Powhertz' Favorites in Music in


[Work in progress... Please note that translation of this article from French to English is not completed yet, and will be completed progressively in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for your comprehension.]

    Another year comes to an end, and here's the time to look back at it on the musical side. 2018 started strong, came much out of breath. That fact is clear while looking at my chart: 10 of the first 12 premières positions were released in the first half of the year, against only 2 released in the second half. We can also go further, saying 13 out of 16, or 18 out of 23. The lack of content in the second half is such that the chart will be 22% shorter than the 90 positions from last year, an even greater gap if we compare to the top 100 of 2016. Let's hope that the pace gets back on track in 2019, with new albums from Rammstein (expected for April), Static-X (Spring), Rob Zombie (probably Spring too), Slipknot (Summer), Volbeat (probably in the Summer too), Korn (date to be determined, but it will be in 2019) and even Tool (really probable for 2019!), not to mention the Trois Accords's new album Beaucoup de Plaisir (Nov. 2018) from which new singles will unmistakably release in 2019, and I like all songs fom the album but one! My favorite, Rebecca, would certainly be a case of top 10 if they choose it was an official single for the album.

    In that summary last year, I was deploring the sad record of one single French-language song in my chart, the previous record being 3 (in 2010). I've made efforts to keep myself informed of the new releases in French, but it was not sufficient. I end up with only 2 songs in French in my chart, yet another very bad result. At least, those two are in my top 20... However, the album I listened to the most often in 2018 is in French. It is Métal Noir Québécois, from patriotic Quebeker black metal band Forteresse. Too bad that it was released in ... 2006 ! It is safe to say that I was very late to discover that album! Without my colleague Jose, I would surely still be in the ignorance of it today! So thank you Jose to have allowed me to discover that unique band!
Parkway Drive -
    On the English-language side, I absolutely want to mention the remarkable album Reverence, by Australian band Parkway Drive. Their previous album has had some success, and its single Vice Grip had positioned itself at #21 of my personal chart in 2015, but their new opus has reached a whole new level of maturity. The inspiration of this work is death, or being confronted to death. The band has indeed been blasted by a series of events during the 3 years of work that led to that album, all linked to the same terrible disease, cancer: death of a band member's partner, death of their great friend Tom Searle (guitarist of Architects, a British band with whom they already toured), death of singer Winston McCall's dog (that he loved like a son), and a few more diagnostics amongst their families and friends. The result is an alni, that's dark, but deep, mature, and intelligent in its brutality. All three radio singles off the album made their way to my top 50, including 2 in my top 5, an exceptionnel achievement that only Avatar (2016), Alice in Chains (2013 and 2009), System of a Down (2005) and Rammstein (2001) ever made before them. When I look at this list of legendary artists, I tell myself that Parkway Drive is slowly getting amongst the greats...

    Metal Hammer has ranked Reverence 4th best album of 2018... behind Architects' (OBVIOUSLY because Metal Hammer is British, like Architects), Judas Priest' (really?) and Ghost's, its only true competitor according to me, and I clearly prefer Reverence, Prequelle definitely lacking of punch compared to Ghost's previous albums. I think it does not get all the recognition it deserves.

    Although it is absolutely uncomparable with last year, 2018 has had its great losses to whom I must pay a modest tribute. I think about Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries (January) Jill Janus from Huntress (August), Kyle Pavone from We Came as Romans (August), Oli Herbert from All That Remains (October), and most importantly Vinnie Paul Abbott (June), the drummer of Pantera, Damageplan and Hellyeah, who went to join his famous brother Darrell Abbott (Dimebag Darrell) in the afterlife. That news has shaken the little world of metal throughout the world.

    Let's now jump to the chart! Little reminder of some directives:

guitareWeak presence of electric guitar
guitareguitareSlightly loud, but acceptable for a vast majority of listeners
guitareguitareguitare A true heavyweight, sensible ears keep away!

Interdimensional Summit
Dimmu Borgir

What a nice surprise, that gem by the Norwegian metal veterans! After a 8-year absence, the band is back with a new album, and its first single is a bomb! Not the most complex and elaborated track in their career, but clearly the most catchy, with a little (relatively) pop side that melts marvelously in their symphonic black metal. It is a fair payback for them, whose only entry in their career in my annual chart was a #33 in 2010 for Gateways, which I alwasy regretted because it was definitely worth a top 10... but not a #1 neither, which they manage to achieve this year!

