10. Five Finger Death Punch – Sham Pain
Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody channels his inner Fred Durst, portraying an exaggerated (or is it?) day in the life of metal’s punchiest band, flicking between barbecuing cash to the inevitable broken down tour bus. Expect taco costumes, scantily-clad ladies and more food wasted than the Great British Bake Off.
9. Within Temptation – The Reckoning
Giving Steven Spielberg’s epic productions a run for their money, post-apocalyptic The Reckoning depicts an impossibly huge war between Within Temptation and machines with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Spoiler alert: the humble flag pole can destroy UFOs with zero effort, just in case you were wondering.
8. Fever 333 – Made An America
Delivering menacing philosophy one minute and twirling in a tux the next, former letlive. frontman Jason Aalon Butler is not a man for predictability. Grammy-nominated track Made An America wears its vicious intentions on its sleeve and calls no bluffs in the rapcore supergroup Fever 333’s grayscale spectacle.
7. In This Moment – Black Wedding
Bet you didn’t expect to see Rob Halford as an actual priest, eh? Wonderfully theatrical and beautifully dark, Maria Brink and co. call out to the masses to join them for the real royal wedding of the year while putting their own signature spin on Billy Idol’s classic. White Wedding never sounded so grim.
6. Behemoth – God = Dog
Laced with enough livid religious desecration and suggestive Renaissance imagery to power a black mass for a fortnight, Behemoth stormed 2018 with the haunting notes of God = Dog and their sinister eleventh record I Loved You At Your Darkest. Give the Polish prophets’ wardrobe and props department an anti-sainthood.
5. While She Sleeps – ANTI-SOCIAL
A stark eye-opener to the world today presented in a relatively simple fashion, While She Sleeps introduce next year’s album So What? with a video deeply rooted in painful truths. From gun crime to politicians with blood on their hands, ANTI-SOCIAL is a whistle-stop tour of society’s failures standing right in front of us.
4. Architects – Royal Beggars
While their eighth album Holy Hell blew a crater into 2018, Royal Beggarsbrought a fresh, slow and melodic angle on Architects. As the snow falls delicately around the band and frontman Sam Carter belts his lungs out, one message remains – Architects put their blood, sweat and tears into everything they touch.
3. Slipknot – All Out Life
If you thought the shuttle bus to your favourite festival couldn’t get any more crammed, think again. Teasing next year’s sixth album, Iowa’s finest masked giants are back; four long years since .5: The Gray Chapter. Grab some white tights, sling ‘em on your head, nab your dad’s white jumpsuit and get messy, maggots.