Well, well, well…this year has just sucked out loud hasn’t it? Oh my word. Despite the general awfulness and horror that was 2018, the music was pretty good. If you liked old Christian rock music it was a banner year – with releases from a lot of major bands from back in the day. Anyway, without further ado, I present my favorite albums of 2018!
FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2018
Jimmy P. Brown , Eraserhead – I’m a bit fuzzy as to whether the band is Eraserhead or is it just the album? Eraserhead is made up of the team that made some of the best Deliverance albums – Jimmy, Manny Morales, and Jon Knox. It’s a little more varied than the old Deliverance records but this is a good thing. I really hope this wasn’t a one-off.
The Choir, Bloodshot – My friend Uvulapie and I might disagree a bit on this one. I found myself going back to this again and again. Steve Hindalong’s unfortunate divorce providing a lot of angst for songs, which are overall better. While the bass desperately needs to be turned up and it’s not quite “instant classic” status, I can say I’ve enjoyed this album the most of any since Midnight Sun.
Coheed and Cambria, Vaxis Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures – Coheed returns to their dark, progressive roots… kinda. Given the fact that the story takes place on a prison planet it doesn’t seem as dark as you would think. The songs here are big and epic, with plenty of hooks. It’s pretty much been a staple at my house since it came out.
Gama Bomb, Speed Between the Lines – I love this band. I thought it was going to be pretty hard to top Untouchable Glory. I don’t know if they topped it, but they definitely matched it. It’s been my go-to when I want some full throttle, in-your-face thrash.
Amaranthe, Helix – Talk about getting a lot of mileage out of a style. The pop/metal fusion they perfected two albums ago on Massive Addictive still works. To the point that I think this is their best album yet. For reals. I’m genuinely surprised at how good this turned out considering I didn’t like the singles that much at first.
Soccer Mommy, Clean
Judas Priest, Firepower
Disappointments of 2018
Marmozets, Knowing What You Know Now – I was anxiously awaiting this one for years after having adored their debut, Weird and Wonderful. And honestly, this isn’t a bad album. The problem is that I think they’ve sanded down some of their rough edges. I liked the rough edges. It gave them character. This album is a little more commercial (which isn’t always a bad thing) but I miss the raw, frantic energy of the debut.
Panic! At the Disco, Pray for the Wicked – I knew it would be a daunting task to top Death of a Bachelor. But Pray for the Wicked is just….boring and bland for the most part. It starts off strong with the first few tracks. Then it sort of…blaaaaaah – radio music. My family latched on to this one for some reason and we listened to it over and over and over. Maybe that explains some of my apathy.
Best Reissue of 2018
Undercover, Devotion – I was seriously thinking about putting the two Crystavox reissues here. But the thing about the Undercover reissue is the attention to detail. I appreciate that the liner notes look pretty much like the ones in the original album. The packaging is a little better as is the art design. The album rocks as well. I helped Kickstart this one so I may be a little biased but I do think it’s a great package.
There’s going to be some changes here at the vault as of this posting. The biggest change is that, as much as I hate to say it, I’m going on hiatus for awhile. I don’t know if I’ll stop reviews all together or whether some will pop up from time to time. The fact is that I’m just tired of keeping up with it. Honestly, I’m tired of keeping up with music in general. Some big bands are releasing albums next year and I just…don’t care as much. There’s also the simple fact that this blog doesn’t get any views. I usually top out at, like, 11 views. And most of those are Russian bots. I’ve been doing it for myself all these years and I guess I kind of feel like my work is complete. Again, I can’t say that I won’t pop up with something from time to time – but weekly reviews are going away. Thank you to everyone who has ever read, enjoyed, or kept up with the blog.