2016 is about to be over so it is time to look back on the year and see what amazing albums rocked my world this year. It was a great year indeed. This was the year I started this blog back in April and it has been a blast. I have listened to a lot of albums this year so I had stuff to write about and it really made the year special.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or possibly even the ones that have sold the most. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2016:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Hellyeah – UnDen!able (Eleven Seven Music): This album screams Rock & Roll to me! It is heavy and pounding with aggressive vocals and lyrics and was perfect for me when I got stuck in traffic and needed to vent a little. With songs like “Startariot”, “X”, “Scratch A Lie” and “Be Undeniable”, I was completely satisfied with this gem. Check out the review at this link to see what I thought in detail about the album.
The Remaining Favorites in No Particular Order:
Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell (Thunderpoint PTY): Airbourne stepped their game back up with this album. Just hard driving and fast paced kept my head banging since its release in September. The whole AC/DC vibe of the album helped a lot in my enjoying it. So many great drinking songs such as “Thin the Blood” and “When I Drink I Go Crazy”. The title track and “I’m Going To Hell For This” are just great old school Rock songs (meaning the whole 80’s feel). Check out my review at this link.
Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Damned, Vol 1. (Eleven Seven Music): The first of a 2 volume set and the better of the two, Prayers for the Damned was my favorite Sixx:A.M. album to date. The darkness tone of the lyrics is what I like the best along with DJ Ashba’s screaming guitars. Quite possibly my choice for Rock Song of the Year goes to “When We Were Gods”. Absolutely loved that song. Check out my review of the album here. I didn’t include Vol. 2 as it is great, it is not as good and still too new to include. That review is at this link.
Cavo – Bridges (Cavo Musical Experience): This album came out before I started the blog so I don’t have a review, but I will do a quick one here. The album was more laid back for them, but connected with me on a whole different level. The song writing was exceptional and the album sounded very personal. My favorite songs were “Fight This War”, “Stay” and “Nights”, but the whole album was great and worth checking out.
Glenn Hughes – Resonate (Frontiers Records Srl): Wow! What can I say that I haven’t said already about this album. Glenn Hughes came out rocking on this album and quite possibly his most rock album to date. Usually he has some funk included, but this was all rock and all fantastic. With songs like “Heavy”, “My Town”, “Flow” and “Long Time Gone”, you will be rocking on this album for quite some time. Check out my review here.
The Wild Feathers – Lonely Is A Lifetime (Warner Bros.): How much did I love this album, well not only do I have it digitally, I actually have it on Vinyl as well. The 70’s vibe just takes me back to some of the great albums of that time period. The musicianship on the album is the biggest draw. These guys can play. As I said in my review (click here), just sit pack and light one up and enjoy. At least that is the feel I get from the album.
Candlebox – Disappearing in Airports (Pavement Entertainment): For some reason, Candlebox had fallen off my radar. I hadn’t thought much about them. Well that all changed with this release. The album was a big surprise and I actually had to double check that I was actually listening to Candlebox. It is such a great effort and songs like “Vexatious”, “Only Because of You” and “I’ve Got A Gun” have really improved my impression of this band. Check out the review here.
Rev Theory – The Revelation (Another Century): Rev Theory has flown under the radar for awhile and I think they are an outstanding band. They can rock out with the best. I have been following them ever since Truth is Currency and they were called Revelation Theory. The album rocks out with songs like “We Own the Night”, “Guns” and “Piece of Me”. I never wrote a review on this one, but probably should have. Check them out as you won’t be disappointed.
The Defiants – The Defiants (Frontiers Records Srl): Not as hard as some of the rock bands on this list, but they captured the 80’s rock style and sound perfectly. I have been a fan of Paul Laine’s ever since his debut solo album and was thrilled to see him get together with his Danger Danger pals for an album. The album for me just kicked ass for it’s nostalgic throwback to my youth. Songs like “Love and Bullets”, “When the Lights Go Down” and the ballad “Save Me Tonight” will take you back. Check out the review here.
Dorothy – ROCKISDEAD (Roc Nation Records): I love a great rock band fronted by a woman. Dorothy is one of the better bands out there that fall into that category. Dorothy Martin has such a great raspy rock voice and mix that with the bluesy rock sound and you have the makings of some great rock & roll. “Raise Hell” and “Wicked Ones” are worth the price of admission alone, but the rest take it over the top.
Those were my Top 10, but I have 2 other albums to highlight before I get to the honorable mentions. I have always been a very casual fan for these two bands and never been a huge Thrash Metal fan. I do like some of it, but not my first choice to listen to. These two bands, however, have released amazing albums this year and I have found myself listening to them more than I usually would. So with that, here they are:
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (Blackened Recordings): When I heard they had a new album coming, I was skeptical as I didn’t like Death Magnetic. However, after hearing “Hardwired” that feeling changed. And now after listening to it several times, I am stunned how great the album is. My personal favorite is “Moth to the Flame”, but close are “Murder One”, “Spit Out the Bone”, “Atlas Rise” and of course “Hardwired”.
Megadeth – Dystopia (Universal Music): Dave Mustaine and company have delivered such a powerful piece. I have to say I always enjoy his social commentary and what is going on in the world and he delivers that in spades on this album. The album to me was more melodic, but rocked out just as hard as usual. I really enjoyed “The Threat is Real”, “Dystopia” and “Fatal Illusion”. Those 3 songs set the pace for the rest of the album.
These albums were also albums that connected with me in some way this year. Some are probably deserving of Top 10, but there were so many to choose from this year I had to make some tough decisions.
Dee Snider – We Are the Ones (Snider Than Thou Productions): Dee’s latest solo album is fantastic. I gave it 100%, but there a several other albums I thought were just a tad better overall. See review here.
The Dead Daisies – Make Some Noise (Spitfire Music): What a great group of musicians – John Corabi, David Lowy, Doug Aldrich, Marco Mendoza & Brian Tichy…need I say more!
Crobot – Welcome to Fat City (Wind-Up Records): 70’s style rock at its best. They are pushing rock into a different direction and it is incredible.
Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette (Nuclear Blast Entertainment): More 70’s style rock. A different approach than Crobot, but it works the same. Turn It Up!!!
Fight the Fade – Fight the Fade: The band’s second album and it was self-released. Record labels should take notice. These guys are doing it well without your help! Great rock album and very modern.
Alter Bridge – The Last Hero (Alter Bridge): Another great album by Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti and company. These guys are consistently delivering incredible music and Myles has to be the hardest working man in the business.
Tremonti – Dust (Fret 12 Records): Speaking of Mark Tremonti, his other band is awesome as well. The main differences are Mark takes over on vocals and they are little heavier, but just as awesome.
Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol. 1 (Entertainment One): I am not big on Covers albums, but Ace can do no wrong in my book. Plus, it had Paul Stanley and John 5 on the album. Can’t wait for Vol. 2.
The Struts – Everybody Wants (Interscope): Another throwback act, The Struts are pure Glam Rock with a modern twist. Fun, energetic songs that get stuck in your head. See my review here.
The Veer Union – Decade (Rock Shop Records): The album came out back in January and it is still getting spins and therefore must be on the list. A great modern rock record.
Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale (Captain Kidd Corp): With each album, I keep hoping for a return for greatness. And I keep getting disappointed. This one was no exception. They really need a new producer to push them into new directions. They are currently stale and very repetitive as none of the songs sound unique. Maybe it is time to move on. See my review here.
Filter – Crazy Eyes (Wind-Up Records): I have really enjoyed their last 3 albums, but this album was way too Industrial. The heavy metallic sound was too distracting. A lot of the songs seem to lack structure and have any type of chorus. There were some great songs, but not like the last 3 albums. For that, it was an overall disappointing record. A big let down.
And the Worst Album of the Year (Maybe Ever!!)
Meatloaf – Braver Than We Are (SLG, LLC): There is nothing positive I can say about this album. It was the pits. You can read my review here, so you have some evidence of my thinking. Sorry Meat…time to hang it up.
Most Unique Albums:
There were 2 albums I did from my Music Challenge that were so strange, but so awesome at the same time. Here they are…
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (Flightless Records): This album had a 70s retro feel like a lot of the albums this year. It was very experimental sounding as well. The cool factor comes from the fact the album is one non-stop sensory overload. Each song goes straight into the next with no breaks. It is actually incredible. Can’t wait for their new album early next year. Check out my write-up on the album here.
Steve ‘n’ Seagulls – Brothers in Farms (Universal Music) – When I first heard this, I thought it was a joke. Thank goodness it wasn’t. It is Bluegrass Rock & Roll out of Finland. They turn rock songs into bluegrass music and they do make every song their own which is the attraction for me to the album. Read my write-up here and go check them out.
There you have it. My rock & roll adventure for the year. Amazingly, this is only a smidge of what I listened to during the year. These were just the ones that I enjoyed the most. I hope you enjoyed the list and maybe found something new to give a listen.
Next week will be the Top Albums of 2016 for everything else that isn’t Rock. It will have Pop, Christian, R&B and who knows what else. I hope you check it out as well.