Best of 2014 – JP

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Best of 2014 – JP

1. Gamma Ray-Empire Of The Undead (EarMusic)


A raging return to form after the (mildly) disappointing TO THE METAL  This one has it all; epics, fast songs, catchy songs, stellar performances and a faster, darker heavier direction than the past several years. The new drummer adds new fire to the band as well. Superb!

2. Riot-Unleash The Fire

RIOT - Unleash The Fire
RIOT – Unleash The Fire
Riot join the elite rank of bands that have transcended members and become an institution.  Along with Judas Priest, Stratovarius, Napalm Death and Sepultura, Riot have no original members left.  New vocalist Todd Michael Hall nails it as their 15th album kicks eternal ass.  They celebrate their 40th anniversary  in 2015 and based on UNLEASH THE FIRE  show no signs of slowing down.
3. Edguy-Space Police (Nuclear Blast)
4. Iron  Savior- Rise Of The Hero (AFM)
5. Hammerfall- Revolution (Nuclear Blast)
6. Sabaton-Heroes (Nuclear Blast)
7. Evergrey- Hymns For The Broken (AFM)
8. Wolf-Devil Seed (Century Media)
9. Within Temptation-Hydra (indie)
10. Ace Frehley-Space Invader (Eone)
11. Crazy Lixx-Crazy Lixx (Frontiers)
12. Dragonforce-Maximum Overload (EarMusic)
13 Iced Earth-Plagues Of Babylon (Century Media)
14. Primal Fear-Delivering The Black (Frontiers)
15. Falconer-Black Moon Rising (Metal Blade)
16. Overkill-White Devil Armory (Nuclear Blast)
17. Firewolfe-We Rule The Night (Limb)
18. Morning Dwell-Morning Dwell (Doolittle)
19. Gloryful-Ocean Blade (Massacre)
20. Heroes Of Vallentor-The Warriors Path Part 1 (indie)

Best Live Album

Yngwie J. Malmsteen- Spellbound-Live In Tampa (King)
Recorded on the final night of the North American leg of his 2013 Spellbound World Tour, this 2 CD, 30-song, career-spanning set sees the maestro at the height of his god-like powers.


Best EP

Sodom-Sacred Warparth (SPV)
Not too many amazing EP’s this year but this teaser for next years album is pretty cool.


Best Remake album

Manowar-Kings Of Metal. (Magic Circle)
This amazing 25th Anniversary re-recording really bring to life the iconic album. Fantastic packaging!  Two discs,  with nine bonus tracks, two full booklets with essays, liner notes and more, all housed in a box. Superb.



Best Covers album

Various Artists-The Keepers Of Jericho-A Tribute To Helloween Parts I & II. (End Of The Light)
Even though this is a 2 CD reissue of the classic set originally available on Arise Records 12 years ago, it is still better than the few covers albums that came out this year. Runner up: Great White-Saturday Night Special.

Best Book

Heavy Metal Movies by Mike McPadden Beardo (Bazillion Points) 

A fantastic film guide of all things Metal.


Best DVD

Metal Down Under. This three hour history of Australian Heavy Metal was excellent.


Best Concert

I saw almost 75 bands this year so this one was hard to decide. Sonata Arctica w. Delain and Xandria

Best local band

Kobra And The Lotus. (Titan)
Calgary’s biggest and most successful Metal band.


Best new band

Crosswind-Vicious Dominion. (No Remorse) This Greek Power Metal band lived up to the promise of their two incredible demos.


Best Discovery

Firewolfe. (Limb)

A perfect blend of Icon, Scorpions, Fifth Angel and heavy Dokken.


Predictions for 2015

W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Carried over from 2010, again).

Matos just rejoined Viper. Can Viper make good Power Metal record again like they did in the 80’s? (Carried over from 2013).

New WA.S.P. album. It’s been six long years since Babylon. Can Blackie come roaring back? We hope so! (carried over from 2012).

Most Anticipated Albums

1. Serious Black-As Daylight Breaks Featuring past or present members of Blind Guardian, Dreamscape, Edenbridge, Helloween, Masterplan, Savage Circus, Tad Morose, Visions Of Atlantis and more.

2. Level 10-Chapter One. Featuring past or present members of Annihilator, Helloween, Masterplan, Primal Fear, Silent Force, Sinner, Symphony X, Voodoo Circle and more.

3. Marius Danielson-The Legend Of Valley Doom featuring past or present members of Almah, Angra, Dark Moor, Dragonland, Fairyland, Falconer, Iced Earth, Iron Mask, Judas Priest, Manowar, Metalium, Savatage, Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Zandelle and more.

4. Blackwelder-  Featuring past or present members of Primal Fear, Gamma Ray, Angra, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force and more

5. New Cain’s Offering-Featuring past or present members of Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Dio, Paul Di’anno, Yngwie Malmsteen and more.

6. New W.A.S.P.   It has been six years since BABYLON the longest stretch between W.A.S.P. albums.

7.  New Yngwie J. Malmsteen.