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More Press Releases FROM DETRITUS

*** CAST OF CHARACTERS ***
*
Patrick Brower, Editor
patrickbrower@comcast.net

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor
lof@earthlink.net

Tim Wadzinski, Owner
tsw512@yahoo.com

Steve Shumake, Co-owner
vongoober@vongoober.com
http://www.vongoober.com/

*
*** LET IT BE KNOWN ***
*
-Hey, it’s Friday the 13th (and, incidentally, my birthday) but
instead of donning a hockey mask, grabbing a machete, and hacking up
some amorous teenagers, read our “Best Of 2005” stuff. – Tim

*
*** AT THE ALTAR ***
*
by Patrick Brower (patrickbrower@comcast.net)

-I really need to start writing down what CDs I buy and when. It takes
me forever to remember which ones came out in any given calendar year.
To compile this year-end list, I had to scroll back through iTunes to
see the dates of all the discs I imported during the year.
Nevertheless, I have a list. And in a moment, you’ll have it, too.

With the closure of the brick and mortar Impulse Music store, I’ve had
to find other places to shop. North side of Chicago’s Metal Haven is
one place, but they seem to let me down more often than not, so I only
go there when I’m actually in the area, rather than make it a
destination. And G-D help me, I still get things at Best Buy. I know,
I know, they’re the devil, but shouldn’t we allow that, based on our
musical genre? Turning to the Internet to shop, as we all do, I’ll go
to Amazon, who has surprising availability of good metal, and to NEH
Records ( http://www.nehrecords.com/ ) as well, but my favorite new
on-line metal CD store is Dynasty Metal Music (
http://www.dynastymetalmusic.com/shop/home.php ). Not only do they
have a fantastic, seemingly all-encompassing selection, their item
descriptions are so detailed that you know exactly what to expect from
bands you’ve never heard of. They’re as informative as I always want
my reviews to be, but never actually seem to make them. Several of the
CDs on my list were purchased there and one is a band I never heard of
before but bought because of their description. So now you know where
I buy, let’s get to my favorite of the what:

TOP CDs OF 2005:

1. Allen/Lande – THE BATTLE

Two of my favorite vocalists “fighting” it out on one CD, how can I
not love this!?!

2. Masterplan – AERONAUTICS

As much as I dig Jorn Lande solo and in bands such as Ark and Beyond
Twilight, this is the band he should always be in. Yes, I know he’s
gone now, but this is a great, great album that kicks my @$$ every
time I listen to it, which is still almost daily. My employees all
know this one almost by heart, and it’s Jorn’s second disc on this
list!

3. James LaBrie – ELEMENTS OF PERSUASION

I was supposed to review this and never did. Sorry, Tim. But I love
this CD. It’s Dream Theater without the pretension and 30 minute
songs. Average-length power-prog songs with blistering solos and James
LaBrie’s amazing voice. He’s still got it.

4. Chris Caffery – W.A.R.P.E.D.

I didn’t quite get into his solo stuff back in 2004 when he started
releasing it, but this year it exploded into my regular play list. I
even drove many, many miles to see him live in a crowd of about 30
people, but it freaking ROCKED. Hard, fast and surprisingly political,
Chris Caffery has made a great name for himself as a solo act.

5. Jon Oliva’s Pain – ‘TAGE MAHAL

Yes, many people had this on last year’s list, but its North American
release date was February 1, 2005, so it counts for this year! As far
as I’m concerned, this is a new Savatage album and I totally dig it.
Can’t wait for their second disc later this year!

6. Russell Allen’s Atomic Soul – s/t

BAM! After not being heard from since 2002 with discs from both
Symphony X and Star One, Russell Allen is back in a big way in 2005,
and claims two spots in this list! His ATOMIC SOUL is ballsy, crunchy,
almost Southern rock and it’s damn fine. Great driving and singing-
along to music, indeed. Go Russell!

7. Fozzy – ALL THAT REMAINS

Almost overlooked because it came out in January 2005, but this is
their breakout album. Gone are the stupid fake band history and ’80s
names. And no covers, either. Just a full-length, all-original album
that proves these guys are serious and good at what they do. And with
Chris Jericho gone from professional wrestling, maybe we’ll see
something new soon?

8. Gammam Ray – MAJESTIC

Wow, this if freaking HEAVY! So strong and powerful, and I bought it
at Best Buy. Weird, man, weird.

9. Cloudscape – s/t

Technically a 2004 release, but it was December 23, 2004, so I think
that makes it a 2005 disc. This is the band I had never heard of until
I bought it and it’s good. Best-of-the-year good. Why is it all the
really good bands are from Sweden? Yes, this is damn fine power-prog
from Sweden. Luv it.

10. Dream Theater – OCTAVARIUM

I’ll always dig Dream Theater, but just not as much as I used to it
seems, not since SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE. Last year’s TRAIN OF
THOUGHT was a better effort. If you want good Dream Theater, see James
LaBrie elsewhere on this list.

11. Corrosion Of Conformity (C.O.C.) – IN THE ARMS OF GOD

One we were waiting on for a while now. See Rick Berg’s column for
more. [Note: I never got Rick’s column so we’re just going to have to
remain in the dark. – Tim]

12. Kamelot – THE BLACK HALO

Another solid Kamelot release.

13. Redemption – THE FULLNESS OF TIME

Yet another review I owe Tim. This is a band I had never heard of, but
enjoyed quite a bit. Heavy power goodness.

14. John Petrucci – SUSPENDED ANIMATION

My favorite instrumental album of the past couple of years. This disc
took a lot of doing to get, but it’s so worth it. A very strong solo
effort.

15. Jacobs Dream – DRAMA OF THE AGES

My favorite of their three discs so far.

16. Nevermore – THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR

Yes, I still like Nevermore, and this album is fine, but it’s just
more of the same.

17. Iommi – FUSED

This is only on the list because of Glenn Hughes. Too bad his own solo
release this year couldn’t crack my Top 25.

18. Circle II Circle – THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

I really wanted this album to place higher, and it is good, but it
just didn’t grab me like WATCHING IN SILENCE did.

19. Bif Naked – SUPERBEAUTIFULMONSTER

Bif, you know I’ll always love you, even if I didn’t find out this May
released album was out until December.

20. King’s X – OGRE TONES

Finally, a new King’s X album I can be proud to say I like. It’s about
time, fellas, so keep it up!

21. Avian – FROM THE DEPTHS OF TIME

The best Lance King disc since his Balance Of Power days.

22. Frost – OUT IN THE COLD

Not Top 20 worthy, but a very fun, albeit short, album from the Seven
Witches axeman.

23. Evergrey – A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

I know live albums aren’t supposed to make it in these lists, but this
was so good I had to make an exception. I did put it at the bottom,
though, so there.

24. Stream Of Passion – EMBRACE THE STORM

I’m still getting into this one, but it didn’t immediately grab me as
I hoped it would. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next full-
blown Ayreon project.

25. Demons & Wizards – TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING

I only included this to make it up to 25 this year (and this is where
Tim asks “What about Priest??!!”).

Here’s a list of albums I got too late in the year to really listen to
enough to rate them, but they deserve recognition anyway and if there
was one more month in the year, my above list might have looked
different:

1. Ascension Theory – ANSWERS
2. Khymera – A NEW PROMISE
3. Locomotive Breath – CHANGE OF TRACK
4. Somewhere Into Nowhere (S.I.N.) – EQUILIBRIUM
5. Suspyre – THE SILVERY IMAGE
6. Shining Star – ENTER ETERNITY

TOP LIVE SHOWS OF 2005

Once again, I can’t even remember what I saw when. Luckily I save all
my ticket stubs. I saw many, many shows this year, but 3/4ths of them
were not hard rock or metal (Joe Jackson, Huun-Huur-Tu, New
Pornographers, Portastatic, etc.), so this is a small list.

1. Starwood/L.A. Guns/Slaughter/Skid Row

Vault 360, Long Beach, California

I was super excited to see Starwood that I didn’t even know the rest
of the lineup until I bought my ticket. Well worth the traveling, this
was far and away the show of the year — and Starwood stole it!

2. Chris Caffery

Mr. Kelly’s Music Box, Chicago Ridge, Illinois

As alluded to above, only 30 people showed up for this very poorly
promoted show, but that didn’t stop Caffery from tearing it up big
time. And there was a special encore guest in the Mountain King
himself, Jon Oliva!

3. Whitesnake

House Of Blues, Chicago, Illinois

Every song was a crowd-pleaser and the lovely Susan Bishop and I had
box seats behind the stage curtain! And Slick opened so that was cool,
too.

4. C.O.C.

House Of Blues, Chicago, Illinois

Once more with the fabulous box seats, Rick Berg and I had a blast
here.

Now, a list of bands I am interested in but know nothing about. Anyone
out there fans of the following, gimmie a shout and tell me why I
should listen to them:

1. The Storyteller
2. Warmachine
3. Savage Circus
4. Saidian
5. Prey

Finally, here’s what I’m most looking forward to in 2006:

1. Paul Stanley’s solo album
2. A new studio album from Evergrey
3. Loudness live in the Chicago suburbs!
4. New Armored Saint!
5. A Crimson Glory reunion?

*
*** FROM THE MEGA-VAULT ***
*
by Keith Abt (Keithabt@yahoo.com)

-This Week: “2005 IN REVIEW”

Happy New Year, fellow metallions! Is it time for another year-end
round up column already? Wow, that was a quick 12 months. It has been
an EXTREMELY busy year for me, with a complete remodeling of my house,
a change of venue at my job, adopting a dog, and dozens of other
events focusing my attention on things OTHER than heavy metal for much
of 2005. When I first started going through my CDs in preparation for
this year-in-review column I wasn’t sure if I even HAD enough 2005
stuff to pick through for a “Top 10” list, but thankfully some last
minute acquisitions during the holiday season enabled me to get caught
up on much of the Year In Metal. Of course, there are always a few
discs released each year that I would like to hear but didn’t get
around to (like HammerFall’s CHAPTER V: UNBENT, UNBOWED, UNBROKEN and
Stryper’s REBORN, just to name a few), but that’s life. Without
further ado, I hereby present “From The Mega-Vault’s” Top 10 CDs of
2005, in order of preference (more or less)…it turned out to be a
pretty good year and I hope for even more quality in 2006!

Overkill – RELIXIV (Spitfire). It’s been 20 years since FEEL THE FIRE
and thank the Metal Gods, Overkill are still going strong. Bobby Blitz
& company delivered another round of pure thrash ammunition this year
and I hope there are still many more to come!

Bruce Dickinson – TYRANNY OF SOULS (Sanctuary). Bruce’s long awaited
new solo platter may not be on par with his previous ACCIDENT OF BIRTH
and THE CHEMICAL WEDDING masterworks (Adrian Smith’s absence from
TYRANNY OF SOULS is definitely noticeable) but it’s still a damn heavy
CD that has spent more time in my player than either of Bruce’s last
two albums with Maiden.

Demons & Wizards – TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING (SPV). This CD will
tide me over nicely till the next Iced Earth and/or Blind Guardian CDs
come out, thank you very much. I hope Jon and Hansi don’t make us wait
another five years for their next collaboration!

Corrosion Of Conformity – IN THE ARMS OF GOD (Sanctuary). C.O.C.
rebounded nicely from the AMERICA’S VOLUME DEALER debacle with this
oh-so-heavy slab of Southern fried Sabbath worship that managed to be
both groovin’ and brutal at the same time.

Judas Priest – ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION (Sony/BMG). OK, so the reunited
Priest didn’t rewrite the book of heavy metal with this album (which a
lot of disappointed Internet geeks seemed to be expecting ’em to do),
but I don’t see the point in bitching because ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION is
simply a good ol’ fashioned SCREEEEAAAAAAMING Priest album with Rob
Halford at the helm…what’s not to like?

Nevermore – THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR (Century Media). I never really
understood what all the whoop-de-doo was about Nevermore until I “got
it” with 2000’s still-godly DEAD HEART IN A DEAD WORLD. I’ve been
firmly on board ever since, and THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR firmly cements
Nevermore as one of the USA’s heaviest bands. It doesn’t matter if
you’re a power, thrash, prog or death metal fan, you’ll find
ingredients from all of those genres in Nevermore’s intoxicatingly-
heavy mix.

Gamma Ray – MAJESTIC (Mayan/Sanctuary). Kai Hansen and crew return
with another speedy headbanger’s delight that beats the crap out of
Helloween’s new one six ways to Sunday!

Jacobs Dream – DRAMA OF THE AGES (Metal Blade). It was a long four-
year wait for a new album from these guys (and the power-metal boom
may have passed them by in the interim), but the addition of new
singer Chaz Bond was a definite plus for Jacobs Dream. This was their
best album yet and I hope to hear more from them in the new year.

Primal Fear – SEVEN SEALS (Nuclear Blast). Holy cow… Who lit a fire
under Primal Fear’s asses this year? I loved their first two CDs, but
since then they seemed to be pretty much turning in the same album
every year under a different title. Just as I was about to write them
off, Ralf and the boys blew me away with SEVEN SEALS, which is their
heaviest, nastiest, catchiest disc since 1999’s JAWS OF DEATH. Simply
awesome!

Misfits Meet The Nutley Brass – FIEND CLUB LOUNGE (Misfits/Ryko). OK,
so this is probably not the BEST CD I’ve heard this year, but it
DEFINITELY gave me the biggest laugh! If these shaken-not-stirred
instrumental versions of Misfits classics don’t at least get you to
crack a smile, then you need to get out of the house more often.
Perfect Halloween party listening!

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Icarus Witch’s CAPTURE THE MAGIC (Magick Records)
shows that these rookies are a band to keep an eye on, while
HavocHate’s CYCLE OF PAIN (Indecent Media) brought back pleasant
memories of the mid-`80s thrash era. Deceased’s AS THE WEIRD TRAVEL ON
(Thrash Corner) lived up to its title; King Fowley and the boys are
old-school horror freaks to the bone!

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS: Impellitteri’s PEDAL TO THE METAL (SPV) didn’t
hold up to repeated listening, and the less said about GZR’s OHMWORK
(Sanctuary), the better. Ignore, delete, destroy. Move on, people,
there’s nothing more to see here.

Miscellaneous Awards/Notes/Trivia/Wise Ass Commentary:

BEST ALBUM COVER OF 2005: Nevermore’s THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR

WORST ALBUM COVER OF 2005: (tie) Impellitteri’s PEDAL TO THE METAL
(What the hell happened to Derek Riggs?) and the self-titled WET
ANIMAL debut.

BEST COMPILATION: Anthrax’s ANTHROLOGY: NO HIT WONDERS 1985-1991
(Island). I rediscovered a lot of classic thrash metal this year and
this collection of the best Belladonna-era stuff was the cream of the
crop. I haven’t listened to Anthrax this much since I was in high
school!

BIGGEST BUMMER(S) OF 2005: Urban Breed leaving Tad Morose. DAMN! How
much does THAT suck? Tad Morose were one of my favorite bands of
recent years and I hope they can regroup with an equally killer
vocalist soon. In addition, Helloween’s KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – THE
LEGACY (SPV) had its moments, but didn’t knock me on my ass like I’d
hoped it would.

