Top 20 albums of 2019


Well here we are, another year and another heaping pile of albums by new bands, old bands and everyone else in between. However, lets see what made my top 20 of the year! Now I know this year I have really slacked on getting reviews out which is why a lot of these albums I have not reviewed. That doesn’t mean I have been listening though and boy have I been listening this year. Lets see who made it!


                                              20. Fatal Curse: Breaking The Trance

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                                   19. Babylon Shakes: Exile to the Velveteen Lounge

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                                                             18. Enforcer: Zenith

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                                                      17. Tanith: In Another Time

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                                                    16. Crazy Lixx: Forever Wild

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                                                  15. Leathurbitch: Into The Night

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                                                  14. Tora Tora: Bastards of Beale

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                                                               13. Solicitor: S/T e.p

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                                                          12. Paladin: Ascension

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                                            11. Bewitcher: Under The Witching Cross

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                                                       10. Asomvel: World Shaker

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                                                      9. Duel: Valley Of Shadows

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                                                      8. War Cloud: State of Shock

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                                                        7. Spillage: Blood of Angels

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                                                   6. Diamond Head: Coffin Train

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                                                      5. Airbourne: Boneshaker

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                                                 4. The Rods: Brotherhood of Metal

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                                                 3. Toxic Holocaust: Primal Future

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                                                     2. Riot City: Burn The Night

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                                                                    1. Angel: Risen

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The return of Angel has kind of been happening for the past few years. However, with an official album under the name in years this one definitely spent the most time on my stereo the past few months. It also ranks as one of my favorite Angel releases with so many catchy and hook driven tracks.


Many notable inclusions this year were also:

Satan: Cruel Magic

Traveler: S/T

Treatment: Power Crazy

Fortune: II

and many many others, here’s to 2020 and a new decade of great music!

Album Review-Airbourne: BoneShaker “Aussie Pub rock lives on!”

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Airbourne are and always have been the modern equivalent to ACDC in their peak prime. In the live circuit especially, these boys have prevailed since their debut “Running Wild” way back in 2007. Now we are in 2019, twelve years later with album number five entitled “BoneShaker”. Up to this point Airbourne have kept their Aussie sound in full tact with more polish from record to record with “Breaking Outta Hell” being sonically a very hard hitting album. However, with this new album, they decide to go a way more raw route.

It would be foolish to describe song by song as they are all pure sex, drugs and rock n roll but the sound is definitely a lot more organic with the band virtually sounding like they are recording live in a  garage. The guitars aren’t necessarily boosted in the mix and are running almost along side the bass and drums a lot of the time. The solo’s are still great as ever but they cut like chainsaws throughout the album more roughly than I think they have on any other release and I love it. Some of my favorites are the title track, the scorching “Burnout The Nitro” and the heavy grooving “Weapon Of War” among pretty much every other song. They still remain as consistent as they ever have

Airbourne are at their core pure simplicity and if you didn’t enjoy them before you sure as hell wont enjoy them now. While they are trudging repeated grounds they are at the same time keeping the four to the floor rock n roll sound of the old days alive in spades and this record shows it with warts and all. The more organic sound definitely makes this record stand out a bit more as it sounds almost like it could have been an independent release and from this band it sounds just as good as their more polished work. 8 out of 10 check it out!

Halloween Franchise: Ranked


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I am a huge slasher hound when it comes to specific genres in horror. They play out like comic movies in a way to me and there are countless great one timers as well as full-fledged series and franchises. Whether they be goofy, poorly written or flat out make no sense logic or continuity-wise, they are always fun films to me. My personal favorites have always been the Friday the 13th films they were the first ones I watched as a kid and have always stuck with me. However, today I am going to rank every film in another franchise, a loopier and more confusing one at that. Halloween is perhaps a hell of a lot more historical for not creating but defining the slasher formula to what we know it as now but as a whole, its collection of films offer so many different ideas that the story has so many branching timelines it can get very confusing. However, I think that’s what makes it so interesting. The fact that we get a lot of different ways the story of Michael Myers is told is what makes it fun albeit very cheesy at times. So, lets delve into a messy yet compelling list of what my favorite, and least favorite, films in the Halloween franchise are.

11. Halloween: Resurrection

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Well, the last place was not very surprising. The gimmick of the live cameras in a haunted house already feels very dated and the casting of Tyra Banks and Busta rhymes doesn’t help either. Couple that with a badly written story, terrible pacing and some of the most memorable lines for the wrong reason in the franchise and that makes this film one that deserves to burn in a lake of fire.

10. Halloween (2007)

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This movie I really wanted to like when I first saw it. I loved House of 1000 Corpses and Devils Rejects so I figured I would have been a huge fan here. However, the realization is that Halloween’s potency lies within the fact that compared to a lot more slasher films of its day, it is a bit more tame with more atmosphere and this remake feels like a film made for pure grindhouse pleasures. The dialogue is laughable and while this Myers is brutal and a true force, the rest of the film around him doesn’t leave me as compelled and feels too trashy to be a faithful remake.

9. Halloween: H20

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I know I will get some hate for this one, but truth be told, I was never a huge fan of this movie. While it is nice to see some characters return, a lot of the supporting cast I am not a fan of with Laurie’s son and his friends as well as Myers. He looks goofy in this movie and the mask problem they had did no justice. I just don’t feel the magic I feel with a lot of the other sequels it just feels like its whole mood kind of follows the scream template.

08. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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The last film for the Thorn trilogy sees the cult finally coming to realization and that Dr. Wynn, a minor character from the original, is responsible for Michael becoming evil. Yes, its bad, yes, its cheesy, but its honestly, I think the last fully tolerable Halloween film before the current resurgence. This was Donald Pleasance’s swan song if you will and while his exit is terrible, he puts on a good final performance. However, the sloppy writing and even two cuts of the film still can’t save it all the way though.

07. Halloween II (2009)

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With Zombies remake getting a sequel, it gave him a lot more room to play with and gave this one a lot more merit for doing its own thing. No longer a remake, this simply takes those characters and does something completely different with them. Loomis is portrayed more negatively by Mcdowell who really made it work and a lot of the dream sequences really give the Halloween season feeling. A step up and more original film.

06. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

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This sequel gets a ton of hate, but I have always enjoyed it for what it was. I know I am in the minority, but I really liked the mask here as well it had a lot of a creep factor to it. I also thought there were some good Ideas peppered throughout and some tense scenes. However, yes some of the writing needed some tightening as well as some of the hokey cinematography and score choices at times for what was an alright sequel in my eyes.

05. Halloween 2018

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This film was very anticipated for me and I think lived up way past its expectations. It definitely felt like a film for the fans of the franchise and kind of took the storyline of H20 and made it a lot more fun and made it feel a lot like a continuation of the original. It isn’t perfect but I honestly think it is one of the better sequels of any of the big slashers.

04. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

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Arguably you can leave this film off the list but honestly this is film is quite underrated that any time I watch this franchise back to back, I always include it. It technically isn’t a sequel since it has literally nothing to do with Myers, but it really is well made and is a movie made to watch during Halloween time. The plot is bonkers including killer Halloween masks but trust me it is worth the ride. Also, it’s got Tom Atkins in it which is never a bad thing.

03: Halloween (1978)

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The classic that started it all. A top suspense film that pretty much personifies the entire holiday its based around. There aren’t enough good things to say about this movie, but it never was my favorite. For me it was always the good starting point for the franchise with some issues but still a ton of class.

02. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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Myers returned after nearly a decade out of the spotlight with this terrific sequel. The opening title alone is perfect and perhaps that atmosphere makes this one feel the most like it is actually occurring on Halloween. The chase scenes are great, the score is terrific, and the cast is very tight and likeable. Overall a welcomed and very fun sequel.

01: Halloween II (1981)

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The first sequel has always been mandatory viewing every October for myself following very faithfully with the original and a more demonic Myers. I also absolutely love the score with this film as it is more synth heavy and more dread filled. The hospital setting I enjoy quite a bit and the finale is riveting and originally was meant to be the end of the franchise. It definitely is one of the most watched horror films in my collection.

Gillan: The best post Deep Purple project

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Ian Gillan has been one of my favorite vocalists from his performances with Deep Purple and his short stint with Black Sabbath alone. However, after leaving Purple he went through the motions eventually forming the Ian Gillan band playing jazz/fusion in the mid to late seventies and finally forming a super group of sorts simply titled “Gillan” in 1978. Gillan’s classic lineup consisted of underrated guitar player Bernie Torme, Bass juggernaut John McCoy, Colin Towns on keys and Mick Underwood on drums. The band with a slightly different lineup recorded an album that was not widely available simply known as “The Japanese Album” in 1979 before a slight lineup shift and songs being reworked finally ending up on the first classic album “Mr. Universe”


Image result for gillan mr universe“Mr. Universe” was NWOBHM before it even exploded. This album took what was good about about the sound Gillan had in Purple and gave it more balls than ever. While the album isn’t quite “metal” per say, it is great British Hard Rock. Opening with the brooding and epic keyboard instrumental “Second Sight”, the album launches into its proper first track with the neck breaking “Secret of the Dance” which is incredibly fast and tight and shows how gritty Ians vocals can be but also how melodic they are especially in the chorus. The album continues with the catchy mid paced “She Tears Me Down” and then another fast tune titled “Roller” which is another go for the throat tune. The title track is incredibly epic and builds quite well with some impressive soloing from Torme. :Vengeance” is a good almost boogie rock tune with a lot more blues influence to it as well as “Puget Sound” and “Dead Of Night”. Up next is possibly my all time favorite Gillan track “Message In A Bottle” which is another breakneck tune but the real highlights are the ways Ian Gillan spit out his lyrics and Mccoys commanding bass really shines here and shows how underrated his thick tight playing is. Ending the album is the ballad like “Street Fighting Man” which an equally epic song and another favorite of mine. Overall this album could just be called Gillans greatest hits because it is that good definitely a great start for the band and personally my favorite album by them.


