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The Staff's Top Picks of 2013

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*** Please CLICK HERE to vote for YOUR favorite album of the year !***

(Click on each writer's name below to go directly to his list.)

Summarized List Of The Top 50 CDs, From All Of The SoT Staff



Peter Pardo
Mike Popke
Steven Reid
Jon Neudorf
Eric Marvin
Carl Sederholm
Scott Jessup
Dean Pedley
Jeff Ballew
Butch Jones
Mark Johnson
Simon Bray
Mark Davies
Jordan Blum
Kim Jensen
Brice Ezell
Ryan Good



Peter Pardo

1 - Deep Purple : Now What?! -- my all time favorite band delivers once again
2 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater -- stunning stuff from an ever dependable band
3 - Black Sabbath : 13 -- comeback of the year - better than I could have ever imagined
4 - Carcass : Surgical Strike -- another contender for comeback of the year - killer death metal
5 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused to Sing -- and Other Stories - prog masterpiece
6 - Inquisition : Obscure Verses for the Multiverse -- best black metal album of 2013
7 - Orchid : The Mouths of Madness -- the heir to the Sabbath throne
8 - Spock's Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep -- line- up change…no problem
9 - Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats : Mind Control -- doom, psych, pop…glorious
10 - Saxon : Sacrifice -- best traditional/classic metal album of the year
11 - Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock : Bridge the Gap -- flying V wizards best album in years
12 - Queensryche : Queensryche -- Awesome return to form - Geoff Tate who?
13 - Cathedral : The Last Spire -- Swan song for these doom legends is a killer
14 - Gorguts : Colored Sands -- another epic comeback for 2013 - death metal legends return
15 - Manilla Road : Mysterium -- one of the most underrated bands of the last 30 years
16 - Voodoo Circle : More Than One Way Home -- killer melodic hard rock with great guitar & vocals
17 - Riverside : Shrine of New Generation Slaves -- Polish prog juggernauts keep on impressing
18 - Prospekt : The Colourless Sunrise -- monster new prog metal act from the UK
19 - In Solitude : Sister -- classic metal sounds from this great young band
20 - Withem : The Point of You -- another hot new prog metal act that broke out this year
21 - Black Star Riders : All Hell Breaks Loose -- the Thin Lizzy legacy continues
22 - Amorphis : Circle -- once again, the Finnish legends can do no wrong
23 - Ghost B.C. : Infestissumam -- the costumed/masked Swedes deliver another winner
24 - Rival Sons : Head Down -- one of the best classic '70s styled hard rock albums of the year
25 - Kadavar : Abra Kadabra -- more stoner & retro hard rock grooves from this impressive trio
26 - Immolation : Kingdom of Conspiracy -- New York death metal horde does it again
27 - Jorn : Traveller -- Norway's leading vocalist unleashes another classic metal/hard rock assault
28 - Haken : The Mountain -- epic prog/metal release from this ever improving band
29 - Spiritual Beggars : Earth Blues -- the Swedish stoner veterans are back with another red hot disc
30 - Horisont : Time Warriors -- more great '70s sounds from this exciting Swedish band
31 - Hawkwind : Onward -- space rock legends prove there is still plenty of fuel left for lift-off
32 - Orphaned Land : All is One -- Israeli prog - metal act once again delivers a stunner
33 - Satan : Life Sentence -- NWOBHM legends return after 30 years
34 - Blood Ceremony : The Eldritch Dark -- dark, brooding release from this great psych/metal act
35 - Noctum : Final Sacrifice -- killer early '80s metal elements –for fans of classic Mercyful Fate
36 - I Know You Well Miss Clara : Chapter One -- jazz-prog-fusion album of the year
37 - Hell : Curse and Chapter -- epic, theatrical metal from this historic NWOBHM band
38 - James LaBrie : Impermanent Resonance -- LaBrie did double duty this year and nailed both
39 - Mercenary : Through Our Darkest Days -- another hot release from this always impressive band
40 - Gin Lady : Mother's Ruin -- less prog and more classic rock, but still a ton of fun from the Swedes
41 - Cynthesis : ReEvolution -- no more Zero Hour, but this eases the pain
42 - The Winery Dogs : The Winery Dogs -- Kotzen+Sheehan+Portnoy=awesome
43 - Nik Turner : Space Gypsy -- ex-Hawkwind member delivers a very Hawkwind-ish album
44 - Sky Architect : A Billion Years of Solitude -- enjoyable mix of space rock, prog, and metal
45 - Masterplan : Novum Initium -- Jorn Lande has moved on, but still killer metal from these guys
46 - Niacin : Krush -- the fusion trio returns with another gem - Sheehan, Chambers & Novello rip
47 - Circle II Circle : Seasons Will Fall -- Zak Stevens & Co deliver another solid metal platter
48 - Helloween : Straight Out of Hell -- power metal legends never fail to deliver
49 - Pretty Maids : Motherland -- UK veterans come back with a killer melodic rock/metal gem
50 - Thought Chamber : Psykerion -- it took them a while, but this outfit is back with a vengeance
51 - Suffocation : Pinnacle of Bedlam -- New York death metal legends impress yet again
52 - The Devil's Blood : III -- the band is now no more, but they've left us with this killer CD
53 - Aeon Zen : Enigma -- another jaw dropping prog metal album from this talented band
54 - Guapo : History of the Visitation -- very enjoyable, and even chilling, dark prog release
55 - Soft Machine Legacy : Burden of Proof -- tasty prog & fusion from these legends
56 - Shadow Circus : On a Dark and Stormy Night -- one of the best prog concept albums of 2013
57 - Be'lakor : Of Breath and Bone -- crushing progressive death metal
58 - Last Chance to Reason : Level 3 -- killer prog from a band to watch out for
59 - Thalamus : Soul -- more Swedish retro hard rock sounds - oh, the Hammond & guitar
60 - Deeds of Flesh : Portals to Canaan -- smashing technical death metal ferocity
61 - Pestilence : Obsideo -- another brutal & technical platter from these legends
62 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everthing -- the latest all-star prog affair is a joy
63 - Snakecharmer : Snakecharmer -- ex-Whitesnake & Wishbone Ash members strike gold
64 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo -- alluring dark prog
65 - Nektar : Time Machine -- some very good classic Nektar styled material here
66 - Twilight of the Gods : Fire On the Mountain -- kick ass metal super-group
67 - Anciients : Heart of Oak -- great progressive death metal from this new band
68 - Purson : The CIrcle and the Blue Door -- mystifying occult/psych hard rock & metal
69 - Anneke van Giersbergen : Drive -- best straight ahead rock album of the year
70 - Leprous : Coal -- dark progressive metal gem
71 - Scorpion Child : Scorpion Child -- love these '70s hard rock sounds
72 - Ashes of Ares : Ashes of Ares -- Matt Barlow's best vocal performance in years
73 - Hypocrisy : End of Disclosure -- Swedish death metal veterans are brutal as ever
74 - Heaven & Earth : Dig -- highly enjoyable melodic hard rock affair with a classic edge
75 - Oliva : Raise the Curtain -- rich collection of '70s styled progressive rock & hard rock

