I still can't believe it's December already. Minnesota got hit with a few good inches of snow over the last few days, we got 4 weeks and 1 day left of the year, and all the bigger publications decided they were sick of having my lists come out first, so they decided to do their Top 20, 40, 50, and some even took my premise and did a Top 100; but that's none of my business *sips tea*. But all of that said, this is the hardest month of the year for me for many reasons. In an effort to combat that for the last decade of so; I've been compiling my favorite things of each year and every year, the lists, the premise, and the kinds of lists gets bigger and bigger. This year alone I already cover the Top 5 Wrestling Matches of 2018, Top 11 PS4 Games of 2018, Top 10 Epics of 2018, Top 10 Live Albums of 2018, Top 15 EPs of 2018 & Top 40 Honorable Mentions of 2018. Now it's time for the original, where all of this began, where most people know me from, the list where you question my sanity or authenticity from the sheer size of the list, or the one I'm most proud of "The List that makes me lose all my money from album purchases every year" list....THAT DRUMMER GUY'S TOP 100 ALBUMS OF 2018.
That said a few notes as I do every year and will be listed again when the full list starts:
1.) These are albums that I have personally checked out this year that I have either bought, streamed or was sent to me via promo.
2.) The order of the Top 100 is just based on my own enjoyment. I do not feel any album here is worth overlooking, otherwise I wouldn't take the time out of my day to talk about it.
3.) When the full 100 list begins it will be 20 albums per list. Starting with 100-81 and going 20 by 20 till the Top 20. The honorable mentions will be in Alphabetical order as I'm already ranking 100 albums, 140 is pure insanity.
4.) My list is not your list. There is bound to be a a few albums that show up on this list that you either hate seeing listed or you will ask why I don't have it on mine. It comes to either I didn't hear it enough, I didn't enjoy it enough, it's not my bag...baby, or I simply haven't heard it. The following 140 albums is not the be all end all list of 2018 rock and metal albums, but it does give a great representation of what came out this year.
So, with all that said, lets get right into it with THAT DRUMMER GUY'S TOP 100 ALBUMS OF 2018 PART II: 100-81
100.) Black Majesty- Children of the Abyss
FFO- Power Metal
What feels like one of Australia's best kept secrets; Black Majesty returns with some of the most bombastic power metal of 2018. 7 albums in, and the band has yet to lose any intensity, fire or passion; which is such a remarkable thing to see. If you want some incredibly written power metal, Black Majesty is the band for you.
99.) Poets Of The Fall- Ultraviolet
FFO- Alternative Rock, Gothic Rock, Symphonic Rock
It's not just melodeath that Finland continues to do right; it's just rock in general. With one of, if not the darkest album in their catalog; PotF shows off some fantastically well made rock that is catchy as all get go, yet well written. It's the kind of earworms that you want stuck in your head. The band is actually making their US debut at ProgPower USA 2019 next year, which if they catch on enough, could lead to more shows in the US. This is the kind of band to keep on the lookout for; it's well worth the effort.
98.) Shattered Skies- Muted Neon
FFO- Modern Progressive Metal
Shattered Skies is one of the greatest bands going from the Irish metal scene. Despite having some setbacks along the way; the band has been forging ahead since 2011 and now with their latest release, it feels like the most authentic release to date; really carving their own sound and showcasing everyone's talents in the band. Well crafted songs, catchy & heavy, and and overall sense that if this is the direction modern progressive metal is going in; we are going to be just fine.
97.) Orange Goblin- The Wolf Bites Back
FFO- Stoner Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Orange Goblin deserves to be one of the best known bands in the genre. A band that fully makes the music they want to me and does it with such great creativity and inspiration. They have no problem writing faster songs, slower songs, heavy songs, mellow songs; what ever is called for, they make it happen. The newest album continues that tradition, but they also made an album that feels like it would sound perfect in a live setting, which I do hope to see the band live again some day. Just a great solid, fun, album.
96.) Agrypnie- Grenzgaenger
FFO- Atmospheric Death Metal
If I had the chance to be able to hear this album more, it would be so much higher on this list. Discovering this band with their previous album, this album expands that ever growing sound with that gut wrenching feeling of hopelessness, but with a great atmosphere and intensity that other bands can't even come close to replicating. If you want your death metal more proggy, blackened, and atmospheric; check these guys out immediately!
95.) Skeletonwitch- Devouring Radiant Light
FFO- Blackened Atmospheric Thrash Metal
Boy, talk about a watershed album, eh? You have two camps going on in the world right now; those that feel like the band should have broken up after Chance Garnette left the band and those that feel the band is as strong as, if not stronger, than ever. I am of the latter camp. To match the new chapter of the band, instead of just focusing on fast, thrashy, fun music; the band has taken more of the atmospheric black metal approach to their sound. I feel like it actually makes the band stand out more. It still has the Skeletonwitch charm to it, just in a new style and it's a welcomed change. I seriously can't wait to see what they do next.
94.) Siege of Power- Warning Blast
FFO- Hardcore, Punk, Thrash
What happens when you take some of the most legendary names in European metal, get them together and have them start a new band? You get a new band where they simply write what they want to write, do what they want to do, and make the music they want to make. This is an album that hits all the marks that is needed. If you love the bands that are attached to this (Asphyx, Autopsy, Hail of Bullets) you'll hear traces of those bands, but this is something completely of their own accord, and that's why I dig it. A short, sweet, brutal assault.
