Amber Stevens's Top 5 Albums of 2018
Musically, 2018 seemed to be a year full of absolutes. I know what you’re thinking, “only a Sith deals in absolutes.” Well, I guess life is on the dark side sometimes. We’ve seen legendary bands like Slayer and Ozzy Osbourne throw up their horns for one final hurrah. We’ve also lost a lot of musicians, like Oli Herbert of All That Remains, Vinnie Paul of HELLYEAH, Jill Janus of Huntress, and many more. Yet there is another side to that coin; one of resurgence and the push towards longevity. It is the bands who continue to evolve and create that become the icons of tomorrow. It’s here that I like to focus. I’ve compiled my top five favorite albums of 2018 so far, with the reason being I am just too picky to have a top 10. As you look upon my little list now, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Semisonic: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
5. Nekrogoblikon – Welcome to Bonkers
Who doesn’t love a band that has a kick-ass goblin for their mascot? I’ve always found them amusing, yet I still think they are really good as musicians and collectively as a band. I love the distorted, growly vocals over the upbeat music. The best part is that you never know what to expect – they go in so many directions and it's great.
4. Black Label Society – Grimmest Hits
I love the grittiness of Zakk Wylde’s voice against the heaviness of the music. BLS has always been one of those bands that can pump me up or mellow me out – sometimes all at once.
3. Ghost – Prequelle
This is just an all-around great record. It’s dark and heavy but also soothing and beautiful. What I love about Ghost is that they never cease to impress me. Who else could combine romance, Satan and apocalyptic doom and make it sound amazing?
2. Atreyu – In Our Wake
Again, another band I really like. What makes this album special is that it not only ups the ante from previous albums, it actually stands for something. I always like it when bands are socially aware and take on the responsibility of trying to make a difference.
1. All That Remains – Victim of the New Disease
This is not only one of my favorite bands, but an album that I can’t stop listening to. It is probably the BEST and heaviest ATR album in nearly a decade. The Phil Labonte is on the top of his game vocally. Anyone who’s ever liked their song “Six” will be very happy.