Marshall Of Rock

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Marshall of Rock Top 20 Albums of 2013

by on Jan.04, 2014, under ROCK NEWS, ROCK PICKS

Marshall of Rock Top 20 Albums of 2013

Now that 2013 was here and gone like a flash, I have finally realized it and gotten my Top Album of 2013 posted. There was a lot of great music released. Some were unexpected gems, some had high expectations and sucked, and others still made me believe that some of today's rock can hold up some years from now. Not too much of that, but still some entertaining and riveting music to ROCK to. Check out my Top 20:

20. Jared James Nichols - Old Glory & The Wild Revival

This 5-track E.P. from the 22 year old blues rock prodigy kicks off with an amazing track called 'Blackfoot,' and the rest of the album's material firmly adds this young guitar great to the list of potential future legends. This Berklee College of Music alum is that good. Recognize and do it now. A full album will follow this Spring.

Jared James Nichols EP cover

19. Buckcherry - Confessions

Another great album from a band that continues to not get the acclaim they deserve for what they are...a truly great American Rock band. While these guys have had multiple great albums over the years and a wealth of fantastic material, I really feel they should be more well known in all rock circles. This was a bit of a departure for the band, but still delivered as Buckcherry always do.

Buckcherry Confessions album cover

18. Joe Satriani - Unstoppable Momentum

Joe brought forth another great album of material in 2013 that generally lives up to that of his past. Music you can feel from Joe, right when we needed it. There just aren't any artists around anymore that not only do what Joe does, but does it this well every time.

Joe Satriani Unstoppable Momentum album cover

17. Tedeshi Trucks Band - Made Up Mind

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi put their solo bands on hiatus to form a new group in 2010 that lets the married couple focus on making music together. We are so glad they did. 'Made Up Mind' is the band's third album and continues the feel good blues vibe of their previous studio and live album releases. I have yet to see Tedeshi Trucks Band live, but with dates booked in 2014, I hope to get the chance to see these fantastic musicians and their bandmates perform this great material live.

Tedeshi Trucks Band Made Up Mind album cover

16. Alter Bridge - Fortress

Alter Bridge returned with their new album 'Fortress' in 2013, and it delivered the combo of intense in your face rock along with the emotion and connecting mid tempo tracks that the band puts into each and every release. Alter Bridge has yet to tour the U.S. behind this release, but have multiple dates on tap for 2014. I expect the album to get a resurgence on the charts and hopefully with radio airplay for more of these deserving tracks.

Alter Bridge Fortress album cover

15. Monster Truck - Furiosity

The Canadian rockers from Hamilton, Ontario bring it big time on this, their first full-length album. The band had released two EP's previous to this album, but I was glad to finally discover the band behind this latest release. The band mixes their hard rock, punk and classic rock influences and it comes out crushing like a Monster Truck. To me there is a harder rocking Skynyrd vibe, which I really dig. The band won the 2013 Juno Award for breakthrough album of the year and theyplayed the Download Festival in 2013. They've toured with Slash and others in the U.S. in the past and will be touring in the U.S. with Buckcherry later this month, so look for them and show your support! I really dig their vibe and hope bigger things in the future for them.

Monster Truck album cover

14. Black Star Riders - All Hell Breaks Loose

The band that previously toured as Thin Lizzy decided to recharge with a new album and a new band name and the result was a much acclaimed offering that checks in at #15 on my list for 2013. While still holding onto a core sound, Black Star Riders collectively have a new energy and a exciting future that begins with this album.

Black Star Riders All Hell Breaks Loose album cover

13. John Fogerty - Wrote A Song For Everyone

Fogerty brought a new energy to many of his Creedence Clearwater Revival classic tracks and added some great new songs to this collaborative collection. The likes of Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Foo Fighters and Tom Morello joined country artists Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert on the album with Fogerty, creating some unique new versions of his songs.

John Fogerty Wrote A Song For Everyone album cover (2)

12. Anthrax - Anthems

The sixth EP from the legendary thrash rockers brings versions of the band's favorites from the 1970's together, along with two versions of "Crawl", a song from their previous studio album. Featured covers on the album include 'Anthem' (Rush cover), 'T.N.T.' (AC/DC cover), 'Smokin' (Boston cover), 'Keep On Runnin' (Journey cover), 'Big Eyes' (Cheap Trick cover) and 'Jailbreak' (Thin Lizzy cover).

Anthrax Anthems album cover

11. Alice In Chains - The Devil Put The Dinosaurs Here

The fifth studio album from Alice In Chains, and the second with singer William DuVall, peaked at #2 in the U.S. charts and featured some great tracks like 'Hollow,' 'Stone,' and 'Voices.' The rest of the album has moments, and while not to the level of 2009's 'Black Gives Way To Blue,' overall it warrants a Top 15 finish on my top albums of 2012.

Alice In Chains album cover

10. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

Pearl Jam's tenth studio album continued and added to the band's acceptance and future Hall of Fame credentials. The guys are aging graceful, delivering moments of the 90's angst, with an adult and contemporary sound on other tracks. It all works and delivers 'Lightning Bolt' into my Top 10.

Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt album cover

9. Stryper - No More Hell To Pay

Christian rockers Stryper delivered an album stronger than I anticipated and worthy of a Top 10 finish on my list. Micheal Sweet has showed what an amazing talent and leader of the band he is, with his producing, singing, and guitar skills all showcased along with other long time band members Oz Fox, Robert Sweet and Tim Gaines. Stryper's 'No More Hell To Pay' way truly one of the year's rock surprises.

Stryper No More Hell To Pay album cover

8. Queensryche - Redemption

If it wasn't obvious before it's release, this version of Queensryche with all the original members of the band and new singer Todd LaTorre, trumped the Geoff Tate version by far after it. The album is all quality material, and the addition of LaTorre has added a new passion that was seemingly missing with the last few Queensryche records. We shall see if Tate answers in 2014 with an album of his own, but this will be tough to beat.

Queensryche album cover

7. Motorhead - Aftershock

Despite Lemmy Kimister's recent health issues in 2013, the new album from Motorhead was a jack and coke, with a shot of tequila, jager and another shot of jack. The album rocks hard from beginning to end, and while we all want Lemmy to chill out a bit and curtail his favorite intake so he can be with us for as long as possible, this album from Motorhead continues the legacy of the band and the man who is a true rock original.

Motorhead Aftershock album cover

6. Tom Keifer - The Way Life Goes

A great solo offering from the Cinderella frontman that showed a wide range of influences and talents. Tom has always been a fantastic songwriter, with multiple memorable hits from his Cinderella days. That continues with 'The Way Life Goes,' and I hope we get more new solo material in the future from Tom, as well as new Cinderella music.

Tom Keifer The Way Life Goes

5. Pop Evil - Onyx

Michigan rockers Pop Evil continued their onslaught on the airwaves, with two songs from their latest album already going to #1 on the Active Rock charts. The second album from the band has firmly etched the guys as major players in rock, with the ability and talent to take it to an even bigger level.

Pop Evil Onyx cover

4. Stone Sour - The House Of Gold & Bones Part 2

One of the most interesting rock projects of the year, with Corey Taylor raising Stone Sour's influence, even getting closer to the level of popularity of his other band Slipknot. This was the second of the two 'House Of Gold & Bones' albums, and spawned two singles that are in my Top 10 tracks of the year. Combine the two CD packaging and you get an actual cardboard model home, and add the whole comic book issues with that and you have a dynamic, multi-layed project that reached so many on so many levels.

Stone Sour House of Gold & Bones 2 cover

3. Sound City - Real To Reel

A fantastic soundtrack album to Dave Grohl's 'Sound City' rockumentary, the project combined artists that have recorded legendary albums in the past at the iconic Sound City Studios, with an array of great artists that Grohl brought together as the Sound City Players. Two tracks from this album also are featured in my top tracks of the year. If you have yet to see the 'Sound City' movie, you owe it to yourself to check it out and enjoy!

Sound City Real To Reel album cover

2. Black Sabbath - 13

I was upset when first hearing that drummer Bill Ward wouldn't be a part of the Black Sabbath reunion tour and album, but with each listen, the album continues to get better and better to me. The project has been a huge success, with the album and tour both making Black Sabbath one of the rock stories of the year. I still am holding out hope that Ward will get to rejoin his bandmates for shows and recordings at some point (better be soon), but if that doesn't happen, will still have this crushing Sabbath album that kicked my ass.

Black Sabbath 13 album cover

1. The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs

This is by far my favorite release of 2013! Master musicianship from the power trio featuring guitarist and vocals from Richie Kotzen, bass from the amazing Billy Sheehan, and percussion by one of today's great drummers, Mike Portnoy. Great songs with great hooks, and a variety of sounds demonstrating three masters meshing in a way that maybe even they didn't think possible. A phenomenal album from a band that I hope continues to stay together and put out more fantastic music. While the band has played some shows in 2013 in the U.S., I'm hoping for more opportunities to see this material live and what they future holds for a band that deserves to be recognized by all rock fans of any genre.

Winery Dogs 2

Others that missed the Top 20:
Megadeth - Supercollider, Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell & Angels, Avenged Sevenfold - Hail To The King, Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol. 1 & 2, Stone Temple Pilots - High Rise (E.P.), Airbourne - Black Dog Barking, Korn - The Paradigm Shift, Kill Devil Hill - Revolution Rise, Krokus - Dirty Dynamite, S.U.N. (Something Unto Nothing), Gov't Mule - Shout, Eve To Adam - Locked & Loaded

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Rock Picks of the Week: Pop Evil, Joe Satriani, Tom Keifer, Airbourne, Charm City Devils, Spiritual Beggars

by on May.18, 2013, under CD/DVD RELEASES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK PICKS, VIDEO

Rock Picks of the Week: Pop Evil, Joe Satriani, Tom Keifer, Airbourne, Charm City Devils, Spiritual Beggars

"Trenches", the new single from Grand Rapids, Michigan rockers Pop Evil is up first in this edition of Rock Picks. The top 10 track comes from the band's album, "Onyx", which was just released on May 14th. The band is back with another album of kick ass rock ready for the masses, and looking to build on the base they already have after the success of the last album "War Of Angels" and the constant touring behind it.

According to the band, the message of "Trenches" applies to the world of art as well as the world of sports, the military, or anyone struggling with the economic downturn, like Pop Evil's home state of Michigan.

"It's about our battles," Pop Evil frontman Leigh Kakaty says. "Not focusing on the things we can't control, if we really want to be a band that stands the test of time we have to write the music that connects. We have to dig our way out of the trenches."

During a slump in the music industry, Pop Evil is living proof that you can still make a living following your dreams. "It's a matter of time before rock and roll is in the forefront again and we want to be part of that," Kakaty says.

Pop Evil have dealt with quite a bit of adversity in this cutthroat world of music and record labels, but have come through like champions and truly appreciate their place in the music business today. I appreciate what they do and wish them continued success as they embark on the next phase of their careers.

Pop Evil Trenches coverPop Evil Onyx cover

Joe Satriani is back with another album of guitar mastery called 'Unstoppable Momentum' and the first great track from it, 'A Door Into Summer.' One of the hardest working guitarists in music, after much of 2012 with Chickenfoot and touring with his G3 entity, Joe has recently released another stellar album full of great music.

Joe assembled a new studio band for the record, with Mike Keneally on keyboards, Chris Chaney on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, recording 16 tracks with engineer/producer Mike Frasier at Skywalker Sound. Joe will be on the road all summer playing tracks from the record and all of the best of his solo stuff with a touring band consisting of Mike Keneally on keys and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums. Currently touring in Europe until mid June, the band will start a U.S. tour on August 29th in San Diego, California. Get all the dates here: www.satriani.com/road  .

Joe Satriani Unstoppable Momentum album cover
Cinderlla frontman Tom Keifer has released his solo effort 'The Way Life Goes', with 14 tracks showing a diversity musically, with organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock, blues, and country influences. Tom recently told HuffingtonPost.com, "The idea for a solo record started in the nineties when the band parted ways and we left Universal," he said. "There was just a changing of the guard in the industry at that time and I started thinking about a solo record. I wrote for it for many years and the songs just kept going on the pile and I never got around to actually making a record...We started cutting tracks for this record in 2003 and I went to the pile of songs that had been building up and picked some that I liked and I've just been working on it ever since. It was produced independently of a label, because the idea from the beginning was to just work and record until I was happy with it. I wrote with a lot of different people--my wife, Savannah, who's a great writer, co-wrote a lot of the songs on the record and also co-produced the record with me, and a good friend of ours, Chuck Turner who's a great engineer and producer. So from the beginning, the attitude was, 'Let's have fun and just make a great record and it'll be done when it's done.' Little did we know it'd be nine years later…it's done and we went through some crazy stuff and mixed and remixed and reworked things over and over and probably made a lot of mistakes along the way, but finally got it where we were all happy with it, so here it is."

The solid rocking track 'Solid Ground', has a modern Cinderella feel, continuing the evolution and showcasing the talents of an artist thriving and surviving in the world of music today. Tom is currently on the road with his solo band, making their way through the U.S., before wrapping up in Chicago on June 14th. Get all the dates and hear samples from the album on Tom's site here: www.tomkeifer.com

Australian rockers Airbourne are back and ready to 'Live It Up', from their new album 'Black Dog Barking', which will be released on May 21st. If you want party rock at its best, with adrenaline and attitude to spare, Airbourne will bring it.

