Rock Sins End Of Year Awards 2018 – Connor Morris

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Continuing on with our End Of Year Awards, celebrating the best bits (and occasional disappointments) from the rock and metal world in 2018, is Connor Morris, one of our roving reviewers and photographers. Over to you Connor!

Album Of The Year – Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It

I was first exposed to Rolo Tomassi in 2012 when they played in a small club venue in Belfast with Architects. It was spazzy mathcore, I didn’t understand it and I really didn’t like it. I have never given this band the time of day since. However, after seeing plenty of people raving about Time Will Die… I decided to give them another go. Oh my, what a fool I was for leaving it this long. Rolo Tomassi have carefully concocted the best album of 2018, one that is simultaneously one of the heaviest and most melodic of the year too. Perhaps my taste has changed, perhaps Rolo Tomassi have massively improved, perhaps it’s a bit of both. From the uplifting, dreamy feel of “Aftermath” to the absolutely crushing “Rituals”, this albums ticks all of the boxes, and it speaks volumes that his album has made me totally change my opinion on them and also turned plenty of other heads in the process.

Honourable Mentions:

itoldyouiwouldeatyou – Oh Dearism
Brockhampton – Iridescence
Møl – Jord
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Debut Album Of The Year – Itoldyouiwouldeatyou – Oh Dearism

For a band to come along and release an album as special as Oh Dearism on their debut is really something. Having heard the band’s previous EP’s before, I thought I had a fair idea of how this album would sound, but Oh Dearism blew all expectation out of the water. Whilst this is definitely an itoldyouiwouldeatyou release at it’s core, there is so much more going on that took me by surprise like the 8 and a half minute opus that is ‘Greek Fire’ and the album closing fable ‘Goodbye to All That’. It could take a few listens to take everything in but once it clicks and you realise how everyone in this seven-piece plays their part, whether that’s how powerful a voice Joey Ashworth has or how much of a disgustingly talented drummer Sean Westall is, you will not put this album down. If you check out even one band from this list, make sure it’s itoldyouiwouldeatyou.

Honourable Mentions:

Møl – Jord
Vein – Errorzone
Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises
Jesus Piece – Only Self

Song Of The Year – Code Orange – 3 Knives

Just days after their crushing headline set at Outbreak Festival, Code Orange released an EP out of the blue “The Hurt Will Go On” which featured a track featuring Corey Taylor as well as a song called ‘3 Knives’, which is a 2 minute assault on the ears. The song feels like a natural and, would you believe, more intense progression from 2017’s “Forever”. It has fast drums, intense guitars and a dirty bass, as well as maintaining their industrial feel and a… eh… Duran Duran sample, what more could you want from a Code Orange song? If this is any indication as to where Code Orange are going with album four then we’re in for a treat in 2019.

Honourable Mentions:

The Black Queen – Porcelain Veins
Sleep Token – The Way That We Were
Turnstile – Moon
American Football – Silhouettes

Most Disappointing Album Of The Year – Parkway Drive – Reverence

This was a difficult one to hand out as someone who has always adored Parkway Drive’s earlier material and has wanted to be a part of the growth they’ve seen over the last few years. Whilst I will never begrudge a band for trying something different, Reverence is an album that I can’t get behind, and I have TRIED. Whilst there are so many bits and pieces on this album that work, somehow Parkway Drive have mentioned encapsulate everything I hate about heavy music in one album.Some of this albums pummels you and Winston McCall can still sound like a blast furnace when he wants, the singles on the album are easily the best on the album but rest can be like nails on a chalkboard. From the dad-rock guitars to the King-810-esque snarling spoken word vocals to the lyrics that may as well have been written by Ivan Moody, it’s too much for me to be able to look past and enjoy the good bits.

Disonourable Mentions:

Bullet For My Valentine – Gravity
Fall Out Boy – Mania

Video Of The Year – Turnstile – Bomb / I Don’t Wanna Be Blind

The video for Turnstile’s Bomb and I Don’t Wanna Be Blind encapsulates everything that this band does beautifully, with Bomb starting with some flowers being picked and I Don’t Wanna Be Blind kicking in as said flowers are run over by a car. The video is shot beautifully and culminates with the car being vandalised with flowers and smoke flares which is some lovely juxtaposition that reflects Turnstiles music very well.

Honourable Mentions:

Behemoth – Bartzabel
Architects – Modern Misery
Møl – Jord
IDLES – Colossus

Gig Of The Year – Architects – London, Alexandra Palace

A band who need no introductions at this point played the biggest show of their careers at the start of 2018 when 10,000 people ascended into Alexandra Palace to watch Architects, While She Sleeps and Counterparts play one of the most important shows of the year. This was a huge moment for Architects and felt like the perfect way to wrap up the AOGHAU chapter of their career and celebrate everything they had achieved so far. Not only did this feel like a huge moment for Architects, but heavy music in general. For a band to keep putting out heavy music without compromising their sound and get the level they’re at now is incredible and has really shown that the sky is the limit at this point. In 2 weeks Architects will play a bigger show even still at Wembley Arena. Mental.

Honourable Mentions:

Alexisonfire – London, Brixton Academy
Deafheaven – Leeds, Stylus
Marmozets – Sheffield, Leadmill
Basement – Leeds, Stylus

Festival Performance Of The Year – Vein – Outbreak Festival

Having only attended one festival this year, this section will only be looking Outbreak Festival. Not to worry though, as the line up was absolutely stacked. There was a lot of excitement leading up to what was going to be Vein’s debut UK show after they’d a released teaser track from the upcoming album ‘Errorzone’ as well as footage from some shows in the US, particularly from This Is Hardcore in Philadelphia (watch it, it’s ridiculous). Vein delivered the set of the weekend with what can only be described as a relentless assault on the senses. They return in February for their own headline shows with Higher Power.

Honourable Mentions:

Turnstile – Outbreak Festival
Code Orange – Outbreak Festival
Jesus Piece – Outbreak Festival
Chamber – Outbreak Festival

Band Of The Year – Turnstile

Turnstile have had a bloody massive year in 2018. They released their widely acclaimed sophomore album and major label debut with Roadrunner Records at the start of the year and “Time & Space” has seen them touring all over the globe since. They were put on the cover of Kerrang! earlier in the year and headlined Outbreak Festival alongside 2017’s band of the year Code Orange, as well as their own tour in November which sold out very quickly. Turnstile have been flying the flag for hardcore this year and they don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing.

Honourable Mentions:

Bury Tomorrow
Pale Waves

While you’re here, please take the time to check out the awards from some of the other members of the team and our special guests for the year:

Sam Savigny’s 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards
Sam Dignon’s 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards
Matt Mills’ 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards
Jamie Giberti’s 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards
Simon Crampton’s 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards
Gail El-Halaby’s 2018 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards


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