Hey fuzzers ! I am glad to present you my Top 20 albums of 2018 !
2018 is now finished and carried as usual is load of outstanding heavy and psychedelic music. Special mention to psych doom scene which kicked some asses this year and, yeah, damn that was good ! So here is my top 20, full of crushing riffs, mesmeric atmospheres, psychedelic vibes and grooving bass. I hope this list will help you to catch up golden albums you might have miss. Do not forget to pay attention to honourable mentions, there’s first quality stuff in there because, as you guess, it is not that easy to make a choice between all these delightful pieces of art. May 2019 be doomed and stoned again !
Top 20 Albums of 2018
20 : Mudfinger – Psychonaut
First of this list but not least ! Every top 20 needs its dose of desert rock and this year Psychonaut by Mudfinger certainly is one of the best representative of this scene. It did not revolutionize stoner music but these guys know how to rock. Directly inspired by masters Kyuss, Psychonaut takes you back to the 90’s, leaving you somewhere between desert and space.
19 : Forming The Void – Rift
Louisiana quartet delivered an incredibly loud album, in the direct path of previous opus Relic. Crushing riffs, hypnotic passages, oriental melodies : Rift is a condensed recipe of space and sludgy music, and it works perfectly. Forming The Void established itself as one of the rising star of heavy American scene. Get prepared to heard about them soon.
18 : Mad God – Grotesque And Inexorable
Never before has a South-African band sounds so Swedish ! Johannesburg’s trio clearly follows the vibes of modern stoner-doom metal. Frantic as Electric Wizard, corrosive as Monolord, creepy as Lovecraft’s novels : Grotesque and Inexorable makes fall a psychedelic and dark veil fall upon you . Easy to listen, hard to quit. Terribly addictive.
17 : Earthless – Black Heaven
Never forget San Diego’s space rock masters. Once more, Earthless proves why they deserve to be considered as one the most influential band from heavy and psychedelic scene. Black Heaven marries crazy jams and perfect songwriting. Earthless continues to be an inexhaustible source of creativity !
16 : Bongripper – Terminal
It’s been 12 years American dark priests from Bongripper spread their occult knowledge and they are still faithful evil worshipers. With Terminal, do not expect any changes : Bongripper keeps crafting darkness’s soundscapes with slow and overwhelming riffs. A massive and punitive riffery patiently forged into Satan’s hazy cave. A two tracks album that gives 2018’s definition of Hell.
15 : REZN – Calm Black Water
One year after interesting Let It Burn, REZN came back in October with an ultra solid disk. Progresses of Chicago’s band are obvious. They managed to find a perfect balance between Floydian heavy psych sections and corrosive doom passages. Put on your fuzzy diving suit and prepare yourself to discover psychedelic abysses.
14 : Demonauta – Temaukel, The Spirit Before Time
With Demonauta, there is not only the artwork which is awesome, the music too. This year Temaukel, The Spirit BeforeTime may be the best representative of prolific south American heavy psych scene. Demonauta invites you to an outstanding space odyssey, an epic trip full of discoveries. After that, you do not want to come back on planet Earth. You definitely prefer to stay in this new horizons full of energetic riffs, abundant grooves and psychedelic atmospheres.
13 : Hazy Sea – Cargo incognito
The U.F.O of the year or more exactly a ghost ship like The Flying Dutchman. Cargo Incognito by Greek band Hazy See is a 35 minutes album, of a kind of progressive instrumental stoner rock. In this crazy ship clear melodies sail, becoming more complex as long as the vessel reaches unknown sees. Complexe and hazy compositions strike your imagination and soon you cannot see any shores. Unexpected as boarding of wacky pirates.
12 : Naxatras – III
As always, Naxatras breaks into the top. A kind of habit for these incredible greek guys and their flourishing psychedelic and heavy rock. With III, Naxatras keeps progressing toward outer space. A more complex album distilling soft but highly psychedelic melodies. A floating atmosphere precisely builds up like a clockwork. An impressive mastery, a gift from (Greek) Gods.
11 : Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – Wasteland
Our favorite Uncle is back and it does not desorient anyone familiar with him. Wasteland has the assured strength of music that turns into a classic. It follows the path of previous Uncle Acid’s album, but on this path, our Cambridge’s fellows still lead common people like us. As usual, the music takes place in creepy environment and sounds like a tribute to 70’s heavy metal scene. Despite the use of this well-known recipe, Wasteland refreshes the genre and gives that special impression that you notice new details each time you listen to the album. Fascinating, just like the discovery of an ancient and luxurious crypt.
10 : Druid – The Seven Scrolls
Please sit comfortably and let you tell the mesmeric story of The Seven Scrolls by Druid. Along seven chapters (plus one delightful acoustic interlude), the band from Athens, Ohio build up a sweet and psychedelic album that you listen just like you read a fantastic novel. Their music is deeply rooted in 60’s and 70’s psychedelic vibes and mixes vintage rock n roll influences.
9 : Windhand – Eternal Return
What a comeback for Richmond doomers ! Windhand still sticks to its darkest origins, sentencing slow and irrevocable riffs. But Eternal Return is full of sensitive innovations such as grunge influences and touches of psychedelia. The result is a more diversify album, a bit sweeter than the previous opus. Windhand music enriches with time. And we are already craving for the next episode.
8 : Drug Cult – Selftitled
This one, no one saw it coming. Maybe because music distilled through Drug Cult’s self-titled album slowly but surely snakes through darkest doom territories. These Aussies are new aspirants but handle black magic like ancient wizards. Dropping its load of monolithic riffs, crafting occult and psychedelic soundscapes, Drug Cult generates a pure explosion of heaviness taking their influences from Electric Wizard to post-punk and garage styles. More addictive than heroin. Intoxicating but irresistible.
7 : Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe
Maybe one of the best surprise of 2018. Once best representative of stoner music, our favorite Californians lads never stops to be legend of the genre. But to me, it has been almost fifteen years that Fu Manchu could not manage to reinvent itself and their music – however enjoyable it was – was flattering. But Clone Of The Universe sets the record straight. Taking you from ignited riffs to acidic jams, Clone Of The Universe is never boring, but always astonishing. Finally, it might be their most ambitious album. Fu Manchu is like wine : it gets better with time. But this one drives you particularly crazy !
6 : Conan – Existential Void Guardian
Existential Void Guardian may be the most epic album of the year. Brutal, thunderous and infectious the music delivered by Conan is terribly violent and uncompromising. As tireless warriors, the three guys from Merseyside push even further their exploration of extreme doom territories by adding some grindcore and drone influences. New kings has been sacred over doom universe : Heil Conan and long live Caveman Battle Doom !
5 : Domkraft – Flood
There is something special about modern stoner and doom Swedish scene. Month after month, our viking fellows keep on appearing as an inexhaustible source of creativity. Flood by Domkraft manages to get the best from modern heavy universes and makes its own way in this flourishing scene. It looks like a melting pot of best ingredients of modern heavy music: a bit of post-metal spirit, some noise-rock influences and psychedelic passages that give birth to doomed and electrified soundscape, crawling into insidious psychedelia. So consistent, so coherent : the kind of music that defines what contemporary metal scene is heading to.
4 : Weedpecker – III
2018 could not have began better than with III by Weedpecker. On January 5th, Polish fellows stroke first and hard, with the best space rock album of the year. During 41 minutes, III progressively drives you into cosmic areas where floating melodies and hawkwind-like riffs are kings. Weedpecker shapes a world made of infinite echoes and ethereal sound structures and invites you to discover it. Never refuse such a proposal : this is the best travel you could make this year.
3 : Mythic Sunship – A New Shape Of Psychedelic Music
As our fuzzy minds are always seeking new hazy discoveries, we sometimes think nothing can surprise us when it comes to heavy psych music. But from time to time, one album crashes on planet Earth like an asteroid and extend the boundaries of a genre. With Another Shape OF Psychedelic Music, Copenhagen band delivers an incredible and deep exploration into psychedelic territories between jazz fusion, 70’s progressive rock and heavy psych galaxies that widens our musical horizons. A real manifesto in favour of experimental music, a delight for hazy minds.
2 : Sleep – The Sciences
Everybody has been waiting for it, no one has been disappointed. After fifteen years and the release of monumental and prophetic Dopesmoker, Sleep is back with The Science and proves why they remain the incontestable emperors of heavy and psychedelic music. Incredibly insane, incredibly loud, ingredients remains the same but this magic potion infused with indica and sativa strains has not lose any of its psychotropic effects. Whether we wanted or not, no one can deny that The Science release was the major event on heavy planet this year. It reminds us the key role they play from years into this particular scene. It reminds us why we once felt in love with this music and why we keep worshiping it.
1 : YOB – Our Raw Heart
And the great Master of fuzz planet this year is… Yob with Our Raw Hear. The choice has been very difficult to make between this one and Sleep but I choose Yob to reward the musical forward vision they encapsulated in this album. Before this one, Yob was already the leader of cosmic doom but each of their pieces of work tries to push further their almighty quest of music exploration. Always experimenting new sounds, always creating more complex atmospheres and textures, always dropping us into deepest universes : Yob seems to be insatiable. Eugene’s band displays their art combining rigorous professionalism and forward thinking. The result is a totally original music, a real sound signature that operates has a keystone in modern heavy and psychedelic music. Confident but innovative, sophisticated but raw, Our Raw Heart is a masterpiece. A reference for 2018 and many years after.
Astrodome – II
Automaton – Talos
Bellow A Silent Sky – The View
Belzebong – Light The Darkness
Besvärjelsen – Vallmo
Bong – Thought Of Existence
Cloud – Deus Ex Machina
Grajo – SLOWGOD II
High Priestess – Self titled
Los Tabanos Experience – Atlantis Mirage
Messa – Feast Of Water
Pseudo Mind Hive – From Elsewhere
Psychlona – Mojo Rising
Red Sun Atacama – Licancabur
Samavayo – Vatan
Somali Yacht Club – The Sea
Sundrifter – Visitations
The Necromancers – Of Blood And Wine