The guys continue to make inroads in America, and that continues with the slot on the Rock Allegiance tour later this summer with Volbeat, HIM, and All That Remains. Before that, Airbourne will be making multiple major festival appearances across Europe and the UK before they return to Australia, including slots at Rock Im Park, Rock Am Ring, Sonisphere, Metalfest, Novarock and Download. The Rock Allegiance Tour kicks off Aug. 24th in Twin Lakes, WI. Get all the dates here: www.rockallegiance.com

Airbourne Black Dog Barking album cover

Baltimore, Maryland's Charm City Devils have released another track and video from their fantastic 'SINS' album.
'Devil Is a Woman' showcases vocalist John Allen's vocals, along with the stellar work of Vic Karrera and Nick Kay on guitar, Anthony Arambula on bass, and Jason Heiser on Drums.

After touring behind the album for much of 2012 and the early part of 2013, the band have a few live dates coming up this summer before beginning work on their next album. It is going to be interesting to hear the next album from these super talented guys who deserve all the success they have gotten and more!

Charm City Devils Sins album coverCharm City Devils 2012

 

'No Money, No Love' is the new track from the new Heaven & Earth studio album 'Dig', which is out now on Quarto Valley Records. Bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, House of Lords, Giuffria), who has played with many, many illustrious artists over his career, says about the new album: "If you love rock like it used to be, you’ll love this album!" I love it and I think you will too. I am truly excited about the band and their future.

With many comparing the sound to classic Deep Purple, Rainbow and Paul Rodgers, the album surely has a classic 70's rock feel. Band leader and originator Stuart Smith was mentored by legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, has played in bands with iconic ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson, and, more recently was the guitarist with an American version of 1970s glam-rockers The Sweet. Smith played in the Sweet with Heaven & Earth vocalist Joe Retta, who replaced Joe Lynn Turner in the current incarnation of the band. The band then found industry veteran Chuck Wright on bass, and were joined by Richie Onori on drums (who Smith played with while in a band with Keith Emerson), and Arlan Schierbaum on keyboards. Ed Roth will join the band on keys for their upcoming tour, as Schierbaum was only available for the recording of the album.

The band are currently rehearsing, with hopes to line up an opening slot for a major act this summer. The band had a fantastically produced showcase on April 10th in Los Angeles at the Henry Fonda Theater, with the video recap for your viewing pleasure below.

The CD was produced by Dave Jenkins, who's worked with everyone from Metallica to Tower Of Power, and features special guests Howard Leese (Heart, Paul Rodgers), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), and David Paich (Toto).

Stuart Smith says this about 'Dig': "I feel that with the crafting of the songs on this album, the incredible band we've put together, especially with powerhouse vocalist Joe Retta and the unwavering support of Quarto Valley Records' president, Bruce Quarto, we really have a shot at getting Heaven & Earth the attention it deserves. This album is by far, the best thing I have ever done in my life. All the pieces are in place. We're ready to make this our year."

I hope it is, as the music is just phenomenal!

'Dig' track listing:

1. Victorious
2. No Money, No Love
3. I Don’t Know What Love Is
4. Man & Machine
5. House of Blues
6. Back In Anger
7. Waiting For The End Of The World
8. Sexual Insanity
9. Rock & Roll Does
10. A Day Like Today
11. Good Times
12. Live As One

Heaven & Earth Dig album cover Heaven & Earth II

Sweden's Spritual Beggars wrap up this weeks Rock Picks with 'Turn The Tide'. The latest lineup of the band features Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, along with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Firewind) have released their eighth studio album, 'Earth Blues', via InsideOut Music.

In regards to the album cover, Amott said: "I had the idea for this artwork from my time as a child, seeing posters of two young lovers watching a romantic sunset on the beach — just your typical tacky bedroom art in the '70s, really... Also, growing up in what is now referred to with some nostalgia as the Atomic Age — the threat of nuclear war was always looming over our heads it seemed. I wanted to combine these two images of my youth in one paradoxical image and Per Wiberg of Hippograffix (and Spirtual Beggars keyboardist) really managed to capture the melancholic feeling perfectly. Earth Blues, indeed."

Regarding the making of "Earth Blues", Amott said: "We started the recording process of 'Earth Blues' with an eight-day-long session at Fat Guitar Studios (Sweden) with knob-twiddler Roberth Ekholm, a truly great dude who really knows how to capture a band jamming live, sadly a rare quality in recording engineers nowadays! We continued with some overdubs at various studios in Sweden, and it's all come together super easy this time. Sonically, I think this might be our finest hour yet. It's a raw, heavy and honest record."

Spiritual Beggars have yet to announce any plans for U.S. dates behind the latest album, but will be playing Mexico City on May 25th, and have a slot on the Hellfest Festival on June 23rd in Clisson, France.

Spiritual Beggars 2013 are:

Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Carcass) - Guitar
Ludwig Witt (Firebird) - Drums
Per Wiberg (Opeth) - Keyboards
Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate) - Bass
Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind) - Vocals

Spiritual Beggars Earth Blues album cover Spiritual Beggars

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