Well folks its that time of year again for a totally (un)biased review of this years best albums. On a good month 2500-4000 visit CRR towers a month and I thank you sincerely for that. Why not subscribe like the 3 other people who fancy a regular dose of what chesyrockreviews has to offer. Go on, ya know ya wanna!!
2013 has been another decent year for fans of all genres of rock music, except if your name begins with ‘I’ and ends with ‘an Watkins’. Shame about the poor fucker from Steps with the same name who was hounded off twitter recently (do your homework trolls!). All we have to do now is get AC/DC to the top of the UK charts for Xmas before some Simon Cowell controlled puppety mannequin fuckwitt hypnotizes every 8-15yr old girl (and also housewife) in the UK. Enough of the topical stuff heres a rundown of my Top albums of 2013.
To be totally honest to all the bands, 10 thru to 3 had nothing in them at all, they were all so close its merely a matter of personal preference. If you are in 10-3 then your albums been pretty awesome indeed!
So…to the list
Just bubbling under…..in no particular order….deserving an honourable mention are…
Lion Twin – Nashville – crackin 80s rock riffs
Edens Curse – now more of a band and the resulting album confirms this
Queensryche – the Todd-ryche version pisses over the Tate-ryche version.
King Bathmat – British Prog band deserving a greater audience
Anneke Van Giersbergen – Infectious and gorgeous in equal measure
Mystery – Belting 80s style rock from a bunch of kids who should know better!!
Laneslide – Mighty fine AOR from the voice of Mr. Vestry
20. Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – Bridge The Gap
Probably the best piece of work from Mad Mickey since his best MSG days. A storming line-up means business right from the off. Its great to see (and hear) him back on fine form indeed
19. Sammy Hagar & Friends
The RED rocker is refusing to enter into his old age graciously and the result is rather splendid
18. Trucker Diablo – Songs Of Iron
Irelands answer to Black Stone Cherry. These lads are on the path to greater things in 2014.
17. Dream Theater – ST
Now firmly established with Mike Mancini in the ranks the DT guys come out with all guns blazing and prove there’s many a long like left in them after Portnoy
16. Vega –What The Hell
UK melodic rock starlets hit you with the Def Leppard playbook. Massive hooks and catchy choruses make for a plush listening experience. Time to make their own way as a major act in 2014
15. Volbeat –Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies
Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful. Mix Johnny Cash with Elvis, Country and Metal, and the end result is ‘OG&SL’
14. Bonafide – Bombo
The Swedish AC/DC hit the ground running this year with Bombo. A straight shootin’, no nonsense, rock ya between the eyes approach to metal
13. Charming Grace
Unusual approach saw Davide Barbieri duetting with many a well known (well in AOR circles) melodic rock starlet (most of them blokes). Thankfully an 80s passion for rock saw one of the interesting melodic rock releases of the year
12. WET – Rise UP
The 2nd album syndrome was easily brushed aside. It has more hooks than a fishing tackle box. On longer a ‘project’ WET are a bonafide band thanks to the Godfather of AOR at Frontiers!
11. Pamela Moore – Resurrect Me
Life after Queensryche? You bloody bet there is! Not a single ‘one trick pony’ (i.e Mindcrime Starlet) to be seen in the stable , Miss Moore comes out of the blocks sprinting for gold. Excellent metal from Sister Mary and one of the finest female metal vocalists plying their trade today
10. Von Hertzen Bros- Nine Lives
They’ve taken a while to get a foothold in the UK, but with Nine Lives, VHB have unleashed their finest album to date. Typically prog, but they mix this with a melodic-ness that many cant muster. King Crimson meets Genesis. As popular in Finland as 1D are over here, its just a matter of time before they break through into the mainstream
Listen to – Insomniac / Flowers and Rust
9. FM – Rockville
In their most prolific form of their lives, FM prove they are not reformed just to make up the numbers. The finest of the melodic rock albums with not one, not two, but three classic tracks that fit nicely with their best work. After many a workout on BBC R2 FM can still make a go of it, and they bloody well deserve to
Listen to – Crosstown Train / Tough Love / Only Foolin’
8. Monster Truck – Furiosity
When young Chesy came home from Download, Monster Truck is one he said I should listen to. Bugger me, if you’re a fan of CLASSIC 70s rock in the vein of all your fave bands like Purple / Rainbow / Zep, then look no further than Monster Truck. Powerful stoner riffs, a melodic finesse, and with a singer in the classic style of Morrison/Cocker/with a bit of roughness for good measure, makes MTs debut a thing of beauty
Listen to – Sweet Mountain River / For The Sun / The Lion
7. Moritz – S.O.S.
How this band hasn’t got the backing of a label is beyond me. Also how the fuck didn’t they get on the unsigned Firefest 2014 bill?? I lose my faith in humanity sometimes. Anyway, SOS kicks off where Undivided left of, only with much better production, and a polished set of songs many an melodic rock band would swap their Granny for. The Americans have Journey, we in the UK have Moritz. The UK wins by a knockout!
