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2018 Relapse Records Staff Album Of The Year Lists

2018 was yet another incredible year for music as an overabundance of amazing new records and reissues were released across all genres and formats. The Relapse Records staff has compiled their favorite albums, musical moments and misc. debris of the year. We decided not to include any Relapse related releases out of fairness to all the equally exceptional records that worked on this year. We look forward to all that 2019 has to offer and to continue releasing the finest independent and underground music for your listening (dis)pleasure. Enjoy!

BOB LUGOWE (Ex-Resident Juggalo) 

1. Post Malone – Beer Bongs and Bentley’s
2. Gunship – Dark All Day
3. Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit
4. Anna von Hausswolf – Dead Magic
5. Szun Waves – New Hymn to Freedom
6. Gogo Penguin – A Humdrum Star
7. Nils Frahm – All Melody
8. High on Fire – Electric Messiah
9. Ghost – Prequelle
10. Drudkh – Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring)

Honorable Mentions:

Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik – Hugsja
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human
Jon Hopkins – Singularity
Morne – To the Night Unknown
Pusha T – Daytona



Sumac – Love In Shadow
Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want
Sunset Rollercoaster – Cassa Nova
Amigo The Devil – Everything is Fine
Shame – Songs of Praise
Tracyanne and Danny – Tracyanne and Danny
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt People Love
Jaye Jalyle – No Trail and Other Unholy Paths
Us:We – Kuroshio
Slow Crush – Aurora




Bongripper – Terminal
Conan – Existential Void Guardian
Churchburn – None Shall Live
Eagle Twin – The Thundering Heard
Fister – No Spirit Within
KEN Mode – Loved
No Gods – Paradise
Thou – Magus
Uncle Acid – Wasteland
Fórn – Rites of Despair

Not Metal

Father John Misty – Gods Favorite Customer
Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar
Snail Mail – Lush
King Tuff – The Other
Drug Church – Cheer
Bill Frisell – Music IS
Yawning Man – The Revolt Against Tired
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Sex & Food
Dylan Carlson – Conquistador

Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill



New Releases (in alphabetical order)
Amen Dunes “Freedom” Sacred Bones Records
Brainoil “Singularity To Extinction” Tankcrime
Fucked Up “Dose Your Dreams” Merge Records
Funeral Mist “Hekatomb” Norma Evenagelium Diaboli
Gaseneta “ガセネタ” Full Contact Records
Goat Girl “Goat Girl” Rough Trade
Hank Wood And The Hammerheads “Hank Woods And The Hammerheads” Toxic State Records
High On Fire “Electric Messiah” Entertainment One
Hillary Woods “Colt” Sacred Bones Records
Innumerable Forms “Punishment In Flesh” Profound Lore Records
Perverts Again “Friday Night Light” Total Punk
Red Hare “Little Acts Of Destruction” Dischord Records
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever “Hope Downs” Sub Pop
S.H.I.T. “What Do You Stand For?”  Iron Lung Records
Spiritualized “And Nothing Hurt” Fat Possum Records
Thee Open Sex “White Horses” Sophomore Lounge
The Breeders “All Nerve” 4AD
The Lavender Flu “Mow The Grass” In The Red Records
Tomb Mold “Manor Of Infinite Forms” 20 Buck Spin
Traden “Traden” Subliminal Sound
Tragedy “Fury” Tragedy Records
Weeping Bong Band “Weeping Bong Band” Feeding Tube Records
Wet Tuna “Livin The Die” Feeding Tube Records
Yuzo Iwata “Daylight Moon” Siltbreeze


Abruptum “Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectère Me” Blooddawn Productions
Acid Attack “Suburbia’s Dream” Radio Raheem
Carola Baer “The Story Of Valerie” Concentric Circles
Che-SHIZU “A Journey” Black Editions
C.Memi “Heavenly Peace” Bitter Lake Recordings
John Coltrane “Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album” Impulse!
David Fair “Ballets (Dance Like This)” Feeding Tube Records
Jesu “Ascension” Robotic Empire
Kath Bloom, Loren Mazzacane Connors “Restless Faithful Desperate” Chapter Music
King Tubby & Riley All Stars “Concrete Jungle Dub” Dub Store Records
Laraaji “Vision Songs Vol. 1” Numero Group
Robbie Basho “Land Of Our Fathers (Rarities 1967-1983)” Holographic Ontological Networks
Robbie Basho “Live In Forti, Italy 1982” Obsolete Records
Sandra Bell “Net” Drawing Room Records
Sodom (JP) “聖レクイエム + ADK Omnibus” FOAD Records
Swans “Soundtracks For The Blind” 4LP Young God Records
Takehisa Kosugi “Catch-Wave” Superior Viaduct
The Beau Brummels “Bradley’s Barn” Run Out Groove
Totalitar “1986-1989” Skrammel Records


