Blog Archives

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 – 4/18/16

Music Discovery Monday - Tremonti

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 4/18/16.

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)

TREMONTI – “Dust”

Alter Bridge fans are still waiting to find out when the follow-up to 2013’s Fortress will be released.  The band’s three-year release schedule can feel like an eternity at times, but the good news is that the members of the band stay active in between AB releases.  Mark Tremonti has been particularly active over the past few years, releasing not one, but two studio albums.  With less than a year between 2015’s Cauterize and 2016’s Dust (dropping later this month), Tremonti has basically put out the equivalent of a modern-day double album.  This is the same approach that Five Finger Death Punch and Stone Sour have used in recent years for their double albums.

The title track off of Tremonti’s upcoming release opens with a somber acoustic guitar, which is actually the melody line that Tremonti sings when the vocals come in.  The highly-acclaimed axe man continues to shine as a lead vocalist with a style that is all his own.  Of course, no Tremonti track would be complete without impressive guitar work, and “Dust” delivers as you would expect.  It’s another in a long line of outstanding songs from Tremonti.

If there is a band with two greater guitar and vocal double-threats than Alter Bridge with Tremonti and Myles Kennedy, I have yet to discover them.  Thankfully, both of them are so prolific, that the prolonged wait between AB albums is at least tolerable.

 

 

WALKING WITH GIANTS – “Heavy Hand”

Though Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy’s work outside of Alter Bridge gets more attention, they are not the only members of the band releasing new music between albums.  AB bassist Brian Marshall recently completed his second album with Walking With Giants, a project that also includes Clint Lowery and Morgan Rose of Sevendust this time around.  While this may appear to be some sort of supergroup, the story behind the band is actually more interesting than that. Singer/guitarist Gary Noon is the creative force behind the music.  It just so happens that he is one of the rare talents that is able to get musicians from his two favorite bands (Alter Bridge & Sevendust) to help bring his songs to life.

“Heavy Hand” – the latest single from Walking With Giants’ sophomore release, Worlds Unknown – has an understandable influence of the aforementioned bands, but it is the unexpected flavor of ‘80s supergroup Asia that makes this song so intriguing.  Noon may have the least name recognition of the group, but from a talent perspective, he fits right in with the rest of the band.

 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SLAYER “You Against You”

Slayer is back with their 12th studio album.  Their second single, “You Against You” (from their new album, Repentless) is classic Slayer at their best.  With Gary Holt replacing the late Jeff Hanneman on rhythm and lead guitars, Paul Bostaph on drums and original members Tom Araya and Kerry King, this band has held true to its roots since their inception in the ‘80s.  Although Holt’s playing style differs from Hanneman’s, this song exhibits the trademark Slayer guitar screeches, off-key solos, speedy tempo and gruff vocals.  Couple that with the violent, bloody video and you’ve got another classic Slayer tune to bang your head to.

 

AMON AMARTH “At Dawn’s First Light”

Ever watch the show Vikings on the History Channel?  Take Amon Amarth’s single “At Dawn’s First Light” (from their new album Jomsviking) and play it during all of the killing scenes.  That sums up the sonic brutality and heaviness of Amon Amarth.  Call them what you will; death metal, melodic metal, melodic death metal, but you cannot deny the history and longevity of this metal band from Sweden.  Concept albums are nothing new in the hard rock/metal world, but Amon Amarth’s Jomsviking takes it to a whole new level of songwriting, growling, pounding double bass drumming and melodic guitar riffs.  Drink some mead, chew on a turkey leg, and enjoy the axe-wielding, arrow-piercing, bone-crushing savagery of Amon Amarth.

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

THUNDERSTONE – “Fire And Ice”

Finland’s Thunderstone reunited with former lead singer Pasi Ranaten for their sixth album, Apocalypse Again.  It’s been seven years since their last album, but these melodic metal veterans are back strong in 2016.  The twin guitars crush on this one, with Ranaten’s throaty vocals soaring over the mayhem.

 

CANDLEBOX – “Vexatious”

They were big in the ‘90s and now they’re back….well, at least singer Kevin Martin is.  The rest of the band is brand new, which may explain a much heavier emphasis on guitar riffs and groove and that classic rock sound.  The new album is Disappearing In Airports and comes out on April 22nd.

 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

HUMAN FORTRESS – “Thieves Of The Night”

“Theives Of The Night” is the latest from Germany’s ‘Epic Power Metal Band,’ Human Fortress.  The title track of their sixth studio album is rapid-fire and up-tempo, with plenty of really good guitar work.  Gus Monsanto’s raspy vocals go well with the melodic refrains in the song.  Formed back in 1997 as Timezone – but never releasing an album under that moniker – the band re-formed in 1999, and have been together ever since.

 

ALMANAC – “Self-Blinded Eyes”

Almanac is a new project led by former RAGE guitarist, Victor Smolski.  Textbook symphonic power metal to its core, the rueful “Self-Blinded Eyes” has outstanding drive and guitar work.  There are also excellent supporting arrangements by Orquestra Barcelona Filharmonia.

 

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