Extremely catchy, so, but also an extremely solid production with a flawless sonority, and even good lyrics, which my favorite excerpt would be: "We are the current sum of all the ages, leaving a trail of burnt pages". I've always known that it would be in my top 10 at the end of the year, but it took several months before I really realize that this was my #1. While my interest for other "top 10" songs was reducing, my interest for Interdimensional Summit has always remained constant if not even superior, from the first time I listened to it on March 6th until the very end of the year.

It is a 4th straight year that my #1 comes from a Scandinavian band! Would could have guessed that, after 3 consecutive years (2012-2014) of U.S. reign.

Wishing Wells
Parkway Drive

Unique! That does not resemble the other songs I know from Parkway Drive, and resemble even less any songs by other bands. Detached from their usual metalcore, it dictates its own genre of metal. They made a big hit with the song, and also the memorable music video, so simple and so striking all at once. Result: one month at #1 of satellite radio station Liquid Metal (on Sirius XM) and a #2 in Powhertz' annual personal chart! Winston McCall's voice reaches highly surprising heights in there, becoming even more guttural than Rammstein's Till Lindemann. The introduction's melody, the superb arrangements, the emotion, the development towards a great peak of intensity, the almost shocking finale are all other elements that make it an unavoidable of metal in 2018. I listened to it all year long, since its release in March, and I never got bored of it. A solid #2, and the only other track that I seriously considered for my #1.


Slightly disappointed the first time I listened to it. It was obviously not the first time that I was wondering why Ghost is generally considered a metal band, but I found that this song in particuler was falling into a pop sound, or rather an "80's rock" sound, showing much less personality than what they used us to. Add to that the singer who executes dance choreographies in the music video, and we are more than ever wondering where has that doom metal band  gone! It was also the 1st single from Ghost with its new musicians (singer Tobias Forge had fired all of his 4 musicians at the end of 2016), and I found not fully convincing that performance by the new musicians, unlike Forge's voices that I found were worked on harder than ever, letting me under the impression that Ghost is really the solo project of one star character and that musicians are secondary in the project. Which is sad for a rock and/or metal band.

At that time, I would have never believed that Rats would reach the highest ranking ever reached by Ghost in my annual personal chart (the previous being a 5 for Cirice in 2015). But I knew that it would probably find a way to sneak in my top 20. So, I  gave it a second chance, and it did not deceive me! After listening to it just a few times, it was regularly stuck in my head with its so catchy melody, and its: "Rrrrrrrrats!". And a big strong point that's probably worth it an extra 2-3 positions: the very "punchy" 30-second finale that leaves us on a high! At the end of the day, it is possibly in the top 2 songs I listened to the most often in 2018, and a good song to which I am not ashamed to award my #3, even if I am absolutely not ready to say that it's their career's best! Too bad that they were stolen the Grammy for best rock song, by a much lesser-known track from St. Vincent that many will see more like pop than rock. It is very clear to me that Ghost should have won this title, for the 2nd Grammy trophy in its career (Cirice having won the best metal performance in 2015). Note that they've also lost the title of rock album of the year to Greta Van Fleet, another shame!

What it is
Jonathan Davis

The only other song, with Interdimensional Summit, that I noted as an "A" in my notes. Noted "B+" the first time I heard it on January 26th, and upgraded to "A" 3 weeks later, because my feelings for the song had become strong enough for me to start seeing as a candidate for #1. Finally, that honeymoon lasted only 2 more months, and I listened to it much less often the rest of the year, unlike others like Interdimensional Summit or Wishing Wells that maintained a more stable level. Of course, that doesn't mean I no longer like it! I still think that this is a very solid production, with a modern sound, emotion, and a good vocal performance by Jonathan Davis. I love so much the part of the choruses where he sings: "But IIII will embrace who I really am" !

The song's got a mixed reception. I think that people were not ready to hear a Jonathan Davis product that doesn't sound like Korn. No, it clearly isn't Korn! We can't find the signature bass of Fieldy, not the Korn guitars (the guitar is actually pretty boring! It looks like the guitar of an insipid rock ballad of the '80!), we don't find much of Korn into it except the singer. And so what? If it was Korn, he would have kept it for the next Korn album in 2019! He wanted to show us something different, and it is good nonetheless. Long life to the legend, Jonathan Davis!

Parkway Drive

Extremely strong for an album's THIRD single! Much closer to their usual style than Wishing Wells, therefore much less unique, it is simply the best of its kind! Extremely catchy chorus with excellent lyrics when we understand the inspiration and state of mind that led them to that result. "Prey, we are all prey for the sorrow" is epic, and the puns between "prey" and "pray" add to the interest. Nice finale, too. Certainly in my top 3 while writing these lines, but its late release as a single (September) make it complicated to make it pass ahead of two songs that have been so strong in the rest of the year.


