So, another year in the can. Trash can or celluloid can, you decide. My life has ridden an unremarkable 12 months, apart from dislocating my shoulder twice in the same 24 hours and the two month rehab for this goddamn painful accident. I hit 50 years of age and grew lots more grey hair. However, the music has been amazing and I therefore commend the following slabs of wax to you as my Top Ten choices of the year. Hope you enjoy the journey down the sonic highway, baby.
My choices this year have been largely determined by the melodies and singing. Every one of the albums has strong singing combined with energy and a spark of thoughfulness. Every one has seen extended play time on whatever device I had to hand. I now also possess a turntable for the first time in many years, so some vinyl will make its way into the Coxy household.
Thank you for all your kind support during the year for Decibel Geek and all the best for 2019!
COXY’s Top Ten Albums of 2018
#10. STARS ALIGNED – From Darkness To Light
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Salt“
There have been many great rock and metal albums released in 2018. I have been amazed at the sheer depth and quality of releases. However, it was a pleasant surprise to receive a request to check out Stars Aligned. They were not a band I had heard of, but I was interested to hear more after listening to the opening track “Sinners+Saints“.
From Darkness To Light really does flow well and the guitar tone is class. The grind and the groove takes you on a journey that is fantastic. Gunny‘s voice has hints of Eddie Vedder and, suprisingly, Ozzy Osbourne. The overall sound reminds me of another favorite band of mine, Crimson Star, who I rate highly.
Great album from a genuinely interesting band. Check them out and enjoy reaching for the stars!
#09. DIEMONDS – Diemonds
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Our Song“
Driving music goodness from the Canadian purveyors of class rock. This is my favorite of their albums to date, with the memorable hooks, fantastic vocals from Priya Panda and bass playing that is of finest vintage. I absolutely love this album.
From the rocking tension of “Breathe” to the poptastic “Waiting for Something“, this album has it all.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Insulin“
The band are artists, first and foremost. Nothing on this release cries out any rock star pretentions. They are a ball of concentrated acidic chords and some bitter gospel songs for the new generation. The concerns of the young are howled out on tunes such as “Ice Age“, with its eco-sermon “burn down together” refrain.
Rhode Island’s Public Policy are mere yards from the goal line to artistic success.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Zero Type X“
These German thrashers have been around for 25 years, yet this album is the first I have ever heard. Very unique in sound and the singer has his own clear identity.
The record closes in all around you and hugs you with a sonic vice that is hard to resist.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Never Give Up“
To show that I like all types of Rock, here is the Australian Glam rockers latest and greatest release.
This is so catchy that you’ll start sneezing as soon as you press play!
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Eye“
Out of Michigan, these Metalcore heroes have broken into my top five by sheer brute strength. The songs are fantastic vignettes of modern life and, in guitarist Elijah White, they have the nicest man in Rock, who must surely elbow out Dave Grohl for niceness.
This album crushes and is sincerely delivered with ultimate conviction.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Bad Listener“
Now, these next albums all have one common factor – they all feature very distinctive singers. Beartooth‘s earlier release Aggressive made my list in 2016 and this album hits the mark in 2018.
Caleb Shomo sings in an exceptional way, mixing screams with a melodic throttle that meshs to great effect.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “That One Percent“
Aggressively delivered with a melodic hook text book from the Offspring, these Leeds loudniks have made an album that drifts into the high winds of amazing Metal for 2018.
Politically speaking, my kind of language. However, if you don’t believe in their message, still give the music a listen. This is a great set of tunes.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “Black Flame“
This is a record of some heft. I loved it since it was released in May and I still love it today. It is brutal, but also melodious in the extreme. There are two singers, the fantastic Daniel Winter-Bates (growls) and the amazing Jason Cameron (clean). Cameron especially delivers in spades and sets this apart from many Metalcore releases.
Black Flame – a class album for 2018.
Coxy’s Choice Cut – “The Time Is Now“
I am addicted. I cannot stop listening to this album from start to finish. Never in the last ten years has an album gripped me so totally. I fear burnout, but the whole collection is amazing. The singers Alex Varkatzas and Brandon Saller are outstanding. They deliver more than an Amazon drone on double espressos!
I love this album so much! Give me more!!