As far as heavy metal is concerned, 2018 has been pretty good.
Granted, the year started out terribly, with the announcement of Slayer’s impending
farewell and the Devin Townsend Project going on indefinite hiatus. “Fast”
Eddie Clarke passed away, meaning that every Ace of Spades-era Motörhead member had now, sadly, died. Then,
shortly after, Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton revealed that he had
Parkinson’s disease and stepped down from his regular duties in the band.
Things began to pick up in March, with quality albums coming
from Judas Priest, Rolo Tomassi and Conjurer in quick succession. From there, the
floodgates of brilliance opened: Bleed from Within, Sleep, TesseracT, Ghost, Nine Inch
Nails, Zeal & Ardor, Deicide, High on Fire, Behemoth, Architects… The
consistent magnificence of both well-known and underground acts this year has
been truly astounding!
Of course, there were still stains throughout, among the
biggest being the losses of Vinnie Paul, Randy Rampage, Ralph Santolla, Jill
Janus and Oli Herbert. As I Lay Dying reformed, causing tidal waves of
controversy. Also, Burzum ended, if anybody noticed and/or cares any more.
With 2018 winding down, what better is there to wrap up than
by acknowledging the ten best metal albums of the past twelve months? Let’s end
on a high and summarise the biggest triumphs before subsequently turning our heads to 2019.