Nathan Knowler

2018 in music and a look to the future


I love rounding up my favourite albums at the end of the year and that time has finally come for 2018. I’ll also take a look into what I’m anticipating in 2019.

Favourite albums of the year

There seemed to be a lot of metalcore releases this year. Of course that’s not all I listen to, but will definitely reflect in my list. I’m going with a weird number — 4 albums — for my best of 2018 list. Here we go:

4. [Untitled] by mewithoutYou

This album surprised me a lot. First of all, it came out of nowhere; it was released very quickly. Second of all, the EP they released before it made me think it would have a similar sound — kinda soft and folky — but no, right from the first track — 9:27 7/29 a.m. — this album rips. This album also includes a lot of really cool post-rock-y ambient sequences (notably on "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore"). Overall, I’m super impressed with this dynamic addition to mewithoutYou’s wonderful discography.

Favourite track: "Wendy & Betsy"

3. Holy Hell by Architects

I don’t think I’m going to be able to do justice with words how meaningful this record is. Holy Hell is packed with emotion. Architects has been known for this type of emotion, but this album was a whole new level in light of the passing of founding guitarist Tom Searle in 2016. Now the band has taken the time to process their grief and the resulting album is amazing tribute to Tom. I’ve lost count how many time I’ve listened to this cover to cover. Rest in peace Tom.

Favourite track: "Royal Beggars"

2. Empty Black by Greyhaven

I had never heard of this band until I see a tweet from Garett in Silent Planet saying to check them out. They did not disappoint, in fact, I listened to this album a ton. Greyhaven does a great job of blending a lot of sounds and as a consequence have a very unique sound and voice in their music. This band is for lovers of Every Time I Die, The Dillinger, Escape Plan, Norma Jean, or The Chariot — anything that rips.

Favourite track: "Broadcast Network"

1. Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It by Rolo Tomassi

I only started listening to Rolo Tomassi with their last album, Grievences, and they for sure filled the jazzy, shoegaze, mathcore craving I never knew I had.

When this album was released I went for a drive and listened to it in its entirely — twice — it was that good. The band ebbs and flows in and out of spacey ambience throughout the entire album. This record contains some of their heaviest sequences yet. Eva Spence is the most dynamic vocalist in prog music — seriously. She seamless transitions from the deep growls to the light, airy vocals. I would definitely recommend checking out this record and the rest of Rolo Tomassi’s discography.

Favourite track(s): "Balancing the Dark" and "Alma Mater" (together) — amazing.

A look to the future: 2019

The almighty Norma Jean is recording a new album right now. They’re my mainstay, so I’m pumped for new jams from them. I probably spin their entire discography at least twice a month. Will Oh, Sleeper finally release a new album? I hope so and their latest single is a good sign. Finally, I really hope to see a new album from As Cities Burn. I have no expectation for what it to sound like — I love all of their previous albums despite how different they all are.

Personally, a goal I’m making for myself in 2019 is to write more in-depth reviews of new music throughout the year. Hopefully, by this time next year, I can share a much fuller year in review for music.

Anyways, that's my list and my hopes for 2019. See you in the new year. 🎉