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Too Soon? Vince’s Best of 2018… So Far

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I’ve spent many hundreds (thousands?) of words in this space lamenting the lack of forward progress by metal’s heavyweights, those established bands that get comfortable and stop pushing themselves creatively. Oddly enough — and refreshingly! — many of those bands have stepped up in big, big ways with their 2018 offerings, earning a nod on my halfway list. Up-and-comers fill my shortlist, too, with a number of bands getting their very first “So Far” honors (inb4 “But I’ve loved these guys ever since the demo”). My list shares a number of entries with Axl’s — I swear we are not the same person (although wouldn’t that be the greatest prank of all time?) — so it’ll be interesting to see which of our overlaps stick around on our respective, definitive year-end lists come December.

Between the Buried and Me – Automata I and II (Sumerian)
The Crown – Cobra Speed Venom (Metal Blade)
Ghost – Prequelle (Loma Vista)
Harakiri for the Sky – Arson (AOP)
Jääportit –Jääportit (Epidemie)
Khemmis – Desolation (20 Buck Spin/Nuclear Blast)
Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart (Century Media)
Pig Destroyer – Head Cage (Relapse)
Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)
Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light (Prosthetic)
Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology (Willowtip)
Yob – Our Raw Heart (Relapse)

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