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Top 10 Power Metal Albums of 2016

top-10-power-metal-albums-of-2016

By Rob Dell’Aquila

1 – INNERWISH – Innerwish

It had been six long years since their last album, during which they lost their lead singer and their drummer, but Innerwish returned stronger than ever in 2016 with this self-titled album. Clocking in at nearly two hours, it’s filled with powerful and often deep songs with staggering vocal harmonies. They hail from Athens, Greece.

 

2 – THEOCRACY – Ghost Ship

This band is out of a different Athens – Athens, Georgia – and they put their mark on 2016 with another album filled with their trademark layered harmonies and monster riffs.  This is Christian power metal with strong progressive and symphonic influences.

 

3 – CIVIL WAR – The Last Full Measure

For 2016, Sweden’s Civil War wrapped up a trilogy of amazing albums dedicated to historic battles and famous final stands. The collaboration of vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson with ex-Sabaton members works wonderfully, yet again, for another compelling romp through history.

 

4 – SABATON – Last Stand

Sweden’s Sabaton continued to marry power metal to military themes with a knockout album dedicated to famous last stands in battle.  No song ends well for the heroes here, but the listener is in for a treat on every single one.

 

5 – AVANTASIA – Ghostlight

Tobias Sammet returned in 2016 with another symphonic, power metal masterpiece from his supergroup, Avantasia.  This one clocks in at nearly two hours, with appearances from Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Michael Kiske, Jorn Lande, Bob Catley, Sharon den Adel, Ronnie Atkins, Robert Mason and Marco Hietala.

 

6 – EVERGREY – The Storm Within

Heavy riffs, complex compositions, deep yearning.  These are the three elements that Sweden’s Evergrey deliver in their best work, and all three were in strong supply on this veteran band’s latest release.

 

7 – PRIMAL FEAR – Rulebreaker

Primal Fear returned in 2016 with another hard-hitting entry into the genre.  Ralf Scheepers, Matt Sinner and the rest of the band nailed it again with a mix of straight-up power metal and epic masterpieces like the ten-plus-minute “We Walk Without Fear.”

 

8 – LORDS OF BLACK – II

Lead singer Ronnie Romero was tapped by Ritchie Blackmore to front the long-awaited reunion of classic rock legends Rainbow, but that didn’t stop him from putting out another album with his bandmates in Lords of Black.  Hailing from Madrid, Spain, the band debuted with a powerful album in 2014, and deliver again in 2016 on their sophomore effort.

 

9 – THUNDERSTONE – Apocalypse Again

After a seven-year absence, Finland’s Thunderstone returned in 2016 with their sixth album.  Reunited on this one with former lead singer Pasi Ranaten, the chemistry is still there.  This one was worth the wait!

 

10 – SERIOUS BLACK – Mirrorworld

Serious Black delivered one of the best power metal albums of 2015 with their debut, and return strong again just a year later. Urban Breed and the band pour it on heavy again with some impressive writing and musical performances.

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 9/24/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 9/24/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. A DAY TO REMEMBER – Bad Vibrations
      2. SKILLET – Unleashed
      3. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      4. PROPHETS OF RAGE – The Party’s Over (EP)
      5. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      6. VOLBEAT -Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
      7. DEFTONES – Gore
      8. SABATON – The Last Stand
      9. MICHAEL SWEET– One Sided War
      10. CHEVELLE – The North Corridor
      11. SHINEDOWN – Threat To Survival
      12. PIERCE THE VEIL – Misadventures
      13. THE AMITY AFFLICTION – This Could Be Heartbreak
      14. BAD COMPANY -Playlist: The Very Best Of Bad Company
      15. CROWN THE EMPIRE – Retrograde

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 – 9/17/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 9/17/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. MICHAEL SWEET – One Sided War
      2. PROPHETS OF RAGE – The Party’s Over (EP)
      3. SKILLET – Unleashed
      4. TWELVE FOOT NINJA – Outlier
      5. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      6. DELAIN – Moonbathers
      7. TESLA – Mechanical Resonance, Live!
      8. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      9. VOLBEAT– Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie
      10. SABATON – The Last Stand
      11. SYLAR – HELP!
      12. PLINI – Handmade Cities (EP)
      13. CHEVELLE – The North Corridor
      14. DEFTONES -Gore
      15. SHINEDOWN -Threat to Survival