LIVE ALBUMS

Dream Theater-Live at Luna Park
Whitesnake-Made in Japan
Saga-Spin It Again-Live in Munich
Syzygy-A Glorious Disturbance
Leaf Hound: Live in Japan 2012
Flash-In Public
Cactus-Fully Unleashed-The Live Gigs, Vol. 1
Bedlam-Live in Binghampton 1974
Flying Colors-Live in Europe
Quicksilver Messenger Service-Live at the Old Mill Tavern, March 29, 1970
Sweet-Live at the Marquee 1986
Sebastian Bach-ABachalypse Now
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette-Somewhere
Captain Beyond-Live in Texas 1973
Michael Schenker Group-Temple of Rock –Live in Europe
Glenn Hughes-Live in Wolverhampton

REISSUES

Climax Blues Band –Sense of Direction/Stamp Album/Gold Plated/Sample and Hold/Lucky For Some/Shine On/A Lot of Bottle/Plays On/The Chicago Climax Blues Band
Dust-Hard Attack/Dust
Hawkwind-Warrior on the Edge of Time
Jack DeJohnette-Special Edition
Widowmaker-Widowmaker
Sweet-The Answer
Nektar-Journey to the Center of the Eye
Anyone's Daughter-Anyone's Daughter
The Keith Tippet Group-Dedicated to You…But You Weren't Listening
Matching Mole-Matching Mole/Little Red Record
Happy the Man-Happy the Man
Saxon-Dogs of War
Quatermass-Quatermass
Helcaraxe-Children of Ygg
Jimi Hendrix-Miami Pop Festival
Jimi Hendrix-People, Hell, and Angels

Best Live Concerts of 2013

Nazareth & Artimus Pyle Band-BB Kings
Heart & Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience-Bethel Woods
Alice Cooper-The Beacon Theater
The Eagles-Bethel Woods
Lynyrd Skynyrd & Bad Company-Bethel Woods
Black Sabbath-PNC Arts Center
Night Ranger & Loverboy-Dutchess County Fairgrounds
Pat Travers Band-Brian's Backyard BBQ
Carcass & Immolation-Gramercy Theater
UFO-Stage 48
Zappa Plays Zappa-The Beacon Theater
Gorguts, Origin, Nero Di Marte-The Chance Theater
UDO-The Chance
Marduk, Moonspell, Inquisition-The Chance Theater



Mike Popke

1 - John Elefante : On My Way to the Sun
2 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
3 - Spock's Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
4 - W.E.T. : Rise Up
5 - Big Big Train : English Electric : Full Power
6 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo
7 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing
8 - Anneke Van Giersbergen : Drive
9 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everything
10 - Pink Cream 69 : Ceremonial

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Aeon Zen: Enigma
Alter Bridge: Fortress
The Custodian: Necessary Wasted Time
Eden's Curse: Symphony of Sin
Fates Warning: Darkness In a Different Light
The Flower Kings: Desolation Rose
Haken: The Mountain
Heaven and Earth: Dig
In the Silence: A Fair Dream Gone Mad
My Soliloquy: The Interpreter
Sand: Sand
Seventh Key: I Will Survive
Sound of Contact: Dimensionaut
Stryper: No More Hell to Pay
U.D.O.: Steelhammer
The Winery Dogs: The Winery Dogs

Live/Reissues

1 Devin Townsend Presents The Retinal Circus
2 Nightwish: Showtime, Storytime
3 Neal Morse: Live Momentum
4 Stryper: Second Coming
5 Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited: Live At Hammersmith

Music DVDs

1 Released! The Human Rights Concerts: 1986-1998
2 Rush: Clockwork Angels Tour
3 Peter Gabriel: Live in Athens 1987
4 Dream Theater: Live at Luna Park
5 Europe: Live at Sweden Rock

Books

1 Joyland, by Stephen King
2 Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
3 Dr. J: The Autobiography, by Julius Erving
4 VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave, by Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn (with Gavin Edwards)
5 Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975), by Ken Sharp (with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons)



Steven Reid

1 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing - And Other Stories -- A quite beautifully poised and hard hitting set of traditional Prog values, with a cutting edge and bang up to date production - possibly Wilson's best effort under any name.
2 - Sound Of Contact : Dimensionaut -- Prog, with a commercial tinge and singalongable choruses? Oh yes!
3 - Audrey Horne : Youngblood -- The most in your face and high energy Hard Rock album I've heard for a LONG time - Superb!
4 - Spock's Beard : Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep -- I've never been a SB fan before, but this is fantastic and an album which stands up superbly to repeat visits.
5 - Tom Keifer : The Way Life Goes -- Too long in the waiting, but worthy of patience. Bluesy Hard Rock at its best.
6 - Alter Bridge : Fortress -- Alter Bridge really entered the big time with Fortress and spread their horizons as they did so.
7 - Fish : A Feast Of Consequences -- A welcome return from the big Scot finds him near the peak of his powers. Good to have you back sir!
8 - Hell : Curse And Chapter -- The question was always going to be, was the long awaited debut album a fluke? Hell no! Updated NWOBHM and all the better for it.
9 - Helloween : Straight Out Of Hell -- I lost my way with this band a long time back. SOOH proves that was a mistake. Power/Speed Metal of the highest order.
10 - Bruce Soord With Jonas Renske : Wisdom Of Crowds -- A departure for both Soord and Renske, WoC finds a partnership willing to take risks and rewarding the listener with the Proggy, Rocky, Dancey end product.
11 - Riverside : Shrine Of New Generations Slaves -- A real return to form from a band who had seemed unable to build on their early promise. Shrine... is their most complete offering yet.
12 - John Elefante : On My Way To The Sun -- Ever uplifting, this Christian Rocker pays homage to his Kansas past, while serving up the best slice of uplifting AOR of 2013.
13 - Gloryhammer : Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife -- A scintillatingly silly slice of Scottish Speed Metal, Gloryhammer are a superb guilty pleasure. For The Glory Of Dundee!
14 - Touchstone : Oceans Of Time -- A heavier and more direct effort from this UK Melodic Prog band. Another step up from an outfit who always deliver the goods.
15 - Deep Purple : Now What ?! -- I didn't really have high hopes for Purple in 2013, but unlike the vastly overrated Sabbath offering, NW?! reinvigorates a band that appeared to be done as far as the studio was concerned.
16 - W.E.T. : Rise Up -- Jeff Scott Soto. Need I say more? Energetic AOR as it should be.
17 - Big Big Train : English Electric Full Power -- a collection of the two English Electric albums and a new EP, EEFP allows the true power of this melodic, yet gently progressive act to shine.
18 - James Labrie : Impermanent Resonance -- A far more interesting and eclectic collection than the singer's main band have provided this year. An impressive statement.
19 - Seventh Key : I Will Survive -- Billy Greer and Mike Slamer return after a too long absence and I Will Survive is testament that talent always shines through.
20 - Lalu : Atomic Ark -- It is always a pleasure to find an act able to energise the tired Prog Metal approach. Lalu are one of those rare bands.
21 - Alice In Chains : The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here -- A band who have risen over adversity deliver an album of real weight. Forget the "grunge" tag; this is simply great Heavy Rock.
22 - Ayreon : The Theory Of Everything -- Arjen returns to his most celebrated project with a new concept and cast list, but the result is still startlingly good modern Prog.
23 - Kill Devil Hill : Revolution Rise -- The KDH debut was great mix of Classic and Modern Rock. Revolution Rise takes that recipe a step further.
24 - Coney Hatch : 4 -- Cracking return from Canuck Rockers stays true to the band's roots, while being much more than a tired retread.
25 - James Christian : Lay It All On Me -- Simply put, one of the best albums the House Of Lords frontman has been involved with. Not a huge departure from the day job, but still "solo" enough to merit being released under his own name.
26 - Newsted : Heavy Metal Music -- Great, simple, Heavy Metal. If Metallica had an ounce of the fire here, they wouldn't be trading on past glories.
27 - Find Me : Wings Of Love -- Every year Frontiers Records throws up a surprise slice of cracking AOR. Find Me are the cream of the 2013 crop.
28 - The Answer : New Horizon -- Irish Rockers step out of the shadows and into the big leagues. Bluesy Hard Rock as it should be.
29 - Black Star Rider : All Hell Breaks Loose -- Another vintage act returns, with Thin Lizzy morphing into BSR. Their debut album nods to the band's heritage while not relying on it. Great stuff!
30 - Stryper : No More Hell To Pay -- A Rocked up return from Christian Rock's best known band. Harder than before, this is possibly their best album ever.
31 - Hey Hello! : Hey Hello! -- A poppy, bouncing side project from Wildheart mainman Ginger, with slick hooks and choruses to die for.
32 - Stone Sour : House Of Gold/Broken Bones II -- Building on the great work of the first part of HoG/BB, part II hits hard and leaves a long lasting mark. Put any inhibitions you have of this Slipknot side band aside and step inside.
33 - Michael Monroe : Horns And Halos -- The one time Hanoi Rocks man is in a rich vein of form right now and Horns And Halos picks up from the Punky attitude of Sensory Overdrive in fine style.
34 - Heaven's Basement : Filthy Empire -- A change of direction from Trad Heavy Rock into far more Modern waters finds H'sB gaining much deserved attention. With an album this good, no wonder!
35 - Sahg : Delusions Of Grandeur -- Adding a more Progressive slant to their Sabbath inspired sound, Sahg begin to truly find their own voice.
36 - FM : Rockville -- FM never stray far from their tried and trusted AOR path, but when it is this good, why should they?
37 - Saxon : Sacrifice -- Saxon continue to thrive as they head toward vintage status. In fact you could argue that they've never been so good.
38 - Voodoo Six : Songs To Invade Countries To -- One of the UK's best Heavy Rock bands just got better and a European tour with Iron Maiden should only cement their reputation.
39 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo -- Hard hitting Power/Prog Metal that stays long in the memory.
40 - The Union : The World Is Yours -- A considered and restrained helping of Blues Rock from ex-Thunder man. Few do it so well.
41 - The Tangent : Le Sacre Du Travail -- Full blown concept album from a band known for their simply wonderful take on trad Prog.
42 - Eden's Curse : Symphony Of Sin -- E'sC overcome the loss of their singer to deliver a slightly more Melodic Rock take on Metal and excellent it is too.
43 - Exit State : Let's See It All -- Gritty, energetic and crammed with crackling attitude. A great album from a band set to make big waves.
44 - Gandalf's Fist : A Day In The Life Of A Universal Warrior -- A far reaching concept album finds this Prog duo stretching out and getting better and better.
45 - Orphaned Land : All Is One -- Not as broad in its approach as OrwarrioR, All Is One still finds a band breaking boundaries and doing it their own way.
46 - Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock : Bridge The Gap -- The Schenk continues to refind his mojo and songwriting form. Cracking vocals from Doogie White don't hurt either!
47 - Glyn Bailey And The Many Splendid Things : Happiness -- GB&TMST really should be huge. Poppy, Proggy, Rocky. What's not to like in these ultra memorable songs?
48 - Spiral : A Parasite's Guide To Rewriting History -- Spiral continue down the path of their original take on Doom and Prog and continue to amaze as they do so.
49 - Screaming Eagles : From The Flames -- A fantastic debut from a young Heavy, Bluesy outfit destined for big things.
50 - The Dead Daisies : The Dead Daisies -- Members of Noiseworks, G&R, Rolling Stones band and Cold Chisel deliver a cool, commercial album that has the potential to be huge. Get them on mainstream radio please!

Live/Compilations

1 Devin Townsend : The Retinal Circus
2 KISS Tribute : A World With Heroes - A KISS Tribute For Cancer Care
3 Steven Wilson : Drive Home
4 Iced Earth : Live In Ancient Kurion
5 Def Leppard : Viva Hysteria!
6 Jackdaw4 : I Blame You Entirely
7 The Pineapple Thief : Live At The 013
8 Neal Morse : LIVE Momentum
9 Blaze Bayley : Soundtracks Of My Life
10 Absolva : Beyond Live

EPs

1 Shinedown : The Warner Sound Live Room EP
2 Care Of Night : Care Of Night
3 Civil War : Civil War
4 Skid Row : United World Rebellion (Chapter 1)
5 Anubis Gate : Sheep
6 The Dead Daisies : The Dead Daisies
7 Chest Rockwell : Weep & You Weep Alone
8 When Prophecy Fails : Everything Ever At Once
9 Cage The Gods : Favourite Sin
10 The Tirith : The Daughter Of The Water EP

Reissues

1 Blue Oyster Cult : The Columbia Collection
2 Blim : Zero/No Frills
3 Alien : Alien (2 CD European and USA remix version)
4 The Sweet : The Answer
5 The Pineapple Thief : Tightly Unwound + The Dawn Raids EP
6 Nation : Remaster Of The Universe (Chased By Time/Without Remorse)
7 Tommy Bolin : Whirlwind
8 Jack Starr featuring Rhett Forrester : Out Of The Darkness
9 Fleetwood Mac : Rumours (3 disc version)
10 Luke Morley : El Gringo Retro

Best Live Band 2013

1 Audrey Horne
2 Steven Wilson
3 Riverside
4 Peter Gabriel
5 Wildhearts
6 Last In Line
7 Shooting Star (at Firefest)
8 The Pineapple Thief
9 Solstafir
10 Sahg
11 Skid Row
12 Prophet (at Firefest)
13 Voodoo Six
14 Dead City Ruins
15 Neil Young & Crazy Horse
16 Sweet Savage
17 W.E.T. (at Firefest)
18 Saxon
19 Masters Of Reality
20 Legends featuring Graham Bonnet, Bobby Kimball, Eric Martin and Tommy Denander (and Bob Catley) (at Firefest)



Jon Neudorf

2013 has been another stellar year for music. From new (Sound Of Contact) to old (David Bowie), the depth and quality of music this year has been outstanding. Here are my favourite CDs of 2013:

1 - Ayreon : The Theory Of Everything
2 - Haken : The Mountain
3 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing
4 - Spock's Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
5 - Thought Chamber : Psykerion
6 - Sound Of Contact : Dimensionaut
7 - The Psychedelic Ensemble : The Tale Of The Golden King
8 - The Flower Kings : Desolation Rose
9 - Leprous : Coal
10 - Little Atlas : Automatic Day
11 - David Bowie : The Next Day
12 - The Tangent : Le Sacre Du Travail
13 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo
14 - Paul McCartney : New
15 - Mike Keneally : You Must be This Tall
16 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
17 - Nemo : Le ver dans le fruit
18 - Herd Of Instinct : Conjure
19 - Bruce Soord & Jonas Renske : Wisdom of Crowds
20 - Tesseract : Altered State



Eric Marvin

1 - Leprous : Coal
2 - Nero di Marte : Nero di Marte
3 - Anciients : Heart of Oak
4 - Indricothere : II
5 - OvO : Abisso
6 - Nami : The Eternal Light of the Unconscious Mind
7 - East of the Wall : Reaction Artifacts
8 - Abnormal Thought Patterns : Manipulation Under Anesthesia
9 - Lustmord : The Word as Power
10 - Subrosa : More Constant Than Gods

Honorable Mention

Karnivool – Asymmetry
Hacride – Back To Where You've Never Been
Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth
The Body – Master, We Perish



Dana Lawrence

1 - Magma : Epok V -- Well, technically, this is not a CD, but a DVD of a show from 2011 only released in 2013. And I am a major Magma fan. When I first heard that this was coming, I was not as enthused as I normally am, for this included songs from the Magma repertoire that I found a bit less interesting. But what a revelation this was! All of the compositions were reworked, felt far more organic, and in the case of "Slag Tanz" were astonishingly intense. There are just 6 songs on this: Attahk, Riah Sahiltaak, Dondai, Felicite Thosz, Slag Tanz and Maahnt. Attahk (formerly known as "Retrovision") begins with the pounding bass of Phillipe Bussonnet, and contains a long, blues-based guitar solo by James Mac Gaw. Riah Sahiltaak has so many Magma themes it is amazing; one can see how this fits into the canon. Best is last, with a hugely intense Slag Tanz, and a killer Maahnt. Slag Tanz depends on the slammed bass of Bussonnet, and it is fun to see everyone rock so hard. It seems there is a time when people are possessed; look at James Alziary during some of the most intense moment. One rarely sees everyone so animated. Same for Maahnt, which has one of the "sound easy but is impossible to play" bass lines of the best magma. Great stuff.
2 - Kronos Quartet : Aheym -- The music of Bryce Dessner. I have loved Kronos for forever, and this disc is one of their major works. By turns soaring, mystical, and intense, this is based largely on Jewish themes and ideas. Most especially, the final song "Tour Eiffel" is wondrous, with soaring harmonies and gigantic sound. Notable in this disc is the use of the Brooklyn Youth Choir, and surprisingly, the singer Sufjan Stevens.
3 - Dave Holland : Prism -- Dave Holland is past 70 now, and is still making incredibly vital music. This disc combines his bass playing with musicians Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks and Eric Harland. It is by turns funky, fusion-ish, straight-forward and progressive. Each songs different from the last, and Eubanks plays far more aggressively than you may be used to hearing him. A stand-out.
4 - BlackQueen : March of the Obsidium Triumvirate. -- This was one of the first dsics I reviewed for SOT. The band calls its music "witch metal," and this seems quite perceptive. What really drew me was the 15-minute finale on the disc, a song called "Chaos Reigns," and which is nothing so much as a soundtrack for the mind where the listener can attempt to understand all that is happening. I found it amazing.
5 - Blizaro : Strange Doorways -- When I reviewed this I noted that it would make my best of year list, even though it contained music that had been released in the past. This is 2 discs of amazing music by the musician John Gallo, and it shows incredible range, from Tangerine Dream to Goblin to church organ music. 40 (yes, 40!) songs comprise this and each one is interesting.



Carl Sederholm

1 - Windhand : Soma
2 - ASG : Blood Drive
3 - The Ocean : Pelagial
4 - True Widow : Circumambulation
5 - Secrets of the Sky : To Sail Black Waters
6 - Battlecross : War of Will
7 - Red Fang : Whales and Leeches
8 - Scorpion Child : Scorpion Child
9 - Purson : The Circle and the Blue Door
10 - Toxic Holocaust : Chemistry of Consciousness
11 - Lord Dying : Summon the Faithless
12 - Leaves' Eyes : Symphonies of the Night
13 - All Pigs Must Die : Nothing Violates This Nature
14 - Demon Lung : The Hundredth Name
15 - Kylesa : Ultraviolet
16 - Lycus : Tempest
17 - Venomous Maximus : Beg Upon the Light
18 - Unkind : Pelon Juuret
19 - Amon Amarth : Deceiver of the Gods
20 - Howling : A Beast Conceived
21 - Tribune : Tales
22 - Necronomicon : Rise of the Elder Ones
23 - Hidden Masters : Of This and Other Worlds
24 - Sasquatch : IV
25 - Jenks Miller : Spirit Signal



