Considering all the technicality that 2018 brought, it is only fitting that Voivod takes the crowning spot. Voivod are no amateurs - The Wake is their 13th offering. What is amazing about this album is that after about a decade or so, Voivod are sounding less like a collection of people who play for Voivod and more like their former selves 20 years ago. Of course, their erstwhile future was highly uncertain when Piggy, their frontman, passed away tragically in 2005, but with Dan Mongrain (perhaps one of my favorite guitarists of all time!) stepping in and taking more of lead role over the last few years, Voivod are looking stronger and more consistent than ever. The Wake is thrashy, dissonant, psychedelic, schizophrenic, catchy, and technically, quite incredible. It isn’t too often that I come across new music thinking “I did not expect that!” but this album was filled with such moments, song after song. The mix on this album is also perfect with the guitars packing a punch, the bass and bass drum centered and allowed to shine, and the vocals not hidden away. The Wake is as cohesive and as engaging an album that you’ll find - it may not all make sense together at first, but then the brilliance of Voivod, shines through.