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The Staff's Top Picks of 2009

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(Click on each writer's name below to go directly to his list.)

Pete Pardo
Mike Popke
Duncan Glenday
Mark Davies
Jon Neudorf
Alex Torres
Steven Reid
Richard Barnes
Miguel Blardony
Dean Pedley
Ryan Sparks
Butch Jones
Scott Jessup
Scott Ward
Murat Batmaz
Denis Brunelle
Richard Wheelhouse
Elias Granillo



Pete Pardo


Best of 2009



1) Nile-Those Whom the Gods Detest: Easily the most massive, epic sounding extreme metal album of the year, and the pinnacle of Nile's career so far.

2) Mastodon-Crack the Skye: Early 2009's most dominant progressive metal release, and proof of a band that is growing leaps and bounds.

3) Between the Buried and Me-The Great Misdirect: One of the most talented of the new breed of extreme progressive metal acts. Another band that keeps getting better.

4) Devin Townsend-Addicted: Sheer brilliant pop-metal from the always dependable Devin.

5) Dream Theater-Black Clouds & Silver Linings: Another stellar release from the leaders of the prog-metal genre. Just can't go wrong with this band.

6) Megadeth-Endgame: Forget Metallica, Dave Mustaine & the gang show on this one why they are the undisputed kings of thrash.

7) Riverside-Anno Domini High Definition: The Polish band's best yet-great mix of heavy prog and metal.

8) Epica-Design Your Universe: This one hasn't quite clicked with me like their previous studio effort, but it's still wonderful in its own right.

9) Immortal-All Shall Fall: Fantastic return by the black metal legends.

10) Porcupine Tree-The Incident: Another winner from Steven Wilson & Co.

11) Heaven and Hell-The Devil You Know: The metal legends have returned and released another classic heavy metal album. Call is Black Sabbath, call it Heaven and Hell, it's still great.

12) Gwynbleidd-Nostalgia: In a year when we have no Opeth release, these New Yorkers have helped us scratch that itch. The future looks very bright for them.

13) Obscura-Cosmogenesis: Great new technical death metal band.

14) Hourglass-Oblivious to the Obvious: Epic progressive metal, and a band that can no longer be ignored by fans of the genre.

15) Pathosray-Sunless Skies: Another winner from this underrated band.

16) Anubis Gate-The Detached: Progressive metal band on the cusp of greatness.

17) Redemption-Snowfall on Judgment Day: Fantastic release from a band the continues to impress.

18) IQ-Frequency: Veteran proggers once again deliver a real winner.

19) Scar Symmetry-Dark Matter Dimensions: Despite losing their talented singer, they come back with two new vocalists and a very solid new album.

20) Amorphis-Skyforger: Can't go wrong with Amorphis-another stunning release.

21) Behemoth-Evangelion: Polish death metal masters crank out another gem.

22) Candlemass-Death Magic Doom: If it wasn't for Heaven and Hell, Candlemass would have the doom-metal CD of 2009.

23) Magnum-Into the Valley of the Moonking: One of the classiest rock acts around.

24) Echoes of Eternity-As Shadows Burn: Sophomore effort doesn't fail to impress.

25) Marduk-Wormwood: Swedish black metal legends show their versatility.

26) Augury-Fragmentary Evidence: One of 2009's big surprises. Great technical extreme metal.

27) Steve Morse Band-Outstanding in Their Field: The best guitarist on the planet and his trio wow us again.

28) Cross-The Thrill of Nothingness: The long awaited album from Swedish prog band is a real winner.

29) Shadow Gallery-Digital Ghosts: Despite the death of Mike Baker, the band has regrouped and put this gem together.

30) Hypocrisy-A Taste of Extreme Divinity: Peter Tagtgren & Co. do it again.

31) Glass Hammer-Three Cheers for the Broken Hearted: Less bombast but still solid prog from these veterans.

32) Wobbler-Afterglow: Wonderful, vintage 70's sounding prog.

33) Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson-United States: The pop/hard rock release of the year. If you dig classic Queen, you'll need to hear this one.

34) Pantommind-Lunasense: Another stunner from this prog-metal outfit.

35) Factory of Dreams-A Strange Utopia: Sweeping symphonic metal from this duo.

36) Chickenfoot-Chickenfoot: A supergroup that actually sounded 'super'.

37) Gorgoroth-Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt: Despite all the legal b.s., Gorgoroth deliver a solid black metal platter.

38) Lynyrd Skynyrd-God & Guns: Southern rock legends once again give us something to be proud of.

39) Wolves in the Throne Room-Black Cascade: The best US black metal band, hands down.

40) Lamb of God-Wrath: Hasn't held up to repeated listens like some of their earlier albums, but still very solid nonetheless.

41) Saga-The Human Condition: Despite the loss of Michael Sadler, the band have put forth a very good effort here.

42) TCP-The Way: Excellent 70's styled prog.

43) Be'lakor-Stone's Reach: Australian band that won't be a secret much longer.

44) Afroskull-To Obscurity and Beyond: New York funk rock band brings back images of early Chicago.

45) Kreator-Hordes of Chaos: Thrash legends crank out another solid release.

46) Govt Mule-By a Thread: Warren Haynes and his band put together their best album in years.

47) Primal Fear-16.6: Somewhat of a tumble, but still solid.

48) Chris Caffery-House of Insanity: Savatage/TSO guitarist continues to show how relevant his solo career is.

49) November's Doom-Into Night's Requiem Infernal: Another of 2009's best death/doom releases.

50) Anekdoten-Chapters: Though I don't normally like to include compilations, I'll make an exception with this great set from an underrated prog act.

51) Arch Enemy-The Root of All Evil: Normally, I'd rate this higher, but seeing as it's re-recorded songs from the early Arch Enemy catalog, it just misses the Top 50. Good stuff though.

52) John Abercrombie Quartet-Wait Till You See Her: My favorite jazz release of the year.

53) The Black Crowes-Before the Frost: Southern rockers are on a late career roll.

54) Scale the Summit-Carving Desert Canyons: There's a bright future ahead for these prog-metal-fusion youngsters.

55) Satyricon-The Age of Nero: Solid release from these black metal veterans, but I'm wondering if their best efforts are behind them.

56) Exivious-Exivious: Excellent instrumental progressive fusion.

57) Ashent-Deconstructive: Another promising progressive metal act from Lion Music.

58) Astra-From Within-Another stellar band from Lion Music.

59) Fartherpaint-Lose Control: Solid female fronted progressive metal also on Lion Music.

60) Vader-Necropolis: One of the most dependable bands in death metal.

61) Machines of Grace-Machines of Grace: Solid power metal from some familiar friends.

62) Roswell Six-Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon: All Star prog rock affair really works.

