2002 in retrospect!
Kimmo: I have to say that 2002 wasn't that good a year. Lots of good albums, but truly great? No. Nothing worth a "ten", and only a few "nines" on my top 20. It might be that I'm becoming harder to please...As for my list, Melodic Metal made a big impact, and established artists ruled the chart, with only Lordi, Dream Evil and Talon being first-timers. Two of the remaining "big ones" released their albums as well, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. Leppard's "X" was clearly a winner but hasn't really done that well, while Bon Jovi was a bit of a disappointment, but I guess it has sold better. Oh well...
Martien: 2002 was a great rock year,with excellent albums in the AOR-sector as
well in the prog metal and hardrock-sectors. Hopefully 2003 will even
be a better one and I sincerely hope that our team will do their
job as excellently as last year. Cheers and good luck to all musiclovers
around the world.
Bandi: Having been very busy with work this year I had considerably less time to
play music than the previous years. As a result of this many of the albums
mentioned in the lists of other stuff members passed me by without a single
listening. This left me with a limited choice of albums to put my best of
list together. This way it would be unfair from me to compare 2002 to the
previous years, so I'd say the albums in my list are all worth mentioning
and Jeff Scott Soto taking the title is absolutely well-deserved. As for
those missing from my list, I hope I can catch up with them in 2003.
Vesa: 2002 was propably the busiest year of my life so far. My son was born right
at the end of 2001 (28th of Dec.) so it was parenthood for me. Diapers and more
diapers. Get up, go to work, come home and change diapers, feed the baby,
try to get the baby to sleep, sleep 2 hours a night and then again the whole
thing over and over again. Then when there was little freetime it was my
soccerteam that took the rest of my time. Luckily there is always music that
can take you away from all the daily routines and you have some privacy in
the car driving from place to place.
Maybe I'm getting old but Jack Russell and Mike Tramp really did it for me
this year. Harem Scarem was also a very nice suprise. The only thing that
really disappointed me was that there was no D2 release this year and HOL
seems to take forever. Not the best year of music but still a pretty good
one. I have really high hopes for the year 2003 specially when it comes to
Urban: Yo! When the wimps are away the metalheads comes out to play!!! I thought
that 2002 was a small comeback for real metal and 2003, is off to a great
start too. Funny thing, I might be the only one out there, who actually
prefer the Metal Opera Pt.2 instead of #1. In fact, The Avantasia CD is the
only 10 pointer from yours truly, ever (at this site). No wonder that it
ended up at the very top of my list.
I actually started out as a metal listener only, and became wimpier and
wimpier for each year [:-)]. Mainly due to the fact, I couldn't find as many
good Metal releases as Rock/AOR stuff. I always looked back to the great
stuff that Judas Priest, Accept, Running Wild, Manowars etc. did in the
past. Things are about to turn again though and bands like Avantasia, Dream
Evil, At Vance, Cornerstone, and even Blind Guardian, Manowar & Annihilator
(just outside my list) returned to the scene, with some good stuff.
Then again, if you look at #2 & #3 at my albums list, it doesn't get much
"wimpier". I know that some absolutely hate the Mike Tramp (ex-White Lion)
and Def Leppard albums. But I find it to be great, laid-back rock.
Especially that Tramp CD, which I've been playing non-stop some days. I
thought that Z Records had its best release year ever... but things are
about to turn ugly, I've heard. Let's just wait and see what happens. 2002
was also the year of many dissapointments. Just look at the releases by Bon
Jovi, Boston, Dokken, Rush, Running Wild etc. Oh, how the mighty has fallen.
The independent melodic hardrock labels are still out there, fightin trends
and other things. But lookin at my list, only two albums could be described
as "pure" AOR (Shy & Mecca). In retrospective, not a bad year at all, but
here's hoping for an even better 2003. (and this may actually come true.
AOR-EUROPE'S Top 20 Albums of 2002:
1. Mika Tramp: Recovering The Wasted Years (Ulftone)
Former White Lion vocalist returned with what Urban considered to be his finest album to date. Sure enough, it was an all-around favourite over here! Good melodic rock with a contemporary sound and hooks-a-plenty. We're looking forward to the follow-up this year!
