25. PrimitaiThe Calling (Dissonance Productions)
“Thunderously enjoyable return from one of British metal’s shining lights… hopefully the band’s move to Dissonance will at least facilitate a bigger audience. They certainly deserve it, because The Calling is a fabulous release”. – Gavin Strickmann, 09/05/18

Read Gavin’s Full Review HERE

24. SleepThe Sciences (Third Man Records)
“If you can get over the slight misgivings about cynical money-making misgivings, you’re halfway to getting full benefit from this record. It’s Sleep lite, sure, but it ain’t the High on Fire-meets-Neurosis snoozefest some might have you believe, with tracks like Marijuanaut’s Theme sounding like nothing so much as a long-lost jam between Hawkwind and Sabbath, recorded in a North London Rehearsal room in the mid seventies. Which of course, is great” – Michael Stronge, 19/12/18

23. YobOur Raw Heart (Relapse)
“Just a single exposure to the opening track of Our Raw Heart, the coruscatingly aching Ablaze, would be enough to set this record amongst your faves of the year. But prolonged immersion will turn it slowly but surely into one of your must-have collections of emotive song construction of all time. All human experience is here, much of it enthralling, harrowing, and even sometimes grimly uplifting. Absolutely essential stuff” – MS, 19/12/18

22. Gygax Second Edition (Creator-Destructor Records)
“A second dose of finely-crafted guitar-driven hard rock…for the rest of us more normally-aspirated people, people for whom involuntary bursts of air guitar have been a way of life for decades, this album is about as much fun as it’s possible to have without being broken up by some sort of primitive matter transporter and sent back to 1980. Great stuff.” Scott Adams, 08/03/18
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Read Scott’s Full take on Second Edition HERE

21. Audrey HorneBlackout (Napalm Records)
“This is pure ear candy, start to finish, the aural equivalent of a fast food binge without the uncomfortable bloating or acne… if you don’t feel like doing some ridiculous dancing on a beer bottle-strewn bartop when you hear the irresistible strut of Audrevolution then I really don’t want you to speak to me ever again”. -GS 09/02/18
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Read Gavin’s full appraisal of Blackout HERE

20. MadballFor the Cause (Nuclear Blast)
“There’s always a comforting sense of family whenever a new Madball album comes to stay; Freddy Cricien and company rightly see no need to fix what ain’t broke; But there’s a fire in the belly of For the Cause that might surprise a few who felt the band might be getting a bit soft in their old age. Dependable as always, but this time with a wild glint in the eye, this is Madball at the top of their game”. – MS, 18/12/18
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19. DownpourDownpour (Own Label)
“Superb modern metal from a surprise source… This is music made for the sheer pleasure of it’s executors, sure, but that enjoyment doesn’t fail to rub off on the listener when subjected to thoughtful bruisers like Truth in Suffering or the monstrously impressive Still Waiting”. -MS 31/08/18

Read Mick’s full Downpour review HERE

18. Magick TouchBlades, Chains, Whips & Fire (Edged Circle Productions)
“Classic metal. Nothing more, nothing less…This is pure escapism for old ears like mine, but without the tiresome nostalgia-fixation that can often accompany such journeys back through time. Magick Touch operate very much in the here and now, and for that we should give a hearty thanks!” – GS 01/02/18
Magick Touch

Gavin pays tribute to Magick Touch in full HERE

17. Phil LanzonIf You Think I’m Crazy! (Cargo)
“Sumptuous symphonic rock from the veteran keysman…Uriah Heep ivory tinkler Phil Lanzon has stepped away from the day job for just long enough to create a vibrant, massively ambitious slice of heavily-orchestrated rock n’roll that will have fans of seventies pomp rock absolutely salivating at the thrill of it all”. – SA 27/02/18
Phil Lanzon

Read Scott’s full Review HERE

16. WayfarerWorld’s Blood (Profound Lore)
“Thought-provoking, strangely moving music from the Rocky Mountains… Wayfarer have produced an exceedingly interesting, special piece of work in World’s Blood. It deserves your attention”. – SA, 01/06/18

Read Scott’s full ruminations on World’s Blood HERE

15. King CompanyQueen of Hearts (Frontiers Music)
“Some great songs, well played…The riffy Learn to Fly highlights the chops of axepert Antti Wirman to great effect, as does the next track Berlin, which has a real classic hair metal feel to it – fans of 1987-era Whitesnake will allow themselves a wry smile as they listen”. –Ferry Templeton, 14/08/18
King Company

Read Ferry’s Full Review HERE

14. Rifflord7 Cremation Ground, Meditation (STB Records)
“Lords of the riff indeed… Not many albums keep the attention from start to finish these days, especially ‘stoner doom’ efforts – but these electrical ambassadors will have you in the palm of their greased up mitts as soon as you cop an earload, let me tell you. This is very special stuff indeed”. -SA, 28/11/18

Scott enthuses about Rifflord in full HERE

13. Ten Illuminati (Frontiers Music)
“A band reborn… I came finally to bury Gary Hughes, not praise him. Then I put the album on. Put simply, Illuminati is by some way the best thing Ten have released since 1999’s Spellbound – Old fans are gonna love it, but I’ve an inkling it’ll make the band a lot of new ones too. Superb”. -GS, 26/10/18

Read Gavin’s full revelation concerning Illuminati HERE

12. StryperGod Damn Evil (Frontiers Music)
“Stryper deliver a tidy album that really is about as good as they’ve managed in any of their twenty first century incarnations. They’ve given up – largely – trying to outheavy themselves and settled instead for playing to their many strengths, the upshot of which is an edifyingly listenable collection of true metal anthems that fans old and new are going to lap up”. – GS, 11/04/18

Read Gavin’s Gospel in full HERE

11. Thomas SilverThe Gospel According to Thomas (Volcano Records)
“Former Hardcore Superstar man delivers the goods in fine style…a sumptuous, ear-gratifying mashup of sounds and styles that will please anyone with an ear for finely observed classic rock n’roll”. – SA, 04/12/18
Thomas Silver

Scott preaches the good word in full HERE

10. Primal FearApocalypse (Frontiers Music)
“A righteous return to glories past… Penultimate track Eye of the Storm is the album’s big production epic, riding in on some Butleresque bass playing from Mat Sinner and another in the series of compelling vocals from Ralf Scheepers that make this album such a delight to listen to. To these ears at least, Apocalypse is the best record Primal Fear have made in over a decade”. – GS, 31/08/18

Read Gavin’s full review HERE

9. DeicideOvertures of Blasphemy (Century Media)
“Business largely as usual – just how we like it… the band definitely haven’t sounded so downright energised in a long while. Long term fans will buy this anyway, but if you’re a Benton newbie there’s enough on ‘side one’ of this record to clue you in on the band’s enduring popularity”. -MS, 20/09/18

Read Mick’s review in full HERE

8. Metal ChurchDamned If You Do (Nuclear Blast)
“The Mike Howe-inspired resurgence continues… I’m glad to say XI wasn’t just a nostalgic one-off success. Damned if You Do shows that Metal Church are very much a vital, relevant proposition in 2018, with power to add to their legacy in 2019 and beyond. Good luck to them!” – FT, 20/11/18

Ferry’s liturgy for the damned can be found in full HERE

7. SaxonThunderbolt (Militia Guard Music)
“We knew Thunderbolt was a good album, but whether it becomes a special one is down to the fans and the critics really. We just keep our fingers crossed. I suppose it’s the English way… Expect the worst but hope for the best!” – Biff Byford – 14/03/18

Read Scott Adams’ review of Thunderbolt HERE

6. Devil’s HandDevil’s Hand featuring Mike Slamer & Andrew Freeman (Frontiers Music)
“Spine-tingling, inspired songwriting, the work of seasoned professionals working at exalted heights that most will only dream of… If you love melodic but heavy AOR, this will sit beautifully in your collection”. – GS, 19/11/18
Devil's Hand

Gavin gushes in full over Devil’s Hand HERE

5. AriaCurse of the Seas (M2BA)
“These blokes are seasoned professionals, and for the most part that fact shines through brightly on Curse of the Seas. This is heavy metal finished to a very high standard, and if the old school is your school then many delights reside within this album’s grooves”. – SA, 23/11/18

Read Scott’s thoughts on Aria in full HERE

4. La ChingaBeyond the Sky (Small Stone)
“Simply marvellous… Crazed wah-wah solos. Fuzz out the wazoo. Bonhamesque tubthumping. The Nuge!.. This is the real deal, brothers and sisters, you mark my words. Quite superb”. – SA, 15/08/18
La Chinga

Scott goes overboard about La Chinga in full HERE

3. SatanCruel Magic (Metal Blade)
“If you love classic heavy metal, metal without frills or the need to remember we’re in 2018 rather than 1988, then you’ll find enough to enjoy on Cruel Magic to warrant a bit of Wallet action next time you’re down the town”. – GS, 05/09/18

Read Gavin’s review in full HERE

2. Crippled Black PhoenixGreat Escape (Season of Mist)
“At the end of the day, a four hundred word review isn’t even going to scratch the surface of an album like The Great Escape. Better for me as a reviewer simply to state that Crippled Black Phoenix have surpassed themselves again, and that you should be adding this to your collection at your earliest convenience”. – SA, 10/09/18
The Great Escape

Read Scott’s full, if inadequate, review of Great Escape HERE

All of which leads us to this point… Sentinel Daily’s top album of 2018 is…

1. Judas PriestFirepower (Sony)
“Their best since Painkiller…And talking of great, here comes the quite superb No Surrender. This is Priest at their melodic optimum, melding the rhythmic throb of You’ve Got Another Thing Comin‘ with leviathan riffage and a chorus you will be singing for days after just a few exposures. If this had been written in 1984 it would be universally hailed as being one of metal’s classic tracks, and should be suitably revered as such. Another goosebump induction moment… If this is farewell, Glenn, so be it, Thank you for everything, but most of all thank you for Firepower“. – SA, 14/02/18