For me, 2018 was a good year in hard rock and heavy metal music. While 2018 produced releases from some big established bands, it also was a year where I still managed to find some new bands. It also exposed me to several artists that knew of, but had never really taken the time to listen to their catalogue. This is a list of the ten albums that impressed me the most this year, either because I loved the songs or I liked the direction the band was going in
Obviously there are going to be Dio comparisons to Diego Valdez‘s voice. I mean, the first time I heard it, all the hair on my arms stood up. However, beyond that, this is a quality album. Craig Goldy is a terrific guitarist and the album sounds like a progression from Dio‘s Dream Evil. Check out “Under the Wire“.
I like the fact that the band is trying new things like the song “Predator“, and Thunderbolt is very catchy. What amazes me more is that the band just keeps chugging along with no end in sight. Check out “The Secret of Flight“.
This release was a pleasant surprise from a band that hasn’t release new music since 1989! Check out my review I did earlier this month and the song “Third Secret“.
I have always like Halestorm and Lzzy is one of rock’s best new vocalists. Songs like “Black Vultures” and “Uncomfortable” are hard hittingm but then they can seamlessly pull off an acoustic ballad like “The Silence“. Check out “Do Not Disturb” – it may very well blow your mind, it did mine.
After putting U.D.O. on hiatus to get the last of Accept out of his system, Udo Dirkschneider returns in fine form. There is a lot of variety on this album which I think is great, but this really feels like a band effort. Check out “Rising High“.
This is just a fantastic rock and roll album and man can Ron Young sing! Soulful, bluesy rock and roll at its finest. These guys to not get enough credit for how good they are. If you ever need a pick me up check out the song “Good Times“.
Yet another quality release from The Dead Daisies. They just pick up where they left off with great songs like “Dead and Gone” and “Leave Me Alone“. The addition of Deen Castronovo is a good one. If the song “Resurrected” does not get your blood pumping, then nothing will!
I knew of David Reece from his Accept days and had kept up on his career from a far. Big mistake! Resilient Heart is great from top to bottom. David is a great artist with a lot of projects out there. Do yourself a favor and check them out and the song “Live Before You Die“.
It does not happen very often when an artist releases the album you expect/want them to, but Priest really did! This is the Judas Priest album I have been waiting for since Screaming for Vengeance. Check out the song “Spectre“.
I thought Michael Sweet was out of his mind when he ranked all the Stryper albums earlier this year and picked this as their best. I tend to agree with him now. Diversity and quality are all over this release and Michael just keeps producing great music! Check out “You Don’t Even Know Me“.