Hello and welcome to Sentinel Daily and thanks for taking part in our send of year series! First off, please tell our readers who you are and what you do in Espionage? “Thanks for having me! My name is Denis Sudzuka and I’m the founder, primary songwriter and lead guitarist of Espionage”.

This is primarily a piece on your take on 2018 – So, how has 2018 treated Espionage? “2018 has been great for the band. We released our debut album Digital Dystopia which has been doing really well. We toured around Australia for the album and played a bunch of kick ass shows!”

Our power metal Guru Ferry Templeton certainly enjoyed Digital Dystopia! Thinking more widely about music in general, would you say 2018 has been a good year for heavy metal? “I think it has been a really good year for heavy metal. We had new releases from Judas Priest, Riot V, Primal Fear, Saxon and U.D.O., all whom released solid albums! Can’t complain when we’re so spoiled for choice!”
You certainly can’t – all those discs got a thorough run through on the Sentinel Daily death deck… Broadening things out again, what was your non-musical highlight of 2018? “I travelled to Europe in July and got to catch up with some family and friends that I hadn’t seen for five years, which is always fun. That and I had a really, really good summer at the start of the year!”

Good stuff! What worries you about things that happened in 2018? “Things that I can’t remember doing!”

And what about music – highlights there? “I went to Wacken Open Air and Headbangers Open Air for the first time which was amazing. I saw some great bands that I had always wanted to see, and I discovered some new bands that I can’t stop listening to! Seeing Helloween Pumpkins United was a definite highlight!”

I only watched it on YouTube, but it was indeed immense! Who were the best live act you saw this year, if you haven’t already just answered that question? “Riot V at Headbangers Open Air in Germany, then Riot V again at Wacken. By far the tightest metal band I’ve ever seen live. Those dudes rip!”

And what about recorded music? What were the best new metal albums you came across this year? “Riot V’s Armor of Light, Priest’s Firepower, Hitten’s Twist of Fate and Hidden Intent’s Fear, Prey, Demise albums really standout for me. I’m still waiting for the new Striker album to drop because I know that will definitely be in my top five albums of the year!”

And quite rightly so – it’s an absolute stormer! Which practitioner of your own musical art impressed you the most this year? “Rob Halford and his vocal performance on Firepower, and when I saw them live at Wacken. Rob’s in great form at the moment and it’s great to hear him sound like the Metal God that he is!”

So true. For a while I thought he was done, but he’s made a real resurgence that is great to hear! That’s enough about 2018 – what does 2019 hold in store for you and the band? “We were invited to play Headbangers Open Air in Germany next year, so we’re currently planning our Europe trip/tour! We might even release some new music if the planets align!”

Great news on both counts! Anything else you’d like to tell the readers of Sentinel Daily? “Cheers for reading, and keep reading, because reading is metal. And if you haven’t listened to my album yet, then what are you waiting for?”

Thanks again for taking part!