I fucking love the Bay Area. There is a truly amazing amount of artists that live out here. For the music that I am interested in the most, this area is the best in the world. There is some great scenes scattered around the globe, but within this particular area there is pound for pound more consistent and quality acts than anywhere else. The music community is so legitimate that most of the releases I am going to talk about flew under the radar because there is an overwhelming amount of good entities that exist in the area. I would wager that if most of the bands that I am going to be listing lived anywhere outside of the Bay Area they would have a hell of a lot more hype around them because people would understand how incredibly special and unique they are. That is really only one of the major drawbacks about being a musician/artist in the Bay Area, there are just so many that it is hard to keep track, although this list is going to be quite massive, it still is only a fraction of what the Bay Area music community has to offer as I myself am not completely in touch with all of the fringe factions out here. That is very intriguing to me because there is so much more to discover. Allow me to introduce you to some of my favorite active musicians and artists that I believe are worth knowing about that released music that is worth listening to in the year 2018.
Abstracter – Devastating Black Death Doom featuring members of Atrament & Vale
Adrenochrome – Gothic Post Punk
Altars – This release is so god damn heavy. Featuring members of In Disgust & Deadpressure playing dismal Death Metal. Wait until you hear their new band Socioclast, yall aint ready.
Ails – “The Unraveling” out on The Flenser Records, Black Metal featuring members from Ludicra
Aseptic – Raw Primitive Death Metal
Atone – Punishing Sludge with the Guitarist and Bassist from Body Void & the Drummer and Vocalist of Swamp Witch
Atrament – D(eath)-Beat Hardcore Punk with members of Abstracter & Mortuous
Barren Altar – Crushing Black Doom Metal
Bastet – Enchanted No Wave
Body Void – Miserable Sludge Doom
Bonestripper – Primal 80’s influenced raw Metal Punk
Bosse De Nage – “Further Still” out on The Flenser. Frantic experimental Black Metal featuring one of my favorite Drummers in the business, Harry Cantwell, who also blasts in Succumb.
Brainoil – The Sludgelords returned triumphantly with “Singularity to Extinction” out on Tankcrimes Records. Featuring members of DeathgraVe & Stormcrow
Cell Rot – Maniacal Hardcore Punk
Clueless – Tough AF Hardcore
Cold Claw – Blackened Hardcore
Dearth – Malevolent Black Death Metal featuring members of Xenotaph & Funeral Chant
Deadpressure – S/T LP out on Carbonized Records. Incredibly heavy Grindcore with members of Altars(USA) & Mortuous
Deathglam – Radical Punk out on Aklasan Records. Described as if Blatz and Napalm Death combined forces.
DeathgraVe – “So Real, It’s Now” Deadly Grindcore with a killer sense of humor out on Tankcrimes with members of Brainoil & Evulse alongside The Best vocalist in Extreme Metal-=-Andre Cornejo.
Dispirit – Atmospheric Black Doom Psychedelia from the Godfather of American Black Metal John Gossard.
Domino & The Derelicts – Infectious Punk Rock
Dustern – Gloomy Shoegaze from members of the Post-Metal band Catapult The Dead
Esses – Dark Post-Punk
Evulse – Disgusting Death Metal with members of Mortuous & Swamp Witch
Extremity – Old Skull Death Metal featuring folks from Cretin & Ulthar
False Figure – Post-Punk Deathrock
Firearm – Gritty Hardcore Punk
Forn – “Rites of Despair” Melodic Funeral Doom out on Gilead Media. This is a killer album, even though the majority of the band lives on the East Coast, the singer is my next door neighbor.
Ghoul // Ill Bill – Ill Bill is a legend, this is a ridiculous split. Tankcrimes is killing the game.
Grosero – Raw Hardcore Punk
Heavy Stench – Pissed Crust Punk
High on Fire “Electric Messiah” – The Hessian Rifflords wrote this album in tribute to Lemmy and it is nominated for a Grammy, come the fuck on, bang your head.
Jenzeits – Hypnotic Electronic “Berlin School” music from the mastermind behind Hour of 13
Khiis – Furious Punk Rock
Korrosive – High Octane Charged Punk done right
Morir – Lofi Blackened Hardcore
Mortuous “Through Wilderness” out on Carbonized Records & Tankcrimes. This was the best Death Metal record of 2018. There was a lot of overhyped mediocre records that came out, but this was the real standout, head and shoulders above the rest, when trend hopping folks move onto the next hot topic, real Death Metal fans will be able to look back and marvel at this modern masterpiece.
Mutilated Tongue – Hardcore Punk Ex-Look Back and Laugh
Mystic Priestess – Darkwave Post-Punk greatness
Nopes – Freak Punk
No Right – This is the only Hardcore album I actually bought this year. I liked it so much I offered to put it out. “Unjustified” is ferocious and punishing straight edge hardcore.
Occlith – Vile Primitive Doom featuring members of Swamp Witch & Battlehag
Older Sun – This album took me by total surprise, Rock’n’Roll done right in a grimy harmonious way, featuring the Drummer from Serpents of Dawn.
Owl – Oldschool Rock’n’Roll with progressive tendencies and Punk Rock sensibilities
Palace of Worms / Xenotaph / Ehecatl / Gloriam Draconis 4 way split LP. This is not available online but we share a practice space and band members together with this unholy congregation so I was able to hear this album. It is a killer collection of some of the finest active Black Metal bands in the Bay Area. Palace of Worms currently has a live lineup featuring members of Mortuous & Extremity. The artwork alone on this album is worth the price of admission. Ehecatl, Gloriam Draconis, & Xenotaph are all supreme masters of their craft. Definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy of this if possible.
Pandiscordian Necrogenesis – Deranged Lofi Black Metal out on Gilead Media. This 1 man project is a mindfuck to see, the entity behind the project blasts a kick-drum incessantly while playing Guitar and singing at the same time.
Provoke – Pissed Off Hardcore Punk
Psychic Hit – Groovy Proto Metal
Ripped to Shreds – Buzzsaw Death Metal madness
Scolex // Mortuous Split out on Carbonized Records. Two Killer Bay Area Death Metal bands combining forces. You need this in your life.
Serpents of Dawn – “Into The Garden” Stoner Doom that knows how to Rock’n’Roll, founded by the former lead Guitarist in Acephalix & Vastum so you know it is super crunchy and groovy
Shannon & The Clams – “Onion” Dream Pop Rock Superstars. This band spends the better part of the year touring the world, they are incredible, but Id feel off not including them on this list. Shannon and The Clams are really great and they have garnered a rabid following of cult fanatics that love them with all of their heart. When it comes to bands that are not signed to a big time major label that have the best and wildest draw in The Bay Area – Shannon & The Clams are at the top of the list. There is something truly special about them
Shannon Shaw – “Shannon in Nashville” is incredible sultry soulful music. Since this is a web based publication – I want to point out that Shannon Shaw uses social media better than anyone else I am friends with online, most people shit post memes or post stupid sad crap, Shannon Shaw posts the best videos of animals having good times. Definitely at the top of my favorite internet friends of 2018 list as well. This album is on a completely different level, if you like genuinely good timelessly classic music I highly recommend giving this one a go.
Shit Coffins – Hardcore Punk featuring members of No Statik & Negative Standards
Sleep – “The Sciences”. The Sonic Druggernauts return with their latest Doom masterpiece
Slege – Lofi Black Metal Terror
Spelling – Avant-Garde Neo-Soul
Swamp Witch – “Dead Rituals”. Psychedelic Doomed Death Metal
Tenebrose – Dark Ambient featuring members of Hallucinator & Hollow Mirrors
Ulthar – “Cosmovore” released by 20 Buck Spin. Psychotic Black Death Metal with members of Pale Chalice & Extremity
Urban Sprawl – Seething Hardcore Punk
Vastum // Spectral Voice split – “Gagging on a Gash” is easily the best titled Death Metal track of 2018. This split pairs two of the best modern bands in Death Metal. Mandatory listen
Violation Wound – “Man in Charge”, lunatic fringe charged punk from the god father of American Death Metal, Chris Reifert, out on Peaceville Records.
Void Omnia // Isenordal split – Atmospheric Black Metal featuring members of Vale & Wild Hunt
Wild Hunt – Adventurous Progressive Black Metal featuring members of Dispirit & Void Omnia. Their album cover is a bizarre photo collage centered around one of my favorite Mausoleums
World Peace – Hardcore Powerviolence
Xenotaph 4 way split LP – Classickly trve Black Metal. My favorite BM band in The Bay. If you are a fan of infernal darkness and cold Black Metal, you owe it to yourself to have this record in your collection.
Yarrow “Rebirth” – Soul Crushing Sludge Heaviness with the Drummer of Swamp Witch playing Guitar in Yarrow
Let me know which of the bands from this list that you dug the most. Do you know of any other artists from The Bay Area that you think are worthwhile that I missed? Post them in the comments