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The Staff's Top Picks of 2015

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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

Pete Pardo
Michael Popke
Butch Jones
Carl Sederholm
Dean Pedley
Jon Neudorf
Scott Jessup
Simon Bray
Steven Reid



PETE PARDO

The Top 75

1. Symphony X : Underworld (progressive metal kings once again at the top of their game)
2. Nile : What Should Not Be Unearthed (death metal legends get heavier. Was it even possible? Yes!)
3. Queensryche : Condition Human (best album since Promised Land. Instantly memorable and plenty heavy & proggy. Geoff who?)
4. Ghost : Meliora (my favorite release from them. Look past the gimmick and these guys are the real deal!)
5. Pentagram : Curious Volume (doom release of the year!)
6. Amorphis : Under the Red Cloud (Finnish veterans continue their triumphant run!)
7. Iron Maiden : The Book of Souls (two CDs of classic Maiden!)
8. Kamelot : Haven (tremendous mix of classy, progressive & power metal majesty)
9. Whitesnake : The Purple Album (sure, new material would have been nice, but great treatments of old Deep Purple classics here by a still sizzling Coverdale & Co.)
10. Enslaved : In Times (these guys keep taking black metal down even more adventurous avenues)
11. Armored Saint : Win Hands Down (killer comeback album from a vastly underrated metal band)
12. Spock's Beard : The Oblivion Particle (another stellar release from one of the best US prog acts of the last few decades)
13. Saxon : Battering Ram (NWOBHM legends keep crushing)
14. Magic Pie : King For a Day (uncanny how consistent these guys are. Prog & hard rock bliss!)
15. Echolyn : I Heard You Listening (wonderful melodic & quirky prog rock as always from this band)
16. Horisont : Odyssey (the Swedes do it again! Great '70s styled hard rock)
17. Steven Wilson : Hand Cannot Erase (the master does it again)
18. Uli Jon Roth : Scorpions Revisited (who doesn't love these old Scorpions tunes?)
19. Chris Caffery : Your Heaven is Real (easily his best since his debut. Memorable tunes, heavy, and killer guitar work)
20. Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock : Spirit on a Mission (the mad axeman's best band in ages)
21. Blind Guardian : Beyond the Red Mirror (power metal veterans amaze yet again)
22. Glass Hammer : The Breaking of the World (another consistently dependable US prog act)
23. Between the Buried and Me : Coma Ecliptic (progressive extreme metal doesn't get much better than this)
24. Avatarium : The Girl With the Raven Mask (doom, epic metal, prog, and folk= awesome!)
25. Europe : War of Kings (easily their best album in years, and probably their heaviest)
26. Teramaze : Her Halo (catchy, killer prog-metal)
27. Gruesome : Savage Land (brutal tribute to the legendary Death)
28. George Kollias : Invictus (Nile's powerhouse drummer almost outdoes his main band)
29. Praying Mantis : Legacy (NWOBHM legends release the best melodic rock album of 2015)
30. Lucifer : Lucifer 1 (crushing doom debut)
31. Kamchatka : Long Road Made of Gold (Swede's again release killer '70s styled bluesy hard rock)
32. Steve Hackett : Wolflight (former Genesis guitarist's best solo release in years)
33. Kadavar : Berlin (another winner from this German psych/heavy rock machine)
34. Unified Past : Shifting the Equilibrium (hard hitting US prog doesn't get much better than this)
35. The Winery Dogs : Hot Streak (no sophomore jinx here!)
36. Circle II Circle : Reign of Darkness (killer release from Savatage vocalist and his band)
37. Satan : Atom By Atom (reformed NWOBHM legends crank out another winner)
38. Night Demon : Curse of the Damned (irresistible old school metal act knocks it out of the park)
39. Vanden Plas : Chronicles of the Immortals-Netherworld II (more concept album greatness from the German prog metal veterans)
40. Toto : XIV (the classy material keeps coming!)
41. Uncle Acid and the deadbeats : The Night Creeper (keeping the retro hard rock & psych coming!)
42. Ligro : Dictionary 3 (absolutely scorching jazz fusion!)
43. Lynch Mob : Rebel (George Lynch & Co. serve up some tasty hard rock)
44. Scarab : Serpents of the Nile (punishing technical death metal)
45. Ozric Tentacles : Technicians of the Sacred (delicious space rock, ambient, & techno)
46. Nad Sylvan : Courting the Widow (glorious prog from Agents of Mercy & Steve Hackett vocalist)
47. Hands : Caviar Bobsled (Texas prog legends return!)
48. The Vintage Caravan : Arrival (another raucous mix of bluesy hard rock & metal)
49. Black Star Riders : The Killer Instinct (keeping the spirit of Thin Lizzy alive)
50. Nightwish : Endless Forms Most Beautiful (new singer? No problem!!!)
51. Graveyard : Innocence & Decadence (Swedes get even more bluesy, but still score big)
52. Voodoo Circle : Whiskey Fingers (another quality slice of blues rock and metal)
53. Pat Travers : Retro Rocket (guitar legend returns to his '70s roots)
54. Visigoth : The Revenant Kings (vintage styled metal from this young US act)
55. Orchid : Sign of the Witch (killer Sabbath styled retro doom. EP of the year!)
56. UFO : A Conspiracy of Stars (legendary UK hard rockers keep at it!)
57. 3RDegree : Ones & Zeros: Vol. 1 (US proggers come up with one of their best yet)
58. Nightingale : Retribution (long awaited gem from Dan Swano's melodic rock outfit)
59. Voodoo Hill : Waterfall (another round of metallic hard rock from Dario Mollo & Glenn Hughes)
60. Martin Turner : Written in the Stars (ex-Wishbone Ash singer/bassist delivers a winner)
61. Points North : Points North (one of the best instrumental fusion/prog/hard rock albums of the year)
62. The Sword : High Country (some different sounds here, but still loads of doom & psych)
63. Eclipse : Armageddonize (hooks galore, sizzling guitars, and soaring vocals. Love it!)
64. The Gentle Storm : The Diary (Anneke and Arjen make some magic together)
65. Riverside : Love, Fear, and the Time Machine (Polish act mellow out a bit, but still deliver)
66. Alkaloid : The Malkuth Grimoire (progressive death metal brilliance)
67. The Tangent : A Spark in the Aether-The Music That Died Alone Part Two (always impressive)
68. Ilium : My Misanthropia (throw Lance King into the equation and look what happens!)
69. Mirror : Mirror (great debut from a metal band we are going to be hearing a lot about)
70. Leprous : The Congregation (this band keeps on maturing and delivering)
71. Agusa : Agusa 2 (awesome psychedelic prog from Sweden)
72. Drudkh : A Furrow Cut Short (a black metal act that knocks it out of the park every time)
73. Paradise Lost : The Plague Within (punishing growls return to their huge doom sound)
74. De Profundis : Kingdom of the Blind (progressive & melodic death metal surprise)
75. Magnolia : Svarta Sagor (more great bluesy hard rock from Sweden)

Click here to watch Pete count down his Top 12 of 2015!

Live albums:

1. simakDialog-Live at Orion
2. Uriah Heep-Live at Koko
3. Jimi Hendrix-Freedom-Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival
4. Yes-Progeny-Highlights From Seventy Two
5. Iron Savior-Live at the Final Frontier
6. Deep Purple-Live in Long Beach 1971
7. Zodiac-Road Tapes Vol. 1
8. Van Der Graaf Generator-Merlin Atmos
9. Eden's Curse-Live with the Curse
10. Jack DeJohnette-Live in Chicago
11. J. Geils Band-House Party, Live in Germany
12. Soft Machine-Switzerland 1974
13. Gov't Mule & John Scofield- Sco-Mule
14. Joe Bonamassa-Live at Radio City Music Hall
15. Pat Travers Band-Live at the Iridium NYC
16. Jeff Beck-Live+
17. Flying Colors-Second Flight-Live at the Z7



MICHAEL POPKE

Best of 2015

1. The Neal Morse Band : The Grand Experiment
2. Spock's Beard : The Oblivion Particle
3. Nad Sylvan : Courting the Widow
4. Steven Wilson : Hand. Cannot. Erase.
5. Magic Pie : King for a Day
6. Steve Hackett : Wolflight
7. Mindset X : Oceans
8. Toto : XIV
9. Blind Guardian : Beyond the Red Mirror
10. Nightwish : Endless Forms Most Beautiful
11. Riverside : Love, Fear and Time Machine
12. Soto : Inside the Vertigo
13. Kamelot : Haven
14. Kire Najdovski : Arrival
15. Stratovarius : Eternal
16. Billy Sherwood : Citizen
17. Symphony X : Underworld
18. Walter Trout : Battle Scars
19. Kingcrow : Eidos
20. Revolution Saints : Revolution Saints

Honorable Mention:

Level 10: Chapter 1
Silent Sentinel: Advent
Seven Steps the Green Door: Fetish
Stryper: Fallen
Zierler: ESC

Reissues/Live

1. Morsefest 2014
2. Rush: R40
3. Pagan's Mind: Full Circle
4. Flying Colors: Second Flight-Live at the Z7
5. Sunspot: Weirdest Hits