MOST WELCOME REISSUES OF 2005: Mad props to the good folks at Wounded
Bird Records ( http://www.woundedbird.com/ ) for putting long lost
classics by Loudness and Vicious Rumors back into circulation this
year!

BEST USED-CD FIND OF 2005: Since I’ve been digging into Nevermore’s
back catalog for much of this past year, I also picked up 1988’s
classic REFUGE DENIED (Epic) from Warrel Dane’s former band,
Sanctuary, for a mere $5.99 this past summer…and I liked it so much
that I managed to track down their second (and final) album, 1990’s
INTO THE MIRROR BLACK, by year’s end. Good stuff!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2006: Are we FINALLY going to have a
new Trouble album? Please, please, PLEASE? Something new from the
Crimson Glory camp would be nice too, even if it’s just an overhaul of
the back catalog for now. I will be eagerly awaiting Lacuna Coil’s
long-overdue KARMACODE when it hits racks this Spring too.

-OK then, that’s the last of the accolades for 2005 and it’s now time
to head into a new year with my ears open. Thanks for listening, and
as always I hope you’ll all come along to enjoy the ride!

-THIS WEEK’S (non-2005) PLAYLIST: Judas Priest – SAD WINGS OF DESTINY;
Loudness – LIGHTNING STRIKES; Ramones – ANIMAL BOY; Vicious Rumors –
s/t; Sanctuary – INTO THE MIRROR BLACK.

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*** REALM OF SHRED ***
*
by Neal Woodall (MysticX10@msn.com)

-You’re reading this so that means 2005 is in the history books and it
was another good year for music, especially for melodic hard rock,
reissues and DVDs. To start things off here are the top 30 releases
that spent the most time in my CD/MP3 player this past year…

Favorites:

Judas Priest – ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION
Astral Doors – EVIL IS FOREVER
Jaded Heart – HELLUVA TIME
Pagan’s Mind – ENIGMATIC CALLING
Vision Divine – THE PERFECT MACHINE
Stride – IMAGINE
Bruce Dickinson – TYRANNY OF SOULS
Voodoo Hill – WILD SEED OF MOTHER EARTH
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – UNLEASH THE FURY
Redemption – THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Labyrinth – FREEMAN
Machine Men – ELEGIES
Biss – FACE OFF
The Mob – s/t
Avian – FROM THE DEPTHS OF TIME
Black Majesty – SILENT COMPANY
Firewind – FORGED BY FIRE
Nevermore – THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR
TNT – ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN
Overlorde – RETURN OF THE SNOW GIANT
Shadow Gallery – ROOM V
Circus Maximus – THE 1ST CHAPTER
U.D.O. – MISSION NO. X
Headrush – s/t
Brainstorm – LIQUID MONSTER
Exodus – SHOVEL HEADED KILL MACHINE
Deep Purple – RAPTURE OF THE DEEP
Ben Jackson Group – ALL OVER YOU
Arch Enemy – DOOMSDAY MACHINE
Falconer – GRIME VS. GRANDEUR

Of course there were tons of things I didn’t get a chance to hear,
plus a bunch that I thought were good but not quite up to expectations
— some examples being Soul Sirkus, Starbreaker, John Norum,
Allen/Lande, etc…

Reissues/Re-masters:

Y&T – MEAN STREAK
Dio – HOLY DIVER
Deep Purple – BURN
Accept – RESTLESS AND WILD
Balance Of Power – HEATHENOLOGY
Jukka Talonen Band – JTB
Fates Warning – AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN
James Byrd – CRIMES OF VIRTUOSITY
Rory Gallagher – BIG GUNS
Milan Polak – GUITAR ODYSSEY
Megadeth – BACK TO THE START
Def Leppard – ROCK OF AGES

Live Recording:

Iron Maiden – DEATH ON THE ROAD

Instrumental:

Kiko Loureiro – NO GRAVITY
John Petrucci – SUSPENDED ANIMATION
Victor Smolski – MAJESTY & PASSION

Non-Metal:

The Police – SYNCHONICITY LIVE (DVD)
Rolling Stones – A BIGGER BANG
Pallas – THE DREAMS OF MEN
Vivian Campbell – TWO SIDES OF IF
Eric Johnson – BLOOM
Evick – SUNSET TO SUNSET

DVDs:

Rush – R30
Evergrey – A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Talisman – WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET
Judas Priest – RISING IN THE EAST
Yngwie Johann Malmsteen – CONCERTO SUITE FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR AND
ORCHESTRA LIVE
G3 – LIVE IN DENVER
Scorpions – ONE NIGHT IN VIENNA
UFO – SHOWTIME
Vicious Rumors – CRUSHING THE WORLD
ProgPower USA – BEHIND THE SCENES

Live Shows:

Rush – Hi Fi Buys/Atlanta, GA
ProgPower USA VI – Earthlink Live/Atlanta, GA
Judas Priest/Queensryche – Hi Fi Buys/Atlanta, GA
Yngwie Malmsteen – Roxy/Atlanta, GA

Books/Magazines:

Neil Peart – “Traveling Music”
Martin Popoff – “Rush: Contents Under Pressure”
Various – Classic Rock Magazine
Various – Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles
Various – Guitar Techniques

Movies:

“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge Of The Sith”
“Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire”
“Ong Bak – The Thai Warrior”
“Into The Sun”
“Batman Begins”

Disappointments:

1. The continued prevalence of Metalcore/Mallcore/Nu Metal/Sceamo/
Aggro or whatever the hell that crap is called now.
2. Michael Schenker’s US tour cancellation.
3. Sharon Osbourne’s embarrassing feud with Bruce Dickinson.
4. Excess of bland power metal and shred releases.
5. The absence of many of my favorite bands from the live circuit.

Predictions/Hopes for 2006:

1. Crimson Glory reunion — seems like a long shot but who knows?
2. Queensryche – OPERATION: MINDCRIME II — probably nothing on it
half as good as “Suite Sister Mary” but with Dio on board as Dr. X it
should be interesting…
3. ProgPower USA VII will kick ass.
4. Rush, Sinergy, Vicious Rumors, Leatherwolf, Evergrey, Astral Doors,
Racer X, and Dio all release killer albums and tour; more excellent
reissues and DVDs will see the light of day.
5. Sharon and Bruce kiss and make up. (Yeah, right! :))

-Have a great 2006!!!

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*** ROCK HARD RIDE FREE ***
*
by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-2K5 was quite a year for me, personally, as it was my first year as a
daddy. I tried to back away from Detritus as parental duties took up a
lot of my time early in the year, but that really didn’t last very
long. :) Some things never change I guess. On that front, as some of
you may know I also contribute to Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles
magazine, and I had to submit my “Best Of 2005” lists to them a few
months ago. This has gone on now for several years, and it never fails
that the lists I send to BW&BK end up getting tweaked before I come up
with my really, truly, final-and-I-mean-it-this-time lists for
Detritus. This year is no different!

Top 10 Albums Of 2005

1. Judas Priest – ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION (Sony BMG)

Yeah, sure, maybe it wasn’t the heaviest thing the band has ever done
but I really dug it because the “quirkiness” of 1970’s Priest kinda
came back in place of some of the more Heavy Metal Cartooniness
they’ve done since PAINKILLER… Lop off the abortion that is
“Lochness” (shouldn’t it be titled “Loch Ness?”) and you’ve got
yourself a real nice metal album with some rock to it. I haven’t seen
the band live since Rob Halford returned and it’s killing me!

2. Locomotive Breath – CHANGE OF TRACK (Lion Music)

I just reviewed this puppy earlier this week and I know you commit all
my writings to memory so I don’t need to say anything more about it
here. :) But seriously… Meaty riffs, catchy choruses, interesting
lyrics, and an intangible “it factor” all add up here.