63) Pestilence-Resurrection Macabre: Technical death metal pioneers return to form.

64) Wolfmother-Cosmic Egg: Another retro fest from the young Aussie's.

65) Mike Keneally-Scambot 1: The musical genius does it again.

66) Circa-HQ: Billy Sherwood & Co. deliver a solid pop/prog platter.

67) Secrets of the Moon-Privilegivm: Atmospheric metal with some black metal trimmings does the trick.

68) Devin Townsend-Ki: Part 1 of his epic vision is sort of a departure, but a good listen.

69) KISS-Sonic Boom: It ain't like the classic 70's material, but it's still fun, and it's KISS.

70) Leprous-Tall Poppy Syndrome: Great mix of atmospheric prog and extreme metal.

71) Artillery: When Death Comes: Thrash legends return!

72) Absu-Absu: Black metal legends return with a real stunner.

73) Ensiferum-From Afar: Pagan/folk metal act gets down to business.

74) Cannibal Corpse-Evisceration Plague: Not as great as Killers, but solid.

75) Stratovarius-Polaris: There's life after Timo Tolkki after all.

76) Prymary-The Enemy Inside :latest concept album from these prog-metal studs is another winner!

77) Sun 0)))-Monoliths & Dimensions: I think I'm finally getting it.

78) Gargamel-Descending: One of the best 70's sounding prog bands you've never heard.

79) Trans-Siberian Orchestra-Night Castle. Well done theatrical rock & metal as always.

80) Inevitable End-The Severed Inception: Another great new technical death metal band.

81) Blut Aus Nord-Memoria Vetusta II-Dialogue with the Stars: Wonderful avant-garde black metal.


Pete Pardo-The Best Live Albums of 2009

Nektar-Fortyfied

Steve Smith & Vital Information-Vitalive!

Azteca-From the Ruins

Jan Garbarek Group-Dresden

Steve Vai-Where the Wild Things Are

Holdsworth/Pasqua/Haslip/Wackerman-Blues For Tony

Santana-The Woodstock Experience

Johnny Winter-The Woodstock Experience

Chick Corea & John McLaughlin-Five Peace Band Live

The Black Crowes-Warpaint Live

Soft Machine-Drop

Thin Lizzy-Still Dangerous

Return to Forever-Returns

Nevermore-The Year of the Voyager

Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette-Yesterdays


Pete Pardo's Top 3 Albums of the Decade:

1) Opeth-Watershed

2) Dream Theater-Scenes From a Memory

3) Symphony X-Paradise Lost



Michael Popke

Best Of 2009

1. Aeon Zen: A Mind's Portrait

2. Transatlantic: The Whirlwind

3. Shadow Gallery: Digital Ghosts

4. Redemption: Snowfall on Judgment Day

5. Bruce Springsteen: Working on a Dream

6. Saga: The Human Condition

7. W.E.T.: W.E.T.

8. Cavo: Bright Nights Dark Days

9. Winger: Karma

10. Porcupine Tree: The Incident

11. Dream Theater: Black Clouds & Silver Linings

12. Umphrey's McGee: Mantis

13. Prymary: The Enemy Inside

14. Mastodon: Crack the Skye

15. Rocket Club: Rocket Club

16. Phish: Joy

17. Cheer-Accident: Fear Draws Misfortune

18. Muse: The Resistance

19. Beat Circus: Boy From Black Mountain

20. Dustin Lee: On My Way Back Home


Honorable Mention:

Collective Soul: Collective Soul

Gov't Mule: By A Thread

Halcyon Way: A Manifesto for Domination

Izz: The Darkened Room

Manooghi Hi: Manooghi Hi

Pearl Jam: Backspacer

Riverside: Anno Domino High Definition

Roswell Six: Terra Incognita-Beyond the Horizon

Satellite: Nostalgia

Robert Svilpa & Paraesthesia: A Fine Line Between…

Note: I have not heard the following titles, but suspect they might have landed on this list:

Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine: On This Perfect Day

Eloy: Visionary

Leverage: Circus Colossus

Mob Rules: Radical Peace

The Syn: Big Sky


Live / Reissues

1. The Beatles: Stereo Box Set

2. Bodeans: Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (Collector's Edition Reissue)

3. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: The Live Anthology (Box Set)

4. Big Star: Keep An Eye on the Sky (Box Set)

5. The Jayhawks: Music From the North Country-The Jayhawks Anthology

6. Neal Morse: So Many Roads (Live)

7. Neil Young: Archives Vol. 1 (Box Set)

8. Pearl Jam: Ten (Deluxe Edition Reissue)

9. U2: The Unforgettable Fire (Deluxe Edition Reissue)

10. The Pineapple Thief: 3000 Days (Reissue)

11. Pagan's Mind: Live Equation (Live)

12. The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses (Legacy Edition Reissue)


DVD

1. Anvil: The Story of Anvil

2. Kansas: There's Know Place Like Home

3. Pain of Salvation: On the Two Deaths Of…

4. Pink Cream 69: Past & Present

5. Neil Diamond: Hot August Night/NYC

6. Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music-The Director's Cut (Ultimate Collector's Edition)

7. Rick Wakeman: The Six Wives of Henry VIII-Live at Hampton Court Palace

8. Pendragon: Concerto Maximo

9. Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City

10. Friday Night Lights: Season Three


Michael Popke's Best of the Decade (based on how much I spun these and the enjoyment they gave me)

1. Spock's Beard: Snow

2. Theocracy: Theocracy

3. Neal Morse: Testimony

4. Ayreon: The Human Equation

5. Evergrey: Recreation Day

6. Rocket Scientists: Revolution Road

7. Symphony X: The Odyssey

8. Bruce Springsteen: The Rising

9. Pink Cream 69: Thunderdome

10. Marc Bryant: Naked Son




Duncan Glenday


CAVEAT:  This list represents the best of the 2009 albums THAT I'VE HEARD.  There are many (such as the new Sysygy) that would definitely make the list if I'd heard them in time.  Also, the sequence could well change if I were to construct this list in a weeks time - and I had particular difficulty with the top 5.

Nevertheless, for better or worse, here's the list... 

1 The Future Kings Of England -- The Viewing Point

2 Mastodon -- Crack the Skye

3 Morglbl -- Jazz For The Deaf

4 Beardfish -- Destined Solitaire

5 OSI -- Blood

6 Porcupine Tree -- The Incident

7 Mellotron -- And Go

8 Jupiter Society -- Terraform

9 Riverside -- Anno Domini High Definition

10 Decemberists, The -- The Hazards of Love

11 Big Big Train -- The Underfall Yard

12 Wobbler -- Afterglow

13 Satellite -- Nostalgia

14 Gonin-Ish -- Naishikyo-Sekai

15 Sebkha Chott -- De La Persistance De La Mythologie Chottienne En ??? Vιlos

16 Transatlantic -- The Whirlwind

17 Indukti -- Idmen

18 Tamandua -- Eternal Anteater Of The Universe

19 Ava Inferi -- Blood Of Bacchus

20 IQ -- Frequency

21 Phideaux -- Number 7

22 Sylvan -- Force Of Gravity

23 Gaza -- He Is Never Coming Back

24 Po90 -- Jitters

25 Magma -- Emehntehtt-Re

26 Manning (Guy) -- Number Ten

27 Wilson, Steven -- Insurgentes

28 Roswell Six -- Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon

29 Redemption -- Snowfall On Judgement Day

30 Karda Estra -- Weird Tales

31 Isis -- Wavering Radiant

32 UKZ -- Radiation

33 Circa -- HQ

34 Ajalon -- This Good Place

35 Factory Of Dreams -- A Strange Utopia

36 Counter-World Experience -- Metronomicon

37 Dream Theater -- Black Clouds And Siver Linings

38 Jolly -- Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music

39 Cantata Sangui -- On Rituals And Correspondence In Constructed Realities

40 Nile-Those Whom the Gods Detest


Late Addition:

(Yes, I'm breaking the rules by adding this well after the article's initial publication!)

On re-listening to Epica's Design Your Universe, it ought to have been near the top of my list. It's an excellent goth / operatic / neo-classical metal album, with a tasteful (and appropriate) insertion of death growls for a beauty-and-the-beast sound. It is significantly better than anything the band has done in the past.


Mark Davies

As I write this I'm in jet lag hell after 10 weeks in the States, I've also just got the news that a Facebook campaign to make Rage Against The Machine Christmas No 1 in the U.K charts was successful. This marks a milestone over on these shores as every year the winner from our reality show X-Factor has been Christmas No 1 for as long as I can be bothered to remember, a victory for rock music I think. I knew this time would come and I've been pondering for hours what to include and what to leave out. With so many highlights in 2009 and such a wealth of material on offer from the varying genres I'm drawn to it's not been an easy task, well here …….

Best Albums Of 2009:

The Top 5

1.Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us

2 Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue

3 Mastodon - Crack The Skye

4 Lamb Of God - Wrath

5 Megadeth - Endgame


The Full List

Mastodon - Crack The Skye (A pure metal masterpiece, takes the concept to a new level)

Lamb Of God - Wrath (It pumps through my veins like mercury, this band just set the standard)

Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us (Their 'Black' album, probably my album of 2009, they enter a new realm with this release)

BigElf - Cheat The Gallows (Released last year in the U.S but only got to us this year in the U.K. Where have I been? Total BigElf convert, get those bell bottom trousers on…love them)

Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (Took some balls and took some time but the results speak for themselves… I still keep singing 'Check My Brain' months later, 'California's alright…..')

Lynyrd Skynyrd - God & Guns (The Grim Reaper may have taken his toll on this band but they came back with a stormer)

The Parlor Mob - And you Were A Crow (Down and dirty rock n' roll from these American grafters, deserve more success)

Winger - Karma (Great comeback from the poodle haired kings, surprisingly heavy with plenty of Reb Beach guitar)

Daughtry - Leave This Town ( O.K stop laughing!!! You cannot deny this guy has one hell of a voice and amazingly catchy songs)

Megadeth - Endgame (Is it the end? Hope not, a Mustaine modern metal classic…no doubt)

Evile - Infected Nations (Excellent British thrash, sadly overshadowed with the tragic death of bass player Mike Alexander, destined for exceptional success)

Porcupine Tree - The Incident (Today's Pink Floyd, their albums form masterpieces that get better with age)

Muse - The Resistance (Thought they couldn't get bigger and bolder…how wrong was I? Progressive music for 2009)

Dream Theater - Black Clouds And Silver Linings (This certainly took some spins, but was so worth it)

Amorphis - skyforger (Finland's finest progressive metal pioneers, great stuff)


Also Worth a Mention:

The Answer- Everyday Demons

Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot

Blind Ego - Numb

Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day

Devildriver - Pray For Villains

Five Finger Death Punch - War Is The Answer

Slayer - World Painted Blood

Kiss - Sonic Boom

Chevelle - Sci-Fi Crimes

Warbringer -Waking Into Nightmares


Best Gigs Of 2009:

Kiss - @The Pearl, Las Vegas (Where Better to see Kiss than a 2,200 capacity theater with full pyro in the City of Sin)

Mastodon - @Sheffield Corporation U.K (Blinding club gig where the whole of Crack the skye was performed end to end)

Lamb Of God - @Sheffield Corporation U.K (Another cracking club gig added onto their tour at the last minute, pure metal excellence)

Progressive Nation Tour - @Manchester Apollo U.K (My first BigElf experience and two masters of their art Dream Theater & Opeth)

Graspop Metal Meeting - @Dessel Belgium (Probably the best festival I've ever been to for organization, band line up & atmosphere)

Metallica/Machine Head - @Sheffield Arena U.K (I was in metal heaven, got to meet Machine Head, drink their beer and meet Rob from Metallica.. pure metal masturbation!)

Rob Zombie - @The Pearl Las Vegas (Not seen him since the White Zombie days and he sure knows how to put on a show)

Muse Homecoming Show - @Teignmouth Devon U.K (The earth literally shook! 10,000 people take over a small seaside town and Muse showed why they sell out enormo-domes on a regular basis)

Down - @Hellfest Clisson France (Phil and the boys brought Nola to rural France, downright sweaty southern metal)

Alice In Chains - @The Joint Las Vegas (They were on too early in the day at Sonisphere in Knebworth earlier in the year. This headline show proves why they should carry on, Rooster simply stunned the crowd).


Worth a Mention:

AC/DC - @LG Arena Birmingham U.K

Trans -Siberian Orchestra - @ Orleans Arena Las Vegas

Machine Head - @ Sonisphere Festival Knebworth U.K

Manowar - @Hellfest Clisson France

Testament- @Sheffield Corporation U.K


Jon Neudorf

My top 37 records of the year.

It was an excellent year for progressive rock as many albums really grabbed me this year. In case you are wondering why some of the bigger releases did not make it to the list like Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, Porcupine Tree and Transatlantic, I have not had the fortune of hearing them yet. Hopefully, I will rectify that situation in the coming year.



1. IQ – Frequency (This is my favourite release of 2009 and is what I believe to be their best so far. An excellent effort from one of the classiest progressive rock bands around).

2. Phideaux – Number Seven (Another stellar effort this year. Although the concept can be hard to follow, this is great stuff from one of progressive rock's most consistent artists).

