Parkway Drive Hysteria

THE HYST LIST // Albums That Shaped 2018

A year of massive comebacks and breakthrough albums, its safe to say that 2018 was when everyone brought their A-Game. That very much includes our Aussie brothers and sisters who, for the second year running, are heavily present in our top picks for Album Of The Year.

MORE: DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2019: Drop Second Announcement

There’s been so much happening around the globe lately and honestly, what better way to avoid the problems of the world then by blasting a killer album through your speakers. In many albums of 2018, the theme of openness, honesty and vulnerability was a big focus, and how it’s okay to feel that way. Then there were the albums that just wanted to make you dance, sing along and have a great time. The variety we were given has been a treat. So whether it was an evolution in style, the debut of an up-and-coming sensation, or if it was just a goddam banger, these are the albums that have stuck with us through the last 12 months as a stand out above the rest.

Night Of The Living Shred

Parkway Drive – Reverence

You can’t talk about Australian heavy metal without mentioning Parkway Drive and the bands sixth album Reverence is a prime example of why. Rich in beautifully woven melodic tracks, Reverence serves as a more accessible entry to the heavy metal genre without sacrificing everything that has come before for the band. With prominent clean vocals overcut with spine-tingling screams, Reverence is Parkway at their best, delivering a solid sixth album in a catalogue of renowned past releases. As the band continue to challenge themselves and refuse to become stale, Reverence shows that there’s no fear of Parkway Drive disappearing anytime soon. // Rhys Pemberton

Parkway Drive – Reverence // Resist Records

Trophy Eyes – The American Dream

Trophy Eyes are on track for world domination and The American Dream is all the proof that we need. LP3 is one of contrasts, with the Novocastrians trading their gritty, punk roots for vibes that are equally more saccharine and soothing. Going through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, The American Dream is a coming of age album, grappling with the burdens of love, life and fame. Yes, they probably pissed off a select few by not putting out Chemical Miracle 2.0, but they didn’t need to. Step away from the idea that they “sold out” with The American Dream and accept the record as the breath of fresh air that it truly is. // Chanel Issa

Trophy Eyes – The American Dream // Hopeless Records

Twenty One Pilots – Trench

Going dark often means a death knell for bands in the pop culture cycle. Not Twenty One Pilots. Roaring back with dual singles Jumpsuit and Nico and the Niners with a suitably cryptic video to match both meant their latest Trench had the aural and visual swagger to match. If there’s confidence to be found in anxiety, singer Tyler Joseph drops the lilting blurryface alter ego and finds power from the mysterious Nico. Mixing gripping basslines, acceptable mainstream rap and a few of the usual left hooks all tightly wound with Josh Dun’s military drum lines, Trench is the definition of a crossover hit.

Twenty One Pilots – Trench // Fueled By Ramen

Hockey Dad – Blend Inn

During February 2018, Hockey Dad gave us their second album Blend Inn. The 12 tracks carry us through the waves of their catchy indie rock choruses as riptides of punchy bass riffs and drum rolls support the surfing grooves of guitar licks. With the singles Homely Feeling and I Wanna Be Everybody released in anticipation of the full album, we were given a moorish taste of what the album as a finished product would be. Including other sentimental songs on the record which tie together their coastal sound, Hockey Dad produced an album of 2018 worthy of Australia’s attention. //Mikaelie Evans

Hockey Dad – Blend Inn // Farmer & The Owl

Hellions – Rue

Like Trophy Eyes, Hellions had some ridiculously high standards to meet in 2018. Creating the follow up to the defining work of their career was never going to be an easy task, but LP4 is one the Sydneysiders absolutely smashed out of the park. Now, months removed from its release, we can confidently say that Hellions are one of the best things going in Aus rock (seriously, you need no further proof than the fact we gave their last two records a perfect 10). With an album reading like a philosophy crash course for emos, Rue is one of those true gems that really makes you feel something. The cherry on top though? It sounds really bloody good while doing so. // Chanel Issa

