The Year in Active/Alt Rock 2018: Other stories of note

ABC/Randy HolmesHere are a few more notable things that happened in the rock world in 2018:

MJK: APC, but no Tool

Well, at least one Maynard James Keenan band delivered a long-awaited new album in 2018. A Perfect Circle released Eat the Elephant, a full 14 years after its predecessor eMOTIVe arrived in 2004. However, Tool still did not release the much-anticipated follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days, though Keenan promised that new music would arrive in 2019.

Meanwhile, Keenan was accused of rape by an anonymous Twitter user. He denied the allegations as a “despicable false claim that only does damage to the #MeToo movement.”

Greta Van Fleet’s Army invades the chart

After putting their name on the map in 2017 with singles like “Highway Tune” and “Safari Song,” Greta Van Fleet became one of the hottest and most-debated rock bands of 2018 with the release of their debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army.

The rising young rockers turned heads with their Led Zeppelin-esque sound, which was met with equal part adoration and criticism. The Grammy voters seemed to like them, though: They’re up for Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance for “Highway Tune,” Best Rock Song for “Black Smoke Rising,” and Best Rock Album for the double EP, From the Fires, at the 2019 ceremony, scheduled for February 10 in Los Angeles.

Hard rock, alt-rock & metal album mania

Many of the biggest names in hard rock and metal released new albums in 2018. The releases included Five Finger Death Punch‘s And Justice for None, Breaking Benjamin‘s Ember, Shinedown‘s ATTENTION ATTENTION, Disturbed‘s Evolution, Godsmack‘s When Legends Rise, Halestorm‘s Vicious, Ghost‘s Prequelle and Three Days Grace‘s Outsider.

Each of those albums spawned at least one number-one hit on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart: Five Finger’s “Sham Pain,” Breaking Benjamin’s “Torn in Two,” Shinedown’s “DEVIL” and “GET UP,” Disturbed’s “Are You Ready,” Godsmack’s “Bulletproof” and “When Legends Rise,” Halestorm’s “Uncomfortable,” Ghost’s “Rats” and Three Days Grace’s “The Mountain” and “Infra-Red.”

If you’re tastes were more on the alternative side, Muse‘s Simulation Theory, Thirty Seconds to Mars‘ AMERICA, Arctic Monkeys‘ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino and AWOLNATION‘s Here Come the Runts all arrived in 2018.

ID, Metallica, tours & more

Imagine Dragons‘ 2017 album Evolve was still making an impact through 2018, as the band led Billboard‘s year-end Top Rock Artists chart for the second straight year. They also released another album called Origins, a so-called “sister album” to Evolve. Meanwhile, frontman Dan Reynolds released a new documentary called Believer, which explored the relationship between his Mormon faith and the LGBTQ community.

Metallica continued to tour in support their 2016 album Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. In between, the metal legends continued their reissue series with a remastered, expanded edition of 1988’s …And Justice for All, and they were honored with Sweden’s prestigious Polar Prize, often called the “Nobel Prize of Music.”

Members of Blink-182 and Avenged Sevenfold suffered health issues that caused their bands to cancel or postpone tour dates. Blink drummer Travis Barker battled blood clots in both of his arms, forcing the punk trio to postpone dates on their Las Vegas residency, while A7X scrapped their summer tour due to frontman M. Shadows battling damaged vocal cords.

Slayer announced they’d be launching a final world tour. The run began in May, and will stretch to at least October 2019. Even more dates are expected to be added.

Warped Tour launched its final cross-country run in 2018. The festival plans to return in some capacity in 2019 to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

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