1. Grimner ‘Vanadrottning‘
Amazing just like with their album ‘Frost mot Eld’ in 2016, Grimner won the battle for the first place with their album ‘Vanadrottning’ this year again. Remarkable fact: their label Despotz Records delivered the Best Album or Best Debut-Album for the 3rd year in a row.
With 36 out of 50 points Grimner was the obvious winner this year. Two times voted for as best album of the year and one time 2nd best, made them outstanding winners.
“I would say that “Vanadrottning is as good if not better than “Frost Mot Eld”……and I reviewed “Frost” and it was a 10 so another 10 without question.” “What I appreciate is that they are not trying to be something they are not…..like writing a 20 minute song for an example. Tracks range in the 3 to 6 minute range and they understand that is more than enough time to get everything accomplished. The flute/pipes parts are there as always and probably the most identifiable part of their sound thanks to Johan but I would say that everyone gets a chance to shine on this album.”
2. Zmey Gorynich ‘Mother Russia‘
Just like last year, when Apocalypse Orchestra achieved the same, the Russian bands claims the second place at the overall best album list, after the album has been chosen ‘Best Debut Album of 2018’.
With 22/50 points a well deserved title as runner up.
“If you are in the need for speed, then you have come to the right place as Zmey Gorynich seemingly have no “off” button and run at full throttle all of the time.”
“I think this might overwhelm most of you like a tidal wave. For those that want to surf on the waves of epicness, grab your board and jump onto the next one cresting in “Mother Russia” and come along for the ride……”
3. Leah ‘The Quest‘
Our team was quite dived this year and Leah was voted into this list by only two team-members again. But one of these members was of the opinion this was the best album of 2018 and the other thought it was the 2nd best.
“…this isn’t typical Metal. In fact, I believe that more traditionally minded Metal fans (which usually includes myself) would dislike the fact that this album seemingly doesn’t conform to any noticeable Metal standards. But that is the beauty of ‘The Quest’. There’s no pretense of conformity to it, the album is diverse, and each song is hand-forged by a master smith of verse for the singular purpose of purveying a part of the epic tale this album tells. And the result is a staunchly original, truly captivating masterpiece that falls into none of the usual pitfalls that albums of comparable ambition frequently does. Leah’s The Quest is well written overall, brilliantly executed, and will no doubt appeal to a wider music audience than most other Metal albums of the genre. Some people might be a bit uncomfortable with many of the innovative features, and the album is, I admit, an acquired taste. But aside from this drawback, the album really is a masterpiece.”
4. The Rumjacks ‘Saints Preserve Us’
With 18 out of 50 points The Rumjacks landed just outside the top-3 of our ‘Best-Album’ list this year. A very high score, considering they received point by only two team-members. Voted album of the year by one of them.
“The music is exciting and full. More instruments are used than ever before and the songs themselves are full of complex lyrics that you cant possibly get with only one listen. The album begs for repeated turns and it rewards the listener with something new to love each time through. Its a fairly long disc and I don’t hear any filler. Each song has its place and it never gets boring or feels repetitive.”
5. Celtachor ‘Fiannaiocht‘
Besides Cruachan there’s another band from the emerald isle in our top 10 this year. A great album from another great band.
“I cannot count how many times I have listened to the last album (2015’s “Nuada Of The Silver Arm”) and have been living vicariously thru their other endeavors, most notably vocalist Stephen’s Laochra epic folk project and guitarist Fionn’s black metal project Gaoth. Well now they have unleashed their crowning achievement with “Fiannaoicht” where all the various pieces have come together in an incredible epic of an album.”
6. Dalriada – ‘Nyárutó’
At place 6 we find another band with quite a long history. The band gained a well deserved spot in our list of best album of 2018.
“I really can’t find a bad spot in the album. Every time that I listen I find something else that I love. Vocals range from clean male and female voices to mixed voice and even growls and screams mixed in all done very well.
Dalriada is a band I will be keeping careful watch on I can’t wait to see what’s next. If you like Folk metal this is a band you should definitely be listening to.”
7. Orphaned Land ‘Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs‘
At the 7th place we find another one of the band with many years of experience. A band with a message as well. ‘Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs’ was chosen best album by one of our teammembers.
“Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is an incredible album full of outstanding vocal performances, deep meaningful lyrics, wonderful instrumental performances across the board and a cohesive listening experience from start to finish. I’ve been listening to a lot of bands with a message lately and enjoying it immensely . Our world needs more reminders to keep power in check and to pay attention to what is going on around us. Orphaned Land is one of those bands that should not be missed.”
8. Cruachan ‘Nine Years of Blood‘
Cruachan is one of the band which is around for many many years, and they still prove they know how to make good music.
“Cruachan is a band that has been around since the founding years of folk metal. They themselves arguably defined the genre of Celtic Metal. Nine Years of Blood is a concept album about the eponymous war of independence released for the 25th anniversary of the band. So the question everyone is no doubt asking is; does the music on this album strike true enough to do justice Cruachan’s 25th anniversary.”
“Going back to the original question, not only does Nine Years of Blood do justice to Cruachan’s 25th anniversary, but it is masterpiece in itself. Knowing well that some might challenge this statement until they have actually experienced this album for themselves I will nonetheless say that this is my favorite new favorite Cruachan album. Give Nine Years of Blood a listen, it exemplifies an authentic rebellious anger that I personally think honors those who died for their country in the Nine Years War incarnate.”
9. Trollwar ‘Oath of the Storm‘
At place 9 in our list we find Trollwar with their new full length.
“There are so many highlights that I had a hard time picking just one out….the blast beats, the guitar and bass work, the gritty semi black metal and clean vocals…..just tons of great things going on here. So, let us say you like one Trollwar track, you are going to like them all as they never miss an opportunity to have everyone highlighted in every track.”
Bands like Trollwar show us, you don’t need a label, to release a great album.
10. Kara Han ‘Ottoman Slap – Osmanli Tokadi‘
We announced the best Debut-Album of 2018 yesterday. Today we start our to publish Folk-metal.nl’s top 10 of the best Albums of 2018.
Kara Han managed to conquer the 3rd place in the Best-debut album list already. But they managed to find themselves in our top 10 Best Album as well. A very good result for these Turkish guys.
“With a running time of only 17 minutes we get to enjoy a one minute intro and five songs. It’s hard to describe all that’s going on. Throat singing, two instrumental gems, serious guitar melodies, happy rhythms, Oriental lines, and did I just hear a trumpet? What’s even more astonishing that the band doesn’t need death growls or black shrieks and constant double bass drums to keep our attention.”