3. TNT – ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN (MTM)

I hadn’t even heard this one when I had to submit my BW&BK lists, so
its noticeably absent there. You want to talk about a band that has
really come back from its hiatus/break/downtime/bad album period with
a vengeance? Wow. Last year’s MY RELIGION was damn good, but ALL THE
WAY TO THE SUN takes the cake. It’s a shame Morty Black is gone from
the band, but here’s hoping they carry on and continue improving. Just
amazing.

4. Gamma Ray – MAJESTIC (Sanctuary/Mayan)

As stated elsewhere in this issue, Kai Hansen and his boys really
outshone what his former Helloween band mates did on their KEEPER OF
THE SEVEN KEYS – THE LEGACY. MAJESTIC is just wall-to-wall metal
majesty.

5. Audiovision – THE CALLING (Rivel Records)

Narnia front man Christian Revel’s project album rules. It’s chock
full of emotive playing and singing, the production is fabulous, and
the songs get you moving.

6. Black Majesty – SILENT COMPANY (LMP)

I already (lamely) used “metal majesty” while talking about Gamma Ray
so I can’t say that again here, but…well…it fits so I’ll do it
again anyway. I still think the band name conjures up images of a
Norwegian corpse-paint black metal brigade, but this Australian band
plays elegant, involving power metal without the OTT frilliness of
say, Rhapsody.

7. Bruce Dickinson – TYRANNY OF SOULS (Sanctuary)

I had this as #2 on the BW&BK lists, but as the year wound down I
kinda felt it got eclipsed by some of the albums listed above it here.
It’s good but not ACCIDENT OF BIRTH awesome. I guess I agree with
Keith when he says Adrian Smith is missed…

8. Zan Clan – WE ARE ZAN CLAN… WHO THE F**K ARE YOU!? (Perris
Records)

Yes, I’m serious — this album rules. I don’t think I ever got around
to writing a review in Detritus, so I apologize. I really miss Shotgun
Messiah and this disc from former front man Zinny Zan is basically the
long-lost follow-up to Shotgun Messiah’s 1989 self-titled debut. Great
playing and unabashed glammy fun.

9. F5 – A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS (Deadline)

This one stormed up my charts, as it wasn’t even in the Top 25 when I
submitted to BW&BK. This isn’t a typical “Tim” album because it’s got
some modern elements, but it’s compact and delivers the goods. Let’s
see if ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson sticks with these guys or if
this album was just a passing fancy.

10. Dream Theater – OCTAVARIUM (Atlantic)

I’ve been burnt out on Dream Theater and the bazillion side projects/
solo albums since 1999’s METROPOLIS PT. 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY, but I
keep buying the band’s releases. Some of my buddies were kind of down
on this one but I liked it. I guess maybe it might not actually be Top
10 material, but I’m just glad I dig one of their albums again…

An “Unlucky 13” More Honorable Mentions:

1. L.A. Guns – TALES FROM THE STRIP (Shrapnel)
2. Iron Mask – HORDES OF THE BRAVE (Lion Music)
3. Tribuzy – EXECUTION (Arise)
4. Masterplan – AERONAUTICS (AFM)
5. Helloween – KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – THE LEGACY (Steamhammer/SPV)
6. Dungeon – ONE STEP BEYOND (LMP/SPV)
7. Redemption – THE FULLNESS OF TIME (Sensory)
8. Starbreaker – s/t (Frontiers)
9. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – UNLEASH THE FURY (Spitfire
Records)
10. Beautiful Creatures – DEUCE (Spitfire)
11. Dogpound – A NIGHT IN THE GUTTER (Lion Music)
12. U.D.O. – MISSION NO. X (AFM)
13. Winterlong – s/t (Lion Music)

Stuff I Didn’t Get A Chance To Hear Yet:

1. Primal Fear’s SEVEN SEALS. I’ve heard nothing but raves so it must
be good, right???

2. Circle II Circle’s THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Seems to be the opposite
of the Primal Fear disc, in that all the commentary I’ve seen/heard
makes me think it’s a bit of a yawner. Oh well.

