What are the Best Releases of 2018 So Far?

best releases of 2018

In internet parlance, I’m asking for a friend. Except the friend is me, which I think is the whole gag with that anyway. Whatever, you get the point.

Among my several — always charming — compulsions, I keep ongoing notes for this site. I log upcoming reviews, stuff for the Quarterly Review, ideas for things that never manifest — I swear someday I’ll put up that list of the best desert rock songs written nowhere near a desert, so help me — and most importantly, the best releases for the year. Best albums, best EPs, best songs, best cover art. Everything that goes into the year-end lists that come up in December is the product of the whole year’s worth of keeping track.

My notes for 2018 were on my old laptop, Big Red, which was stolen from me while I was in the UK early in May. Some you win, some you lose. I’ve got The Silver Fox these days, but I haven’t been able to replenish my notes to their fullest as of yet.

It’s been tradition around here to do a six-month check-in on the best albums of the year. I could go back through all the reviews and find what I’ve covered and add it to the 20 or so records off the top of my head, but, frankly, that’s no fun. I’d rather see what everyone else thinks.

So instead of telling, I’m taking the opportunity to ask: What are the Best Releases of 2018 So Far?

I don’t care about genre, album, EP, single, demo, live record, whatever. Anything at all you want to name is welcome here. Really. All I’m interested in is knowing what you’re passionate about, and if I get reminded of something I had in my old notes along the way, bonus. I’m still going to go back and dig through the 2018 reviews, but I’m hoping this will be a good time for all.

Again, any picks welcome, and in any number. Top five, top 10, top 50. Please just leave a comment on this post with your favorites and let’s have some fun talking about kickass records.

Oh, and if you want to mention something you’re looking forward to that’s not out yet, that’s welcome too.

Thanks in advance.

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26 Responses to “What are the Best Releases of 2018 So Far?”

  1. John says:

    My top 10 so far

    Judas Priest ~ Firepower
    Visigoth ~ Conqueror’s Oath
    Witchsorrow ~ Styxxhexenhammer
    ASG ~ Survive Sunrise
    Gruesome ~ Twisted Prayers
    Amorphis ~ Queen Of Time
    Rivers Of Nihil ~ Where Owls Know My Name
    Hooded Menace ~ Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
    Khemmis ~ Desolation
    Nervosa ~ Downfall Of Mankind

  2. So far I’ve listened most to the following albums:
    Corrosion of Conformity – No Cross No Crown – the return of Pepper on vocals delivers just what I hoped to.

    Judas Priest – Firepower – I’ve never been a real passionate fan of Judas Priest even in my teens when I listened mostly to heavy metal. And about 20 years ago I gradually found heavy metal more and more boring. But this year Judas Priest brought the metal back to my heart with such a powerful album with such a classic heavy sound.

    Brond – Graveyard Campfire – the debut LP by the Bulgarian rock band has all the right ingredients – a powerful and blissful mixture of the math-rock precision, the groove of stoner rock, the madness of Melvins – it’s all in there and yet the band keeps its own signature.

    Limb – Saboteurs of the Sun – I love how this album has heavy groove and punk attitude with great vocal lines. Perfect for moshing or riding the bike in the mountain.

    I have to mention also Monster Magnet’s Mindfucker – not their best album but their first with straight ahead rock’n’roll in years.
    And I loved the brand new Florence + The Machine album – a guilty pleasure but she has such strong feminine power and this folkish attitude behind the indie pop sound that she got me helpless

  3. Mike Taylor says:

    BEST OF 2018 (so far)

    1. Boss Keloid- “Melted On the Inch” ??
    2. Yob- “Our Raw Heart” ??
    3. Gozu- “Equilibrium” ??
    4. Apostle of Solitude- “From Gold To Ash” ??
    5. Wolftooth- “Wolftooth” ??
    6. Sleep- “The Sciences” ??
    7. Black Rainbows- “Pandaemonium” ??
    8. The Sword- “Used Future” ??
    9. Graveyard- “Peace” ??
    10. Witchsorrow- “Hexenhammer” ??
    11. Absent- “Towards the Void” ??
    12. C.O.C.- “No Cross No Crown” ??

  4. Dave says:

    Lots of great albums so far this year.

    If I had to vote right now, I would pick the new Earthless album. The introduction of the vocals sounds so natural to me & it has enough jams to keep true to their sound. Sudden End may be one of the best songs I ever heard. So much emotion in the riff and singing.