Top 10 in Alphabetical Order:

Bone Sickness – Theater Of Morbidity
Bonehunter – Children Of The Atom
Deceased – Ghostly White
Hooded Menace – Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
Mortuous – Through Wilderness
Necro – The Notorious Goriest
Outre-Tombe- Nécrovortex
Putrisect – Cascading Inferno
Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality

Honorable Mentions in Alphabetical Order :

Big Tray Deee – The General’s List II ‎
Brainoil – Singularity To Extinction
Burial Invocation – Abiogenesis
Deicide – Overtures Of Blasphemy
Extremity – Coffin Birth
Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands
Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
Ruin – Human Annihilation
Satan – Cruel Magic
Tomb Mold – Manor Of Infinite Forms



Funeral Mist – Hekatomb
Hopesfall – Arbiter
Spurv – Myra
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn
Harakiri for the Sky – Arson
Kriegsmaschine – Apocalypticists
Conan – Existential Void Guardian
Churchburn – None Shall Live… the Hymns of Misery
Antlers – Beneath.Below.Behold
Trna – Earthcult
Knelt Rote – Alterity
Almyrkvi – Umbra
Holy Fawn – Death Spells
Devouring Star – The Arteries of Heresy
Dakhma – Hamkar Atonement
Jesus Piece – Only Self
Spine – Faith
Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog
Between the Buried and Me – Automata I & II
Cult Leader – A Patient Man
Kataplexis – Kataplexis



Top 10 Concepts For King Diamond’s Next Album:

Haunted Ghost Ship
Restaurant That Ends Up Serving Human Flesh
Firehouse Run By Insane Arsonist
Mattress Warehouse That Steals Dreams
Cursed Cowboy Ghost Town
Real Life Morbid Florist
WWII Ham Radio Enthusiast Invokes The Atom Bomb
School Teacher Insidiously Puts Incantations into his kids’ Word Problems
AI Robot Discovers Feelings…..and Satan
Zoo Keeper Becomes Obsessed With Lions, Dies By Lions

Top 10 New Albums I Listened To Instead of King Diamond’s New Album (Non Relapse)

Judas Priest
Tomb Mold
Uncle Acid



Dead Can Dance – Dionysus
Kaelan Mikla – Nott eftir Nott
David Eugene Edwards & Alexander Hacke – Risha
Ken Mode – Loved
Uncle Acid – Wasteland
Tor Lundvall – A Dark Place
Amen Dunes – Freedom
Tempers – Junkspace
Craft – White Noise and Black Metal



12 life-changing Steely Dan songs in no particular order to excite and perplex your lover for a deeply confusing sexual experience:

1. Bad Sneakers (Katy Lied)

2. Deacon Blues (Aja)

3. Only a Fool Would Say That (Can’t Buy a Thrill)

4. Haitian Divorce (The Royal Scam)

5. Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Pretzel Logic)

6. Razor Boy (Countdown to Ecstasy)

7. Everyone’s Gone to the Movies (Katy Lied)

8. Black Cow (Aja)

9. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again (Can’t Buy a Thrill)

10. Kid Charlemagne (The Royal Scam)

11. Barrytown (Pretzel Logic)

12. Your Gold Teeth (Countdown to Ecstasy)



  1. Westworld Season 2 Soundtrack
  2. Post Malone – Beer Bongs and Bentley’s
  3. Cult Leader – A Patient Man
  4. Tomb Mold – Manor of Infinite Forms
  5. Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die
  6. Harms Way – Posthuman
  7. Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want
  8. Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
  9. Anna von Hausswolff – Dead Magic
  10. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
  11. Of Feather & Bone – Bestial Hymns of Perversion
  12. Sulaco – The Prize
  13. Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator
  14. Cuphead – Original Soundtrack
  15. Migos – Culture II