3. Sylvan – Force Of Gravity (Continuing along the lines of their previous CD Presets, this is another stellar effort from one of Germany's best progressive bands. Their melodic approach to writing proggy rock songs is second to none).

4. Ajalon – This Good Place (This is the first album I have heard from this quality American band, and has quickly risen near the top of my list. The playing is top notch with melodies to match).

5. Majestic – Arrival (This is a fantastic album from the talented multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hamel. By far his best album to date).

6. Dead Heroes Club – A Time Of Shadow (This Irish band may have delivered the surprise of the year with A Time Of Shadow. Superb progressive rock with a 70s retro vibe that is totally infectious. Excellent vocals from Liam Campbell and some of the best Hammond organ I have heard all year).

7. Derek Sherinian – Molecular Heinosity (Hands down, my favourite progressive metal album of 2009)

8. Parzivals Eye – Fragments (Outstanding progressive rock from the bass player of RPWL).

9. Svilpa, Robert & Paraesthesia – a fine line between… (First rate progressive rock from a very talented musician).

10. Magnum – Into The Valley Of The Moonking (One of the stellar rock releases of 2009. A classy album from the veteran rocker who still knows how to churn out a great melody).

11. Marillion – Less Is More (With Marillion's latest the title rings true. This stripped down, bare bones approach gives these songs a breath of fresh air. A great album from one of progressive rock's best bands).

12. Troy Donockley – The Madness of Crowds (This is an exceptional work of beauty. This one took a while to absorb but was time well spent).

13. Aurora Project, The – Shadow Border (I love the way the band blends moody atmospheric melodies with their brand of progressive rock and metal).

14. Leprous – Tall Poppy Syndrome (Excellent progressive metal from Scandinavia).

15. Steven Wilson – Insurgentes (A gorgeous sounding album of dark atmospheric textures and brooding melodies).

16. TCP – The Way (A fresh take on classic prog ala Genesis, but with a modern sensibility uniquely their own).

17. Days Before Tomorrow – The Sky Is Falling (This is a progressive pop/rock gem of an album. Great artwork, a compelling story and excellent music makes this one the entire package).

18. Makajodama – Makajodama (One of my favourite instrumental releases this year. I love the combination of quirky guitar rhythms and strings).

19. Adventure – Beacon of Light (This Norwegian band made one of the best symphonic rock albums of 2009 with a strong nod to heavy 70s prog rock).

20. Neal Morse – Lifeline (His most personal album to date and another quality slice of melodic prog).

21. Trusties – Human Wheel (An excellent modern progressive rock album. Both melodic and complex, this one really caught my attention).

22. Fractal – Sequitur (Their second album combines complex progressive rock with great melodies that had me engaged from start to finish).

23. Mike Keneally – Scambot 1 (One of the more interesting releases of 2009. A nice blending of avant-garde pop and rock).

24. Sunrise Sunset Project – Sunrise Sunset (This Russian band released an excellent instrumental prog album with a definite 70s vibe).

25. Saga – The Human Condition (This is a solid effort from a band that needs no introduction. Although having a near impossible task of replacing Michael Sadler, Rob Moratti did an admirable job).

26. Airbag – Identity (Well crafted Pink Floyd inspired progressive rock with killer melodies).

27. Nektar – Fortyfied (My first exposure to Nektar has been most rewarding. An excellent live album).

28. Chest Rockwell – Total Victory (Combining a variety of styles like alternative, indie, pop and prog, Chest Rockwell is a young band that needs to be heard).

29. Junk Farm – Didn't Come To Dance (With their unusual mixture of progressive rock and funk, the power trio's latest was a pleasant end of the year find).

30. Oceans of Night – The Shadowheart Mirror (Not your typical metal album as the music has many ambient moments scattered amongst the metallic riffs. I really like it).

31. Holloway – Illusions (Intense guitar rhythms are softened by acoustic guitar and lush orchestrations. Cannot wait to hear what they come up with next).

32. Vecteur K – La peur du desert (This French Canadian band's debut album blends fine songwriting and complex song structures that had me hooked right from the start).

33. Uncreated Light – Whom Should I blame (Excellent symphonic metal from the Ukraine. If you enjoy bands like Nightwish this should be right up your alley).

34. Noy, Oz – Schizophrenic (While his guitar skills are tremendous here, never before has he sounded this melodic).

35. Elf Project – Mirage (A nice mixture of 60s psychedelia and classic 70s prog).

36. Mars Volta, The – Octahedron (Billed as their 'acoustic' album, I really liked their change in direction. More accessible than anything they have done before but still retaining their distinct sound).

37. Apocalypse – The Bridge of Light (A fine symphonic rock album in the vein of Fish era Marillion).


My top 5 DVDs of 2009

1. Pendragon – Concerto Maximo

2. Pain of Salvation: Ending Themes - On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation

3. Credo: This Is What We Do - Live In Poland

4. Tinyfish: One Night On Fire - Live In Poland

5. Shadowland – Edge of Night


Best reissues of 2009

1. Blackfield: NYC – Live In New York City (DVD/CD)

2. Oceansize – Frames (DVD/CD)



Jon Neudorf


Best CDs of the Decade


These are my top releases of the decade. In some years I could not limit it to just one as there were so many great records released this past decade.

1. 2000: Porcupine Tree – Lightbulb Sun

2. 2001: Pain Of Salvation – The Perfect Element Part 1, Transatlantic – Bridge Across Forever

3. 2002: Everon – Flesh, Everon – Bridge, Pain Of Salvation – Remedy Lane, Porcupine Tree – In Absentia

4. 2003: Opeth – Damnation

5. 2004: Ayreon – The Human Equation, IQ – Dark Matter

6. 2005: Arena – Pepper's Ghost, Liquid Scarlet – II, Eyestrings – Consumption

7. 2006: Vanden Plas – Christ 0

8. 2007: Threshold – Dead Reckoning

9. 2008: Ayreon – 01011001, It Bites – The Tall Ships, Opeth – Watershed

10. 2009: IQ - Frequency



Alex Torres

BEST ALBUMS OF 2009

A good year for music, that fully justifies at least a Top 30 (well, 31 really)! The two at equal 30 would probably have featured higher if I'd heard them before December 15th!! Oh, and I do have Transatlantic's "The Whirlwind", it just didn't make it onto this list.

I can unreservedly recommend all of my Top 15, and the rest in this Top 30 list aren't bad either!!

