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KNAC.COM Staff Reveal Their Top Releases For 2018

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, December 31, 2018 @ 10:54 AM


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A new year is now upon us, but 2018 saw a boatload of great hard rock and heavy metal released, and to that end, the staff at KNAC.COM have compiled their lists of Top Ten (and in some cases, Top 15 or 25) releases of the year.

Larry Petro, Managing Editor/News Monkey

01.) Striker Play To Win (Record Breaking Records)
02.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
03.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
04.) Icarus Witch Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
05.) Helion Prime Terror Of The Cybernetic Space Monster (AFM)
06.) Halcyon Way Bloody But Unbowed (Agonia)
07.) Monument Hellhound (Rock Of Angels)
08.) Stryper God Damn Evil (Frontiers)
09.) Tame Fury A New Reason (Independent)
10.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)

Honorable Mentions
Stephen Pearcy View To A Thrill (Frontiers)
Red Tiger Evolution (LXG)
U.D.O. Steelfactory (AFM)
Metal Church Damned If You Do (Rat Pak)
Brothers Of Metal Prophecy Of Ragnarok (AFM)
Lizzy Borden My Midnight Things (Metal Blade)

Wendy Jasper, Fort Worth Correspondent

01.) Warrel Dane Shadow Work (Century Media)
02.) Nevermore The Complete Collection (Century Media)
03.) Doro Forever Warriors/Forever United (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Nightwish Decades (Nuclear Blast)
05.) Witherfall A Prelude To Sorrow (Century Media)
06.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
07.) Tribulation Down Below (Century Media)
08.) Burning Witches Hexenhammer (Nuclear Blast)
09.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
10.) The Darkening Hold On To Illusion (Single)

Charlie Steffens, aka Gnarly Charlie, Staff Photographer/Writer

01.) Ghost Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings)
02.) Corrosion of Conformity No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
03.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
04.) Tremonti A Dying Machine (Napalm)
05.) Joe Satriani What Happens Next (Legacy)
06.) High On Fire Electric Messiah (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Myles Kennedy Year Of The Tiger (Napalm)
08.) HalestormVicious (Atlantic)
09.) Adolescents Crop Duster (Concrete Jungle)
10.) Thunderpussy Thunderpussy (Republic)

Alex "Dr. Metal" Yarborough, Orlando Contributor

01.) Impellitteri The Nature Of The Beast (Frontiers)
02.) Riot V Armor Of Light (Nuclear Blast)
03.) Brainstorm Midnight Ghost (AFM)
04.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
05.) Mad Hatter Mad Hatter (Art Gates)
06.) War Of Thrones Conflict In Creation (Sonic Night Music)
07.) Wishing Well Rat Race (Inverse)
08.) Ross The Boss By Blood Sworn (AFM)
09.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)
10.) Halcyon Way Bloody But Unbowed (Agonia)
11.) Heaven's Trail Lethal Mind (Escape Music)
12.) Striker Play To Win (Record Breaking Records)
13.) Stryper God Damn Evil (Frontiers)
14.) Amoriello Amoriello (H42)
15.) Night Demon Live Darkness (Century Media)

Ruben Mosqueda, Pacific Northwest Contributor

01.) Little Caesar Eight (Golden Robot)
02.) Night Flight Orchestra Sometimes The World Ain't Enough (Nuclear Blast)
03.) Red Dragon Cartel Patina (Frontiers)
04.) Ted Nugent The Music Made Me Do It (Round Hill Music)
05.) Fifth Angel The Third Secret (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
07.) Metal Church Damned If You Do (Rat Pak)
08.) Alice In Chains Ranier fog (BMG)
09.) Sevendust All I See Is War (Rise)
10.) The Dead DaisiesBurn It Down (SPV)

Junkman, On Air Personality, Hoarder Of All Things Salvageable

01.) Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Living The Dream (Roadrunner/Snakepit)
02.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
03.) Monster Magnet Mindfucker (Napalm)
04.) Corrosion Of Conformity No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
05.) Joe Satriani What Happens Next (Legacy)
06.) Avatar Avatar Country (eOne)
07.) Alice In Chains Rainier Fog (BMG)
08.) Sevendust All I See Is War (Rise)
09.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
10.) Machine Head Catharsis (Nuclear Blast)

Junkie's "Goat Throwin' Bonus 5"

11.) Black Label Society Grimmest Hits (eOne)
12.) Ghost Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings)
13.) Phillip H Anselmo & The Illegals Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue (Housecore)
14.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)
15.) The Sword Used Future (Razor & Tir)

DJ Will, On-Air Personality & Host Of "The Vault"

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
02.) Satan Cruel Magic (Metal Blade)
03.) Corrosion Of Conformity No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Behemoth I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade)
05.) Machine Head Catharsis (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Ghost Prequelle(Loma Vista)
07.) Metal Allegiance Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (Nuclear Blast)
08.) Kataklysm Meditations (Nuclear Blast)
09.) Soulfly Ritual (Nuclear Blast)
10.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)

Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
02.) DC4 Atomic Highway (HighVolMusic)
03.) Corrosion Of Conformity No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Icarus Witch Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
05.) Greta Van Fleet Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (Lava/Republic)
06.) Lycanthro Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (Alone)
07.) Infrared Saviours (Infrared)
08.) Monster Magnet Mindfucker (Napalm)
09.) U.D.O. Steelfactory (AFM)
10.) Cauldron New Gods (The End)
11.) Striker Play To Win (Record Breaking Records)
12.) Norilsk Weepers Of The Land (Hypnotic Dirge)
13.) The Skull The Endless Road Turns Dark (Tee Pee)
14.) The Dead Daisies Burn It Down (SPV)
15.) Septic Tank Rotting Civilization (Rise Above)

Daniel Hohr, European Correspondent

01.) Aria Proklyate Morey (Curse Of The Seas) (M2BA)
02.) Kobra And The Lotus Prevail II (Napalm)
03.) Saxon Thunderbolt (Silver Lining)
04.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
05.) Velvet Viper Respice Finem (GMR)
06.) Skull Fist Way Of The Road (Napalm)
07.) Icarus Witch Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
08.) Savage Machine Abandon Earth (Independent)
09.) Stryper God Damn Evil (Frontiers)
10.) Wilde Starr Beyond The Rain (Scarlet)

Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor

01.) Leather II (Divebomb)
02.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
03.) Metal Church Damned If You Do (Rat Pak)
04.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
05.) The Dead Daisies Burn It Down (SPV)
06.) Uriah Heep Living The Dream (Frontiers)
07.) Lords Of Black Icons Of The New Dyas (Frontiers) 08.) U.D.O. Steelfactory (AFM)
09.) Jizzy Pearl Of Love/Hate All You Need Is Soul (Frontiers)
10.) Lizzy Borden My Midnight Things (Metal Blade)

Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor/Aces High Photography

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
02.) Sunflower Dead C O M A (EMP Label Group)
03.) Sevendust All I See Is War (Rise)
04.) Devildriver Outlaws Til The End Vol. 1 (Napalm)

05.) Black Label Society Grimmest Hits (eOne)
06.) Avatar Avatar Country (eOne)
07.) Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Living The Dream (Roadrunner/Snakepit)
08.) Jinjer Cloud Factory (Re-Release) (Napalm)
09.) Billy Morris & The Sunset Strip Holdin' All The Aces (HighVolMusic)
10.) Lola Montez Glean Deluxe (Cleopatra)

Duane Vickers, Night Ranger Groupie/Houston Contributor

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
02.) Saxon Thunderbolt (Silver Lining)
03.) The Dead Daisies Burn It Down (SPV)
04.) Lizzy Borden My Midnight Things (Metal Blade)
05.) Stephen Pearcy View To A Thrill (Frontiers)
06.) Ace Frehley Spaceman (eOne)
07.) Loudness Rise To Glory (earMusic)
08.) TNT XIII (Frontiers)
09.) Metal Church Damned If You Do (Rat Pak)
10.) Little Caesar Eight (Golden Robot)

Rob McNees, Vinyl Lover

01.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
02.) Texas Metal Outlaws Texas Metal Outlaws (TMU)
03.) Overkill Live In Oberhausen (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Satan Cruel Magic (Metal Blade)
05.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
06.) Black Label Society Grimmest Hits (eOne)
07.) Saxon Thunderbolt (Silver Lining)
08.) Spartan Warrior Hell To Pay (Pure Steel)
09.) Warrel Dane Shadow Work (Century Media)
10.) Alice In Chains Rainier Fog (BMG) 11.) The Dead Daisies Burn It Down (SPV)
12.) Red Dragon Cartel Patina (Frontiers)
13.) Metal Allegiance Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (Nuclear Blast)
14.) Night Flight Orchestra Sometimes The Wolrd Ain't Enough (Nuclear Blast)
15.) Haunt Burst Into Flames (Shadow Kingdom)

And special mention goes to these records as they were outstanding, but just EP’s and not full albums:
Cirith Ungol - Witch’s Game (Metal Blade)
Doom Side of the Moon - Encore E.P. (DSOTM)
Conception - My Dark Symphony (CSF)

George Mihalovich, Pittsburgh Contributor/AFTERSHOK Guitarist

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Columbia)
02.) Saxon Thunderbolt (Silver Lining)
03.) U.D.O. Steelfactory (AFM)
04.) Tad Morose Chapter X (GMR Music Group)
05.) Fifth Angel The Third Secret (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Michael Schenker Fest Resurrection (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Artillery The Face of Fear (Metal Blade)
08.) Michael Romeo War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1 (Music Theories)
09.) Dream Child Until Death Do We Meet Again (Frontiers)
10.) ÖBLIVĎON Resilience (Rock Of Angels)
11.) Riot V Armor of Light (Nuclear Blast)
12.) Saffire Where the Monsters Dwell (Perris)
13.) Heaven's Trail Lethal Mind (Escape Music)
14.) Mike Lepond's Silent Assassins Pawn And Prophecy (Frontiers)
15.) Jason Becker Triumphant Hearts (Music Theories)
16.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)
17.) Impellitteri The Nature of the Beast (Frontiers)
18.) WarKings Reborn (Napalm)
19.) Manimal Purgatorio (AFM)
20.) Shadow Work Warrel Dane (Century Media)
21.) Animal Drive Bite! (Frontiers)
22.) Ironflame Tales of Splendor and Sorrow (Divebomb)
23.) Rev Jones Bakwash (Rev Jones)
24.) Icarus Witch Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
25.) Billy Morris and the Sunset Strip Holdin’ All The Aces (HighVolMusic)

This list only scratches the surface of the many excellent metal and hard rock releases in 2018. Check out additional worthy albums from bands including Lords of Black, Guardians of Time, Sunstorm, Loudness, Ross the Boss and Rebellion (to name just a few). Take the time to do a little research and support metal — use the band's provided digital media to try it and then buy it!

Chris Pirri, SoCal Contributor

01.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
02.) Ghost Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings)
03.) Behemoth I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade)
04.) Metal Church Damned If You Do (Rat Pak)
05.) Rivers Of Nihil Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)
06.) Architects Holy Hell (Epitaph)
07.) Parkway Drive Reverence (Epitaph)
08.) All Hail The Yeti Highway Crosses (Minus Head)
09.) At The Gates To Drink From The Night Itself (Century Media)
10.) Corrosion Of Conformity No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)

Honorable Mention:
Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
White Wizzard Infernal Overdrive (UDR)
U.D.O. Steelfactory (AFM)
Gruesome Twisted Prayers (Relapse)

Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor

01.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
02.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
03.) John Corabi Live '94 (One Night In Nashville) (Rat Pak)
04.) Sevendust All I See Is War (Rise)
05.) Doro Forever Warriors/Forever United (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Joe Perry Sweetzerland Manifesto (Roman)
07.) Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Living The Dream (Roadrunner/Snakepit)
08.) Halestorm Vicious (Atlantic)
09.) Joe Satriani What Happens Next (Legacy)
10.) Nonpoint X (Spinefarm)

Honorable Mentions
Parkway Drive Reverence (Epitaph)
Tremonti A Dying Machine (Napalm)
Lizzy Borden My Midnight Things (Metal Blade)
Alter Bridge Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Napalm)
Metal Allegiance Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (Nuclear Blast)
Black Label Society Grimmest Hits (eOne)
W.A.S.P. Re-Idolized (The Soundtrack To The Crimson Idol (Napalm)

Brian Davis,The Velcro Merkin

01.) A Perfect Circle Eat The Elephant (BMG)
02.) Judas Priest Firepower (Epic)
03.) Avatar Avatar Country (eOne)
04.) Parasite Inc. I (Redfield)
05.) Sons Of Texas Dead And Alive (Reaper Entertainment)
06.) Monstrosity The Passage Of Existence (Metal Blade)
07.) Matterhorn Crimes Of Man (Independent)
08.) Dragonlord Dominion (Universal)
09.) Acrania Tyrannical Heirarchy, Vol. 1 (Acrania)
10.) Kataklysm Meditations (Nuclear Blast)
11.) Alien Weaponry Tu (Napalm)
12.) Ashes Of Ares Well Of Souls (Rock Of Angels)
13.) Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal (Napalm)
14.) Nonpoint X (Spinefarm)
15.) Hate Eternal What Lies Beyond (Season Of Mist)

Honorable Mentions:
Advent Of Bedlam Human Portal Phenomenon (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)
Diztord Living Is Easy (Spinnup)
Halcyon Way Bloody But Unbowed (Agonia)
Orbit Culture Redfog (Orbit Culture)
Aboleth Benthos (WURMgroup)
Freitot Freitot (Mystyk)
Bloodbath The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn (Peaceville)

Peter Atkinson, Northeast Contributor

01.) Gorod Aethra (Overpowered)
02.) At The Gates To Drink From The Night Itself (Century Media)
03.) Architects Holy Hell (Epitaph)
04.) Depravity Evil Upheaval (Transcending Obscurity)
05.) Aura Noir Aura Noir (Indie Recordings)
06.) Immortal Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Pig Destroyer Head Cage (Relapse)
08.) The Atlas Moth Coma Noir (Prosthetic)
09.) Obscura Diluvium (Relapse)
10.) Voivod The Wake (Century Media)

Daniel Licitra, Florida Metalhead

01.) Weapon U.K. Rising From The Ashes (Weapon)
02.) Tokyo Blade Unbroken (3Ms)
03.) Ghost Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings)
04.) Primal Fear Apocalypse (Frontiers)
05.) Nazareth Tattoed On My Brain (Frontiers)
06.) Anthrax Kings Among Scotland (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Doro Forever Warriors/Forever United (Nuclear Blast)
08.) Visigoth Conqueror's Oath (Metal Blade)
09.) Psychostick Do (Self-Released)
10.) Angelus Apatrida Cabaret de la Guillotine (Century Media)


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