Red Cold River
Breaking Benjamin

Disturbing! Not amongst the best tracks of the year on a technical plan (although I love the choruses' pretty special drum beat), but definitely amongst the most loaded with emotion. An absolute must-see with the disturbing music video, which helps to understand the meaning of the song. Once we've understood that, all the lyrics, and most importantly those from the choruses, become shocking. Add to that all of Benjamin's voice plays, sometimes dismal, sometimes screaming pain, and I am on the verge of tears! It's been several years since a song made me that effect. My personal favorite in the career of this huge American band? I think so!

Caught Up
Death from Above

What an epic bass riff! I would go as far as saying that it is amongst the best in the history of rock! And the song is not only the story of a riff; they've put up something intesting around that riff. The fast part before the last chorus, and the comeback for the last chorus are great entertainment! That track sound extremely big, for a simple duo of a singer-drummer and a bassist. An underrated Canadian art work.


Speaking of an underrated Canadian art work! The veteran Quebecker band signs one of its great performances, and the music video has a hard time reaching 17,000 views on YouTube! That is so unfair! If they were managed by a big metal label such as Nuclear Blast or Napalm, that track would certainly be a worldwide success in the metal world. I listened to it all year long, from January 15th. Intense and meticulously polished, it made me buy the album, Children of the Void (from which Tyrants is only the 3rd single!), and I encourage you to do the same to support that superb independant band that only gets a small fraction of the attention it reserves: https://karkaosofficial.bandcamp.com/album/children-of-the-void.

Are you Ready

One of the rare very good songs of the 2nd half of the year! What most marked me, even more than the guitar that I like, are the lyrics (and David Draiman singing them!). They are good from the beginning to the end, but there is one sentence from the choruses that I particularly love: "They aren’t ready for you to be turned into someone who cannot be preyed upon". It masterly culminates in the last chorus when it turns to: "Let me know you’re ready to be turned into someone/people who cannot be preyed upon". Another excerpt that I particularly like, in the first verse: "Take those mental shackles off and throw them away. You’ve got to get them out of your mind".

Over and Over and Over
Jack White

Very stirring! Amongst my favorites in Jack White's solo career. It seemed to me like it had everything to be a great commercial hit, but the results have been disappointing on that level.

Colors Bleed
Pop Evil

Not very complicated, but powered by a heavy, efficient and catchy riff. What a bomb effect at 3:09 when we come back from the softer part of the song!

Lying in State

To rank amongst the best in the career of this legendary thrash metal band! Yes, I dare going that far! I did not say THE best, we could name some exceptions (such as the legendary Symphony of Destruction), but definitely within the "crème". Not only very well executed, it is very intelligent, with lyrics that make you wonder. It sets the tone right from the start, the very first lyrics being: "What we are witnessing is the decline of Western civilization. Crushing our potential and piling it on, how history will portray us?".

WARNING: Do not, absolutely not, watch this video with children! It is very violent and very disturbing!

Corinne en
Les Trois Accords

Simple and so nice! In an interview on the radio, singer Simon Proulx explained that the Trois Accords' songs are often misunderstood, so he wanted to come up with a first single that's simple and going straight to the goal; this song tells only one thing: the guy loves to dance! He goes on by saying that even Corinne doesn't do anything in there, she's just listening the guy who dances! :D  So entertaining, as ever. And watch out, because it is far from being my favorite song from the new album, lyrically and musically (even though I much liked the little bass intro). More singles will certainly follow and might get a higher ranking in 2019! Les Trois Accords, my favorite French-language band of all time, are back on top!

