5 Major Rock + Metal Stories from 2018

2018-12-31

Story and photo by Anne Erickson

From Slayer’s farwell tour to the loss of Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, here are the top five rock and metal moments of 2018

As we head closer to 2019, it’s time to reflect on the biggest moments in rock and metal of 2018. From the good (Weezer’s fun cover of Toto’s “Africa”) to the heartbreaking (the loss of Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul), this year packs many musical memories. Read on for five major rock and metal stories from 2018, and let’s hope for some good moments in 2019.

Slayer, KISS and Ozzy Say “Farewell” with Final Tours

Some of rock and heavy metal’s favorite classic acts are getting up there in years, and that means retirement is on their minds. Three major heavy music names — Slayer, KISS and Ozzy — announced their farewell tours in 2018. Slayer made the surprising announcement in the first half of the year, and KISS followed. Ozzy announced his world tour in 2017, but the tour dates didn’t come until this year.

Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Passes Away

Vinnie Paul Abbott — the longtime drummer for Pantera, Hellyeah and Damageplan — passed away on June 22 at the age of 54. He died of natural causes, mainly, dilated cardiomyopathy. Now both Abbott brothers are gone, leaving a major hole in the heavy metal world, but also a wealth of music for fans to enjoy for years to come.

Weezer Reinvents the Toto Classic “Africa”

Who would have expected Weezer to top the charts this year with a cover of Toto’s 1982 classic “Africa?” That’s exactly what happened, following an Ohio teenager creating a Twitter account named @weezerafrica and tweeting at Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo about covering the tune. Surprisingly, the song is one of the most-played on alternative radio this year and also hit No. 89.

Myles Kennedy Releases His First-Ever Solo Album

Myles Kennedy’s solo album has been years in the making, and 2018 was the year that the Alter Bridge and Slash vocalist finally unleashed his solo debut to the world. On the album, titled “Year of the Tiger,” Kennedy goes well beyond the usual rock record, with the vocalist and songwriter delving into folk, Americana and other genres and playing a range of instruments, including banjo, lap steel, bass, mandolin and guitar.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is Released and Becomes the Most Successful Biopic Ever

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic about Queen and Freddie Mercury, rocked the world this year. The film was released in early November and has already been crowned the most successful movie biopic ever. It’s also inside the Top 10 for 2018’s highest-grossing movies. Next up: the Golden Globes. The movie is up for Best Motion Picture-Drama and Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama for Rami Malek playing Mercury.

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