2018 was a great year for metal! Although I did not review some of what is included in my top ten, they are nonetheless part of what made 2018 such a great metal year. So here is my synopsis of metal in 2018.
My top 10….
10. Icarus Witch – Goodbye Cruel World
Mr. Andrew D’Cagna is mentioned twice in this year’s top ten. When it was announced that the multi-talented and incredible vocalist was going to be fronting the Pittsburgh veterans Icarus Witch I was more than intrigued. The result was a kick ass melodic metal album.
9. Alphakill – Degrees of Manipulation
Canada’s Alphakill was a band I reviewed back when I first started doing this. Being a fan of old school thrash this band really made an impression on me. Their follow up released in 2018 built upon what the debut started and the result is a superb thrash album for fans of modern and old school thrash.
8. Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation
Sweden’s Maligner is a band that I found quite by accident but man am I happy I did. This is a ferocious death/thrash album with killer riffs and amazing solos. Old school thrash fused with old school death metal creating this hybrid of pure metal. Neck braces not included!
7. Vreid – Lifehunger
One of the albums in this year’s top ten that I have not reviewed yet but have given enough listens to warrant being included here. Those of you familiar with Vreid know the legacy of this amazing band. Risen out of the ashes of the mighty Windir, these guys just release album after album of quality melodic black metal. Sognametal rules!
6. Einherjer – Norrøne spor
Einherjer are back! One of the early pioneers of modern viking metal, these guys have have had an up and down career, even calling it quits briefly. The albums released since their reunion have been good but I did not see this one coming.
5. Deceased – Ghostly White
If any band on this planet can be counted on to release a quality album it’s Virginia’s Deceased. Kingley “King” Fowley and crew are one of the most consistent bands in metal. Seven years since their last release, they took their time and the result is brilliant. Sadly their drummer passed away just days before the album’s release.
5.Valdrin – Two Carrion Talismans
Valdrin is a melodic black metal band from Cincinnati that made an impression on me since I first heard their debut, Beyond the Forest. The songs are structured with a great atmosphere that can remind you of Dissection at times but also Emperor and even modern Enslaved at times. This album is brilliant.
3. Voivod – The Wake
Canada’s technical progressive thrash legends Voivod are back with an album that is absolutely brilliant. Expanding on where they were going on Target Earth, this album sounds like nothing else in metal. Voivod has spent the better part of thirty-eight years perfecting their sound and it is indeed unique.
2. Amorphis – Queen of Time
Amorphis followed up their absolutely brilliant Under the Red Cloud with an album even better! This album is amazing from beginning to end. This band has the ability to create magical albums…this time two in a row. Fans of all eras of this band should love this.
And now for the official Elitist Metal Head Album of the Year!!
1. Ironflame – Tales of Splendor and Sorrow
I never got around to doing a round up of 2017 but if I had then this band would have done something quite unique…having my pick of AOTY two years in a row. Just a little over a year after releasing their debut (one of my all time favorite metal albums), Ironflame returns with their follow up; and by the gods of metal is this album the perfect metal album. Andrew D’Cagna has the ability to create metal songs that give me the same feeling as when I first heard Rob Halford’s vocals during end of “The Green Manalishi” or the first time I heard Ronnie James Dio sing the opening verse to “Heaven and Hell.” Ironflame are the future of heavy metal!
Here’s a new category for me….surprise pick of the year!
Metal Church – Damned if You Do
Well damned if they didn’t. Metal Church has returned with second album since the return of Mike Howe and I went into it not really caring that much. XI was okay, nothing to write home about but this kinds hit my by surprise. I did not think I’d like it but it turns out that Metal Church can still make good music.
We’re not done yet…Debut of the Year…..
Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation
Would it be cheating for an album to be in two categories? Who’s to say? This album is that good. Thirty minutes of face melting metal. This debut full length album is, hopefully, a sign of good things to come from these Swedes. Metal as fuck!
And finally, The Elitist Metal Head’s Turd of the Year….
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn
Okay so not really a turd but most definitely my disappointment of the year. I thought they would continue with the momentum from Grand Morbid Funeral, my favorite by the band to date. Instead they took a step back. This could have been much better but the songs just don’t seem to grab me. I actually hoped this album was not end up here but it did.
Well, there is is. This year was the hardest to pick from due to so many quality albums being released. Veteran bands such as Satan and Deicide had really good quality releases this year, with the latter being runner up for the surprise of the year. Anyway, Happy 2019. Hopefully the new year will be more metal than 2018. Thanks for all of your support keeping it metal as fuck! Hail!