She Likes It Heavy on Tuesdays, 7pm PST on bostonfreeradio.com, prajmetal@gmail.com

Best Album Covers
BLACK FAST (St. Louis), album - Spectre of Ruin — https://www.discogs.com/Black-Fast-Spectre-Of-Ruin/release/12239718#images/35108594
FUTURE CORPSE (Melbourne), album - Culture Ruins Everything Around Me — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1191821332_10.jpg
PARIUS (PA), album - The Eldritch Realm — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3105691492_10.jpg
DEADBIRD (AR), album - III: The Forest Within The Tree — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2734892447_10.jpg
LURK (Finland), album - Fringe — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0798154700_10.jpg
GOURMAND (Kansas City), album - Blossoming from the Grave — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1479235691_10.jpg
BLACK VIPER (Norway), album - Hellions of Fire — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3156453153_10.jpg
DEATHRITE (Germany), album – Nightmares Reign — https://www.discogs.com/Deathrite-Nightmares-Reign/release/12773662#images/37027173
ULTHAR (Oakland), album – Cosmovore — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0007232483_10.jpg
CORPSESSED (Finland), album - Impetus of Death — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0079743140_10.jpg
GROSS MISCONDUCT (Vancouver), album – Equinox — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4070700797_10.jpg
CONVULSING (AU), album – Grievous — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2037270330_10.jpg
ANCST (Berlin), album – Abolitionist — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1912435359_10.jpg
SULPHUR AEON (Germany), album - The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos — https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1151529218_10.jpg

Best Traditional Black Metal
SPECTRAL WOUND (CAN), album - Infernal Decadence
Song: Feral Gates Of Flesh (0:25-5:51)
— Black metal split between Modern (last week #2 album Convulsing), Traditional and Melodic/Atmospheric. Spectral Wound stood out against an unbelievable year of black metal, with a vocalist that stains your brain.

Runners-Up:
HUMAN SERPENT (Greece), album - For I,The Misanthropist — They are equipped with an epically vicious vocalist, which is necessary for a 2-piece. The desperation lined with the brilliant melancholy was just immense here, and then punched in was a surprising amount of riffage and groove. Entirely satisfying. I almost chose this over Spectral Wound. Recorded 2015-16, released January 2018.
ABIGOR (Austria), album - Hollenzwang - Chronicles of Perdition — If you miss raw, well grab your balls and listen to the raking grueling sharp jangled black metal of Abigor. The evil oozes, and isn't that what black metal is all about. Rasping, snarling, bubbling, demonic gargled hell.
IMMORTAL (Norway), album - Northern Chaos Gods — Norwegian black metal, that frosty wind of high-pitched vocals in a whirlwind of blasts and head-spinning guitar frenzy.
INEXORUM (MN), album - Lore of the Lakes — I think one-person bands are really good within black metal because s/he focuses on the distinction of instruments, and it doesn't become muddled. Though muddled is also a welcome style in black metal.
SARGEIST (Finland), album – Unbound — Sargeist swings from vicious to melodic, bleak, depressing, emotionally-laden and all of it has the suffocating style we all know and love about black metal.

Best Pagan or Folk-infused Metal
WINDFAERER (NJ), album - Alma
Song: Becoming (7:39-14:15)
— Another black metal album bubbling with organic instruments, but somehow manages to fucking rip the shred of the riff off your butt.

Runners-Up:
HORN, album – Retrograd — This leans heavily into folk, with a vocalist singing to the heavens, a chorus behind him.
KALMAH (Finland), album – Palo — Strings threading through an immense cloud of melodic death, with viking lord musicians at the helm, super groovy and a blast. They sweeten their style of muscular power with folk.
PANOPTICON, album - The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II) — First of all, this album is massive - 18 story-telling epic songs of acoustic, folk, under-the-stars romantic diving into the ink of black.

Best Melodic or Proggy Death
SULPHUR AEON (Germany), album - The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos
Song: Thou Shalt Not Speak His Name (14:53-21:37)
— Another Lovecraft-influenced album in art and lyric. One of the best death albums of the year, thundering and haunting and deeply fist-in-the-airable. They won Best Death in 2015.

