Best Of 2018 - Dangerzone
ARTICLE: Best Of 2018 - Dangerzone
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
While looking back at my review of 2017, it seems I could have cut and pasted my retrospective of that year for 2018. The only thing that's different is I reviewed even less new albums than the previous year, with only four to my name.
Unlike last year however, I did listen to a lot of new music in 2018, most of it spread around various genres. Some of it worked, while the majority failed to move me.
Best And Worst
There were a few albums in 2018 which had some longevity for me. Judas Priest's 'Firepower' was a fixture for a month or two, the album easily their best since Halford returned in 2005. While they'll never erase the stain that was 'Nostradamus,' the back to basics direction was far more immediate and impactful than the weak 'Angel Of Retribution'. Whether or not it proves to be their swansong is unclear, but it's a good way to bow out if so.
On the same scale was Night Flight Orchestra's 'Sometimes The World 'Aint Enough'. Somehow this band had evaded me for the last six years and what a revelation. Pure melodic class, perfectly handled and showing how it should be done. What's more admirable is the band keeps improving with each release.
U.D.O'.s 'Steelfactory' provided some classic old-fashioned heavy metal, his first worthwhile album in well over a decade. Compared to the joke that is Accept, it's a masterpiece, even if it faded from my view within weeks.
Other acts providing routine and forgettable albums in 2018 included Uriah Heep, Saxon, Ted Nugent, Tokyo Blade, Soulfly, Machine Head and Rick Springfield. All of them managed to bore consistently.
Also disappointing was Bullet's 'Dust To Gold,' which indicated the Swedish metalheads have run out of steam, the momentum of the early albums evaporated.
Dee Snider attempted to recapture his roots on 'For The Love Of Metal', but after that abomination he released in 2016, it's too late.
I gave Ghost's 'Prequelle' a chance, but I feel the Merycful Fate type charm of the early albums was more palpable.
After reading some chatter about an album by a guy called Jerome Mazza here on GDM, I gave it a shot, but found it to be completely stale AOR, totally representative of the modern style.
I did listen to my fair share of extreme metal in 2018, most of it generic, although revived Brazilian thrashers Attomica had a decent release with 'The Trick'.
Otherwise albums by bands like Axecrack, Skullfist, Dragonlord, Obscenity and Exmortus shall be doomed to remain in obscurity forever.
The older I get, the more music I consume and as ever most of it is culled from decades past. I couldn't begin to estimate how many hours I spent listening to old live recordings of The Who for example. Some things never change. To me it's still the pinnacle of music.
In fact my favorite album discovered in 2018 was Bathory's 1994 'Requiem'. Talk about thrash at its best.
The way I see it, as long as I'm still enjoying music as much as ever, then does is matter if it's new or not? Not really. I'm more than happy in my current direction, which I don't see changing anytime soon.
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