With another year wrapped up, we’re taking a look back at the metal albums that defined 2018 and made gigantic creative strides. You can check out Loudwire’s full Top 30 list, but we compiled our Top 10 picks for this video Loud List.

2018 was an incredible year for Judas Priest. The Metal Gods released Firepower, which is widely considered their best album since 1990’s Painkiller. When a band’s nearly 50 years into their career, fans are usually lucky if a new album contains one song that’ll make a greatest hits compilation. For Judas Priest, they cranked out career defining cuts like “Lightning Strike,” while expanding on their versatility with “Never the Heroes” and “Sea of Red.”

This year’s best surprise came on 4/20, when Sleep released The Sciences with zero warning. The band’s first album since Dopesmoker was an instant classic, exhaling doom-ridden cuts that’ll melt you into the couch. With their classic take on Sabbath worship, Sleep wrote some all-timers with “Giza Butler” and the battle hymn “Antarcticans Thawed.”

2018 was arguably the year of Ghost. With Tobias Forge publicly unmasked due to a lawsuit from his former bandmates, the mystique of the Swedish occult band was in jeopardy. However, with the introduction of Cardinal Copia and the anthem-filled Prequelle, Ghost became bigger than ever thanks to massive cuts like “Rats” and “Dance Macabre.”

Check out our picks for the 10 Best Metal Albums of 2018 in the Loud List above.

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