By Andrew Catania
2018 saw the release of some extraordinaire albums. When I hear some simpleton say rock is dead, I shake my head in disbelief. Let’s take a look at the top 10 albums for 2018.
- Impellitteri The Nature Of The Beast
This is the 11th album from the master of shred. Chris Impellitteri put out the best album of his career with The Nature Of The Beast. The follow up to Venom has Rob Rock’s soaring vocals on full display, James Pulli’s thumping bass and Chris Impellitteri’s mind-blowing phrasing and solos will delight the ear of any listener. The Nature Of The Beast is All That Shreds Magazines Album Of The Year. To this day, Impellitteri still gets snubbed by the mainstream music magazines. This is due in part of Impellitteri not being in the “in” crowd of sponsors or advertisers lining up the coffers of the mainstream mags who feature the same musicians over and over. It also doesn’t help when you have a record company that doesn’t correctly market and promotes your album because they don’t know Impellitteri’s core audience. They’d thrive on a label like Nuclear Blast. Kerrang told me that Impellitteri, while super talented, isn’t the vibe they look to feature. He’s not the vibe you write about but you reprint my interview with Stormy Daniels? Figure that one out. The Nature Of The Beast is worthy of Grammy consideration for best metal album.
2. Jason Becker Triumphant Hearts
There is no doubt that Jason Becker is one of the best guitarists that has played the instrument. Jason’s new album has virtually everyone that’s a who’s who of guitar playing on it. Jason continues to make music that inspires musicians of all genres. This album is beautiful in every sense of the word. The outtakes from Lil Aint Enough album illustrates where Jason’s playing was, and he was on top of his game.
3. Michael Romeo War Of The Worlds Part 1
The Symphony X guitar maestro put out his first solo album since 1994. This album is classic Romeo with symphonies and Star Wars like sounds and also doesn’t disappoint the Romeo faithful with his blistering playing from start to finish.
4. Judas Priest Firepower
Rob Halford and company show that they still have enough gas in the tank to put out a solid album. Richie Faulkner shines throughout with his impressive playing.
5. Gus G Fearless
Another album overlooked is Gus G’s Fearless. Packed with explosive riffs, Gus G proves he’s an elite player with Fearless.
6. Tremonti A Dying Machine
Mark Tremonti is the whole package when it comes to being a musician. Mark isn’t a shredder, but he definitely can play the guitar and has some superior writing skills.
7. Nita Strauss Controlled Chaos
Hurricane finally put out her long-awaited solo album, and it didn’t disappoint. Wrapping up her tour with Angel Vivaldi this month, look for Nita to be joining Alice Cooper on the road in 2019.
8. The Dead Daisies Burn It Down
Doug Aldrich is one of the hottest guitarists on the scene today. Together with John Corabi, Marco Mendoza and Deen Castronovo, Burn It Down is a classic rock and roll album with catchy riffs, and Aldrich shines.
9. Dream Child Until Death Do We Meet Again
Dream Child is Craig Goldy’s brainchild. When I first played this, I thought I was listening to a Dio record. This group consists of Rudy Sarzo, Craig Goldy, Diego Valdez, and guitar whiz Craig Goldy. Dream Child is a nickname Craig got from the late Ronnie James Dio.
10. Burning Witches Hexenhammer
These ladies from Sweden are quite talented and will only get better as time passes. Hopefully, they’ll tour the states in the near future.