1 Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition

2 The Gathering - The West Pole

3 Breathing Space - Below the Radar

4 Crimson Sky - Misunderstood

5 Intentions - Place in Time

6 Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings

7 IQ - Frequency

8 Chest Rockwell - Total Victory

9 Haddad - Eros & Thanatos

10 Animal Kingdom - Signs & Wonders

11 Sylvan - Force of Gravity

12 Magnum - Into the Valley of the Moonking

13 The Strawbs - Dancing to the Devil's Beat

14 The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

15 UFO - The Visitor

16 Andrew Gorczyca - Reflections - An Act of Glass

17 Sunchild - The Invisible Line

18 Litmus - Aurora

19 Andrea Baroni Trace of Humanity

20 Siddhartha - Trip to Innerself

21 String Driven - Songs From Another Country

22 Voodoo Monkey Child - Under a Crescent Moon

23 Henriette Kat - Home

24 Siena Root - Different Realities

25 Templar - Dark Circus

26 Jay Tomkin - Sorted

27 John Mayall - Tough

28 Bruce Springsteen - Working On a Dream

29 Spleen Arcana - The Field Where She Died

30= The Tangent – Down and Out in Paris and London

30= Phideaux – Number Seven


BEST DVD

I don't watch many DVDs, so just one that really grabbed my attention:-

Procol Harum – Live with the Danish Orchestra & Choir


WORTHY TRACKS

Here's three noteworthy tracks from albums NOT in my Top 15, otherwise these would be swamped!

1 Muse – Exogenesis Symphony (Parts 1, 2 & 3)

2 The Cutest Babyhead Ever – The Devil is Five

3 Bruce Springsteen – Queen of the Supermarket


EPs

Godsticks - Godsticks

The Cutest Babyhead Ever – Panoply

The Pineapple Thief – The Dawn Raids (I and II)

The Coloursound - Reclaim


RE-RELEASES OF THE YEAR

Hawkwind re-releases on Atomhenge


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2009

Muse – The Resistance

Exogenesis apart, I thought this was a retrograde step.


TOP NAUGHTIES (i.e. Albums of the '00' Decade)

1. Riverside – Anno Domini High Definition

2. Neal Morse – Sola Scriptura

3. Mostly Autumn – Storms Over Still Water

4. The Pineapple Thief – Variations on a Dream

5. Maestoso – Caterwauling

6. Muse – Black Holes & Revelations

7. Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory

8. Riverside –Second Life Syndrome

9. Tom Paxton – Looking for the Moon

10. Rush – Snakes & Arrows



Steven Reid

Best Of 2009

1. Mangrove – Beyond Reality (A quite stunning collection of progressive masterpieces)

2. Winger – Karma (Fantastic mix of heavy rock songs and sumptuous melodies)

3. Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot (A supergroup that delivered. Big Time!!)

4. Porcupine Tree – The Incident (Steven Wilson maintains his ridiculously high standard with his most challenging main band work yet)

5. Wildhearts – Chutzpah! (Is it rock? It is Pop? Is it Punk? Who cares, it damn good!)

6. I.Q. – Frequency (Back on form? You bet!)

7. Mastedon – 3 (Any album from John Elefante is welcome but alongside his brother, he's delivered big time?)

8. Cheap Trick – The Latest (How do they just keep getting better and better?)

9. Muse – The Resistance (Too big for it's boots at times, but no one else is making music this eclectic and still selling it to the masses)

10. Brother Ape – Turbulence (Brilliant angular, guitar led prog)

11. Electric Mary – Down To The Bone (Not strictly from this year, however it got a worldwide release in the last 12 months and this band of Aussie rockers are too good to ignore)

12. Spin Gallery – Embrace (Quirky, Melodic and still getting better with every listen)

13. Kiss – Sonic Boom (Not as good as the hype made out, much better than I thought it would be!)

14. Eldorado – Golden (Phenomenal Spanish rock in the vein of Tesla)

15. Queensryche – American Soldier (Listen to it again and again and again and eventually the scope of this project takes hold. A bold, brave idea carried out with style and grace)

16. Blackwood Creek – Blackwood Creek (Heavier than his usual output, but can Kip Winger do no wrong?)

17. Europe – Last Look At Eden (Finally they get the mix between heavy rock and parpy pop spot on. Possibly their best)

18. Foreigner – Can't Slow Down (Foreigner without Lou Gramm? It can be done!)

19. Transatlantic – The Whirlwind (Give it time and it proves to be the best of the three albums this band have recorded)

20. Saxon – Into The Labyrinth (Their renaissance continues with another tremendously focused release)

21. Decadenze – Beyond Obsession (Forget The Answer, Decadenze are the hottest new UK and around)

22. Marillion – Less Is More (A brave (no pun intended), beautiful reworking of later day Marillion classics)

23. Syzygy – Realms Of Eternity (The best pure progressive album of the year and Mark Boals is a revelation)

24. Heaven and Hell – The Devil You Know (Proof that ditching Ozzy was a good move)

25. A-Ha – Foot of the Mountain (A return to their eighties roots, best pop album of the year)

26. Magnum – Into The Valley Of The Moonking (Their best since their reformation)

27. Vital Might – Red Planet (Great album and "Saturday" may be the song of the year)

28. Bruce Springsteen – Working On A Dream (Another corker from one of the most relevant artists the US has ever produced)

29. Saga – The Human Condition (Life after Sadler looks possible after all)

30. Gonin-Ish – Naishikyo-Sekai (A cacophony of joyous noise, too many styles to list here, but it somehow works)

31. Majestic – Arrival (Beautiful understated music)

32. Rufus Huff – Rufus Huff (Dirty bluesy retro rock. Love it!)

33. Praying Mantis – Sanctuary (A genuine surprise that the Mantis could sound so fresh and melodic)

34. Ace Frehley – Anomaly (Kiss and Frehley in the same year? Miracles do happen)

35. Jay Jesse Johnson – Play That Damn Guitar (The title says it all. guitar, guitar guitar!)

36. Dommin – Love Is Gone (An accomplished debut that could garner big time success, if only Dommin would cut his hair!)

37. Places Of Power – Now Is The Hour (Desperately trying to be Shadow King and all the better for it)

38. 101 South – No U-Turn (Pure AOR bliss)

39. House Of Lords – Cartesian Dreams (It was never HOL for me without Gregg Giuffria, but even I have to admit that this is as good as the early days)

40. Trusties – The Human Wheel (Great songs, great concepts)

41. UDO – Dominator (In your face institution strikes again)

42. Andrew Gorczyca – Reflections – An Act Of Glass (Fine music and a fitting tribute to a talent lost)

43. Winterborn – Farewell To Saints (Sharp riffs, biting vocals and songs to match)

44. Machines Of Grace – Machines Of Grace (Pure rock at it's best)

45. Wilson Hawk – The Road (Smooth melodies and great vocals)

46. Dale – Screaming For Silence (A huge vocal performance from the still under rated Tony Mills alongside an unknown six string maestro)

