Metal Awards

Goat's Top 15 albums of 2018

  1. YOB - Our Raw Heart
    A truly beautiful doom album that has grown on me with each listen, rightfully deserving to be no 1.
  2. Judas Priest - Firepower
    A tremendous return to classic form for the legends.
  3. Voivod - The Wake
    An album that has grown and grown, I underscored this in my review. Fantastic work from a fantastic band.
  4. Riverside - Wasteland
    A late entry, but a stunning album.
  5. Portal - ION
    These mysterious other-dimensional beings continue to terrify.
  6. Abigor - Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition)
    Twisted black metal perfection that still puzzles many listens later.
  7. Uriah Heep - Living the Dream
    Another ancient band proving they still very much have it, Uriah Heep continue to rock the hell out despite being nearly 50 years old!
  8. Drudkh - They Often See Dreams About the Spring
    The best from the Ukrainians in years.
  9. A Forest Of Stars - Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes
    An excellent addition to these Victorian mentalists' discography.
  10. Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods
    Winter truly has returned. A majestic return to nineties' form for these blizzard beasts.
  11. Alkaloid - Liquid Anatomy
    A death metal supergroup that lives up to its billing.
  12. Primordial - Exile Amongst the Ruins
    Some were disappointed by this, but the band have done something different and just as compelling here.
  13. Aura Noir - Aura Noire
    These Norwegians came back to paint the town black, and made a very underappreciated album.
  14. Funeral Mist - Hekatomb
    Far better than Marduk's outing this year, I hope this project continues to produce albums this good.
  15. Necrophobic - Mark of the Necrogram
    Another album I was a little harsh to in my review, Necrophobic have made a great album here.
Goat's Top 5 surprises of 2018

  1. Etienne Pelosoff - Trve Brutal Black Jazz (EP)
    Blackjazz as a concept continues to delight
  2. Imperial Triumphant - Vile Luxury
    Swarming opulence indeed, this was another fine combination of genres.
  3. Merlin - The Wizard
    Could doomjazz become as big as blackjazz?
  4. Sleep - The Sciences
    Narrowly missing out on the top 15, a very welcome surprise return from the doom legends.
  5. The Lion's Daughter - Future Cult
    Pulsing synths are as fine an addition to extreme metal as the saxophone.
Goat's Disappointment(s) of 2018

  1. Alice In Chains - Rainier Fog
    Not a bad album, but one that was something of a let-down after the previous two re-established the band so well.
  2. At The Gates - To Drink From The Night Itself
    A reunion that has failed to produce anything other than solid yet unexciting repetitions of past glories so far.
  3. Deicide - Overtures of Blasphemy
    Yet another Deicide album that satisfies without filling. Hyped as something special, decidedly typical.
  4. In Vain - Currents
    I was disappointed with this at first and hoped it was a grower. It wasn't!
  5. Marduk - Viktoria
    After the excellence of Frontschwein this is a step backwards in every respect.
Goat's Joke(s) 2018

  1. Ghost - Prequelle
    I simply can't understand the wild praise for this. Definitely the band's weakest album to date, even without the disco.
  2. Shining (Nor) - Animal
    What else can you call it when one of the most forward-thinking bands in metal decides to switch to the sort of pop-rock that makes the Foo Fighters sound exciting?
  3. Therion - Beloved Antichrist
    A staggeringly over-confident project that's utterly painful to listen to.
    Political black metal is as bad when the far-left do it as the far-right, you know.
Goat's words about 2018
  1. Another fantastic year for music, another fantastic year for metal, and another not-so-fantastic year for me. Some bands let me down, some passed my expectations, and some proved live that they can overcome disappointing studio material - Clutch especially putting on a great show that proved they're one of the best rock groups around. Other live highlights were the legendary King Crimson and Voivod, the former making me wish they would go back in the studio, the latter proving how great their studio material is. I'm mindful of Andy's encouragement of last time's awards to go to more live shows, and hopefully 2019 will see me at even more. I complain a lot, but the truth is that I'm grateful for so much; for the musicians who keep me sane, for the bands that make such tremendous sounds, and for you, dear reader, who somehow still finds what I have to say about this weird genre gratifyingly interesting over eleven years after I started writing about it! Thank you to all, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a truly happy New Year. RIP – Dave Castillo, Richard Bateman, Mark Shelton, Vinnie Paul, Ralph Santolla, Dave Holland, Tim Calvert, Eddie Clarke, Caleb Scofield, Frank 'Killjoy' Pucci