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Top 10 Metal Albums of 2016

top-10-metal-albums-of-2016

By Andy Cheung

 

1 – DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide

I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it came in May.  The Evil Divide is thrash metal at its finest, and one of the band’s albums since releasing Act III in 1990.  The guitar work is phenomenal, the rhythm section is heavy and grooves, and Rob Cavestany’s vocals soar and growl…providing the emotions portrayed in each song.

 

 

2 – KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – Incarnate

The fathers of metalcore impress once again with their release of Incarnate.  Jesse Leach’s passionate lyrical musings and delivery are top-notch, with his clean vocals and death growls throughout the album.  The Killswitch recognizable sound is there with Adam D’s and Joel Stroetzel’s guitar mastery, rounded out with bassist Mike D’Antonio and Justin Foley’s pounding rhythm section.  Incarnate is a great album released by a great band.

 

 

3 – ANTHRAX – For All Kings

This member of “The Big Four” released one hell of an album this year.  For All Kings might very well be one of Anthrax’s best releases to date.  The album is heavy and polished, something to be expected from veterans of the thrash metal scene.  Joey Belladonna sounds just as good now as he did back when the band first started 35 years ago, as does Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante.  Jonathon Donais (ex Shadows Fall) is a great addition to the classic lineup of a classic thrash metal band.

 

 

4 – GOJIRA – Magma

These environmentalist metallers from France released their 6th album this year.  The band has always made their own rules (as far as sound goes), and Magma is no different.  It’s atmospheric at times, brutally heavy at other times.  One of Gojira’s best releases to date.

 

 

5 – TWELVE FOOT NINJA – Outlier

Another album that I have not stopped listening to is Twelve Foot Ninja’s Outlier.  This album is so eclectic and unique – heavy with a mixture of djent, folk, and jazz – that dissecting each song would take years to do.  Their musical compositions have impressed me and made me an instant fan.

 

 

6 – AMON AMARTH – Jomsviking

Brutal and melodic, two reasons why Jomsviking is one of the best releases of 2016.  Their 10th studio album is the band’s first concept album, and probably one of their strongest to date.  This melodic death metal band takes the Viking/Norse mythology and dials it up a notch.  Raise your horns!

 

 

7 – OPETH – Sorceress

Metal fans will always gripe about Opeth’s change in direction from death metal to progressive rock/melodic metal, but at the end of the day, the band’s 12th studio album is a great one.  Sorceress is chock-full of imagery, ranging in sound from folky prog-rock, to bluesy to heavy.  The album is an overall excellent addition for all progressive metal fans.

 

 

8 – KATATONIA – The Fall of Hearts

In the realm of emotional metal, there is none better than Sweden’s Katatonia.  Each song on The Fall of Hearts drips with passion and emotion as the band laments on love and loss, while backed with beautiful, haunting melodies and gorgeous music.

 

 

9 – LACUNA COIL – Delirium

“The House of Shame” was the first single I listened to when the album was first released in May.  From the eerie intro, to the death metal growl of Andrea Ferro, and the operatic voice of Cristina Scabbia, I knew right away that this was going to be one of their best albums yet.  The rest of the album is just as heavy and dark (even more than their previous releases).

 

 

10 – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – World Gone Mad

Classic crossover hardcore/metal band from Venice Beach, CA, Suicidal Tendencies released a highly-anticipated album this year.  The addition of Dave Lomabardo on drums is awesome!  The classic Suicidal sound is there, with Mike Muir’s vocals, the funky bass and heavy guitars are all accented with the ex-Slayer’s pounding drumming.

Music Discovery Monday – 12/26/16

music-discovery-monday-w-a-s-p

Music Discovery Monday – 12/26/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

W.A.S.P. – “Scream”

As 2016 comes to an end, and the year-end top song list is being worked on, I thought that I would take the opportunity to shine a light on some songs from 2015 that may have flown beneath the radar of many hard rock fans.

W.A.S.P. has been a personal favorite band of mine dating back to the ‘80s, due in large part to Blackie Lawless, the band’s larger-than-life founder and frontman who boasts one of the most unique voices in rock or metal.  In my youth, I was also drawn to Lawless’ over-the-top persona, and lyrics that would make biker gangs blush.

Like many artists who have managed to survive all of the changes to the rock genre, Lawless has evolved, although his evolution is more of the personal variety than musical.  If you loved W.A.S.P. back in the day, there is nothing to stop you from feeling the same way about the current sound.  The main difference is that Lawless has found religion as a born again Christian, which has shifted the lyrical focus of his songs away from the shocking debauchery of yesteryear.

“Scream” is the lead track on W.A.S.P.’s 15th studio album, Golgotha, and album that was years in the making, marking the longest gap between albums in the band’s history.  If you missed out on this album, make sure to go back and check it out.

 

 

FATE’S RIGHT BAND – “My World Is Falling”

Although I am constantly in “music discovery mode,” there is simply too much music out there these days to find everything in a timely manner.  Such is the case with a recent discovery, Fate’s Right Band, a 5-piece Swedish rock act that boasts two sets of brothers.  Other than that interesting tidbit, there is very little information available about the band on their site or their Facebook page, but it doesn’t matter.  Great music is great music.

