In this feature, Joel Richardson gives us his Top 5 most anticipated records of 2018.
2017 treated us to another year full of top quality music. So much so that I’m still catching up on releases I’ve missed whilst continuing to binge my favourites from the last 12 months. Even with that in mind, there’s still a shedload of music to be released in the year ahead; here are just a few albums that I’m looking forward to the most in 2018.
Turnstile – Time and Space
Scheduled for release on February 23rd, the Baltimore hardcore outfit look to follow up their last full length, 2015’s ‘Non-Stop Feeling’ and 2016’s ‘Move Thru Me’ EP with yet another collection of first-class modern ‘punk-metal’ tunes, although describing them as such is a genuine disservice to the sound of the band and their back catalogue.
The five-piece group are far from your average hardcore band and have often stayed way away from creating what may be considered generic and contrived ‘metalcore’. Instead, opting for a sound consisting of groove-laden riffs, vocals ranging from a super aggressively rapped delivery to high soaring, yet gritty sung melodies and they’re also not shy of using the odd chorus or vibrato pedal to add another layer of dynamic to guitar lines and choruses.
Having been treated to the first two singles ‘Real Thing’ and ‘Generator’ we’re shown that the signature Turnstile sound has been well and truly stamped on this record but with the added sense that everything has been taken up a notch quality wise. Both songs are more polished in their structure, as they flow much better between eclectic idea to eclectic idea; the most notable being the ending of ‘Real Thing’ as the band thunder out of the last chorus into some jazzy elevator music that takes us out of the track. Couple this with vocalist Brendan Yates’ amazing performance on both tracks and you have an album that I simply cannot wait for.
Black Peaks – TBA
The Brighton-based band burst onto the scene in early 2016, when their combination of alternative rock, prog rock and hardcore formed their debut album Statues. The following album cycle saw them get extensive coverage on Radio 1 from the likes of Zane Lowe, as well as supporting the Deftones at Wembley Arena, all whilst receiving comparisons to the likes of Mastodon, Tool, Muse and the Dillinger Escape Plan; and to be quite honest they’re still rather underrated.
Their debut album was easily my favourite album of 2016; the ability to blend a vast number of genres so seamlessly, an out of the world vocal performance from frontman Will Gardner whose voice can range from the most razor-sharp screams to the most glistening clean melodies and a collection of some of the finest riffs ever to hit my ears are just a few reasons why and even though they managed to achieve all that last time out, the band give off this air of confidence that only makes you feel they’ll smash it out of the park x100 on this next album.
Although they’ve had no official confirmation of a release date or title for the album, the band have said on social media that’s it’s all been written, recorded and we should expect to hear it ASAP.
Fingers crossed they do as there are very few bands I would like to own 2018 more than Black Peaks.
Ghost – TBA
The ever theatrical and mysterious Ghost are rumoured to be looking to follow up their last full-length record, 2015’s Meliora, this year. Since the release of Meliora, the band have released an EP in 2016, coming in the form of Popestar as well as a live album titled Ceremony and Devotion in 2017, this capped off a meteoric rise which sees Ghost stand out as one the most popular bands in the world of rock and metal today.
Sonically the band throw together 70’s style guitar riffing, souring and incredibly catchy pop choruses and vocal melodies along with over the top theatrics and the ever-present theme of Satan in what can only be described as satanic gospel pop rock; oh, yeah and they also wear costumes live as their frontman imitates a priest and the rest of the band form his ‘Nameless Ghouls’.
All that may sound a bit much and even comedic at times but there’s just something about Ghost that makes them undeniably outstanding on record and live.
If the band achieve the mighty task of surpassing Meliora with a release this year, we may just see them take the crown as Rock’s new leading and era-defining band.
Marmozets – Knowing What You Know Now
The short answer for what Marmozets do/sound like is they play rock music and they’re very bloody good at it.
The Yorkshire-based band combine alt-rock, math rock and post-hardcore into a sonic onslaught of the highest order and this was all encapsulated in their 2015 debut ‘The Weird and Wonderful’.
The record displays incredibly the diversity of the bands sound, featuring the technical outburst of hardcore rage that is Vibetech, the rock blockbuster Move, Shake, Hide and the balladesque joyride of a track Captivate You. leading up to the release of their second album we’ve been treated to three singles Play, Habits and Major System Error all of which have shown the diversity and quality we’ve come to expect from Marmozets, whilst there also being a newer maturity to their songwriting approach (The build towards the end of Play where the band lets loose the main riff backed with a ridiculous amount of energy, power and drive is an example).
The band seem to have learnt from the very few lessons they had left to learn after their debut and if these singles are anything to go by, this follow up is going to deliver and then some.
Parkway Drive – TBA
The Aussie metal giants had enjoyed a successful career at the forefront of the metalcore genre which spanned the length of their first four albums. However, the band looked to conquer new territory on their 5th release Ire in 2016 by moving to a more melodic, groove-based sound, they passed with flying colours and where subsequently launched to new heights; headlining two gigs at O2 Brixton Academy and performing much higher up festival bills than they had previously on the Ire album cycle. Much like Ghost, a successful album for the new look Parkway could see them become a genre leading band and a future festival headliner, taking over from the much older bands populating the top of festival bills today.
For me personally, Parkway Drive were the band that got me into rock and metal, so it goes without saying that I’m incredibly excited to hear this. As far as a release date, one has not yet been confirmed but the band’s social media suggests we could hear the album later this year, definitely one to look out for in 2018!