Minimal waffle, maximum music – I’m very aware that there is too much music and not enough time! I’ve had close to 1,000 albums pass through my inbox this year alone (I’ve probably only been able to listen to about a third of them), and what I’m presenting are my favourite albums of 2018, the albums that I’ve connected most with, that matter most to me, one way or another.
Hope you find something new to get into…
First up, here’s some special odds and sods that tickled my proverbial…
AllFather – And All Will Be Desolation, Beartooth – Disease, Failure – In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind (Review), Jøtnarr – Jøtnarr, Kissin’ Dynamite – Ecstasy (Review), Lik – Carnage (Review),Machine HeadCatharsis, Magnum – Lost On The Road To Eternity (Review), Orange GoblinThe Wolf Bites Back (Review), The PrimalsAll Love Is True Love (Review)
20. THOSE DAMN CROWS – Murder And The Motive
Top notch Hard Rock. (Review)
19. BAD WOLVES – Disobey
Djenty WrestleMetal. (Review)
18. SKELETONWITCH – Devouring Radiant Light
Black/Thrash gets serious.
17. GINGER WILDHEART – G*A*S*S Mark II
Ginger Wildheart being ace, innit. (Review)
16. THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA – Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough
Eighties magic. Like Madonna meets Magnum, or something.
15. AWOOGA – Conduit
Alternative prog-Grunge. Or something… (Review )
14. BOSS KELOID – Melted On The Inch
Like a British Leviathan, innit…
13. BLACK PEAKS – All That Divides
Quality Alternative Rock (Review)
12. AT THE GATES – To Drink From The Night Itself
Top tier Melodeath by legends
11. THE XCERTS – Hold On To Your Heart
10. MUSE – Simulation Theory
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first. On hearing the eighties synth-laden lead-off track I was a bit underwhelmed. Second listen through to the whole album, and I was hooked. I like that they did something different, and I like the something different they’ve done.
9. ARCHITECTS – Holy Hell
I was late getting into Architects, with All Our Gods… being my first real dive into them. This one is even better. Even (trying to) remove it from context and everything involved in what they’ve gone through the last few years, it’s simply chock full of massive songs.
8. CANCER BATS – The Spark That Moves
One that surprised me. I’ve never done more than dabble with Cancer Bats before… I like them, but never made much of an effort to properly get into them, though I will always remember them being absolute brilliant at Download a few years back. Anyway, this album is a beast. Review.
7. ALICE IN CHAINS – Rainier Fog
One of the best there’s ever been with another very, very fine addition to their canon.
6. PARKWAY DRIVE – Reverence
Another one that I was initially lukewarm with (and I still think it ends on a bit of a flat, weird note) but that has humongous songs that you cannot ignore. It’s right up my alley: a bit of neanderthal, a peppering of Classic Metal, a vocal hook (that’s not too hard to sing), and a huge sound… Sold.
5. POWERWOLF – The Sacrament of Sin
I love huge, cheesy Power Metal (about zombie werewolf priests). Accept it. I have.
4. JUDAS PRIEST – Firepower
The Priest. On fire. There’s not much more to it than that. A plethora of great Priest tunes all on one CD. No duds, just top ‘eavy Metal.
3. VISIGOTH – Conqueror’s Oath
The best “proper” Classic Heavy Metal album for years. (Review)
2. AMORPHIS – Queen Of Time
Ah, Amorphis, I love thee! Somehow, this is probably their best one since Tales From The Thousand Lakes. Which is saying something when you consider the quality evident on Elegy, Eclipse, Beginning of Times and Under The Red Cloud, in particular. This one is Amorphis bringing together everything they are, with every member on top form. They really suit working with Jens Bogren, too.
1. GHOST – Prequelle
Genuinely, very probably my favourite album this century (this or Epicloud, it’s a very close call). Utter love for this one. Every second of it. Zombie priests again, too, just for extra bonus points. And I love that my little boy got ‘Dance Macabre’ stuck in his head after just a couple of listens and spent the summer singing it around the house.