Scott Jessup

1 - Stratovarius : Nemesis
2 - Haken : The Mountain
3 - Lalu : Atomic Ark
4 - Spocks Beard : Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
5 - Lord : Digital Lies
6 - Orphaned Land : All Is One
7 - DGM : Momentum
8 - Virgil Donati : In This Life
9 - Stryper : No More Hell To Pay
10 - Black Sabbath : 13
12 - Illusion Suite : The Iron Cemetery
13 - Steve Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing(And Other Stories)
14 - Anneke Van Giersberg : Drive
15 - Helloween : Straight Out Of Hell
16 - James Labrie : Impermanent Resonance
17 - My Soliloquy : The Interpreter
18 - Queensryche : Queensryche
19 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
20 - Amon Amarth : Deceiver Of The Gods
21 - Epica : Retrospect
22 - Kreator : Dying Alive
23 - Lingua Mortis Orchestra : LMO
24 - Soulfly : Savages
25 - Fates Warning : Fates Warning
26 - Empyrios : Zion
27 - Avantasia : The Mystery Of Time
28 - Almah : Unfold
29 - Clutch : Earth Rocker
30 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo
31 - Dark Moor : Ars Musica
32 - Black Sabbath : Live Gathered In Their Masses
33 - Devin Towsend Project : The Retinal Circus
34 - The Flower Kings : Desolation Rose
35 - Ayreon : The Theory Of Everything
36 - Flying Colors : Live In Europe
37 - Children Of Bodom : Halo Of Blood
38 - Death Angel : This Dream Calls For Blood
39 - Heimdall : Aeneid
40 - Serenity : War Of Ages
41 - Mystic Prophecy : Killhammer
42 - Nightwish : Showtime, Storytime
43 - Testament : Dark Roots Of Thrash Live
44 - Masterplan : Novum Initium
45 - Immolation : Kingdom Of Conspiracy
46 - Glory Hammer : Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife
47 - Aeon Zen : Self Portrait
48 - Tarja : Colours In The Dark
49 - Yossi Sassi : Melting Clocks
50 - The Winery Dogs : The Winery Dogs
51 - Fatal Impact : Esoteria
52 - Marcus Jidell : Pictures From A Time Traveller
53 - Alterbridge : Fortress
54 - Divided Multitude : Feed On Your Misery
55 - Avenged Sevenfold : Hail To The King
56 - Theocracy : Theocracy
57 - Riverside : Shrine Of A New Generation Slaves
58 - Rob Zombie : Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
59 - Cardiant : Verge
60 - Revamp : Wild Card
61 - PSMS : Live In Tokyo
62 - Parallel Dimension : Horizons
63 - Anubis Gate : Sheep
64 - Europe : Live At Sweden Rock
65 - Silent Voices : Reveal The Change
66 - Circle Of Silence : The Rise Of Resistance
67 - Fatal Impact : Esoteria
68 - Francesco Fareria : Mechanism Reloaded
69 - Gamma Ray : Master Of Confusion
70 - Rainfall : Fading Frames
71 - Reinxeed : A New World
72 - Sirenia : Perils Of The Deep Blue
73 - Kingdom Come : Outlier
74 - Shadow Past : Perfect Chapter
75 - UDO : Steelhammer
76 - Judas Priest : Epitaph
77 - Alestorm : Live At The End Of The World
78 - My Endless Wishes : My Endless Wishes
79 - Iron Mask : Fifth Son Of Winterdoom
80 - Pivot : Enter The Exosphere



Dean Pedley

1 - The Temperance Movement : The Temperance Movement
2 - The Jokers : Rock N Roll Is Alive
3 - Black Sabbath : 13
4 - The Quireboys : Beautiful Curse
5 - Tarja : Colours In The Dark
6 - Black Star Riders : All Hell Breaks Loose
7 - Airbourne : Black Dog Barking
8 - Saxon : Sacrifice
9 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing & Other Stories
10 - Bonafide : Bombo
11 - Deep Purple : Now What?!
12 - The Burning Crows : Behind The Veil
13 - Exit State : Let's See It All
14 - Queensryche : Queensryche
15 - Skarlett Riot : Tear Me Down
16 - Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock - Bridge the Gap :
17 - Motorhead : Aftershock
18 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
19 - The Answer : New Horizon
20 - Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats : Mind Control

Best Live Gigs of 2013

1 Roger Waters The Wall Live @ Wembley Stadium, London
2 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @ Ricoh Stadium, Coventry
3 Rush @ LG Arena, Birmingham
4 Black Sabbath @ LG Arena, Birmingham
5 Steve Hackett @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham
6 Saxon @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
7 Ugly Kid Joe @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
8 Airbourne @ Hard Rock Hell VII, Pwellhi
9 Mott The Hoople @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham
10 Black Star Riders @ Hard Rock Hell VII, Pwellhi



Jeff Ballew

1 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everything
2 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
3 - Big Big Train : English Electric (Part Two)
4 - Fates Warning : Darkness In a Different Light
5 - Chris Potter : The Sirens
6 - The Prophecy : Salvation
7 - Jolly : The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)
8 - t : Psychoanorexia
9 - Carcass : Surgical Steel
10 - Gorguts : Colored Sands
11 - Omnium Gatherum : Beyond
12 - Rotting Christ : Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
13 - Lalu : Atomic Ark
14 - Believe : The Warmest Sun in Winter
15 - Oceans of Slumber : Aetherial
16 - Birth AD : I Blame You
17 - Verbal Delirium : From the Small Hours of Weakness
18 - Fish : A Feast of Consequences
19 - Tellus Requiem : Invictus (The 11th Hour)
20 - The Moth Gatherer : A Bright Celestial Light
21 - Amon Amarth : Deceiver of the Gods
22 - Witherscape : The Inheritance
23 - Persefone : Spiritual Migration
24 - Deicide : In the Minds of Evil
25 - Fen : Dustwalker
26 - The Flower Kings : Desolation Rose
27 - Cnoc An Tursa : The Giants of Auld
28 - Manegarm : Legions of the North
29 - Exhumed : Necrocracy
30 - Imperium Dekadenz : Meadows of Nostalgia
31 - Odd Dimension : The Last Embrace to Humanity
32 - Damnations Day : Invisible, the Dead
33 - Feared : Furor Incarnatus
34 - Artlantica : Across the Seven Seas
35 - Skineater : Dermal Harvest
36 - Azure Emote : The Gravity of Impermanence
37 - Osada Vida : Particles
38 - Suffocation : Pinnacle of Bedlam
39 - Sonic Reign : Monument in Black
40 - Aosoth : IV- Arrow in Heart



