Lacuna Coil – Black Anima

Black Anima holds up as a real achievement for the band, as they continue to defy expectations and reach a point where they are putting out some of the best material of their career. 

Paper Beat Scissors – Parallel Line

The melodic intricacy and imagination Crabtree shows on Parallel Line should put the album and his Paper Beat Scissors moniker into a more prominent light.

Insomnium – Heart Like A Grave

The record is an absolute triumph of the kind of sound the band have been carefully crafting for over two decades. Clocking in at just under an hour, it never wastes a moment as it fills the listener with layered structures, melancholic themes and epic soundscapes.

Botanist – Ecosystem

Botanist appear from the undergrowth with Ecosystem, an intriguing new record of their trademark zithery, plant-supremacist black metal.

Various Artists – Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’

It’s OK to feel loss, anguish and love here, because that’s what everyone else is doing.

Borknagar – True North

The keyword to take away from True North is ‘diverse’. It is a free-flowing, tidy and very special release, with any juxtaposed elements making for a marriage made in heaven. True North is Borknagar celebrating who they are and preparing for a spiritual walk into the future. Quintessential Borknagar, and a must-buy for 2019.

Blackwater Holylight – Veils of Winter

Blackwater Holylight’s newly acquired democratic approach reaps rewards for a deeply immersive second album.

Cult of Luna – A Dawn To Fear

Another stunning release by Cult of Luna that doesn’t quite get out of the shadow of its previous two releases.

Minor Pieces – Heavy Steps of Dreaming

The pair’s music gnaws like forgotten memories and treasured recollections coming back in broken fragments. Misremembered and patched together.

Monolord – No Comfort

Monolord have outdone themselves here. They stand in mirrored sunglasses, flared jeans and Satanic Feminist T-shirts astride the roof of the doom world.

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism

All in all, an excellent new step for the band, extending their previous accomplishments with a noticeably complex, faster interlocking riffs matched to the existing harmonic intensity and sinisterly animated drumming, all serving to crowbar open the portals and let the elder gods in.

Not Waving & Dark Mark – Downwelling

Hopefully this is part of a longer journey between the two artists as Downwelling creates a calmly psychedelic world well worth revisiting.

The Shaking Sensations – How Are We To Fight The Blight?

I have been published before saying I don’t believe in the concept of perfect. I was dead wrong and it exists in this album.

Tunic – Complexion

One of the best debut albums I’ve heard for quite some time.

Arterial Movements – Girls In Synthesis

Arterial Movements is another chapter is the unfolding story of an important band, it doesn’t just reproduce what’s gone before but subtlety moves things along…”I think that the newer material is slightly more complex than some of the previous releases. We’re currently finishing off new material for a long player, and there will be some nice surprises for people on it”.

Furrows – Low Waters

By keeping things brief Wagner was able to avoid the possible trap of including half-baked material with all six tracks bristling with excellence, but with ‘Hours’ and the closing title track showing the trio’s ideas in full.



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