47. Outloud – Outloud (Tongue in cheek eighties metal, but they do it well)

48. Pythia – Beneath The Veiled Embrace (The UK finally get a band who play symphonic metal with conviction)

49. Wetton Downes – Icon 3 (Classy keyboard led progressive AOR)

50. Fair Warning – Aura (Great hooks, great vocals, great melodic rock)


Reissues/Live Albums

1. Threshold – Paradox-The Singles Collection (Box Set)

2. Rick Wakeman – The Six Wives of Henry XIII

3. 3rd Matinee – Meanwhile

4. Blaze Bayley – The Night That Will Not Die

5. Danny Vaughn – The Road Less Travelled

6. Eric Martin – Sucker For A Pretty Face

7. Blackfield – Live In New York City

8. Thunder – The EP Sessions

9. Combonation – Combonation

10. Rush – Working Men


Best Gigs

1. Neil Young

2. Muse

3. Bruce Springsteen

4. Wildhearts

5. Jon Lord – Concerto For Group And Orchestra

6. Magnum

7. Thunder

8. It Bites

9. Saxon/Doro

10. Kamelot


Richard Barnes

Best of 2009

1) TheAirborne Toxic Event-The Airborne Toxic Event

2) The Mummers-Tale to tell

3) Beardfish-Destined Solitaire

4) Kasabian-West Hyder Pauper lunatic asylum

5) Editors-In this light and on this day

6) Kotebel-Ouroboros

7) Miriodor-Avanti

8) Muse-The Resistance

9) Narrow Pass-In this world and beyond

10) Paolo Nutini-Sunny Side Up

11) The Temper-TrapConditions


Miguel Blardony

Best of 2009

1. Tenet "Sovereign"- All I can say is: Holy crap!

2. Scar Symmetry "Dark Matter Dimensions"- Jawdropping. And everyone thought these guys were lost without Christian Alvestam. If melodeath could ever be excruciatingly beautiful, this is the perfect example.

3. Megadeth "Endgame"- The ultimate reutrn-to-your-roots album. Apparently, Dave Mustaine hasn't completely lost it. He's just been lazy for the past 15 years.

4. Rammstein "Liebe Ist Fuer Alle Da"- Solid from start to finish. These nutty Germans are blessed.

5. Lamb of God "Wrath" – Wrathful. Utterly, utterly wrathful. It's great to hear the redneck assasins haven't run out of ideas yet.

6. Paradise Lost "Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us"-Okay, I'll admit it. This made me cry.

7. HammerFall "No Sacrifice, No Victory"- If this were pizza it would be flavored with five different cheeses plus a molten stuffed crust.

8. Paradox "Riot Squad"-German thrash's best kept secret. Like classic Anthrax meets Testament.

9. Saxon "Into the Labyrinth"- Same as Hammer Fall actually.

10. Behemoth "Evangelion"- This and Rudra's "Brahmavidya" mark the pinnacle of epic death metal with an intellectual foundation.

11. Rudra "Brahmavidya: Transcendental I"- See above.

12. No Remorse No Retreat "Warbringer"- Motorhead and Slayer jamming in a garage with Amon Amarth providing the lyrics. It's insane.

13. Cannibal Corpse "Evisceration Plague"- How does Exodus put it? Good, friendly, violent, fun. Add gruesome as well.

14. Devildriver "Pray For Villains"- It's the song writing that really made this work.

15. Immortal "All Shall Fall"- The temperature in my room dropped a few degrees when I put this inside my CD player.


Dean Pedley

Best of 2009

1 Dream Theater – Black Clouds And Silver Linings

2 Magnum – Into The Valley Of The Moon King

3 W.E.T. – W.E.T.

4 Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Night Castle

5 Mastadon – Crack The Skye

6 Knight Area – Realm of Shadows

7 Blaze Bayley – The Man Who Would Not Die

8 Subsignal – Beautiful and Monstrous

9 KISS – Sonic Boom

10 UFO – The Visitor

11 Fall Out Boy – Folie A Deux

12 Pearl Jam - Backspacer

13 Transatlantic – The Whirlwind

14 Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream

15 Manning – Number Ten

16 Breed 77 – Insects

17 Grimmstine – Grimmstine

18 Burning Point – Empyre

19 Fury UK - VR

20 Porcupine Tree – The Incident

21 Fightstar – Be Human

22 Marillion – Less Is More


Ryan Sparks

Top 5

1. Megadeth – Endgame

2. IQ – Frequency

3. Paul Gilbert / Freddie Nelson – United States

4. Bigelf – Cheat the Gallows

5. O.S.I. - Blood


Best New Releases (in no particular order)

1. Paul Gilbert / Freddie Nelson : United States

2. IQ: Frequency

3. OSI : Blood

4. Devin Townsend Project – Ki

5. Megadeth - Endgame

6. BigElf – Cheat The Gallows

7. Dream Theater – Black Clouds & Silver Linings

8. Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue

9. Nile – Those Whom The God's Detest

10. Mastodon – Crack The Skye

11. Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot

12. Derek Trucks – Already Free

13. Vespero – Surpassing All Kings

14. Theo Travis – Double Talk

15. Sendelica – The Girl From The Future Who Lit Up The Sky With Golden Worlds

16. Psi Corps – Tekelli-li: A Soundtrack to the Adventures of A.G. Pym

17. UFO – The Visitor

18. Shadow Gallery – Digital Ghosts

19. Sun O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions

20. Scar Symmetry – Dark Matter Dimensions


Butch Jones

Top CD's of 2009

1) Alice In Chains-"Black Gives Way To Blue"-AIC Back in a HUGE way. I think this is the strongest & darkest record of their career

2) Porcupine Tree-"The Incident"-PT has yet to disappoint. This is an epic double disc and is just incredible.

3) Katatonia-"Night Is The New Day"-Sheer & utter brilliance.

4) Megadeth-"Endgame"-The Metal release of the year, hands down! Mustaine at his angriest to date.

5) Billy Talent-"Billy Talent III"-This band is just completely infectious.

6) Lethargy-"Purification"-Great straight up and dirty Rock. Great UK band with a ton of promise.

7) Richie Kotzen-"Peace Sign"-Quite simply the greatest American singer/songwriter/guitarist living today. Otis Redding would love his vocals!

8) Scar Symmetry-"Dark Matter Dimensions-Swedish Metal at it's finest. These guys just shred.

9) Polvo-"In Prism"-Fantastic Indie Rock! Their 1st record since their debut in 1997 & they don't disappoint!

10) Def Leppard-"Pyromania Deluxe Edition"-Def Lep at their peak & the 2nd disc is a live show from '83. Awesome!


