2018 is halfway over, and while the latter half of the year looks to be promising for rock fans, with bands such as Fit for a King and Memphis May Fire teasing new releases soon, we haven't seen a massive flood of releases in the genre. However, what has come out should not be overlooked. Here are the best rock albums released in the first six months of 2018.
The Protest - Legacy The Protest has made a name for themselves through their high-energy music and killer live shows. The band's newest release, Legacy, showcases this energy perfectly with staggering choruses, backed up by strong vocals, driving drums, and punchy guitar hooks. The songs are full of layers of musical goodness, with each instrument adding a distinct, yet often subtle, taste to each tune, which fills out the sound, creating a sonically massive tone. The ten hard rock songs are striking musically and lyrically and are a pleasure to listen to.
LEDGER - LEDGER EP Jen Ledger, who is known for her masterful drumming and melodic vocal presence in hard rock band Skillet, kicks off her solo career with this six-song EP. Ledger is able to demonstrate her full vocal capabilities here, and it is very enjoyable to hear her bright, soft delivery throughout the EP. The songwriting will be very familiar to Skillet fans, as the structure, hooks, and melodies are very similar to something one would expect from Skillet. Ledger is able to use the strengths of Skillet’s core sound while adding her own additions, making for a unique and enjoyable experience. This is one album for fans of any genre and is a must-have record.
Stryper - God Damn Evil
Despite the controversial album title, Stryper once again delivers a stellar performance on their seventeenth release. The core glam and hard rock sounds are on full display, with Michael Sweet’s soaring vocals leading the charge. The band’s bold lyrical style is also noteworthy, as the band continues to proudly display their faith and views. Fans and newcomers alike will be able to appreciate Stryper’s raw musicianship and talent. After decades in the game, the band is still showing listeners that they can produce high quality, hard-hitting tracks.
Impending Doom - The Sin and Doom Vol. II
Although Impending Doom is not your traditional worship-style band that most elders of the church will love, the hardcore group delivers a musically powerful, faith-driven package with The Sin and Doom Vol. II. Through death growls, blast beats, and spine-snapping riffs, Impending Doom has produced an album that can musically and spiritually resonate with fans of heavier styles of worship music.
Kevin Max - AWOL Kevin Max brings a unique, and enjoyable, sound to the table with his newest release, AWOL. The album carries a hint of 80’s pop, mixed in with a soft, alt-rock and new wave sound. The style works wonderfully with Max’s moody and intriguing delivery, as he sings in a variety of styles-reminiscent of U2’s Bono at times-from crooning, to belting, to soothing whispers. This is a fantastic release that should not go unnoticed and is a project that can be enjoyed by fans of any genre.
Remedy Drive - The North Star Remedy Drive brings another solid indie rock effort with The North Star. Passive, hypnotic riffs and melodies draw the listener in from the first note, and don’t let go until the last note is played. Lyrically, the band tackles real-life issues such as war, human trafficking, and consumerism, with Biblical perspectives that are sure to make one think about what the band has to say. A musically impressive and thought-provoking record, The North Star deserves to be picked up this year.
Andrew Serino - The Golden Thread
For those of us who came of age during the 2000s, rock music was a part of our identity. As that distinguished brand of rock has faded more and more into the past, the cravings for a new face to deliver that sound in a fresh way have increased. Enter Andrew Serino. Having already developed a following through YouTube covers and auditioning on American Idol, Serino turned heads with his independently produced album, The Golden Thread. Heavy guitars and melodic clean vocals compliment the intense, punk-driven songwriting, with positive, uplifting lyrics, to make a hard-hitting, satisfying experience for listeners.
Nathan Langlois is a second year University student at the University of Windsor. He is also a singer and multi-instrumentalist who is working on some upcoming musical projects. Outside of music and school, he enjoys film and audio production, as well as graphic design.
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