Re: Recommended Albums for 2016

Date:2016-12-25 17:04:23
In Reply To:Recommended Albums for 2016 by Pirage
Every year, this list amazes me. I listen to my fair share of music, but I can't imagine liking the amount that you do. That takes something.
22. The Neal Morse Band - The Similtude of a Dream
This is astonishing! If you pardon the pun. Move over DT. Your former boy has you beat! OK so it's not exactly his, Mr Morse is the man responsible for this sprawling extravaganza but Portnoy must be given credit too. Hands down better than DT this year. Some of the album is a little namby pamby for me but the heavy prog sections are truly marvellous. Fucking epic Mr Morse you God freak!
Best 3 songs: Draw The Line, Slave To Your Mind and The Man In The Iron Cage.
Very good album, though I do think it's a bit long. Best prog of the year, though, by far.

09. Avantasia - Ghostlights
The inspiration was strong with Tobi on Ghostlights. He really pulled out all the stops to make the songs as good as they can be. All the singers performed admirably and the songs were both dramatic and memorable. Tobi will be struggling to top Ghostlights next time that's for sure.
Best 3 songs: Let The Storm Descend Upon You, Ghostlights and Babylon Vampires.
It's not going to ever match the nostalgia I feel for Part II of The Metal Opera, but I'd say this is Tobi's best-written album. Kiske is absolutely the only thing I can find to complain about.
07. Nordic Union - st
This project featuring Erik from Eclipse and Ronnie Atkins from Pretty Maids was of course highly touted and anticipated by all melodic rock fans across the board and boy was it worth the wait! Anything Erik does turns to gold pretty much. I must admit first of all that I am not a huge fan of Ronnie's vocals but singing Erik's songs even he can't spoil with too much rasping. The album is not as good as Eclipse that's for certain but there are some golden tunes here with melody to die for. I can't really wait for the new Eclipse album in 2017.
Best 3 songs: The War Has Begun, Hypocrisy and 21 Guns.
I guess I'm the only one who thinks this is better than Eclipse. Oh well, it's awesome either way.
05. Volbeat - Seal The Deal and Let's Boogie
Yes it's way more poppy but I still love it anyway. I just love the style of rock and roll boogie mixed with melodic metal. People complain about them going too soft but when they do it so well what's not to love. Plus they still have plenty of metal songs so Volbeat stays a huge part of my listening habits. Plus I've always loved Michael's voice and my love affair continues strong hehe!
Best 3 songs: The Devil's Beeding Crown, For Evigt, Seal the Deal and Let's Boogie
Their poppiest, but also the first time they've pulled that sound off well. It's different, but great for what it is.
01. Serious Black - Mirrorworld
Here it is my number one album of the year. The amazing and fantastic sophomore album from Serious Black. The first album from this supergroup of sorts was very good in it's own right but I wasn't quite prepared for this effort. They've really outdone themselves with their sense of melody and power this time. Of course the star of the show is Swedish legend of the mic, Mr Urban Breed. His vocals are slightly different than usual being much softer and more melodic at times than his Tad Morose days. He can still bring in the power when required but he also uses the kind of melody that demands full attention. The album is probably not really heavy as the guitar tone is crystal clear and very sharp. What make this album so memorable is the consistently strong songwriting. Of course there was controversy in that the bonus tracks were many and plentiful and were some of the best tracks but of course this review is based on the full limited edition album. However I unfortunately hastily ordered this from Amazon a while back, not realising or paying enough attention since I was ordering the normal version. I was a bit bummed about that, however the number of utterly memorable tunes made this a sublime listen throughout including of course some magical bonus tracks which I don't have on my CD. I think the band should send me a ltd edition version haha! So there you have it Urban Breed and crew delivered the ultimate this year in melodic power metal perfection as far as I was concerned. Next time put all the songs on one CD to stop idiots like me making that mistake again!
Best 3 songs: Castor Skies, Mirrorworld and This Machine Is Broken.
Made my list too. I think I was the loudest complainer about the way it was packaged and sold, and I don't regret a single word of it. I think it was pathetic.

But the album is great. It was on my list, and it was under the tree this morning. Urban now has three of the best metal albums of the last decade, at least according to me. Shame they're all with different projects, and never get the chance to grow...
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