Best Song of 2018:

Sheck Wes – “Mo Bamba”



The Armed – Only Love
Churchburn – None Shall Live…The Hymns Of Misery
Drug Church – Cheer
Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands
High On Fire – Electric Messiah
Idles – Joy As An Act of Resistance
Jóhann Jóhannsson – ‘Mandy’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Primal Rite – Dirge Of Escapism
Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology
Un – Sentiment



  • OUTER HEAVEN: Share Digital Single “Cryptic Vision”

    March 15, 2019

    Pennsylvania, death metal legion OUTER HEAVEN share the exclusive new track “Cryptic Visions” via Decibel Magazine’s Flexi Series. Stream the song and subscribe to the physical flexi series HERE. Realms of Eternal Decay was included in various Best Albums of 2018 lists including Decibel Magazine and Exclaim’s Best Metal & Hardcore albums. OUTER HEAVEN is: Austin […]

  • AUTHOR & PUNISHER: Announce West Coast Tour w/ Wear Your Wounds & Xasthur

    Industrial metal visionary Author & Punisher has teamed up with Wear Your Wounds (solo project of Jacob Bannon) and the notorious Xasthur for seven West Coast shows beginning May 26th. Check out the full list below: 05/26: Seattle, WA @ Highline 05/27: Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge 05/28: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop 05/29: Los Angeles, CA […]

  • RINGWORM: Announce Album Release; Release Tour Dates

    Death Becomes My Voice is out May 3rd on Relapse Records. 30 years into their storied career, Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM ascend to new levels of hostility with 35+ minutes and 11 tracks of no-holds-barred aggression on Death Becomes My Voice. Tracks such as “Let it Burn”, “Acquiesce”, and the band’s explosive title track unleash RINGWORM’s visceral urgency, spawning one […]

  • MONOLORD: Begin Recording New Album

    March 13, 2019

    Swedish hard rock trio MONOLORD have entered Let Them Swing Studio to begin recording their soon-to-be fourth studio album and Relapse debut. The yet-to-be titled album is expected to be released Fall 2019. Stay tuned for more updates. Additionally, MONOLORD return to North America this Spring. The headlining tour begins April 19 in San Diego, […]

  • EXHUMED: Announce West Coast Facemelter Tour

    March 8, 2019

    Californian Gore Metallers EXHUMED are firing up their chainsaws this April and hitting the road for a special West Coast tour celebrating the release of their “Forged in Fire” hot sauce. Created with award-winning heat-mongers Hella Hot Sauce,“Forged in Fire” brings a blast of smoky heat that pairs perfectly with grilled human fle – er, meats. Frontman Matt Harvey talked a little about […]

  • RINGWORM: Announce New Album Death Becomes My Voice; Shares Opening, Title-Track

    March 6, 2019

    Death Becomes My Voice is out May 3rd on CD/LP/Digital Physical & Digital Pre-Orders Available Here   30 years into their storied career, Cleveland’s metallic hardcore legends RINGWORM return to take the world by force with their 8th studio offering Death Becomes My Voice, coming May 3rd on Relapse Records. Listen to the self-titled, opening track on YouTube HERE and all […]

  • FULL OF HELL Announce Weeping Caustic Torment North American Tour w/ PRIMITIVE MAN & GENOCIDE PACT

    Extreme metal quartet FULL OF HELL announce the Weeping Caustic Torment North American tour with labelmates PRIMITIVE MAN & GENOCIDE PACT. The tour begins May 24 at Maryland Deathfest and ends June 14 in Brooklyn, NY. All confirmed tour dates are available below. Additionally, FULL OF HELL have finished recording their 4th full-length album Weeping Choir with Kurt Ballou at God City (Converge, Nails, High […]

  • DEVIL MASTER: Share New Single “Her Thirsty Whip”

