Metalheads Forever’s Top 50 Albums of 2018
By Adam McCann
Well, it’s been one hell of a great year for metal; there’s been some utterly fantastic albums released, so much so that this list started as at Top 10, moved its way to a Top 20, Top 30 and finally at Top 50! We’ve enjoyed this year so much, that we just didn’t want any albums left out and yet we had to put a finishing point somewhere. Here at Metalheads Forever, we’ve had such an enjoyable year listening to all these new releases, from long established bands to those beginning to plant roots. Furthermore, 2018 continues to show us that heavy metal is healthy, alive and well, so sit back, turn it up loud and enjoy World Metal Domination!
50 – Way Of The Road – NoiseArt Records
The Canadian four-piece return to give the metal world another dose of their infectious traditional heavy metal with some sleazy speed metal interludes.
The latest release from the Canadian death metallers who are keeping it real with this phenomenal album that is a must buy for fans of the genre.
The spirit of late 80’s lives on with Tampa Bay’s old school death metal band Hate Eternal that would have fans of Morbid Angel and Deicide drooling.
After being on the ropes for so long, who would have thought that Soulfly would bounce back with this terrific effort. Max gets his Sep on!
The grindcore stalwarts are back with their best album in 14 years, it’s raw, rough and ready and still wriggling. Perfect.
This Irish black metal band have a habit of releasing excellent albums on their latest effort is no exception. It’s large, it’s grandiose and it is brooding.
The second album with Nick Holmes on vocals adds tongue in cheek lyrics against an old school death metal backdrop.
Corrosion Of Conformity
Two words. Pepper Keenan. With Keenan back on more, not only have CoC found their groove again, but they’ve also rediscovered their purpose.
Not the first album in this list to feature Brian Ross as the underrated heavy metal master shows his pedigree.
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
It’s an odd album, ‘Wasteland’ is not quite doom and it’s not quite psychedelic, but whatever it is, it is bloody good!
Yeah ok, we went there, post black metal hipsters and their strange take on black metal, we don’t want to like it, but we do, and we enjoy it.
The all-female Brazilian thrashers return with their third album and show their male counterparts how it’s done with this excellent effort.
Young bands playing trad metal has been getting stronger and stronger in the last few years and the debut album from Toledo Steel is no exception.
Black Label Society
Zakk Wylde and co. continue their purple patch with an album which just demands more and more plays.
Blaze Bayley brings his superb sci-fi trilogy to a climactic end with an album which sees the ex-Iron Maiden man go from strength to strength.
One of the most underrated bands on the planet release another heavy metal album of decent songs with a huge slab of humour.
No Hot Ashes
The Northern Irish melodic hard rockers have finally released their debut album after 30 years and it was definitely worth the wait.
Guitar shredding and cheese factor to the max. Impellitteri latest album has both in huge heaps and it is impossible to not air guitar along.
White Wizzard wrap up their career with this barnstorming power metal album. Talk about going out with a bang!
The 10’s have been a creative peak for Stryper and it continues with their latest album which features some really anthemic songs.
The new Exmortus album is a call to arms for any metal fan as the band blend power metal with neo-classical playing and death metal vocals. Superb.
At The Gates
At The Gates have really found their stride again over the last few releases and this album is no different. A fine album of traditional Melodic Death Metal.
With ‘Thunderbolt’ Saxon continue another great run of albums, once more proving they are a national treasure of England.
U.D.O. are back after paying tribute to Accept, visiting his roots has paid dividends with this album. German engineering at its finest.
Mike Portnoy, Dave Ellefson and Alex Skolnick assemble another stellar cast of metal elite to deliver another excellent album.
Marduk show once more that they require no frills or gimmicks and their latest album is balls to the wall old school black metal.
The ex-Twisted Sister man returns the forefront of heavy metal with this surprisingly good album of Snider doing what Snider does best.
Overcoming tragedy is hard enough, but to bounce back and deliver the metalcore album of the year? Only Architects could deliver that.
High On Fire
High On Fire once more prove that they are one of the monoliths of stoner, for anyone disillusioned with the new Sleep album, then this is for you.
Like so many of their peers, Amorphis have been born again with another superb album of beautiful melodies.
It is good to finally have Fifth Angel back and with ‘The Third Secret’ they finally add another excellent album into their catalogue.
Gruesome have dropped the best old-school death metal record of the year; for anyone missing ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ era Death, look no further than this!
Between The Buried And Me
Okay, we cheated a little bit here and combined two excellent releases together, but what an album; it’s progressive, technical and ludicrous.
Magnum’s purple patch continues with this album of addictive melodic hard rock songs, including a guest appearance from Avantasia’s Tobi Sammet.
Primal Fear are another band which works none stop and once again prove that they can deliver top drawer heavy metal.
2018 has been a magnificent year for traditional metal and the debut from Eliminator is everything a fan of this genre could ever want.
Abbath struck first and raised the bar high, but his old comrades have finally struck back and what an album this is, it is both grim and dark.
2014’s ‘Unleash The Fire’ would be difficult to follow, but the latest Riot V album not only equals it, but debatably surpasses it in every way.
The latest Primitai album is another tour de force of traditional metal, it is slick, well produced and highly addictive demanding replays.
With his latest solo album, Romeo delves back into an early Symphony X sound and delivers a superb album of ‘The Odyssey’ proportions.
It was going to be a tall order to follow their outstanding debut album, but once again Visigoth easily match it with this epic battle of fantasy.
Tribulation have a habit of releasing top quality black metal with a touch of gothic and death and currently no other band can touch them.
We thought that Brian Ross might have blown his creative beans with Blitzkrieg, but no, the new Satan album is fantastic, absolute quality heavy metal.
Alice In Chains
AIC’s 21st century revival has seen the band evolve from grunge superstars into elder statesmen of hard rock and their latest album is stunning.
The band that continue to divide the rock and metal community, but the latest album is addictive with a tongue in cheek humour that can’t help raise a smile.
Lucifer move ever so slightly away from doom and create a retro album that oozes raw sex appeal, its groovy and quickly becomes rooted in playlists.
Hands down the best trad metal album of 2018, the bands sophomore album is a masterpiece in heavy metal that deserves to be heard.
This album is instantly exceptional, each song is catchy with fantastic hooks and brilliant harmonies that will have you playing the album over and over.
Wolves. Check. Religious Blasphemy. Check. Power Metal. Check. Powerwolf hit the bullseye once more with this exceptionally fun and endearing album.
The Metal Gods return with fire and splendour, reunited with Colonel Tom Allom in the studio, aided by the mastercraft of Andy Sneap and the fire of Richie Faulkner, the Priest go in for the kill and deliver their best album since Painkiller. Raise those horns up high to the Metal Gods!
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann