Best of 2016: Marko

January 10th, 2017
by Marko Syrjala

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

1. Anthrax: For All Kings


– With all respect to the previous Anthrax album WORSHIP MUSIC this one blows it away 100%! FOR ALL KINGS is everything you could ever want from the band. Great song writing, strong melodies and excellent vocals from Joey Belladonna. FOR ALL KINGS is the bands most versatile album to date and also one of their best best albums to date.

2. Megadeth: Dystopia

Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

In brief, DYSTOPIA brings Megadeth back in form. After somewhat disappointing and messy SUPER COLIDER and several line-up changes the band is back where it belongs. DYSTOPIA is full of excellent guitar playing and killer riffs. This album stands right next to the bands classic albums like RUST IN PEACE and YOUTHANAUSEA.

3. Avantasia: Ghostligts


GHOSTLIGHTS is another masterpiece from Tobias Sammet. The album might be little bit more straight forward and even more commercial than its predecessors but it’s still a high quality stuff from the beginning to the end.

4. Metal Church: XI

Metal Church - XI

The comeback album of the year! I’m sure that the return of Mike Howe was something that no one expected to happen, ever. Luckily it did and as a result we now received one of the best metal albums released in year 2016.

5. The Dead Daisies: Make Some Noise
The Dead Daisies: Make Some Noise
MAKE SOME NOISE continues where the previous album REVOLUTION left off last year. John Corabi sounds fantastic and the bands latest addition Doug Aldrich brings in fresh energy and new elements to the song writing.

6. Testament: Brotherhood of the Snake

7. Glenn Hughes: Resonate

8. Denner/Sherman: Masters of Evil

9. Zakk Wylde: Book of Shadows II

10. Graham Bonnet: The Book

11. Dream Theater: The Astonishing

12. Airbourne: Straight To Hell

13. Sixx A.M: Prayers For The Damned vol 1

14. Blackthorne: Don’t Kill The Thrill

15. Kee Marcello: Scaling Up

16.  Last In Line: Heavy Crown 

17. Death Angel: The Evil Divide

18. Magnum: Sacred Blood Divine Lies

19. Suicidal Tendencies: World Gone Mad

20. Rage: The Devil Strikes Back Again

 

BEST EP

Phil Campbells’s and the Bastards Sons / ST

With this EP Phil proves what he can still create killer songs and riffs even without Lemmy. Check it out !

BEST COVER ALBUM

Ace Frehley: The Originals vol 1.
Nothing spectacular but the Spaceman does a great job there. Especially Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” and super cool version KISS’s “Rock n Roll Hell” make this album worth to check for everyone who loves good rock’n roll.

BEST DVD

KISS – Rocks Las Vegas
Excellent DVD release from KISS. What makes this different to any other KISS DVD release is that this one was filmed in such an intimate atmosphere in Las Vegas residency. A great set list with amazing show, as always.

MOTLEY CRUE – The End
Motley Crue finished its long career with dignity and this DVD is a brilliant memory from the very last show they did on New Years eve of 2015.

RICHIE BLACKMORE’s RAINBOW – Memories in rock
Although the band line-up and performance is not as great as hoped it’s still “the man in black”, finally performing all the hits he created during the last four decades. Hopefully there’s more to come and perhaps with updated line-up then?

BEST BOOKS 2016

SEBASTIAN BACH – 18 and Life. – A good read for any hard rock / metal head.

BEST CONCERTS 2016

KISS Kruise VI, KISS indoor show
I’ve seen about 100 KISS shows and this one was one of the best ever. It was just mind-blowing to hear such rarely / never played gems as “Radioactive”, “Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me”, “Rock n roll Hell” and “Keep Me Comin'”

MICHAEL SCHENKER, Swedenrock 2016
 Michael Schenker played amazing show with the classic MSG rhythm section and with 3 different vocalists in Swedenrock. Graham Bonnet, Gary Barden and Robin McAuley are legends and they all were great. The set set was pure gold. There was some real magic in the air that night.

QUEEN, Sweden Rock 2016
I know, Queen is not metal and Freddie Mercury is not there anymore, but still the Queen show was easily one of the best things that I saw live in 2016. Let the music do the talking could be the right term to use here.

 

BIGGEST HOPES FOR 2017

There are many interesting albums from “old school” bands coming out in 2017. Accept, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Saxon etc. – Many great shows/tours are already booked up: Aerosmith’s Farevell tour, KISS’s European tour, Guns ‘n Roses and more. It’s going to be a good concert year for sure.

There’s going to another run of great festivals in Europe. Sweden Rock, Bang Your Head, Hellfest, Wacken. Metal is alive and well in Europe!!

DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE YEAR:

Brian Johnson’s exit from AC/DC. This one should have handled better although Axl did a great job.

The number of dead rock stars in 2016… David Bowie, Nick Menza, Jimmy Bain, Rick Parfitt…

The state of music industry. Album sales etc… It’s really bad and it’s getting worse all the time. The last person in the house can turn off the lights.. 🙁

DEE SNIDER : We Are The Ones

This album was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Who could have believed that legendary Dee Snider is someday going to release such bland and useless album as WE ARE THE ONES. The best part of this album is the cover art which looks cool. Snider’s voice is still as good as ever and a piano version of Twisted Sister classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It” sounds good. BUT… there are nine other tracks on the album. None of the songs are great. There are two ok tracks (“So What” and the title track), 3 listenable tracks but the rest is something what should have been left unreleased. When a man in his 60’s is trying to change his musical style and image and create something completely new it rarely works. Snider makes no exception here. Musically, Snider is now completely lost. Most of the songs are boring and average pop songs with nothing inside. Those are like empty shells. It’s really sad if this album is going to remain Snider’s last album release. A legend deserves a better ending if you ask me.

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