Butch Jones

1 - The Winery Dogs : The Winery Dogs
2 - Alice in Chains : The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
3 - Tesseract : Altered State
4 - Jolly : The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 2
5 - Karnivool : Asymmetry
6 - Soilwork : The Living Infinite
7 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused To Sing
8 - Byzantine : Byzantine
9 - Pinnick Gales Pridgen : Pinnick Gales Pridgen
10 - Ghost : Infestissumam



Mark Johnson

1 - Edenbridge : The Bonding -- A tribute to Lanvall's father. Overcoming adversity to create something beyond this world. This album locks this band as my favorite. With every album they succeed to surpass themselves. Can't wait to hear what awaits!
2 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everything -- 'The Maestro' never fails to amaze. The rock opera of the year. The fact that he continues to find great stories sets him apart. Two double albums back to back. Can anyone else match that prolific creative ability? Maestro…where to next?
3 - Comedy of Errors : Fanfare and Fantasy -- Two great albums in a row and they're in the studio working on the next. The new kings of British prog. Next year IQ and Pendragon are back to try to regain their crown. I'm with Joe and his band. ;^)
4 - Kingcrow - In Crescendo : This band just continues to get better. Their appearance last year at RoSFest didn't hurt. They are also in the studio working on the follow up. Kingcrow rocks! --
5 - Anima Mundi : The Lamplighter -- New singer Emmanuel is perfect for this album. The bridge has been crossed to the future. With Roberto, Virginia and Ed Unitsky, this band continues to innovate and create the next stage of classic prog rock.
6 - Tarja : Colours in the Dark -- My first Tarja album after hearing about her for years. Wow. 'Deliverance' alone made me a fan.
7 - Jonathan Wilson : Fanfare -- Not as strong as the debut, but full of unique guitar chords and great collaborations with members of CS&N and Jackson Browne.
8 - Fright Pig : Out of the Barnyard -- Wow! This album was among the few great new surprises this year. With Ed Unitsky creating the artwork for this band, the Pig is definitely on the wing…and the rise.
9 - Bram Stoker : Cold Reading -- So glad this band has returned to the prog scene after such a long hiatus. Missed them during the Golden Age of Prog, but they are definitely on my watch list.
10 - Arven : Black is the Colour -- The best new female symphonic metal band of the year. Almost as good as hearing Edenbridge for the first time again. Hopefully their future is as bright.
11 - Tyranny of Hours : Debut -- Finally a real powerful female symphonic band from the Portland, Oregon. Their show was my favorite of the year. Looking forward to their next.
12 - Thought Chamber : Psychoanorexia -- The new Kansas? More songs like "Isle of Bizen" would have catapulted this album even higher. Two solid albums back to back. This band is on its way to Progpower USA in 2014 and a fantastic future.
13 - Martin Stacey : Bliss in Undertow -- Another of the few surprises this year. Capturing much of the power missing this year. Deep and powerful.
14 - Benedict : Seeds Are No Small Thing -- Stunning opening track and video. Mind-blowingly wonderful. So happy she agreed to do the interview. She is definitely on my watch list.
15 - Fiona Joy Hawkins : 600 Years in a Moment -- Found her on Facebook. 'Australia's Enya' is so good. This album's concept and wish is very powerful. Add another great musician to my watch list.
16 - Unified Past : Spots -- Syracuse, has a bunch of cool prog wizards.
17 - Graeme Swallow : Portrait of a Zebra -- "He's a keyboard wizard there has to be a twist".
18 - Daymoon : Fabric of Space Divine -- Great concept full of diversity of thought.
19 - Poor Genetic Material : A Day in June -- It was a good day in June…for sure.
20 - Spirits Burning & Clearbright : Healthy Music in Large Doses -- The title speaks for itself.
21 - Elyria : Debut -- So much potential. Great video. Looking forward to their next.
22 - Telergy : The Legend of Goody Cole -- A solid delivery of a story with a deep moral message.
23 - Elora : Crash -- Europe has another new prog power.
24 - Fool Ascent : The Giver of Dreams -- Very cool surprise that delivers deep lyrics and smooth as silk vocals.
25 - Boston : Life, Love, and Hope -- Well worth the wait. Tom "serves no wine before it's time".
26 - Symphony Novel : Aria -- India enters the prog soundscape with drum thudding power.

Best New Artists of 2013

1 Fright Pig – Out of the Barnyard
2 Arven – Black is the Colour
3 Tyranny of Hours - Debut
4 Martin Stacey – Bliss in Undertow
5 Benedict – Seeds Are No Small Thing
6 Fool Ascent – The Giver of Dreams
7 Elyria – Debut
8 Elora – Crash
9 Sabinas Rex – A Rock Opera
10 Symphony Novel – Aria

Best Comebacks

1 Tarja – Colours in the Dark – Wow…she is back in a big way!
2 Bram Stoker – Cold Reading – A lost band from prog rock's 'Golden Era' returns…rejoice!
3 Boston – Life, Love, and Hope – Tom waited until 'the wine' was just right.
4 Re-release of White Willow's Ignis Fatuus – excellent. Looking forward to reviewing the entire back catalog.

Best Individual Performances

Best Vocalist

Sabine Edelsbacher – My favorite vocalist right now male or female.

Best Lead Guitarist

Jonathan Wilson – Two albums full of heart and spirit with some unique guitar licks that others will be trying to duplicate.

Best Keyboardist

Tony Bronsdon – In a year full of great keyboard moments, the return of Bronsdon to the progressive rock scene was a welcome event.

Best Bassist

Tony Levin – 600 Years in a Moment – Fiona Joy Hawkins

Best Drummer

Thundra Cafolla – Kingcrow – This guy has both the fury and control. For proof, just listen to his gut punching rhythm on the epic title track "In Crescendo".

Best Album Artwork

Ed Unitsky – "The Lamplighter" – Anima Mundi, "Fright Pig", and "Gran Torino – "Fate of a Thousand Worlds".

