Here we are once again. Another year is over and done with and it’s time to look back over all of the highs and lows that 2018 threw our way. It’s been a wild year filled with some great music and performances but also some absolutel howlers as well, and even a curveball or two. So here is the year that was 2018…
Album of the Year – Ghost – Prequelle
Yeah, it really had to be Ghost this year. Prequelle is the moment where Ghost stepped out of the shadows and became full blown megastars in the most gloriously camp way possible. If Slayer are Cannibal Holocaust then Ghost are Scooby Doo. This album has everything you could want from a Ghost album. Wonderful melodies, big huge singalong choruses, deliciously dark lyrics and songs that will be buried in your head for days. A huge accomplishment for a band that seems to only be scratching the surface of what they are capable of, but one that has knocked it straight out of the park and already cemented their place in history and Prequelle is and remains THE album of 2018.
Fall Out Boy – Mania
Parkway Drive – Reverence
A Perfect Circle – Eat the Elephant
Underoath – Erase Me
Bury Tomorrow – Black Flame
Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Song Of The Year – Ghost – Dance Macabre
This is the prime example of what makes Ghost so special and why Prequelle was such a killer album. Dance Macabre is a satanic disco stomper thay sounds like an evil Abba. This is four minutes of the most ludicrously enjoyable pop music you could ask for. It seems insane to call Ghost a pop band but this is a pop song through and through which was accompanied by a brilliant viral video pieced together from instagram videos of celebrity fans jamming out to this song. I’ve listened to it a thousand times and it still doesn’t feel like I have listened to it enough.
Ghost – Rats
Milk Teeth – Stain
The Prodigy ft Ho99o9 – Fight fire with Fire
Florence and the Machine – Hunger
Most Disappointing Album Of The Year – 30 Seconds to Mars – America
This album is so bad, bland and mass produced that I even forgot it had been released this year. I have been a 30 Seconds to Mars fan since their self titled debut in 2002, I have always defended them and I even have a pair of matching 30 Seconds to Mars tattoos, but this is the moment where I drew the line with them. America is such a painfully boring, ego driven fuelled excercise in faux angst, melodrama and trying to drive home the point that Jared Leto genuinely believes he may be some sort of saviour. Everything feels forced and there are moments on here where it feels like none of it is actually played by real humans. A complete dumpster fire from a band that had lost their voice and their vision inside the ego of a narcissist.
Disturbed – Evolution
Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
Band Of 2018 – The Fever 333
This was by far the easiest category to pick. The Fever 333 have been one of the most explosive forces in music in 2018. From surprise releasing their instant classic self titled ep in March to turning up for a secret set at Download and becoming the most talked about band of the weekend. 2018 has been an incredible year for The Fever 333 and 2019 looks set to be even bigger. If you don’t already know then you had better learn quickly because The Fever 333 are coming in hot.
Gig Of The Year – A Perfect Circle – Brixton Academy June 13th
I have been waiting 14 years to see A Perfect Circle Live and it finally happened this summer. Let me tell you it was one of the most incredible gigs I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes. Even down to the fact that mobile phones werw banned and the whole audience was just in awe of what was happening in front of them. A truly stunning performance from the hypnotic production down to the actual band themselves, everything seemed otherworldy and just something I’m not truly able to put into words. It’s not often a gig leaves me speechless but this one definitely did.
Ghost – Royal Albert Hall
Parkway Drive – The Underworld
Bury Tomorrow – The Fighting Cocks
Festival Performance Of The Year – Nine Inch Nails – Nos Alive July 12th
I may be a bit bias on this front because this took place on my birthday, but seeing Nine Inch Nails sandwiched in between Bryan Ferry and then Snow Patrol and Arctic Monkeys was a very surreal experience. Nine Inch Nails of course gave zero fucks and completely obliterated the place much to the dismay of several confused Portugese Arctic Monkeys fans. In many ways Nine Inch Nails are the ultimate live band. Trent Reznor just gets playing live and giving the audience an experience in a way that very few other people truly understand.Seeing them onstage in silhouette and at times complete darkness play some of the best music ever written and still have it feel after an hour and twenty minutes like it wasn’t enough speaks volumes and with the erratic nature of the bands returns from the dead, every time seeing them could be the last which makes the whole thing seem even more special.
Moment of 2018 – Nirvana Reunion
As a die hard Nirvana fan this is something I never ever thought I would ever see happen. But at Cal Jam back in September, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear returned to the stage as Nirvana and Played a 6 song set after Foo Fighters headline slot and completely rolled back the clock. For a brief window in time one of the greatest bands of all time was back and even without their most pivotal member the late Kurt Cobain it was still an emotionally charged moment that will live on forever.
Band to look out for in 2019 – The Dose
The Dose are a two piece alt rock band from California featuring Indio Downey on Vocals/Guitar and Ralph Alexander on drums. They have made some strides in 2018 with a series of singles that have a linked narrative in their videos, they were featured on the Radio One Rock Show and completed a tour as support to Good Charlotte in the U.S. In 2019 they will be releasing their debut album as well as coming over to the UK and Europe once again supporting Good Charlotte as they look to take their sound to the global masses. Get involved now because chanced are they will be huge this time next year.
While you’re here, please check out the end of year awards from some of our other contributors, including some special guests.