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The Best Post-Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2018




An album clearly not meant as much for the digital platform as for vinyl, with its gargantuan two hours of runtime divided into four acts, perfectly fitting each vinyl side; Look, Here Comes The Dark! details a post-apocalyptic scenario where the earth is almost destroyed and the post-anthropocentric era begins and it details it almost like a sci-fi story. And for such an ambitious concept and delivery, the music does indeed match in intensity, angst and conveying the feelings of despair and smallness in the face of the greatness of nature; and it manages to be diverse enough in approach not to be overly bloated.

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Sitting on the border of Postland and Sludgistan means Mire isn't that color-by-number stuff of slow build up before someone finds the distortion pedal in time for the crescendo. They spend plenty of time countering clean and tranquil post-it moments by conjuring spiteful riffs and hateful vocals giving this album an edge that Post definitely needed. I guess file under "Post-Ugly".

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Nearly 5 years in the making, Lost Empyrean has the best production on a post metal record since Isis's Wavering Radiant. The brain trust over at Debemur Morti Productions spared no expense on this album. Dirge's formula has not changed. Monolithic riffs in a layered doom-y, spacey shell, watermarked with post metal aesthetics. The electronics, synths and keyboards abate all-embracing atmosphere. Deep, impenetrable bass and drum. Fluid and glossy texture in the presentation gleams from the beginning to the end. Dirge have made one of the best post metal records in years.

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WHOA. Was that a freight train that just struck you in the temple? Nay, my dearly departed friend - that was Erdve. Heavier than a speeding bullet; more pissed-off than a locomotive; able to level tall buildings in a single massive slab of merciless, chugging noisecore: that's Erdve, Lithuania's latest contribution to the steady demise of our planet. Vaitojimas explodes with violence at every angle, from the strangulated hardcore screams to the crashing waves of percussion to the megalithic riffs that abound with distortion and malevolent force. This album is so brutal it's disgusting, and, frankly, we won't stand for it. Hurry up and listen before our morals get the better of us and we hide it somewhere safe.

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Polish Hegemone fuse Post, Black and Sludge into a hateful miasma that manages to entrance the listener with repetitive, hypnotic riffs, before delivering the steel-toed black boot to the skull. The album is a fun combination of tripping and getting tripped. When you think you're safe, another bile-soaked assault is launched your way. We Disappear? - We hope not. We want more.

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American Scrap is an apt title for this doom-indebted tour of rusty heartland groove. It's practically Creedence, just really, really slow and heavy and gloomy. The bass and drums rumble along like a freight train while fat, fuzzy guitars try to bend themselves into oblivion over bluesy, near-stoner riffs; when the vocals are civil enough to be clean, they have the unmistakable folksy grit of good, old-fashioned, red-blooded, working-class, Americana-based rock'n'roll. The kind of wholesome post-metal your grandpappy used to make, assuming he was Bruce Springsteen.

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Long Distance Calling's riffs scream with a dire twang, an off-kilter vibrato in the soul that drives far more emotion than expected out of the chill that genres with "post-" in their name are supposed to have. Of course, that chill is there - Boundless has an expansive and heady sound for which you can thank all that reverb - but Long Distance Calling are highly active within it. The songs can be kind of jammy, but there's some bleakness in the air that makes the less structured parts intense rather than indulgent, and Boundless does kick into fullmetal gear from time to time (sometimes with electronic accompaniment) for a very immersive, atmospheric instrumental experience.

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Morne play post metal of the more old school variety a la Neurosis and Amenra: less to the melodic, atmospheric side of things and more embracing of the sludge side of the equation. To The Night Unknown is the most recent result, a barreling dose of groovy, riff heavy songwriting that never really seems to get too monotonous or too draining. Underscored by a fine sense of melody that doesn't detract from the rest of the heaviness, here Morne have demonstrated emotional intensity on several fronts, and quite successfully so.

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Sure, a doom metal album can be crushing, haunting, desolate, melancholic or harrowing, but can it be seductive? Sinistro tune their sound in such a way that the music evokes atmospheres without being overly ambient, throw in some synths that mold in some trip-hop sensibilities and, for the final and most flavourful ingredient, the voice of Patricia Andrade. While the lyrics are sung in Portuguese, her voice sings them with such emotion that they become universally emotive, conveying both impeding doom and seductive eroticism, akin to a succubus.

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The Ocean are back with another earth science class, dedicating music to the evolution and transformation that happen during geological periods. Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic displays an impressive array of musical subsets. Progressive metal, sludge metal, post metal and even melodic metal are cohesively intertwined. A special guest vocal appearance from Katatonia's Jonas Renske on the song "Devonian: Nascent" is the definite highlight on the album. The rest of the album also features The Ocean's signature heavy, low-tuned guitars, clean singing and harsh sludge-style screamed vocals. The Ocean are platinum status in the post metal dynasty.

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Write-in votes

Agrypnie - Grenzgænger
Autumn Creatures - Funeral Garden
Entropia - Vacuum
Kontinuum - No Need To Reason
Lil Pump & Kanye West - I Love It
Outrun The Sunlight - Red Bird
Psychotropic Transcendental - …lun yolina un yolina thu Dar-davogh…
Realm of Wolves - Oblivion
The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir
Toundra - Vortex