My Top 35 of 2018...

The Heart of the Prog/Power Movement

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Guillaume
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My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Guillaume » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:36 pm

35) Nordic Union - Second Coming
Yes, it’s not as great as the debut, but the Ronnie Atkins/Eric Martensson team still delivered a very good melodic hard rock disc.
https://youtu.be/DZSe5w17uOk

34) Metal Church - Damned If You Do
Was released late in the year so could have been higher if it had gotten more plays. 2 out 2 since Mike Howe returned. Quality metal once again for the legendary band.
https://youtu.be/Zy5q7bxzy0w

33) Stormzone - Lucifer's Factory
My fave so far from the Irish traditional metal band. This song has one of the best choruses of 2018 for me.
https://youtu.be/tMXXGN2oEa4

32) Mob Rules - Beast Reborn
Might not be as good for me as the previous one, but still high quality melodic heavy/power, as expected.
https://youtu.be/h7x0ot9ehyE

31) Holter - Vlad The Impaler
Yes, I do miss Jorn on this Dracula Pt.2 album, but Nils K. Rue does a great job still. The album is not as good as was Dracula overall, but still high quality, and somewhat heavier. Female singer is the same and rules again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J3MCa8uXCY

30) The Unity - Rise
Singer from Love.Might.Kill Jan Manenti and Gamma Ray guitarist Henjo Richter got together a few years ago and this is the 2nd album of the band. Strong melodic hard rock/metal/power with great vocals. Better than the 1st one.
https://youtu.be/As7vGYcTIeQ

29) Nils Patrik Johansson - Evil Deluxe
Astral Doors and Lions Shares’ singer released his first ever solo album and didn’t disappoint with the kind of metal that was expected along with a few twists.
https://youtu.be/j0tZsnl7jnU

28) The Nightflight Orchestra - Sometimes The World Ain't Enough
Swedish band fronted by powerful Soilwork frontman Björn Strid, which plays classic rock/hard rock/pop, 70s and early 80s influenced. A bit outside of my comfort zone but so damn well executed!
https://youtu.be/9QdHI0if_xk

27) Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath
They are the new wave of traditional metal along with Grand Magus, Night Demon and the likes. Most likely their best album so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raBpZfbSX10

26) God's Army – Demoncracy
A newcomer band featuring John A.B.C. Smith from Scanner fame and Mark Cross (ex-Helloween, ex-Firewind) on drums. Excellent classic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/8kEuH2m1l8k

25) Dee Snider - For The Love Of Metal
Gool old Dee teams up with current metal scene members and give us arguably his heaviest album ever. Could have used more melody overall IMO, but welcome back in the metal world, Mr. Snider! Still powerful vocals at age 63.
https://youtu.be/hljBz0zTEKQ

24) Audrey Horne – Blackout
One more underrated band, the Norwegians classic hard rockers deliver another great slab of hard rock/metal full of Thin Lizzy influences.
https://youtu.be/n_BuIGZENfY

23) Uriah Heep - Living The Dream
Old geezers still delivering killer 70s style classic hard rock with much energy. Hail Mick Box and co.! And still a great live band! Have surpassed Deep Purple at their own game!
https://youtu.be/PHgDPxLlFW4

22) Primal Fear – Apocalypse
Since they found out their own style, from 2005 and up, Scheepers, Sinner and co. keep on delivering melodic trad metal/power stuff that never fails. Ralf Scheepers being still a vocal metal god. High quality again, but my least fave of the latest few.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyZWktAtUpk

21) Ghost – Prequelle
Yes, this album is mellower, yes, they’re moving away from metal, but this is still some damn fine hard rocking stuff with great songwriting, coupled with poppy moments.
https://youtu.be/qvZKwvpQAUc

20) SoulHealer - Up From The Ashes
Another very underrated band, the Finnish true metallers deliver once again a damn fine album of trad metal! Singer might be an acquired taste but fits the band great IMO.
https://youtu.be/pFTfj_6IJ0Y

19) Animal Drive - Bite!
This band has Dino Jelusic on vox, which is another uprising vocal star sounding like the great Jorn Lande at times, and the album is damn fine melodic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/Ef1mmBdWUtY

18) Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day
Never was that great a fan of Ray Alder even though I respect his talent, so the arrival of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on vocals for this albums was great news for me and now the band delivers his best album IMO. Great prog metal and my #2 in that style for 2018!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y

17) Striker - Play To Win
The Canadian band still delivers their mix of melodic hard rock/speed metal here, arguably their best album so far, with great songwriting and excellent vocals by rising vocal star Dan Cleary.
https://youtu.be/lEdpYh-EkrI

16) Saffire - Where The Monsters Dwell
Another really underrated Swedish band, Saffire delivers excellent classic melodic hard rock/metal, 70s and 80s influenced, like they did on previous albums.
https://youtu.be/YKU0AtI3ImU

15) Powerwolf - The Sacrament Of Sin
Germand melodic power metallers didn’t disappoint again with this album. Not their best for me as some say, but still real nice stuff.
https://youtu.be/jhK2ev_O-pc

14) Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
I can’t get into so much prog metal in a year, was never that big a fan of these guys, but this album hit all the right spots and is their best for me. Great traditional prog metal, with lots of crunch and catchy stuff give them my #1 prog metal disc of the year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qa3WjEAvGU

13) Dynazty – Firesign
Only down point with these guys would be it’s more of the same since the last 3 albums, but when it’s high quality like this, with great vocals by Nils Molin, who can really complain? High-class Swedish melodic metal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afm7RmXZsBs

12) Lechery - We're All Born Evil
Close to noone seems to know or care about this Swedish band, but this 3rd album is as expected killer traditional HM, as were the 1st two. 2nd great comeback of the year after Fifth Angel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga596XLd2kQ

11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
This is still an excellent melodic heavy/power metal album, with the expected great vocals from Ronnie and good songwriting. But not my fave album with Romero on vox released this year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTwmA8a1BYw

10) Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection
Best tour of the year for me, seeing this great guitar legend that is Michael for the 1st time, as well as other legendary singers like Graham Bonnet, Doogie White , Robin MacAuley and Gary Barden. And the album didn’t disappoint with its quality classic hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2VtSdZHKbE

9) Treat – Tunguska
Melodic Swedish hard rock band are on a roll since they reformed in 2010 for the Coup de Grace album, adding more crunchy guitars compared to the older stuff and adding me as fan as the same time. This newer one is my least fave fave of the last 3, but still some great hard rocking stuff, with some AOR moments, as expected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhG9p-mvxwo

8 ) Destinia - Metal Souls
Yes, new vocal star Ronnie Romero is a bit everywhere, but here, with a killer band comprising a new great Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai, drum legend Tommy Aldridge and also legendary bassist Marco Mendoza, it doesn’t fail giving a dose of excellent classy melodic metal/hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e47QIdEs7g

7) Mustasch - Silent Killer
The swedish underrated band delivers his most powerful and best album. Ralf Gyllenhammar shows here you don’t have to sing with a death vox to show aggression and emotion!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk-vRw-_oHw

6) Graham Bonnet Band - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
Bonnet is a phenomenon singing this powerful and hard at age 70! This album delivers quality classic hard rocking stuff and sounds quite heavy as well with an excellent backing band that includes Joey Tafolla (Jag Panzer)!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgi1iGZvdM4

5) Saxon – Thunderbolt
Biff and co. keep on delivering always quality traditional metal, as it’s the case since the revival of the mid-90s. The best of the old 80s bands for me, though Priest gave them a kick in the ass this year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYK1SoXuQI

4) Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
I had more or less given up on them, stuff was a bit too predictable lately, but this is their best album in a long while. Lots of great catchy stuff, powerful songs. And Andy B. Francke still shines on vox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lylp1-vGZjY

3) Manimal – Purgatorio
Great melodic heavy/power stuff. This 3rd album is arguably their best. New vocal star Samuel Nyman shows his great range again, but more controlled than on the previous album. The band surely didn’t disappoint live at ProgPower.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS3tQiFRnLE

2) Fifth Angel-The Third Secret
Comeback of the year! I though I’d miss Ted Pilot, but Kendall Bechtel (also guitarist) gives a killer Dio-like performance here so it’s not the case. Excellent traditional metal!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3119Fnjzgbg

1) Judas Priest – Firepower
Their best since Painkiller. Halford sounds better on this and the tour that he had since rejoining the band in 2005 (saw them twice in 2018!). Richie Faulkner rules on this. All hail the mighty Priest!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUzcxJNZKC4


Other albums I enjoyed to various degrees (many could have make the top 35, others have several tracks I love, but some lesser ones). There are also some I got later, which have not got enough plays to crack the top 35.

Against Evil - All Hail The King
Alien Weaponry - Tu
Arryan Path - Archegonoi
Artillery - The Face Of Fear
Bonfire - Legends
Bonfire - Temple of Lies
Borealis - The Offering
Bullet - Dust To Gold
Collibus - Trusting The Illusion
CoreLeoni - The Greatest Hits-Part 1
Dire Peril - The Extraterrestrial Compendium
Don Airey - One Of A Kind
Dream Child - Until Death Do We Meet Again
Gus G. - Fearless
Heaven's Trail - Lethal Mind
Icarus Witch - Goodbye Cruel World
Jaded Heart - Devil's Gift
King Company - Queen Of Hearts
Leverage - The Devil Turns EP
Lords Of The Trident - Shadows From The Past
Lost In Thought - Renascence
Mad Max - 35
Michael Romeo – War Of The Worlds Pt. 1
Mystic Prophecy - Monuments Uncovered
Panorama - Around The World
Primitai - The Calling
Psychework - Karelian Hills
Refuge - Solitary Men
Seventh Wonder - Tiara
Spiral Wheel - Resurrection For Revenge
Stormwitch - Bound To The Witch
Stryper - Goddamn Evil
Sunstorm - The Road To Hell
The Dead Daisies - Burn It Down
The Poodles - Prisma
Thorium - s/t
Tokyo Blade – Unbroken
Tremonti – A Dying Machine
U.D.O. - Steelfactory
Voïvod - The Wake
WarKings - Reborn
W.E.T. - Earthrage