Listen to – SOS / Fire / Cant Hide My Heart / Gonna Lose Her
6. Newman – Siren
Mr Newman’s not a man for writing in the “Melodic Rock I-Spy” book of songwriting. The songs are more personal, thought provoking which leads to a most enjoyable album. Self written, played and produced, its about time the world woke up to Newman. A hidden gem of a talent. Siren has hardly been out of the CD player since July. The reason? No its not stuck, its simply brilliant
Listen to – Scar Of Love / Arcadia / Had Enough
5. Black Sabbath – 13
Finally the UK market put Sabbath at the top of the charts. It wasn’t just for posterity, its because its Sabbaths best album with Ozzy since Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Iommi’s playing at his darkest and brilliant best, possibly because it could be his last album? I certainly hope not. I just wish they could have acted more like grown ups and got Ward back in the fold. I suppose they know best as the end result is Sab-tastic
Listen To – God Is Dead / Age Of Reason
4. Stryper – No More Hell To Pay
Yes I know that Sabbath should be higher than Stryper, but its my list! When they reformed a few years back I was quite sure if the punters were ready for another God Bothering. NMHTP sees Stryper at their very best. Gone are the sickly power ballads and in come a more consistent and metal approach. When you have one of the finest vocalists in Michael Sweet, the outcome is the unknown 11th Commandment ‘ Thou Shalt listen to Stryper’
Listen to – No More Hell To Pay / Saved By Love / Legacy
A bit of a Mega group going on here from Messers Portnoy, Sheehan, and…er…Ritchie Kotzen! OK so some may not have come across Mr Kotzens prowess, but he’s as good a singer as he is a guitarist, and whoevers idea it was to get him on board was an inspired choice. One of my fave albums of the year
Listen to – Desire / I’M No Angel / Elevate
2. The Temperance Movement
My fave album for all of 4 days. A stunning debut from a bunch of lads who have paid their dues. In coming together as TTM, they are on their way to become one of the hottest and best bands the UK has to offer. They’ve been compared with The Faces, Black Crowes etc, but not for much longer. A gem of a singer in Phil Campbell, a slight Scot with the power of Joe Cocker on steroids and a imperious persona. My fave new band (and debut) of the year
Listen to – pretty much everything!
1.Alter Bridge – Fortress
One of my all time fave bands, but even I couldn’t see this one on the horizon. To be honest I thought they peaked with Blackbird, but Fortress picked up the baton, and ran off into the distance such is its quality. Tremonti’s riffs are downright pulverizing, and they have a perfect foil in Myles Kennedy’s vocals and guitar playing (Led Zep checked him out for a bloody good reason). Couple this with Flips drumming and a more dominant bass sound from Brian Marshall, and ‘Fortress’ is THE most powerful album of 2014, and its friggin awesome! AWESOME \m/
And heres what some of the others think……..
Jim Kirkpartick – FM1. Tedeschi Trucks Band – Made Up Mind2. The Temperance Movement3. FM – Rockville
Actually it will be interesting to see if TTB release an album in 2014 as Jim’s picked them both last and this year as his fave. Big Fan of the Trucks (and Tedeschi) methinks, and I cant blame him for a second!
Allee Martell – Purrfect Timing Radio Host \m/eow!
Killer DWaRfs – Start @One
Coldspell – Frozen Paradise
A World With Heroes – Kiss 40th Anniversary Tribute Album
Brett Walker – Straight Jacket Vacation
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Hardline / Ian Paice Band / Singer/ Songwriter / Producer and much more!
John Elefante – ON MY WAY TO THE SUN
Anneke van Giersbergen – DRIVE
Little River Band – CUTS LIKE A DIAMOND
Peter Scallan – Frontman for Moritz, and competitor for Rock Fusion!! And all round nice guy!!
Houston II (pure AOR),
Rage of Angels – Dreamworld (Classic Rock)
Stratovarios – Nemesis
Matthew Gilmore – Bassist Extraordinare for Skam
1. Black Sabbath – 13, its great they made a classic “Sabbath” album, it could have gone so wrong
2. Tracer – el Pistolero, its hard making album 2, but they nailed it!
3. Freefall – Power & Volume – best new band of 2013, good old Rock n Roll.
Gareth Vanstone – Bassist for Welsh AOR big guns, Serpentine!
1) The Winery Dogs – The Winery Dogs
2) FM – Rockville
3) Deep Purple – What If
Heleno Vale – Soulspell founder and Brazils equivalent to Ayreon!
01- AYREON – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
02- WITHIN TEMPTATION – PARADISE (WHAT ABOUT US)
03- HELLOWEEN – STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL