#729.4: LeBrain’s Unorthodox Top 10 of 2018

Given everything that happened in 2018 (cancer, more cancer, death), I wasn’t as tuned-in to rock and roll as I normally would be.  I missed a lot of new releases, some on purpose, others by accident.  Therefore, this year I’m doing something different from my Top Lists of 2018.  Before we get to the lists, let’s talk about the past 12 months.


January saw new CDs by Joe Satriani and Corrosion of Conformity, finally reunited with Pepper Keenan on vocals.  There was new Loudness, and a release by Beth Hart & Joe BonamassaDef Leppard had a low-key EP exclusive to iTunes (The Lost Session).  In February we got the return of the mighty Saxon.  March was a big month, featuring Judas Priest, Stone Temple Pilots, Jack White and Myles Kennedy.  The rock kept rolling in April.  The big metal one here was Stryper‘s God Damn Evil, along with new Godsmack and Thirty Seconds to Mars.  During this time I was personally only able to get the Stryper and Priest.

As temperatures warmed in May, Bad Wolves came out with their novelty cover of “Zombie” by the Cranberries which became a predictable hit.  Frank Turner and Five Finger Death Punch also released new records in May.  News in June was unfortunately dominated by Kanye West and Drake, but don’t forget Ghost, The Darkness (with their first live) and Nine Inch Nails!  In July, Halestorm came out with the critically acclaimed ViciousAlice in Chains made their long awaited return in August with Rainier Fog, an album I bought but have not yet fully penetrated.

Autumn began with the biggest name in rock and roll, Sir Paul McCartney himself.  SlashPaul Simon, Lenny Kravitz and Suicidal Tendencies had records out on the same day.  VoiVod, Therapy?, Metric and even Rod Stewart returned in September as well.  October featured two big soundtracks:  Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is BornAce Frehley, Greta Van Fleet, and The Struts came out with new music the same month.  In November we got Mark Knopfler, the Smashing Pumpkins, Ted Nugent and yet another live Beth Hart.  The month closed with the latest Def Leppard best-of.  December boasted Metal Church but not a lot of rock.  Thank the Metal Gods that Max the Axe swooped in with Status Electric to save the year.

I spent most of 2018 checked out mentally.  I missed most of the new releases and have a lot to catch up on.  The summer was spent on Highway 401, and a flash drive loaded with music helped me survive it.  New releases were not the be-all and end-all for me.  Therefore, my Top Albums of 2018 list includes some oldies that just helped me get through it all.  It seems right to do it this way, since I can’t really do a well-curated list of new releases without absorbing them properly.


  1. Blotto – Combo Akimbo (1982)
  2. Max the Axe – Status Electric (2018)
  3. Ghost – Prequelle (2018)
  4. The Darkness – Live at Hammersmith  (2018)
  5. Judas Priest – Firepower (2018)
  6. Blotto – Tonight At Toad’s (1982)
  7. Ace Frehley – Spaceman (2018)
  8. Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson & Steve Vai – G3 Live in Concert (1997)
  9. The Sword – Used Future (2018)
  10. Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978)



  1. Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe (2018)
  2. Hello Hopeless – Dark Pasts, Brighter Futures (2018)
  3. Mike Slayen – Dude: A Guitar CD (2018)


Can’t do a movie list this year.  Not possible.  I didn’t see ’em all, but one movie blew away all the rest.

  1. Avengers: Infinity War

A PEEK AT 2019

What’s hot for 2019?

  1. Star Wars:  Episode IX
  2. Motley Crue‘s long awaited movie The Dirt, and new songs too.
  3. Dream Theater – Distance Over Time
  4. Avengers:  Endgame
  5. Queensryche – The Verdict

Stay tuned….






        1. Nah, I was just on mobile and I hardly ever proofread. I gotta do that Ed Wood review for the Lebrian Headquarters Conglomerate Corporate Entity. Mike and I were talking about that back in Novemeber I think.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. You know the guy who did Arrival and Blade Runner 2049? Denis Villeneuve. He is going to split it into two parts to tell thr full story. I liked the David Lynch one, but I am a huge fan of his and I think this one will be much better.


    1. I’ve never been excited about the MCU! Ultron was good but I had a sense of overkill on it. Infinity War had lots of overkill but way more heart.

      And fear not — Dr. Dave’s list is coming! He finished it last night! And it’s a good one. I’m impressed.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. 2019 will be a better year for ya Mikey!
    Cool list. I liked your summary of the months of when music came out. Neat to see Firepower and Spaceman on there…Ace just has to stop playing live half ass versions of his classics and practice…
    Crue should be interesting if they put out those 4 new songs as they say…
    I will buy it but man I hope the movie doesn’t suck…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With Crue in the studio with Bob Rock, I’m encouraged. Bob demands a certain level of quality and performance. Vince won’t be able to sleep his way through it with Bob at the helm.

      Firepower and Spaceman made the list! I dropped Stryper from the list even though I rated it higher. The mood wore off and I haven’t played Stryper in months.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes that buzz you lose on an album does happen. Redeemer of Souls was one that comes to mind.. I was like at first going man this is the deal than a few months later I gravitated back to Point of Entry/Screaming etc…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Redeemer is still good but too long so I rarely play it! I still think 35-40 minutes is the ideal length, I really do! Unless you’re going for something deep and conceptual, stick to short.

          I’m looking at my list and just realized…three of the albums on this list were Taranna scores. I put all my Taranna buys on the flash drive from that summer. No wonder they’re on this list!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Here are mine favorites:
    breeders: all nerve
    Primal Fear: Apocalypse
    Shiraz Lane: Carnival Days
    Disturbed: Evolution
    Bullet for my valentine: Gravity
    Burn the Priest: Legion XX
    alice in chains: rainier fog
    lance lopez:tell the truth
    walking papers: wp2

    was really surprised by Disturbed thought that they had gone all ballads or something but luckily no. Alice in Chains was another pleasant surprise. This month I’ve been listening to 2 cd pack of Alice Cooper’s Dragontown/Brutal Planet and wondering why I missed these the first time around.


  3. Definitely a good bunch of rockage there, Mike. Few things I really need to hear and see… biggest being Infinity War. Hoping that crops up on Netflix soon… certainly before Endgame (I’ve decided I’m not gonna try catch up with the individual releases).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should catch Thor Ragnarok I think. It sets up Infinity War really well. According to Mark Ruffalo, there is a Hulk story that runs through Thor, Infinity War, and Endgame. You’ll see what I mean. We’re waiting for Endgame to see how this Hulk sub plot goes. But it all starts in Ragnarok, so I recommend you do see it first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! Yes! I do want to see that one… I just don’t see how I can catch up with everything and there are some I’m interested in more than others, but I think Endgame will be in the cinema before I get to catching up with everything.


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