Marshall Of Rock

Tag: Pop Evil

Pop Evil continue ‘UP’ with new album to be released August 21

by on Jul.12, 2015, under CD/DVD RELEASES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Pop Evil continue ‘UP’ with new album to be released August 21

Pop Evil will release their forthcoming LP called 'UP' on August 21st via eOne Music. Digital pre-orders are available now and physical pre-orders are available now via the band's official website. Recorded at Studio Litho, Robert Lang Studios and London Bridge Studios with producer Adam Kasper (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters), UP continues cementing a powerful identity created by the band's three prior full-length releases.

UP is a bold reintroduction and step forward, with guitarists Nick Fuelling and Davey Grahs, bassist Matt Diirito, drummer Chachi Riot and Leigh Kakaty at the top of their game.

Pop Evil smashes through the odds like a battering ram, weathering the trials and tribulations of paying dues with a steadfast resilience owing much to their blue collar and middle class backgrounds, and building a worldwide audience one fan at a time. As the moniker promises when emblazoned on a CD or radio dial, POP EVIL conjures aggressive riffs and hard charging sing-a-longs with emotional heft and melodic power in equal measure. It’s music by the people, for the people. Watch the clip for the first single and track one on the album, 'Footsteps' below.

Track listing:
1. Footsteps
2. Core
3. In Disarray
4. Take It All
5. Ghost Of Muskegon
6. If Only For Now
7. ...
8. Ways to Get High
9. Lux
10. Vendetta
11. Dead In The Water
12. Seattle Rain
13. Til Kingdom Come

Pop Evil Up album cover

Pop Evil 2015

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Marshall of Rock Top Tracks of 2013

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

Marshall of Rock Top Tracks of 2013

While there were so many worthy tracks in 2013, I have compiled what are my Top 25 for the year of 2013. Check them out and see what you think.

25. Heaven & Earth - No Money, No Love

24. Otherwise - I Don't Apologize (1000 Pictures)

23. Black Star Riders - Bound For Glory

22. Alter Bridge - Addicted To Pain

21. Halestorm - freak Like Me

20. Stryper - No More Hell To Pay

19. Beware Of Darkness - Howl

18. Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes

17. Korn - Never Ever

16. Monster Truck - Sweet Mountain River

15. Devour The Day - Good Man

14. Sound City Players (Dave Grohl, Corey Taylor, Rick Nielsen, Scott Reeder) - From Can To Can't

13. Nine Inch Nails - Came Back Haunted

12. Motorhead - Heartbreaker

11. U2 - Ordinary Love

10. Alice In Chains - Voices

9. Black Sabbath - God Is Dead?

8. S.U.N. (Something Unto Nothing) - I'm The One

7. Pop Evil - Trenches

6. Tom Keifer - Solid Ground

5. Stone Sour - Do Me A Favor

4. Pearl Jam - Mind Your Manners

3. Sound City Players featuring Stevie Nicks - You Can't Fix This

2. Stone Sour - Tired

1. The Winery Dogs - Elevate

Winery Dogs 2

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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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Marshall of Rock Top 30 Albums of 2012

by on Jan.01, 2013, under ROCK NEWS, ROCK PICKS

Marshall of Rock Top 30 Albums of 2012

In a year of great classic, hard rock and heavy metal, it was tough to eliminate many worthy releases from the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums of 2012, but after much deliberation, we have come up with what we think is a representation of quality rock for the year. See what you think:

30. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth

A fine return by the San Francisco bay area thrash giants. With guitar interaction between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, definitive vocals from Chuck Billy, bass from Greg Christian, and a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who last played drums for the band on their 1997 album 'Demonic,' Testament have delivered an album that stands up to all of their past releases. "Dark Roots of Earth' debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, which was the band's highest debut in their history.

29. ZZ Top - La Futura

The band's first new album in 9 years brings back some true Texas blues rock ZZ Top style. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard were itching to get this album out after production delays with Rick Rubin, so they four new tracks: 'I Gotsta Get Paid,' 'Chartreuse,' 'Consumption,' and 'Over You' in June of 2012 as an iTunes-only collection titled 'Texicali.' The band's 15th studio album is truly "the future" for ZZ Top. Good to have the boys back.

