IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in November 2018

16 min read


Tune in to @BlessedAltarZin at the beginning of each month for my “Sinday Sermon” from the Pulpit of Deception… Where I’ll reveal my Top 5 Most Played Albums for the previous month! May be a brand new release I haven’t reviewed, an absolute Classic or perhaps that obscure record that hasn’t hit your turntable in ages…

If October saw a slight decline in quality metal releases, then November quickly remedied that with some absolute stunners that were released from Morgal, Death Karma, Décembre Noir, Blade Killer, 1914, Bane, Rifflord, etc., etc., and that’s just a sampling. It’s been a phenomenal month for NEW music as we wind down 2018. Several of these have been or will be reviewed, so I won’t comment here, but as always I’ll plug 2018 for the magical year that it has been for our genre…Enjoy the ride!

November 2018 Top 5 Most Played Albums

ORANGE GOBLIN – Time Traveling Blues
1998, Rise Above Records – CDRISE 18/212.0618.2

Definitely my favorite Orange Goblin recording and in my opinion one of the better stoner metal albums of all-time. With tracks like Blue Snow, Solarisphere, Shine, Diesel (Instrumental) and the title track being the high points of this standout album. The band significantly progressing from the quite excellent psych driven debut “Frequencies From Planet Ten” with a heavier sound propelled by thunderous riffs and Ben Ward’s monstrous weed and booze fueled vocal performance. It’s just such an unconventional, violently delivered and utterly magnificent recording that has had my attention since its 1998 release. Recently pulled out of my Bins of Doom and hasn’t left my car CD player since.

Favorite Track: Time Traveling Blues

IRON ANGEL – Hellbound
2018 Mighty Metal – PMZ255LPLTD

Yes that Iron Angel! Truthfully this is an album that was easily overlooked upon its release, and I’m so pleased to have re-visited “Hellbound” in the last couple of months. This album reminds me of last year when Oz released the outstanding “Transition State” which made its way into my Top 20 for 2017. With two new band members in tow on guitars mixed with Dirk’s imposing vocals this has been quite the surprise release of 2018 in my opinion. Has the band created some new imposing power or speed metal recipe? No not really, but the record sounds fresh and vibrant, loaded with 80s infused electricity that quite frankly is very welcome to my turntable. Bands like Evil Invaders, Vulture and Enforcer haven’t tinkered too much with the sounds of the day and it’s paid dividends for fans of this style of metal. Has been a real curveball thrown into my 2018 AOTY Rankings…This is simply an excellent album!

Favorite Track: Ministry of Metal

HIRAX – Raging Violence
1985, Metal Blade Records – 72058-1

When listening to Hirax’s debut album “Raging Violence” one understands that the unique vocals from Katon W. de Pena and the over the top riffage is simply the blue-print of and for the band. This thrash outfit has weathered time and criticism for its lyrical content, vocal delivery and unfortunately much more, but the band has stayed true to its core and possess a criminally underrated catalogue. Short, immediate  and blistering tracks throughout the album have left their mark. Just listen to The Gauntlet, Destruction and Terror or the title track to feel the sheer power of the drumming and of course these magnificent thrash riffs which together dominate the album and the bands core sound. Hirax has been an underdog you could root for since its inception…Still do today!

Favorite Track: Raging Violence

NILE – Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
1998, Relapse Records – RR 6983-2

The last few months I’ve dug out a ton of my classic death metal albums to re-evaluate how they’ve stood up and how I’d rank them today? In doing so, I decided to share this phenomenally produced technical death metal debut recording that perhaps expands from where early Morbid Angel in their heyday had left off. I’ll admit at first listen upon its release, I wasn’t instantly drawn in by the band? But after a few more very focused listening sessions and a live performance, I was all in on Nile! The Egyptian interludes that I believed to be somewhat annoying or unnecessary, just added to the overall experience and Nile at that point really stood on their own merits with no real comparative bands. Smashing The Antiu, Barra Edinazzu, Ramses Bringer of War,  Serpent Headed Mask, Beneath Eternal Oceans of Sand and the odd Die Rache Krieg, Lied der Assyriche being the highlights of the album. The overall musicianship, mysticism and brutality have kept me coming back to the Catacombs again and again.

Favorite Track: Ramses Bringer of War

PANOPTICON – The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness I and II
2018, Nordvis Produktion – NVP073LP/NVP074LP

Let me just begin by saying that I think Austin Lunn is quite the spectacular performer! I’ll also admit that I completely missed Panopticon’s first two releases, until I heard from a friend some material on “Social Disservices” and was completely blown away! At the time I really wasn’t that into atmospheric black or folk metal; because I hadn’t really given it a fair listen in a while since we’re all being honest here. On to the album at hand, where the gorgeous fusion of melodic black metal, blue-grass and mountain folk traverse the nearly two hour epic experience. Not even sure you can really call it simply an album? From its heavier side one to the passage and folk laden side two, it is such a captivating and intense adventure that keeps you drawn in and engaged throughout. I have friends that don’t get it or like it, and others that are desperately delving into the back catalogue to engulf more of Panopticon. This release truly needs its own review to get across all of the emotions and points one could make about it. I recommend you investigate for yourself and make your own conclusions, but it’s easily one of my favorite records of 2018.

Favorite Track(s): The Singing Wilderness (Part I) & (Cowering) At The Foot Of The Mountain (Part II)