2. Harem Scarem: Weight of the World (Frontiers)
3. Def Leppard: X (Mercury)
4. Grand Illusion: View From The Top (Escape)
5. Avantasia: The Metal Opera pt. II (AFM)
6. Bon Jovi: Bounce (Island)
7. Cornerstone: Human Stain (Massacre)
8. Dream Theater: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (Elektra)
9. At Vance: Only Human (AFM)
10. Jeff Scott Soto: Prism (Frontiers)
11. Lordi: Get Heavy (BMG/Terrier)
12. Street Talk: Restoration (MTM)
13. MECCA: Mecca (Frontiers)
14. Adriangale: Re:Program (Z Records)
15. Shy: Unfinished Business (Z Records)
16. Evidence One: Criticize The Truth (Point)
17. Westworld: Cyberdreams (Z Records)
18. Soul Doctor: Systems Go Wild (Point)
19. Hanoi Rocks: 12 Shots On The Rocks (Major Leiden Productions)
20. Loud N' Clear: Disconnected (MTM)
|The personal album charts of the team!
1. Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World (Frontiers)
A great combination of old and new (or should that be "nu"), and the band's first album that really can stand up to the classic first two ones.
2. Loud & Clear: Disc-Connected (MTM)
The band boldly experimented with some new sounds while still staying true to the essence of AOR. Awesome results!
3. Grand Illusion: View From The Top (Escape)
A highly impressive album full of "pomp and splendour" - Urban called them the "Abba of AOR" and he might have a point.
4. Lordi: Get Heavy (BMG/Terrier)
This year's most explosive collection of choruses from the outrageous and controversial monster-rockers from Finland.
5. Soto, Jeff Scott: Prism (Frontiers)
A fine solo album of one of the greatest vocalists out there.
6. Street Talk: Restoration (MTM)
Third time lucky! This band improves with age. A solid smooth AOR album.
7. Def Leppard: X (Mercury)
"Slang" was too modern and heavy, "Euphoria" a nostagia-trip, but with "X" the Leps got it right.
8. Tramp, Mike: Recovering The Wasted Years (Ulftone)
By far Tramp's finest album since the glory days of White Lion.
9. At Vance: Only Human (AFM)
The best melodic metal album of the year!
10. Dream Evil: Dragonslayer (Century Media)
The best melodic metal newcomer of the year!
11. Avantasia: The Metal Opera pt. II (AFM)
12. Cornerstone: Human Stain (Massacre)
13. Westworld: Cyberdreams (Z Records)
14. Snakes In Paradise: Dangerous Love (MTM)
15. Last Tribe: Witch Dance (Frontiers)
16. Hanoi Rocks: 12 Shots On The Rocks (Major Leiden Productions)
17. Harlan Cage: Temple Of Fears (Atenzia)
18. Martin, Eric: I'm Goin' Sane (Frontiers)
19. Talon: Talon (Frontiers)
20. Silver: Dream Machines (Point)
1. Avantasia - The Metal Opera Pt.2 (AFM Records)
Tobias Sammet (Edguy) has managed to create yet another, fantastic metal album here. Marvelous sing-a-long songs in best (German) power metal style. This together with the allstar line-up with musicians from bands such as: Helloween, Gamma Ray, Kiss, Magnum, Stratovarious etc. Makes this a winner of 2002 in my book.
2. Mike Tramp - Recovering The Waysted Years (Ulftone Music)
The return of the ex-White Lion vocalist was really something out of the ordinary. To quote my own review "No matter how much I love his old White Lion material, I doubt very much that he's ever been this good in the past". It's lovely 'laid-back' rock from start to finish.
3. Def Leppard - X (Mercury)
I guess you either love or hate this release. It's Def Leppard 'light' with not too many loud guitars this time. Great Nu-Hi-Tech-AOR/POP/Rock!!! It's fresh, it's modern, it's their best since Adrenalize... or even Hysteria?
4. Cornerstone - Human Stain (Massacre)
Ex-Rainbow vocalist Dougie White (now Yngwie Malmsteen) pays tribute to his heroes? Lovely mixture of Rainbow, Dio, and neo-classical hardrock at its best.
