Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards: Best Hard Rock Album of the Year

Like Modern Worship earlier in the evening, this is a genre that most people would not consider a genre. It is a genre of convenience, however, in that the sheer number of Rock eligible entries required a separation between bands such as Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, or Becoming the Archetype from more traditional acts such as Barlowgirl, Skillet or Third Day. Another place that a sub-genre like this could appear is Pop. The Doves have the ambiguous Rock/Contemporary and Pop/Contemporary categories to include the Adult Contemporary variety, which I call "Air Conditioning" music. It's not poppish enough to be real pop and not hard enough to be real rock. If I choose to go that route in 2011 it will siphon off mostly Pop entries.

The final seven nominees for Hard Rock Album of the Year for 2010
  • Apocalyptica - 7th Symphony
  • Children 18:3 - Rains a Comin
  • Demon Hunter - The World is a Thorn
  • Disciple - Horseshoes and Handgrenades 
  • Flyleaf -Memento Mori
  • Haste The Day - Attack of the Wolf King
  • The Showdown - Blood in the Gears
With Hard Rock, the "Wow" factor consists not only of being able to have an impressive top to bottom package, but also the ability to blow everyone off the stage, sonicly speaking. Though it was tough to admit, Children 18:3, Demon Hunter, and Flyleaf just missed it in that regard, by a hair. Apocalyptica also fell by the wayside, but only because "Broken Pieces" with Lacey from Flyleaf was its only Christian song. Even having half instrumentals wasn't enough to save it. A great album nonetheless. That left a second round showdown between Disciple, Haste The Day, and The Showdown.

And the winner of the Best Hard Rock Album of the Year for 2010 is:

Disciple - Horseshoes and Handgrenades  

To quote the band "Go ahead, put a target on my forehead. You can fire but you got no bullets." In the end the showdown wasn't much of a battle, and the wolf king, meow. Sorry, I couldn't resist.  It's just that this is a very strong work, top to bottom. There are very few albums without one mediocre song, and this is one of them. I reviewed both Disciple and The Showdown when their releases came out in the late summer and fall, and I stand by the reviews, but Disciple in the end prevailed. It may have been nice to give Haste The Day the award as a send off, since they are calling it quits, but the awards aren't just to be nice, and since I was not aware of their work before this year, a Lifetime Achievement Award wasn't in the realm of possibility.

Only Rock remains to be awarded in the Album of the Year Category, and then the General Field awards begin. Who will be the best rock band out there. Will newcomer Evolett take home the prize on their first try, will veteran Toby Mac, or even techno rockers Satellites and Sirens. We shall find out, in a mere fifteen minutes. Keep it locked here, as we continue.