Last week we dropped a five-and-a-half-hour Spotify playlist compiling our choices for the 75 Best Songs of 2018, spanning the gamut of heavy music, from metal and hardcore to industrial and hip-hop. But we hardly expected you to just accept our opinion without speaking your own minds, so we asked to let us know what your single favorite song was from the past year, and you hit social media with your picks. Below are the ranked Top 5 results.
Generally speaking, rock is a young person's game. The old adage of "write what you know" isn't so appealing when it means songs about applying for social security, getting your annual colonoscopy or missing the early bird special at the local diner. Which makes "Firepower" all the more fucking amazing — a band on the brink of their 50th anniversary delivering one of their most fierce anthems in more than a decade. But even regardless of the age of Priest's players, shit just plain smokes.
A Perfect Circle's "Disillusioned" captures the ethereal side of Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel's alt-rock band that has long flowed through its veins, sometimes oozing to the surface. Contrasted with some of the more lively cuts on the group's comeback album Eat the Elephant, "Disillusioned" is the sensitively beating heart of the record, much of it a moving piano piece that cuts down a magnetic path to an intense third act.
"Like a bird in a cage trying to fly away/Is this the price that we have to pay?" That's Architects' Sam Carter, articulating the sorrow of the past few years in the clearest way he can. Holy Hell, the U.K. metalcore crew's eighth album, was conceived entirely in tribute to their late guitarist and brother in arms Tom Searle, but "Royal Beggars" stands as the black, triumphant nadir — a song about pain, loss and the crippled bargaining inherent to mourning. It's incredible Architects were able to pull it off without losing themselves in the process.
"Rats!" Yell it at your friend in the right intonation, and if they're a real one, they'll deliver the whoa-oh that follows for the ultimate display of friendship. Beneath all the theatrical evil Ghost puts into their art, at their core the Swedish occult-rockers just know how to write a ridiculously fun song, and that's exactly what "Rats" is. In an age when it sometimes feels like the memorable heavy-metal singalongs of yesterday are all but extinct, Cardinal Copia and his flock crafted a near-perfect horns-worthy single that owes as much of its catchy joys to Michael Jackson as it does Judas Priest.
Really, who else could come out on top? The Iowan mad men shocked fans everywhere on All Hallow's Eve with the surprise-release of their first new song in four years, but the best revelations lay within the song itself. The swelling piano-and-marching-drums bridge topped by Corey Taylor's spoken-word rant, the dissonant black-metal riffing that kicks in the 4:07 mark, and of course the compulsive chant of "We are not your kind!" — sure to shouted along to by frenzied Maggots at many a pyrotechnic live spectacle to come.