I buy a lot of music and listen to even more. Like, a LOT of music (just the stuff that was released this year that I bought is 1.3 days of music). So I think I prolly have a lot more favorites than most people; I apologize for the longish post for those looking for quick links and stuff.
That said, and keeping in mind that almost no one will like any of this music, the best stuff that I heard from this year includes:
Dr. Demento Covered In Punk - prolly self-explanatory, eh
Big Freedia - Rent is just a single, but my iTunes says I’ve listened to it 147 times so far, so it must totally fucking rock. This is bounce music, by the #1 practitioner, IMO.
Brutal Sphincter - Analhu Akbar is one of a handful of truly outstanding grindcore albums I got this year. This is groovy goregrind, for those interested.
Clown Core’s Toilet is pretty amazing; my favorite track is still Hell although The Area 51 Snack Bar Sucks is a close second.
Colin Currie Group’s Steve Reich: Drumming offers fantastic performances and excellent audio quality to really bring Reich’s work to life. Part 1. Steve Reich is one of my favorite composers; to hear his music performed so well AND recorded this well is simply amazing.
Cropdust - Purple Sabbath Diesel has been in steady rotation for months now; it’s only 4 tracks but they’re all winners (if you’re into some seriously heavy angry stoner sludge, that is).
Grindzilla - Toshinquandon is another phenomenal goregrind album from this year.
Nuclear Desolation is a young band from North Carolina that plays old school brutal death metal; their Pestilentia Deorum EP is great head-banging fun. Here’s the opener Acid; best line “dance for me you fucking puppet; I guarantee you’ll love it”!
Ona Snop - Geezer is the best fastcore/powerviolence album I heard all year; all 18 songs got 5/5 rating from me.
Can’t say enough good things about Sleep - The Sciences. The band was silent for nearly two decades and then dropped this near-perfect stoner doom masterpiece on us without warning on, of course, 4/20.
Props to Slam Police for the best slam album of the year; hands down. 5 tracks, 6 and a half minutes, no waiting, no filler, just slam.
Sleep Terror is a one man instrumental technical death metal band that crosses so many genre lines and blurs the rest of them that it is pretty much its own thing. El Insomne is a dazzling and dizzying ride (and yeah, no cookie monster vocals). Highly recommend this one for the average rock fan who’s feeling adventurous.
Sons Of Kemet is a jazz band from the UK; their Your Queen Is A Reptile is truly outstanding. Conceived as a tribute to influential and important black women and a sharp rebuke to the monarchy, it is a tour de force, epic in scope and performance. My favorites, if you don’t want to plunge in for the whole album, are My Queen Is Harriet Tubman and My Queen Is Anna Julia Cooper.
But the single best album I heard from 2018 was not a metal album (insert murmured sounds of shock and bewilderment). I fell in love with it as soon it started playing in my car and it’s been my default driving music for 9 months now, ever since it was released in April. It’s a jaw-dropping display of composition and production, rapping and turntablism from a trio of artists who are all outstanding in their own right, but who come together to form a group that is in-fucking-credible. And this year, after a 22 year gap, Dan the Automator, DJ Q-Bert and Kool Keith dropped a new album that blew me away: Dr. Octagon - Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation.
All 11 tracks are winners, but if I had to pick a favorite, it’d prolly be Power Of The World (S Curls), despite how much fun Flying Waterbed’s video is.