Best of 2018 – JP

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Best of 2018-JP

There has never been a bad year for Metal.  Mine was busier than ever adding over 850 physical albums to my collection.  These lists are damn hard to do and I don’t look forward to them, they are painstaking to make these difficult decisions between hundreds of worthy and enjoyable albums.  It’s hard to keep up and even harder to narrow it down to 20, but here is a selection of what caught my ear and eye in 2018.

1. UDO-Steelfactory (AFM)

2. STRYPER-God Damn Evil (Frontiers)

3. PRIMAL FEAR-Apocalypse (Frontiers)



4. PowerWolf-The Sacrament Of Sin (Napalm)

5. Saxon-Thunderbolt (Silver Lining)

6. Fifth Angel-The Third Secret (Nuclear Blast)

7. Tad Morose-Chapter X(GMR)

8. Riot-Armor Of Light (Nuclear Blast)

9. Camelot-The Shadow Theory (Napalm)

10. Witherfall-Prelude To Sorrow (M-Theorey)

11. Royal Hunt-Cast In Stone (Indie)

12. Axel Rudi Pell-Knight’s Call (SPV)

13. Borealis-The Offering (AFM)

14. Sirenia-Arcane Astral Aeons (Napalm)

15. Vision Of Atlantis-The Deep And The Dark (Napalm)

16. Brainstorm-Midnight Ghost (AFM)

17. Seven Thorns-Seven Thorns (Indie)

18. Dream Child-Until Death Do We Meet Again (Frontiers)

19. Pellek-Absolute Steel (Indie)

20. Graveshadow-Ambition;s Price (M-Theory)


Best Metal Film:  Heavy Trip (Finnish Black Metal comedy)

Moonspell - Lisboa Under the Spell
Moonspell – Lisboa Under the Spell

Best Metal DVD/Blu-Ray: MOONSPELL-Lisboa Under The Spell (Napalm Records)

Best EP: VICTORIUS-Dinosaur Warfare-Legend Of The Power Saurus (Massacre Records)

Best Remake Album: ILIUM-Sirens Of The Styyx-Restyxed

Best Compilation Album: STRATOVARIUS-Enigma:Intermission II (Earmusic)

Best Live Album: ACCEPT-Symphonic Terror (Nuclear Blast)

Best Covers Album:BONFIRE-Legends (AFM)

Best Metal Book: MAYHEM-The Death Archives. 

Honourable mention.  MORTIIS-Secrets Of My Kingdom (Expanded reissue edition)

Best Concert:  Always a tough category…I saw over 150 bands in 2018.  Highlights include seeing Vicious Rumors, Helion Prime, and Valinor Excelsior.  It was nice to finally see veterans like Udo Dirkschneider on the ‘Back To The Roots tour’ tour and Sanctuary. Other fun shows included MacSabbath and Powerglove and a triple shot of old Canadian rock dogs,Helix, Killer Dwarfs and Kick Axe!

Best New Band: BROTHERS OF METAL-Prophecies Of Ragnarok (AFM Records)

My Favorite Discovery of 2018 was…FLOWERLEAF-Stronger (Indie)

Best Comeback of 2018:  FIFTH ANGEL-The Third Spell (Nuclear Blast)

Best Local Band:KOBRA AND THE LOTUS-Prevail II (Napalm Records)

Best Album Cover Art:  GRAVESHADOW-Ambition’s Price (M-Theory Audio)  Cover art by Dusan Markovic

Diappointments of 2018:

  1. LIZZY BORDEN-My Midnight Things (Metal Blade)Too mellow.
  2. KORPIKLAANI-Kulkija (Nuclear Blast) Too mellow.
  3. TENACIOUS D-Post-Apocalypto (Sony) Not funny enough.

Hopes/Predictions for 2019:

  1. Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived W.A.S.P. footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD box-set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Carried over from 2010, again eight years running).
  2. New Manowar album.
  3. New Yngwie J. Malmsteen album.

Other Metal related things that still pissed me off in 2018.

  1. Metalocalypse is still in limbo with the conclusion to the series Metalocalypse: The Army of the Doomstar – The Final Chapter still incomplete.
  2. After five years Metalhead (the Icelandic movie) still has no release on DVD.
  3. Holliston Season Two is still not available on DVD.
  4. SJW’s trying impose their personal politics on the music and art that others create. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, read it or listen to it.