TOP 20 ALBUMS
1. Saint Deamon – Pandeamonium
A consistently strong melodic metal CD with balls. It hasn’t been taken out of my car stacker since I bought it and singing along with the memorable melodies keeps me relaxed in traffic and gets me looks from fellow commuters when I belt out a particular strong or high note behind closed glass. I’ve been a fan of ’Nobby’ Noberg (Nation, Dionysus) and Ronny Milianowicz (Sinergy, Dionysus, Primal Fear) for a while and I’m pleased to finally put their work in my #1 spot.
2. SuidAkra – Crogacht
I just love metal with bagpipes!
3. Winger – Karma
4. Powerwolf – Bible of the Beast
5. Crimfall – As The Path Unfolds…
6. Fairyland – Score To A New Beginning
7. Jorn – Spirit Black
8. Dark Moor – Autumnal
9. Paradise Lost – Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
10. Thunderstone – Dirt Metal
11. Lacuna Coil – Shallow Life
12. Ensiferum – From Afar
13. Primal Fear – 16.6 Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
14. Sonata Arctica – The Days of Grays
15. Trick Or Treat – Tin Soldiers
16. Adagio – Archangels In Black
17. Holyhell – Holyhell
18. Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
19. Tyr – By The Light of a Northern Star
20. Cain’s Offering – Gather The Faithful
BEST NEW BAND
1. Pink Cream ’69 – Past and Present
Pink Cream ’69 has been promising fans a live DVD for years so just the fact that it was finally released after so many years of anticipation was enough for it to rank highly this year. I saw them at Das Fest in Karlsruhe, so adding footage from that performance tipped the scales.
2. Promised Land of Heavy Metal
BEST LIVE CONCERT
I can’t belive a rock band has surpassed all metal bands this year in the best live show, but I walked away from the world’s most hated rock band, Nickelback, with sore cheeks from smiling so much. Chad Kroeger works a 30,000 seater stadium like a pub. Many frontmen have talked as much during a show, but none as well as Chad – from the funny, to the poignant, to the downright controversial - I wasn’t bored once. Even managed to sing along to a few songs with the diehard fans.
If you really want a metal show, then it would have to be PAIN at QStock festival in Finland.
An honorable mention goes to finally seeing Sonata Arctica on home turf at Screamfest. Now that’s how every New Year’s Eve celebration should be!
GREATEST HOPES FOR 2010
1. A full length release from Floor Jansen’s new band.
2. To get to Norway and Sweden for a festival or two
DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2009
There were so many disappointing CD releases and all the offenders have been in the business for 20 years plus.
I can’t believe I had my worst release for 2009 as early as January.
I didn’t think anything else released in 2009 would be as bad as this.
I actually felt really bad for Doro – she’s a great performer.
Too many familiar melodies and riffs in this release.
They should have quit when the packed away the makeup the first time.
So disappointing. Only one good song and having a second male
vocalist probably saved it.
I expect too much from bands that have been around for a long time.
I always hope for something different and new and get disappointed
when I hear the same old, same old.