Runners-Up:
HORRENDOUS (Philly), album - Idol — Prog mixed with death; and all of it is super catchy overall
OCEAN OF GRIEF (Greece), album - Nightfall's Lament — Majestic melodic with overtly baritone and masculine vocals is so hard to keep from being cheesy. These Greeks do melodic to perfection, creating vivid gorgeous spell-binding stories.
AT THE GATES (Sweden), album- To Drink from the Night Itself — In the 90's I headbanged to this band religiously in my car. Their new albums sound a lot like Slaughter, but why the hell not. Again, with age comes refinement.

Best Melodic/Post/Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal
DISCIPLES OF THE VOID (Finland), album - S/T
Song: The Heirs Of Wormwood (22:39-28:59)
— Torment-leaning, anonymous 2-piece creating symphonic black metal and shriek-infused melody. The duo creates so much fucking epicness that will defy your preconceived notions of atmospheric.

Runners-up:
SUMMONING (Vienna), album - With Doom We Come — A strange, strange mood with ethnic instrumentation and horns blowing across the frostbitten land.
KARG, (Austria) album – Dornenvögel — The vocals are the tool for fierceness in this band, with the emphasis on organic acoustic guitars strummed in gorgeous landscapes. Dude is from Harakiri for the Sky.
OMNIPOTENCE (Vancouver), album – Praecipitium — A late release in the year, a debut, and powerful impact. Thrash and riffs mixed with the pure melodic black modernizes the sound.
AVAST (Norway), album - Mother Culture — Who knew black metal could be influenced by shoegaze so successfully.

Best Bay Area Local Albums
Bay area dude. Fucking bay area.
THESE BASTARDS (SF), album - Old and Pissed
Song: Our Prayer (29:58-32:03)
– I just caught These Bastards, and they are fucking hilarious as you would expect from old farts who’ve been around forever. Their wit, technical prowess and chemistry is something to see live, punchy as fuck album.

PRIMAL RITE (Oakland), album - Dirge of Escapism
Song: Antivenom (32:04-34:15)
— I haven’t seen Primal Rite yet, not sure yet since I see their name everywhere, opening up for pretty big acts and they’ve been around for a handful of years. They are everything you expect from a crossover band: unbelievably catchy and frenzied. They play with tempos, slowing down unexpectedly, building upon each other.

Runners-Up:
BRAINOIL (Oakland), album - Singularity to Extinction — Sludge gods Brainoil were one of the forefathers of the downtuned thick bass and groove, led by profoundly deep vocals that made a girlfriend of mine pass out at a show.
ULTHAR (Oakland), album – Cosmovore — Oakland debut offers chompy speedy-thrash with bloody death and evil black.

Best Modern Death (mixed genre)
VEILBURNER (PA), album - A Sire To The Ghouls Of Lunacy
Song: Introvertoid (34:50-42:00)
— Veilburner swallowed Oranssi Pazuzu and burped out weird and synthy and theatrical within guttural death and a mix of black. So surprising.

Runners-Up:
RIVERS OF NIHIL (PA), album - Where Owls Know My Name — This band created one of the best videos for sure, technical death mixed with organic instrumentation like saxophone; dynamic, diverse and textured death
OUTRE-TOMBE (Quebec), album - Nécrovortex — Death and thrash and punk, refreshing a brutal mix
HISSING (Seattle), album - Permanent Destitution — Death noise, aggressive, seething, dissonant insanity with no patterns that somehow makes sense.

Best Modern Doom (mixed genre)
HOODED MENACE (Finland), album - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Song: In Eerie Deliverance (42:58-49:35)
— Unafraid is the doom, and it swallows whole the death riffs and aggression. Finnish alien brain keeps ya guessing.

Runners-Up:
Thou (Baton Rouge), album- Magus — The released their 5th full-length in a flurry of releases last year, including multiple EPs. Thou is what you would expect: depressive sludge, ambient, melancholy melodic doom with a explosive spectrum of vocals that plead not to look at him. Well, I'm looking.
Khemmis (Denver), album – Desolation — Khemmis' vocalist soars in front of the sound, a blend of majestic doom, paced by a thick sludge. It erupts into catchy melodies, a lot like GypsyHawk, a spinoff of the original Skeletonwitch.
Deadbird (AR), album - III: The Forest Within The Tree — When I heard Deadbird nearly 15 years ago, the vocals did me in. Heart-wrenching. The incredible album art is by John Santos.