Favorite Music DVD

Jeff Beck-Live At Ronnie Scott's


Scott Jessup

2009 has been a another year for good music with few disappointments, there are still a few new releases I have yet to receive, but from those that I've heard Epica's Design Your Universe is my album of the year.

Best Of 2009

1.Epica - Design Your Universe – I knew it would be good, but Design Your Universe exceeded my expectations.

2.Scar Symmetry - Dark Matter Dimensions – Scar Symmetry really bounced back well with this one, after losing such a fine vocalist.

3.Redemption - Snowfall On Judgement Day – Another fine Redemption album.

4.Shadow Gallery - Digital Ghosts - Shadow Gallery do it again, what an album.

5.Fairyland - Score To A New Beginning – Grand Epic metal album.

6.Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition – Excellent album.

7.Derek Sherinian - Molecular Heinosity – Really like this one.

8.Immortal - All Shall Fall – Great comeback release.

9.Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings – "The Shattered Fortress" is one track I constantly go back to, and easily my favorite on DT's latest.

10.Ilium - Ageless Decay - Great album.


Some of the standout releases:

Transatlantic - The Whirlwind

Porcupine Tree – The Incident

Mastodon - Crack The Skye

Vision Divine - 9 Degrees West Of The Moon

Heaven And Hell - The Devil You Know

Sons Of Season - Gods Of Vermin

Cains Offering - Gather The Faithfull

OSI - Blood

Arcane - Chronicles Of A Waking Dream

Devin Towsend Project - Addicted

Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest

Stratovarius – Polaris

Devin Towsend Project - Ki

Brainstorm - Memorial Roots

Megadeth - Endgame

Lord - Set In Stone

Slayer - World Painted Blood

Sirenia - The 13th Floor

Mystic Prophecy – Fireangel

Leaves Eyes - Njord

Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day

Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight

Primal Fear - 16.6(Before The Devil Knows Your Dead)

Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory

Lion's Share - Dark Hours

Anthropia - The Chain Reaction

Rammstein - Liebe Ist Fur Alle Dr

Sonata Arctica - The Days Of Grays

Revolution Renaissance - Age Of Aquarius

Burning Point – Empyre

I have to mention the latest releases from Venturia, Hibria, Dark Moor and Thy Majestie, missed my list for 2008 but all good CDs that would have been included.

For the next list I just went with the first releases that come to mind and that I always go back to, there were so many other amazing albums.

Best Live releases:

Pagan's Mind - Live Equation

Redemption - Frozen In The Moment - Live In Atlanta

Epica - The Classical Conspiracy


BEST OF 2000-2009

2000 – SYMPHONY X - V THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE

2001 - SONATA ARCTICA – SILENCE

2002 – SPOCK'S BEARD – SNOW

2003 – LOST HORIZON – A FLAME TO THE GROUND BENEATH

2004 - NIGHTWISH – ONCE

2005 – CIRCUS MAXIMUS – THE 1ST CHAPTER

2006 – INTO ETERNITY – THE SCATTERING OF ASHES

2007 – PAGAN'S MIND – GOD'S EQUATION

2008 – SCAR SYMMETRY – HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE

2009- EPICA - DESIGN YOUR UNIVERSE




Scott Ward

Best of 2009

Top 5


1) Dream Theater – Black Clouds and Silver Linings

2) Shadow Gallery – Digital Ghost

3) Amorphis – Skyforger

4) Madder Mortem – Eight Ways

5) AtmOsphere – Zenith


Here are the best albums of 2009 in my humble opinion. Alphabetical since I cannot rank them . This has been a great year in music and there have been many fantastic releases. Any of them off this list will be welcome additions to your music collection.

Aeon Zen/A Mind's Portrait – Amazing debut by a future powerhouse!

Alice In Chains/Black Gives Way To Blue – Takes awhile but grows on you.

Amorphis/Skyforger – This is one of my favorite metal releases this year. Dynamic and epic, it is one to have in the collection.

Anima Mundi/ Jagannath Orbit – Fantastic prog band from Cuba

Animals As Leaders/Animals As Leaders – Guitarist Tosin Abasi's instrumental album is a great slice of progressive/jazz/metal. Something to behold.

Anthropia/The Chain Reaction – Mighty powerful power metal. I love it!

Anubis Gate/The Detached – Why are they not a household name I will never know!

AtmOsfear/Zenith – Unbelievable progressive metal, who are these guys? Great stuff.

Augury/Fragmentary Evidence – Brutality with a melodic sense. Very intense stuff.

Brimstone Solar Radiation Band/Smorgasbord – The band XTC wish they could be!

Crimfall/As The Path Unfolds…Great mixture of light and dark epic metal.

Deluge Grander/The Form Of The Good – Edgy prog work that captivates.

Devon Townsend Project/Addicted – Heavy Devon that is addictive for sure!

Dream Theater/Black Clouds & Silver Linings – They have really outdone themselves on this release. Their best release in years.

Drudkh/Autumn Aurora – This gets played every couple days without fail!

Epica/Design Your Universe – Simply one of the best releases of the year.

Ex-Dio/Romulus – The history of the Roman Empire in metal! Great stuff

Fairyland/Score To A New Beginning – Fantastic Epic metal.

Finsterforst/Zum Tode Hin – Pagen Folk Metal as it should be done.

Five Finger Death Punch/War Is The Answer – Cannot stop playing this disc!

Forest of Shadows / six waves of woe – dark atmospheric and doomish splendor.

Grave Digger/Ballads of A Hangman – We need more ballads like this!

Guilt Machine/On This Perfect Day –Arjen Lucassen's melancholy metal trip.

Hammerfall/No Sacrifice, No Victory – A great bit of power metal as expected.

Heathen Foray/The Passage – Fantastic melodic death/Viking/folk metal.

Heaven & Hell/ The Devil You Know – Dio and Black Sabbath do it again.

IQ/Frequency – Just another great quality album from these guys.

Illusion Suite/Final Hour – Epic power metal that will grab you!

Illusion Suite/Final Hour – Fantastic progressive metal from Norway.

Immortal/All Shall Fall – Hang on, you are about to be pulverized!

Jordan Rudess/Notes On A Dream – What a cool idea…Dream Theater on piano only by the guy who can pull it off! Great interpretations.

Knight Area/Realm Of Shadows – This is one that you should own!

Koritni/Game of Fools – Sounds like a European pagan metal band name but they are just good old Australian Rock & Roll. Like a very good Black Crowes.

Lunatica/New Shores – Female fronted epic metal. Very lush and melodic.

Lynyrd Skynyrd/God & Guns – It's as clichιd as they come but still irresistible.

Machines of Grace /Machines of Grace – Metal from Zak Stevens and his new band.

