C O L U M N S

Tales from the Jugular

Staff Year End Awards for 2018!
Our Annual Year End Edition of Metal that Hit Our Radar

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Monday, December 31, 2018
We've gathered up our thoughts on the hard rock/metal releases of 2018! Even if you really don't give a shit what any of our opinions are, there are so many releases put out in this age of do-it-yourself creation that you may see names you missed, older bands you forgot existed or unknowns to look up and sample. It's all about getting the word out and supporting the music!

ERIC COMPTON
Top 25 (in no particular order)
Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown
Anvil - Pounding the Pavement
Machine Head - Catharsis
Saxon - Thunderbolt
The Crown - Cobra Speed Venom
Bullet - Dust to Gold
Blitzkrieg - Judge Not
Parkway Drive - Reverence
Refuge - Solitary Men
Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods
Primal Fear - Apocalypse
U.D.O. - Steelfactory
Hardcore Superstar - You Can't Kill My Rock 'n Roll
Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
High on Fire - Electric Messiah
Ice Nine Kills - The Silver Scream
Gama Bomb - Speed Between the Lines
Deceased - Ghostly White
Icarus Witch - Goodbye Cruel World
Artillery - The Face of Fear
Death Ray Vision - Negative Mental Attitude
Metal Church - Damned if you Do
Shotgun Rodeo - By Hook or by Crook
Meliah Rage - Idol Hands
Green Death - Hallowmass

EC Turd City
Bullet for my Valentine - Gravity
Judas Priest - Firepower
Skindred - Big Tings
D.D. Verni - Barricade

EC Best Live Show: Tesla - Florida Theater Jacksonville 2/9/18

FRANK HILL
Top Full Releases (in no particular order)
Flotsam and Jetsam - The End of Chaos
Dee Snider - For the Love of Metal
Visitors - Crest
The Three Tremors - The Three Tremors
A Sound of Thunder - It Was Metal
Beyond the Black - Heart of the Hurricane
Images of Eden - Soulrise
Striker - Play to Win
Hardcore Superstar - You Can't Kill My Rock 'n Roll
The Temperance Movement - A Deeper Cut
Judas Priest - Firepower
Gatekeeper - East of Sun
Svartanatt - Starry Eagle Eye

Top EPs
Glanville - First Blood
Sacred Leather - Ultimate Force
Gyze - The Rising Dragon
Frayle - The White Witch
Crystal Viper - At the Edge of Time
Meka Nism - The War Inside

Best Video Guilty Pleasure: Reaction videos on YouTube.
Best Non-Metal Guilty Pleasure: Blondie's first three releases.

GREG WATSON
1. For I Am King - I
2. Architects - Holy Hell
3. Unendlich - Misanthropic Sedition
4. Vanha - Melancholia
5. Holy Fawn - Death Spells
6. OTHRS - Broken Dialogue

Honorable Mention: Bucketheadland - Dreamthread

Disappointments of 2018: This year as a whole was a bit of a letdown in metal for me personally. I didn't feel as though there were many quality releases and the bigger bands new albums were sorely disappointing. Hopefully 2019 will be a bounce back year for metal cause if it isn't, it might be time for this metal head to step away from the genre for a bit.

Final Thoughts: While 2018 was a down year in metal for this fan, 2019 seems rife with promise as Amon Amarth, Asking Alexandria, King Diamond, Lamb of God and Testament, among many other well known bands, are expected to have new releases coming out. Between the established bands and what I'm sure will be an influx of new blood, I sincerely hope that 2019 is another standout year for metal as a whole. Time will tell though and until then I'll be here waiting to see how it all plays out.

TROY COLE
Top Full Releases (in no particular order)
Avatar - Avatar Country
Corrosion of Conformity - No cross No crown
Parkway Drive - Reverence
Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog
Fifth Angel - The Third Secret
Warrel Dane - Shadow Work
Ashes of Ares - Well of Souls
Metal Church - Damned if You Do
Sacred Leather - Ultimate Force
Green Death - Hallowmass
Machinehead - Catharsis
The Crown - Kobra Speed Venom
Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods
Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
Icarus Witch - Goodbye Cruel World
Death Ray Vision - Negative Mental Attitude
Kataklysm - Meditations
Kalmah - Palo
Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits
Angelus Apatrida - Cabaret de la Guillotine

DAVID LOVELESS
Dirge - Lost Empyrean (Eitrin Editions)
Voivod - The Wake (Century Media)
Evoken - Hypnagogia (Profound Lore)
Mule Skinner - Airstrike (F.O.A.D.)
Yob - Our Raw Heart (Relapse)
Slugdge - Esoteric Malacology (Willowtip)
Marduk - Viktoria (Century Media)
Author & Punisher - Beastland (Relapse)
Tesseract - Sonder (Kscope)
Michael Romeo - War of the Worlds, Part 1 (Mascot Label Group)
Internal Bleeding - Corrupting Influence (Unique Leader)
Visitors - Crest (Independent)
Architects - Holy Hell (Epitaph)
Hate Eternal - Upon Desolate Sands (Season Of Mist)
Iskald - Innhostinga (Indie)
Stryper - God Damn Evil (Frontiers)
Psycroptic - As The Kingdoms Drowns (Prosthetic)
The Algorithm - Compiler Optimization Techniques (Independent)
Abstracter - Cinereous Incarnate (Sentient Ruin)
Pestilence - Hadeon (Hammerheart)

Favorite Non-Metal of 2018:
Zevious - Lowlands
Soft Kill - Savior
Blackberry Smoke - Find A Light
The Black Queen - Infinite Games
Michael Franks - The Music In My Head

BRAD CAPLAN
1. Amorphis - Queen of Time
2. Judas Priest - Firepower
3. Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy - Living The Dream
4. Ghost - Prequelle
5. Greta Van Fleet - Anthem of the Peaceful Army
6. The Struts - Young & Dangerous
7. Atreyu - In Our Wake
8. Sons of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony
9. Godsmack - When Legends Rise
10. Jonathan Davis - Black Labyrinth
11. Alice In Chains - Ranier Fog
12. The Magpie Salute - High Water I
13. Light the Torch - Revival
14. YYNOT - YYNOT
15. Dimmu Borgir - Eonian
16. Shinedown - Attention Attention
17. Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits
18. Asking Alexandria - Asking Alexandria
19. Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine Live from Rome Plavdiv
20. W.E.T. - Earthrage

The Amorphis album really grabbed me right away. I have not really paid them enough attention over the years and now that I am going back into their catalogue I feel like I have been asleep at the wheel. Really talented musicians. Great albums. Really happy I can still discover music like this after listening for so long!!

Highlight of the Year: The Judas Priest album really blew me away even though I have been a fan forever!
Surprise of the Year: While not metal, Steve Perry finally released new music after 24 years!
Guilty Pleasure: The Struts. Yes, they borrow heavily from Queen and just about everyone, but they can write some great hooks.
Non-Metal Album of the Year: Miles Kennedy - Year of the Tiger (excellent album)
Likely to Make top 10 for 2019: The new studio album from Devin Townsend ("Empath")
Best Carryover from 2017: Greta Van Fleet - From the Fires EP
Most Played Song of the Year: Judas Priest - Lightning Strike

NATE TURPIN
Omnious - Mechanics of the Unseen
Sunset Wrecks - False Patterns
Bosse-de-Nage - Further Still
Craft - White Noise and Black Metal
Dopethrone - Transcanadian Anger

VINAYA SAKSENA
Top 15 Metal Albums Of The Year
1) Voivod: The Wake (Century Media)
2) Messa: Feast For Water (Aural Music)
3) Vodun: Ascend (New Heavy Sounds)
4) Black Moth: Anatomical Venus (Candlelight/ Spinefarm/ New Heavy Sounds)
5) Alkaloid: Liquid Anatomy (Season Of Mist)
6) Black Book Lodge: Steeple And Spire (Mighty Music)
7) Blackwater HolyLight: S/T (RidingEasy)
8) Sigh: Heir To Despair (Candlelight)
9) Yob: Our Raw Heart (Relapse)
10) Hex: The Hill Temple (Flying Out)
11) Oceans Of Slumber: The Banished Heart (Century Media)
12) Corrosion Of Conformity: No Cross, No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
13) Alice In Chains" Ranier Fog (BMG)
14) Khemmis: Desolation (20 Buck Spin)
15) Chapel Of Disease: ...And as We Have Seen the Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye (Van)