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 – 9/10/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 9/10/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

      1. SKILLET – Unleashed
      2. SABATON – The Last Stand
      3. GEMINI SYNDROME – Memento Mori
      4. TRAPT – DNA
      5. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      6. THE COLOR MORALE – Desolate Divine
      7. SKELETONWITCH – The Apothic Gloom (EP)
      8. SOILWORK – Death Resonance
      9. VOLBEAT – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
      10. FLAW – Divided We Fall
      11. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      12. THE AMITY AFFLICTION – This Could Be Heartbreak
      13. BAD OMENS – Bad Omens
      14. CHEVELLE – The North Corridor
      15. BREAKING BENJAMIN – Dark Before Dawn

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 – 8/29/16

Music Discovery Monday - Harvest Falls (2)

Music Discovery Monday – 8/29/16

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, in an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Harvest Falls guitarist Marc Bernuy shares the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s single, “Waiting On The Edge.”

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)

HARVEST FALLS – “Waiting On The Edge”

When a band reaches out to you in personal, thoughtful way and shows true gratitude, you hope that the music moves you upon hitting the “play” button on YouTube.  As I listened to Harvest Falls’ “Waiting On The Edge,” I knew that this band was destined for Music Discovery Monday. Because I was so impressed with them, I altered the editorial calendar to have their feature coincide with the release of their independent debut EP, Affinity.

The band describes their sound as “a fusion of modern alternative music and hard rock.”   Interestingly, while I find an alternative undertone to “Waiting On The Edge,” because of the melodic vocal harmonies and passionate lead vocals of Ronnie Cinnella, I hear a unique blend of King’s X and Kansas.  The dual guitar work of Anthony Gomes and Marc Bernuy has ‘80s metal sensibilities infused with the vibe of Tool’s “Sober.”  This New Jersey rock quartet is rounded out by the solid foundation laid by drummer JR Pereira.

Harvest Falls is currently unsigned, but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of talent or quality songs.  The only challenge that I can see for these up-and-comers is that they’re too unique to be easily pigeon-holed into a specific radio format.  Like some other outstanding bands that I’ve featured in this format, I commend Harvest Falls for writing music from the heart rather than chasing a format.  You’ll be seeing a lot more from this band on Hard Rock Daddy going forward!
 

 
Harvest Falls guitarist Marc Bernuy shared the meaning and inspiration behind “Waiting On The Edge” in an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy…

“Waiting On The Edge’ is a personal story about a girl, who unfortunately never gave herself the opportunity to be more than what life planed out for her to be.  It’s a story about life’s obstacles that (sadly) one couldn’t overcome.  We could have crossed paths many times, but never bothered to know her name. She could have cried out for help, but we were too preoccupied to listen.  ‘Waiting On The Edge’ is a song about not giving up, and also helping others instead of ignoring a situation.  It relates to all of us who sometimes are trapped in the everyday routine, and to those who fear taking a risk to live a dream, and instead play it safe and live in regret.  The girl in the song never had a chance, nor did she give herself the opportunity to see what could have been.  Not everyone has these kinds of struggles, but we need to learn to embrace those that do.  Without them, we could never truly appreciate all of the beautiful things that life has to offer.  We can’t wait around for something to suddenly change or happen.  We are the owners of our lives and we can’t give up.  Like the message in the chorus says…‘Don’t forfeit life when nothing is set in stone.”
 

 
INGLORIOUS – “Holy Water”

There was something so powerful about ‘70s hard rock, that it still resonates with many rock fans to this day.  It was the decade that laid the foundation for everything that exists in every sub-genre of hard rock and metal today.  And while some of those legendary artists are still performing, the end of those days will certainly come sooner than we all hope.  Thankfully, there are bands like Inglorious to keep the sound and soul of ‘70s blues rock alive and well moving forward.  What makes this band even more impressive is that they have captured the essence of ‘70s hard rock in a way that makes you think that they were immersed in the music of the decade, but they weren’t even born yet!

“Holy Water,” from Inglorious’ debut album, is blues rock at its finest.  The slow groove gives frontman Nathan James plenty of space to showcase impressive vocals that conjure up memories of a young Ian Gillan.  Not many bands this young understand that there can be as much musicality in space as there is in shredding and jamming.  This dynamic five-piece British quintet proves that they can use all of these things with equal deft within the confines of this song.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA “Crucifixion”

It must be supergroup season.  “Crucifixion” is a recent release by Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, a band that features members of Alice in Chains, Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan. Their first single off of the album Broken Lines is a great introduction to the new sound created by these three great musicians.  “Crucifixion” grooves nicely with some progressive elements, and is a great blend of influences from all three bands.  If the rest of the album sounds anything like this song, I’m looking forward to the September release!

 

GONE IS GONE “Stolen From Me”

The great thing about collaborations is the unexpectedness of what the songs should sound like.  Gone is Gone consists of band members from Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age and At the Drive-In.  “Stolen From Me” sounds nothing like any of the three bands that the members are from.  The song is doomy, rumbly, and a far departure from the typical sounds of their full-time bands.  At times, it is reminiscent of a post-metal feel with its catchy verses and choruses.  The other songs on the rest of the album also make for an interesting listen.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

SABATON – “Shiroyama”

“Surrounded and outnumbered.”  These lyrics from “Shiroyama” capture the recurrent theme of Sabaton’s eighth album, Last Stand.  Every song tells a tale from military history where the odds were overwhelmingly stacked against the protagonists.  On every song, this Swedish band belts out their special brand of melodic power metal to a compelling story that doesn’t end well. Here they tell the tale of the final doomed stand of the Samurai against the Imperial Japanese Army in 1877 Japan.

 

HANSEN & FRIENDS – “Born Free”

Vocalist and guitarist Kai Hansen, best known for his work with power metal giants Helloween and Gamma Ray, comes out in mid-September with his first solo album, XXX – Three Decades In Metal.  It’s his own life story, and he’s brought together an impressive supporting lineup to tell it.  They rock out with power and poise on this first single.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

HOLY GRAIL – “No More Heroes”

Pasadena, California is home to Holy Grail, a heavy metal band formed back in 2008.  “No More Heroes” is a deep cut from their third full-length album, Times of Pride and Peril.  It sports traditional, heavy, motoring rhythms, excellent guitar work (Alex Lee and Eli Santana) and some terrific vocals by James-Paul Luna (who’s got a similar tone to Tesla’s Jeff Keith).  Check out the rest of the album as well.  It’s solid through and through.

 

CERBERUS – “Lust For Blood”

Cerberus is a groove-infused progressive metal band from Mexico City, Mexico.  “Lust for Blood” is the band’s most recent single to be released while they are in-between albums – their last coming in 2014.  This track bursts out with an excellent wailing guitar intro (Paul Wrath) and a terrific strutting rhythm line (Khronos on drums and Jerome D’Beast on bass).  Wrath belts out the vocals while providing plenty of licks and wails throughout the track.  The lyrics are pretty dark (as one can imagine from the title), but they are really secondary to the great music.

 

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 – 6/14/14

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/14/14.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

    1. KISS – KISS 40 Years: Decades Of Decibels
    2. POWERMAN 5000 – Builders Of The Future
    3. CROWBAR – Symmetry In Black
    4. EYEHATEGOD – Eyehategod
    5. SABATON – Heroes
    6. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
    7. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2
    8. THE PRETTY RECKLESS  – Going To Hell
    9. CHEVELLE –  La Gargola
    10. MARTY FRIEDMAN – Inferno
    11. MUSHROOMHEAD – The Righteous & The Butterfly
    12. VOLBEAT – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
    13. BLACK STONE CHERRY – Magic Mountain
    14. NICKELBACK – The Best Of Nickelback: Volume 1
    15. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Catacombs Of The Black Vatican

RELATED ARTICLES:

Black Stone Cherry – “Magic Mountain”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

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

Five Finger Death Punch – “Battle Born”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

Volbeat – “Lola Montez”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Volbeat – “Cape Of Our Hero”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives