Brendan’s Top 50 Albums of 2018: Part 5 (10 to 1)

2018 has been another supreme year for the rock and metal world. So many amazing albums came out from old and new band’s alike. It made this list really hard to complete. Even more so when you think we have reviewed over 500 albums here at GBHBL alone. Difficult or not, it is complete and this marks the final set of albums from my Top 50 albums of this year. The all important, Top Ten.

To give each album the focus it deserves we decided to break the list into 5 articles with ten albums in each counting down from 50. This is the final part of the top 50. These are my ten favourite rock and metal albums of 2018.

You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

Top Ten



Number 10: Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest (Metal Blade Records)

Top Ten

There is no disputing that this is a great album, a great Behemoth album. However, it’s clear that this is a transition album too. Behemoth have one foot in the future of their sound and one foot in the black metal past and they nail both sides.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 9: Khemmis– Desolation (Nuclear Blast)

Top Ten

Desolation is a fucking awesome album. Damn, this is one of the best albums you will hear in 2018. If doom isn’t your thing, don’t worry about that because Khemmis have made an album that takes from many genres and forms 6 tracks of near perfection. A must hear!

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 8: Judas Priest – Firepower (Sony Music)

Top Ten

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Firepower is just how relevant it feels. Lyrically it’s often rooted in modern issues, it doesn’t sound dated & still feels daring. It can proudly sit alongside the classic Priest albums as a showcase of the band’s excellence.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 7: MØL – Jord (Holy Roar Records)

Top Ten

Blending atmospheric black metal with post-rock, Møl deliver a masterclass in invention & brutality. The progressive melodies, riffs and hooks strong enough to reduce people to tears, screeching vocals vile enough to rend the fat from your body and drumming so intense you’ll be hearing ringing in your ears for days afterwards.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 6: Thy Antichrist – Wrath of the Beast (Napalm Records)

Top Ten

Damn. Thy Antichrist really pulled something special out of the hat here. Wrath of the Beast is easily my favourite black metal album release of the year. Wrath of the Beast is a must hear. It is a must have album without a single lull in the masterful metal on show. It is excitingly progressive but still with feet planted firmly in traditional black metal. Full of rage and fire but with moments of haunting beauty and the drumming, just wow. An absolute belter of an album and one I urge you to listen to. You won’t be disappointed.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 5: Amorphis – Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast)

Top Ten

The amount of variety on Queen of Time is quite astonishing really. There really does seem to be a bit of most genres melded together to create inspiring, expansive tracks that keep you thinking. One of the most amazing things about it all though is how well it all flows and fits. You would think this dramatic mix of death and folk and power and more could maybe sound disjointed or not equal to the sum of its parts but it works. It really works. Queen of Time is pretty special. It feels like the 30 years of graft for Amorphis have led to this pinnacle and sees them into my top ten.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 4: Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit (Radicalis/MVKA)

Top Ten

Stranger Fruit is a near on perfect album and is probably the most unique piece of music I have ever heard. At least since the last most unique piece of music I had heard called Devil is Fine. It is so jam packed full of ideas, so full of brilliance, it makes you question. Makes you think. I personally find this band to be a breath of fresh air. A band that are forcing music to newer heights and wonderful places with each show and each release.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 3: Parkway Drive – Reverence (Epitaph Records)

Top Ten

Reverence is an awe-inspiring album. It is deep and meaningful with personal lyrics dealing with the band’s struggles with religion and grief. Parkway Drive, once simply a metalcore band, have expanded way beyond that now and have delivered their best album yet. The musicianship on show, the compositions, the intelligent song writing, Reverence is exceptional and pretty much flawless.All this is said from a person who prior to this album would have claimed to dislike this band. Apparently they have changed. I am glad they did.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 2: Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade Records)

Top Ten

What an amazing album this is. There is so much going on here in terms of style and creativity. In terms of non-traditional sounds joining with the often very traditional black metal sound. From jazz to brutal death, from electronica to sludge to thrash. Probably everything in between too. What matters through is that everything works. Everything belongs. This the sound of Rivers of Nihil exclusively. Where Owls Know My Name is the sound of a band exactly in sync. Exactly on mission and that mission is to redefine the boundaries of what we know as metal. This album should be spoken about for years to come.

Read our full review of the album here.

Number 1: Skálmöld – Sorgir (Napalm Records)

Top Ten

Sorgir is one hell of an album. I absolutely love it. It is heavy, rough sounding and gets you pumped up. The guitars are mixed between deep and dirty to bright and melodic. The drum work is exceptional and a real driving force on the album. The bass is slamming, the vocals are strong. All of the songs are seriously well composed and structured in an exciting and intriguing way. I wouldn’t change a thing on Sorgir. In a year of amazing albums, this one tops the list for me.

Read our full review of the album here.




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