Noteworthy Metal EPs:
Benthic Realm: We Will Not Bow (Self-released)
Off The Cross: Era (Dungeon-Tapes)
Owl Maker: Paths Of The Slain (Self-released)

Best Not-So-Metal Albums:
Kikagaku Moyo: Masana Temples (Guruguru Brain)
Emma Ruth Rundle: On Dark Horses (Sargent House)

Great Shows Seen:
Spirit Adrift, Dreadnought, InAeona @ Great Scott, Allston, MA
Ode To Doom (Heavy Temple, Fox 45, Nine Layers Deep, Sabba) @ Arlene's Grocery, New York, NY
Irata, Sierra, Gasoline Virgins, Kill The Straggler @ Alchemy, Providence, RI
Sabbath Assembly, Sanhedrin, Skryptor @ The Gutter Bar, Brooklyn, NY
New England Stoner & Doom Fest (Featuring Scissorfight, Earthride, Demon Eye, Horehound, etc.) @ Altones, Jewett City, CT

New Talent To Watch:
Irata, Messa, Here Lies Man, Alien Weaponry, Horehound, Holy Fawn, Deathchant



Deaths in 2018 (from Wikipedia):
January 3 - Josiah Boyd, former bassist of A Hill to Die Upon, died after a car accident at the age of 32.
January 5 - Mikio Fujioka, guitarist of Babymetal, died from injuries caused by falling off an observation deck at the age of 36.
January 9 - Paul Antignani, former drummer of Sworn Enemy, died from undisclosed reasons.
January 10 - "Fast" Eddie Clarke, guitarist of Fastway and former guitarist of Motorhead, died of pneumonia at the age of 67.
January 10 - Alfred Morris III, guitarist of Iron Man, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 60.
January 16 - Dave Holland, former drummer of Judas Priest, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 69.
February 1 - Marcin Walenczykowski, guitarist of Vesania and Rootwater, died from lymphoma at the age of 37.
February 5 - Damien Percy, former drummer of Mortification, died from undisclosed reasons.
February 7 - Pat Torpey, drummer of Mr. Big, died from Parkinson's disease at the age of 64.
February 27 - Fabiano Penna, guitarist of Rebaelliun, died from undisclosed reasons.
March 9 - Guillermo Calero, drummer of Wormed, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 27.
March 18 - Frank "Killjoy" Pucci, vocalist of Necrophagia, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 48.
March 28 - Caleb Scofield, bassist and vocalist of Cave In, Old Man Gloom, and Zozobra, died in car crash at age of 39.
April 25 - Kato Khandwala, record producer, songwriter, mixer, and engineer of albums by Vimic, Pop Evil, and many other different artists, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident at the age of 47.
April 30 - Tim Calvert, former guitarist of Nevermore and Forbidden, died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 52.
May 9 - Ben Graves, former drummer of Murderdolls, Dope, and Pretty Boy Floyd, died from cancer at the age of 46.
May 29 - Josh Martin, guitarist of Anal Cunt, died from injuries sustained from falling off an escalator at the age of 45.
June 6 - Ralph Santolla, former guitarist of Iced Earth, Deicide, Death, and Obituary, died after suffering a heart attack, falling into a coma, and being taken off life support at the age of 51.
June 22 - Vinnie Paul, drummer of Hellyeah and former drummer of Pantera and Damageplan, died from dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease at the age of 54.
June 25 - Jake Raymond, former vocalist of Vital Remains, died from undisclosed reasons.
July 7 - Bret Hoffmann, former vocalist of Malevolent Creation, died from colon cancer at the age of 51.
July 27 - Mark "The Shark" Shelton, vocalist and guitarist of Manilla Road, died from a heart attack at the age of 60.
August 10 - Jason "J-Sin" Luttrell, former vocalist of Primer 55, died from Hepatitis C at the age of 40.
August 14 - Randy Rampage, former vocalist of Annihilator, died from a heart attack at the age of 58.
August 14 - Jill Janus, vocalist of Huntress, died from committing suicide at the age of 42.
August 24 - Carlos Denogean, drummer of Weedeater, died after suffering an aneurysm at the age of 30.
August 25 - Kyle Pavone, vocalist of We Came as Romans, died from a drug overdose at the age of 28.
September 5 - Richard Bateman, bassist of Nasty Savage, died from a heart attack.
October 12 - Kade Dodson, former drummer of Abated Mass of Flesh and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 33.
October 16 - Oli Herbert, guitarist of All That Remains, died from drowning after taking antidepressants and sleeping aids at the age of 44.
October 23 - Willy Lange, bassist of Lȧȧz Rockit and Dublin Death Patrol, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident at the age of 57.
October 27 - Todd Youth, former guitarist of Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Danzig, and Warzone, died from undisclosed reasons at the age of 47.
November 29 - Erik Lindmark, vocalist and guitarist of Deeds of Flesh, died from sclerosis at the age of 46.
December 3 - Carsten Otterbach, former guitarist of Morgoth, died from multiple sclerosis at the age of 48.
December 7 - Lucas Starr, former bassist of Oh, Sleeper, died from colon cancer at the age of 34.



