5. Halestorm – Vicious
Opening with the explosive anthem Black Vultures, Vicious re-introduces Halestorm back in top form after four long years of waiting. The band confidently charges on with a barrage of chart-friendly hooks and riffs, presenting a solid collection of catchy pop-rockers.
Channelling the defiant and wild energy of Joan Jett, Lzzy Hale comfortably shifts between hard-hitting bangers including Do Not Disturb, and slower acoustic pieces like Heart of Novocaine and The Silence. Not forgetting the live acoustic renditions. Who’s down for a Halestorm: Unplugged album?
4. Architects – Holy Hell
Two years after losing their founding member Tom Searle to cancer, Architects confronts their devastating loss and grief with the powerfully written Holy Hell. The music is striking. Emotions run through every personal lyric penned by Tom’s brother and Architects’ drummer Dan Searle.
Backed by Sam Carter’s poignant vocals, the album turns in a gut-wrenching but beautiful tribute to a life lost too soon, “When I leave this skin and bone, beyond my final heartbeat. I’ll dismantle piece by piece, and I will know that death is not defeat.”
3. Beartooth – Disease
More accessible than before, the latest album by Beartooth is bound to be divisive for fans of the relatively heavier Aggressive. But Disease hits home for many with Caleb Shomo’s lyrical honesty, as he explores difficult subjects of depression and personal insecurities.
Things are not all on the dark side. Infectious verses make ear worms out of every song on the record, where no two tracks sound similar. And it is hard not to smile and shout along as their massive chorus unabashedly proclaim, “I’ll be bangin’ my head ’til my brain rots.”
2. Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger
You can’t spell rock without Myles Kennedy these days. The Alter Bridge vocalist, who also heads Slash’s backing band The Conspirators, has over and again proven his place in modern rock with his unforgettable voice and mad range.
Year of the Tiger is his first solo studio debut and an album close to his heart, touching on the death of his father back in 1974. The stripped-down masterpiece comes as a reminder that it is not just his powerful vocal technicalities, but his emotional prowess that makes him incomparable.
1. Ghost – Prequelle
Papa Emeritus has left the building. In his place is Cardinal Copia, who continues his legacy of deistic hymns and biblical chapters in dramatic form. Ghost is back, and in spite of the unending legal wrangling, his spiritual congregations continue to grow.
Not without reason. Prequelle is a creative force to be reckoned with, assuredly introducing elements that may be inapposite for any other metallers. In their stand-out instrumentals, Miasma sees the bold interjection of an amazing sax solo, while Tolkien magic seeps into the melodious Helvetesfonster. Every track only goes to show how the anti-denomination deserves every devout disciple off stage.
That’s all, folks. As always, thank you for checking back despite the intermittent updates.
ICYMI, click here for Volume 1 of my favourite 2018 albums. Don’t forget to leave your objections and/or recommendations in the comments down below. Have a rockin’ 2019. x