Thursday, 20 December 2018

2018 Top 10!

Ok, so I've finally come around to compile my top 10 of 2018!
I may (of course) have forgotten some album I later remember and go - daaaamned! Also, I still have a bunch of albums I haven't even had the time to listen to, so some may have gone under the radar.

1. Prins Svart
This is truly a masterpiece delivered by four Swedish musicians that had a band back in the 90s called Four Sticks. They only released a promo album, but it was a kick-ass piece of plastic (now quite a rarity in its original press - it was quite recently re-issued by Grooveyard Records). Anyway, singer Stefan Berggren has also appeared fronting bands like Company of Snakes, Snakes In Paradise (I see a pattern here...), Berggren Kerslake Band as well as released solo stuff, guitarist Henrik Bergqvist was in The Poodles, bass player Thomas Thorberg in Plankton, Snakes In Paradise and drummer Sebastian Sippola has been beating the skins in Grand Magus, Fortune, Southfork, Plankton etc. In Prins Svart (Prince Black) they get to revisit the good old 70s riff arena, surprisingly (but I love it) singing in Swedish! An outstanding album, which really left me craving for more!!

2. Revolution Highway - Revolution Highway (Grooveyard)
Man, this was on the verge! I received this outstanding CD in December, but damn! It really gave me a musical knock-out! Singer David Fefolt (FireWölf, Hawk, Masi, Valhalla) has the perfect bluesy, ripping voice to match the outstanding guitar licks of Greek riff phenomenon Stavros Papdopoulos (Universal Hippies, Super Vintage). I totally love Stavros other bands (and he's a great singer), but this combination just brings the level up exponentially! This is like hearing some of your favorite albums from the 70s for the first time, mixing classic hard rock with a southern groove and a phat bluesy vibe. Outstanding!

3. Lucifer - II
This one came as a total surprise. I had not even heard the band's first album when this gem just dropped down in my lap (well, it wasn't that simple - saw a link on FaceBook, listened, loved it, Googled the band, found the album and ordered it). Another outstanding slab of 70s oriented riff based hard rock with a touch of doom. Fronted by excellent singer Johanna Sadonis and also featuring former Entombed/Hellacopters bender Nicke Andersson. Riffs prevail! 

4. Clutch - Book Of Bad Decisions
I'm a huge fan of Clutch! The early stuff, not so much, but when I heard Blast Tyrant, I was hooked! The last couple of album have all be EPIC! "Earth Rocker" and "Psychic Warfare" - OUSTANDING! Well, I will admit "Bad Decisions" didn't reach their flawless status, but it's still so much better than so many other albums! A song like "In Walks Barbarella" alone beats 80 % of the releases of 2018.

5. Ty Tabor - Alien Beans
I've always been a huge King's X fan! I've also always been a huge Ty Tybor fan! His solos, his sense for melodic solos, his vocals, his outstanding rhythm guitar playing! A top notch musician in my book! On "Alien Beans" Ty returned to some heavier songs which was right up my alley!

6. Bernie Tormé - Shadowland
Here's another guitar hero of mine that just keeps on delivering! I've been a pledger on his latest bunch of albums, and I've never been disappointed (which has happened with several others). "Shadowland" is not a good album, it's TWO great albums - in one! A double CD! He just keeps on delivering and he sounds better than ever!

7. Earthless - Black Heaven
To be honest I so wanted to like the first two albums by Earthless. The riffs were great, the musicians kicked ass. But... instrumental music rarely does it for me these days. I just wished they would find a good singer to complete the band. Well, now they did! "Black Heaven" is a killer album, indeed! Heavy, stonery/doomy riffing without going over the edge. Actually, more retro than stoner. There are still some instrumental passages, but it works!

8. Judas Priest - Firepower
Man, I grew up on Judas Priest! I heard "Rocka Rolla" on the radio back in 1974 and was hooked! My cousin introduced me to "Sad Wings Of Destiny" and the line and sinker were in as well! I kinda lost them in the 90s and even though "Angel Of Retribution" and "Redeemer of Souls" were quite decent albums, they never really hit home with me. Now, "Firepower" is a different story! It doesn't beat the early stuff, but damn it's a powerful and outstanding effort indeed!

9. Billy Gibbons - Big Bad Blues
I bought Billy's first solo album "Perfectamundo", listened to it, hated it and immediately sold it. I read about the new album being more of a blues album. This time I listened to a couple of songs before buying it. Damn great album! Could have been a ZZ Top album, for sure! And a good one at that!

10. Black Debbath - Norsk Barsk Metal
I just love these Norwegian funny-guys! Musically this is top notch riff-oriented stonerish heavy rock with killer riffs and kick ass songs! The vocals may be the thing that will put some people off. The band sings in Norwegian and the vocals may not be to everyone's liking. The lyrics are funny as shit (which is another factor those who don't understand Norwegian will miss)! "Norsk Barsk Metal" means Norwegian Hard/Heavy Metal. Other song titles include: "Følelsesmessig Inkontinent" (Emotionally incontinent), " Etiske Retningslinjer For Tryllekunstnere" (Ethical guidelines for magicians) and "Pappa lukter tusj" (Daddy smells like ink). Gotta love 'em!

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