Best of 2014 – Marko Syrjälä

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BEST OF 2014 BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

1. ACCEPT: BLIND RAGE

Accept - Blind Rage
Accept – Blind Rage

As expected, Accept continues on directly where they left off with their previous STALINGRAD album. The third album with Mark Tornillo is another masterpiece from these German legends and it’s full of catchy riffs and melodies. Songs like like “200 Years” and “Dark Side of My Heart” are already live favourites and future Accept classics. In my opinion Accept is the best heavy metal band at the moment.

2. ACE FREHLEY: SPACE INVADER

ACE FREHLEY: SPACE INVADER
ACE FREHLEY: SPACE INVADER

The original spaceman is back with his strongest album in ages. Frehley’s previous album ANOMALY was a bit confused as its entirety but SPACE INVADER is a good and consistent package with no weak links with the exception of totally useless cover version of “The Joker” which was originally recorded by the Steve Miller Band in 1975.

3. GAMMA RAY: EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

GAMMA RAY: EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD
GAMMA RAY: EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

Kai Hansen totally surprised me positively this time. It’s been a while since Gamma Ray has released anything worth remembering but EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD is definitely one of the best albums that the band has put out in its career.

4. UNISONIC: LIGHT OF DAWN

UNISONIC: LIGHT OF DAWN
UNISONIC: LIGHT OF DAWN

 

 

 

Unisonic’s sophomore album is a way better than its predecessor and now the material is strong enough to carry on the throughout the whole album. Michael Kiske’s vocals are still just amazing.

5. JUDAS PRIEST: REDEEMER OF SOULS

6. ARCH ENEMY: WAR ETERNAL

7. EXODUS: BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

8. WINGER: BETTER DAYS COMIN

9. RED DRAGON CARTEL: S/T

10. RATED X: RATED X

11.MAGNUM: ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOW GARDEN

12.ICED EARTH: PLAGUES OF BABYLON

13.PRIMAL FEAR: DELIVERING THE BLACK

14. KIX: ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

15. VANDENBERG’S MOONKING’S: MOONKINGS

16.SEBASTIAN BACH: GIVE ‘EM HELL

17.TESLA: SIMPLICITY

18: OVERKILL: WHITE DEVIL ARMORY

19.BLACK LABEL SOCIETY: CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

20.LOUDNESS: THE SUN WILL RISE AGAIN

 

BEST ROCK/ NON-METAL

1. AC/DC: ROCK OR BUST

AC/DC –Rock or Bust
AC/DC –Rock or Bust

 

There’s not much more to say but if you’re a fan they never let you down.

2. SLIPKNOT: 5: THE GRAY CHAPTER

3. SLASH: WORLD ON FIRE

4. BILLY IDOL: KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE UNDERGROUND

5. URIAH HEEP: OUTSIDER

URIAH HEEP: OUTSIDER
URIAH HEEP: OUTSIDER

BEST EP

Carcass: Surgical Remission / Surplus Steel

Carcass continues were they left off with SURGICAL STEEL. Down: Down IV – Part II This EP is decent follow-up to the last year Down IV Part I. Skid Row: Rise of the Damnation Army – United World Rebellion-Chapter Two In fact this EP is nothing special compared to the bands early material but still worth to have.

BEST REMAKE ALBUM

Manowar: Kings of Metal MMXIV

In fact this was the only re-make album I purchased this year. The songs are still as great as ever but I can’t help  think, what is the point of these remake albums?

BEST COVERS ALBUM

Were there any good ones?

Paul Stanley: Face the Music: A Life Exposed
Paul Stanley: Face the Music: A Life Exposed

BEST BOOK

Paul Stanley: Face the Music: A Life Exposed

Finally all the original KISS members have released their own books. And Stanley’s book is not the weakest one of those. This book includes tons of interesting stories and facts from KISS’s career and Paul’s personal life. Scott Ian: I’m the Man I’m the Man is well documented, humorous and revealing memoir from Anthrax founding member and guitarist Scott Ian Joe Perry: Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith This one is really interesting book about the ups and downs of Joe Perry’s long lasting career.

BEST DVD

Anthrax: Chile on Hell

anthraxchiledvd

Anthrax is definitely the best band of its own genre. And this DVD… it is very well arranged. The band plays great and set list includes enough new and old material. Highly recommended viewing for any metal fans out there.

TNT: 30th Anniversary Live In Concert

This DVD was filmed already in 2012 but it came out on the fall of 2014. I was personally in that show and it was just one unbelievable event from the Norway’s finest.

Alice Cooper: Raise the Dead – Live from Wacken

Another great DVD from the master of horror rock.

BEST TV/MOVIE

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

A great end for the great Hobbit trilogy

BEST CONCERT

The Year 2014 included many great events and shows from a wide selection of my favorite bands. Here’s a list of 5 best performances in random sequence.

Loudness: Live at Jalometalli Festival, Oulu, FINLAND
Finally I saw the kings of Japanese metal in action. The band opened the show with “Crazy Nights” and just nailed it through the entire show.

Accept: Tornio, Finland
Accept never disappoints and the show in Tornio made no exception. The set included a gratifyingly large number of songs from their newer albums. Exotic concert venue location in Lapland gave the show an extra special element.

Motley Crue: Madison Square Garden, NYC, USA
Although I’ve seen Crue on all tours they’ve done since the reunion, this one was definitely one of the better ones of them all. There was nothing special or surprises on the set list, band performance or show itself but the atmosphere on the legendary MSG was just tangible.

TNT, On the Rocks, Helsinki, FINLAND
The legendary Norwegian hard rock group TNT made its first show ever with Tony Harnell in Helsinki. The club was entirely packed and ecstatic crowd sang all the songs with the band from the beginning to the end.

KISS: KISS Kruise IV, Miami, USA
There’s no year without a KISS show, or a few, in my calendar. The bands performance in KISS Kruise IV was not special as it was last year set list wise, but it was just amazing to witness the band performing the entire show in “Dressed To Kill” outfit and also a few rarely played 80’s tracks mixed with the usual KISS standards.

BEST LOCAL BAND

If we are talking about a local band here I do think we are talking about the best band coming from Finland at the moment. And I would say Children of Bodom.

BEST NEW BAND

I’m not following new bands too much but I would say that check out my new band Evil Drive. A full length debt album will be released prior the summer.

MAJOR EVENTS IN THE METAL WORLD

Surprising line-up changes in Megadeth, Testament, Accept and more…

This of course happens every year but in 2014 we again lost many long term rock pioneers: Dick Wagner, Jack Bruce, Jimi Jamison, Tommy Ramone, Johnny Winter and more.

PREDICTIONS FOR 2015

There will be tons of interesting albums going to be released in 2015. The list includes: Slayer, Nightwish, Anthrax, WASP, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, John Sykes and possibly Iron Maiden.

Swedenrock festival

Wacken feat. Savatage re-union show FINALLY !!!