Saturday Album
SLUGDGE (UK), album - Esoteric Malacology
Song: Slave Goo World (50:27-56:52)
— An intense dense sweet funny creepy desolate clean filthy brutal challenging complex album. It is pure talent, and can fit any mood for any Saturday. Unbelievable from a duo.

Best Avant Garde/Experimental/#1 Album
IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT (NY), album - Vile Luxury
Song: Gotham Luxe (57:57-END)
— Conceptually capturing all aspects of NYC - beauty, grit, decay, sophistication with 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, a tuba, bass, and raving lunatic vocalists. As with all the best albums, you have to listen multiple times and each time is a different experience.

Runner-Up:
Gura (Belgium), album – Caligura — Gura is a crazed 2 piece of jazz saxaphone often following the singer off a ledge, a thick bass and drums that punch holes into each other, experimental to say the least, you have no idea where it starts and ends. All of it makes sense.

Direct download: She_Likes_It_Heavy_Show_293_012219.mp3
Category:Radio Show: She Likes It Heavy -- posted at: 12:18am EDT

Best Song Names
Rebel Wizard, album - Voluptuous Worship Of Rapture And Response — 
1. Persisting as it does
2. The prophecy came and it was soaked with the common fools forboding
3. High mastery of the woeful arts
4. Drunk on the wizdom of unicorn semen
5. The poor and ridiculous alchemy of Christ and Lucifer and us all
6. Mother Nature, oh my sweet mistress, showed me the other worlds and it was just fallacy
7. Majestic mystical burdens
8. Healing the chakras with heavy negative wizard metal
9. Voluptuous worship of rapture and response
10. Exhaustive glory

Best Traditional Death
MONSTROSITY (FL), album - The Passage of Existence
Song: The Hive (0:26-5:05)
— Sweaty old mullet metal bros that have headbanged their way around Florida death for decades. These guys know the riff, the guitar solos, the intricacies of vocals and the headbang. Just a gem.

Runners-up:
CORPSESSED (Finland), album - Impetus of Death — Blast blast blast in your face and Finnish country folk that bite the antlers off rabid beasts. These guys go all out epic.
LIK (Sweden), album - Carnage — I like Lik because it reminded me of At The Gates (listen to Rid You of Your Flesh), almost the exact same vocals, melodic touch to old school death. Fucking headbang with a fist in the air. Nothing new, but so much fun.
HATE ETERNAL (FL), album - Upon Desolate Sands — Muscular death metal that flex: technical, brutal, overtly masculine vocals. They are innovative beyond throwing around testicles. Guitar solos are epic, so many crushing riffs.

Best Hardcore/Punk
PORTRAYAL OF GUILT (TX), album - Let Pain Be Your Guide
Song: Your War (6:55-9:13)
— Bleak and raw, emotional; deeply-felt lyrics which is a staple of hardcore. This is just the beginning for these guys.

Runners-Up:
JESUS AIN'T IN POLAND (Italy), album - No Man's Land — Jesus Ain't in Poland have slowed their version of grindcore to dynamic, eruptive, melodic hardcore. With some grind sprinkled on top.
MAMMOTH GRINDER (Austin), album - Cosmic Crypt — With members of Iron Reagan and Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder unsurprisingly blended the chompiness of hardcore into death, short little bits of fun to dig your teeth into.
IDLES (UK), album - Joy as an Act of Resistance — Idles got my last year's Best Punk album. Bristol punks want you to find joy as the resistance, gawd how sweet. These are hot British guys you want to hug and punch and drink beers with. Stylized punk with deep lyrical content.
FUTURE CORPSE (Melbourne), album - Culture Ruins Everything Around Me — A triumphant experimental sound, diving face splat first into prog and punk, stir some badass death metal kick, simmer with jazz, and all with the young heart of poppy punk and hardcore vocals. Stunning fantasy album art.

Best Legendary Band
SATAN (UK), album - Cruel Magic
Song: Legions Hellbound (9:52-14:50)
— 40 years of dense and intricate guitars creating melodic thrash, and they don't need to speed it up to make their point.

Runners-up:
AT THE GATES (Sweden), album - To Drink From the Night Itself — In the 90's I headbanged to this band religiously in my car. Their new albums sound a lot like Slaughter, but why the hell not. Again, with age comes refinement.
JUDAS PRIEST (UK), album - Firepower — Judas Priest prove they are still heavy metal gods. They engage in their trademark hooks and harmonies and manage to remain muscular. A must-have album.

