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  • Home: Pause For a Hoarse Horse/Home/The Alchemist- the only three albums for this very fine British rock/prog act, who are most notable for supplying AC/DC with bassist Cliff Williams and Wishbone Ash with lead guitarist Laurie Wisefield. The first two albums are a mixture of pleasant California styled country rock, prog, and some British hard rock, while the third and final release sees the band diving into concept territory in what is considered their finest hour.

  • Wishbone Ash: Just Testing/There's the Rub/Locked In/New England/Front Page News- though no one doubts the legendary status of the bands first few albums with Ted Turner sitting alongside Andy Powell in the guitar slot, it's when Laurie Wisefield joined the band from Home that things really got interesting. It's on these albums that the band really starting offering up some variety, from hard driving heavy rock to blues, jazz, pop, and of course prog. Wisefield was also a formidable lead player, and he worked magically alongside Powell for one of the most lethal twin guitar teams every. Don't believe me? Check out the inside live album Live Dates 2 for proof.

  • Rock Candy Funk Party: Groove is King- Joe Bonamassa & friends create another outstanding, mostly instrumental collection of jazz & funk grooves featuring some scorching playing and irresistible melodies.

  • The Winery Dogs: Hot Steak- sophomore release from this talented super trio is even better than their debut. Chops galore but more importantly memorable hooks at every turn.

  • Queensryche: Condition Human- easily their best album since Empire, this second album with ex-Crimson Glory vocalist Todd LaTorre fronting the band is a complete winner, and a throwback to their classic sound.

  • Graveyard: Innocence & Decadence- latest release from the Swedish retro rockers goes even further into blues rock and farther away from metal, but it still shows their great skill at creating addicting, memorable music.

  • Horisont: Odyssey- more great new music from Sweden, Horisont have over the course of a few albums shown their command of '70s style hard rock, here even incorporating some prog into their eclectic mix.

  • Echolyn: I Heard You Listening- another stellar album from one of the leaders of US prog over the last 20 years.

  • Amorphis: Under the Red Cloud- man, is this band on a roll or what? No real surprises here, but it's another killer album chock full of hooks, death metal, prog, and kick ass heavy rock.

  • Unified Past: Shifting the Equilibrium- talk about a band firing on all cylinders, these New York proggers got a new singer in Phil Naro and have taken off big time. This is quality, heavy prog, and if you like Rush, Dream Theater, Yes, and Deep Purple, make sure you investigate this one.

  • Iron Maiden: The Book of Souls- a welcome return from the NWOBHM legends, and not one, but a double album to boot! Easily their strongest set of new music in years.

  • Lynch Mob: Rebel- I hadn't paid much attention to this band since their debut, but at the prodding of our own Butch Jones I gave this one more than a few spins, and I'm glad I did. Really solid bluesy modern hard rock.

  • Four Sticks: Electric Celebration- this one's been out a few years but I'm only getting into it now. Killer bluesy hard rock for all you Badlands, Whitesnake, and Led Zeppelin fans out there. Hope they give us another one someday!

  • Praying Mantis: Legend- easily the best melodic rock/hard rock album of the year from these NWOBHM 'legends'...irresistible songs, crunchy riffs, vocals to die for, and great keyboards. What more do you need?

  • Spock's Beard: The Oblivion Particle-another excellent album from these US prog veterans, who, along with Echolyn, have been keeping the fires burning here for a long time.

  • Nile: What Should Not Be Unearthed- my favorite death metal band have delivered one of the most punishing albums of 2015. I mean, this thing has some of the HEAVIEST riffs EVER, but it's still technical enough to please longtime fans.

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