Madder Mortem/Eight Ways – Epic metal that is amazing.

Mastodon/Crack The Skye – They just keep getting better.

Megadeth/Endgame – The best thrash metal album this year. They are back!

Nightrage/Wearing A Martyrs Crown – A melodic death metal feast! Their best by far.

Osi/Blood – Progressive supergroup that delivers…Big Time!

Pantommind/Lunasense – One of the best metal releases of the year.

Pathosray/Sunless Skies – Prepare to get hooked! Metal that is addictive.

Phideaux/Number Seven – Mesmerizing concept album. One of the years best for sure.

Redemption-Snowfall on Judgment Day


Reign IV/Tale Untold – They could be the next female fronted powerhouse.

Revenant Dead/Imperial Rape March – This is metal! Pure and simple.

Riverside/Anno Domini High Definition – This one will grab you and just not let go!

Saxon/Into The Labyrinth – Great power metal from these veterans.

Scale The Summit/Carving Desert Canyons – Instrumental progressive band to watch out for. They are amazing.

Secrets of the Moon/Privilegivm – Dark and totally enthralling German metal.

Sepultura/A-Lex – These warhorses take on A Clockwork Orange with great results.

Shadow Gallery/Digital Ghost – Album of the year? Wish they would play live!

Sonata Arctica/The Last Days of Grays – Looking for the dramatic music, you found it here.

Spheric Universal Experience/Unreal – French proggers return with their strongest effort.

Stratovarius/Polaris – Very fun melodic power metal.

Swallow The Sun/New Moon – Great death metal. Habit forming!

Sylvan/Force of Gravity –This one is like heroin.

Syzygy/Realms of Eternity – Great musicians doing what they do best.

The Voyager/I Am The Revolution – A power metal treat with just a bit of growl.

Trail of Tears/Bloodstained Endurance – Gothic and growling metal that really shines!

Trans Siberian Orchestra/Night Castle – Many years in the making, it was worth it.

Transatlantic/The Whirlwind - This supergroup pulls off another excellent disc.

Vision Divine/9 Degrees West Of The Moon – Epic power metal at its best!

Zandelle/Flames of Rage – They finally put it all together. This is just a super power metal treat.

hAND/deadroom – Female fronted band with gothic touch that is very, very cool.


LIVE & RE-ISSUES

Big Star/Keep An Eye On The Sky – 98 live, demos and rarities from Alex Chilton and company.

Blind Guardian/The Forgotten Tales – Reissue that is a must have disc!

Edguy/F***ing With Fire – CD/DVD package that is a live concert from their heyday. You have to love Tobias!

Ian Hunter/Your Never Alone With A Schizophrenic – Remastered and plenty of live stuff makes this a very cool package.

In This Moment/The Dream(Ultra Violet Edition) – One of the best of last year now with a bonus disc!

Iron Maiden/Flight 666 – Yet another live CD/DVD that proves why they are a must see act!

Jethro Tull/Live at Madison Square Garden 1978 – A terrific blast from the past!

Mr. Big/Back to Budokan – Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan just rip it up!

Nightwish/Made In Hong Kong – A must have for fans.

Nirvana/Live at Reading – A very good slice of the Nirvana pie. Terrific concert.

Queen + Paul Rodgers/Live In The Ukraine – These legends do a classic set before 300,000!

Renaissance/Dreams & Omens – A splendid display of proggy goodness. A treat.

Rick Wakeman/The Six Wives Of Henry The VIII live at Hampton Court – Brilliant music that is timeless.

Saxon/Crusader – Very cool repackaging with remasters and a bunch of bonus stuff.

Ted Nugent/Motor City Mayhem – Live in Detroit…Still kicking ass!!

Testament/Live in Eindhoven '87 – Finally get the whole concert.

The Clash/London Calling (Legacy Edition) One re-issue I have been waiting for.

Turisas/Battle Metal (Re-issue) – This is a classic and a great repackaging. Get it!

Uriah Heep/Celebration – Rework of some of their most treasured classics. A great way to get reacquainted with this super band.

Within Temptation/An Acoustic Night At The Theater – They are so good and this is a powerful way to display their music. Very cool.



Murat Batmaz

Best of 2009


1) ISIS - Wavering Radiant

2) Katatonia - Night is the New Day

3) Pantommind - Lunasense

4) Candlemass - Death Magic Doom

5) Vangough - Manikin Parade

6) Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings

7) Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know

8) Mastodon - Crack the Skye

9) Porcupine Tree - The Incident

10) Steven Wilson – Insurgentes



Denis Brunelle


Best of 2009


1 - Pensιes Nocturnes - Vacuum

2 - Nick Fletcher - Cathedral of Dreams

3 - Secrets of the Moon - Priviligvm

4 - Neun Welten - Destrunken

5 - Manoel Macia - Rozando Burbujas

6- FFeryllt – Dance of Druids

7 - Evoke Thy Lords – Escape to the Dream Lands

8 - A Forest of Stars – The Corpse of Rebirth

9- Wodensthrone – Loss

10- Leafblade – Beyond, Beyond

11- Bann – Aeschatologia

12- Belenos – Errances Oniriques

13- Crimfall – As the Path Unfold

14- Canis Dirus – A Somber Wind From a Distant Shore

15- Trist – Willenskraft

16- Bloodline – Hate Procession

17- Destrunken – Neun Welten

18- Finsterfrost - …Zum Tode Hin

19- Way to End – Desecrated Internal Journey

20- Tenebrae in Perpertuum – L'eterno Maligno Silenzio

21- Mistur – Attende


Richard Wheelhouse

Best of 2009


1. Intensive Care – Fairytales from the Island

2. Devin Townsend Project – Ki

3. Porcupine Tree – The Incident

4. Mastodon – Crack the Skye

5. Pere Ubu – Long Live Pere Ubu!

6. Dream Theater – Black Clouds and Silver Linings

7. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

8. Baroness – Blue Record

9. Darkside of Innocence - Infernum Liberus EST

10. Portal – Blood Red Tape


Elias Granillo

Best Of 2009

1. ZOMBI -- Spirit Animal

2. SIMAKDIALOG -- Demi Masa

3. PHIDEAUX -- Number Seven

4. BELEW, ADRIAN / POWER TRIO -- e

5. PARALLEL WORLDS -- Shade

6. CASTLE CANYON -- Gods Of 1973

7. MORAZ/BRUFORD -- In Tokyo

8. CLARKE, STANLEY with HIROMI & WHITE, LENNY -- Jazz In The Garden

9. PIANO CIRCUS Featuring BILL BRUFORD (Play The Music Of Colin Riley) -- Skin And Wire

10. SLIVOVITZ -- Hubris

  

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