Kai Tangata
Alien Weaponry

It's been several years that repeat to anyone who wants to hear it: artists whose mother tongue is other than English (including the Quebeckers, Swedish and Norwegians) who gain from singer more often in their mother tongue, which would give more personality to their music and would help them stand out from the thousands of other rock/metal bands on the market. On this, I cite Rammstein as an example, which clearly sounds better when they sing in German than when they sing in English, or Quebecker metalcore band Obey the Brave whose best track is the one they did in French (or should I say in Quebecker "joual"). A young little trop from New Zealand, Alien Weaponry, got the message and launched in 2018 a first full-length album (but they've already had an EP in the past) mainly in maori language, including the single Kai Tangata, entirely in maori, which had a bomb effect! In the Spring, it dislodged Parkway Drive to spend one month at #1 of the weekly chart of satellite radio station Liquid Metal, and spent the whole rest of the year in this station's top 12!! It ended up at #3 of their "Devil's Dozen" for the whole year 2018, trailing only Power Trip and Parkway Drive (and it was honestly a big surprise for me; I was sure it would be their #1). The interesting music video, perfectly in line with the song's theme, has generated over 2 million views on YouTube, which is huge for a metal track in a language other than English. Although they openly say they are inspired by their idols Pantera, their material has clearly and unarguably its own personality, in part thanks to their singing in maori that works wonderfully in their music, and the traditional music instrument used in the introduction. Bravo! My only critic of the song is its length. In a more intense format of 5 to 6 minutes, it might have been able to get even closer to my top 10.

It Follows
Cane Hill

American band that I discovered this year thanks to satellite radio station Sirius XM Octane. A song that's not very complicated, but efficient! A nice, really heavy sound!

Beyond Oblivion

Clearly inferior to The Sin and the Sentence (my #5 last year, and it would compete even more seriously for the #1 if I had to do it again), but it is still very strong! Again, some absolutely exceptional work from their new drummer Alex Bent, and an euphoric part between 3:02 and 3:35. Melodious despite its heavyness.

All Out Life

My friend Arash and I had the same first impression, and that impression has never changed: it sounds like a non-single song from album Iowa (2001), not bad at all, not disappointing, but not impressive neither. As far as I'm concerned, it definitely didn't made me the bomb effect of The Negative One, first single of the previous album, but I am aware that I do not represent the norm since the latter is capping at 18 millions views on YouTube, against more than 30M for All Out Life while I'm writing these lines (and it continues to increase rapidly). An INSTANT #1 on satellite radio station Liquid Metal, that capped very low at #17 of the Billboard's "mainstream rock songs" chart, though. Clearly, it hits its target, if its target was a hardened fan of particularly heavy metal, and not a "light metal" public like Disturbed.

It will stop at #17 in my personal chart. It most likely could have gained 2 more spots if it was released a little earlier in the year, but it couldn't have beaten Kai Tangata so a top 15 song at best, but clearly not a top 10, which is a slight deception for some Slipknot. But wait, the album is coming in 2019 and should feed us well!



A cover of old hit Colony from Swedish band In Flames by a new band from Spain! Without any doubt, the first time that an artist from Spain makes its way into my annual chart! It's an area of the world where there was never been much metal or solid rock, but with breakthroughs in neighbouring countries like Italy, we have to expect that Spain progresses in that field. Honestly, I grant low merit to SynlakrosS, because that version doesn't bring much of anything new from the original, and their original songs I listened to following that have not convinced me at all. Normally, I certainly would have wanted to penalize a bit that track for its lack of novelty, but that will be my chance to compensate for the In Flames' original version, which should have qualified for my chart in 1999 but I didn't know it at that time. I actually named it as a regret in my review of 2009, the year when I finally discovered Colony.

J'ai Mangé Trop de Patates Frites en français
Bleu Jeans Bleu

Potatoes really have a special place in the heart of Quebec's artists! Les Patates from Mononc' Serge and his own cover by Mononc' Serge & Anonymus, Les Tites Patates from Stéphane "Stage" Lacroix, certainly more that I forget right now, and now this one by Bleu Jeans Bleu. I liked it very much and I've had its chorus stuck very often in my head! My favorite phrase from its lyrics : "Accroc comme un alcoolique à ces croustillants bâtonnets" (which I would translate to : "Addict like an alcoholic to those crispy rods".

Cheap Magic
Turbowolf feat. Sebastien Graigner

Should I take Ontarian signer Sebastien Grainger more seriously than I think? Everything's great for him this year with 2 entries in my personal top 20, at #7 with his band Death From Above and here at #20 with a collaboration on the Turbowolf song. A kind of Corey Taylor!  :-)  Regardless, we're talking here about a very good and energetic track and a great dynamic between two singers. A 4th song from this band in my chart over the last 4 years, which is two in 2015, one in 2017, and this one.

Follow the Cipher

Very good track from a new (another one!) Swedish metal band. Not saying that their formula is unique, it gives them a fairly unique sound: the guitars are essentially used to follow the drums to make an extremely powerful rythmic background, while the melody is mostly served by electronic sounds and the voices. I very much liked this track, that I've listened to all year long. It doesn't miss my top 20 by much!

Scars on Broadway
This song would not really be at System of a Down's level, or at least not at a System of a Down radio single level, but we well recognize SOAD's composer throughout this composition. The return of Scars on Broadway (let's recall it, born from System of a Down's long term hiatus) coincides with the public unveiling, in 2018, of the problems at the heart of the mythic Armenian-American band that still aren't on the way to be settled after all these years, and let very few hope for a new album from them. For all those years, the author-composer-singer-guitarist Daron Malakian has been writing some material for System of a Down, and I feel that he started to let a part of those ideas slip into his other project, Scars on Broadway, maybe in part to put some pressure on his co-singer (the SOAD singer that really has talent) Serj Tankian. Well, since we shall not expect some new System of a Down in a near future, we have this Malakian track meanwhile, and it's much better than nothing!


The Smashing Pumpkins

Great comeback of guitarist James Iha after an 18-year leave, and comeback of the Pumpkins' "mojo" after two low energy albums. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not! Anyhow, Solara clearly doesn't list alongside the band's jewels that we will recall until the end of times (such as Today, Disarm, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 1979, Zero, Ava Adore, The End is the Beginning is the End, The Everlasting Gaze, Tarantula, etc.), but it is definitely band worthy and I was very happy to reconnect with the "real" Pumpkins.


Never Fade
Alice in Chains

Second single from album Rainier Fog, I unambiguously preferred it over the first one, even if it's a "poppier" rock. It has more soul, more reasons to be. It is the work of William DuVall, who wrote it while thinking about his grandmother who died at the venerable age of 105 during the album recording, as well as Chris Cornell, grunge icon who was a friend of the band. Very nice result, according to me accessible to any rock fan, no matter if he likes grunge or not.


Tattooed in Reverse
Marilyn Manson

The first time I heard it, I would have never thought it could climb that high. Less rock and a little more "rap" than Manson's average, I found it a little savorless at first, but it slowly unveiled its very catchy side and a pretty unique side that made it progress in my esteem.


Lord of Flies
Cane Hill

Discovered on YouTube after discovering It Follows on the radio. It left me a very good impression, even it I continued to slightly prefer the song that made me discover the band.


I had never managed to hook on the work of the Polish metal veterans, but I instantly hooked on God=Dog right from the first time I heard it on August 3rd! Why? I don't know, because it is not that much different from the band's previous radio singles, actually. One thing's for sure, it is a good track that well deserved its #7 on the annual chart of satellite radio station Liquid Metal.


Head Like a Haunted House
Queens of the Stone Age

By far my favorite single from the album so far. Very energetic, and the catchiest thing Josh Homme's goup has done in a very long time.



The new album's first single, Narcissist disappointed me. The second, Outsider, has marvelously saved this off. A good track of big fat metal from the excellent Quebecker quartet.


Basic Needs
Jonathan Davis

I clearly liked it less that the first single What it is, but it's another very good song in the same style (which, let's recall it, is not Korn's style!!).


Three Days Grace

I didn't like its chorus at first. When it was released in July, I did not really expect it to end up in my annual chart. I ended up ceding around Fall, first completely charmed by the introduction, and finally, eventually charmed by the chorus too! Now, I say it's a must of 2018!


No Fun

Yes, those alternative rock veterans are still there and still produce good songs! Somewhat offset guitar riff (not as much as their old hit Nice to Know you) and very original way to express what they want to say: "You're a song I never wanna hear again".



Not liked at first sight, but it made its way! It is true that it's not the strongest chorus in their career, but verses are very powerful with an interesting guitar riff, and singer Brent Smith delivers one his great performances again.


Emigrate feat. Ben Kowalewicz & Ian D'Sa

What, a mix of Emigrate (English-language project of Rammstein lead guitarist, Richard Kruspe) and Billy Talent?!? How can't this be in my annual chart?!? Honestly, it is not a genious composition, it is even rather simple, but what an energy liberated by this delightful collaboration! I've always much liked the energy of Ben, Billy Talent's singer. The addition of him and their guitarist to support Richard really enhances the experience, which is already interesting with the illustrious character that is Kruspe, and his extremely spectacular drummer Joe Letz (also drummer of Combichrist, a band that I don't like at all).


The Dose

Discovered in the last week of December, on its late entry on Billboard charts, 6 months after the release of the music video on YouTube! I therefore particularly take into account, in this case, of the interest I shown for it in January even if we were into 2019. An extremely powerful grunge duo. We would get over it more easily if they were 4 musicians to play that, but they really are only two, and they developed their own techniques to sound as "big" as possible with only two musicians! It is very impressive!


