My latest 2018 release is "Up from the Ashes", the fourth full-length album by SOULHEALER. I had previously purchased their third full-length album, "Bear the Cross". "Up from the Ashes" is their first album in four years, and was released on September 14th, 2018.
Dangerdog Music Reviews gave "Up from the Ashes" a 4.5/5 rating, calling the album "their tried and 'keep it true' melodic power metal that fans of the band and genre love and enjoy." Meanwhile, Metal Gods TV gave the album a 9/10 rating, calling it "a breathless forty six minute avalanche of blistering heavy metal, infectious, catchy and head bangingly addictive."
I've linked to a sample SOULHEALER song, and their entire 2018 album, in the first post of this thread.
BURNING WITCHES' debut was one of my favorite 2017 albums, and my latest 2018 purchase is their sophomore effort "Hexenhammer". The album was released on November 9th, 2018.
The reviewer at the Lords of Metal ezine gives "Hexenhammer" an 85/100 rating and wrote:
Blistering riffs, eardrum-ripping vocals, and five true metal ladies who play music with balls. ‘Hexenhammer’ sees Burning Witches release a better and less cliché album than the debut, and with Nuclear Blast as label they have all possibilities to showcase this improvement to a large audience.
My latest 2018 release is "Midnight Ghost", the twelfth album by BRAINSTORM. This my second BRAINSTORM purchase, the first was their acclaimed fifth album "Soul Temptation" (2003). Indeed, a sticker on the shrink wrap reads:
WHAT A BLAST! THE BEST BRAINSTORM ALBUM SINCE "SOUL TEMPTATION"
The album has garnered many positive reviews, but I especially like the two below.
Lords of Metal ezine (90/100): The best Brainstorm product as of yet? Maybe it is! This album has the fiery spirit of ‘Firesoul’ (no pun intended), the depth of ‘Soul Temptation’ and the heavy sound of ‘Downburst’. All elements that make Brainstorm the unique fish in the pond of German metal are present in ten typical yet refreshing Brainstorm anthems. So what are you waiting for, go like greased lightning and buy that record!
Angry Metal Guy (4.0/5.0):Midnight Ghost is one of the best albums in Brainstorm‘s lengthy catalog, and that’s saying something. In their promo materials the band mentions wanting this to be the album they’re measured against in the future, and that’s a bold position, given the high level of songcraft here. If you love classic heavy metal but desire a more modern edge, Brainstorm is the biggest game in town. Let them in your circle of trust and get your ghost on, stat!
My latest 2018 album purchase is "The Third Secret" from FIFTH ANGEL. FIFTH ANGEL is a band that formed in 1984, broke up in 1989, and then reformed in 2017 with much of the original lineup intact. "The Third Secret" is the first FIFTH ANGEL album in nearly 30 years.
The reviewer at Dangerdog Music Reviews gives "The Third Secret" a 4.5/5.0 rating and wrote:
All said, Fifth Angel's resurrection is a fine one and The Third Secret is a solid and strong album of American power metal. Recommended, obviously.
My latest 2018 release is "Burst into Flame" by HAUNT. After hearing this album on YouTube I discovered, to my surprise, that Rolling Stone has a list of the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2018, and this album is #11 on it. (FYI - The inaugural album of this thread, "Firepower" by JUDAS PRIEST, is #3 on their list.)
The reviewer at Metal-Rules.com gave "Burst into Flame" a 4.0/5.0 rating and wrote:
Haunt play a style of metal from days gone past. A great style that does get its fair share of acknowledgement from year to year by numerous acts. There just hasn’t been one to come come across my desk as good as Haunt in a very long time. Fans of Cauldron, Angel Witch, Sumerlands, Night Demon, and Fifth Angel and the likes will not want to miss Haunt!
My latest 2018 release is "The Witching Hour" by SPELLWITCH.
Marcos Garcia at the Metal Temple gives the album a perfect 10/10 rating and writes:
...this album has no best moments, no best songs, it’s amazing from the beginning to its very end. It’s to hear and to get caught by SPELLWITCH’s spell! “The Witching Hour” is really a lovely album, and it was born to make you join the band’s coven.
My latest 2018 release is the self-titled debut album by EVIL HUNTER.
Neil Arnold at Metal Forces Magazine gives the album an 8.5/10 rating and writes:
Evil Hunter really have come up trumps with this blistering debut; a record of metal maturity that runs effortlessly like a well-oiled machine, but most importantly blows the roof off with its power and melody.
My latest 2018 purchase is "Rock This World" by DEATH KEEPERS. It was released on January 22nd, 2018 but flew under my radar until now. I noticed that this is yet another debut album on Fighter Records, the same label behind EVIL HUNTER above and HYPERION, my most recent 2017 album release.
The reviewer at The Metal Crypt gave it 4/5 and wrote:
Death Keepers is a Spanish band that released their debut album, Rock this World, via Fighter Records in January 2018. They play a mix of classic 80s heavy metal and early 2000s power metal with catchy choruses and some sweet lead work. There's nothing innovative here, but that won't keep you from singing along to "Death Keepers" or "Metallia" as these guys know what a hook should sound like. The opener, "Rock & Roll City" has a great Saxon vibe and might be my favorite song of 2018 to this point. Otherwise, Rock this World, with its mid-paced tempos and high-pitched vocals makes me think of early Mob Rules. Definitely one to check out if rollicking heavy/power metal is your thing.