With ten slots proving barely adequate for this year in music, a second part comes due. Sorry for the lack of consistency, as I slip in and out between soft rock and metal(core) favourites. So try not to lift your finger off that volume dial.
In no real order and in time for the new year, enjoy Volume 2 of 2:
10. The Temperance Movement – A Deeper Cut
The blues continue to invade modern music, as The Temperance Movement releases their third solid rock n’ roll record. A Deeper Cut is yet another next top-notch album to join the impressively consistent collection of indie label Earache Records.
Capable of throwing out raw rockers like Caught in the Middle and Backwater Zoo, the beloved British band is unafraid to slow down for tender ballads such as There’s Still Time and the brilliant title track. And what is perhaps as much our blessing as it is the band’s, Phil Campbell’s raw vocals work amazingly well on both.
9. Harakiri for the Sky – Arson
This is no album to listen to when you are already feeling down. But depressing as their lyrics may be, Harakiri for the Sky makes heavy music as melancholic as it is, cathartic and moving.
Obsessing over grim thoughts of heartache and abandonment, Arson delivers deeply emotional laments that leave an indelible mark. Their scarring lyrics ultimately prove personal and evocative for anyone who can relate to the darkness.
8. Thundermother – Thundermother
With the departure of four out of five members, things were starting to look awry for Swedish hard rock band Thundermother. Lead guitarist Filippa Nässil fortunately decided to march on, boldly introducing a massive line-up change.
That shake-up did little to snuff out their fire. If anything, their self-titled album has stoked the blaze to an all-time high. The all-women outfit makes an exceptional return, with new tracks that retain their classic AC/DC influences and hit hard.
7. Andrea Bignasca – Murder
Andrea Bignasca is one of most underrated singer-songwriters out there. With his soulful raspy voice, the hugely talented Swiss musician certainly deserves his big break soon. (And thank you Internet, for breaking geographic boundaries in music.)
His sophomore album Murder is a fantastic follow-up to Gone, which was a genuine masterwork in bluesy folk rock. If you are looking for a entry point for his music, check out his amazing live rendition of Lump in Your Throat.
6. Sylar – Seasons
Nu-metal/metalcore outfit Sylar first dismissed the genre’s critics with 2016’s all-killer debut Dark Daze. 2018 sees their strong return with Seasons, their matured sound cementing their place as a front-running entrant.
Alternating between rap metal and cleaning singing over rhythmic beats, they take clear cues from Rage Against the Machine and the early successes of Linkin Park. Despite the heavy influences, their infectious lyrical optimism is a breath of fresh air, daring their fans to give it All or Nothing.