Metal Awards

Andy's Top 15 albums of 2018

  1. Summoning - With Doom We Come
  2. Evoken - Hypnagogia
  3. Judas Priest - Firepower
  4. Alkaloid - Liquid Anatomy
  5. Frozen Crown - The Fallen King
  6. Mournful Congregation - The Incubus of Karma
  7. Arkona - Khram
  8. Sleep - The Sciences
  9. High on Fire - Electric Messiah
  10. Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath
  11. Alkonost - Octagram
  12. Alghazanth - Eight Coffin Nails
  13. Euphoreon - Ends of the Earth
  14. Master's Hammer - Fascinator
  15. Sojourner - The Shadowed Road
Andy's Top 5 surprises of 2018

  1. Greyhawk - Ride Out
  2. Camerata Mediolanense - Le Vergini Folli
Andy's Disappointment(s) of 2018

  1. Helion Prime - Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster
Andy's Joke(s) 2018

  1. Madog - Raven
Andy's words about 2018
  1. 2018's been a wildly good year in many ways. Amid all the craziness, longtime A-list bands pumped out some great albums. Judas Priest showed young upstarts a thing or two with what may be their strongest album since Painkiller; Sleep produced their first full-length in 15 years; and Summoning proved that they may not be entirely crazy in their choice of odd new synth-guitar work. Interspersed among the giants were a number of debut releases that show some strong possibilities for their bands; Greyhawk, Alkaloid, and Frozen Crown have been on my repeat list lately.

    It was also an exceptionally good year for business at my company, meaning that I've been buried. Between that and both my kids going to new schools, it's been a little hard to find time for as many reviews as I'd like; to find time to listen to as much as I can see passing by; or to finish the website redesign I started, and had to regretfully lay aside by February. Like being buried in profitable work, more good music available than listening time permits is a wonderful predicament to find myself in. If I was able to travel back in time, find my sixteen-year-old self rummaging in the used CD store for any releases containing logos smacking of metal, and tell him that someday not only would he be sent new releases on a regular basis for review, but that there would be so many new albums for the listening that he would not be able to get through them all, he would not be able to believe it. There are plenty of nasty aspects to living in this day and age, but being able to get new, good music literally on a daily basis is a heck of a consolation.

    Thanks to my colleagues here at MR, Alex and Zadok, for the great reviews and the encouragement; to all the kickass bands and labels who've sent us their material to check out; and to our readership, who make the little articles we put together late at night worthwhile