It's a new year, and with it comes a crop of fresh album releases. From Judas Priest to Paul McCartney to Five Finger Death Punch, this year is already looking up when it comes to new tunes. Read on for 10 much-anticipated albums releases (in alphabetical order) on the way for 2018.

A Perfect Circle

It's the year for new A Perfect Circle music. The band has promised to unleash their first studio album since 2004's eMOTIVe sometime this spring, and judging by the band's two new tracks, "The Doomed" and "Disillusioned," the set will be doom-y and atmospheric, in classic A Perfect Circle style. Guitarist Billy Howerdel has a fancy for Gibsons, especially Les Pauls. "It’s all I really play," he told Gibson.com in a previous interview, adding that, "They’re solid. They do well when you throw them 30 feet in the air. Plus, there’s the beefiness of the sound, the playability, the scale. I prefer the Gibson scale. It really comes down to the sound for me. To me, there is no other guitar I go towards."

Alice in Chains

Even years after the passing of original vocalist Layne Staley and, more recently, bass player Mike Starr, Alice in Chains forge ahead. Jerry Cantrell and the group consistently tour and create new music with vocalist William DuVall and have reportedly been working on new music the past year. Will the fresh set hit ears this year? Considering the band recently announced a handful of spring North American tour dates, things are looking up.

Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch by Anne Erickson

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook told Gibson.com last last year that the band "finished a brand new record," and the group made the news public with a tweet announcing, "new album this spring." Hook, who rocks his own signature M-4 Sherman, also told Gibson.com that, "We work very hard on these records. I think it's your standard percentage of meat-and-potatoes Five Finger Death Punch that everyone expects and likes, but then we took a couple songs and said, "Let's try to push ourselves a bit and step outside the box, stylistically," and I think we did that, too. So, I'm curious to see how the public will react to those songs that are slightly different for us."

Judas Priest

Judas Priest by Anne Erickson

You know it's going to be a good year when new Judas Priest music is involved. The British metal heavyweights continue to soar with their towering classic metal sounds, and their new album, Firepower, is expected to drop in the early part of 2018. Longstanding members Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton wrote the tracks with their newest band member, the talented Flying V and Les Paul player Richie Faulkner. “Gibson is part of who I am as a player,” Faulkner told Gibson.com in a previous interview. “It's been synonymous with rock 'n' roll and blues and wherever you can imagine.”

Megadeth

Megadeth enjoyed major success with their 2016 studio set, Dystopia, which earned the band their first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. Now, is new Megadeth up ahead for 2018? Frontman Dave Mustaine recently tweeted that the band will be back in the studio to work on a new album by the middle of 2018. "I work in the studio all the time. Do yo mean for the new record? That will be prolly the mid of 18," he tweeted in response to a fan's question. Bring it on!

Myles Kennedy

Myles Kennedy has become a household name, thanks to his time singing with Les Paul great Slash in the Conspirators and fronting Alter Bridge. Now, Kennedy is putting his soaring tenor to good use with his debut solo set, Year of the Tiger, which is due out on March 9. Hopefully a solo tour will follow, because Kennedy's vocals are always pristine live.

Ozzy Osbourne

Metal icon Ozzy Osbourne has already announced that his farewell tour will run from 2018 to 2020, but what about a final album? Ozzy has been dropping hints that he's working on a new record, and now that Zakk Wylde is back in the fold, we're extra excited for Ozzy's final studio collection.

Paul McCartney

Sir Paul is looking to unleash some new tracks in 2018. In a Q&A posted on the Beatle legend's official website, McCartney said, "I'll probably be putting out a new album. So, I'd like that to be something I really love and then hopefully the fans will love it, too!" He added that he's "putting the finishing touches (on the project) now and at the beginning of next year."

Pop Evil

Michigan rockers Pop Evil have achieved major radio success with powerful tunes such as "Hero" and "Torn to Pieces." Now, the crew is gearing up to release their self-titled follow-up to 2015's Up. Look for the new set on Feb. 16. Frontman Leigh Kakaty is a big fan of Gibson Hummingbirds and Les Pauls. “I write on a Hummingbird, and I’ve been writing more on Les Pauls lately and doing some more electric work, too,” he told Gibson.com in a previous interview. “We’ve had such success with acoustic guitar, and with this band, I always like to explore different things, so that’s where writing on the Les Paul is coming into play.”

Tool

Could 2018 be the year for new music from Maynard James Keenan's Tool and A Perfect Circle? We can hope. Fans have been begging Tool to release their follow-up to 2006's 10,000 Days for years now, and drummer Danny Carey has implied that the new tunes will be out by the middle of 2018. That said, rumors of a new Tool album have circulated for years. What is confirmed is that Tool, along with A Perfect Circle, will both perform at Rock on the Range festival this May in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo credit: Anne Erickson