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Remembering 2018, a radical year for the metal music genre

Festivals made a comeback in the genre and so did some crucial bands.

Ah, Christmas. The most metal time of year is upon us. Let us indulge ourselves on the absolute peak of the filth of capitalism while half the world languishes in poverty. Praise the birth of the false prophet, and suck off Santa while you hail Satan or some shit. I don’t know hey. This month always sends me a bit loopy and I can safely say that I am glad it will all soon be over, with new horizons set to unfold before we know it.
 
As we farewell 2018, we can safely look back and say that it was a very strong year for heavy metal and its associated genres, but I thought maybe we could reflect on how sick it is that Australia was finally put back on the metal festival map after a few years of absence. We now have the sustained growth of a local instalment of Download to look forward to as a yearly occurrence. We were even lucky enough to get its somewhat-less-metal but still pretty sick Good Things which will also return in 2019. For the seventh edition of the annual desert metal festival in the Northern Territory, Blacken Open Air has also just gone on sale and announced it is moving from its original home of Alice Springs to a camping site at Ross River at the mouth of the N'Dhala Gorge. And then, as always, we got Dark Mofo confirmed for June, gearing up for an early 2019 announcement. Who even cares that UNIFY is leaning more heavily into the mainstream and dropped “heavy” from the tag. Now can one of these festivals please just book the best band of all time already? I'm talking about Attila.
 
I’ve been predicting that Slayer would break up for years and years and this year it finally happened. That’s my big claim to fame for 2018 – that about five or six years after I started saying in end of year columns that the thrash pioneers would surely have to break up soon, they finally… kind of… did it … but also I wasn’t writing a column last year so I was way off… but also kind of have touring booked all the way into October 2019. I think this will be one of those John Farnham kind of “final tours.” But at least now that they’ve embraced the end I can move on to a new prediction. I think that in 2019 As I Lay Dying will get back together, fans will forgive fallen Christian and vocalist Tim Lambesis for literally attempting to have his wife murdered, and start selling out the biggest shows of their career. Oh no wait, that already happened. I don’t actually think I have a break up prediction anymore?
 
Anyway, no one will remember 2018 for this but me, but it was also the year that I got back into writing a regular metal column for this here publication after a few years off the presses, and I have to say I have enjoyed it. I hope you had a few moments with me too. Catch you all for a piece of writing with a hopefully more clear sense of direction in a couple of weeks.