    March 1, 2019

    Satan Spits on Children of Light Out This Friday, March 1, 2019 on CD/LP/CS/Digital Photo By: Shang Whaley Philadelphia’s DEVIL MASTER stake their claim as one of the most venomous, twisted entities in the underground with their hellish debut, Satan Spits on Children of Light. Today they’ve shared “Her Thirsty” Whip” just before it sees its release this Friday […]

  • FULL OF HELL: Announce European Co-Headline Tour w/ The Body

    Extreme metal quartet FULL OF HELL announce European Summer 2019 co-headline tour dates with The Body. The tour begins July 4 at the legendary Roskilde Festival and ends July 20 in Lahti, FI. Full of Hell & The Body will perform a collaborative setlist on various dates throughout the tour. Additionally, FULL OF HELL have finished recording their […]

  • WINDHAND: Unveil New Video “First To Die”

    Begin EU/UK Tour Next Week (March 07 – March 24) Photo By Joey Wharton Today, WINDHAND unveil their new hypnotic video, “First To Die” directed by Philippe Grenade. “The inspiration for the video started with the lyrics, First you die, to be born,” Grenade explains. “I immediately saw the image of a woman suffocated by the crushing anxiety of a […]

  • INTER ARMA: Share Adult Swim Single Exlcusive Track “Stillness”

    February 20, 2019

    Photo Credit: Joey Wharton Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, team up with Adult Swim Singles to offer up the 27th installment of the current program. “Stillness” arrives in anticipation of the band’s forthcoming album Sulphur English, set for release April 12th. LISTEN TO “STILLNESS” HERE: INTER ARMA’s previously released song “Citadel” is available on YouTube HERE and on all streaming […]

  • FULL OF HELL Featured on Decibel Magazine’s April 2019 Cover

    February 19, 2019

    Extreme metal quartet FULL OF HELL grace the April 2019 cover of Decibel Magazine! Each issue comes paired with an exclusive flexi-picture disc, which just happens to be the 100th entry in the series; featuring a brand new exclusive track from PIG DESTROYER! Extremely limited quantities are available HERE . Hear FULL OF HELL’s recently released track “Latched And […]

  • INCANTATION: Announce Inaugural Upon the Throne of Apocalypse Vinyl Pressing Coming April 19

    Announce Siege of the Profane World Tour Dates Photo Credit: Scott Kinkade Death metal legends INCANTATION announce the inaugural vinyl pressing & remastered audio of Upon the Throne of Apocalypse, the original rough mix of the recording that became the infamous full-length album Mortal Throne of Nazarene. Dynamic-yet-raw, brutal-yet-atmospheric, and death-yet-doomy, Upon the Throne of Apocalypse remaster features the original artwork by […]

  • INTER ARMA: Announce 4th-Studio Album Sulphur English Coming April 12; Share New Song “Citadel”

    February 12, 2019

    Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, continue to trace a distinctly ambitious trajectory through modern metal. Today, the band announces their 4th full-length offering Sulphur English, coming April 12th, 2019, and share the first single entitled “Citadel”. “Citadel” streaming/Sulphur English pre-order  AT THIS LOCATION. Vocalist Mike Paparo comments: “The lyrics to “Citadel” were written as a sort of clarion […]

  • YOB: Announce Summer European Tour Dates w/ Neurosis

    February 8, 2019

    Our Raw Heart Surfaces On Numerous Best of Lists Including NPR, Rolling Stone, Decibel, Revolver, Noise, Mashable & Artforum Oregon’s cosmic trio YOB return to Europe this summer opening for doom metal legends Neurosis. The tour begins July 11 in Alperstedt, DE and ends July 26 in Gdasnk, PL. All confirmed tour dates are listed below. YOB are touring […]

  • NOTHING: Announce Spring U.S. Headline Tour Dates

    Philly’s post-rock shoegazers NOTHING announce U.S. headlining tour dates throughout March. Tickets are available tomorrow, Friday, February 8th at 12pm EST at Stay tuned for NOTHING’s full SXSW tour announcement (happening March 12-16) in the near future. NOTHING is touring in support of the recently released Dance On The Blacktopfull-length. The album has received high praise, appearing on end-2018 best-of lists including Kerrang (#6), Revolver (#16), NPR (#32) & […]