When Legends Rise

This new single from the new album When Legends Rise is hugely better than the first one, Bulletproof! And nonetheless, it's the latter that had the most success... Anyway, the title track is excellent, so much that I'm trying to understand how it could have missed by top 30! Good song and very beautiful lyrics: "When ashes fall, legends rise".


Cellar Darling

Wow! A true little masterpiece! There is no doubt left, it is a very good thing for me that the three Cellar Darling founders parted ways with Eluveitie to form this new band! Anna and her group clearly demonstrate that they aim high. One of the rare development tracks (not too verse-chorus-verse) this year.



Still not enough to make me forget the track that made me discover this Swedish band in 2014, Drop Dead Cynical, but this has the potential to become my second favorite in their career. For no good reason, I discovered it in September but I started to regularly listen to it only in December, which doesn't help it in this chart. No surprise, it perfectly fits in their usual style, but it has a little particular touch, certainly related to Elize's singing performance.


Roll me Under
Stone Temple Pilots

I clearly preferred this second single over the first one, released last year, Meadow. The new singer, Jeff Gutt, and the musicians fit very well together!


Hole in your Heart
Royal Blood

Everything, everything this British duo touches is good! It is not their best, and it's still a very solid #40!


Take you with me

Another very well-made composition from music prodigy Mark Tremonti! It's about all I have to say...



Very good track, very well built, just like what Mastodon used us to... Its only default is to not being catchy; I never have Clandestiny in my head, but I always have a good time while listening to it.


The One You Know
Alice in Chains

I was very disappointed by this first single of album Rainier Fog, hugely inferior to the first single of any of their previous albums (Hollow, A Looking in View, Grind, Would?, We Die Young). The music is really too simplistic and only relies on the powerful effect of distortion, clearly not a song they could have played at their mythic unplugged concert. But at the end of the day, the two singers' voices in harmony ensure a sure interest, and the overall package remains pretty enjoyable to listen to.


Love Lounge

I was far from expecting new material from this major band of the '90s this year! And even farther from expecting that it would be interesting, because we're going to speak frankly, this band was no longer very interesting after their album Secret Samadhi (1997). A good song that did not get the attention it deserved.


Pretty Vicious

Some rather classic rock n' roll, but very energetic and very stirring. Impossible to stand still while listening to it!


The Void
Parkway Drive

De loin celle que j'ai la moins aimée parmi les trois extraits radio de l'album Reverence en 2018 (je ne comprends d'ailleurs absolument pas qu'elle fut la plus populaire), la plus facile et la plus prévisible, mais c'est encore une bonne chanson méritant amplement de figurer dans mon top 50 ! Mélodieux et accessible malgré le chant très crié.


Alien Weaponry

Autre bonne pièce de ce trio métal néo-zélandais que nous avons découvert cette année. Définitivement moins unique que Kai Tangata, mais toute aussi pertinente. De l'anglais est mélangé au maori ici, contrairement à leur grand succès qui était entièrement en maori.


Letting you Go
Bullet for my Valentine

Ces vétérans de métal anglais ont lancé cette année ce morceau qu'ils disent les avoir amené sur de tout nouveaux territoires musicalement et au niveau des paroles. Cette déclaration me semble un peu exagérée, mais peu importe, c'est une bonne chanson. Refrain accrocheur avec un chant très rythmé.


Can't Deny Me
Pearl Jam

Une nouvelle chanson, mais pas de nouvel album ! De toute évidence, le légendaire groupe de Seattle, qui a démontré depuis longtemps être un groupe engagé, ne pouvait attendre le nouvel album pour dénoncer Donald Trump ! Elle a divisé le public, mais personnellement elle ne m'offusque pas. Il est évident par contre qu'il s'agit, musicalement, d'une pièce simple, un peu faible, du moins une grande sous-utilisation des grands musiciens que sont Pearl Jam.


Endless Night

La petite ballade rock de Trivium ! Mais quand même, une bonne ballade rock ! Je préfère de loin celle-ci à Until the World Goes Cold (2015), qui fut pourtant beaucoup plus populaire.


The Truth is Dead
Mark Morton feat. Randy Blythe & Alissa White-Gluz

Un vrai gros poids lourd ! Le guitariste de Lamb of God se lance en solo, et invite des chanteurs parmi les plus brutaux, en l'occurrence son acolyte de Lamb of God et l'élégante bête canadienne d'Arch Enemy (et anciennement The Agonist). Résultat très divertissant, probablement désavantagé par sa sortie très tardive dans l'année (13 décembre sur YouTube, et moi je l'ai entendue pour la 1ere fois le 18 déc.).