Best Female Vocalist
CLOUD RAT (Michigan), album - Silk Panic
Song: Nago (15:20-17:50)
— This album encompasses a universe of emotions that every woman possesses. She screams it for us. She sighs. She breathes. She is amazing.

Runners-Up:
IZEGRIM (Netherlands), album - Beheaded By Trust — Geezus, the female vocalist is nothing short of amazing. Check her out here: https://youtu.be/w3_-ps206sM
DEATHBELL (France/Ireland), album - With The Beyond — Incredibly jolting pagan psychedelic doom led by a French goddess with sultry vocals.
MESSA (Italy), album - Feast for Water — Don't worry, she's on the list below.
LUCIFER (Sweden/Berlin), album - California Son — Berlin has blues in their blood. This is perfect 70's rock with a badass female lead vocalist.

Best Extreme/Technical Death
GOROD (FR), album - Aethra
Song: Hina (18:24-23:38)
— And the guitar lords speak after the bloody battle. You have won, tech death nerds, you are the mighty warriors of all. This album is frighteningly fast, crazy, brutal, but most importantly a fucking blast.

Runners-Up:
PORTAL, album - Ion — Anonymous, cloaked members creating completely fucking alien dissonant atmospheric for your fucked up brain.
REPLICANT (NJ), album - Negative Life — Bass-heavy, harmonies and space between the chaos breathes fresh energy in this modern tech death, heavy on the riff. Then the vocals vomit its raw horror.
INOCULATED LIFE (Denver), album - Exist to Decay — Colorado rises, yet again. These guys have a long, long life. This was a killer debut.

Best Darkwave/Deathrock/Post-Punk
NAUT (UK), album - Raise the Lights
Song: Frames (24:17-30:41)
— I can't deny, this is one of my favorite categories. These guys use bass to create their brooding melody, with those death rock vocals, encompassed in a bow of shimmering guitars. They are nostalgic personified.

Runners-Up:
THE SOFT MOON (Berlin), album - Criminal — Stylish, intense industrial darkwave with a really cool-styled vocalist. Extremely danceable.
LEBANON HANOVER (Germany), album - Let Them Be Alien — German dark danceable wave done to perfection by a duo of vocal perfection, both male and female. Gorgeous synth and bass.

Best Traditional Doom
MESSA (Italy), album - Feast for Water
Song: Leah (31:34-39:34)
— Soft, strange, lovely mood created by angelic and powerful vocals with crisp, bluesy guitars. They were nominated last year, and a clear winner in this, hands down.

Runners-Up:
DEATHBELL (France/Ireland), album - With The Beyond — 4-female created distorted, thick melodic doom. Incredibly jolting pagan psychedelic doom led by a French goddess with sultry vocals.
URFAUST (Netherlands), album - The Constellatory Practice — The vocalist is a wavering thin screech between a wall of black meditation, an oppressive push that pressed my brain into a slit. Controlled Bleeding experimental style mixed with melodic and cathedral vocals in parts. This is the last part of a trilogy.
SOLSTICE (UK), album - White Horse Hill — Solstice started in 1990; if you are Indian and can do math in your head, that is a fuckload of time ago. Led by a charismatic lead singer, pagan heavy metal doom.
APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE (Indiana), album - From Gold to Ash — 2 vocalists are standouts, gorgeous harmonizing loveliness.

Best Sludge
1914 (Ukraine), album - The Blind Leading the Blind
Song: Passchenhell (40:11-47:03)
— I may have cheated placing this death-leaning band in sludge, but it has elements of sludge: filthy, crushing, dense, suffocating.

Runners-Up:
FISTER (St. Louis), album - No Spirit Within — Fister is one of the best sludge bands ever created. Infusing slow tempoed darkly filthy passages with the evil screech and rasp of the vocalist, bubbling into catchy rhythmic headbreaking, but only in brief slashes of time. The rest is just gurgling torture. Had one of my favorite songs all year: https://youtu.be/Vfoo0l9x14Y
BRAINOIL (Oakland), album - Singularity To Extinction — Bay area Brainoil releases groove rampage sludge that is that Brainoil-style of satisfaction. Greg's vocals are epic. John Santos created-album art.

