The 50 best metal albums of 2018 (so far)

The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2018 So Far

We're six months in to 2018 and it's already been a landmark year for metal. We've had blinding new albums from Hammer faves like Ghost, Judas Priest and Tesseract, but also incredible records from newbies like Møl, Fucked & Bound and Conjurer. 

Here, we have collected the Top 50 albums of 2018 so far, according to the reviews in Metal Hammer magazine. There's a lot to sink your teeth into – so let's begin!

Agrimonia – Awaken

We said: “To craft numerous diverse movements and make them run seamlessly together across lengthy compositions is quite the sleight of hand, but to do so while incorporating various subgenres and maintaining the same ominous aura undoubtedly elevates Agrimonia’s songwriting to a level beyond the comprehension of many of their contemporaries.”

Read full review | Buy from Amazon

Amorphis – Queen Of Time

We said: “Capped off with a dazzling cameo from Anneke van Giersbergen on the gorgeous Amongst Stars, Queen Of Time is the sound of true unsung heroes proving, again, that they fucking rule.”

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Andrew WK – You're Not Alone

We said: “It’s so OTT it borders on parody but there’s total conviction behind Andrew’s every word, bellowing out his crowning vocal achievement on Total Freedom and non-ironically commanding a song Coldplay would kill for.”

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Anna Von Hausswolff – Dead Magic

We said: “From the 12- and 16-minute-long atmospheric epics The Truth, The Glow, The Fall and Ugly And Vengeful to the fierce and excessive The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra, Anna delivers her most daring yet focused performance while cutting down the tracklist to only five songs.”

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At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself

We said: “Though the opening title track’s riff has a whiff of Blinded By Fear, At The Gates 2.0 keep the much-lauded familiarity and imbues it with a fervent spirit.”

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Auri – Auri

We said: “This is a stunning work that inhabits the same world of awe as Nightwish: a world of crashing oceans and a solitary lighthouse beam in the dark that will be ever so familiar to Tuomas’s fans, and a strangely intriguing comfort to everyone else.”

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Autopsy – Puncturing The Grotesque

We said:Gorecrow is most reminiscent of the Autopsy of old as thick guitars bounce tempo and time changes off the walls and the cover of Bloodbath’s Fuck You is as fun and Dwarves-inspired as its title hints at with the mini-LP demonstrating the band’s capability at updating the sound and style that got them here in the first place.”

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Baptists – Beacon Of Faith

We said: “Not outstaying their welcome over the 13 tracks herein, Baptists have taken a hard yet thrilling look at today’s fractured world, creating a soundtrack for the brutality and frustrations of modern life.”

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Between The Buried And Me – Automata I

We said:Automata I is a record that delights rather than shocks for the most part, the band cherrypicking all of the strongest nuances from the vast buffet of their back catalogue and organising them into a coherent whole.”

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Boss Keloid – Melted On The Inch

We said: “This is a resinous journey into the gauzy realm of mesmerising grooves, prismatic melodies and towering metal riffage, incorporating even more influences, more tonal experimentalism and more inventive song structures than ever before.”

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Burgerkill – Adamantine

We said:Adamantine is a genuine world-beater, light years ahead of its predecessor in terms of production, songwriting craft and sonic impact.”

Read full review | Buy from Demajors

Conjurer – Mire

We said: “Even with the highest of expectations, Mire is a breathtaking debut album. It almost seems absurd to think that a band this youthful could have such a tight grasp and understanding of metal’s most explosive dynamics straight off the bat.”

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Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross No Crown

We said: “Unlike prior releases that suffered from an abundance of forgettable mid-tempo sludge, No Cross No Crown positively erupts with anthemic vitality, suggesting that sometimes a little time apart can be a very good thing.”

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Dark Buddha Rising – II

We said: “Ritualistic chants gather to an exultant chorus, the air pregnant with an expectancy that turns to despair as the relentlessly plodding, predatory riff they’ve summoned is met by howls of anguish.”

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Deströyer 666 – Call Of The Wild

We said: “KK Warslut and company may be outspoken and deemed controversial by some, but, like all of the best metal bands, there’s no doubting their mastery of the riff and hook.”

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Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

We said: “There are choirs, there are orchestras, there are bursts of industrial noise and, we can only assume, there are several skull-encrusted kitchen sinks knocking around in here, too. Most of all, there are some wickedly complex and yet hugely memorable songs, starting with grand opener The Unveiling, which crams an insane number of ideas into its six imperious minutes, and continuing with irresistible first single, Interdimensional Summit.”

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Erdve – Vaitojimas

We said: “The sorrowful textures of instrumental Apverktis and the contrasting fire of Atraja stands Erdve apart from the crowd and in Vaitojimas this quartet have gotten off to an excellent start.”

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Fucked And Bound – Suffrage

We said: “Precisely as belligerent, snotty and exhilarating as this kind of music is supposed to be, Suffrage may make you want to drive a fast car into a brick wall.”

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Ghost – Prequelle

We said:Prequelle is a dizzying, all-consuming rock opera delivered with convincing evangelical zeal.”

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GosT – Possessor

We said: “At times, it can get a bit overwhelming, never giving you respite from the audio-violence, but the blood-drenched, spirit-ruining scene GosT has painted is impressively dark. Much scarier than most bands playing 'the devil’s music.'"

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Harm’s Way – Posthuman

We said: “It’s haunting and liberating, expansive and suffocating, and it’s a dominant display of power and intent from one of modern hardcore’s best.”

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Ihsahn – Àmr

We said: “Like its predecessor, Arktis., Àmr effortlessly strikes a balance between accessibility and extremity, melody and pitch-black fury, incorporating influences from genres far and wide and coalescing them into a new form singular only to their creator – the definitive hallmark of a legendary artist.”

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Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik – Hugsjá

We said: “This is an album of profound dichotomy; fragile melodies give way to breathtaking crescendos and passages of profound sadness cede to fleeting moments of innate joy.”

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Judas Priest – Firepower

We said: “This is the best album Judas Priest have made since Painkiller. Yes, it’s that good. If you love heavy metal as much as they do, you won’t want to miss this immaculate celebration of what is, let’s face it, the whole reason we’re all here in the first place.”

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Kamelot – The Shadow Theory

We said: “Jam-packed with monstrous riffs, strings, choirs, stunning guest vocals from Beyond The Black’s Jennifer Haben and gut-wrenching growls from Once Human’s Lauren Hart, it captures the perfect balance between darkness and light.”

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Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.