Top 50 best releases 2018

As 2018 is racing to it’s end, it’s time to stand still and look back on 2018. There have been a lot of incredible releases, you could say it was a great year. But as always, there are a few albums that had more impact than others. I have gathered a list of releases that made a huge impression to me.

So yes, this is getting personal this time. All albums I have selected are based on my personal taste. And I kept it to a shortlist of 50 albums, which means I had to skip some albums. Eventhough I know that they should have been mentioned here as well. I didn’t want to make it a competition, because that’s just impossible. So I decided to present the list in chronological order by releasedate.
Like I said it is tough to make a top 50. To make it even harder for myself, I decided to even shorten this list into a personal top 10. You’ll find that one at the bottom of this list.
januari 12Noorvik – Noorvik
januari 17Last Of Us – Swarm
januari 23The Sun Burns Bright – Through Dusk, Came The Light
februari 02Long Distance Calling – Boundless
februari 02Elvaan Ibanfure – Okami
maart 02Locomotora – Vuodet, vuoret
maart 16Man Mountain – Infinity Mirror
april 03Aesthesys – Achromata
april 06Degree of Arc – Raptures
april 06Coldbones – Where it all began
april 07This World Has Bees – Nearer
april 09Il Giardino Degli Specchi – Oltremare
april 27God Is An Astronaut – Epitaph
april 27Toundra – Vortex
april 27GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! – Memory Lame
mei 05Not A Good Sign – Icebound
mei 07Godaughter – Godaughter
mei 101099 – Blindpassasjer
mei 16Crows In The Rain – Ashes Of The Past
mei 24Arcadian Waves – Above the Mountains, Beneath the Clouds
mei 25Distant Dream – Your own story
mei 31Spurv – Myra
juni 01Old Seas / Young Mountains – Seasons
juni 10The Outsider – Hyeon
juni 15Baikonur – Nihil Per Saltum
juni 26Whale Fall – Sondersongs
juli 06Tangled Thoughts of Leaving – No Tether
augustus 03Tides Of Man – Every Nothing
augustus 10Pray for Sound – Waiting Room
september 14Old Faith – Old Faith
september 14Holy Fawn – Death spells
september 15Leech – For Better or For Worse
september 21The Clouds Will Clear – Recollection Of What Never Was
september 28This Will Destroy You – New Others Part One
september 28Wang Wen – Invisible City
oktober 05Bear the Mammoth – Years Under Glass
oktober 05Celestial Wolves – Call of the Void
oktober 16This Will Destroy You – The New Others Part Two
oktober 31Darker Shapes – Raven
november 02The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
november 11Halocraft – Chains for the sea
november 15Jet Plane – Falls Feather
november 16hazards of swimming naked – take great joy
november 26Riah – Autumnalia
november 30April Rain – To Whom It May Concern
november 30In Lights – The Forgotten Bridge
december 05The Further I Go – Every Morning Is An Afterlife
december 07Hammock – Universalis
december 07Legendary Skies – Navigation
december 14Kerretta – Exiscense

My personal Post-Rock Album Top 10

And here is my personal top 10 list of best ‘post-rock and related’ albums from 2018:

 

1.) Long Distance Calling – Boundless

A great album by the German band; diverse, both versatile and heavy. Memorable songs that stick to your head. After their 2016 release called Trips they raised their bar managed to leap over it with ease. Favourite song: Like a river.

2.) Whale Fall – Sondersongs

The addition of the brass-instruments in Whale Fall’s songs drew my attention and stole my heart for this band. It took the LA-based band four years to release a follow-up for The Madrean, but the wait was all worth it. The songs are memorable, and it feels like the cornet and flügelhorn add a top-layer to their music, leaving their competition in awe. Favourite song: True places

3.) Halocraft – Chains for the sea

This Greek band only released Chains For The Sea in November, but already managed to become one of my favourite releases from 2018. The album wants to tell a story, and that’s stated clearly when you’re listening to this album. It might not be the story that the band wants you to hear, it could be your own story, but there definitely is pleasant cohesion between the songs on this record. Favourite song: Vertigo, the desire to fall

4.) Leech – For Better or For Worse

Swiss masters Leech take their time when it comes to releasing a new album. The last one dates from 2012. With For Better Or For Worse they prove they belong in the top-league of post-rock bands.  Their approach though, is slightly different; atmosphere with lots of spacey elements completing their sound. Everything you hear in their songs is placed there on purpose and with a purpose. Favourite song: Sure! Looks real.

5.) The Sun Burns Bright – Through Dusk, Came The Light

2018 only got started for a few weeks, when The Sun Burns Bright (aka Chris Garr) released a masterpiece. Imagine yourself camping by the lakeside when a rainstorm comes up, threatening your peaceful sunset. The Sun Burns Bright swells to climaxes with ambient parts building up slowly. It makes you want to stay in the rain, waiting for more to come. Favourite song: Forward we move, upward we climb

6.) Locomotora – Vuodet, vuoret

Locomotora released a comfortable dark record, combining both post-rock and post-metal. Their layered music grabs you and even forces you to listen more than once to fully understand all layers. Especially the longer songs are like suites on their own. The band uses a bass-trombone and trumpet on this album, which gave them extra points. Favourite song: Vuodet, vuoret

7.) Degree of Arc – Raptures

If you love a band like Caspian, you surely should check out Degree Of Arc. Not that they are a copy or clone, but their styles are very similar. Great guitarwork, combined with atmosphere and groovyness. Favourite song: Ascent

8.) Baikonur – Nihil Per Saltum

Hailing from Santiago, Chile. This conceptalbum impressed me by the seemingly simplicity at the first listen. After deepening the songs, they proved to be more complicated then I heared the first time. That’s why Nihil Per Saltum is such an intriguing album. You’ll only find the diamond when you seek for it. Favourite song: Versus kaspárov

9.) Noorvik – Noorvik

If someone asks you what post-rock is, just put on this record! It has everything; the atmosphere, the musical skills, the vibes, the grooves the swells and the climaxes. Great record by these four guys from Cologne, Germany. Favourite song: Denali

10.) Crows In The Rain – Ashes Of The Past

You can’t prohibit a bird from flying across borders. Despite the fact how the world looks at Iran, there’s a band with a great future laying ahead for them. In may the Tehran-based band released Ashes Of The Past, which clocks over 2 hours! This band breaks with unwritten rules about the length of an album. Crows In The Rain creates a sound that swell and fade like waves, but take their time to reach to a climax, eventually. Be patient and let the music take you there. Favourite song: Lights in front of a dead sea

 

Final thoughts

I feel that this year has brought us a lot of new talent, and I’m sure that the bar has been raised for 2019. Which means it can only get better, right? Well…. if bands keep re-inventing themselves and developping their music by that, the genre will have a great future. Copying other bands styles will eventually lead to an overkill of bands who all sound the same, or at least simular. Uniqueness is key to succes. I am looking forward to next year’s list!

Cheerz,

Niels

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