– Best of 2001

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Best of 2001

Here it is, our annual best of list. First is the overall top 10 CD’s which are tabulated based on the top 20 lists submitted by each staff member. A review for each of the top 10 can be read by clicking on the album cover. The lists for each staff member is below the overall top 10.

Overall Top 10 CD’s of 2001


#1. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia

(141 points)
#2. Gamma Ray

 (139 points)
#3. Primal Fear

 (126 points)
#4. Iced Earth

 (121 points)
#5. Lost Horizon

(106 points)
#6. Saxon

 (94 points)
#7. W.A.S.P.

(93 points)
#8. Savatage

 (81 points)
#9. Kreator

 (80 points)
#10. Edguy

 (78 points )


Top 20 Staff Selections For 2001
Includes Best New Band, Best DVD and Disappointments of the year


1. Lost Horizon – Awakening The World

2. Kamelot – Karma
3. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
4. Jag Panzer – Mechanized Warfare
5. Gamma Ray – No World Order!
6. Iced Earth – Horror Show
7. Rhapsody – Rain of a Thousand Flames
8. Kreator – Violent Revolution
9. Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait
10. Elvenking – Heathenreel
11. Sonata Arctica – Silence
12. Edguy – Mandrake
13. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia – The Metal Opera
14. Iron Savior – Dark Assault
15. Annihilator – Carnival Diablos
16. Savatage – Poets And Madmen
17. Megadeth – The World Needs a Hero
18. Steel Prophet – Book of the Dead
19. Saxon – Killing Ground
20. Children of Bodom – Follow The Reaper

Best New Band
Lost Horizon
This Swedish band released their first full-length CD AWAKENING THE WORLD this year and not only are they the my personal best new band this year but this is my favorite album of 2001. Some might find the band’s image a bit much, but not me! I like their image, lyrical message, plus the bottom line, their music, is absolutely glorious!!

Judas Priest – Demolition
This letdown has nothing to do with Ripper. This has to do with the songs and the lack of anything resembling Judas Priest on most of the album.

Slayer – God Hates Us All
I liked this album but I was disappointed with it to a degree. The last GREAT Slayer album was Seasons in the Abyss…please return to that sound and style for Satan’s sake!!!!

Sepultura – Nation
How very far the once mighty have fallen.

In Flames – The Tokyo Showdown: Live In Japan 2000
My complaint here is not the music but the fact that this was a CD not a DVD. It’s just as well to play these songs on the albums they are from rather then these live versions.

Iron Fire – On The Edge
Good album, but their debut was better!

Man’s inability to cure all disease, war, ignorance and the passing of Chuck Schuldiner.

Best DVD
Stratovarius – Infinite Visions
Excellent documentary styled look through the bands history! Live clips + interviews…best DVD I bought this year easily (but the newly released Nightwish DVD is a damn close second)!!


1. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia – The Metal Opera

2. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
3. Jag Panzer – Mechanized Warfare
4. Edguy – Mandrake
5. Iced Earth – Horror Show
6. Kamelot – Karma
7. Rhapsody – Rain of a Thousand Flames
8. Nostradameus – Prophet of Evil
9. Brainstorm – Metus Mortis
10. Lost Horizon – Awakening The World
11. Gamma Ray – No World Order
12. The Reign of Terror – Sacred Ground
13. Steel Attack – Fall Into Madness
14. Annihilator – Carnival Diablos
15. Kreator – Violent Revolution
16. Silent Force – Infatuator
17. Saxon – Killing Ground
18. Savatage – Poets and Madmen
19. Balance of Power – Perfect Balance
20. Children of Bodom – Follow The Reaper

Best New Band
Lost Horizon

Judas Priest – Demolition
After hearing how this was supposedly Priests return to their roots it was a big letdown. Is the Tipton tank running dry?

Slayer – God Hates Us All
This has been called the bands mallcore CD. I don’t hear any mallcore but when the word fuck is used 3457 on a CD its time for Tom and Kerry and company to dig out their South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss vinyls to see why they are called one of the greatest metal bands of all time.

Megadeth – World Needs a Hero
Dave seems to have made an about face. Now he wants to be metal. Well this CD is a step in the right direction but its not the disc he led us to believe it was. The world might need a hero, but Dave and company will need a better set of tunes if they want to be it!

Best DVD
Stratovarius – Infinite Visions
This was a great DVD with a good mix of live and behind the scenes footage. Jens Johansson kep me in knots the whole time. What a comedian!.

Luxi Lahtinen

1. Arch Enemy – Wages Of Sin

2. Entombed – Morning Star
3. Necrodeath – Pitch As Black
4. Iced Earth – Horror Show
5. Finntroll – Jaktens Tid
6. Moonsorrow – Voimasta Ja Kunniasta
7. Sonata Arctica – Silence
8. Gamma Ray – No World Order!
9. Saxon – Killing Ground
10. Slayer – God Hates Us All
11. Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
12. The Electric Hellfire Club – Electronomicon
13. Blood Red Throne – Monument Of Death
14. Dark Funeral – Diabolis Interium
15. Kreator – Violent Revolution
16. In Thy Dreams – Highest Beauty
17. Misteltein – Divine. Desecrate. Complete
18. Destruction – The Antichrist
19. Sodom – M-16
20. Krisiun – Ageless Venomous

Best New Band
Blood Red Throne
These Norwegian death-mongers debut titled “Monument of Death” was just so fuckin´ UNBELIEVABLE!!! Sheer in-yer-fuckin´-face brutal Death Metal w/ extremely catchy yet technical songs a bit into DEICIDE´s “Legion” vein. Fans of DEICIDE´s “Legion” album (like me) will definitely love Blood Red Throne – there´s just no question about it!!! All you Death Metal fans out there, keep your eyes directed in Blood Red Throne´s direction ´coz I bet we´ll all hear from them a hell of a lot more in the future!


JUDAS PRIEST “Demolition”
Well, what can I say..?! I expected soooo much more from this album (especially from both K.K.´s and Glen´s riff -department!!) , but unfortunately ´priests´ couldn´t kinda fulfill all my most deepest expectations that I had towards it. “Demolition” was “just an OK album”, but normally J. PRIEST´s albums have been considered as either “very good” – or “extremely good” albums amongst the true metalheads. So, as I was waiting this album more than any other metal album to be released in 2001 – and got much less than I originally expected, this was probably one of the biggest disappointment for me as far as metal albums in 2001 in general were concerned. Here’s the ultimate winner of this category, unfortunately!

DEICIDE “In Torment in Hell”
What the fuck was this?! Can´t they do any decent songs any longer; have they run out of all their ideas how to make songs that crap an undivided attention of a listener right away in the name of things great and marvelous?! Probably it would be better if they split up for a while and start playing all over again ´coz I personally don´t want to hear another rushed album from these Beelzebub -worshippers never again. “In Torment in Hell” was a really crappy album from Mr. Benton & co., so shame on you guys!!! You are just capable of creating much better songs; you should know that by yourself, F-GRSTSAKE!!!!

Chuck´s Death
To put it shortly and simply: The news for his death came like a bolt from a blue for me. I thought he was making a recovery and getting better, but obviously I knew only a little of how things really were at his side. Chuck will always be remembered as one of the greatest, talented and coolest persons in metal and his music will NEVER die!!! Rest in peace our fellow metal brother; we´ll meet sometimes and somewhere again…

ARCH ENEMY never showed up in Wacken 2001
What I heard, their current vocalist Angela got sick and that´s why they just had to cancel their gig in Wacken which was very understandable, of course. But still, I would have wanted to see them playing there anyway. Maybe some other time, then…


1. W.A.S.P. – Unholy Terror

2. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia – The Metal Opera
3. Iced Earth – Horror Show
4. Nikolo Kotzev – Nostradamus
5. Opeth – Blackwater Park
6. JLN – From the Mists of the Ruins
7. Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait
8. Therion – Secrets of the Runes
9. Lost Horizon – Awakening The World
10. Dragonlord – Rapture
11. The Cult – Beyond Good & Evil
12. Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
13. Ozzy Osbourne – Down To Earth
14. Andromeda – Extension of the Wish
15. Zero Hour – The Towers of Avarice
16. And Oceans – A.M.G.O.D.
17. Freedom Call – Crystal Empire
18. Goat Horn – Voyage To Nowhere
19. The Forsaken – Manifest of Hate
20. Slayer – God Hates Us All

Best New Band
Lost Horizon

Best DVD
Manowar – Hell On Earth


Jag Panzer – Mechanized Warfare
Good, but not as inspired as its godly predecessor

Children of Bodom – Follow the Reaper
Progression? What? Now dubbed as COB Syndrome

Sonata Arctica – Silence
See COB Syndrome

Lacrimosa – Fassade
Pure goth crap from Snooze-ville

Rabies Caste – Let The Soul Out and Cut the Vein

Alas – Absolute Purity
Over-hyped and under whelming

Ice Maiden

1. Falconer – Falconer

2. Tobias Sammet – Avantasia: The Metal Opera
3. Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
4. Lost Horizon – Awakening the World
5. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
6. Ancient Rites – Dim Carcosa
7. Easy Rider – Evilution
8. Gamma Ray -No World Order
9. Stormlord – At the Gates of Utopia
10. My Dying Bride – The Dreadful Hours
11. Edguy – Mandrake
12. Hollenthon – With Vilest of Worms to Dwell
13. Tristania – World of Glass
14. Arch Enemy – Wages of Sin
15. Rhapsody – Rain of a Thousand Flames
16. Children of Bodom – Follow the Reaper
17. Amon Amarth – The Crusher
18. Therion – Secret of the Runes
19. Destruction – The Antichrist
20. Opeth – Blackwater Park

Best New Band

Slayer – God Hates Us All
It isn’t that I was expecting so very much from Slayer with this release, it’s just that I found it so depressingly bad from a band that was so formerly great.

Best Show
Primal Fear at Wacken 2001 – A simply incredible set.

Michael De Los Muertos

1. Avantasia ~ The Metal Opera

2. Lost Horizon ~ Awakening the World
3. Edguy ~ Mandrake
4. Falconer ~ S/T
5. Skyfire ~ Timeless Departure
6. Gamma Ray ~ No World Order
7. Stormlord ~ At The Gates Of Utopia
8. Finntroll ~ Jaktens Tid
9. Primal Fear ~ Nuclear Fire
10. Opeth ~ Blackwater Park
11. Cathedral ~ Endtyme
12. Steel Attack ~ Fall Into Madness
13. Bal-Sagoth ~ Atlantis Ascendant
14. Children of Bodom ~ Follow the Reaper
15. Marduk ~ La Grande Danse Macabre
16. Iced Earth ~ Horror Show
17. Insania ~ Sunrise in Riverland
18. Rhapsody ~ Rain of a Thousand Flames
19. Deaths Boundaries ~ Divide & Conquer
20. Savatage ~ Poets & Madmen

Best New Band
Lost Horizon

Biggest Disappointment
Slayer ~ God Hates Us All

Best DVD
Stratovarius ~ Infinite Visions


1. Iced Earth: Horror Show

2. Tobias Sammet: Avantasia – The Metal Opera
3. Ark: Burn The Sun
4. Rage: Welcome To The Other Side
5. Savatage: Poets & Madmen
6. Opeth: Blackwater Park
7. Sonata Arctica: Silence
8. Soilwork: A Predator’s Portait
9. Ozzy Osbourne: Down To Earth
10. Gamma Ray: No World Order
11. Jacobs Dream: Theater Of War
12. Em Sinfonia: Intimate Portrait
13. Kamelot: Karma
14. Therion: Secret Of The Runes
15. Zero Hour: The Towers Of Avarice
16. Edguy: Mandrake
17. Megadeth: The World Needs A Hero
18. Katatonia: Last Fair Deal Gone Down
19. Jag Panzer: Mechanized Warfare
20. Amorphis: Am Universum

Disclaimer: If anyone bothers to look at my reviews for 2001, some of these albums may seem inappropriate on my list, or even seem out of order. Well, my opinions on some of these albums changed a little after I listened to them more throughout the year.

Best New Band
Sadly, nothing really grabbed me by the balls this year.

EDGUY – Mandrake
It’s grown on me some more since I did the review, but it still doesn’t live up to the momentum established on the prior Edguy album or Avantasia. Here’s hoping Tobias gets back to Avantasia II in the new year.

The new album was originally going to be released in Spring of 2001, but diehards have been forced to wait for what looks to be a Spring 2002 release. My only hope is that the extra time means a killer album. Oh, and I’m praying to the gods of metal that BG will join Iced Earth on a co-headlining US tour in 2002.

This one is my fault. I missed two shows this year that I still deeply regret. I missed Savatage’s opening show of the POETS tour and a few months later I missed out on Symphony X & Pain of Salvation.

Arto Lehtinen

1. Gamma Ray – No World Order!

2. Slayer – God Hates US All
3. Rammstein – Mutter
4. Necrodeath – Black As Bitch
5. Kreator – Violent Revolution
6. Rebaelliun – Annihilation
7. Murder Squad – Unsane Insane And Mentally Deranged
8. Sodom – M-16
9. Absu – Tara
10. Destruction – Antichrist
11. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
12. Finntroll – Jaktens Tid
13. Rhapsody – Rain of A Thousand Flames
14. Entombed – The Morning Star
15. Black League – Utopia A.D
16. Saxon – Killing Ground
17. Abhorrence – Evoking The Abominations
18. Emperor – Promethens – The Discipline Of Fire And Demise
19. Dark Funeral – Diabolic Interium
20. Danse Macabre – Eva

Judas Priest – Demolition
I really need more Painkiller after listening to this.

Krisiun – Ageless Venomous
You definitely can’t match to the kick ass Conquerors Of Armageddon.

A shit load of mallcore bands from The States

Let Me Dream haven’t split up yet.

No death metal gigs in Finland

Best DVD
Motorhead – 25’th Alive Boneshaker

Kieth McDonald

1. Alice Cooper – Dragontown

2. Saxon – Killing Ground
3. Slayer – God Hates Us All
4. WASP – Unholy Terror
5. Dust To Dust – S/T
6. Ozzy – Down To Earth
7. Buckcherry – Timebomb
8. Megadeth – The World Needs A Hero
9. Soil – Scars
10. Gilby Clarke – Swag
11. LA Guns – Man In The Moon
12. Dragonlord – Rapture
13. Overkill – Bloodletting
14. Entombed – Uprising
15. Motorhead – We Are Motorhead
16. Pissing Razors – Where We Come From
17. Napalm Death – Enemy of the Music Business
18. Anathema – A Fine Day To Exit
19. Cradle of Filth – Bitter Suites to Succubi
20. Karma To Burn – Almost Heathen

Best New Band

Last Hard Men S/T
Bruce Kulick – Audiodog

Best DVD
Poison Greatest Video Hits

Thiago Martins

1. Kreator – Violent Revolution

2. Annihilator – Carnival Diablos
3. Ark – Burn the Sun
4. Evergrey – In Search of Truth
5. W.A.S.P. – Unholy Terror
6. Destruction – The Antichrist
7. Iced Earth – Horror Show
8. Grave Digger – The Grave Digger
9. Sodom – M16
10. Royal Hunt – The Mission
11. Borknagar – Empiricism
12. Eterna – The Gate
13. Savatage – Poets and Madmen
14. Thuatha de Dannan – Tingaralatingadun
15. Jag Panzer – Mechanized Warfare
16. Kamelot – Karma
17. Moonspell – Darkness and Hope
18. Threshold – Hypothetical
19. Wayne – Metal Church
20. Jorn – WorldChanger

Best New Band


Judas Priest – Demolition
What do KK Downing and Glenn Tipton have in mind? Man, this album is horrible. This band seems to be influenced by… White Zombie??? Come on, I know Judas Priest is always trying to find a way to renew their sound, but most of the songs here are horrible. Where is the vintage Judas Priest? Maybe their next step is calling some nu-metal producer for their future release.

Megadeth – The World Needs a Hero
At first, I’ve never been a die-hard Megadeth fan, cause I always hated Dave Mustaine’s vocals. But this is not the problem on this album. Ok, they are metal again, but so what? The songs are extremely boring. I was thinking that Al Pitrelli could give some fresh ideas to the band, but nothing really satisfied me. And maybe Mustaine’s vocals are the best ever… but nothing really could save this album.

Gamma Ray – New World Order
This is not a bad album. But this time I was expecting Gamma Ray to release their best album ever, but it turns out to be their weakest one. This is nothing compaired to the classic LAND OF THE FREE. I know Kai Hansen can deliver us albums much better than this one.

Best DVD
Queensryche – Live Evolution


1. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire

2. Saxon – Killing Ground
3. Annihilator – Carnival Diablos
4. Savatage – Poets and Madmen
5. Rob Zombie – The Sinister Urge
6. Kiss Box Set
7. Megadeth – The World Needs a Hero
8. Iced Earth – Horror Show
9. Alice Cooper – Dragontown
10 W.A.S.P. – Unholy Terror
11. Lost Horizon – Awakening the World
12. Rock Star Soundtrack – Various
13. The Cult – Beyond Good and Evil
14. Stratovarius – Intermission
15. Gamma Ray – No World Order
16. Ozzy Osbourne – Down To Earth
17. Gun Barrel – Power-Dive
18. Kick – Sweet Lick of Fire
19. Balance of Power – Perfect Balance
20. Lullacry – Be My God

Best New Band
Lost Horizon

1. Slayer – God Hates Us All
2. Judas Priest – Demolition
3. The passing of Chuck Schuldiner R.I.P.

Best DVD
Judas Priest: British Steel

Marko Syrjälä

1. Saxon – Killing Ground

2. Gamma Ray – New World Order
3. WASP – Unholy Terror
4. Judas Priest – Demolition
5. OZZY – Down To Earth
6. Alice Cooper – Dragontown
7. Slayer – God Hates Us All
8. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
9. Annihilator – Carnival Diablos
10. Megadeth – World Needs a Hero
11. Quiet Riot – Guilty Pleasures
12. L.A Guns Man – Man In The Moon
13. Savatage – Poets and Madman
14. Reign Of Terror – Sacred Ground
15. Edguy – Mandrake
16. Loudness – Spiritual Canoe
17. Kreator – Violent Revolution
18. Sonata Arctica – Silence
19. Racer X – Superheroes
20. Shameless – Queen For A Day

Best New Band

Aerosmith – Just Push Play
What has happened for these guys? Maybe they finally are too old to rock

Best DVD
Mötley Crue : Lewd Crewed & Tattooed


1. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia – The Metal Opera

2. Rage – Welcome to The Other Side
3. Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
4. Lost Horizon – Awakening The World
5. Gamma Ray – No World Order
6. Elvenking – Heathenreel
7. Vainglory – 2050
8. Grave Digger – The Grave Digger
9. Savatage – Poets & Madmen
10. W.A.S.P. – Unholy Terror
11. Hangar – Inside your Soul
12. Sodom – M16
13. Destruction – The Antichrist
14. Kreator – Violent Revolution
15. Freedom Call – A Crystal Empire
16. Black Steel – Destructor
17. Iron Savior – Dark Assault
18. Iced Earth – Horror Show
19. Sonata Arctica – Silence
20. Winterlong – Lost in The Valley

Best New Band
Although they are technically not “new” (they had an EP last year) EvilG turned me on to these guys and their full-length debut. Godly.