“My World Is Falling” is an upbeat, melodic rocker with a driving rhythm.  The song opens with subdued vocals in the first verse that are in the same vein as David Bowie’s “Heroes,” before launching into pure power metal vocals and shredding guitars throughout.  Listening to this song, you might think that you’ve stumbled upon a basement tape from the ‘80s, when power metal was all the rage (at least in America).  Europe has always had an appreciation for the genre, so this band is more likely to gain traction in their homeland than in the U.S., but that’s more a condemnation of the American rock market than the band itself.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SEPULTURA “I Am The Enemy”

It is refreshing to see older bands continue to perform and record new material.  Case in point, Brazil’s Sepultura.  This longtime running thrash metal band has been going strong since 1984 (minus the original founding members Max and Igor Cavalera).  Even with the departure of founding members, the band has continued their brand of fast-paced, aggressive thrash metal with the vocals of Derrick Green.  From their anticipated 14th new release, Machine Messiah, “I Am The Enemy” is the epitome of Sepultura…political, nihilistic, and aggressive.  Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

 

DEATH ANGEL “Lost”

In my opinion, one of the best albums of 2016 was Death Angel’s The Evil Divide.  It’s one of those albums that you can listen to over and over again.  “Lost” shows the genius of Death Angel.  Musicianship, lyrics, delivery…Death Angel excels at all of these and more.  This song almost has a Dio feel, with Mark Oseguada’s vocals soaring over the heavy riffs of Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar and the thunderous rhythm section of Will Carroll and Damien Sisson.  This Bay Area band has been around since 1982.  They are one of the top thrash bands that have helped to shape the genre over the years.  Their latest album proves that they are still on top of their game.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

FIREWIND – “Ode To Leonidas”

Greek power metal giants Firewind return in 2017 with their newest album, Immortal (due out January 20th).  From the early releases, they appear to have crafted another album with the heavy harmonies and blistering guitars that made them famous.  In this epic piece, they pay homage to Leonidas, the Spartan warrior king who fell at Thermopylae, celebrated in tales told through the ages and more recently in popular culture in the movie 300.  To Leonidas, the Immortals were the elite guard of the Persian army – though the album title more likely refers instead to him and his fellow Spartans.

 

RAVENIA – “We All Died For Honor”

Three years ago, vocalist Armi Päivinen and guitarist Samuli Reinikainen formed the Finnish symphonic metal band Ravenia.  In 2014, the band released the two-track EP, Wingless.  Shortly thereafter, they decided that they wanted to do something more than traditional symphonic metal; they chose to combine their brand of metal with film score music.  The result is their first full-length album, the stirring and haunting Beyond The Walls of Death.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 6/25/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/25/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. VOLBEAT – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
      2. HELLYEAH – Undeniable
      3. BEARTOOTH – Aggressive
      4. TRAIN – Does Led Zeppelin II
      5. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      6. LACUNA COIL – Delirium
      7. PIERCE THE VEIL – Misadventures
      8. THRICE – To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
      9. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      10. ROB ZOMBIE – Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
      11. ISSUES – Headspace
      12. DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide
      13. DEFTONES – Gore
      14. MYCAH – Diamond In The Rough
      15. HATEBREED – The Concrete Confessional

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 6/18/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/18/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. THRICE – To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
      2. LACUNA COIL – Delirium
      3. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      4. DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide
      5. ARCHITECTS – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
      6. PIERCE THE VEIL – Misadventures
      7. ISSUES – Headspace
      8. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      9. ROB ZOMBIE – Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
      10. MYCAH – Diamond In The Rough
      11. HATEBREED – The Concrete Confessional
      12. DEFTONES – Gore
      13. JIM BREUER AND THE LOUD & ROWDY – Songs From The Garage
      14. SHINEDOWN – Threat To Survival
      15. SIXX: A.M. – Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

Music Discovery Monday – 5/30/16

Music Discovery Monday - Crash Midnight

Music Discovery Monday – 5/30/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho, who discusses the inspiration behind the band’s latest single, “Roxy.”

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

CRASH MIDNIGHT – “Roxy”

A lot of ‘80s hard rock has a distinctive sound that takes you on a journey back in time when you listen to it today.  The “decade of decadence” also delivered some timeless, gritty rock and roll that still feels as relevant today as it did back then.  There’s been a revival of a more classic rock sound in recent years, but not many bands have been able to capture the Appetite For Destruction era of Guns N’ Roses or the On Through The Night era of Def Leppard (when they were incredibly raw).  Crash Midnight infuses influences of both into their modern hard rock sound.  Not only does the music have just the right amount of sleaze, but the lyrics harken back to an era when sex, drugs and rock-n-roll were alive and well.

Like GNR, Crash Midnight isn’t afraid to rock the boat.  Their latest single, “Roxy,” has already created a stir with YouTube because of nudity (which is why the censored video is featured in this forum).  If you’re interested in seeing the uncensored version of the video (which I highly recommend), make sure to go to www.CrashMidnight.com and download the band’s new app.

