Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2018 Vol. 2

With ten slots proving barely adequate for this year in music, a second part comes due. Sorry for the lack of consistency, as I slip in and out between soft rock and metal(core) favourites. So try not to lift your finger off that volume dial.

In no real order and in time for the new year, enjoy Volume 2 of 2:

10. The Temperance Movement – A Deeper Cut

The blues continue to invade modern music, as The Temperance Movement releases their third solid rock n’ roll record. A Deeper Cut is yet another next top-notch album to join the impressively consistent collection of indie label Earache Records. H

Capable of throwing out raw rockers like Caught in the Middle and Backwater Zoo, the beloved British band is unafraid to slow down for tender ballads such as There’s Still Time and the brilliant title track. And what is perhaps as much our blessing as it is the band’s, Phil Campbell’s raw vocals work amazingly well on both.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2018 Vol. 2”

Advertisements

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2018 Vol. 1

Cynics may continue to cry foul at imitators and sellouts in the rock scene, but I stand my ground that 2018 has been good to music fans. Too good, if I dare to be bold. As labels shower us with gifts of addictive blast beats and criminally catchy hooks, I hesitate at the difficult task of playing favourites.

Music lists are tougher still for an indecisive audiophile, who holds on dearly to ancient favourites while craving for new ones. But I’ll take any excuse to re-listen to some of the best records this year:

10. Avatar – Avatar Country

I will always regret missing Avatar live at Download Festival. With their seventh album Avatar Country, the band is set to steal the title of the greatest showmen on the metal stage. Emulating the early persona of the revered Alice Cooper, the born performers are just a hell lot of fun to watch.

Granted that they may play up on the dramatic, their dress-up games never come at the cost of musicality.  Their latest record is full of groove-laden bangers, albeit softer than before. If there is a single track that sums up their serious musicianship alongside their love for fun, get in on The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2018 Vol. 1”

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2017

2017 saw our unexpected loss of some fine musicians, including Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Malcolm Young, and Chester Bennington. Nevertheless, it remained an exceptional year for music in other ways.

To think ten years ago, getting to attend a small rock gig here was considered a stroke of luck. Seeing Guns N’ Roses live this year was absolutely unforgettable. As was experiencing the spectacular concerts of Wolfmother, Tyler Bryant, Megadeth (third time’s the charm), Richie Kotzen, Hats Off to Led Zeppelin, and Sick of It All.

2017 releases also charmed audiophiles, as old favourites make strong comebacks and young bands break the mould. There goes the falsehood that the new generation has ruined music. Far from it, as this list would prove – in two pages and no particular order:

15. Santa Cruz – Bad Blood Rising

Flashy outfits and pop-oriented hooks are surefire ways to invite scorn in the rock/metal scene. Not that these guys give a damn. Drawing comparisons to Mötley Crüe and Skid Row, Santa Cruz has the looks to match withal. But even as they wear their influences on their sleeves, the Finnish band finds their own sound with this polished release.

Musically, Bad Blood Rising thrives on the same attitude and zest that has earned them their previous fans, who will not be disappointed. Going for energetic solos and anthemic choruses, they capture the infectious rhythm of the genre neatly, and never once forget the fun of it.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2017”

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016 Vol. 2

We are now five months into 2017, where I have had the chance to listen to more albums released last year. And so I have come to realise that my list of favourite 2016 rock/metal albums was woefully incomplete. 

Thankfully, there is no hard and fast rule that forbids a very belated follow-up post. Not for me, anyway. If there is anything I’ve learnt from Marvel’s raging success, it is that a Volume 2 fixes everything. What better way to kick it off than some new noise? 

Starting with:

10. Dorothy – ROCKISDEAD

The title ROCKISDEAD is a pure fib. Not that we mind at all. From the stompin’ proclamation of Raise Hell, to the southern echoes in Gun in My Hand, Dorothy‘s debut album impresses like few others can, leaving us ravenous for more.

Goodbye naysayers. Long live rock n’ roll, thanks to this hell-raising headbanger and self-confessed snack devourer. Newcomer Dorothy Martin has reignited the rock n’ roll scene in a big way, with her fervent powerhouse vocals tailor-made for modern blues.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016 Vol. 2”

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016

In 2016 alone, we lost Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Scotty Moore, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, and a great many music legends. For a time, this really seems like the year that music died.

Still, we look at the bright side, for the year has been good to audiophiles too. The rock releases this year have been nothing but stunning, be it from new or veteran bands. As 2016 comes to a close, I review my overworked Spotify app and list ten of my favourite new albums, out of at least a good twenty. Rock is dead? I think not, Gene Simmons.

Enjoy the read, and listen:

10. Jessikill – Metal Knights

Far from her X-Factor days, Jessica Marie Espinoza has long since traded her pop hits for heavier originals in Hessler. Yet it is in young metal quartet Jessikill, where her powerhouse vocals finds her rightful place. With echoes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Metal Knights gives her talent adequate room to shine. The band does more than well to accompany.

Bassist Arturo Alvarado and drummer Alan Cisneros lay down bold notes and powerful rhythms, as guitar virtuoso Jyro Alejo leads a stunning shred fest atop like no other. That is, except perhaps for his former Immortal Guardian band mate Gabriel Guardian, who shreds on guitar and keyboards. At the same time.

What a legend.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016”