Hellions – Rue // UNFD

The Bennies – Natural Born Chillers

Although it’s the shortest of The Bennies’ album repertoire, Natural Born Chillers is no less of a party. Keeping the vibes as high as they are, this latest album brings us more of what we love so much about the Melbourne pot-punks; groovin’, movin’, sing-along party tunes with a punk twist. There’s no doubt in our minds, if you’re looking for an album to throw on at your Australia Day party this year, Natural Born Chillers is everything you need and more. The Bennies have shown us their boisterous, uncensored, playful personalties and kept us singing along to every word while they do it. // Louise Inkster

The Bennies – Natural Born Chillers // Poolhouse Records

Architects – Holy Hell

Rising from their own personal tragedy, Brighton’s Architects come back better than ever with the release of their eight-studio album–Holy Hell. This was their first release after the passing of their Guitarist and primary song writer, Tom Searle. Rather than allowing themselves to be overcome with grief, Architects pulled themselves from the shallows and harnessed the internal fires of grief and made it in to their best album to date. The album as a whole is beautifully dedicated to a life that was not like others and captures the raw emotions of grief from every angle. Long may Architects live on. // Sarah Louise

Architects – Holy Hell // UNFD

Hands Like Houses – Anon.

With cleaner production and a significantly refined sound, this was the album that saw Hands like Houses take the next steps in their musical careers and embrace their mainstream sensibilities (Hell, it even saw them receive recognition from the DC Universe and the WWE). Anon. is a little different from the bands past releases and pushes them straight into anthemic rock n roll territory. Thankfully, it’s still a refreshing take on the genre. We’re calling it from now, it’s only a matter of time before the boys are selling out their own arena headliners. Honestly, we’re surprised it hasn’t happened already. // Chanel Issa

Hands Like Houses – Anon. // UNFD

DZ Deathrays – Bloody Lovely

Opening their 2018 album Bloody Lovely with their signature reverberation, clashing cymbals and a bellowing ‘AAAHH!” DZ Deathrays haven’t strayed too far from what we love them for. Although they’re alternating their pace, DZ stayed true to their punchy choruses and echoing verses throughout their recent release. Showcasing the duo’s development of raw emotion and static amplification through 37 minutes of high energy combined with the purity of their organic punk rock, there’s a variety of timing and essence throughout the 11 tracks. As they spent a decent amount of time touring throughout the year, we should be able to anticipate a similar presence from the boys throughout 2019. // Mikaelie Evans

DZ Deathrays – Bloody Lovely // I Oh You

Turnstile – Time & Space

On Time & SpaceTurnstile try to find their own shape of punk to come on an album that runs about as long as an episode of The Simpsons. Signed to the iconic Roadrunner Records, the band threw everything at the wall and found out that most of it sticks. The band collaborated with superstar producer Diplo on Right To Be, and guess what? It slaps! No matter how far the band dive into keyboard lines and tambourines, they still no how to get heavy when they need to. A little bit of vintage New York hardcore, a little bit of nu-metal, and a whole bunch grooves. // Spencer Scott

Turnstile – Time & Space // Roadrunner Records

Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends

It’s pretty easy to forget that Camp Cope’s self-titled debut album was recorded when the band had been playing together for a little under a year. How To Socialise & Make Friends captures the two years after that release; from fighting inequality on festival lineups, intense touring, and losing loved ones. They stripped things back even further on the 2nd album, allowing the interplay between the three members to truly shine; from the playful dynamics of Sagan-Indiana to the chilling intensity of The Face of God. It’s an album that is reaching out and begging for connection; and thousands around the world have found a safe space within it. // Spencer Scott

Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends // Poison City Records

Casey – Where I Go When I Am Sleeping

Who’s ready for their heartstrings to be torn to shreds? On their second effort, Casey walk that tightrope between being energetic and fragile with their sound. Dissecting years of physical and emotional trauma experienced by vocalist Tom Weaver, Where I Go When I Am Sleeping is genuine and raw. At times shoegazy and at others abrasive, the South Wales crew hit the nail on the head in terms of creating a true melodic masterpiece. We were unaware at its time of release that this would be their swan song, but it is a beautiful send off. Vale Casey. // Chanel Issa