G
Last edited by Guillaume on Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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introclaus
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby introclaus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:01 pm

I'll provide comments later, but let me just say that you have way better taste in music than I expected hahaha - j/k :)
Very cool list!
Claus Jensen

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ToddS
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:24 pm

34) Metal Church - Damned If You Do

I didn’t even realize they had a new record out, until a couple of days ago. Will take a listen.

31) Holter - Vlad The Impaler
First with Jorn was good cheesy fun. I should check this out with Nils on it.

24) Audrey Horne – Blackout
Never heard of this, but I’m a pretty big TL fan, so I’ll check it.

23) Uriah Heep - Living The Dream
Pretty cool they are still at it.

19) Animal Drive - Bite!
I think I sampled this band but can’t recall. Singer like John, then I need to check it.

18) Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day
We share this one in common. \m/

14) Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
Another we have in common. Cool!

13) Dynazty – Firesign
Tried this one, and I think this band is just not for me.

11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
I know you are a huge fan. This one is is ok, but I think it is their weakest.

10) Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection
Really cool to see Schenk have another life creating music. He has got himself together now for quite some time.

8 ) Destinia - Metal Souls
I need to check this one.

6) Graham Bonnet Band - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
I sampled a song some time back. Solid stuff. Cool he is still going at 70. Didn’t realize he had Joey on here.

5) Saxon – Thunderbolt
Another of the old guard still kicking out solid records and touring.

3) Manimal – Purgatorio
I get a kick out this singer. He nailed it live at PP. Honestly I like the previous disc more.

2) Fifth Angel-The Third Secret
I thought this was ok.

1) Judas Priest – Firepower
This surprised me big time. Agree, best since Painkiller.


Cool post bro!
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"

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Digital Man
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Digital Man » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Thanks for posting G. I haven't heard most of your list I don't believe. I'll have to check many of these out.
Güy

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LarryD
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby LarryD » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:58 am

G - that's an awesome list .... I'm a little confused by your ranking method - it looks like you separated the Prog from the Power, yet you threw them all in together.....
Surely, T-Eve was better than some of the power metal that was in front of it ? :wink:

Anyway -- here are my thoughts to discs that I've actually heard or attempted to ........ that probably won't amount to much responses ........ :cry:


31) Holter - Vlad The Impaler
Yes, I do miss Jorn on this Dracula Pt.2 album, but Nils K. Rue does a great job still. The album is not as good as was Dracula overall, but still high quality, and somewhat heavier. Female singer is the same and rules again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J3MCa8uXCY


***I enjoyed the Dracula disc very much with Jorn .... a shame he didn't continue with this one, but Nils singing on it sounds very interesting to me .......


25) Dee Snider - For The Love Of Metal
Gool old Dee teams up with current metal scene members and give us arguably his heaviest album ever. Could have used more melody overall IMO, but welcome back in the metal world, Mr. Snider! Still powerful vocals at age 63.
https://youtu.be/hljBz0zTEKQ


***He is quite the singer thru the years -- but I never liked the music he played, nor did I ever care for him touting "metal" as I never considered him a metal guy - strictly hard rock to me.


19) Animal Drive - Bite!
This band has Dino Jelusic on vox, which is another uprising vocal star sounding like the great Jorn Lande at times, and the album is damn fine melodic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/Ef1mmBdWUtY


***Cool singer - dumb name for a band.


18) Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day
Never was that great a fan of Ray Alder even though I respect his talent, so the arrival of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on vocals for this albums was great news for me and now the band delivers his best album IMO. Great prog metal and my #2 in that style for 2018!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


***Yeah baby !!!!!! I agree with this 100% except for the fact that Ray Alder ruled, and rules !!!!!! :wink:


14) Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
I can’t get into so much prog metal in a year, was never that big a fan of these guys, but this album hit all the right spots and is their best for me. Great traditional prog metal, with lots of crunch and catchy stuff give them my #1 prog metal disc of the year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qa3WjEAvGU


***I agree - this fought so for so long to be my #1 disc as well, and it warmed my heart when you told me it was yours..... I expected it to do it, until Mr. Romeo came along and stopped that from happening ......


13) Dynazty – Firesign
Only down point with these guys would be it’s more of the same since the last 3 albums, but when it’s high quality like this, with great vocals by Nils Molin, who can really complain? High-class Swedish melodic metal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afm7RmXZsBs


***I can complain ....and that's why I don't care for this band ..... everything always sounds the same and I can't distinguish between songs .....great singer and great band talent, but I can't handle them.