Favorite Songs
1 The Bonding – Edenbridge
2 Deliverance – Tarja
3 Lovestrong – Jonathan Wilson
4 Morning Rain – Kingcrow
5 Listen to the Sand - Benedict
6 Remembrance – Comedy of Errors
7 Mystic River – Edenbridge
8 Death is not the End - Edenbridge
9 The Answer – Comedy of Errors
10 Oceans – Benedict
11 Racing Towards Destiny – Graeme Swallow
12 Isle of Bizen – Thought Chamber
13 Fanfare for the Broken Hearted – Comedy of Errors
14 Bliss – Martin Stacey
15 Star Crossed Dreamer – Edenbridge
16 Lucid Dreamer – Tarja
17 Re: Creation – Fright Pig
18 Heaven on Earth – Boston
19 Far Out of Reach – Edenbridge
20 Into A Sea of Souls – Edenbridge
21 Incident at Pembroke – Fright Pig
22 Prologue: The Blackboard - Ayreon
23 Atlas – Coldplay
24 Dear Friend – Jonathan Wilson
25 The Theory of Everything – Part I - Ayreon
26 Right Before – Kingcrow
27 This Ain't Another Love Song – Kingcrow
28 The Parting - Ayreon
29 The Drowning Line – Kingcrow
30 Summer '97 - Kingcrow
31 In Crescendo – Kingcrow
32 Mystique Voyage – Tarja
33 Medusa – Tarja
34 Fanfare – Jonathan Wilson
35 Future Vision – Jonathan Wilson
36 Climbing the Gyroscope – Bram Stoker
37 Fingal's Cave – Bram Stoker
38 600 Years – Fiona Joy Hawkins
39 Antarctica - Fiona Joy Hawkins
40 A Breath With Peace – Tyranny of Hours

Top 10 Movies of 2013

1 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2 Hunger Games: Catching Fire
3 Elysium
4 American Hustle
5 The Great Gatsby
6 Star Trek: Into Darkness
7 Oblivion
8 Gravity
9 Oz: The Great and Powerful
10 Thor: The Dark World



Simon Bray

1 - Tedeschi Trucks Band : Made Up Mind -- Just wonderful
2 - Amon Amarth : Deceiver of the Gods -- By far their best ever
3 - The Duckworth Method : Sticky Wickets -- Cricket pop!
4 - Lost Weekend : Evermore -- Vastly underrated band
5 - Deadlock : The Arsonist -- Best album so far from them
6 - Powerwolf : Preachers of the Night -- Bonkers but great
7 - FM : Rockville2 -- Strong contenders for most welcome comeback ever
8 - Devon Allman : Turquoise -- Excellent solo album from RSB man
9 - Gloryhammer : Tales from the Kingdom of Fife -- Ridiculously tuneful
10 - Lordi : To Beast or Not to Beast -- Goodtime monsters
11 - Michael Giacchino : Star Trek : Into Darknes (Music form the Motion Picture) --
12 - Eden's Curse : Symphony of Sin -- Back back back
13 - Avantasia : The Mystery of Time -- I still prefer the first couple though
14 - Angelica : Thrive -- Solo outing from singer of Murder of My Sweet
15 - Deep Purple : Now What?! Their best for many years --
16 - Fergie Fredericksen : Any Given Moment -- Poignant stuff
17 - Find Me : Wings of Love -- One of Frontiers' better projects
18 - Blackmore's Night : Dancer and the Moon -- Yet another BN winner
19 - Royal Hunt : A Life to Die For --
20 - The Poodles : Tour de Force -- Always good value
21 - Rod Stewart : Time -- Fabulous record, shows the young pups how its done
22 - Stratovarius : Nemesis -- Their best for many years
23 - Rhapsody of Fire : Dark Wings of Steel -- Good to have them back
24 - Russkaja : Energia! -- Zero stars from our own Curtis Dewar
25 - Boston : Love, Life & Hope --
26 - Swedish Hitz Goes Metal : Swedish Hitz Goes Metal – Vol-2 -- Fun
27 - Leaves' Eyes : Symphonies of the Night -- Consistently good
28 - ReinXeed : A New World --
29 - Sparklands : Tomocyclus -- Dutch AOR
30 - The Theander Expression : Strange Nostalgia -- Westcoast AOR
31 - Harem Scarem : Mood Swings II --
32 - Manegarm : Legions of the North -- Welcome back
33 - James Christian : Lay it all on Me -- Better than some thought
34 - degreed : We Don't Belong -- Quality melodic rock
35 - Speedtrap : Powerdose -- Finish thrash!
36 - Magnus Karlsson's Freefall : Free Fall -- Power and melody!
37 - The Quill : Tiger Blood -- Their winning streak continues
38 - Cnoc An Tursa : The Giants of Auld -- Extreme yet accessible
39 - Devildriver : Winter Kills -- Brutal
40 - Sammy Hagar and Friends : Sammy Hagar and Friends -- Unfairly treated by some
41 - Audrey Horne : Youngblood -- By far their best
42 - Shannon : Circus of Lost Souls -- French melodic rock
43 - Buckcherry : Confessions -- My favourite record by this band
44 - Paganland : Wind of Freedom -- Ukrainians' first new release in nearly five years – worth the wait
45 - Valor : The Yonder Answer -- Greek epic heavy metal
46 - Rage of Angels : Dreamworld -- A winner from Ged Ryland
47 - Visions of Atlantis : Ethera -- Female-fronted symphonic metal strikes again
48 - Serenity : War of Ages -- The addition of a permanent female vocalist is a good idea
49 - Kim Kärki : The Bone of My Bones -- Introspective
50 - Klause Schulze : Shadowlands -- Mellow
51 - Juggernaught : Bring the Meat Back -- Muscular South African metal about big butts
52 - Airless : Changes -- Top notch melodic rock from Spain
53 - Sorronia : Words of Silence -- promising
54 - Sister Sin : Dance of the Wicked --
55 - Helker : Somewhere in the Circle -- Argentina's finest!
56 - Illnath : 4 Shades of Me -- Wish the atmospheric keyboards were still there



Mark Davies

Another spectacular year for albums & live music…My top 10 changes constantly, however Clutch bagged the top spot within days of me hearing it. Earth Rocker elevates them to religious heights with their preacher of their message Neil Fallon spewing his message at his venomous best…without a doubt album of the year!

Another few thousand miles covered following my passion for live music, so many bands and again, as I remember the ones I went to the list will change. For me the whole gig at London Dingwalls with Orchid brought back memories of my very first gig, the excitement, smell and sounds left me with the feeling that this was the gig of the year hands down.

1 - Clutch : Earth Rocker
2 - Orchid : The Mouths of Madness
3 - Alice In Chains : The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
4 - Monster Truck : Furiosity
5 - Heavens Basement : Filthy Empire
6 - Queensr˙che : Queensr˙che
7 - Onslaught : VI
8 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
9 - Zodiac : A hiding Place
10 - Scorpion Child : Scorpion Child

Honourable mentions….

