2018 has been a fantastic year for rock and metal music. It seems as if the genre is growing year by year in terms of the diversity in sub-genres, but also original sounding bands. In fact, the Grammy nominations aren't half bad this year for metal and rock, as they're finally selecting some original and younger bands! Regardless, an award is an award, and it can't change whether or not your music is good. With that being said, here are our top rock and metal albums of 2018!
5. Corrupt Ordinary Human Love
This album caught me off guard during my first few listens, and I actually wasn’t too big on it initially. However, since its release, I saw Deafheaven perform the album live, and I can’t stress enough how impactful these songs are in a live setting. The moment I left that concert I immediately gave Corrupt Ordinary Human Love a careful listen, and everything seemed to fall into place. COHL expresses an array of colors over the course of its run time. From its optimistic and scenic atmosphere with “You Without End,” and “Near,” to the epic and almost orchestral barrage of “Honeycomb,” and “Canary Yellow,” Deafheaven have made their most dynamic record to date. On another note, “Honeycomb” has been nominated for Best Metal Performance at this year's Grammys. While the Grammys are usually pathetic when it comes to the rock and metal scene, it’s refreshing to see a small band like Deafheaven getting some much deserved acknowledgment.
4. On Dark Horses
- Emma Ruth Rundle
While her recent tours have been selling out tiny bars and clubs, Emma Ruth Rundle is a vastly underrated and under appreciated artist, and her latest record can vouch for that. On Dark Horses, Emma’s lyrical and songwriting capabilities shine, but more importantly, she should be seen as one of the most virtuous and original singers of 2018. Incorporating elements of rock, doom metal, shoegaze, and folk, this record gives a breath of fresh air to a genre in need of originality. Listening from start to finish is highly recommended on this one, but standouts tracks include “Light Song,” "Dead Set Eyes," and “Control.”
3. Time & Space
One of the most popular hardcore bands of 2018, Turnstile has reignited the hardcore scene with Time & Space. This record has 13 songs that total in at a short, but sweet 25 minutes, and it doesn’t hold your hand along the way. Gripping the listener by the ear, Turnstile crash land some head throbbing breakdowns, but with an all-encompassing melodic aesthetic. I don’t think calling this record a Hardcore album really does it justice, as it offers so many elements from every corner of rock, metal, and hardcore. Tracks like “I Don’t Wanna Be Blind” and “Real Thing” give light to this concept, and make it hard to put the record down even after dozens of listens.
2. We Already Lost the World
- Birds in Row
The experimental hardcore group has released their best album to date with We already Lost the World. As far intensity goes, this has to be the most chaotic and brutal record on this list, but its intensity serves a purpose. Lyrical themes tackle issues of ongoing violence and suffering around the world, but also touch struggles with friendship, and how political these relationships can become (check out the song "Love is Political"). Whether they shove it down you ear, or scream it in your face, Birds in Row get the point of their music across no matter what the cost, and in end it pays off as an exceptional listen.
1. Chrome Neon Jesus
- Teenage Wrist
Topping our list are the newcomers to the rock scene, Teenage Wrist. This band captures a decade of old genres from 90's alt-rock, 80's post-punk, to modern rock and they makes it their own. There hasn't been a rock band with such a solid debut record since Pearl Jam's Ten, even then Chrome Neon Jesus stands on it's own pedestal as legendary album. From a production and songwriting standpoint this is a phenomenal sounding album; each song gets across TW's staple rock sound perfectly and only leaves you wanting more. Every track is a banger on this record, but there are still some standouts, which include: "Stoned, Alone," "Chrome Neon Jesus," "Black Flamingo," and "Rollerblades." Honestly though, just do yourself a favor and check out the whole record. You won't be disappointed.