Ty’s Top 10 Metal Album’s of 2018

Podcast Co-host, Ty, reveals his top metal albums of the year!

The word that keeps coming to my mind for the year of 2018 in metal is eclectic. We saw strong releases from a variety of metal sub-genres and my list reflects that. I do not believe there was one major standout miles above the rest but metal is still alive, well and innovative. I hope my list introduces you to some artists, albums or songs that you otherwise never would have heard.

In ascending order, here are my 10 favorite albums of 2018.

10.  Vein- Errorzone

Closed Casket Activities

ORIGIN

Boston, Massachusetts

THE MUSIC

Is hardcore metal? That’s the age old question. I think it can be classified as metal but the evidence is circumstantial. The guys from Vein swing for the fences with polymetal fury on their debut. This album is schizophrenic in its approach, assaulting the senses with its vast palette of influences. Place them in whatever genre you want, the expectations are high and the future is bright for Vein.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Virus://Vibrance”, “Old Data in a Dead Machine”, “Doomtech”

9.  Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats- Wasteland 

Rise Above Records

ORIGIN

Cambridge, England

THE MUSIC

The fourth album from Uncle Acid sees the band embracing catchy melodies. This is their most accessible and fun album to date. It maintains a metallic edge while also functioning as an up beat “pick me up” for metal and rock fans. The double vocal effect is trippy but effective and the lyrical content contains evil grit. Crank this one loud.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“I See Through You”, “Shockwave City”, “Stranger Tonight”

8.  Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway- Dictator

Scarred For Life

ORIGIN

Los Angeles, California

THE MUSIC

Daron Malakian, formerly of System of a Down, wrote, produced and recorded the album in less than 2 weeks in 2012. Why the delay? Malakian reported that “not knowing what’s happening with System has kept me from putting my own stuff out. Too much time has passed, and I’m really excited to finally get some music out finally.”

The result is an infectious punk-metal album that will fill your System of a Down needs. At least for now. Start to finish, this album energizes.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Lives”, “Dictator”, “Guns Are Loaded”

7.  Haunt, ‘Burst into Flame’ 

Shadow Kingdom Records

ORIGIN

Fresno, California

THE MUSIC

Haunt is a retro, rifftastic throwback to the glory days of the Eighties metal scene. Typically an album like this would come off corny and heavy handed but the dynamic songwriting and ear for melody set this debut well above the posers. This is the first album of this decade that makes me want to buy a denim jacket and trade my foreign car in for some American muscle. Oh? You’re listening to that re-hashed Judas Priest? No thanks, I got a 6-pack and Haunt. I’m good.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Burst into Flame”, “Reflectors”, “Heroes”

6.  UADA- Cult of a Dying Sun 

Eisenwald Tonschmiede

ORIGIN

Portland, Oregon

THE MUSIC

A good showing for Oregon metal bands this year as two are featured in my top 10. On their sophomore album, UADA takes a step forward in their songwriting balancing metallic riffs with otherworldly melodies to create haunting, black metal bliss. This album’s strengths lie in its grandiosity and atmospherics. It is unrelenting without being overwhelming.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“The Purging Fire”, “Snakes & Vultures”, “Mirrors”

5.  Turnstile- Time & Space

Roadrunner Records

ORIGIN

Baltimore, Maryland

THE MUSIC

The sophomore release sees Turnstile taking a major leap forward. This album is fun, catchy and heavy. It is a shot of adrenaline that is not weighed down by the political burden most hardcore bands place on themselves. The album flies by at 25 minutes but it’s a helluva ride.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Generator”, “Moon”, “Right To Be”

4.  Zeal & Ardor- Stranger Fruit

MKVA

ORIGIN

Basel, Switzerland/New York City, New York

THE MUSIC

Zeal & Ardor is easily one of the most original bands in metal and the expectations were high for their sophomore release. The band delivers with a collection of avant-garde, black metal tracks that ooze with the uniqueness established by Manuel Gagneux. I’m kind of surprised Latin hasn’t been used more in metal.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Grave Digger’s Chant”, “Ship On Fire”, “We Can’t Be Found”

3.  Tribulation- Down Below

Century Media Records

ORIGIN

Arvika, Sweden

THE MUSIC

I am a self-proclaimed black metal novice. I have tried to get into it in the past but nothing has stuck until I listened to this album. I know there’s a lot more going on beyond the realms of black metal but it works for me. This album features elements of aforementioned black metal, death metal, goth and occult rock. The result is a genre-mashing album that is as equally dynamic as it is enjoyable to listen to.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“The Lament”, “Nightbound”, “Here Be Dragons”

2. Rivers of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name

Metal Blade Records

ORIGIN

Reading, Pennsylvania

THE MUSIC

When asked about the concept of Rivers of Nihil’s third studio album on a Reddit AMA, the band state that it “…is essentially the story of the last man on earth. He was made immortal by the planet itself (the conscious seed of light, as it were) to be the sole intelligent witness of the death of the planet.” This concept is used to discuss aging, loss and coping with a lifetime worth of decisions for better or worse.

This album somehow got lost in the shuffle in most “best of the year” lists but don’t let that fool you. This is an excellently paced album with eclectic taste. It is simple, yet technical. Experimental, yet grounded, and clearly understated. Forget what the elitists say, this album offers a bevy of metal styles to keep one engaged while avoiding the “listener fatigue” that a majority of extreme metal albums struggle with.

Check out our interview with singer-bassist, Adam Biggs here.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“The Silent Life”, “A Home”, “Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance)”

1.  YOB- Our Raw Heart

Relapse Records

ORIGIN

Eugene, Oregon

BEHIND THE MUSIC

Mike Scheidt was diagnosed with diverticulitis in 2016, an incurable condition in which small, bulging pouches develop along the digestive track. If the pouches burst, the condition can be fatal. In 2017, the vocalist-guitarist suffered a major attack from the condition and nearly lost his life. You can read more about that here. During the recovery phase of the major attack, Schneidt penned Our Raw Heart, with uncertainty on whether he’d ever fully recover.

The result is an album drenched in raw, calculated emotion through YOB’s psychedelic doom metal filter. The album’s sound is as immense as it is sentimentally moving and uplifting. “Beauty in Falling” leaves will resonate with the listener long after the album’s last notes have sounded.

STANDOUT TRACKS

“Beauty in Falling Leaves”, “The Screen”, “Ablaze”

2 thoughts on “Ty’s Top 10 Metal Album’s of 2018

Comments are closed.