The 2018 Album of the Year

Ghost, Prequelle (Loma Vista) The potential for Ghost to metamorphose into a major headlining rock/metal act was always there, which is why Loma Vista signed the Swedes to a lucrative deal in 2012. Since the 2010 cult favorite Opus Eponymous it’s been a slow build, but over time more and more curious listeners have been […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #2

2. Christine and the Queens, Chris (Because) Back in 2015, I was at the Osheaga fest in Montreal and went to check out a new artist called Christine and the Queens on one of the side stages. Because she was French and had achieved some trans-Atlantic success in Quebec, she drew a sizable crowd, and […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #3

3. Sleep, The Sciences (Third Man) It was admittedly cute seeing Sleep reunite after a long dormancy, and their headlining performance at Roadburn 2012 was the stuff of legend. Seriously, that show in Holland was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever attended. But it was a good novelty, a seemingly quick diversion […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #4

4. Robyn, Honey (Konichiwa) In the eight years between her last two albums, pop music felt empty without Robyn. Her metamorphosis from teenaged Max Martin-produced pop star to trend-setting auteur is the stuff of legend, and you’d be hard pressed to find another artist who equals her in terms of vision. She has always been […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #5

5. Gwenno, Le Kov (Heavenly) Best remembered as a member of the Pipettes, a band whose first album I still adore, Gwenno Saunders kicked off her solo career in 2015 with Y Dydd Olaf. A jaw-dropping sci-fi concept album sung primarily in Welsh that mined the innovative sounds of such art rock legends as Can, […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #6

6. Kamasi Washington, Heaven and Earth (Young Turks) It’s easy for me to understand the annoyance hardcore jazz fans felt when music publications and casual jazz listeners – dare I say, “tourists” – gravitated en masse toward the heavily-hyped new album by Kamasi Washington. I totally get it. When I’m in public and hear someone […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #7

7. Hubert Lenoir, Darlène (Simone) One of the weirdest things about Canada is how the province of Quebec has its own popular culture, different from any other francophone nation, and wildly different from English Canada. It’s a kooky little culture bubble that exists in its own insular universe, and only on the rarest of occasions […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #8

8. CHVRCHES, Love is Dead (Glassnote) The reigning tastemaker in synth-pop for three albums now, CHVRCHES have always straddled the line between mainstream pop and “alternative”/“indie” with extraordinary skill, and you could imagine record label execs wishing the Scottish trio would pull out all the stops in an attempt at mainstream superstardom. Instead the band […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #9

9. Voivod, The Wake (Century Media) Like Judas Priest, it’s not as if I ever needed Voivod to make another classic album again. Their most fruitful years – 1986 through 1993 – yielded some of the most innovative heavy metal music ever created, and in the years after the death of cornerstone guitarist Denis “Piggy” […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #10

10. Judas Priest, Firepower (Sony) I say it every year, when you get into your 40s and those old veteran bands from your early teen years are still making vital, relevant, great new music, it feels like a real gift. You savour it more, knowing there probably aren’t many albums left in their career. When […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #11

11. High on Fire, Electric Messiah (Entertainment One) Matt Pike is my favourite guitarist in metal today. He is a riff machine, capable of robust sounding solos that alternate between all-out shredding and jazz-like nuance. From a musical standpoint his 2018 was spectacular to say the least, featuring prominently on two of the finest releases […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #12

12. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Wasteland (Rise Above) As enjoyable as it has been watching Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats evolve from a mysterious solo project to a full-fledged band, that progression hasn’t been without its share of bumps along the way. After the revelatory Blood Lust blew ears and minds with its lo-fi […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #13

13. GAS, Rausch (Kompakt) There’s a silly reason why the latest album by Kompakt Records co-founder Wolfgang Voigt is my most-played album of 2018. Or maybe it’s not-so-silly because some of you can relate. You see, I hate hearing chatter on the morning commute. Hate it, hate it, hate it. If I was in a […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #14

14. Clutch, Book of Bad Decisions (Weathermaker) When it comes to bands that I rank among my very favourite, I’m notoriously generous and forgiving. I won’t deny it! An artist I love has to really put out a steaming pile of dog feces to make me loathe it, but it has been known to happen. […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #15

15. Shooting Guns, Another Wolfcop / Nosferatu (Pre-Rock) In the wake of 2017’s album Flavour Country, Shooting Guns spent 2018 working on two special, movie-related releases that turned out to be distinct departures from their usual psychedelic-tinged, instrumental stoner jams. It was only natural that the boys were asked to create the soundtrack for the […]

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