Best DVD
Hell on Earth-Part I


The much hyped Canadian heavy-metal channel, LOUD, fails to materialize. A watered-down rock channel (unavailable in most of the country) replaces it.

The Canadian metal music distribution network collapses as two or three music distribution companies go bankrupt. Import CD prices soar making it difficult (and expensive!) for metal consumers to find material. (the internet news station) merges with Roadrunner Records and loses all metallic credibility and journalistic integrity.

Sanctuary Records continues it’s buying spree of labels and refuses to release most titles in North America, instead deciding to saturate the market with crappy “Best of’s”, “Greatest Hits” and poorly done “Live” CD’s, especially the Queensryche.

The corporate whores at commercial and college loud rock radio continue to pay lip service to supporting metal but in reality continue to perpetuate the bad rap-rock trend in order to realize profit.

El Cid

1. Therion- Secret of the Runes

2. Hollenthon – With Vilest of Worms to Dwell
3. Enslaved – Monumension
4. Bolt Thrower – Honor-Valour-Pride
5. Avantasia – The Metal Opera
6. Arch Enemy – Wages of Sin
7. Stormlord – At the Gates of Utopia
8. Agathodaimon – Chapter III
9. Serberus – Our Dying Grace
10. Savatage – Poets and Madmen
11. Bal-Sagoth – Atlantis Ascendant
12. Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait
13. Kreato r- Violent Revolution
14. Lilitu – Memorial
15. Green Carnation – Light of Day, Day of Darkness
16. Amon Amarth – The Crusher
17. Sodom – M16
18. Darkane – Insanity
19. Dragonlord – Rapture
20. Edguy – Mandrake

Best New Band
Sadus and Testament in the mix, I really want to hear more from these guys, I want a juggernaut of a band right here!


Iced Earth- Horror Show
NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER, good! BURNT OFFERINGS, great! DARK SAGA blows goats except for “A Question of Heaven”! SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES made me hate Iced Earth for a while… Then John Schaffer gets together with Hansi Kürsch and they put out Demons & Wizards. That alone brought a lot of hope, great CD! I thought Schaffer would maybe stop recycling riffs and making 3 ballads per album and maybe do something original… Well, I was wrong, same old riffs, same dead band…

Children of Bodom- Follow the Reaper
Lets get one thing straight. This is not a bad album. It is just a disappointment because HATEBREEDER was such a great album. I expected a huge improvement in CoB’s sound, I wanted them to evolve into something, I wanted something new to listen to that would feature Alexi Laiho’s proficient guitar playing ability and such. But instead I got a watered down version of HATEBREEDER. Similar riffs and some great songs, but altogether, not the same level as its predecessor.

Opeth- Blackwater Park
Again, this is not a bad album, but it fails to meet my expectations, so it’s a disappointment. Opeth have consistently established themselves as one big exponent of what metal is these days. They have their own sound, they excel at it and they altogether rock! But the problem with this album is that STILL LIFE was godly, so it fails to meet my expectations… Maybe next time!

Anders Sandvall

1. Backyard Babies – Making Enemies Is Good
Making enemies is good

2. Entombed – The Morning Star
3. Judas Priest – Demolition
4. Debase – Domination
5. Slayer – God Hates Us All
6. Clawfinger – A Whole Lot of Nothing
7. Paradise Lost – Believe In Nothing
8. Saxon – Killing Ground
9. Destruction – The Antichrist
10. Machine Head – Supercharger
11. Edguy – Mandrake
12. Dare – Belief
13. Megadeth – The World Needs A Hero
14. Aerosmith – Just Push Play
15. Last Tribe – The Ritual

Best New Band
Last Tribe – “The Ritual”


The eleventh of September was the worst (I feel sorry for all the people that we left behind)

Sepultura – Nation
Please Max come back to the band again

Soulfly – Primitive
Max this no good at all, come back to Sepultura

More support for new metal band’s from Sweden

The Swedish government

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