(Contributions from Joe DiVita, Graham Hartmann, Jon Wiederhorn and Katy Irizarry)

The year is coming to an end. Hundreds of metal albums have been unleashed upon the headbanging population and it's time to count down the absolute best.

There was a healthy mix of new, old and in between as some of heavy metal's elder statesmen proved there's no relenting even with old age, giving the fresher acts something to strive for as the torch will inevitably be handed off. As always, metal is an amalgam of sounds from the familiar, screaming dual guitars of Judas Priest to the blackened abyss of Tribulation's deathly haunts to the bluesy slave chants prominent in Zeal & Ardor — and it's all here.

Join us below as we count down the 30 Best Metal Albums of 2018.

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