  • IRON REAGAN: Announce North American Headline Tour w/ Sacred Reich

    February 5, 2019

    Photo Credit: Dennis Williford “Iron Reagan play a revved-up take on the ‘80s crossover sound, the one where speed metal and hardcore merged into one giddy and pummeling skateboard soundtrack.” – Stereogum Richmond crossover deviants IRON REAGAN announce North American headline tour dates with Sacred Reich. The tour begins May 9 in Asbury Park, NJ and ends […]

  • DEVIL MASTER: Unveil New Video “Black Flame Candle”; Announce US March Tour

    Satan Spits on Children of Light Coming March 1, 2019 on CD/LP/CS/Digital Photo by Shang Whaley DEVIL MASTER give us a second taste of their forthcoming album today with new single and video “Black Flame Candle”: WATCH “BLACK FLAME CANDLE” HERE. DEVIL MASTER Comments: “Here is the third track to the album, a deathrock metal-punk stomper, set to […]

  • AUTHOR & PUNISHER: Announces Spring Headlining European Tour Dates

    February 1, 2019

    Industrial metal visionary AUTHOR & PUNISHER returns to Europe & United Kingdom this April with Lingua Ignota. The tour begins April 2 in Berlin, DE and ends April 27 in Bregenz, AT. All confirmed tour dates are available below. AUTHOR & PUNISHER’s sixth studio album Beastland is out now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages are available HERE and Digital Downloads […]

  • WRONG: Announce Headlining European Spring 2019 Tour Dates

    Feel Great is out now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records Miami noise rock/alt metal powerhouse WRONG announce headlining European tour dates throughout Spring 2019. The tour begins April 12 in Germany and ends May 5 in Belgium including major festival appearances at Roadburn Festival and Desert Fest London. WRONG will be touring in support of their latest full-length album release Feel Great. All confirmed […]

  • INCANTATION: Announce Siege of the Profane European Spring Headline Tour

    Photo Credit: Scott Kinkade Death metal legends INCANTATION announce the Siege of the Profane headlining European tour throughout early Spring 2019. Support will be provided by Defeated Sanity and Skinned. The tour begins March 15 in Paris, FR and ends April 5 in Aarhus, DK. All confirmed tour dates are available below. INCANTATION’s Profane Nexus is out now on CD/LP/Digital via […]

  • PRIMITIVE MAN: Announce Spring 2019 World Tour Dates; Exclusive West Coast Tour Begins This Week

    Photo Credit: Alvino Salcedo Denver’s PRIMITIVE MAN announce Spring 2019 World headlining tour dates including trips to Japan, Australia & New Zealand. The tour begins in Japan from April 11-14 with Bell Witch & Coffins, continues in Australia from April 18-21 then ends in New Zealand from April 24-27 with Heresiarch. All confirmed tour dates are available below. […]

  • INTEGRITY: Announce Spring 2019 West Coast Headlining Tour Dates; Confirmed For Decibel Metal & Beer Fest’s Pre-Fest

    Metallic horror trailblazers INTEGRITY announce headlining Spring 2019 West Coast tour dates. The tour begins on April 18 in San Diego, CA and ends Apr 27 in Seattle, WA. Select support will be provided by Toxic Holocaust, All Out War, Incendiary & more. A full INTEGRITY itinerary is available below. Tickets are on sale Friday, January 18 at 11am […]

  • MERZBOW: 25-Year Anniversary Vinyl of Venereology (Remastered) Coming March 1st

    The undisputed king of Japanese noise MERZBOW returns, as the landmark album Venereology celebrates 25 tinnitus-inducing years with its inaugural vinyl pressing! Physical vinyl pre-orders & Remastered Digital Downloads / Streaming are available via HERE. Listen to the remastered version of “Slave New Desart” AT THIS LOCATION. Remastered by James Plotkin (ISIS, ELECTRIC WIZARD, […]

  • DYING FETUS: Announce “Chaos & Carnage” US Co-Headline Tour Dates

    This spring, DYING FETUS will co-headline the 2019 edition of the “Chaos and Carnage” USA tour with Whitechapel. The tour begins April 18 in Sayreville, NJ and ends May 17 in Winston Salem, NC. Additional support to be provided by Revocation, Fallujah, Spite, Uncured and Buried Above Ground. All confirmed tour dates are available below! […]