11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
This is still an excellent melodic heavy/power metal album, with the expected great vocals from Ronnie and good songwriting. But not my fave album with Romero on vox released this year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTwmA8a1BYw


***This was one of the discs I forgot to mention as one my biggest disappointments....... II was MUCH better than this, and I expected it to be at least the same quality, which I don't feel it is ...... I love Ronnie - but he doesn't save this one for me.


9) Treat – Tunguska
Melodic Swedish hard rock band are on a roll since they reformed in 2010 for the Coup de Grace album, adding more crunchy guitars compared to the older stuff and adding me as fan as the same time. This newer one is my least fave fave of the last 3, but still some great hard rocking stuff, with some AOR moments, as expected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhG9p-mvxwo


***I remember driving around Quebec with Stevie, and he played this for me .... or at least their last one. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit if I remember, with the guitars being really nice and crunchy. I don't do much hard rock anymore, if any, so it's hard to convince me of it's greatness, but I remember it being really done well......


8 ) Destinia - Metal Souls
Yes, new vocal star Ronnie Romero is a bit everywhere, but here, with a killer band comprising a new great Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai, drum legend Tommy Aldridge and also legendary bassist Marco Mendoza, it doesn’t fail giving a dose of excellent classy melodic metal/hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e47QIdEs7g


***I remember seeing the samples on You tube ? But it didn't grab me in spite of Ronnie being there .........


4) Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
I had more or less given up on them, stuff was a bit too predictable lately, but this is their best album in a long while. Lots of great catchy stuff, powerful songs. And Andy B. Francke still shines on vox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lylp1-vGZjY


***Good to see this one end up so high on the list ...... it started off ok, then kicked into high gear once I realized that there were only 2 speed demons on the disc, and Andy still sounded great !!!!!! Top 20 for me ......

3) Manimal - Purgatorio


*** I accidentally deleted your thoughts on it, but I agreed 100% that this is a great disc, and their show at PP was superb !!!!! For just pure headbanging fun, this disc really did it for me.......



2) Fifth Angel-The Third Secret
Comeback of the year! I though I’d miss Ted Pilot, but Kendall Bechtel (also guitarist) gives a killer Dio-like performance here so it’s not the case. Excellent traditional metal!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3119Fnjzgbg


***I loved that first song you pointed out to me, and I loved the singer (DIO lovers unite) - and I thought without Ted Pilot, there should not be a Fifth Angel.....the rest of the music was pretty uninspiring to me, some ok, but nowhere the love you have for it ...... this wouldn't be on a Top 50 list for me, much less a #2 for you ..... but I'm glad you dig it, it was done really well, although the production suffered a bit, and they couldn't match the cool vibe of that song.


1) Judas Priest – Firepower
Their best since Painkiller. Halford sounds better on this and the tour that he had since rejoining the band in 2005 (saw them twice in 2018!). Richie Faulkner rules on this. All hail the mighty Priest!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUzcxJNZKC4


***I'm glad it's good - and I haven't heard a note of it, but they should change the name back to just Halford - without KK and Glenn, it's not really JP. Have heard great things about this, but you know me and 80's bands ...... :wink:


My only bitch with your list is that Michael Romeo didn't score higher -- but at least you enjoyed it.

Great list -

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Guillaume
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Guillaume » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:42 pm

LarryD wrote:G - that's an awesome list .... I'm a little confused by your ranking method - it looks like you separated the Prog from the Power, yet you threw them all in together.....
Surely, T-Eve was better than some of the power metal that was in front of it ? :wink:
Nah... Ranking is the good one. Thing is, after the first 5 or 10, positions could change depending on the day of the week...


Anyway -- here are my thoughts to discs that I've actually heard or attempted to ........ that probably won't amount to much responses ........ :cry:


31) Holter - Vlad The Impaler
Yes, I do miss Jorn on this Dracula Pt.2 album, but Nils K. Rue does a great job still. The album is not as good as was Dracula overall, but still high quality, and somewhat heavier. Female singer is the same and rules again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J3MCa8uXCY


***I enjoyed the Dracula disc very much with Jorn .... a shame he didn't continue with this one, but Nils singing on it sounds very interesting to me .......


25) Dee Snider - For The Love Of Metal
Gool old Dee teams up with current metal scene members and give us arguably his heaviest album ever. Could have used more melody overall IMO, but welcome back in the metal world, Mr. Snider! Still powerful vocals at age 63.
https://youtu.be/hljBz0zTEKQ


***He is quite the singer thru the years -- but I never liked the music he played, nor did I ever care for him touting "metal" as I never considered him a metal guy - strictly hard rock to me.
Yup, always the hard rock guy, but he always liked metal. And this album is really metal. Sometimes a bit too much if I can say, hence my "lack of melody" point.


