Our Ten Best Albums of 2018
There’s been some great albums released this year and as usual it’s hard to pick a top ten. Here are our picks, in alphabetical order rather than building up to an absolute favourite, because Scott and I would never be able to agree on what is the single best album of the year.
BAD WOLVES- DISOBEY
The metal supergroup of sorts released their simply awesome debut album back in May, led by their impressive cover of The Cranberries’ classic ‘Zombie’. A combo of bruising power (‘Learn to Live’, ‘No Masters’) and melodic anthems (‘Remember When’, ‘Hear Me Now’), Bad Wolves have endeared themselves to many this year on the back of tours with Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, and their first U.K. stink alongside Three Days Grace; setting themselves up perfectly for a very successful future.
Guitarist Doc Coyle also guested on the HFTB podcast back in the summer.
BEHEMOTH- I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST
More melodic and accessible while still featuring the dark and demonic sounds they’re known for, Behemoth divider opinion with their eleventh studio album; however it has become one of the best releases of the Pole’s career, with stunning moments coming on ‘Havohej Pantocrator’, ‘Rom 5:8’ and ‘Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica’. The album artwork is incredible and the picture disc vinyl is a must-buy, and simply put- ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’ is a phenomenal metal record.
CANE HILL- TOO FAR GONE
The sophomore album by the NOLA mob saw them maturing both personally and creatively. ‘Too Far Gone’ is chaotic, punchy, but also multi-layered, with a diverse set of songs that emphasises Elijah Witt’s excellent vocal range. The title track, ‘Singing in the Swamp’ and ‘Erased’ are the pick of the bunch, and it’s an album for Nu Metal and metalcore fans alike.
Witt joined our podcast back in January ahead of the album’s release.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH- AND JUSTICE FOR NONE
FFDP keep on doing things their own way and their latest record was another modern metal masterpiece full of catchy choruses and career-defining moments. ’Top of the World’, ‘Blue on Black’ and ‘When the Seasons Change’ all find Ivan Moody at the top of his game, and although the band might not step too far away from their tried and tested formula, they don’t need to when they continue to be one of the most popular bands on the planet.
A band whose music verges almost on genius, Ghost reached new heights with their June released magnum opus, ‘Prequelle’. Infectiously addictive and cheesy as the biggest cheese feast pizza, the Swedes sounded like Boston or REO Speedwagon with satantic darkness thrown in for good measure. ‘Rats’ is just amazing, ‘Dance Macabre’ couldn’t sound more 70s if it tried and the barnstorming instrumental ‘Miasma’ even has a saxophone solo in it. Unashamedly brilliant in every aspect.
MACHINE HEAD- CATHARSIS
Harking back to the era of ‘The Burning Red’, Machine Head really brought it on what would prove to be their final album with the Flynn, Demmel, McClain, McEachern line-up. 15 songs of groove and force, ‘Beyond the Pale’, ‘Behind a Mask’ and the blistering title track showed Machine Head to be on fine form. Even the folly ‘Bastards’ was a fine if not surprising addition, and the closing track ‘Eulogy’ would turn out to be hugely prophetic. Good stuff.
MUSTASCH- SILENT KILLER
These Swedes sure know how to write great hard rock songs, as emphasised by their latest album, released in April. ‘Barrage’ is on of the best songs of 2018, while ‘Fire’ and ‘Burn’ are literally red hot, and there are fantastic riffs littered throughout the ten songs. Highly enjoyable- this is an album you can listen to on repeat and never get bored.
Possibly the best record of their lengthy career, Nonpoint’s tenth album has it all and the public’s response to it has been immensely positive. ‘Chaos and Earthquakes’, ‘Fix This’ and ‘The Way I Feel’ all bring something different, in fact the whole track listing features elements of all the band’s previous releases. Nonpoint have been going over 20 years now and they seem to be getting better and better, while still having the passion and dedication to the cause.
Nonpoint’s drummer Robb Rivera joined our podcast in August to talk about ‘X’.
PARKWAY DRIVE- REVERENCE
After an incredible headline slot on the second stage of Download back in June, it further underlined that Parkway Drive are the best metalcore band around, full stop. ‘Reverence’ is their sixth album and featured a lot more clean vocals from Winston McCall, but the songs still slammed hard. ‘Prey’ and ‘The Void’ show just how far the Aussies have come over the years, but in truth, the instrumentation across the whole release was earth-shatteringly sensational. They’re back in the U.K. in January for a full arena tour- don’t you dare miss them.
SKINDRED- BIG TINGS
Like the album cover, Skindred are cool cats and the reggae rockers returned with an album that was impossible not to enjoy. Maybe not as heavy as their previous releases, ‘Big Tings’ has plenty of party rock tunes that are sure to put a huge smile on your face, and who doesn’t enjoy cranking ‘That’s My Jam’ up to ten and rocking the fuck out?
We saw them steal the show at the Aerodrome festival in Prague in July, and we even had Benji Webbe on the podcast for a hilarious chat a couple months back, further swaying our decision to include ‘Big Tings’ in our top 10.