APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2018

What a glorious year in metal we just experienced.  After the sheer amount of quality albums that were released in 2018, there is no question that the genre is as healthy and full of life as ever.  Thus, making our top albums lists harder than usual.

For the APESHIT goons, 2018 was the year where the legends all shined.  JUDAS PRIEST led the charge with their best album since 1990’s Painkiller.  DIMMU BORGIR finally emerged from a long slumber and did not disappoint. VOIVOD remain the gods that the mass metal media won’t acknowledge as such.  We can’t really think of any letdowns.  Can you?


1. MANESSlow Motion Death Sequence (Debemur Morti Productions)
MANES usually take an eternity in between records but it’s always worth the wait.  Slow Motion Death Sequence is an absolutely brilliant work.  The purity of the melancholy and soulfulness is as profound as it gets.  People gush over ULVER for going beyond metal (and rightly so).  However, MANES have surpassed them (and I don’t take those words lightly).

2. BEHEMOTH – I Loved You at Your Darkest (Metal Blade Records)
For those of us who have followed the band when they were purely underground, it is so great to see them become one of the biggest metal bands on the planet.  Putting aside their aesthetics, BEHEMOTH have written the best album of their career.  If you thought The Satanist was monumental, you haven’t seen nothing yet.  I Loved You at Your Darkest is their next evolution and a beautiful incorporation of their influences from FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM.

3. TERRORIZER – Caustic Attack (The End Records)
No one, not even TERRORIZER can top their debut, World Downfall.  However, the band are back with the best line-up since their debut and it absolutely slays.  Don’t you dare sleep on this grind masterpiece.

4. THE CROWN – Cobra Speed Venom (Metal Blade Records) [Read our review]
Cobra Speed Venom is a great return to form for one of metal’s best.  Few bands can whip up that manic, intense death/thrash that smokes like THE CROWN.  This album was made to blow your speakers out.

5. JUDAS PRIEST  – Firepower (Columbia Records)
Not even Parkinson’s Disease can stop Glenn Tipton and PRIEST.  Every damn song is an anthem and you feel it the very first time you listen to Firepower.  There is no other band in metal that has the staying power to be as musically relevant and influential as PRIEST.

6. OBSCURADiluvium (Relapse Records)
The surgical precision, effortless musicality, and seamless songwriting are so easy on the ears.  OBSCURA flawlessly execute a futuristic vision of thrash and prog meets DEATH‘s Individual Thought Patterns and The Sound of Perseverance.

7. VOIVODThe Wake (Century Media Records)
VOIVOD can’t help but make futuristic albums.  With The Wake, they remain on their own astral plane.  This is the sound of perfection.

8. DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian (Nuclear Blast)
The eight year wait was worth it.  Eonian is, arguably, DIMMU‘s best album to date.  It’s so complete, comprehensive, and shows how they’ve mastered their style.  A much needed reminder of the band’s place in the metal pantheon.

9. SHININGX- Varg Utan Flock (Season of Mist)
The first main riff that comes in alone is absolutely devastating.  Think of Ride the Lightning on steroids.  Holy fuck.  SHINING remain criminally underrated at creating perfect albums of melancholic black/death metal.  In a way, I consider them the darker next step that KATATONIA and OPETH could’ve taken in the early 2000’s.

10. SIGH – Heir to Despair (Spinefarm)
SIGH mainman Mirai Kawashima stated on social media before the album was released that no one would like it.  Sorry, Mirai but all SIGH fans dig it.  Heir to Despair is a great melding of NWOBHM, primal thrash, and the psychedelic atmospheres of Imaginary Sonicscape and Gallows Gallery.

Honorable Mentions:
GRUESOME – Twisted Prayers (Relapse Records) [Read our review]
CRYPTOPSY – The Book of Suffering – Tome II (Hammerheart)
FUTURE USSESThe Existential Haunting (Pelagic Records)

big johnson:

1. GRUESOME – Twisted Prayers (Relapse Records) [Read our review]
2. BEHEMOTH – I Loved You at Your Darkest (Metal Blade Records)
3. MONSTROSITY – The Passage of Existence (Metal Blade Records)
4. TERRORIZER – Caustic Attack (The End Records)
5. INTERNAL BLEEDING – Corrupting Influence (Unique Leader)
6. CRYPTOPSYThe Book of Suffering – Tome II (Hammerheart)
7. THE CROWN – Cobra Speed Venom (Metal Blade Records) [Read our review]
8. PRIMORDIAL – Exile Amongst the Ruins (Metal Blade Records)
9. NECROPHOBIC – Mark of the Necrogram (Century Media Records) [Read our review]
10. SIGH – Heir to Despair (Spinefarm)

shady rajah:

1. KRISIUNScourge of the Enthroned (Century Media Records)
2. EMMA RUTH RUNDLEOn Dark Horses (Sargent House)
3. THOUMagus (Sacred Bones Records)
4. JUDAS PRIEST  – Firepower (Columbia Records)
5. FUCKED AND BOUNDSuffrage (Atomic Action Records/Void Assault Records)
6. MARDUKViktoria (Century Media Records)
7. AURA NOIRAura Noire (Indie Recordings)
8. GOSTPossessor (Blood Music)
9. CONANExistential Void Guardian (Napalm Records)
10. DEATH GRIPSYear of the Snitch (Third Worlds/Harvest)

Oscar Martinez (JSR Merchandising):

Top 15 in no particular order:
GHOST – Prequelle (Loma Vista)
DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian (Nuclear Blast)
THE CROWN – Cobra Speed Venom (Metal Blade Records) [Read our review]
IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast) [Read our review]
CANCER – Shadow Gripped (Peaceville)
BLOODBATH – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn (Peaceville)
JUDAS PRIEST  – Firepower (Columbia Records)
AT THE GATES – To Drink From The Night Itself (Century Media Records)
DEICIDE – Overtures of Blasphemy (Century Media Records)
PIG DESTROYERHead Cage (Relapse Records)
TRIBULATION – Down Below (Century Media Records) [Read our review]
SINSAENUM – Repulsion for Humanity (Ear Music)
SICK OF IT ALL – Wake the Sleeping Giant (Fat Wreckords/Century Media Records)
PSYCROPTIC – As the Kingdom Drowns (Prosthetic Records)
AMORPHIS – Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast)

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