19) Animal Drive - Bite!
This band has Dino Jelusic on vox, which is another uprising vocal star sounding like the great Jorn Lande at times, and the album is damn fine melodic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/Ef1mmBdWUtY


***Cool singer - dumb name for a band.
We've seen much worse for band names IMO! Dino rules.


18) Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day
Never was that great a fan of Ray Alder even though I respect his talent, so the arrival of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on vocals for this albums was great news for me and now the band delivers his best album IMO. Great prog metal and my #2 in that style for 2018!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


***Yeah baby !!!!!! I agree with this 100% except for the fact that Ray Alder ruled, and rules !!!!!! :wink:
He indeed rules. Just not that much for me. :wink:


14) Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
I can’t get into so much prog metal in a year, was never that big a fan of these guys, but this album hit all the right spots and is their best for me. Great traditional prog metal, with lots of crunch and catchy stuff give them my #1 prog metal disc of the year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qa3WjEAvGU


***I agree - this fought so for so long to be my #1 disc as well, and it warmed my heart when you told me it was yours..... I expected it to do it, until Mr. Romeo came along and stopped that from happening ......


13) Dynazty – Firesign
Only down point with these guys would be it’s more of the same since the last 3 albums, but when it’s high quality like this, with great vocals by Nils Molin, who can really complain? High-class Swedish melodic metal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afm7RmXZsBs


***I can complain ....and that's why I don't care for this band ..... everything always sounds the same and I can't distinguish between songs .....great singer and great band talent, but I can't handle them.


11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
This is still an excellent melodic heavy/power metal album, with the expected great vocals from Ronnie and good songwriting. But not my fave album with Romero on vox released this year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTwmA8a1BYw


***This was one of the discs I forgot to mention as one my biggest disappointments....... II was MUCH better than this, and I expected it to be at least the same quality, which I don't feel it is ...... I love Ronnie - but he doesn't save this one for me.
There are some songs in the style of II. I guess the album lenght (with the bonus stuff) didn't help you. If you'd narrow it down to 7-8 songs, I'm quite sure you'd enjoy it more. For me, it's still an excellent disc.


9) Treat – Tunguska
Melodic Swedish hard rock band are on a roll since they reformed in 2010 for the Coup de Grace album, adding more crunchy guitars compared to the older stuff and adding me as fan as the same time. This newer one is my least fave fave of the last 3, but still some great hard rocking stuff, with some AOR moments, as expected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhG9p-mvxwo


***I remember driving around Quebec with Stevie, and he played this for me .... or at least their last one. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit if I remember, with the guitars being really nice and crunchy. I don't do much hard rock anymore, if any, so it's hard to convince me of it's greatness, but I remember it being really done well......
He must have played you the previous one, Ghost of Graceland. This one is in the same style.


8 ) Destinia - Metal Souls
Yes, new vocal star Ronnie Romero is a bit everywhere, but here, with a killer band comprising a new great Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai, drum legend Tommy Aldridge and also legendary bassist Marco Mendoza, it doesn’t fail giving a dose of excellent classy melodic metal/hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e47QIdEs7g


***I remember seeing the samples on You tube ? But it didn't grab me in spite of Ronnie being there .........
Much more of an 80s metal sound, so probably not for you.


4) Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
I had more or less given up on them, stuff was a bit too predictable lately, but this is their best album in a long while. Lots of great catchy stuff, powerful songs. And Andy B. Francke still shines on vox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lylp1-vGZjY


***Good to see this one end up so high on the list ...... it started off ok, then kicked into high gear once I realized that there were only 2 speed demons on the disc, and Andy still sounded great !!!!!! Top 20 for me ......

3) Manimal - Purgatorio


*** I accidentally deleted your thoughts on it, but I agreed 100% that this is a great disc, and their show at PP was superb !!!!! For just pure headbanging fun, this disc really did it for me.......



2) Fifth Angel-The Third Secret
Comeback of the year! I though I’d miss Ted Pilot, but Kendall Bechtel (also guitarist) gives a killer Dio-like performance here so it’s not the case. Excellent traditional metal!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3119Fnjzgbg


***I loved that first song you pointed out to me, and I loved the singer (DIO lovers unite) - and I thought without Ted Pilot, there should not be a Fifth Angel.....the rest of the music was pretty uninspiring to me, some ok, but nowhere the love you have for it ...... this wouldn't be on a Top 50 list for me, much less a #2 for you ..... but I'm glad you dig it, it was done really well, although the production suffered a bit, and they couldn't match the cool vibe of that song.
Production is not a matter at all for me, sounds excellent IMO. I guess you should have give it more chance as you enjoyed this title track song. I'm really happy so many people seem to love it, meaning we probably won't have to wait 30 years to get a follow-up!