    The new Sleep is great as well, we’ll see if it can top Earthless by the end of the year. PS, I need a new Sleep T-shirt, nothing in a large on their merch website arrrrrg!

    I like the new Monster Magnet, but don’t think it’s quite as good as the other 2.

    • 2nd Dave says:

      Another Dave with another nod to the latest Earthless. So good that I even convinced my dad to buy the album and blast it in his home.

      Also props to the new Sleep album.

      Must be a Dave thing.

  5. Turbo says:

    Monster Magnet – Mindfucker.
    Shadow Witch – Disciples of the Crow.
    High Reaper – High Reaper.
    Killler Boogie – Acid Cream.
    Sundrifter – Visitations.
    Kayleth – Colossus.
    Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium.
    Gozu – Equilibrium.
    Sun Voyager – Seismic Vibes.
    The Lazys – Tropical Hazards.
    The Watchers – Black Abyss.
    Stonefield – Far From Earth.
    Green Lung – Free The Witch.
    Neil Merryweather, JanneStark – Carved In Rock

  6. Rasi says:

    # Metal

    Fractal Gates – The Light That Shines
    Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart
    Sinistro – Sangue cássia
    Tribulation – Down Below
    Thy Catafalque – Geometria
    Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy
    Amorphis – Queen of Time
    Sludge – Esoteric Malacology

    # Stoner/Psychedelic/Blues

    CHICKN – Wowsers!
    Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1
    Whoopie Cat – Illusion of Choice
    The Death Wheelers – I Tread on Your Grave
    Walking Papers – WP2

    # Punk/Hardcore/Noise/Post-Punk

    Treedeon – Under The Manchineel
    shame – Songs of Praise
    Horror Vacui – New Wave Of Fear
    Iceage – Beyondless
    The Damned – Evil Spirits
    War on Women – Capture The Flag
    Turnstile – Time & Space

    # Alternative

    Lost Avenue – Fears
    Heads. – Collider
    Awooga – Conduit
    Habitants – One Self

    # Rock/Pop

    Brandi Carlile – By the Way, I Forgive You
    Lauren Ruth Ward – Well, Hell
    Clare Bowen – Clare Bowen
    Bryde – Like an Island
    Neko Case – Hell-on
    Flamingo Tours – Lucha Libre
    Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

    # Other

    Anna von Hausswolff – Dead Magic

  7. Mark says:

    Khemmis – Isolation
    Ihsahn – Amr
    Graveyard – Peace
    Ghost – Prequelle
    Octopus- Supernatural Alliance
    YOB – Our Raw Heart

  8. wombat60 says:

    No particular order:

    Frank Zappa – The Roxy Performances
    Sleep – The Sciences
    YOB – Our Raw Heart
    Khemmis – Desolation
    Slomatics/Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard Split – TOTEMS
    Forming the Void/Pyreship – Split
    Earthride – Witch Gun (Single)
    Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician
    Witchskull – Coven’s Will

  9. Colin says:

    In no particular order (other than the first three, which are definitely my top three so far):

    Yob – Our Raw Heart
    Sergeant Thunderhoof – Terra Solus
    Earthless – Black Heaven
    Hashteroid – Hashteroid
    Nervosa – Downfall of Mankind
    Besvarjelsen – Vallmo
    TONS – Filthy Flowers of Doom
    Realm – Read Clay Dead River
    Bismarck – Urkraft
    Okwaho – Okwaho
    Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium
    Sierra – The Mirror
    Mr Bison – Holy Oak
    Miesha and the Spanks – Girls Girls Girls

  10. Pedro says:

    Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe. If it’s not the best album so far this year, it for sure has the best song of the year, the 18 minute masterpiece Il Mostro Atomico.

  11. Allnight Ryan says:

    My faves so far in no particular order –

    Ecstatic Vision – Under The Influence
    Earthless – Black Heaven
    Green Druid – Ashen Blood
    Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium
    Crypt Trip – Rootstock
    Sleep – The Sciences
    Graveyard – Peace

    Very much looking forward to second half of 2018…
    Dunbarrow, Brant Bjork, Yawning Man

    Gonna go check out some of your faves…

  12. Fred says:

    Earthless – Black Heaven
    Judas Priest – Firepower
    A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant
    Church of The Cosmic Skull – Science Fiction
    Fu Manchu – Clone of The Universe
    Monster Magnet – Mindfucker
    Ghost – Prequelle
    Justify Rebellion – Unleash the Beast
    Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons – The Age of Absurdity
    Philip Anselmo and The Illegals – Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue

  13. Bill Von Linsowe says:

    1. Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe
    2. Sleep – The Sciences
    3. Freedom Hawk – Beast Remains
    4. Patrick Sweany – Ancient Noise
    5. Suicidal Tendencies – Get Your Fight On
    6. Monster Magnet – Mindfucker
    7. The Sword – Used Future
    8. C.O.C – No Cross No Crown
    9. Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides Of The Sky
    10. Roger Daltrey – As Long As I Have You
    11. Merlin – The Wizard

  14. 1- Sleep
    2- Earthless
    3- Graveyard
    4- Khemmis
    5- SVVamp
    6- Burning Saviours
    7- High Reeper
    8- The Sword

    • Electric Woodsman says:

      How I forgot to put Fu Manchu on my list I’ll never know. That should be right at the top of my list.

  15. Remi VL says:

    We’ll see what this looks like in December!

    1. Weedpecker – III
    2. Huntsmen – American Scrap
    3. The Atlas Moth – Coma Noir
    4. ASG – Survive Sunrise
    5. Gygax- 2nd Edition
    6. Somali Yacht Club – The Sea
    7. Black Salvation – Uncertainty is Bliss
    8. Death Alley – Superbia
    9. Crypt Trip – Rootstock
    10. Atala – Labyrinth of Ashmedai
    11. Dead Empires – Designed To Disappear
    12. Mountain Dust – Seven Storms
    13. Birth of Joy – Hyper Focus
    14. Dommengang – Love Jail
    15. Tribulation – Down Below
    16. Green Lung – Free The Witch EP
    17. Hypno5e/A Backward Glace on a Travel Road – Alba-Les Ombres Errantes
    18. JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis
    19. Wedge – Killing Tongue
    20. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
    21. Them Moose Rush – Don’t Pick Your Noise
    22. Gloop – The Tourist
    23. OroborO – Laughing Death
    24. Between The Buried and Me – Automata I + II
    25. King Buffalo – Repeater EP

  16. dusted says:

    Dead Meadow
    Hooded Menace
    The Steams

  17. Dwap says:

    Sleep – The Sciences
    Weedpecker – III
    Naxatras – III
    Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe
    The Sword – Used Future
    Monster Magnet – Mindfucker
    Orange Goblin – The Wolf Bites Back
    Yawning Man – Revolt Against Tired Noises (based off the first couple of spins)
    Ghost – Prequelle

  18. Jason says:

    ANTHROPROPHH!! If you haven’t heard Omegaville you’ve made a terrible mistake.
    Drug Cult. This band scratches that EW itch.
    Green Druid. Am interested to see where they go from here.
    Blackwater Holylight. Local band here in Portland. These ladies bring it. And catchy.

    Didn’t care much for the new Witch Mountain nor Khemmis.

  19. Mick says:

    Sleep “The Sciences” LP
    Slomatics/Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard “Totems” 12”
    Power “Turned On” LP
    No Class “Painted in a Corner” LP
    Leon Bridges “Good Thing”
    Battle Ruins “Glorious Dead” LP
    Chrch “Light will consume us” LP
    Civic “New Vietnam” LP
    Wound Man “Pre-History” EP
    King Buffalo “Repeater” 12” EP
    Arms Race “The Beast” EP
    S.H.I.T “What do you stand for?” 12”
    Here Lies Man “You Will Know Nothing” LP
    Parasite “Zankyo” LP
    Alienation “Bitter Reality” EP

  20. Brett says:

    My Favorite of the year by some amount has been:

    Somali Yacht Club- The Sea

  21. Alex Peck says:


    1) River Cult – Halcyon Daze
    2) Crypt Trip – Rootstock
    3) SVVAMP 2
    4) CHILD – I
    5) Astral Blue – Out of the Blue
    6) Dommengang – Love Jail
    7) Vvlva – Path of Virtue
    8) Crazy Bull – The past is today
    9) Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe

  22. Sphinx says:

    King Buffalo, Sleep, and The Death Wheelers have all been getting heavy play from me.
    I’m really glad I checked out the comments on this post…I listened to Svvamp 2 after seeing it listed so many times and I agree. That album is fantastic.
    Also, the new Bongripper just came out on July 6th and I’ve already played that multiple times. I can already tell that’s going to be a favorite of mine this year.

  23. Marco says:

    – Sleep
    – Amorphis
    – Ghost
    – Khemmis
    – Judas Priest

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