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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.

Music Discovery Monday – 10/10/16

music-discovery-monday-edens-curse

Music Discovery Monday – 10/10/16

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, Eden’s Curse bassist/founder Paul Logue shares the meaning behind the band’s single, “The Great Pretender.”

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)

EDEN’S CURSE – “The Great Pretender”

Eden’s Curse will be releasing their fifth studio album this week, entitled Cardinal.  The album – which is the group’s heaviest and most progressive to date – took two years to write.  Rather than just rush to get new material out to follow-up their successful previous release (Symphony Of Sin), the band took painstaking effort to scrutinize every riff, lick, hook, melody and lyric.  The deliberate songwriting process was done to showcase this European metal band’s more technical side.

Ahead of the album release, Eden’s Curse has dropped a powerful single in “The Great Pretender,” a song that blends different styles of metal.  At the outset, the riffs have a raw quality that is reminiscent of Great White’s debut album.  When Nicola Mijic’s vocals kick in, thoughts of Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow comes to mind.  As the song progresses, you can hear the attention to detail that the band paid in their writing.  “The Great Pretender” builds to an epic, theatrical progressive/power metal crescendo.

The beauty of lyrics is that they can inspire different thoughts in different people.  Because the lyrics seem so timely and relevant, I thought that the song was about something specific.  It turns out that the meaning and inspiration behind the song is not what I initially thought, but it’s an outstanding tune that speaks to me nonetheless.

 

In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Eden’s Curse bassist/founder Paul Logue shares the story behind “The Great Pretender”
 
“The song is about coming across someone in life who just isn’t what they say they are.  This isn’t an opinion that is formed as a first impression, but one built over a long period of time of truly getting to know the person and watching how he or she acts.  Arrogance, hatred and revenge fuels their every move, and delusion is at the center point of their core… the ego writes checks that their talent can’t cash.  I’m sure we’ve all come across one in our daily life, or seen them on TV.”
 

 
ROTH BROCK PROJECT – “Young Again”

Roth Brock Project is a new Frontiers Music Srl collaboration between two former members of Giant – vocalist Terry Brock and multi-instrumentalist John Roth.  Although both members have impressive resumes (and talent to match), they still remain underrated.  This duo, who will be releasing their self-titled debut album on November 4th, has an undeniable chemistry that dates back to 2009.

“Young Again” is nostalgic in more ways than one.  The music harkens back to the melodic rock days of the ‘80s, while the lyrics fondly look back on the days of youth.  At the same time, the lyrics perfectly capture the present-day life of a generation of rock music fans who lived through the glory days of the ‘80s.  If you’re a fan of bands like Journey, Survivor and the like, you’ll definitely appreciate what “Young Again” has to offer.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

MONTE PITTMAN – “Pride Comes Before the Fall”

Who is Monte Pittman?  Other than being a great guitarist and songwriter who now writes some pretty heavy guitar shredding metal, he was also Madonna’s long-time guitarist.  The well-written music is heavy, at times fast and complex, and overall just quality heavy metal.   His new album, Inverted Grasp of Balance, boasts the talent of Richard Christy (Charred Walls of the Damned/Death) on drums, and the great Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth/Winery Dogs) on bass.  This album is a must listen!

 

CROWBAR “Plasmic and Pure”

Crowbar is set to release their eleventh studio album, The Serpent Only Lies.  If the rest of the album is anything like their first single, “Plasmic and Pure,” it will be one hell of an album.  This sludge/doom outfit from New Orleans has written some of the slowest (and heaviest) tuned-down songs in metal for 28 years, and it looks like they aren’t stopping.  Their newest single is one of their heaviest ones yet, with some great choruses and memorable heavy riffs.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

THEOCRACY – “Wishing Well”

Theocracy is a Christian progressive power metal band out of Athens, Georgia.  Known for their huge choruses and epic arrangements, they deliver dramatically here on this first release from their upcoming album, Ghost Ship. Matt Smith shines on lead vocals, while the rest of the band stirs up a hurricane of rhythms and riffs.

 

SEVEN – “Fight Seven”

Melodic rock band Seven had a brief (but poignant) existence from 1989 to 1990, when they released two singles and toured with Richard Marx, before vanishing from the scene. Two years ago they reunited and released a debut album, and now follow it up with their second album, Shattered.  Melody, harmony, and groove all come together as they revive their classic ‘80s sound.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

SOLE SURVIVOR – “Sam Hain”

Classical themes underscore a terrific guitar overture on “Sam Hain,” from the debut EP of Sole Survivor, a melodic power metal band from Dallas, Texas.  High marks overall for musicianship and vocals.  Some of their noted influences are Iced Earth, Hammerfall, Helloween, Blind Guardian, GammaRay, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica.

 

GUS G. (feat. Elize Ryd) – “What Lies Below”

“What Lies Below” is a bit of a twist to the usual guitar mastery heard from the great Gus G.  This track, featuring the up-and-coming Elize Ryd, has a bit of techno mixed in, and shows how his skill and style can adjust to incorporate (or even transcend) any genre.  Amazing fretwork, struts and wails take over.

 

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