1) Judas Priest – Firepower
Their best since Painkiller. Halford sounds better on this and the tour that he had since rejoining the band in 2005 (saw them twice in 2018!). Richie Faulkner rules on this. All hail the mighty Priest!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUzcxJNZKC4


***I'm glad it's good - and I haven't heard a note of it, but they should change the name back to just Halford - without KK and Glenn, it's not really JP. Have heard great things about this, but you know me and 80's bands ...... :wink:
Man, play a couple songs, as you once were a great Priest fan! Glenn is playing on the album, so you don't have an excuse! :twisted:


My only bitch with your list is that Michael Romeo didn't score higher -- but at least you enjoyed it.
As I mentioned, too much cinematic stuff for me to fully enjoy and the damn robots track break the feel. But I enjoy 4-5 songs a lot.

Great list -

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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Guillaume » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:53 pm

ToddS wrote:
24) Audrey Horne – Blackout
Never heard of this, but I’m a pretty big TL fan, so I’ll check it.
***Lots of TL influences. They have a few songs that sound like modern rock, but most of the stuff on the albums is classic hard rock all the way.


23) Uriah Heep - Living The Dream
Pretty cool they are still at it.
***And they still kill! If they go play in your area, don't niss them!


11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
I know you are a huge fan. This one is is ok, but I think it is their weakest.
****Seems to be the case for fans of proggier stuff.


10) Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection
Really cool to see Schenk have another life creating music. He has got himself together now for quite some time.
****He did. Was simply killer live, as was the whole band, playing 2h40 of minutes, every damn night of the tour! The 4 singers split the job, but the other guys play the whole set!!



6) Graham Bonnet Band - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
I sampled a song some time back. Solid stuff. Cool he is still going at 70. Didn’t realize he had Joey on here.
****He's already gone as it seems. Plays on all songs of the album, save for one.


5) Saxon – Thunderbolt
Another of the old guard still kicking out solid records and touring.
****They still kick mighty ass.


3) Manimal – Purgatorio
I get a kick out this singer. He nailed it live at PP. Honestly I like the previous disc more.
****Less high-pitched screaming on this one, more controlled. I prefer this, but previous one ruled too.

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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Guillaume » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:54 pm

introclaus wrote:I'll provide comments later, but let me just say that you have way better taste in music than I expected hahaha - j/k :)
Very cool list!


Hehe!! Awaiting these comments! :twisted:

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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby Guillaume » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:54 pm

Digital Man wrote:Thanks for posting G. I haven't heard most of your list I don't believe. I'll have to check many of these out.

Cool, hope you'll find something new for you to enjoy!

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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby introclaus » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:43 am

Guillaume wrote:35) Nordic Union - Second Coming
Yes, it’s not as great as the debut, but the Ronnie Atkins/Eric Martensson team still delivered a very good melodic hard rock disc.
https://youtu.be/DZSe5w17uOk


I think it's on par with the debut - neither of them did much for me, which is a shame as I am a huge PM fan and I think Eclipse is great.

Guillaume wrote:34) Metal Church - Damned If You Do
Was released late in the year so could have been higher if it had gotten more plays. 2 out 2 since Mike Howe returned. Quality metal once again for the legendary band.
https://youtu.be/Zy5q7bxzy0w


I liked this one, but it didn't make my list.

Guillaume wrote:33) Stormzone - Lucifer's Factory
My fave so far from the Irish traditional metal band. This song has one of the best choruses of 2018 for me.
https://youtu.be/tMXXGN2oEa4


Didn't listen as I didn't like any of their previous albums and the vocals was pretty week in my opinion.

Guillaume wrote:32) Mob Rules - Beast Reborn
Might not be as good for me as the previous one, but still high quality melodic heavy/power, as expected.
https://youtu.be/h7x0ot9ehyE


I'm ashamed to say I didn't check this out even though I really enjoyed the previous Maiden-clone of theirs :)

Guillaume wrote:31) Holter - Vlad The Impaler
Yes, I do miss Jorn on this Dracula Pt.2 album, but Nils K. Rue does a great job still. The album is not as good as was Dracula overall, but still high quality, and somewhat heavier. Female singer is the same and rules again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J3MCa8uXCY


I thought it was solid and it just missed my top 50 list ...

Guillaume wrote:30) The Unity - Rise
Singer from Love.Might.Kill Jan Manenti and Gamma Ray guitarist Henjo Richter got together a few years ago and this is the 2nd album of the band. Strong melodic hard rock/metal/power with great vocals. Better than the 1st one.
https://youtu.be/As7vGYcTIeQ


Vocalist is pretty good but the song writing lacks a bit.

Guillaume wrote:29) Nils Patrik Johansson - Evil Deluxe
Astral Doors and Lions Shares’ singer released his first ever solo album and didn’t disappoint with the kind of metal that was expected along with a few twists.
https://youtu.be/j0tZsnl7jnU


Really good album - makes me happy every time I listen to it - just missed out of my top 50.

Guillaume wrote:28) The Nightflight Orchestra - Sometimes The World Ain't Enough
Swedish band fronted by powerful Soilwork frontman Björn Strid, which plays classic rock/hard rock/pop, 70s and early 80s influenced. A bit outside of my comfort zone but so damn well executed!
https://youtu.be/9QdHI0if_xk


Wonderful disc!

Guillaume wrote:27) Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath
They are the new wave of traditional metal along with Grand Magus, Night Demon and the likes. Most likely their best album so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raBpZfbSX10


Nope, don't like this at all ... don't know why, as I like a lot of retrad ...

Guillaume wrote:26) God's Army – Demoncracy
A newcomer band featuring John A.B.C. Smith from Scanner fame and Mark Cross (ex-Helloween, ex-Firewind) on drums. Excellent classic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/8kEuH2m1l8k


This isn't very good in my opinion ... John ABCDEFG should have stuck with his bass instead of "singing"!

Guillaume wrote:25) Dee Snider - For The Love Of Metal
Gool old Dee teams up with current metal scene members and give us arguably his heaviest album ever. Could have used more melody overall IMO, but welcome back in the metal world, Mr. Snider! Still powerful vocals at age 63.
https://youtu.be/hljBz0zTEKQ


I'm a huge SMF myself, but this really sucks! Dee is one of my all-time heroes and there's really not any redeeming fact about this album .. I've been trying hard but ... nope ...

Guillaume wrote:24) Audrey Horne – Blackout
One more underrated band, the Norwegians classic hard rockers deliver another great slab of hard rock/metal full of Thin Lizzy influences.
https://youtu.be/n_BuIGZENfY


DAMN!!!! I never paid attention to this ... why why why??? This is great stuff, right up my alley. Thanks G!! Purchased!

Guillaume wrote:23) Uriah Heep - Living The Dream
Old geezers still delivering killer 70s style classic hard rock with much energy. Hail Mick Box and co.! And still a great live band! Have surpassed Deep Purple at their own game!
https://youtu.be/PHgDPxLlFW4


Yes, this is solid ... didn't make my list, but it's good.

Guillaume wrote:22) Primal Fear – Apocalypse
Since they found out their own style, from 2005 and up, Scheepers, Sinner and co. keep on delivering melodic trad metal/power stuff that never fails. Ralf Scheepers being still a vocal metal god. High quality again, but my least fave of the latest few.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyZWktAtUpk


I gave up on them years ago when they gave up on sounding like JP ;)

Guillaume wrote:21) Ghost – Prequelle
Yes, this album is mellower, yes, they’re moving away from metal, but this is still some damn fine hard rocking stuff with great songwriting, coupled with poppy moments.
https://youtu.be/qvZKwvpQAUc


Great disc, I really like this one!!!

Guillaume wrote:20) SoulHealer - Up From The Ashes
Another very underrated band, the Finnish true metallers deliver once again a damn fine album of trad metal! Singer might be an acquired taste but fits the band great IMO.
https://youtu.be/pFTfj_6IJ0Y


Doesn't do anything for me, sorry.

Guillaume wrote:19) Animal Drive - Bite!
This band has Dino Jelusic on vox, which is another uprising vocal star sounding like the great Jorn Lande at times, and the album is damn fine melodic hard rock/metal.
https://youtu.be/Ef1mmBdWUtY


I've tried, really ... but I just don't think this is any good. I love Skid Row and this sounds like second rate Skid Row tunes with a singer who is soooo forced - he doesn't sound like Jorn, but he really wants to. Nope!

Guillaume wrote:18) Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day
Never was that great a fan of Ray Alder even though I respect his talent, so the arrival of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on vocals for this albums was great news for me and now the band delivers his best album IMO. Great prog metal and my #2 in that style for 2018!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


Didn't listen.

Guillaume wrote:17) Striker - Play To Win
The Canadian band still delivers their mix of melodic hard rock/speed metal here, arguably their best album so far, with great songwriting and excellent vocals by rising vocal star Dan Cleary.
https://youtu.be/lEdpYh-EkrI


Good album, but didn't quite make my list.

Guillaume wrote:16) Saffire - Where The Monsters Dwell
Another really underrated Swedish band, Saffire delivers excellent classic melodic hard rock/metal, 70s and 80s influenced, like they did on previous albums.
https://youtu.be/YKU0AtI3ImU


I prefer their other albums actually. This one didn't do it for me.

Guillaume wrote:15) Powerwolf - The Sacrament Of Sin
Germand melodic power metallers didn’t disappoint again with this album. Not their best for me as some say, but still real nice stuff.
https://youtu.be/jhK2ev_O-pc


Yes great fun album - didn't make my list, but was close.

Guillaume wrote:14) Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
I can’t get into so much prog metal in a year, was never that big a fan of these guys, but this album hit all the right spots and is their best for me. Great traditional prog metal, with lots of crunch and catchy stuff give them my #1 prog metal disc of the year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qa3WjEAvGU


I used to like this band a LOT (heck, I used to manage them), but this one didn't do it for me at all.

Guillaume wrote:13) Dynazty – Firesign
Only down point with these guys would be it’s more of the same since the last 3 albums, but when it’s high quality like this, with great vocals by Nils Molin, who can really complain? High-class Swedish melodic metal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afm7RmXZsBs


Solid disc, but stayed right outside my top 50.

Guillaume wrote:12) Lechery - We're All Born Evil
Close to noone seems to know or care about this Swedish band, but this 3rd album is as expected killer traditional HM, as were the 1st two. 2nd great comeback of the year after Fifth Angel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga596XLd2kQ


The vocalist kills this for me ... he sounds like a mixture of UDO, Paul Baloff and David Wayne on an off-day.

Guillaume wrote:11) Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Day
This is still an excellent melodic heavy/power metal album, with the expected great vocals from Ronnie and good songwriting. But not my fave album with Romero on vox released this year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTwmA8a1BYw


Well, it's Romero, so it's a no go for me ;)

Guillaume wrote:10) Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection
Best tour of the year for me, seeing this great guitar legend that is Michael for the 1st time, as well as other legendary singers like Graham Bonnet, Doogie White , Robin MacAuley and Gary Barden. And the album didn’t disappoint with its quality classic hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2VtSdZHKbE


Yes yes yes - WONDERFUL album!

Guillaume wrote:9) Treat – Tunguska
Melodic Swedish hard rock band are on a roll since they reformed in 2010 for the Coup de Grace album, adding more crunchy guitars compared to the older stuff and adding me as fan as the same time. This newer one is my least fave fave of the last 3, but still some great hard rocking stuff, with some AOR moments, as expected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhG9p-mvxwo


I didn't care much for this unfortunately. I loved them back in the day ...

Guillaume wrote:8 ) Destinia - Metal Souls
Yes, new vocal star Ronnie Romero is a bit everywhere, but here, with a killer band comprising a new great Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai, drum legend Tommy Aldridge and also legendary bassist Marco Mendoza, it doesn’t fail giving a dose of excellent classy melodic metal/hard rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e47QIdEs7g


Romero - 'nuff said!

Guillaume wrote:7) Mustasch - Silent Killer
The swedish underrated band delivers his most powerful and best album. Ralf Gyllenhammar shows here you don’t have to sing with a death vox to show aggression and emotion!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk-vRw-_oHw


They were better earlier on - kinda lost their passion if you ask me.

Guillaume wrote:6) Graham Bonnet Band - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
Bonnet is a phenomenon singing this powerful and hard at age 70! This album delivers quality classic hard rocking stuff and sounds quite heavy as well with an excellent backing band that includes Joey Tafolla (Jag Panzer)!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgi1iGZvdM4


Yes, agree with what you said!

Guillaume wrote:5) Saxon – Thunderbolt
Biff and co. keep on delivering always quality traditional metal, as it’s the case since the revival of the mid-90s. The best of the old 80s bands for me, though Priest gave them a kick in the ass this year!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYK1SoXuQI


I didn't actually listen to this (sorry) - just didn't think I needed more Saxon albums in my life :)

Guillaume wrote:4) Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost
I had more or less given up on them, stuff was a bit too predictable lately, but this is their best album in a long while. Lots of great catchy stuff, powerful songs. And Andy B. Francke still shines on vox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lylp1-vGZjY


This one didn't do anything for me at all - Andy's vocal melodies all sound the same nowadays and bores me to death ... oh how the mighty have fallen!

Guillaume wrote:3) Manimal – Purgatorio
Great melodic heavy/power stuff. This 3rd album is arguably their best. New vocal star Samuel Nyman shows his great range again, but more controlled than on the previous album. The band surely didn’t disappoint live at ProgPower.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS3tQiFRnLE


Didn't like this.

Guillaume wrote:2) Fifth Angel-The Third Secret
Comeback of the year! I though I’d miss Ted Pilot, but Kendall Bechtel (also guitarist) gives a killer Dio-like performance here so it’s not the case. Excellent traditional metal!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3119Fnjzgbg


Solid vocals - music bored me.

Guillaume wrote:1) Judas Priest – Firepower
Their best since Painkiller. Halford sounds better on this and the tour that he had since rejoining the band in 2005 (saw them twice in 2018!). Richie Faulkner rules on this. All hail the mighty Priest!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUzcxJNZKC4


Really good disc, and I listened to it a ton right after I bought it (on CD, on itunes and on amazon music ... don't ask me why LOL), but in the end it didn't make the cut on my top 50 list.

Great list G!
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Re: My Top 35 of 2018...

Postby MeTuLHeD » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:07 pm

LarryD wrote:He is quite the singer thru the years -- but I never liked the music he played, nor did I ever care for him touting "metal" as I never considered him a metal guy - strictly hard rock to me.


Agreed Brother Larry. Twisted Sister never did a THING for me.

That said...G-Man is right about this one. It is a solid heavy metal disc through and through...even bordering on thrash in places. It's heavy from the first song to the last. No one was more surprised by this one than me. And I can honestly say it is only disc I have ever bought with Dee Snider's name on it.


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