Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Best of 2014: Metal

This is where we crank it up. The Best Hard Rock and Heavy Metal releases for 2014. Two album had to be left off this portion of the list, and they were left speechless. Actually, one of them would have been speechless regardless, since it was an instrumental album. That was Behold (Instrumental) by My Epic, which in my opinion was better than the vocal edition. You really can't beat uninterrupted Metal Jams. The other album left off the list, simply cause I couldn't put them all on, was Vxv by Wolves at the Gate.

You kind of know if they put out an album, Stryper will find its way onto the best albums of the year list. They are just that good. Last year they struck platinum with No More Hell to Pay , the long awaited sequel to No More Hell to Pay . This year they went platinum again with, of all things, a live album. Now I don't want you to think there's any favoritism regarding Live at the Whisky . There isn't. It's just that there aren't too many Live Albums that make you go WOW. Usually the "Live Experience" that you feel if in the arena is somehow lost, or at least diminished during the recording. But here, as one person said, a band in it's fourth decade shouldn't sound this good. But they do, and finish it off with a megasong, a seven minute rendition, with audience participation, of Soldiers Under Command, probably the song that made the band.

The genre is officially Hard Rock/Metal, and we were privileged to have one entry from each half. The Hard Rock side was represented by Orange County monsters of Rock Project 86. They are slightly less prolific than their fellow county residents Stryper, having put out Wait for the Siren in 2012. It takes a while longer to make an album unlike the one before it. Stryper is proud of their sound. Of course the voice is what makes the band, and Andrew Schwab is easily recognizable, however the sound. This time they point their Knives to the Future (Special Edition) , and while this might be their hardest rocking outing yet, they have no trouble slowing things down to near Alternative levels, as in Son of Flame.

Our widows and orphans post is next, where only one entry per genre remained. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.