Jaromer. It was the 3rd time for me to attend Brutal Assault, and 5th or even 6th time for some of the other guys.
Jaromer is a small city with old buildings, smiling people and fantastic beer, a city reminding me the epic/comic novels of BOGUMIL HRABAL.
Dracula - Open Graves At Midnight – demo tape – (Heavy Chains, 2013)
Dracula. What a perfect heavy metal name. You would think there are at least 60 bands with this name, but I checked the Metal Archives to find out there are/were only 2 bands with this name, one from Romania – they never released anything… - and Dracula from Tasmania, the subject of our review.
Solstice - Lamentations (Candlelight, 1994)
As its 20 years since this golden record was released, and Solstice made a strong come-back last year, my idea was to present why “Lamentations” paved new ways for classic doom metal back then. After the 70s proto-doom and the developing 80s doom with leaders as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus and Trouble the scene started to pull out more epic substance. The 3 most important names for me in epic doom were/are Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Solstice.
Suruni – Ikuus (Sun & Moon Records, 2014)
Well, some years have passed since I had so much difficulty reviewing an album! Basically it's impossible to categorize this music, you find elements from various styles but all is played with live instruments by a single guy called Sakari Piisti.
The Obsessed - The Church Within tape (Sony Music/Columbia, 1994)
Folks this time I recommend a special tape from 1994, exactly 20 years ago was released the 3rd album of “The Obsessed”. Ok, ok I know this is not the best album from their discography, but for me this album is very close to my heart, from this album I’m a real fanboy of Scott "Wino" Weinrich guitar style, so shut the fuck up!
Bilskirnir - Wotan Redivivus (Darker Than Black, 2013)
Let me clarify something: real art (music, painting, sculpture, everything which is art) can’t be politically correct. If you are so stupid and limited your brain with mainstream social antifa washer, you will never have a chance to listen such a great album like this, because Bilkirnir is a leader of the NSBM movement. Your problem.
“Wotan Redivivus” (Wotan Reborn) is one of the best metal albums from 2013, the 4th full length release after six years from the last one “Wotansvolk”. Bilskirnir is an one man band by Widar (he’s playing on all instruments), he is also very active with the other solo work called Ødelegger (German answer for Ildjarn).
Ligfærd / Pustulation - Into the Abyss / Af Råddent Blod Og Ilde Mod (Ancient Darkness Productions, 2011)
Both bands hail from Denmark, I'm familiar with Ligfaerd but this is the first time I listen to Pustulation, the name seemed quite funny at first (all Hungarian speakers will find it funny btw).
Ogdru Jahad - I (Ancient Darkness Productions, 2013)
First album of the Danish Black/Death metallers Ogdru Jahad, a band formed by Sadomator and Ligfaerd members. Uncompromising war/death/blasphemy/unholy perversions is what you get right into your face if you put on this record, fans of Blasphemy, Beherit, Archgoat, Morbosidad etc will NOT be disappointed after buying this release that's guaranteed!!!
The One - I, Master 2008 (Necroterror Records, 2011)
The One is a two-man band originally from Greece and I have to tell you that their first album didn't convince me enough, it's not that it was bad, just I felt like something was missing. Six years passed between the 2 LP's so here's the I, Master from 2008, the second full length.
Clandestine Blaze - Harmony of Struggle (Northern Heritage, 2013)
The 7th full length release from Mikko Aspa under the moniker of Clandestine Blaze. The same path like the previous “Falling Monuments” album, just more variable musically and more personal by lyrics wise.
Musta Surma / Bloodhammer / Annihilatus - Christian Genocide (Northern Heritage, 2013)
Finally some new stuff from the long time undead Musta Surma, the not so active in the last few years Bloodhammer and the long time split up Annihilatus.
Satanic Warmaster - Opferblut LP (No Colours, 2003)
A very stupid, dumb ass name for a band with a very great, traditional, true Finnish Black Metal!
The first SW album also a classic release (one of the best SW full length), but if I choose one single release from the very rich SW discography I will pick up for sure Opferblut, the second album from 2003.
Abysmal Grief - Mors Eleison 12” MLP (I Hate Records, 2006)
Abysmal Grief are without doubt masters of horror doom metal. I bought this LP some good years ago in Czech Republic, and became an instant favorite. I like all their albums, but when I need only half hour of their splendid gruesome magic, I always ending up putting on this vinyl.
GOATESS - Goatess (Svart Records, 2013)
Goatess is the newest band of Chritus. Doom fans already know him as the vocalist on the first two Count Raven albums, from the “C.O.D.” album of Saint Vitus, or as the singer of Lord Vicar. Some of the underground people consider “C.O.D.” the weakest or the only weak album of Saint Vitus, which I don’t agree. The best ever singer of Saint Vitus was Scott Reagers of course, still people prefer the Wino-era, which is classic again of course, but I like a lot also Children of Doom with Chritus.
AGE OF TAURUS - Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times (Rise Above, 2013)
2010’s “In The Days Of The Taurean Empire”, the debut demo of this London-based band was one of the best doom metal demos in recent times. It contained down-tuned, slowly measured epic doom songs with good vocals, somewhere between the heroic style of Solstice and the roughness of early Cathedral. The demo didn’t stay unnoticed, as Lee Dorrian’s Rise Above offered them a deal, so 3 years after the demo the band presents the debut album.
SOLSTICE - Death’s Crown In Victory 12” MLP (White Horse, 2013)
From time to time there were rumors that Rich Walker would bring back to life the entity named SOLSTICE. Actually he said he never splitted up the band, he just had difficulties in finding the right people. Debut album “Lamentations” was a magical recording in a time when doom metal was fused and overfused with goth and slow death metal. Up to this day it’s hard to find a more pure epic doom metal album than “Lamentations”. I would put that album right near the classic Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus records. The following full-length “New Dark Age” was an unexpectedly - in a good way - modern album setting new standards for the genre. Then a few songs on splits and compilations, and Solstice lured back into a long dream / hibernation.
This section on reviews link is dedicated for special recommendations by me, or by Rob. We will recommend in every week some old, forgotten and dusty releases which are very close to our hearts, mostly vinyls of course, not detailed long reviews just some good, straight to the point recommendations!