28. Aranda - Stop The World

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma band's second album 'Stop The World' yielded three charting tracks, 'One More Lie', 'Undone' and 'Satisfied.' Dameon Aranda, Gabe Aranda, Mike Walker and B Webb have created a sound that is original and lasting. I expect more from this band in the future, and look for them to become a mainstay on the rock charts.

27. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last Of A Dyin' Breed

Lynyrd Skynyrd is on top of their game once again with their latest release, which is full of solid tracks. The 12th studio album from the band and first with bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes), also features additional guitar from the great John 5. Great songs like 'Homegrown,' 'Good Teacher, 'Ready To Fly,' and the title track, make this release a must for fans of southern rock and all rock fans in general.

26. Jack White - Blunderbuss

The always innovative and original Jack White has delivered an album that may very be his best work yet. His debut solo album was written, recorded and produced entirely by White in 2011. I appreciate everything White stands for, as he is a true music historian, has a plan for not only his Third Man Records, but everything he does musically. When promo copies of the album were distributed to reviewers and radio stations, they were sent as vinyl records to prevent leaks. A leader in today's world of music.

25. Overkill - The Electric Age

Band leaders and original members Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) have crafted an epic return to glory with The 16th studio album from the New Jersey thrash legends. 'The Electric Age' lives up to the epic releases in the 80's from the band and has brought them back to prominence in the metal world. Overkill will be touring in early 2013 with Testament and Flotsam and Jetsam, bringing more exposure to this release that really deserves it.

24. Europe - Bag Of Bones

A great album from a band that sounds better than in their 80's heyday. Vocalist Joey Tempest has described Europe's 9th studio album as "a hardcore classic rock record with the blues knocking on the door," and I'd have to agree. The album debuted at #2 in their native Sweden, where they were recently named the #3 all time favorite band. 'Bag Of Bones' has not yet garnered the attention it deserves in the U.S., but hopefully that will change in 2013. Kevin Shirley produced, mixed and engineered this great album, and he must be my producer of the year, as he has at least two other albums on my Top 30.

23. KISS - Monster

The 20th and latest KISS studio album delivers musically, with the production from Paul Stanley and guitar work from Tommy Thayer as standouts. The band used old analog equipment instead of digital recording gear while recording 'Monster.' Gene Simmons said about the recording of 'Monster': "Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don't have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound." We are glad they did, as this is the best KISS album in years.

22. Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 1

Corey Taylor delivers with Part 1 of the two part House of Gold & Bones. Stone Sour can ride the line of serious hard rock to lyrically touching mid tempo tracks and pull it off like no other band can. Part II will be out in 2013, and I'm sure that one of rock's men of the year will keep his band innovative, original and relevant.

21. Dead Sara - Dead Sara

A compelling and engaging debut from the Los Angeles based band. Vocalist Emily Armstrong and her bandmates show on this album that they are a force that will be recognized in the world of rock and won't be ignored.

20. The Treatment - This Might Hurt

The U.K. boys remind me of a young Def Leppard, with some AC/DC and UFO thrown in. With great tracks like 'The Doctor,' 'Nothing To Lose But Our Mind', 'Shake The Mountain' and more, this album rocks from start to finish. Coming off some U.S. exposure as the openers on 'The Tour' with KISS and Motley Crue, these guys are ready and willing to take their career to the next level, and I think they will.

19. Soundgarden - King Animal

One of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, Soundgarden broke up back in 1997, but reunited in 2010, making concert festival and some TV appearances, as well as releasing a special 7" on Black Friday Record Store Day. 2011 brought the live album 'Live On I-5', and that all let up to the recording and release of their 6th studio album in 2012. The album is heavy, the album is fast, the album is true Soundgarden music.

18. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu

Guitar great Gary Clark Jr. has released independent albums and E.P.'s before, but 2012 brought Clark's major label album debut, and a stunning piece of work it is. Clark's music has elements of blues, rock, funk, soul and country, and he says he is even influenced by jazz and hip hop. Already playing clubs in his hometown of Austin, Texas as a kid, he met promoter Clifford Antone, proprietor of the Austin music club Antone's. Antone's was the launching pad for fellow Texans Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. That propelled him to eventually sharing the stage with music greats  B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top,  Doyle Bramhall II, Sheryl Crow and more. He has performed at the White House, and just last month was a part of the Rolling Stones New Jersey shows. The album is a true showcase of his talent and includes a version of the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Third Stone From The Sun'. Gary Clark Jr. is just starting his amazing ride to greatness.

17. Tremonti - All I Was

The first solo album from the Alter Bridge/Creed guitarist, it is what he wanted it to be - a pure metal album! Crunchy tracks, awesome riffs, and outstanding vocals from Tremonti himself. A must for all metal fans.

16. Pop Evil - War Of Angels

These Michigan rockers were a touring machine in 2012, playing many of the cuts from their fantastic album 'War Of Angels'. With four singles released from the record: 'Last Man Standing,' 'Monster You Made,' 'Bosses Daughter,' and 'Purple,' the band maximized the album's potential after delays caused by record company issues with Universal had kept it from it from it's initial release date. The guys moved onto a new label (eOne Music), who have backed the band and album to the fullest and the band is now primed to move into the future with even more success.

15. The Black Keys - El Camino

Akron, Ohio's Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released their 7th studio album'El Camino' in December of 2011, and 2012 brought the brought massive sales and success for the release. They have etched out a dedicated and loyal following not only by their fans, but by critics, and it looks as though the Black Keys are going to be one of those bands that will be around in 10 to 15 years, as long as their material holds up. With #1 rock tracks 'Lonely Boy' and Gold On The Ceiling', as well as the top 5 cut 'Little Black Submarines,' it was hard to escape the band. 'El Camino' and 'Lonely Boy' were nominated in five categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards, where they are sure to win a few, if not all five they are nominated for.

14. Kill Devil Hill

Hard rock at it's best on the debut album from the band named after the small town of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Rex Brown, guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg, bring the rock heavy and modern on a release that deserved more acclaim and recognition in the world of hard rock and metal. The band are planning their second release and I'm sure we'll see growth and more exposure for this great new hard rock band!

13. Heart - Fanatic

Ann & Nancy Wilson returned in 2012 with not only a box set 'Strange Euphoria,' but a fantastic album on new material called 'Fanatic.' Great songs, great hooks, and above all great guitar and vocals from the first ladies of rock. They are now Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and are still putting out quality new music that will stand the test of time.

12. Halestorm - The Strange Case Of...

Halestorm put out an awesome album in 2012 that continued the growth and respect that the band have garnered from just about everyone in the hard rock world. Lzzy Hale is a dynamic frontwoman and musician, and will continue to lead Halestorm into the future as one of the great rock acts to be reckoned with.

11. Charm City Devils - SINS

Baltimore Maryland's own Charm City Devils released their 'SINS' album in January of 2012, and lead by singer/songwriter John Allen, the band crisscrossed the country, gaining new fans at every stop. Two singles have been released from the album so far, 'Man Of Constant Sorrow,' and the anthemic 'Unstoppable,' which is now a go to track at sports events nationwide. Hopefully Charm City Devils will release at least one more track from the album, as it is full of great tracks. I really like their brand of rock, and the fact that they are all about their fans. Congrats on a great 2012 to Charm City Devils!

10. Rush - Clockwork Angels

Rush returned with their highly anticipated album 'Clockwork Angels' in 2012, and it lived up to the expectations. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are the epitomy of rock musicianship and year after year. After initially releasing the album tracks 'Caravan'  and 'BU2B'  were to radio and for online digital purchase in June of 2010, and playing those tracks on the 'Time Machine' tour, the band finished up the album and have since released 'Headlong Flight' and 'The Wreckers' and subsequent singles. The album debuted at #1 in their home country of canada and at #2 in the U.S.

9. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

Springsteen released his 17th studio album in March of 2012, and it came at a time we needed it most. An idealistic and angry album, it addresses enonomic injustice, the lack of accountability he sees in government, the 'American Dream' and includes the late E Street band member Clarence Clemons with saxophone solos on 'Land of Hope and Dreams'  and backing saxophone rhythms on the title track, which was originally written about the then-pending demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey from the stadium's point of view. Bruce is still bringing the protest message that is sorely needed from more musicians and artists.

8. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Toward The Daylight

An epic release from one of our generation's guitar virtuosos, it bleeds emotion and takes the listener on a fantastic musical journey. I really like Kevin Shirley's production work, who Bonamassa also worked with on the Black Country Communion album. A guitar masterpiece, that will be hard to top, but I know Joe will figure out how to do that.

7. Shinedown - Amaryllis

Shinedown had a lot to live up to after the success of their last album 'The Sound Of Madness' spawned 5 singles and spent an amazing 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200, but it looks like they are doing it. 'Amaryllis' was released in March of 2012 and to date has yielded the hit tracks 'Bully,' 'Unity,' and 'Enemies.' The band may go five deep on the album, and if so, look for the title track and/or 'Miracle' to be the next singles.  In November of 2012 vocalist Brent Smith announced that the band had already completed their next album, so we may get to hear that before the end of 2013. In February, Shinedown will get back on the road with Three days Grace and P.O.D. for one dynamic triple bill. It looks like 2013 is going to be just as successful as 2012 was for Jacksonville, Florida's Shinedown!

6. Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension!

After some delay in the release date (originally in May) for 'Music From Another Dimension!', it was released this past November and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. While I am not a fan of all the tunes on the band's 15th studio album, there is enough of the old-school feel of early Aerosmith with production by Jack Douglas to satisfy. Expect more touring and tracks to be released in 2013.

5. Black Country Communion - Afterglow

Black Country Communion continue to crank out great rock in minimal time. When Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian come together in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley, there is a magic that is undeniable. Already the band's third studio album since their inception in 2009, we can hope it isn't their last. Glenn Hughes has continually talked of touring behind the releases, but with Joe Bonamassa's extensive spring/summer solo touring schedule every year and his reluctance to sacrifice that for BCC. Let's hope that all works itself out, and we get more great material and some touring from this fantastic rock band!

4. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

Led Zeppelin releases a live album of their 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena in London as part of the Ahmed Ertegun tribute, you know it has to be on my list. I just wish Robert Plant would re-consider never playing more shows as Led Zeppelin. I know he can't hit all the high notes like he once could, but I don't care, I want to see him share the stage with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones again. I guess this release will have to do.

3. Rival Sons - Head Down

The Long Beach, California based rockers return with their second album 'Head Down,' which continues the modern retro rocking vibe of their 'Pressure and Time' album. Already two singles in, the band continually sells out shows in Europe and hopefully 2013 will bring the band the level of success they deserve in their own country. One of my favorites, I just can't get enough of their music or their vibe.

2. Slash - Apocalyptic Love

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators have firmy etched out their place in the world of rock. I knew by the collaborations on Slash's previous solo album that featured Myles on two cuts, that when it was announced that the 'Apocalyptic Love' album would feature Kennedy and the band, that it would kick ass. Upon first listen of my #1 track of the year 'You're A Lie,' it was obvious that this release would be special. I'm looking forward to more releases from Slash and his great bandmates!

1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth

A triumphant return to glory for most of the original lineup of Van Halen, with David Lee Roth's animated vocals, the Van Halen brothers contributing blistering guitar and drum work, and Wolfgang Van Halen more than holding his own on bass. I was like many others who wasn't completely feeling the first single 'Tattoo', but ironically it is probably the weakest track on the album, but it did go to #1 on the mainstream and classic rock charts. Standout tracks like 'Stay Frosty,' You and Your Blues,' 'China Town,' 'Bullethead,' and more, the album is worthy of #1 for 2012 on the Marshall of Rock Top 30 albums!!

Some albums that just missed my Top 30:
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
Linkin Park - Living Things
Lita Ford - Living Like a Runaway
Theory Of A Deadman - The Truth Is
L.A. Guns - Hollywood Forever
The Cult - Choice Of Weapon
Chevelle - Hats Off To The Bull
Adler - Back From The Dead
Papa Roach - Time For Annihilation

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