3. Annihilator’s SCHIZO DELUXE. Continuing the trend, I’ve heard
*nothing* about this disc at all. Anyone heard it? Any good? Is it
even out yet???

Biggest Yawn Of 2005:

Stratovarius’ self-titled release. Yep, the guys buried the hatchets
and reunited…for this?

Biggest Surprise Of 2005:

Supermercado’s SCARY BABY. Man, prior to this disc if you’d have come
to me talking about an album full of funk, hard rock, rap, *and*
metal, I’d have politely dismissed you. But SCARY BABY is a fun, funny
good time and I have trouble getting it out of my player.

Best DVDs of 2005:

1. Judas Priest – RISING IN THE EAST (Rhino)

I haven’t reviewed this yet but it’s awesome. I was a little
disappointed in the “no frills” approach to bonus features (there
aren’t any!) but the show itself is fantastic. The new ANGEL OF
RETIRBUTION songs fit in seamlessly with the killer classics.

2. Helloween – HELLISH VIDEOS: THE COMPLETE VIDEO COLLECTION
(Sanctuary)

I had no idea these guys have made so many videos since Andi Deris
took over as vocalist on MASTER OF THE RINGS in 1994. This DVD
relegates my old PUMPKIN VIDEO VHS tape to the trash heap…

3. Manowar – HELL ON EARTH IV (SPV)

The series may be getting a little overdone at this point, but Manowar
sure knows how to package and fill up a DVD release!

4. Edguy – SUPERHEROES (Nuclear Blast)

I got this for dirt cheap and the video clip for the title track is an
instant all-time classic.

5. AC/DC – FAMILY JEWELS (Epic)

I’m not the biggest AC/DC fan but this is a killer compilation.

Stuff I Didn’t Get A Chance To See Yet:

1. Kiss’ ROCK THE NATION LIVE! I’ve read some pretty cool write-ups on
this puppy, and even though it’s the goofy Stanley/Thayer/Simmons/
Singer lineup in makeup, I want to check it out. I think it’s cool
they brought back oldies like “Makin’ Love,” “Christine Sixteen,” and
“Love Her All I Can,” and I think I heard they even dick around with
some MUSIC FROM “THE ELDER” songs in the sound check sections.

Best Live Shows I Saw:

Ugh… I only managed to make it out to ONE concert, Broken Teeth at a
local club, so that’s my #1. It actually *was* a fun show so it’s not
like it’s just simply a winner by default, but I do wish I could’ve
seen Judas Priest/Queensryche, ProgPower USA, Queensryche doing the
OPERATION: MINDCRIME thing again, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and
several others.

In 2006 I Hope…:

1. …that the Crimson Glory reunion happens. (Is there an echo in
here?) Midnight’s SAKADA effort was atrocious, but at least the Ben
Jackson Group’s ALL OVER YOU was pretty good. But I really hope the
reunion rumblings are true and the guys come back and take the world
by storm. We shall see…

2. …that we hear more from the Judas Priest family! Will the band
follow up ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION quickly, or will Rob really do another
solo album with the Halford band? I heard Priest wrote tons of
material for ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION, so it’s conceivable another album
could surface soon.

3. …there really is a Savatage anniversary celebration. An album? A
tour? Both? Former members coming back? Anything…??? PLEASE???

4. …to see Gamma Ray on tour. That list of dates had better expand
to include Chicago!!!

5. …Queensryche doesn’t tarnish its legacy any further. I really,
REALLY hope OPERATION: MINDCRIME II is good. The fellas have some
balls for doing this, that much is certain.

-Happy New Year!

*
*** OUT ***
*

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January 14, 2006 - Posted by | ROCK

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