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Perhaps Gillan hit their peak was their second record “Glory Road”. After gaining a huge following in the growing hard rock revival in the turn of 1980, the band quickly released this album which also included a “for Gillan fans only” mini album featuring some jam tracks which was a cool inclusion. However, this album like its predecessor is pure grade A British Hard Rock but definitely shows a bit more of a metal side to the band. This is definitely apparent with opener “Unchain Your Brain” which is a no nonsense fast rocker. Torme’s guitar feels a bit sharper on this record and the production is slightly slicker and my favorite track on the album “Are You Sure” features some awesome guitar and keyboard riffs blending its definitely very well written. There are so many great tracks like the epic “On The Rocks”, the classic “No Easy Way” and even the super Bluesy “If You Believe Me” which solidify this album being another classic. The album thrived in the more underground but unfortunately didn’t break in America (shocker) but that didn’t stop the Gillan train from rolling on.


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While the album cover is a bit  aliening, the album is anything but. This could very well be the most visceral album Gillan did. The title track opens up being a great fist pumping hard rocker that is equal heavy and catchy. “Night Ride Out of Phoenix” is a badass mid paced bluesy rocker as well. “(The Ballad Of) The Lucitania Express” is such a fast tune that almost sounds impossible to play the riff is just so unbelievably fast and really makes this tune because its crazy fast but still very precise at being what it wants to be. “New Orleans” is a great cover that feels equal parts Hard Rock and 50’s rock n roll. There are other great tunes like “Bite The Bullet” and “Sacre Bleu” but the best song has to be the dryly comedic “No Laughing In Heaven” with such entertaining lyrics and a great bumpy rhythm that makes it such a blast to listen to. Unfortunately this would be the last album Torme would be a part of but equal talent in the for of former White Spirit guitarist Janick Gers would join for the bands final recordings.


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Gillans fifth album would be an interesting one as it would be a double album splitting studio tracks and the other being a collection of well recorded live tracks which is a real treat. The studio tracks include the terrific melodic yet rocking “Reckless” as well as the grooving “I’ll Rip Your Spine Out” and the terrific foot stomping “Hadely Bop Bop”. The band is definitely in top form here and the studio side definitely feels the most polished the band has sounded yet with more melodic touches on the songs as well. However, it still feels incredibly Gillan and Gers more than holds his own. He isn’t as much as a gung ho player as much as Bernie but he is solid and his solo’s are very precise. The live side shows recordings from the 81 reading festival and one track with Torme performing from the Rainbow theater. Definitely a well worth it package for Gillan fans.


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Magic was released in 1982 and ended Gillan’s discography pretty much perfectly. The band sounds the best on record than they ever have. Now while Magic is not my favorite it is still a damn good and should have launched the band higher than they achieved. Opening with the gritty and fast “Whats The Matter” right into the groovy “Bluesy Blue Sea” which both alone make the album worth a purchase, the album stays consistent with mid paced and fast rockers all the way through. “Caught In A Trap” and “Your So Right” are perfect pop rock songs and are the closest the band goes to that kind of sound and they pull it off perfectly. However the main event is the epic progressive ripper “Demon Driver” which has a lot of twists and turns and always keeps your attention and Ian’s almost creepy like vocals sell the song especially the intro amazingly. The album ends with a badass cover of “Living For The City” by Stevie Wonder and a short reprise of “Demon Driver” as Gillan set off into the sun.

Ian Gillan had to get nodes removed from his vocal chords shortly after the end of the tour and dissolved the band at this point from inner tensions due to money as well as other difficulties. Gillan himself shortly joined Black Sabbath and then came back to the reformation of the Mk II lineup of Purple while some members such as McCoy and Torme stuck to doing projects here and there while Gers became part of Iron Maiden nearly ten years afterwards. While we will most likely never see a Gillan reunion especially after Torme’s passing, these albums represent a band full of excellent musicians that need to be rediscovered for their sheer staying power and “magic” that each release holds still. Gillan for me will always be the one band when everyone talks about Rainbow or Whitesnake, as the best Post Purple project by any member of that band.