Sunday Driver
The Raconteurs
10 ans après leur dernier album et 12 après leur plus grand succès en carrière (Steady, as she Goes), l'autre groupe de Jack White revient avec une nouvelle chanson. Elle ne passera pas à l'histoire, mais elle est très bien. Chose certaine, elle ne me déçoit pas du tout.


Dance of the Lotus
The Joy Formidable
Psychédélique et audacieuse, cette nouvelle chanson du vétéran groupe alternatif anglais ne laisse pas indifférent.


Mad Hatter
Avenged Sevenfold
Pas un nouvel extrait de leur dernier album The Stage, mais une chanson écrite pour un jeu vidéo. Cette composition n'est pas tout à fait au niveau auquel ils nous ont habitués, mais on y reconnait quand même bien notre A7X qu'on aime.


Rise Up
The Dead Daisies
Hard rock on-ne-peut-plus classique, mais moyennement accrocheur, et traitant d'un sujet pertinent.


Premier extrait officiel du groupe auquel le guitariste Tom Searle, décédé du cancer en 2016, n'a pu participer (techniquement, Doomsday est paru après sa mort, mais Tom avait eu le temps de travailler dessus avant sa mort). Honnêtement, je n'y vois pas de grande différence. Je pense que le groupe anglais va se remettre de cette perte, aussi dure fut-elle pour eux et leurs proches.


The Time is Now
Une autre chanson engagée ! Beau refrain.


Life to Fix
The Record Company
Belle petite chanson rock accrocheuse, sans prétention.


Sleep Walking Elite
Ce n'est pas pour rien qu'elle est le premier extrait d'un album de "b-sides" et raretés et non un extrait d'un album régulier; il lui manque le côté accrocheur (et un vidéoclip !) qui ont permis à bien des chansons du trio américain de se tailler une place de choix dans mon top 20 annuel dans le passé. Ça demeure tout de même divertissant à écouter, comme presque tout ce que Chevelle rend public.


Final Resolve
Premier extrait du nouvel album de ce super-groupe fondé en 2016 par Frédéric Leclercq (DragonForce) et incluant le batteur vedette Joey Jordison (Slipknot, Scar the Martyr, Vimic). Étonnamment accrocheur pour une pièce aussi death métal ! Je pense qu'ils seraient capables d'encore plus, mais je suis somme toute satisfait.


Obsolete Beings
Les vieux routiers québécois démontrent qu'ils sont toujours pertinents en cette 37e année de carrière ! Très bon morceau de métal qui aurait sans doute mérité un meilleur sort, mais que j'ai découvert trop tard (le 29 décembre, alors que le vidéoclip est sur YouTube depuis juillet). À mon humble avis, le chanteur est le point faible de cette pièce, qui est une bonne composition et une bonne performance, notamment de Michel Langevin, seul membre sans interruption depuis la fondation du groupe. Un illustre personnage que tout Québécois devrait être en mesure de reconnaître s'il le croisait dans la rue (mais je sais que ce n'est pas le cas, malheureusement).


The Better Me
The Joy Formidable
Certainement plus tranquille que Dance of the Lotus (que vous retrouviez au #53), mais elle a aussi a un petit côté psychédélique qui la rend assez unique et que je respecte beaucoup.


Halo on Fire
Je pensais bien qu'ils avaient fini de lancer des extraits de leur album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016), mais non ! Tout à coup en décembre, ils sortent Halo on Fire comme 6e extrait de l'album, plus d'un an après le 5e ! Je ne pense pas que ça aurait été mon choix, étant convaincu qu'elle ne sonne pas comme un "single", mais sans être accrocheuse, elle démontre quand même de l'ambition. Elle développe un peu en-dehors du "couplet-refrain-couplet", comme peu de chansons cette année.


The King Welcomes you to Avatar Country
Mon groupe fétiche des trois dernières années tombe de haut ! Après avoir établi des records INCROYABLES en décrochant mon #1 pendant 3 années consécutives, et cumulant 6 chansons de top 10 en 2 ans, le seul extrait du groupe suédois en 2018 se qualifie tout juste pour une place dans mon décompte. Troisième extrait officiel de l'album Avatar Country, il est loin d'être la 3e meilleure chanson de l'album (Legend of the King et King's Harvest étant meilleures), mais je comprends qu'elle se qualifie beaucoup plus facilement comme extrait radio. Tout de même, ce choix démontre à quel point Avatar Country, un bon album, a beaucoup moins de profondeur que l'album précédant, Feathers and Flesh. The King Welcomes you [...] sonne comme du AC/DC, ce que j'aime beaucoup moins que du vrai Avatar ! Quelques points positifs néanmoins, et elle mérite quand même pleinement une petite place dans mon décompte.


Motionless in White
Ça respecte leur style, mais dans une mouture un peu (trop) simpliste. Je ne pense pas que ce titre sortira le jour où j'aurai à faire un bilan de leur carrière, mais ça demeure relativement accrocheur et divertissant le temps que ça dure !


The Mountain
Three Days Grace


Zero Theorem
Sa qualité et son défaut sont de trop ressembler à Gemini Syndrome ! Agréable à écouter, même si ça ne passera pas à l'histoire.


J'ai été très déçu de ce premier extrait, mais heureusement, il fut suivi d'Outsider qui a nettement haussé le calibre ! En partant, il faut se dire que ce n'est pas normal qu'une pièce métal d'à peine plus de 2 minutes ne passe pas plus vite ! Je lui ai quand même gardé une place en fin de décompte, parce qu'elle a quand même au moins le mérite d'être mémorable, ce qui n'est pas le cas de la majorité des chansons que j'entends dans une année. Et aussi parce que j'aime supporter ce bon groupe Québécois !


Defying the Sacred
Pourquoi pas ? Évidemment très lourd et peu mélodieux, mais certainement pas ennuyeux ! Une première présence dans mon décompte personnel pour ces grands vétérans du death métal des années '90.


Thin Luck
J'ai dû écouter cette chanson à peine deux fois dans l'année, mais je l'ai choisie pour compléter ce top 70 ! Parce qu'un top 69, ça ne se fait pas !  ;)


Chansons notées, mais non retenues
Bulletproof Godsmack
How Simple Hop Along
Go Poptone
The Line Foo Fighters
Against the Wall Seether
Henkselipoika Korpiklaani
365 Amaranthe
Listening for the Silence P.O.D.

Non admissible : The Wretchedness Inside de Trivium. Probablement pas un extrait officiel; pas sur aucun palmarès, pas sur la liste des extraits sur Wikipedia, seulement entendue à la station de radio satellite xL Metal, mais ça ne veut rien dire, surtout dans le cas de xL Metal. Dommage, ça aurait été assez haut.

Le Coin des Regrets

Top Poche !

Je n'ai pas de vrai Top Poche encore cette année, pour la simple et bonne raison que je n'écoute pas de pop et que je ne connais donc pas les vraies grandes médiocrités de l'année ! J'ai tout de même pris des notes sur quelques hontes du rock en 2018 :
  1. Running from my Shadow, de Mike Shinoda (feat. Grandson). Aucune trace de rock dans cette pièce solo du co-chanteur de Linkin Park, insipide tentative de s'adapter au marché.
  2. Dance Macabre, de Ghost. Une chanson pop rock des années '80, ni plus, ni moins ! Extrêmement décevant de la part du très bon groupe Ghost !
  3. Zombie, de Bad Wolves. Reprise totalement inutile et inintéressante du classique des Cranberries... qui s'avérera quand même un des plus grands succès rock de l'année !... Ce groupe de faible intérêt aura atteint son but : faire connaître son nom.
  4. Greta Van Fleet en général ! C'est carrément une COPIE de Led Zeppelin, 40 ans plus tard, et ils se font couvrir d'éloges, autant aux Grammys que dans diverses chroniques qui les qualifient de sauveurs du rock. Sauveurs du rock ?! C'est à des imitateurs, complètement dépourvus d'originalité, qu'on voudrait confier un tel rôle ?! Un illogisme évident !
  5. Bulletproof, de Godsmack. Extrêmement décevant pour un premier extrait d'un nouvel album du légendaire groupe de Boston, que j'avais toujours aimé jusque là ! Un espèce de pop rock insipide avec des effets sur la voix qu'on associerait à de la musique archi-commerciale. Heureusement que le 2e extrait, When Legends Rise, n'a pas été aussi décevant !

Classement terminé le 2019-01-23, article complété le 2019-03-26

Mise à jour du 21 mars :
Finalement décidé de transférer Be Legendary de Pop Evil à l'année prochaine, ce qui sera plus approprié. Ré-organisé les positions #67 à #70 en conséquence.

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