Box Sets

1. Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind-The River Collection
2. Tony Banks: A Chord Too Far
3. Grateful Dead: Fare Thee Well



BUTCH JONES

Top Albums of 2015

1. Lynch Mob : Rebel
2. TesseracT : Polaris
3. Farmikos : S/T
4. Refused : Freedom
5. Fear Factory : Genexus
6. Lamb of God : VII: Sturm und Drang
7. Byzantine : To Release Is To Resolve
8. Ghost : Meliora
9. Solution -45 : Nightmares In The Waking State: Part 1
10. Raunchy-Vices : Virtues-Visions
11. Albert Cummings : Someone Like You
12. Wilson : Right To Rise
13. Winery Dogs : Hot Streak



CARL SEDERHOLM

Best of 2015

1. Midas Fall : The Menagerie Inside
2. Monolord : Vaenir
3. Weedeater : Goliathan
4. Saviours : Palace of Vision
5. Windhand : Grief's Infernal Flower
6. Nightfell : Darkness Evermore
7. Mountain of Wizard : Casting Rhythms and Disturbances
8. Avatarium : The Girl With the Raven Mask
9. Terveet Kädet : Lapin Helvetti
10. The Black Lantern : We Know the Future
11. Zombi : Shape Shift
12. High on Fire : Luminiferous
13. Secrets of the Sky : Pathway
14. Cattle Decapitation : The Anthropocene Extinction
15. Torche : Restarter
16. Atavismo : Desintegración
17. Symphony X : Underworld
18. Ghost : Meliora
19. The Sword : High Country
20. The Midnight Ghost Train : Cold Was the Ground
21. Demon Lung : A Dracula
22. Hammercult : Built for War
23. Behold! the Monolith : Architects of the Void
24. Christian Mistress : To Your Death
25. Sanzu : Painless
26. Unbreakable Hatred : Ruins
27. Death Karma : The History of Death and Burial Rituals.1
28. Xibalba : Tierra y Libertad
29. Karma to Burn : Arch Stanton
30. Armored Saint : Win Hands Down
31. Shredhead : Death is Righteous
32. Nervecell : Psychogenocide
33. Ommadon : Empathy for the Wicked
34. Deadheads : Loadead
35. Khemmis : Absolution



DEAN PEDLEY

Top Albums of 2015

1. Jeff Lynne's ELO : Alone In The Universe
2. Kid Rock : First Kiss
3. Blackberry Smoke : Holding All The Roses
4. Thunder : Wonder Days
5. Iron Maiden : The Book Of Souls
6. Black Star Riders : The Killer Instinct
7. UFO : A Conspiracy Of Stars
8. Def Leppard : Def Leppard
9. Saxon : Battering Ram
10. Whitesnake : The Purple Album

Gigs

1. Fleetwood Mac @ Genting Arena, Birmingham
2. AC/DC @ Wembley Stadium, London
3. Judas Priest @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
4. Night Ranger @ Hard Rock Hell, Wales
5. King Crimson @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham



JON NEUDORF

Best Of 2015

These are my favourite discs of 2015 which has proved to be another great year for music:

1. Spock's Beard : The Oblivion Particle
2. Steven Wilson : Hand. Cannot. Erase
3. The Psychedelic Ensemble : The Sunstone
4. Lonely Robot : Please Come Home
5. Nad Sylvan : Courting The Widow
6. Beardfish : +4626 – Comfortzone
7. Leprous : The Congregation
8. Argos : A Seasonal Affair
9. Riverside : Love, Fear And The Time Machine
10. Tangent : A Spark In The Aether
11. David Gilmour : Rattle That Lock
12. Steve Hackett : Wolflight
13. Nice Beaver : The Time It Takes
14. Kinetic Element : Travelog
15. Apogee : The Art Of Mind
16. Caligula's Horse : Bloom
17. Box Of Shamans : Belief And Illusion
18. Godsticks : Emergence
19. Seven Steps To The Green Door : Fetish
20. Elephants Of Scotland : Execute And Breathe
21. Blurred Vision : Organized Insanity
22. Muse : Drones
23. Toto : XIV
24. Mew : +-
25. Tim Bowness : Stupid Things That Mean The World
26. The Dreaming Tree : Silverfade
27. T : Fragmentary
28. Karnataka : Secrets Of Angels
29. Profusion : Phersu
30. Telergy : Hypatia
31. Project Patchwork : Tales From A Hidden Dream
32. Billy Sherwood : Citizen
33. Royal Hunt : Devil's Dozen
34. Mandala : Midnight Twilight
35. The Aaron Clift Experiment : Outer Light, Inner Darkness
36. The Winter Tree : Earth Below
37. Black Space Riders : Refugeeum
38. Methexis : Suiciety
39. Red Jasper : The Great And Secret Show
40. Arlekin : Disguise Serenades
41. Hibernal : After The Winter
42. Alco Frisbass : Alco Frisbass
43. Pandora Snail : War And Peace
44. Kaukasus : I
45. Breznev Fun Club : il misanthrope felice