Black Sabbath – 13
The Temperance Movement – The Temperance Movement
Hell – Curse & Chapter
Lock Up Laura – Running In The Dark
Pearl Handled Revolver – This Mountain Waits
Alter Bridge – Fortress
Anneke Van Giersbergen – Drive
The Burning Crows – Behind The Veil
Saxon – Sacrifice
The Winery Dogs – The Winery Dogs

Gigs Of 2013…

1. Orchid + Scorpion Child + Blues Pills + Zodiac @ Dingwalls London
2. Clutch @ Rock City Nottingham
3. Skindred @ Hard Rock Hell Pwllelli, North Wales
4. Free Fall @ Download Festival Castle Donington
5. Dunderbeist @ Graspop Metal Meeting Belgium
6. Kvelertak @ Download Festival Castle Donington
7. Queensr˙che @ Rock City, Nottingham
8. Symphony X @ Hellfest, France
9. Rush @ Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
10. Muse @ Richo Arena, Coventry



Jordan Blum

1 - Steven Wilson : The Raven that Refused to Sing
2 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everything
3 - Big Big Train : English Electric: Full Power
4 - Riverside : Shrine of New Generation Slaves
5 - Anathema : Universal
6 - Devin Townsend : The Retinal Circus
7 - Days Between Stations : In Extremis
8 - Haken : The Mountain
9 - Emanuel and the Fear : The Janis Mirror
10 - Spocks' Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep



Kim Jensen

1 - Death Angel: : The Dream Calls for Blood -- Death Angel are still on fire, this album being even more intense than its brilliant predecessor
2 - Procession: : To Reap Heavens Apart -- old school doom metal from Chile, this album carries the torch of dark fire lit by Black Sabbath and passed on by the likes of Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Count Raven, and Candlemass
3 - Slough Feg: : Twilight of the Idols • Down Among the Deadmen • Traveller -- this may merely be a box set, but t was released this year, and it features three exceptionally outstanding slabs of folk-infused traditional metal
4 - Queensr˙che: : Queensr˙che -- all it took was kicking out the old vocalist and hiring a new one, and the Queensr˙che I know and love are back This is their best albm, for my money, since Empire
5 - Carcass: : Surgical Steel -- probably the comeback album of the year, this album shows Carcass going back to Heartwork and Swansong. to explore what could have been the transition between those two albums. This is Carcass at their thrashiest!
6 - Odradek Room: : Bardo -- Relative Reality - progressive death-doom which challenges your mind in several ways
7 - The Prophecy: : Salvation -- another fine progressive doom metal release, this album shows The Prophecy moving away from their previous death-doom sound to explore more melodic and progressive vistas
8 - Early Cross: : Pathfinder -- atmospheric post-metal with touches of alternative rock and doom metal, this album showcases this Japanese band's brand of so-called atmospheric landscape rock
9 - Pro-Pain: : The Final Revolution -- groovy, metalled-up hardcore - 'nuff said
10 - Fates Warning: : Darkness in a Different Light -- another comeback album, this is the first Fates Wrning album in what feels like an eternity, this is defnitely a quality album, but admittedly it is a Fates Warning sound that still needs to sink in with me (and this is one of my favorite bands of all time)



Brice Ezell

1 - Russian Circles : Memorial
2 - Deafheaven : Sunbather
3 - Moon Safari : Himlabacken, Vol-1
4 - Anathema : Universal
5 - Shining : One One One
6 - SubRosa : More Constant than the Gods
7 - Kvelertak : Meir
8 - Ihsahn : Das Seelenbrechen
9 - Bruce Soord and Jonas Renske : Wisdom of Crowds
10 - Steven Wilson : The Raven that Refused to Sing

Best Songs:

1. Shining- "I Won't Forget"
2. Ihsahn- "Regen"
3. Deafheaven- "Dream House"
4. SubRosa- "Cosey Mo"
5. Kvelertak- "Spring Fra Livet"
6. Bruce Soord and Jonas Renske- "Frozen North"
7. Moon Safari- "Mega Moon"
8. Steven Wilson- "The Holy Drinker"
9. Noctum- "Liberty in Death"
10. The Dillinger Escape Plan- "Nothing's Funny"



Ryan Good

1 - Tesseract : Altered State
2 - Last Chance to Reason : Level 3
3 - Revocation : Revocation
4 - Coheed and Cambria : Afterman: Descension
5 - Scale the Summit : The Migration
6 - Spock's Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
7 - Optic : Iris In
8 - Protest the Hero : Volition
9 - Extol : Extol
10 - Circles : Infinitas



Summarized List Of The Top 50 CDs, From All Of The SoT Staff

1 - Steven Wilson : The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
2 - Ayreon : The Theory of Everything
3 - Spocks' Beard : Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
4 - Dream Theater : Dream Theater
5 - Queensr˙che: : Queensr˙che
6 - Big Big Train : English Electric: Full Power
7 - Haken : The Mountain
8 - Deep Purple : Now What?! Their best for many years
9 - Kingcrow : In Crescendo
10 - Amon Amarth : Deceiver of the Gods
11 - The Theander Expression : Strange Nostalgia
12 - Carcass: : Surgical Steel
13 - Alice in Chains : The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
14 - Riverside : Shrine Of New Generations Slaves
15 - Lalu : Atomic Ark
16 - Bruce Soord With Jonas Renske : Wisdom Of Crowds
17 - Fates Warning: : Darkness in a Different Light
18 - Gloryhammer : Tales from the Kingdom of Fife
19 - Saxon : Sacrifice
20 - Tarja : Colours in the Dark
21 - Thought Chamber : Psykerion
22 - The Flower Kings : Desolation Rose
23 - Helloween : Straight Out Of Hell
24 - James Labrie : Impermanent Resonance
25 - Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock : Bridge the Gap
26 - Leprous : Coal
27 - Orphaned Land : All Is One
28 - Sound Of Contact : Dimensionaut
29 - Anathema : Universal
30 - Orchid : The Mouths of Madness
31 - Jolly : The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 2
32 - John Elefante : On My Way to the Sun
33 - Scorpion Child : Scorpion Child
34 - Anneke van Giersbergen : Drive
35 - SubRosa : More Constant than the Gods
36 - W.E.T. : Rise Up
37 - Stratovarius : Nemesis
38 - Tesseract : Altered State
39 - Gorguts : Colored Sands
40 - Fish : A Feast of Consequences
41 - The Duckworth Method : Sticky Wickets
42 - Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats : Mind Control
43 - Ghost B.C. : Infestissumam
44 - Heavens Basement : Filthy Empire
45 - Devin Towsend Project : The Retinal Circus
46 - Death Angel: : The Dream Calls for Blood
47 - Leaves' Eyes : Symphonies of the Night
48 - Stryper : No More Hell To Pay
49 - Avantasia : The Mystery Of Time
50 - The Quireboys : Beautiful Curse

  

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