Best Retro
Wytch Hazel (UK), album - II: Sojourn
Song: See My Demons (47:51-52:13)
— One of the hardest, worst categories for me to rate, because I loved every single one of these albums. For (2) of them - Graveyard and Greenleaf, I was banging my head on the wall, I love these bands so much. But, this was the album this year. Story-telling, jamming guitars, and those vocals. Rich, rich stuff.

Runners-Up:
Graveyard (Sweden), album - Peace — If you know anything about me, you know that I worship Graveyard, the warm melting sweet chocolate vocalist. In the midst of becoming famous, winning a grammy in their country, and discussions of breaking up, these guys took their sabbatical and came back together strong and vital and strong in storytelling, hooks, blues, ripping my heart apart yet again.
The Night Flight Orchestra, album - Sometimes the World Ain't Enough
They blend the funk of the 70's and classic metal ballad vocals and lyrical content of the 80's. Super fun.
Greenleaf (Sweden), album - Hear the Rivers — Swedes do psychedelic jamming blues the best; and Greenleaf has been one of my favorites of these bands. They changed their incredible singer a few years ago, which was terrifying to me. But holy shit, they must have sacrificed to Satan because he is amazing. This is one of their strongest soulful albums to date.

Best Modern Black Metal (mixed genre)/Best Evil Male Vocalist/#2 Album
CONVULSING (AU), album – Grievous
Song: Relent (53:37-END)
— This album reminded me of Ruins of Beverast and Venenum. Not in the sound, but the creation of an epic, unexpected trip within and outside your brain. Yes, this is a 1-man band. He has climbed through my brain with massive vocals, contrasting tempos, creepy atmosphere climbing into dissonance. Bleak and monstrous.

Runners-Up:
SKELETONWITCH (OH), album - Devouring Radiant Light — I don't care what anyone says, Skeletonwitch has always been genius. THe new lead singer put me at a loss at first, but I think he found his footing with this one. More focused on fierce cold black metal, rather than the charming previous lead singer's love for groovy thrash. It fits now.
REBEL WIZARD (AU), album - Voluptuous Worship Of Rapture And Response — The vocals are a knife, the technical guitar solos are worshipful. Australia had the most epic scene of 2018. Reb
GAEREA (Portugal), album - Unsettling Whispers — Bleak to its core, whispers of evil and death crawling up your spine, the tempo is not based on your need for headbanging. They will let you know when it is appropriate or necessary, nothing is staged.

Direct download: She_Likes_It_Heavy_Show_292_011519.mp3
Category:Radio Show: She Likes It Heavy -- posted at: 2:40am EDT

0:25-5:44
SULPHUR AEON (Germany)
Lungs into Gills
— Impactful monstrous Germanic riffs, isolated guitars and sonic vocals creating melodic death.

7:37-16:55
DØDSFERD (Greece)
Loyal To The Black Oath
— Vocals are touching, aching and powerful within emotional compositions.

17:26-22:27
PLOUGHSHARE (Australia)
In Offal, Salvation
— Strangled vocals, wicked melodies, blasting drums, electronic hisses in unexpected mixes.

22:54-29:07
HISSING (Seattle)
Eulogy in Squalor
— Death noise, aggressive, seething, dissonant insanity with no patterns that somehow makes sense.

29:48-34:00
UNMAKER (Richmond)
Used Future
— The shy boy waits to be noticed. Perfect post-punk soulfulness.

34:11-36:52
UBOA (Australia)
Thigh High Cat Tights
— Shocking.

37:18-41:11
DISCIPLES OF THE VOID (Finland)
The Apocalypse Reign
— Anonymous 2-piece creating symphonic black metal with shrieks and ferocious drumming threaded with melody.

41:30-44:30
WAN (Sweden)
Till maskarna slängd
— Blistering, raw, speed-driven black'n'thrash.

45:23-53:33
OMNIPOTENCE (Vancouver)
Beyond the Boundaries of Being
— One of the best melodic black metal of the year.

53:53-56:42
BRIDGE BURNER (New Zealand)
The Blood Never Lies
— Vocalist climbs up your spine in stilettos. Converge-style dissonant hardcore, distorted with a splash of death.

57:01-END
TOMBTOKER (Baltimore)
Warfare Revolution
— Groove stoner doom and sludge, always with an edge.

Direct download: She_Likes_It_Heavy_Show_291_010119.mp3
Category:Radio Show: She Likes It Heavy -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

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