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Rock Reviews dirt image: https://www.cpr.org/sites/default/files/styles/full-width/public/images/cpr-open-air-best-albums-2016-featured-image.png

30/12/2016 9:24am

Top 30 albums of 2016! Numbers 15 - 11

#15 Vega - Who We Are (These Brits are grossly underrated. This is their 4th album to date and every one of them has been superb. Catchy hard rock at its finest)

#14 Devin Townsend - Transcendence (Some fans are lauding this as his finest yet, and who could blame them. Every album he does is brilliant and although this one isn't quite in the 'classic' Hevy Devy section for me, it still blows most away)

#13 The Defiants - The Defiants (Danger Danger was one of my fave bands growing up, and this has 2 of the main artists involved from my favourite DD album 4TheHardWay. This is just a fun, classic 80s sounding hard rock record that you can't help but smile to while listening)

#12 Pretty Maids - Kingmaker (These Danish veterans are where hard rock and metal meet, and yet again they have released an incredibly solid album)

#11 Primal Fear - Rulebreaker (The Judas Priest comparisons are inevitable, and it might be off putting to some fans, but I love these guys. This matches just about anything they have done over their 20 year career to date)

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30/12/2016 9:10am

Top 30 albums of 2016! Numbers 20 - 16

#20 Witchery - In His Infernal Majesty's Service (Brutally heavy, a little too similar to Slayer at times, but this album was worth the long wait)

#19 Mystic Prophecy - War Brigade (This is arguably the German metal bands best album to date. It is certainly their heaviest. 'Burning Out', 'Crucifix' and 'Pray To Hell' are metal mosters that have a great blend of power metal, speed metal and thrash!)

#18 Hardline - Human Nature (Just a classic sounding hard rock album. Not as great as their debut, but easily their 2nd best album of their career. Johnny kills it on vocals and the album is filled with melodies and singalong anthems to keep any hard rock fan missing the 80s happy)

#17 Michael Sweet - One Sided War (This guy has been on fire lately with his solo albums and also Stryper releasing top quality stuff. This is his best solo album to date, and it is just a pure classic hard rock album that kicks ass from start to finish)

#16 Korn - The Serenity Of Suffering (Korn proved on their last album that they were back, but this album literally made sure everyone knew it! Fans of classic Korn can only be happy with this album that has the aggression and sound from their classic era. Easily their best since Take A Look Into The Mirror)

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29/12/2016 11:30pm

Top 30 albums of 2016! Numbers 25 - 21

#25 Dynazty - Titanic Mass (The Swedes continue their change from hard rock to metal with this blistering album. The awesome 'Keys To Paradise' prove they can mix both with ease)

#24 Ted Poley - Beyond The Fade (Have always loved Ted's vocals, and this AOR record brings back memories of the more melodic early material of Danger Danger)

#23 First Signal - One Step Over The Line (Every song is an AOR gem on this album with a hint of early Harem Scarem thanks to Harry Hess' smoking vocal performance. Highly recommended to anyone who loves 80s hard rock and AOR)

#22 In Flames - Battles (This is a tough album to rate. On one hand I'd love a heavier return to their early releases, yet on the other hand this is one of the better modern releases from the band with tracks such as 'The End', 'Through My Eyes' and 'The Truth')

#21 Nordic Union - Nordic Union (Ronnie Atkins, vocalist for Pretty Maids teams with Erik Martensson from Eclipse! Match maid in heaven as they are two of my favourite bands. This one does not live up to my 2015 album of the year Eclipse - Armageddonize, but it is still a huge sounding hard rock album with anthems and hooks all over the place)

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29/12/2016 11:16pm

Top 30 albums of 2016! Numbers 30 - 26

#30 Tyketto - Reach (Fans have been waiting for years for the band to release something close to the quality of their debut. This comes close with songs like 'Tearing Down The Sky', 'Scream' and 'Circle The Wagons')

#29 Herman Frank - The Devil Rides Out (The Accept guitarist releases his third solo album, and it kicks some serious ass!)

#28 Treat - Ghost Of Graceland (Two killer return albums in a row with this one filled with a great mix of modern and 80s hard rock from the Swedish veterans)

#27 Kee Marcello - Scaling Up (The ex-Europe guitarist continues to build a nice solo career and this one has a great blend of 80s hard rock as well as a more modern blues tinge. 'Don't Miss You Much' should be all over radio btw!)

#26 Killswitch Engage - Incarnate (Just another really solid album with some monster tunes like 'Alone I Stand, 'Hate By Design' and the scorching 'The Great Deceit')

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29/12/2016 10:42pm

2016 Albums of the year!

Before I countdown my top 30 albums of 2016, there are many albums that did not make the list that do deserve a mention, good and bad. Symphonic metal bands Delain and Epica released solid albums, while Black Stone Cherry released IMO their best album to date. Veteran bands The Cult, Alter Bridge, Vader, Lordi and Amon Amarth released solid albums, while Cheap Trick gave us their best in decades. Modern rock bands such as Blink 182, Temper Trap and Candlebox were underrated, while Yellowcard retired with a gem of an album. Anthrax is probably the most unlucky though. Most fans loved the new album, but I just don't think it gets close to Worship Music.

The disappointments were few, but Dream Theater divided fans, Bon Jovi and the Goo Goo Dolls continued to bore us, while Meatloaf was just plain awful. Overall 2016 was a solid year for releases for mine and I have no doubt most people will not agree with my top 30 choices, but hey, it's my list, go make your own!

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28/12/2016 9:14am

Top 30 songs of 2016! Number 1

#1 Art Of Anarchy - The Madness

First up, let me just say, I'm not a fan of Creed or anything Scott Stapp has done up until now! I didn't even bother listening to art Of Anarchy's album with the late Scott Weiland. But this song released only a short while ago from their upcoming 2017 album is a cracking modern rock tune! The chorus is just a killer, and Stapp actually does an amazing job on the vocals giving this song the balls it deserves. I truly hope the rest of the album sounds this big! This song has everything I love, it rocks, has a huge anthemic chorus and killer guitars. It is the my favourite song of 2016, so check it out below and play it loud!!!

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28/12/2016 9:06am

Top 30 songs of 2016! Number 2

#2 Biffy Clyro - Howl

This song is such a fun song from a brilliant album. This has that poppy light feel with a big rock sound backing it up. Old school Biffy Clyro fans have a mixed reaction to the bands new material, but I absolutely love it. Its slightly quirky but rocks big time! There are many highlights on the album, but I feel this one deserves to be highlighted. so check out my 2nd favourite track of 2016 below!

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28/12/2016 8:57am

Top 30 songs of 2016! Number 3

#3 Alter Bridge - My Champion

This such a great modern rock tune. These guys might suffer a little from rock fans who has that hatred towards Creed, but with Myles Kennedy on vocals, this is a different beast! This is a huge uplifting song that should be dominating rock stations across the world! Tremonti does a great job on guitar and Myles of course kills the vocals giving the chorus in particular the emotion it deserves. Just a great melodic modern rock track, check out my 3rd favourite song of 2016 below!

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28/12/2016 8:52am

Top 30 songs of 2016! Number 4

#4 Avantasia - Lucifer

This song has literally everything! A beautiful piano filled intro that leads you in one direction, then a storming hard rock/metal singalong finish that kicks in about halfway through. An incredible vocal performance by one of my favourite vocalists Jorn along with Tobias Sammet, this song has been played by me nearly everyday since its release in January! Check out my 4th favourite track of 2016 below! Lucifer by Tobias Sammet's Avantasia featuring the mighty Jorn Lande on guest vocals!!

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28/12/2016 8:43am

Top 30 songs of 2016! Number 5

#5 Evergrey - Passing Through

The last two albums from Evergrey have been jaw droppingly good. In fact, their whole catalog is quite incredible. One of the most underrated bands on the planet, with one of the best vocalists in metal, this song is a great representation of who they are a band. Heavy yet full of melody with a huge chorus that you can't help but want to sing out loud to! Clever and thoughtful lyrics with a huge production, this song deserves to be top 5 in my best songs of 2016!! Check out the track below and buy the album!!

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