10 Best Heavy Metal Live Bands Of 2018

Flaming stages, swinging jumpers and flying whales. What a year.

Thomas Woroniak Photography

Live performances are the lifeblood of heavy metal. In a world where albums are increasingly unprofitable, it’s the best way for an artist to earn their keep. And for the fans, seeing your favourite artist live is a rite of passage: an experience that affirms your love for the band in question by letting you get up close and personal with not just their music, but their visual element and mannerisms.

Ergo, as 2018 begins to draw to a close, it feels right to honour those extreme bands that have really gone above and beyond when crafting their own live shows. The ten names in this list are all massively different from one another, but the common thread here is that they are all heavy, all more than worthy of the entry price and all put as much effort as humanly possible into putting on an excellent show.

Whether it’s a brutal black metal extravaganza, a cavalcade of prog-inspired technicality, an armada of bruising hardcore or an upbeat party of joyous melodies is irrelevant. The point is, every group here is a must-watch for any metalhead that frequents their local music venues.

(NB: Any band that made it into our “10 Best Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Live Bands of 2017” list is disqualified from inclusion this year, because repetition is boring.)

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I write for Metal Hammer, Prog and WhatCulture. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter, so you’ll just have to call me a stupid cuck to my face.