Hello friends, can you believe another year has gone by already? Shit, I cant. That was way too fast! OK so let me break it down for ya’ll. I did not buy a lot of new releases in 2017. I purchased and acquired plenty of CD’s but the majority of these were released prior to 2017. Plus, I was neck deep in creating metal with IGNITOR and WITCHES MARK and was busy pretty much every second and every day of 2017. The new IGNITOR record “Haunted By Rock & Roll” was released this past Black Friday through EMP Records, please check it out! I should have two more albums released in 2018 and I’m very excited about that, obviously. So anyway, due to all of the aforementioned, for the first time ever I’m coming to the table with a top ten list instead of top twenty. I figure it’s better than nothing! Enjoy!
You know what? I think this is the first time in ten years of writing these end of year best of lists that I’ve picked a Texan band for the honor of the #1 spot. Well Syrus earned it fair and square. Rising from the ashes, Syrus re-recorded their classic eighties material with new vocalist Geoff Dee through No Dust Records entitled “Tales of War”. 2018 is already looking very promising for Syrus as the band is set to perform at the Headbanger’s Open Air festival!
2. Stallion – From The Dead
“From The Dead” came extremely close to topping my year end list. This is a very strong album from start to finish that is sure to please fans of old school heavy metal like Accept, Saxon and Scorpions. Stallion are pretty hard to find Stateside so hopefully they get better distribution in the future. Definitely worth seeking out a copy!
3. Portrait – Burn The World
Was anybody more excited than me that Portrait released a new album? Haha, shut up. No of course not. I worship at the altar of the band’s previous album “Crossroads” but for whatever reason “Burn The World” doesn’t hypnotize me as a listener and send me into orbit the way “Crossroads” does. Still a damn fine record from one of the best bands out there today!
4. Affliktor – Affliktor
As a huge Toby Knapp fan I was very pleased to see Toby kick so many asses and melt so many faces with the release of his new thrash attack Affliktor. Toby makes my list virtually every year and that is because he is a monster on guitar and consistently releases quality metal, this record is something special though. I really believe he’ll be going exciting places with Affliktor in 2018.
5. Ophicvs – Machine Gun Reaper
I fucking love everything about this record. It’s best described as a gas masked black metal dude playing really raw old school heavy metal. The riffs are catchy and the vocals fit the imagery of the cover art pretty perfectly. Like a drunken Mayhem circa 1991 playing Accept. Love this shit.
6. Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – Stand Your Ground
7. Night Demon – Darkness Remains
8. The End A.D. – Scorched Earth
9. Walpyrgus – Walpyrgus Nights
10. Accept – The Rise of Chaos
Best EP – Substratum – Roughrider
What a great introduction to Seattle’s Substratum. Surely we will be hearing plenty more from these folks in the future. They have a sound like they’re comprised of some heavy metal veterans that have been at this for years. Not sure if that’s the case or not but it sure as hell sounds like they know what they’re doing all right. My gut tells me they won’t be paying their dues in the underground much longer, this is totally the kind of talent I could see a major label scooping up like a thief in the night.
Best Reissue – Genghis Khan – The Awakening & The Passage
Where does Heaven and Hell Records label owner Jeremy Golden find this stuff? I’d sure like to know because he has an uncanny knack of finding long lost metal records, dusting them off and giving them the royal treatment as far as remastering, deluxe liner notes and archival photos. Such is the case with Genghis Khan whom I was very pleased to discover. What a great collection of demos from the Pennsylvania based heavy metal band (Who have apparently reunited!).
Best Festival – Legions of Metal
Wow, what a weekend that was! I saved for months to cover the airfare, living expenses and spending cash for a special trip to Chicago for the Legions of Metal festival and it was worth every pretty fucking penny. Headlining performances from Ross The Boss, Diamond Head and Armored Saint not to mention all of the great performances from Brocas Helm, Sacred Leather, Substratum, Syrus, Devil In Disguise and Walpyrgus to name just a few.
Best club show – Anvil with special guests Night Demon
This was such a cool tour. Night Demon tore the house down with their youthful energy and Anvil were every bit the time tested veterans bringing the thunder to the masses! I’d really dig more tours pairing an up and coming underground act paired with a heavyweight.
Best Beer – Rolling Rock
Look, don’t give me any shit. It’s cheap. It goes down smooth. I recognize that you’re something of a beer snob with your fancy IPA’s and your discerning taste. Good for you. I’m saving money to buy more metal CD’s and this is the best I can do two years in a row. By the way, your fancy Megadeth beer is only 4.5% ABV so STFU and quit bragging already.
Best Chest In The West –Shay Laren
Oh my goodness. Amazing knockers, Shay.
Greatest Hopes For 2018
I hope Angel Witch release a new album and tour the USA.
I hope Lost Horizon reunite with the “Awakening The World” lineup.
I hope Dos XX brings back the Dos-A-Rita 24oz.
I hope someone at Fender Guitars reads this and sends me a Yngwie J. Malmsteen signature series Fender Stratocaster with Scalloped Frets.
I hope I win the Texas Lottery and never have to do anything I don’t want to again.
I hope Dennis Rodman pins down his North Korean dictator pal Kim Jong Un and Roseanne Barr squats over his face and queefs directly up his nose until he dies.