Casey – Where I Go When I Am Sleeping // Hassle Records

Korpiklaani – Kulkija

With Kulkija, or ‘The Wanderer’, Finnish folk metal titans Korpiklaani took us on a journey through the joys and pains of life. While often associated with thundering beer-hall frivolity and merrymaking anthems, Korpiklaani instead shifted their gaze to deeper emotions and unresolved melancholic tensions of life for ‘The Wanderer’ infused with the timelessness of Finnish folk imagery and symbolism. Proving that even at album number ten, Korpiklaani could still innovate and perfect their iconic melding of metal with Finnish folk legend and instrumentation, Kulkija was a mournfully beautiful masterpiece. // Audrey Gerrard

Korpiklaani – Kulkija // Nuclear Blast

The Amity Affliction – Misery

With the release of their sixth album MiseryThe Amity Affliction have continued to grow both a solid fanbase and as a band. While the band may have turned away slightly from the heavier scream-laden songs of their early years, Misery shows a side of the band that is evolving and constantly challenging itself. A beautiful mix of mosh-worthy material and singalong-with clean vocals, Misery shows that The Amity Affliction are stronger than ever with fifteen years behind them since their formation. A staple of Australian metal, The Amity Affliction continue to stamp their name on the world with this latest release. // Rhys Pemberton

The Amity Affliction – Misery //Roadrunner Records

 Letters From The Colony – Vignette

Swedish progressive metallers Letters From The Colony unleashed one of the most promising debut albums of the year, Vignette. Packed with dizzying technical riffs, unsettling time signatures, and sweeping jazzy interludes framed by a djent-infused general approach, Vignette was a treat for the musically curious and those who seek innovating approaches to metal. Vignette was an immersive journey, unpredictable, and laden with attention to detail far beyond any expectations of a band’s debut album. Vignette was as impressive as it was progressive and one of the strongest debut releases of the year. // Audrey Gerrard

Letters From The Colony – Vignette // Nuclear Blast

Psycroptic – As The Kingdom Drowns

With the release of their seventh album As The Kingdom Drowns, Pscyroptic levelled us with an onslaught of a whole ‘nother side of their music. This release saw one of Australia’s most prominent death metal bands really open up and push the boundaries, and produce an album that was as rich in melody and atmosphere as it is in Pscyroptic’s renowned abundance of eye-popping riffs and sternum-rattling rhythms. Stronger than ever after twenty years of levelling impressive death metal, As The Kingdom Drowns houses some of Psycroptic’s best material to date, and the more one listens to it, the more intricate layers of detail emerge. // Audrey Gerrard

Psycroptic – As The Kingdom Drowns // RVP Recordings

Soulfly – Ritual

Nowhere does the expressive rage of thrash metal meet the entrancing rhythms of tribal music with as much explosive energy as with Soulfly, and their 2018 album Ritual was a powerhouse manifestation of this. Kicking off with one of the most unnervingly primal album openings of the year, Ritual was framed by Max Cavalera’s musical collaborations with–and his political sympathy for–the Navajo. It doesn’t pull any punches. The themes of oppression and violence seethe through the compact ten tracks. On Ritual, Cavalera really let his heart speak. While not an entirely innovative album for Soulfly, Ritual heralded some of their strongest form, a, energetic, hard-hitting, anger-ridden example of what Soulfly do best. // Audrey Gerrard

Soulfly – Ritual // Nuclear Blast

Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit

Invoking a seriously chilling combination of black metal and what just might be black magic, Zeal & Ardor has to be one of the most unique acts out there on the metal beat. With intoxicating use of rhythm, chanting, and otherworldly deranged elements of black metal, what began as the solo project of Manuel Gagneux stopped the metal world in its tracks in with this year’s darker, heavier, and more harrowing second album, Stranger Fruit. This release perfected Zeal & Ardor’s novel approach, and solidified its place in the premium ranks of the global metal scene with one of the most captivating, addictive, interesting and outright powerful albums of the year. // Audrey Gerrard

Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit // Radicalis Music

Luca Brasi – Stay

It’s easy to call Stay a “mature” record. On Let It Slip Tyler Richardson sings “This would hurt less if I was 23, not 29 on the bathroom floor trying to get clean”. Luca Brasi have always been walking the long and winding path of adulthood though; and you can take the band out of the Tassie house shows, but you can’t take the Tassie house shows out of the band. There’s still plenty of piss and vinegar to be found, but also an honesty and clarity that is refreshing to hear, and makes Stay the most cohesive album that Luca Brasi has ever written. // Spencer Scott

Luca Brasi – Stay // Cooking Vinyl Australia

Skegss – My Own Mess

Was there a better hook in Australian music this year than “Cost me money for my own money, two dollars fifty for a one hundred”? The debut album from Skegss captured exactly why this Byron Bay three piece has won over the youth of Australia. Songs like My Mind and Up In The Clouds showed us that they can rally against transaction fees and write songs with an emotional core. But if you’re just here to have a good time, well there’s plenty of that to go around too. More hooks than a bait shop on this one, yeew. // Spencer Scott

Skegss – My Own Mess // Ratbag Records

Stand Atlantic – Skinny Dipping

Let’s start by saying Stand Atlantic’s Skinny Dipping is an absolute masterpiece. This was an absolute standout album of 2018, and it’s pretty obvious by the amazing response the album has received. Bonnie Fraser is a national treasure and if we’re going to start projecting things onto the opera house, we need to start with a big ol’ picture of her. Everything about Skinny Dipping is perfection, track by track, this song is lyrically and melodically exceptional. Lavender Bones, is sure to be one of Triple J’s hottest 100 picks of the year, and to follow that up with an album that is equally magnificent is an achievement in itself. Stand Atlantic are finally getting the recognition they deserve. // Lavender Baj

Stand Atlantic – Skinny Dipping // Hopeless Records

Basement – Beside Myself

Basement have come a long way since I Wish I Could Stay Here. In fact, their entire class of emo-tinged post-hardcore has evolved tremendously since the early 10’s; Title Fight, Ceremony and Tigers Jaw are all putting out fantastic records that only bare a passing resemblance to their debuts—and Basement are much the same. Released by Fueled By Ramen; Beside Myself takes as many notes from Jimmy Eat World as it does post-hardcore. Basement still have that grunge-revival tilt they have always had; but work harder on creating more balanced songs, big choruses, and a flowing full-length album.

Basement – Beside Myself // Fueled By Ramen

Real Friends – Composure

Real Friends have travelled through a huge journey the past eight years, and definitely haven’t failed in topping their previous content with 2018’s album Composure. Through a collection of songs based on self-reflection and unexpected realities, we are introduced to a completely new, more catchy sound from the Illinois band. Composure compliments their previous two full-length albums which consist of textbook modern pop-punk pieces, factoring in more catchy riffs and melodies throughout. For example, the song Get By is a major highlight of the Album. Watch the band continue to share like minded empathy through their lyrics and capture hearts worldwide in 2019.

Real Friends – Composure // Fearless Records

Tom Morello – Atlas Underground 

Revolutionary guitarist Tom Morello is no stranger to uniting allies in politically dark times when it comes to making a call to action. Atlas Underground is Morello’s first solo album under his own name and boasts a long list of collaborators of different music genres, ages, genders and ethnicities. It’s also an attempt to find a middle ground between rock and E.D.M as well as trying to sound like the Hendrix of now. Morello pulls all this off successfully alongside writing radical protest anthems and pushing sonic boundaries. // Daniel Jaramillo

Tom Morello – The Atlas Underground // Comandante LLC

Ghost – Prequelle 

Ghoulish cult outfit Ghost released their most 80’s theatrical sounding record to date in Prequelle, It’s certainly not for the purist at heart but it contains some of the catchiest compositions the band has ever written. The album was recorded amongst all the scandal of the band’s internal strife and legal disputes, frontman Cardinal Copia revealed his true identity as Tobias Forge, all this didn’t change whatsoever the quality of their music and Prequelle lived up to the band’s previous releases. // Daniel Jaramillo

Ghost – Prequelle // Loma Vista Recordings

Waterparks – Entertainment

Anyone who doesn’t think pop-punk can be fun would surely be proven wrong with the second album from American band Waterparks. Full of catchy choruses and fast-paced guitar riffs, Entertainment does exactly what it says on the front: entertain. Pulling on some of punk’s greatest influences such as Sum 41, Green Day and My Chemical Romance, Waterparks kicked off 2018 with a half-hour ride of tunes that one can’t help but move to. Building off of their first album, Entertainment continues to build a solid foundation for the relatively new band and suggests a bright future full of fun, catchy tracks. // Rhys Pemberton

