Welcome to day four of my Album of the Year 2018 top 30 countdown. How can it be day four already? It only feels like I started this yesterday. You might feel differently, but as far as I am concerned, I’m in the zone and I’m already starting to get caught up in this series.
One of the best things about this process is that I get an excuse to go back and re-listen to all of the best albums this year has had to offer, rediscovering what it was that I loved so much first time around. Or, in many cases, justifying why I have had a particular disc on constant rotation, getting in the way of my other reviewing responsibilities. For there are several records in this list that have got in the way of my day-to-day obligations, finding their way onto my stereo when I should be dissecting something else for review purposes. But that’s music for you!
If you’ve missed the previous picks in this series so far, click the following links:
And with my shameless advertising out of the way, here’s my next choice:
A Dying Planet
‘Facing The Incurable’
CynNormal Lab Recordings
Score of Much Metal: 9
We all have our favourite musicians; those that stop us in our tracks whatever we are doing, forcing us to listen. Often, these musicians will give us the shivers too, stirring emotions within us that are strong and powerful. For me, one of those musicians is guitarist/songwriter Jasun Tipton, he of Zero Hour and Cynthesis fame.
And that’s a good part of the reason why ‘Facing the Incurable’ finds its way into my top 30 for 2018. With time and thought, I must be honest and say that it isn’t the finished article and it might not topple recent Tipton-related releases, such as the debut Abnormal Thought Patterns disc or the latest Cynthesis. However, given the upheaval behind the scenes, the result is incredibly strong and credit to these musicians.
If you are unaware, Jasun’s twin brother Troy had to give up playing the bass guitar due to illness. The guitar/bass combination has always been such a huge factor in previous releases, but on this record, Troy stepped up to the plate in terms of songwriting and vocal duties. The album is used as something of a cathartic process and so it is a dark, emotional and thought-provoking listen which is tough-going in places. There are rough edges too, but I can only see good things coming from A Dying Planet in the years to come. Plus, Jasun’s beautifully eloquent guitar-playing is all over this disc.
To quote my review of 15th August 2018:
“Stylistically, A Dying Planet sits somewhere within the sphere of Cynthesis and Abnormal Thought Patterns, with brief echoes of Zero Hour, whilst maintaining an original edge. What you get is a blend of djent-esque heavy riffing and complexity, with atmospheric, often ambient minimalism, where melody and emotion come to the fore. It’s a potent mix for sure and one which has really had an effect on me.
I’ve made mention in previous reviews of my love of Jasun Tipton’s guitar playing and here, with the personal slant to the material, his beautiful phrasing, sharp delivery and melodic sensibilities makes a bigger impact arguably than ever before. Channelling his inner Gilmore, when his soulful and poetic solos emerge from the minimalist synth-led introspection, they sing an evocative lament, the perfect counterpoint to Troy’s heartfelt words.
Once again, the Tipton brothers have delivered the goods. It may be a whole new ball game these days but such is their talent and ability with music, they have made it work. Troy demonstrates here that his voice has the potential to be every bit as strong as his bass playing was, certainly as emotionally charged, whilst his song writing and grasp of a strong melody is certainly present and correct. That said, I think that there is definitely more to come from A Dying Planet, or whatever project these telepathic twins put their name to.”
Read the full review here.
If you missed the previous posts in my 2018 list, click here:
If you missed my ‘best EPs and compilations of 2018, you can read that here:
And here’s a reminder of my countdown series from previous years: