Here we go again kids, We are already (technically) 60 albums down in this Top 100 list (with 40 Honorable mentions) and there is still 80 albums to cover! We hit a lot of ground from Black Metal to Prog Rock to Top 40 music; what do we have in store next? Let's find out!
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.
Let albums 80-61 commence!
80.) Hooded Menace- Ossuarium Silhouettes
FFO- Doom Metal, Death Metal
11 years old and 5 albums down; Hooded Menace returns with another slab of death/doom greatness. The vocal delivery still sends chills down my spine, the production fits so perfectly with the music, and that music...WOW! It's great to hear a band in this style with such originality and dynamics. The band proves once again that Finland has one of the greatest metal scenes in the world, no matter the genre.
79.) Wolvhammer- The Monuments of Ash & Bone
FFO- Black Metal, Death Metal, Post Metal
Wolvhammer returns with another LP of the dark, dark world we live in. This album is a bit of a watershed album as well, showcasing longer songs, more atmosphere, and a controlled hatred that is really needed in 2018. If you want your sludge and post metal to be blackened and some hints of death metal as well, Wolvhammer is the band for you.
78.) Metal Allegiance- Volume II- Power Drunk Majesty
FFO- Heavy Metal of All Styles
The all star metal band proves that they are not just a one album pony with a new album that is even more diverse than the debut album. From death metal riffing to mid 90s era Anthrax love, to even some symphonic power metal; the band showcases that all metal has a place in music and it's that open mindedness that keeps me invested. Absolutely solid stuff.
77.) Arsis- Visitant
FFO- Technical Death Metal
Arsis is one of the best American technical death metal bands around. They know how to show off what every member is capable of; while still maintaining a groove that simply can't be stopped. Heavily inspired by horror movies this go around; and is deemed a successor to the EP A Diamond for Disease; this album is what I feel all tech bands should strive to achieve, not just fret board exercising but stellar music to match it all.
76.) Terrorizer- Caustic Attack
It's the band's best album since their debut album, World Downfall back 30 years ago (coming up in 2019). An absolutely deadly attack of death, grind, thrash, and killer songwriting. When I listen to death-grind, this is what I want, and this album shines through the decay of the style with ease.
75.) The Lion's Daughter- Future Cult
FFO- Horror, Black Metal, Death Metal, 80s Synths
This album truly has it all and it's done so very well. It can go from a ballistic blackened death metal assault to a synth driven death pop song on the turn of a dime. The album truly feels like it should be the soundtrack to a twisted horror movie and it's just a fantastic listen from start to finish. A well worthy album to enjoy.
74.) Angra- Omni
FFO- Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Groove Metal
Easily one of the best power metal bands to ever exist, Angra returns with their latest concept album that attacks on all fronts. It gets heavy, melodic, mellow, and just an overall sense of power that is so hard to find in other power metal bands with authenticity. Angra does it right every time and they have done it once again with Omni.
73.) The Night Flight Orchestra- Sometimes The World Ain't Enough
FFO- 70s-80s Classic Rock
It still blows my mind that Speed from Soilwork can cause all the (Natural Born) chaos that he does with Soilwork, but can have a band like The Night Flight Orchestra and show off this whole other side you'd never imagine if you're only a metal fan. Going from synth pop to Wings-inspired pop rock to even funk at times; this band hits that nostalgia itch in the absolute best way possible. I really hope they can play in the states one day, I really wanna hear this band live.
72.) Subsignal- Le Muerta
FFO- Progressive Rock
Rush meets Porcupine Tree is the best way I can describe this band. It has the technically proficiency of Rush but the dark overtones of Porcupine Tree and just hits that right chord for any prog fan that makes you go "Yeah, this is good stuff!" Such a unique blend and the band does it right with fantastic musicianship and songwriting. For any prog fan not familiar, this may end up being your album of the year. And I truly mean that.
71.) The Absence- A Gift For The Obsessed
FFO- American Melodic Death Metal
Melodeath, but from right here in the states. After eight years between albums, the band has come back with oddly enough, their catchiest and heaviest album to date. Such melodic twists and turns over some sheer brutality. This truly is an album that is worthy of your time if you want some killer songwriting over top some technical prowess. The band is making a well deserved comeback with this album and I simply can't wait to see where things go next.