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RANDOM ACTS OF METAL
. Demons and Wizards. Misery Index
. Rebellion. Anthrax
. Gun Barrel. Godsmack
. Usurper. Advent
. Iron Maiden. Agoraphobic Nosebleed
. Widowmaker. Pelican
. Circle of Nero. Byfist
. Black Sabbath. Mourning Beloveth
. Rage. Victory
. King Diamond. Assrockers
. Malstrom. Nordheim
. Axenstar. Duke
. Vhaldemar. Whitesnake
. Primal Fear. Slayer
. Probot. Iron Savior
. Hard Echo. F5
. Node. Drowning Pool
. Celesty. Riot
. Kingcrow. Metalium
. Gary Moore. Marillion
. Lonewolf. House of Lords
. Juggernott. Krokus
. Insomnium. Vox Tempus
. Dream Evil. Potential Threat SF
. Dark Age. Jamie. St. James
. House of Shakira. The Project Hate
. Ironhorse. Anger
. Jackyl. Avenue F
. Napalm Death. Scenteria
. Blood Red Throne. Veni Domine
. Labyrinth. Yyrkoon
. Suidakra. Samael
. Crimson Moonlight. God Fear None
. Boomerang. Bruce Dickinson
. Axel Rudi Pell. Fire Alley
. Operatika. Neil Turbin
. Gizmachi. Sinisthra
. Def Leppard. Nightrage
. Communic. Slough Feg
. Dam. Gaia
. Fates Warning. Sheavy
. Edenbridge. Iron Maidens
. Warchild. Lake Of Tears
. The Atomic Bitchwax. Eternal Reign
. Winterfell. Barcode
. Third Degree. Mistress
. Doomfoxx. Overmars
. Midnight Idols. Celebratum
. Zero Down. The Tenth Circle
. God Forbid. Torture Killer
. Absu. Craft
. Witchery. Across Tundras
. Codeon. Nikki Puppet
. Upwards of Endtime. Daylight Dies
. Hell-Born. Dissection
. Degree Absolute. Imagika
. The Strongest Proof. Spawn of Possession
. Psycroptic. Agalloch
. Fleshgore. Vicious Rumors
. Abominant. Belphegor
. Enochian Crescent. Semargl
. Mastodon. Rotting Christ
. Lupara. Panzerchrist
. Winger. Demise
. Extium. Deicide
. Warmachine. Blood Tsunami
. Stonegard. Lost Eden
. Southern Gentleman. Zyklon
. Blood of the Black Owl. Incrave
. Cattle Decapitation. Textures
. Pentacle. Nominon
. Manes. Retrospective
. The Wonderfools. Nation Beyond
. Cauldron. Night Ranger
. Shining Star. Rosetta
. Mortiis. Father Befouled
. Demonic Symphony. Witchfinder General
. Equilibrium. Trinacria
. Medieval Steel. Iron Fire
. Cursed. Nasty Idols
. Mustasch. Caliban
. Raven. Earthen Grave