 
In an exclusive interview with Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho, he shared the inspiration for the band’s latest single…
 

“A few years back, I was living in an apartment right in the heart of the old Boston ‘Combat Zone’ – a pretty notorious place (especially back in the 1960’s) where all sorts of crazy shit would go down.  These days, there are very few remnants left with everything being replaced by high-rises and high-priced coffee joints.  I liked the idea of doing a song based on the seedy underbelly of that area’s history.

We actually wanted to make the song parallel our experience as a band in the music industry.  You know, starting out thinking things were going to be perfect and everyone was going to help us…then getting chewed up, spit out, and prostituted up on stage like all the rest of the whores in this industry.  The opening line…‘Crashed town, young and fresh’ is supposed to allude to that, along with the (uncensored) music video not so subtly flashing back and forth from the girls on stage to us on stage.”

 

 
DEF LEPPARD – “Dangerous”

Eponymous albums usually happen very early on in a band’s career.  Def Leppard waited 35 years and 11 studio albums to release their self-titled album, but they did so for an interesting reason.  According to frontman Joe Elliott, “the album is just called Def Leppard because that’s what it sounds like.  It doesn’t sound like any one specific era of the band.  It’s got every single aspect of anything that we’ve ever wanted to put out – acoustic, heavy, soft, slow, fast.”  Elliott was referring to the mixture of songs on the album, but the explanation is accurate for the song “Dangerous,” which features the dirtier, heavy riffs the early ‘80s and the more polished vocal harmonies of the band’s more recent works.  It’s not quite a step back in time to the band’s first three albums, but longtime fans will appreciate the influences just the same.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

DEATH ANGEL “Hatred United/United Hate”

I have been a Death Angel fan since The Ultra-Violence came out in 1987.  Despite their breakup and reforming with various lineup changes, I was more than a little excited when I heard that their new album (The Evil Divide) was to be released in May.  With the single “Hatred United/United Hate,” the band has proven once again that Death Angel will always be one of the top bands from the Bay Area thrash metal scene.  The song is trademark Death Angel.  Soft, melodic guitars start the song with odd-time signatures.  When the rest of the band comes in, you’re smacked against a brick wall of fast and heavy thrash metal.  Add the finger-numbing guitar solos, the gallop of the rhythm section and the screaming vocals, and you have one hell of a masterpiece of thrash metal songwriting.

 

HATEBREED “Looking Down The Barrel Of Today”

Jamey Jasta and the boys from Hatebreed are back with their seventh studio album, The Concrete Confessional.  Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, their brand of 3-minute songs of hardcore crossover metal has stayed the course over the past two decades.  It is lyrically powerful, political, thought-provoking, and often-times uplifting.  Hatebreed is a great example of how well-written songs can inspire and move the listener without relying on flashy guitar licks or progressive compositions.  Crank this up, groove, sing along, pump your fists and bang your heads!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DERDIAN – “Lord Of War”

Derdian is a symphonic metal band out of Italy.  This galloping song will be released on their upcoming album, Revolution Era (due out in just a few days).  It features the very talented and busy Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Angra) on vocals.

 

JORN – “Stormbringer”

With elements of David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio, Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande boasts one of the finest and most powerful voices in metal today.  On his upcoming album, Heavy Rock Radio (due out June 3rd), he pays tribute to some of his heroes: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Paul Stanley, Journey, Queen….and here, Deep Purple, on one of their David Coverdale classics.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

UNIVERSAL MIND PROJECT – “Seven”

Seven” is a great track from UMP’s debut album, The Jaguar Priest.  Formed back in 2012 by American guitarist and composer Michael Alexander, this immensely talented and dynamic Prog Metal group has an international veteran presence from members of Dream Theater, Waken Eyes, Darkwater, Stratovarius, Andromeda and others.

 

VOLBEAT “The Bliss”

From the North American version of Volbeat’s upcoming release (Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie), “The Bliss” is a bright, introspective, heavy and driving song that features a terrific vocal performance by Michael Poulsen.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 11/2/13

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 11/2/13.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THE TOP 15 THIS WEEK:

  1. PEARL JAM – Lightning Bolt
  2. TRIVIUM – Vengeance Falls
  3. KORN – The Paradigm Shift
  4. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
  5. HALESTORM – Reanimate 2.0: The Covers (EP)
  6. ALTER BRIDGE –  Fortress
  7. CAGE THE ELEPHANT – Melophobia
  8. ICON FOR HIRE – Icon For Hire
  9. RED FANG – Whales And Leeches
  10. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
  11. DEATH ANGEL – The Dream Calls For Blood
  12. METALLICA – Through The Never Soundtrack
  13. ROB BAILEY & THE HUSTLE STANDARD – Beast
  14. STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – High Rise (EP)
  15. DREAM THEATER – Dream Theater

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Alter Bridge – “Fortress”:  Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Alter Bridge – “Addicted To Pain”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

Avenged Sevenfold – “Hail To The King”:  Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Five Finger Death Punch (Featuring Rob Halford) – “Lift Me Up”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

Billboard Hard Rock Album Chart Archives