70.) THEM- Manor of the Se7en Gables
FFO- Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal
Let's just address the elephant in the room right off the bat. Yes this band sounds like a pure loving tribute to King Diamond (I mean...the name...come on!), but when you look past the falsettos; there is so much more to it. There is a great sense of power driven riffs, a sonically pleasing presentation, and a cascading evil vibe between this and the previous album, making these two albums fit perfectly in horror driven harmony. In short, if you miss King Diamond making new music (which should hopefully come back in the near future) fill the void of horror conceptual heavy metal with THEM.
69.) Ghost- Prequelle
FFO- Blue Oyster Cult, Mercyful Fate, Top 40 Rock
Is this the turn in the band's career where they go from an evil metal band to an evil top 40 band? Quite possibly so, though I don't see it as a bad thing. I'd be completely lying if I said I didn't miss the heavier sound of the band; but there's nothing saying that won't come back. It's truly shocking to me how much hate the band gets now from all sides of the fence, then again, that comes with popularity. Some will hate you literally just because you're liked by someone who someone else calls a poser. I constantly hear Nickelback comparisons which baffles me, because I have yet to hear a Nickelback riff in any Ghost song. They are just a great concept band that hits different eras of metal and rock and right now, they are on the rock trek. I can call it right now that with the next album, if they get heavy again, there will be backlash for that as well. There's no winning 100% when you break through that mainstream barrier and become known world wide. You either sink or swim and Ghost is swimming strong. Kudos to them, they earned it.
68.) Striker- Play To Win
FFO- Speed Metal, Heavy Metal
the third consecutive album from this Canadian band in three years and this album sounds even fresher than the previous two albums. It's amazing how a band can have so much inspiration on demand and continue to make completely solid music. That's what Striker is all about; it's completely solid heavy metal with the speed, power, passion and love that you want in a band like this. Such a great album.
67.) Deicide- Overtures of Blasphemy
FFO- Death Metal
Boy, did this album get me some metal wide recognition this year. Glen Benton returned with Deicide in 2018 and released my personal favorite album since The Stench of Redemption. The songs are beyond brutal and also so catchy at times with a NWOBHM vibe in some riffs that seems puzzling, but fit so very well. It's just a killer death metal album and from a band like Deicide, I don't need anything else.
66.) Skyharbor- Sunshine Dust
FFO- Modern Progressive Metal
Skyharbor is a band that truly is a step above the rest of the bands in similar styles. Combining what is done with modern progressive metal but adds an authentic style of atmosphere that makes everything feels so dreamy and vibey. While not getting too mellow or too heavy; Skyharbor just fits that void of right in the middle so no matter how mellow or aggressive you feel, you can throw this album on and feel relaxed. Incredible work.
65.) Mile Marker Zero- The Fifth Row
FFO- Progressive Metal, Alternative Metal
A Perfect Circle by the way of Muse by the way of Rush. The band's first concept album hits right at home thematically and musically. It's super catchy while a great dosage of heaviness and technical proficiency. No matter where you stand in the prog world, you will find something to dig about Mile Marker Zero and they are one of those bands you just want to see explode in popularity. It's bound to happen.
64.) Follow The Cipher- S/T
FFO- Modern Metal, Power Metal
In the simplest of terms, if you are disappointed by the direction Amaranthe is in lately, Follow The Cipher is here to show that original style is still as strong as ever. This debut album is filled with that great modern pop, industrial and catchy feel while mixing heavy and power instrumentation in a way that is pure bliss to listen to. Such a fun album that should feel right at home if you dig modern metal. Absolutely worth checking out.
63.) Refuge- Solitary Men
FFO- Heavy Metal, Speed Metal
The original lineup of Rage returns as Refuge. Keeping the spirit of the original incarnation alive in 2018. It's fun, heavy, catchy, and makes you realize how influential those initial Rage albums really are. If you love that German speed metal, you need to check out Refuge.
62.) Manticora- To Live to Kill to Live
FFO- Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Speed Metal
What a crazy and unique band. 22 years into the game and they are continuing to become stronger and stronger with every album. Imagine Nevermore, Primal Fear, Pagan's Mind, and Accept forming a band and that sums up Manticora's sound today. This band deserves to be one of the biggest metal bands going today. One listen to this album and you'll understand why.
61.) Satan- Cruel Magic
The legendary UK band returns with their third album since reforming and it's easily the best Satan album to date. It captures what made the band truly stand out in the beginning, but updated just enough to truly be what they want to be. You know you love NWOBHM and you want to hear it authentically done in 2018; Satan is here to fill that void and it's superb!
And there we go, kids. 20 more albums down in this gargantuan 100 album list tomorrow, we crack the top 50 with That Drummer Guy's Top 100 Albums of 2018 Part IV: 60-41. Be there AND be square!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)