SCOTT JESSUP

Best Of 2015

It was such a close call not to pick Angra this year but in the end it was Michael Romeo's captivating guitar work and many great memorable songs that sealed first place for Symphony X. My biggest surprises was the latest from Cradle Of Filth which is such an addictive album. There really have been a varied selection of fantastic releases this year and only limited disappointments come to mind like those albums from Nightwish and Soulfly, and still no sign of the much overdue new release by Into Eternity. 2016 is looking promising from what is scheduled to be released it should be another great year for new music.

1. Symphony X : Underworld
2. Angra : Secret Garden
3. Cradle of Filth : Hammer of the Witches
4. Cain's Offering : Stormcrow
5. Teramaze : Her Halo
6. Anthropia : Non Euclidean Spaces
7. Slayer : Repentless
8. Psycroptic : Psycroptic
9. Steve Wilson : Hand Cannot Erase
10. George Kollias : Invictus
11. Stratovarius : Eternal
12. Arcane : Known/Learned
13. Pyramaze : Disciples of the Sun
14. Kamelot : Haven
15. Stryper : Fallen
16. Subterranean Masquerade : The Great Bazaar
17. Queensr˙che : Condition Human
18. Blind Guardian : Beyond the Red Mirror
19. Luca Turilli's Rhapsody : Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus
20. Iron Maiden : The Book of Souls
21. Vanden Plas : Chronicles of the Immortals : Netherworld II
22. Kingcrow : Eidos
23. Dark Moor : Project X
24. Lord : What Tomorrow Brings
25. Threshold : European Journey
26. Nile : What Should Not Be Unearthed
27. Riverside : Love, Fear and the Time Machine
28. Clutch : Psychic Warfare
29. Sirenia : The Seventh Life Path
30. Spocks Beard : The Oblivion Particle
31. Helloween : My God-Given Right
32. Tremonti : Cauterize
33. Mykur : M
34. Trivium : Silence in the Snow
35. Magic Kingdom : Savage Requiem
36. Ilium : My Misanthropia
37. The Gentle Storm : The Diary
38. Children Of Bodom : I Worship Chaos
39. Metal Allegiance : Metal Allegiance
40. Annihilator : Suicide Society



SIMON BRAY

Best of 2015

1. FM : Heroes and Villains
2. Lindemann : Skills in Pills
3. Romeo's Daughter : Spin
4. Find Me : Dark Angel
5. FFS : FFS
6. W.A.S.P. : Golgotha
7. Phantasma : The Deviant Hearts
8. Civil War : Gods and Generals
9. Nightwish : Endless Forms Most Beautiful
10. Powerwolf : Blessed & Possessed
11. A Thousand Horses : Southernality
12. Issa : Crossfire
13. Peterik/ Scherer : Risk Everything
14. Gloryhammer : Space 1992 : Rise of the Chaos Wizards
15. Blackberry Smoke : Holding all the Roses
16. Kamelot : Haven
17. Skindred : Volume
18. Månegarm : Månegarm
19. Turbowolf : Two Hands
20. DiMino : Old Habits Die Hard
21. De Profundis : Kingdom Of The Blind
22. Kiske/Somerville : City of Heroes
23. Whitesnake : The Purple Album
24. UFO : Conspiracy of Stars
25. Royal Hunt : Devil's Dozen
26. Korpiklaani : Noita
27. Billy Sherwood : Citizen
28. U.D.O : Decadent
29. We Butter The Bread With Butter : Wieder Geil!
30. Leaves' Eyes : King of Kings
31. Trixter : Human Era
32. Dirty Shirt : Dirtylicious
33. Eclipse : Armageddonize
34. House of Lords : Indestructible
35. Nomans Land : Last Crusade
36. Revolution Saints : Revolution Saints
37. Steve Rothery : The Ghosts Of Pripyat
38. Hell in the Club : Shadow of the Monster
39. Hard Action : Sinister Vibes
40. Architects of Chaos : The League of Shadows
41. Skepticism : Ordeal
42. The Great Game : The Great Game
43. Secret of Boris : Your Ghost
44. Drakkar : Run With The Wolf
45. Solefald : World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud
46. Uhrijuhla : Jokainen on vapaa lintu
47. Orden Ogan : Ravenhead
48. Joel Hoekstra's 13 : Dying To Live
49. Wilderun : Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
50. Eero Koivistoinen Quartet : Hati Hati

Live Albums

Pagan's Mind: Full Circle
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Pronouced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd & Second Helping- Live From Jacksonville at the Florida Theatre
Iron Savior: Live at the Final Frontier
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Friends: One More for the Fans
Uriah Heep: Live at Koko
Asia: Axis XXX Live in San Francisco MMXII
Harem Scarem: Live At The Phoenix
Eden's Curse: Live With the Curse
The Damned: Another Live Album From The Damned
Pat Travers Band: Live at the Iridium NYC
Satyricon: Live at the Opera

Reissues

Iron Savior: Megatropolis 2.0
Freedom Call: 666 Weeks Beyond Eternity
Nashville Pussy: Ten Years of Pussy

EP:

Xandria: Fire & Ashes



STEVEN REID

BEST OF 2015

1. Symphony X : Underworld (A long time in the coming, albums seldom live up to expectations as strongly as this prog metal masterpiece)
2. Armored Saint : Win Hands Down (In a year when some longstanding bands have been well overhyped, Armored Saint deliver possibly their best album ever)
3. Steven Wilson : Hand.Cannot.Erase (Another unbelievably good album from prog's current leading light)
4. Blackberry Smoke : Holding All The Roses (My own personal "discovery" of the year. Southern Rock has found a future)
5. Cats In Space : Too Many Gods (Quirky 70s retro done superbly well. Most impressive)
6. Lonely Robot : Please Come Home (John Mitchell strikes again. Modern, proggy and surprisingly accessible)
7. Toto : XIV (An inspired album that yet again illustrates that AOR can be vital and cutting edge)
8. Reverence : Gods Of War (The best US metal album in a year that's seen a renaissance in the genre)
9. Care Of Night : Connected (And proving the young 'uns can do AOR, welcome CoN)
10. Orpheus Blade : Wolf's Cry (A theatric, progressive metal delight. A debut of serious note)
11. The King Lot : The King Lot (From AOR to hard rock via a bit of metal. This new Scottish act hit the ground running)
12. Joel Hoekstra's 13 : Dying To Live (A far heavier than expected offering from Whitesnake's new guitarist featuring Russell Allen and Jeff Scott Soto)
13. Tim Bowness : Stupid Things That Mean The World (Another fragile wonder from no-man man)
14. Clutch : Psychic Warfare (It's Clutch. It's awesome. Say no more)
15. Enslaved : In Times (Brutal beauty from a band that's found a frightening level of progressive, extreme consistency)
16. Mike Onesko's Guitar Army : In The Name Of Rock N Roll (An unashamed blast of driving American blues-rock that hits its mark every time)
17. Screaming Eagles : Stand Up And Be Counted (A classic rock band that live up to their second album's name)
18. Backyard Babies : Four By Four (A powerful blast of rock with a punk sneer and sleaze heart)
19. Mystery : Delusion Rain (Modern, traditional, progressive, atmospheric, memorable. The only mystery, is why they ain't huge)
20. Riverside : Love, Fear & The Time Machine (Polish proggers go happy on us…nearly)
21. Beardfish : +4626COMFORTZONE (dropping their harsher side, Beardfish hit their progressive stride)
22. Saxon : Battering Ram (Saxon call an album Battering Ram. You know what that means!)
23. Halestorm : Into The Wild Life (One of the best up and coming US rock bands delivers the goods)
24. Pyramaze : Disciples Of The Sun (Pyramaze comeback is well worth the wait. Excellent guitar heavy but keyboard infused prog metal)
25. Dendera : Pillars Of Creation (A UK bunch of metal-heads capable of adding Euro and US elements to their home ground sound)
26. Kamelot : Haven (A real return to form from symphonic metal experts)
27. 3RDegree : Ones And Zeros Volume One (The best slice of prog to come out of America all year)
28. Magic Pie : King For A Day (Grandiose prog with a technical edge and memorable hooks - lovely)
29. The Room : Beyond The Gates Of Bedlam (Melodic, adult-pop with a strong prog hit. A band really going places)
30. Cage : Ancient Evil (US concept metal album with an accompanying novel from the singer! Bombastic and effective)
31. Black Star Riders : Killer Instinct (Proof if it were needed that this band don't need to trade on their Thin Lizzy past to succeed)
32. The Scaramanga Six : The Terrifying Dream (Is it prog? Is it Art? Is it Rock? is Quirky? Is it a bit mad? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes-indeedy!)
33. The Lizards : Reptilicus Maximus (Classic rock with a heritage can still impress and it sure does here)
34. The Toi : Water Into Wine (A melodic rock delight that will have you singing in no time)
35. Def Leppard : Def Leppard (Back to Hysteria? Breaking new ground? Who cares. Def Leppard doing what they do and doing it very well indeed)
36. The Answer : Raise A Little Hell (The most underrated band in classic rock hit the heights again)
37. Eureka Machines : Brain Waves (Power pop at its powering popping punking best)
38. Spock's Beard : The Oblivion Particle (A change of pace from SB, but they still deliver)
39. Revolution Saints : Revolution Saints (The best of these all-star projects from Frontiers Records in quite some time)
40. Baby Chaos : Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory (Ridiculously titled comeback from Scottish rockers proves to be their best yet)
41. Gloryhammer : Space 1992 (Rise Of The Chaos Wizards. Utterly ridiculous symphonic metal and all the better for it!)
42. Bad Touch : Half Way Home (The UK classic rock scene is in fine fettle and Bad Touch are another band proving it)
43. Lizards Exist : Lizards Exist (Spacey psych rock spills from Soft Machine to Nektar via early Pink Floyd and Ozric Tentacles)
44. Jay Jesse Johnson : Set The Blues On Fire (Fret master returns with an album that does exactly as it says in the tin)
45. Glyn Bailey & The Beholden : 2059 (As close to cultural songs of our time, like those our ancestors told round a fire to keep their communities alive, as any style is offering these days)
46. Thunder : Wonder Days (On and off and on again UK rockers return once more with a hugely memorable collection of songs)
47. Neil Campbell : Tabula Rasa Suite (An acoustic album which, in the right setting, is utterly captivating)
48. Queensryche : Condition Hüman (A real return to form from much maligned band, proves life after Tate will be most intriguing)
49. Nemo : Coma (French progsters deliver possibly their best, with possibly their last album)
50. IO Earth : New World (Grand in scope, grand. 2CD in execution/ A bold progressive metal and much else effort)
51. Purposeful Porpoise : Purposeful Porpoise (Traditional prog workout with bells on and a mad concept. Who could ask for more?)
52. Michael Monroe : Blackout State (yet another sneering burst of the rock MM has always been known for)
53. This Oceanic Feeling : Universal Mind (A gloriously poppy slice of prog with possibly the song of the year… "Ohhhh, I play Debussy"!!!!!)
54. Gazpacho : Molok (Enigmatic proggers deliver an enigmatic prog masterclass)
55. Arena : The Unquiet Sky (Have these UK proggers ever released a bad album? Not so far!)
56. Absolva : Never A Good Day To Die (Absolva confirm their status as hard hitting traditional UK metallers of real note)
57. Martin Turner : Written In The Stars (Wishbone Ash founder returns on top form)
58. House Of Lords : Indestructible (Another great album from a band who deliver pomp majesty every time)
59. Soto : Inside The Vertigo (Jeff Scott Soto steps out of his. fans comfort zone to provide a lesson in melodic metal)
60. Ricky Warwick : When Patsy Cline Was Crazy And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues (one of two excellent albums this year from Black Star Riders frontman reveals his roots)
61. Eclipse : Armageddonize (Proving it's no fluke, Eclipse cement their reputation as Scandie melodic masters)
62. Graal : Chapter IV (Graal continue to go under the radar with hugely engaging hard rock/prog. Chapter IV deserves a larger audience)
63. COP : State Of Rock (Super slick AOR from Grand Illusion men)
64. Taylor's Universe : From Scratch (Call it jazz, but T'sU offer so much more and have the grooves to prove it)
65. Dommin : Rise (Groovin metal that really should see Dommin rise in many people's reckoning)
66. Civil War : Gods & Generals (Moving on from their Sabaton past, Civil War begin to find their own identity)
67. BobaFlex : Anything That Moves (Eclectic hard rockers BobaFlex yet again do what they want, how they want it)
68. Nordic Giants : A Seance Of Dark Delusions (Live sensations prove studio masters with an eerie, enigmatic affair)
69. Kyshera : Circle (Welsh sensations provide the alt-rock highlight of the year)
70. Karnataka : The Secrets Of Angels (Finally finding some stability, Karnataka use it to record a captivating confident piece of UK prog)
71. Europe : War Of Kings (Getting progressively harder and bluesier, Europe seem to be enjoying themselves more and more and more)
72. Unisonic : Lights Of Dawn (ex-Helloween pair build on the success of their debut with a formula their fans love)
73. State Urge : Confrontation (Yet another Polish outfit with their own take on prog)
74. Teramaze : Her Halo (Teramaze come of age with a truly impressive album)
75. Grand Tour : Heavy On The Beach ("Heavy" concept piece that relies on Pink Floyd for inspiration)
76. Radio Exile : Radio Exile (A surprisingly accomplished melodic hard rock debut. More please!)
77. FM : Heroes & Villains (Possibly the curse of this band is that they never release average music. H&V is the same and maybe given time should have been higher on this list…?)
78. Ginger Wildheart : Year Of The Fanclub (compilation of year long, three new songs a month, groundbreaking fan club project is amazingly consistent and eclectic)
79. Disturbed : Immortalized (Disturbed return and do what Disturbed do. Who can complain?)
80. Hekz : Caerus (Superb UK prog metal from young upstarts)
81. Sweet Lynch : Only To Rise (Coming together of Stryper and Dokken men works a treat)
82. The Tangent : A Spark In The Aether-The Music That Died Alone Volume Two (Yet another set of proggers who deserve way more credit than comes their way)
83. Martin J Andersen : Six String Renegade (Six string renegade delivers six string masterclass)
84. Anuryzm : All Is Not For All (More proof that the prog metal scene is finding a much needed second wind)
85. Knighthood : Bad Habit (Big, bold traditional metal from the UK. Lovely!)
86. The Burning Crows : Murder At The Gin House (Yet another young classic rock band tearing up the UK right now)
87. The Devil In California : Longer Ride Down (Another hard hitting blues driven slice of hard rock that simply pulsates)
88. Beauvoir Free : American Trash (Crown Of Thorns pair return with an album that's anything but its title)
89. WASP : Golgotha (It's a seriously long time since WASP sounded this fresh or this vital)
90. Pierre Labbé Sextet : Tromper Eustache (Deep, dark jazz that melts the mind)
91. Vhold Ghast : Lat Oss Forbrinna (An excellent extreme metal album which uses old ideas to sound utterly new)
92. Operation Mindcrime : The Key (Geoff Tate stays true to his ideals, by avoiding a 'Ryche rehash. The results are better than most dared hope)
93. Talon : Fourplay (A solid hard rock blast that stands up well to the Talon catalogue)
94. Wings Of Pegasus : Persistence (Top class AOR which avoids the cliches)
95. Preacher : Signals (Excellent prog from unsigned Scots, who deserve a deal pronto)
96. Ricky Warwick : Heart On Trees (The second of two classy albums that arrived simultaneously from Mr Warwick. Well done sir!)
97. FM : Transformation (A prog comeback that was daring and brave enough to live outside expectations)
98. Scorpions : Return To Forever (An album that feels more like a farewell than a continuation of the story. If it proves so, they went out on a high)
99. Reason : The Deception Of Dreams (Melodic prog from another new band beginning to make their mark)
100. Helloween : My God Given Right (Not quite another classic from the Germans, but still a damn good album)

EPs

1. Blueminded - Blueminded
2. Big Big Train - Wassail
3. Blackberry Smoke - Wood, Wire & Roses
4. Galahad - 30
5. Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb
6. Wolfsbane - Rock
7. Tipsy Road - Chronicles From Another Sea
8. The Scaramanga Six - The Sleeper Must Awaken
9. Ferris And The Wheels - Ferris And The Wheels
10. Mach 22 - Like My Chances
11. Orchid - Sign Of The Witch
12. Stone Sour - Meanwhile In Burbank
13. Mordecai - Valour
14. Red Halo - Here We Come
15. The Scaramanga Six - The Evil & Skin Machine
16. City Of Thieves - Incinerator
17. Screaming Beast - To Assail And Conquer
18. John Taglieri - True Believer
19. Screaming Eagles - Save Me
20. Signum Regis - Through The Storm

REISSUES/RELEASES FROM THE VAULTS

1. Various Artists - Rock n' Roll Rebels And The Sunset Strip (4 disc box-set)
2. Fish - Sunsets On Empire (3 disc remaster)
3. KKB - Got To Get Back (Bruce Kulick release from the vaults)
4. City Boy - Young Men Gone West / Book Early (2 disc remaster with bonus tracks)
5. Fish - Raingods With Zippos (3 disc remaster)
6. The Almighty - Blood, Fire & Love / Blood, Fire & Live (3 disc remaster)
7. GTR - GTR (2 disc remaster)
8. Roger Waters - Amused To Death (remaster)
9. Galahad - Sleepers (remaster with bonus tracks)
10. Anthony Phillips - Private Parts & Pieces I-IV (5 disc box set)
11. Porcupine Tree - Anesthetize
12. Robin George - Dangerous Music II (Previously unreleased 2nd album)
13. Cairo - Cairo / Conflict & Dreams (2 disc remaster)
14. The Almighty - Soul Destruction (2 disc remaster)
15. Waysted - Vices (remaster with bonus tracks)
16. Elf - Elf (remaster)
17. Paw - Dragline (remaster with bonus tracks)
18. Accept - Objection Overruled (remaster)
19. Anneke Van Giersbergen - Day After Yesterday-Agua De Anneke Collected (4 disc box set)
20. City Boy - City Boy / Dinner At The Ritz (2 disc remaster with bonus tracks)

LIVE ALBUMS

1. Pagan's Mind - Full Circle
2. Galahad - Solidarity
3. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Live At The Roxy
4. Babylon AD - Live At XXV
5. Blindstone - Live In Denmark
6. Eden's Curse - Live With The Curse
7. H.e.a.t - Live In London
8. The Lone Crows - Freak Valley Festival
9. Thunder - Live At The Brooklyn Bowl London
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd - One More For The Fans

LIVE BAND

1. Toto (Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall)
2. Steven Wilson (Edinburgh, Queen's Hall)
3. Blackberry Smoke (Edinburgh, Liquid Room)
4. Ginger Wildheart - Songs & Words (acoustic/spoken word show) (Giffnock, Eastwood Park Theatre)
5. Ricky Warwick & Damon Johnson (acoustic) (Edinburgh, Bannerman's)
6. The King Lot (Glasgow, Audio)
7. Backyard Babies (Glasgow, ABC2)
8. Fightstar (Glasgow ABC)
9. Black Star Riders (Glasgow ABC)
10. The Scaramanga Six (Edinburgh, Bannerman's)
11. The Wildhearts (playing the PHUQ album) (Glasgow, ABC)
12. Spock's Beard (Glasgow, Classic Grand)
13. Riverside (Glasgow ABC2)
14. The Answer (Glasgow, Garage)
15. Blackberry Smoke (Glasgow, Academy)
16. Wolfsbane (Edinburgh, Bannerman's)
17. Eureka Machines (Edinburgh Bannerman's)
18. FM (Glasgow, Classic Grand)
19. Al Stewart (Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall)
20. Bad Touch (Glasgow, Garage)




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


1. Symphony X : Underworld
2. Kamelot : Haven
3. Spocks Beard : The Oblivion Particle
4. Riverside : Love, Fear and the Time Machine
5. Toto : XIV
6. Blackberry Smoke : Holding All The Roses
7. Steven Wilson : Hand. Cannot. Erase
8. Ghost : Meliora
9. Iron Maiden : The Book of Souls
10. Whitesnake : The Purple Album
11. Armored Saint : Win Hands Down
12. Saxon : Battering Ram
13. Magic Pie : King For a Day
14. Blind Guardian : Beyond the Red Mirror
15. Steve Hackett : Wolflight
16. Nad Sylvan : Courting The Widow
17. Queensr˙che : Condition Human
18. Nightwish : Endless Forms Most Beautiful
19. Billy Sherwood : Citizen
20. Black Star Riders : The Killer Instinct
21. Revolution Saints : Revolution Saints
22. Teramaze : Her Halo
23. Lonely Robot : Please Come Home
24. Enslaved : In Times
25. Stratovarius : Eternal
26. Beardfish : +4626 – Comfortzone
27. Nile : What Should Not Be Unearthed
28. UFO : A Conspiracy Of Stars
29. Avatarium : The Girl With the Raven Mask
30. Pyramaze : Disciples Of The Sun
31. George Kollias : Invictus
32. Tim Bowness : Stupid Things That Mean The World
33. Kingcrow : Eidos
34. Clutch : Psychic Warfare
35. Def Leppard : Def Leppard
36. Lynch Mob : Rebel
37. Thunder : Wonder Days
38. Gloryhammer : Space 1992 : Rise of the Chaos Wizards
39. Eclipse : Armageddonize
40. Royal Hunt : Devil's Dozen
41. Joel Hoekstra's 13 : Dying To Live
42. Vanden Plas : Chronicles of the Immortals : Netherworld II
43. Soto : Inside the Vertigo
44. Civil War : Gods and Generals
45. Leprous : The Congregation
46. FM : Heroes and Villains
47. The Sword : High Country
48. 3RDegree : Ones And Zeros Volume One
49. House of Lords : Indestructible
50. De Profundis : Kingdom of the Blind

  

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