Waterparks – Entertainment // Equal Vision Records

The Spirit – Sounds From The Vortex

German blackened melodic death metal newcomers The Spirit unleashed their first album Sounds From The Vortex and to the relief of fans of the early 1990s Swedish sound it was one of the best melodic death metal albums of the year. Sounds From The Vortex was crafted to perfection, capturing both the atmosphere and stylistic traits of the oldschool sound they sought to embrace, across only seven succinct tracks. Not a single note was excessive on Sounds From The Vortex, nor anything lacking. Achieving a refined balance of grim and mournful blackened elements, and the ferocity and density of death metal, The Spirit levelled one of the most stellar debut albums of the year. // Audrey Gerrard

The Spirit – Sounds From The Vortox // Nuclear Blast

Endless Heights – Vicious Pleasure

If you hadn’t heard of Endless Heights before 2018, you surely should now. The Sydney five-piece took the momentum they’d gained in years prior and propelled themselves forward with the defining record Vicious Pleasure. Taking the successful aspects of their debut album, they’ve refined their instrumental and introduced a hauntingly beautiful vocal range to their tracks—proving a sophistication that usually takes a few more albums to master. The bands bold and brave move to switch up their style and the music they produce has definitely paid off, but now that they have our full attention, we will have some seriously high expectations for the next wave of tracks. // Louise Inkster

Endless Heights – Vicious Pleasure // Cooking Vinyl Australia

Of Mice & Men – Defy

Of Mice & Men went through a major change before the release of their fifth album Defy with the departure of lead vocalist Austin Carlile. The change could’ve seen a drop in the band’s fanbase and success, but Defy did exactly what it said it was going to do and defied. Refusing to sink into obscurity, Of Mice & Men unleashed their fifth album on the world and, being a massive improvement on 2016’s Cold World, showed that with or without Carlile the band is more than capable of creating a number of head bang-worthy tracks. With 2019 marking a decade of the band, Of Mice & Men have shown they can still make strong material for fans to blast and mosh to. // Rhys Pemberton

Of Mice & Men – Defy // Rise Records

Columbus – A Hot Take On Heartbreak

This is an album that definitely didn’t get the recognition it deserved this year. Maybe it was the unfortunate cancelled tour, but A Hot Take On Heartbreak is a fun ride. The Brisbane trio, turned duo, turned trio, have always been a hot favourite, with a truly unique sound that is incomparable to anything else happening in the Australian scene, Columbus have hit the nail on the head once again with AHTOHB. // Lavender Baj

Columbus – A Hot Take On Heartbreak // UNFD

Palaye Royale – Boom Boom Room (Side B)

Completing the two-part album Boom Boom Room, Palaye Royale dropped Boom Boom Room (Side B) and it’s easy to say there isn’t a song on the album that isn’t catchy and altogether in the spirit of the band’s art rock roots. Eight tracks long, Boom Boom Room (Side B) doesn’t waste time in warming up, jumping straight into the energetic chaos that the band brings to the live stage just as well as they do to their studio albums. Two albums and an EP down, Palaye Royale is definitely a band looking to build on their success and continue crafting some raw and energetic albums and, if Boom Boom Room (Side B) is anything to go by, they’ll be worth checking out. // Rhys Pemberton

Palaye Royale – Boom Boom Boom (Side B) // Sumerian Records

Breaking Benjamin – Ember

With the release of their sixth album Ember, Breaking Benjamin deliver another album that doesn’t stray far from the band’s roots, and that isn’t a bad thing. The second album since the end of the band’s six-year hiatus, Ember illustrates what fans love from Breaking Benjamin, heavy guitar riffs and vocalist Benjamin Burnley’s wonderfully melodic and melancholic voice. Ember doesn’t offer anything new that the band hasn’t delved into before, but it doesn’t pretend to, boasting twelve tracks that any fan of the band is likely to love, the hard rock sound firmly in place as Breaking Benjamin move into the 20th year as a band. // Rhys Pemberton

Breaking Benjamin – Ember // Hollywood Records

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