A Last Minute Giftbuyer’s Guide to the Best Music of 2018

AKA our favorite albums of the year! Treat yourself for the holidays or impress the hard-to-buy-for music nerd in your life.

2018 has been an amazing year for dark-alt music. Post-punk revival and darkwave have been making a huge mark on everyone I know and this year felt like it was impossible to keep up with everything as it came out. So I got together some of our staff and we made a list of the the absolute best music we heard all year.

While we all for the most part disagreed due to personal tastes, two albums rose to the top on the majority of our lists:

Damage by Kill Shelter released November 26th and Shadows by Twin Tribes released January 31st. Both of these are debut albums, and both spectacularly bookend and encapsulate the spirit of the what could arguably be called fifth wave goth. They blend the classic 80s sounds of bands like The Cure and Sisters of Mercy with the essence of the more contemporary bands like She Past Away and Drab Majesty. These are the sounds of the modern scene.

Please enjoy the rest of our recommendations from DJs Maus, Azy, Veine, and Seraph with bonus list from our good friend DJ NM. Also, included are picks from our social event coordinator Chris Risano and DIY guru Jason. All images are clickable and will direct you to the artist’s bandcamp.

DJ Maus - Communion After Dark, Obscura Undead, Strangelove Tampa
Specialties: Everything?

Dancing Plague - Pure Desperation
VOGUE.NOIR - Strange Days
S Y Z Y G Y X - Hex n’ Equinox
Twin Tribes - Shadows
Geometric Vision - Fire! fire! fire!
Coma Alliance - Weapon of Choice
ACTORS - It will come to you
Kill Shelter - Damage
Low Factor - L'Oiseau du Désespoir
Bragolin - I saw nothing good so I left

DJ Azy - Obscura Undead
Specialties: goth, darkwave, postpunk

October Burns Black - fault line
Delphine Coma - Leaving the Scene
TRAITRS - Butcher’s Coin
Night Nail - LA Demons
Sandman Sanctuary - DN28
Icy Men - The Queen of Sorrow
Lycia - In Flickers
Astari Nite - Midnight Conversations
Push Button Press - Spectacle 1
Long Night - Barren Land

DJ Veine - ANXST, Totentanz
Specialties: Industrial & Metal

6th Circle - Pacified
Deader - The Deadening
Rabbit Junk - Rabbit Junk Will Die: Meditations on Mortality
C-LEKKTOR - Animals
Statiqbloom - Infinite Spectre
Tyrant of Death - Singles & Extras
I Think I Broke Something - Add Spikes on Top
URSA - Abyss Between the Stars
Dimmu Borgir - Eonian

DJ Seraph - Obscura Undead, Boston
Specialties: Darkwave, Synthpop, Industrial

Cruex Lies - The Hearth
Tearful Moon - Evocation
QUAL - The Ultimate Climax
Kælan Mikla - Nótt eftir nótt
Selofan - Vitrioli
Geometric Vision - Fire! Fire! Fire!
Balvanera - Delusion/Desire
Holygram - Modern Cults
Ash Code - Perspektive
Malefixio - Culto a lo Invisible

DJ NM - AKA Nick M, Uberbahn Orlando and Panic!
Specialties: All the wave

Low Factor - L'Oiseau du Désespoir
ADULT. - This Behavior
Silent EM - Foreign States
Visitor - Expat
Rendez-Vous - Superior State
S Y Z Y G Y X - Burning Mirrors
TWINS - That Which Is Not Said
QUAL - The Ultimate Climax
Potochkine - Self-Titled
Buzz Kull - New Kind Of Cross

Chris Risano - Obscura Undead, Illustrator

Lebanon Hanover- Let them be Alien
Paperkite- Another day of dancing
Horror Vacui-New wave of fear
Guillotine Dream-A war on the passage of time
Malefixio- Culto a lo Invisible
Nox Novacula- S/T ep
Selofan- Vitrioli
In my despair- Solitude

Jason Siebert - Obscura Undead, DIY extraordinaire

Human Tetris - Momorabilia
The Soft Moon - Criminal
Poptone - Poptone
Geneva Jacuzzi - Technophilia

Preachy editor’s note: As always, if you like an album, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp or directly from the artists themselves rather than streaming music exclusively. Services like Bandcamp, which put most of your money directly into the artist’s pocket, allow bands to keep making the music you love. We don’t get anything for encouraging you to throw money at the acts you love; we just think the piddly $0.0075 artists get per stream on Spotify and the massive cut iTunes and Amazon takes out of each sale is exploitative bullshit.