93.) Antiverse- Under The Regolith
FFO- Thrash Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Progressive Metal
An absolutely solid band from Minneapolis, this band's second LP is a completely focused sonic assault to the senses. Fast, catchy, heavy and great lyrical themes. For those not familiar; think Revocation as a skeleton of an idea, but making it completely their own. A completely solid record from start to finish and well worth checking out.
92.) Alkaloid- Liquid Anatomy
FFO- Technical Metal, Progressive Metal, Death Metal
The second release from this amazing lineup features the band becoming even more of their own sound yet wearing their influences on their sleeve. The music is even more insane, the songwriting feels even more strategic, and the musicianship is unparalleled. One other point is that clean vocals are much more featured than on the debut, which is a great thing to see and makes the band stick out even more. Just an overall stellar album.
91.) Black Fast- Spectre of Ruin
FFO- Blackened Thrash Metal Progressive Metal
This band's third album is one of haunting wonder, breakneck riffs, and some of the most memorable riffs of this style I've heard in such a long time. Completely making the music they want to make, Black Fast showcases their immense strengths in songwriting, talent, excelled musicianship and a raw production that gives everything just a tad more of an evil feeling. This band deserves all the love they can get.
90.) Entransient- The Weight of Things
FFO- Dark Progressive Rock
Basically, if you love bands such as Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, Karnivool, and Hurt; you need to check out Entransient. The band's latest album shows the band expanding into even greater territory with variations on tempo, instrumentation, and overall themes. The songs are catchy, the style is heavy, proggy, and dark; and the overall vibe of this band just really hits home. Keep your eyes on these guys and see what they can do next...of course check out this album as well.
89.) Primordial- Exile Amongst The Ruins
FFO- Celtic Black Metal
Primordial can do no wrong and even nine albums into the band's career, the band still feels like they continue to progress their sound creating their best work. With even more emphasis on longer songs, ever growing ebb and flow in the riffs, and the signature Primordial sound they are known for; this is simply not an album to be ignored. This hits that Celtic black metal itch so very, very well.
88.) Clutch- Book of Bad Decisions
FFO- Blues Rock, Stoner Rock, Hard Rock
Clutch makes another solid Clutch album, who would have guessed? But seriously, it is so rare to find Clutch making an album that is anything but solid. Showcasing all the sides of the band you have come to know and love, this hits home on so many levels both lyrically and musically. IN short, if you already like Clutch, you should be checking this one out immediately. IF you're not familiar, this may be a great new introduction for you.
87.) Unleashed- The Hunt for White Christ
FFO- Viking Metal, Death Metal
We are just under a month from this band celebrating it's 30th active year as a band. You'd think after all this time they would be slowing down, making lame music, and ready to hang it up. One listen to this album proves all of those things wrong. They music is so intense with sheer passion behind every song. Continuing on in the written saga of the warriors of Odalheim and Midgard; this 4th album shows the story go even farther along all while maintaining that Unleashed sound that fits so perfectly well behind it all. An absolutely solid album.
86.) Howling Sycamore
FFO- Technical Death Metal with Clean Vocals
The FFO covers this quite nicely. If you dig bands such as Obscura, Gorguts, Pestilence, but want to hear clean vocals like bands like Charred Walls of the Damned, this is for you. The music is absolutely insane, the vocals soar and howl (ok, pun intended). It is so refreshing to hear a different context to this style and it completely fits. Granted it may take some time if you are a purist, but if you have an open mind, it's well worth the journey.
85.) Dire Peril- The Extraterrestrial Compendium
FFO- Iced Earth in Space
Another one where the FFO covers it quite nicely. If you love the musical style and vocal delivery of Iced Earth, but want your songs about Sci-Fi and outer space; you need Dire Peril in your life. The choruses are majestic and make you want to sing along. The musicianship is beyond tight, and the whole band in general is something that needs to be loved and celebrated. Jaw droppingly fantastic work.
84.) Freak Kitchen- Confusion to the Enemy
FFO- Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal
Another album that discovered way too late this year and sadly couldn't put it up higher because of it. While being one of the most creative prog bands in general; Freak Kitchen returns after four years with their signature blend of insane guitar styles, beyond catchy riffs and choruses, and production that fits so perfectly for what is being played. A sheer joy to listen to and you just may agree.
83.) Khemmis- Desolation
FFO- Doom Metal, Heavy Metal
If they can keep this up, they will be come the American version of Candlemass. This album is just so hooky, catchy, and mesmerizing. The vocals fit so perfectly and sound so distinct. This band just simply improves with every release and this is easily their best work to date. I know they will only get better and better and Desolation proves it.
82.) Parasite INC- Dead and Alive
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
Such a refreshing and modern take on melodeath that has been needed for quite some time. A band that can take more industrial and keyboard driven vibes, but do something that seems impossible with some bands...never lose intensity. Simply put, this is melodeath in 2018 done right and there is almost better example of bands taking a new approach and making it work. Well Done!
81.) Tribulation- Down Below
FFO- Black Metal, Occult Rock, Heavy Metal
Easily the band's best album to date. The band showcases the signature sound they have been known for, but expands upon it more so by being even catchier, the songs being transcribed to an even greater epic feel, and the band is simply tighter than ever before. If you want your black metal with a kick of rock and roll; Tribulation does it better than anyone else.
And there we go, folks. the first 20 albums in this unstoppable avalanche known That Drummer Guy's Top 100 of 2018. 20 completely solid albums that deserve your love and who knows; one of them could be your favorite album of the year. Tune into tomorrow for Part III 80-61!
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.