2018 SMW Independent Metal Music Awards

Michael and Ty deal out the 2018 SMW Independent Metal Music Awards!

We meant to get this out before the end of 2018 but life got busy around the holidays so happy New Year’s motherfuckers! 2018 was our first FULL year as a podcast, website and heavy metal media juggernaut (someday) and we could NOT have done it without the UNDERGROUND baby! The independent metal scene is the foundation that Super Metal World rests upon and we couldn’t be more thankful for the support and music you all have shared with us.

The best part of 2018 was discovering music that is seldom heard but every bit deserving of recognition.  We each list our favorite song, album, artist and guest of the year! Thanks again and please continue to send your best tracks to [email protected] Maybe next year we will have some hardware to give out too!

Ty’s SONG OF THE YEAR – “La Violencia” by Killborn 

ORIGIN 

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

THE MUSIC

From the opening riff, Killborn is not fucking around with this track. This song makes me feel like Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania. “La Violencia” is the 4th track on Killborn’s Theodicy E.P. and was a strong contender for my favorite collection of independent metal music this year.

We discovered these guys when we first started the podcast and you can listen to that here (just our seventh episode!) and Forest Marsh, lead vocalist, continues to be a vital personality for Super Metal World.

BEST MOMENT

The pounding main riff and Forest’s crushing vocals will get your attention but you’ll listen again for the dynamic ending.

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Michael’s SONG OF THE YEAR – “The Lonely Tower” by Letters in the Abyss

ORIGIN 

Los Angeles, California

THE MUSIC

This track was still a demo when I heard it for the first time and despite that I knew we needed to share it. The version we featured on our second episode of Independent Metal Radio was an unfinished demo of just instrumentals. This track is so captivating. It completely captures the essence of a solitary lighthouse. At one moment you are soaring high in the sky above the clouds with the sun on your face, the next you find yourself plummeting toward rocky cliffs in the middle of a storm.

BEST MOMENT

I find the guitar work at the beginning of the track really sets the tone and mood for the rest of the song. It’s a sad melody that wraps you up and prepares you for the trip.

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Ty’s ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Heed The Warning by Wraith 

ORIGIN 

Indiana

THE MUSIC

I can’t really say it any better than I did when I featured the band in late 2018. “Wraith combines the fury of thrash metal with the attitude of punk and the vocal delivery of black metal (blackened thrash). Heads up, it works. I love every minute of it and they are one of my favorite underground bands that we have ever featured. The sound they have created isolates them from your stereotypical thrash bands in an indelible way.”

This album clocks in around 20 minutes and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it. It is excellently crafted and re-listenable.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Heed the Warning”, “Bastards”, “The Pit”

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Michael’s ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Chimera by ISA

ORIGIN 

Somerville, Massachusetts

THE MUSIC

When you sit down to listen to Chimera, you should really prepare yourself. It’s a psychedelic trip of progressive in-your-face metal. Complex beats and swirling landscapes of sound dominate this eleven track album. Dan Curhan is the one and only member of ISA and it’s an incredible example of how much power and emotion an individual can convey through music. Every track flows seamlessly to the next and never pulls you out of the illusion of the dream. That’s not to say it isn’t heavy. Between the sequences of complex audio landscape is as much intensity you could want.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Stage I – DESCENT”, “STAGE III – HEATHENS”, “STAGE VIII – OCEAN”

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Ty’s BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Letters in the Abyss 

ORIGIN 

Los Angeles, California

THE MUSIC

Letters in the Abyss is more than heavy music, it’s a vibe. This band captivated Michael and I with their unmatched ability to create mood and imagery through instrumentation that feels lived and breathed in. The unique thing about LitA is they offer instrumental-only versions of all their tracks letting you decided which version of the band you prefer. This is definitely one of the most talented bands you have never heard of. Keep grinding LitA! We featured them here and here.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“The Somber Gloom”, “The Lonely Tower”, “Deadwood”

SUPPORT THE BAND

 

Michael’s BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Agony by Default

ORIGIN 

Laramie, Wyoming

THE MUSIC

A good work ethic goes a long way and Agony by Default’s sole member Matthew “Axl” Brammer has no shortage of that. In 2018, he released Refleksjoner, a thirteen track album, and a split with independent metal band, Catervatim, titled Chaos and CataclysmRefleksjoner is a massive and intense album. I find it has an excellent flow from track to track. Metal bands tend to struggle with maintaining intensity while preventing listener ear fatigue. Brammer seems to understand this and Refleksjoner is over before you know it. I look forward to hearing more from Agony by Default in the future. The musicianship is there.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Reflections”, “Ghosts”, “The Path of a God”

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Ty’s GUEST OF THE YEAR – Albert MudrianImage result for albert mudrian

SMW Podcast

Episode #43

THE LOGIC

Albert Mudrian is the Editor-In-Chief of Decibel Magazine, one of the most well regarded multimedia platforms dedicated to extreme music. Decibel is a heavy influencer for Super Metal World and it was incredibly interesting to talk to Albert for over an hour regarding his company’s origins and rise to prominence. The best thing about Albert is that he is humble, grounded, knowledgeable and an excellent story teller who lives and breathes heavy metal.

Michael’s GUEST OF THE YEAR – Jordan Posner

Terror

SMW Podcast

Jordan Posner of Terror Gets Captured By Cultists In The Woods

THE LOGIC

Jordan Posner is the guitarist of hardcore band Terror. He was one of the first interviews we had with our new adventure style format. I’ve got to say he handled the dangerous scenario we put him in with grace and ease. His thoroughly considered responses to getting captured by cultists were hilarious and very effective! Something that I’m constantly interested in hearing about is how musicians describe the differences between hardcore and metal.  Jordan, being in a hardcore band, has all the authority to answer this question and it was great to get some perspective from him.

Thanks for your support, bring on 2019!

Horns high,

Michael and Ty

 

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