Time to reflect back on a great year in metal and melodic rock. The trend continued as it has in previous years with both traditional metal sounds and more radio friendly melodic rock, a couple of the styles we cover here, staying comfortable and confident in the scene. Gone are the years of nasty commentary to these styles and thank goodness for that. Anyway, there was plenty to like this year and I don't feel that this is going to change anytime soon. I was thinking back to how things used to evolve in the scene. Early 80's metal made way to the sleaze and hard rock and then we got the funk metal scene and hair metal scenes after that. Obviously the 90's weren't as kind to these styles although the European scene continued to thrive. Along comes Nu Metal next, but interestingly enough, a lot of these styles coexist in today's market and we don't see big changes in style like we did in those earlier days. I think the music scene as far as what we obviously like is doing okay. The only trouble ahead and as mentioned in previous best of write ups is the profitability and control factors. There seems to be little cash these days in album sales and bands have to make this up in ticket sales and merchandise. Ticket prices are not what they used to be. I used to see bands for 20 dollars a ticket. Big bands with big shows. Now you have to take out a small loan to see the same shows. I don't see this changing anytime soon. If we are going to get the music, we have to pay somehow. The MP3 revolution brought convenience, but also brought a lot of damage in the forms of trading for free with the artists making nothing as a result. I preach to people to buy physical, and for some they do. The convenience of digital music makes this a hard sell. Also, I have not personally invested in the streaming platforms. It's odd for me to get excited about not truly owning my music. I'm old school and this philosophy is foreign to me. Once we lose all control it will become much more complicated. People at the top will control what you get and when you get it. Keep buying physical. If you can find ways to support the artist direct and their music sales, I encourage that too. Every little bit will help.
A few years ago we decided to feature 2 different categories for our best of. Metal and Melodic Rock. We are doing that once again with there being a top winner in both categories. We get exposed to a lot of music each year and it is hard to narrow it down to just a few, but we do. I would like to that all of those that support us behind the scenes. It helps and it makes this all worthwhile. We also thank you, the readers for your continued support. If there are no readers, there is no point. Finally, we thank the bands and their creativity. This is what it's all about. We love music and they provide it to us. Keep up the good work and here's to an exciting 2019 in the music world!
1. Judas Priest-Firepower
2. Dee Snider-For the Love of Metal
3. Like a Storm-Catacombs
4. Bob Katsionis-Prognosis & Synopsis
5. Holter-Vlad the Impaler
6. The Dead Daisies-Burn It Down
7. Kobra and the Lotus-Prevail II
8. Arion-Life Is Not Beautiful
4. Conception-My Dark Symphony
5. Clif Magness-Lucky Dog
6. Devil's Hand-Devil's Hand feat. Slamer Freeman
7. Vega-Only Human
8. Magic Dance-New Eyes
9. Roxanne-Radio Silence
10. Palace-Binary Music
All of the titles have been reviewed and some of them have been included in our picks of the month section. Judas Priest put together one hell of an album and featured the return of Tom Allom which paid off big time. In the melodic rock section I chose Creye as the melodic rock album of the year. This album is just great and gets better with each listen. It became my go to album in that category. All of the albums in both categories represented the musical genres very well. 2019 is looking to get off to a fast start. We have been checking out some of the upcoming albums and there is a lot to be excited about. Stay tuned as we bring more information soon and throughout the year. Happy New Year everyone and as always, keep it safe!