There’s no doubting that every man, woman and beast that contributes to the hallowed pages of Decibel Geek, loves their music hard, heavy, melodic and on a daily basis. Personally, I wear ear phones for around 8 hours a day while I work and then, when I sit back and relax at home with a cold beer, it’s always with a pair of throbbing speakers within earshot. If I’m not at home I’m at a live show, banging that head and pumping that fist, as I’m sure just about everyone reading right now knows where I’m coming from.
So anyway, back to the point in question. Another year has almost come and gone. The festive season is upon us and a lot of fantastic Metal and hard rock albums have been released over the last 12 months. Unfortunately I can only pick ten out of a mass of albums I enjoyed throughout the year. They are in order from 10 to 1, so read on and find out what my album of the year is.
BEEZER’s Top Ten Albums of 2018
At number 10 is Welsh Ragga Metal band Skindred, with their album Big Tings. This could have been higher if there wasn’t so much competition this year. However, this is a fantastic album that has everything from rap, rock, reggae, dance, dub step and everything in between. The band stepped it up a notch with this one, each track is as strong as the next and, when singer Benji Webbe opens that mouth and lets that amazing reggae/rock voice out, he commands attention.
Another Welsh band hit the top 10 this year. Bridgends own Bullet for my valentine have become my biggest surprise of the year. Here was I expecting more of the same screamo thrash metal from my Welsh brethren with new album Gravity and what I got was a surprisingly diverse metal album with quite a bit of experimentation. Inside the packaging was 2 parts thrash, one part hardcore with a smattering of electronic rock.
The number 8 spot is taken by Halestorm and their album Vicious. I’ve been a fan of Lizzy Hale and the boys for quite a while and, to be honest, this was a band that again I expected more of the same from. They didn’t veer from the path too much but my God did they put out one hell of a hard rocking record, filled with anthems all fronted by the powerful and venomous vocals of miss Hale.
Again at number 7, the continuation of more suprises. When I listened to the first two tracks of Disturbed album Evolution, I would have sworn blind that their first album had been put into the packaging by mistake. Then as the album continued, we got acoustic tracks and ballads galore, stringed instruments and orchestras abounded. It was all a bit much to take in at first, but then, as I listened again, I was liking what I heard. This one definately gets suprise of the year.
The debut album from Greta Van Fleet, titled Anthem of the Peaceful Army had caused quite a shit storm with the rock plundering public. The press screamed “saviours of rock and the new Led Zeppelin“, while the public screamed “Robert Plant rip off“. These guys might have just left Kindergarten, but, Holy Shit, they rock 70’s style. I find it refreshing that a band so young could love music so ancient and then, on top of that, want to have a go at it themselves. So what if there’s a little Led Zeppelin in there among many other things? This is a fantastic album, but we’ll see what they come up with on the next and, if it all goes tits up, then we’ll know who’s right.
So here we are top 5 and to kick us off is Myles Kennedy and Year of the Tiger. This album may be more mellow than what most rockers listen to, but it has the finest voice in rock on it and a bunch of fantastic songs and a whole lot more going on. This album shows the diversity of Kennedy and lets you into a little part of his soul. If you don’t give this one a chance then you won’t know what you’re missing.
Number 4 is Michael Schenker Fest and the Resurrection album. This is an album full of strong classic rock songs which features former and present members of the Michael Schenker group and definately showcases the talents of each member especially Schenker. I just loved every minute of this and still listen to it on a regular basis.
Stone temple pilots hit number 3 with their self titled album featuring the debut of new vocalist Jeff Gutt. This was an album I was dying to hear especially as I had never heard anything from Gutt and was surprised at what he brought to the band. He has the Scott Weiland songs down pat but he brings his own style to each of the new tracks and without doubt can write a tune or two as we see on the album.
The runner up position belongs solidly to Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons with their Age of Absurdity album. This is the hardest slab of classic rock I have heard all year. No it’s criminal to tag it like that as it’s much more. So many great tracks that just pound the shit out of your ears in the same way that Motorhead did time and time again. God I miss Lemmy but this will get me through.
At the top of the mountain, from Byron bay, New south Wales. Australia’s finest export Parkway drive destroyed everything in their path over the last year. Until the release of new album Reverence I had only heard bits and pieces of Parkway drive snippets of you tube videos and free tracks on magazine giveaways. When I put this CD on the car stereo for it’s first run my jaw hit the floor as did my foot, cause this baby makes you want to drive 95. This is so much more than they were before, growling vocals, heavy guitars and lightning fast kick drums. No this time we get amazing melodic guitar parts, wailing solos, clearly read poems and actual singing. The choruses are anthemic, this album just makes you want to Destroy!!!
So there ya go folks another year has come to an end and as I said before there were so many other great albums out there to consume that didn’t make the cut.
So from this music crazed mad Welshman currently residing in the 40 degree heat of Perth, Australia to all you amazing headbangers out there. I wish you all a happy holiday and festive season, stay safe, drink irresponsibly and crank it up to eleven.