5. Westworld - Cyberdreams (Z Records)
Tony Harnell (TNT), Mark Reale (Riot), Bruno Ravell (Danger Danger), Josh Pincus (Ice Age) & John O'Reilly (Rainbow). Equals quality and modern hardrock.
6. Grand Illusion - View From The Top (Escape)
Their debut album from 2001 ended up as my personal no:1. The follow up album crashed down to no:6. Seriously though, they've pretty much done it again. Really fine Symphonic AOR from Sweden.
7. Silver - Dream Machines (Point)
Pretty unique sound from this all-star band. (Gary Borden, Bernie Torme, Michael Voss, Don Airey) No-one does melodic hardrock like them right now. Much thanks to songwriter/ex-Goth Rocker, Andreas Bruhn (Sisters Of Mercy).
8. Shiva - S/T (Z Records)
Female fronted hardrock from Sweden with lots of guitar riffs and catchy hooks.
9. Harem Scarem - Weight Of The World (Frontiers)
Nu-breed, power pop/rock with lots of hooks. Those Canadians strikes again!
10. Shy - Unfinished Business (Z Records)
Their comeback album is actually one of their best. Not bad from the band that UK journalists often refer to as "Shyte". Very much in the spirit of Journey.
11. Mecca - S/T (Frontiers)
12. Eric Martin - I'm Goin' Sane (Frontiers)
13. At Vance - Only Human (AFM Records)
14. Soul Doctor - Systems Go Wild (Point)
15. Loud N' Clear - Disconnected (MTM)
16. Twinball - Remnants Of A Broken Soul (SwedenRock Records)
17. Venice - Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life (Columbia)
18. Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (Elektra)
19. Mister Kite - All In Time (LionMusic)
20. Dream Evil - Dragonslayer (Century Media)
[Bonus CD for rainy days] Blind Guardian - A Night At The Opera
1. Hanoi Rocks: 12 Shots on the Rocks
2. Lordi: Get Heavy
3. The Hellacopters: By the Grace of God
4. Majesty: Sword and Sourcery
5. Michael Katon: Bad Machine
6. Sinnerstar: Craving Aches and Bitter Lemon Hearts
7. Stockholm Showdown: Last Call to Paradise
8. Nightwish: Century Child
9. Evidence One: Criticize the Truth
10. Mike Tramp: Recovering the Wasted Years
11. Lance Keltner: S/t
12. Bon Jovi: Bounce
13. Poison: Hollyweird
14. Wasp: Dying for the World
15. Solution 13: S/t
16. Def Leppard: X
17. Vicious Mary: S/t
1. Nightwish: Century Child (Spinefarm)
2. Dream Theater: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (Elektra)
3. Cornerstone: Human Stain (Massacre)
4. Avantasia: The Metal Opera Pt. II (AFM)
5. Last Tribe: Witch Dance (Frontiers)
6. At Vance: Only Human (AFM)
7. Thunderstone: Thunderstone (Nuclear Blast)
8. Luca Turilli: Prophet Of The Last Eclipse (LMP / SPV)
9. Entwine: Time Of Despair (Spikefarm)
10. Shaman: Ritual (NTS)
11. Hammerfall: Crimson Thunder (Nuclear Blast)
12. Andre Andersen: Black On Black (Frontiers)
13. Sentenced: The Cold White Light (Century Media)
14. Timo Tolkki: Hymn To Life (Nuclear Blast)
15. Kotipelto: Waiting For The Dawn (High And Loud)
16. Rhapsody: Power Of The Dragonflame (LMP / SPV)
17. Symphony X: The Odyssey (InsideOut)
18. Charon: Downhearted (Spinefarm)
19. Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World (Frontiers)
20. Sinergy: Suicide By My Side (Spinefarm)
A good album should always sound good and the songs should be in balance
with each other so you will get the maximum pleasure out of it. A good album
doesn't really have bad tracks, though sometimes they might not find their way
to the "Best Ballads" or "Best Rockers" category either. And a great album is
the one you will enjoy listening for years to come.
I'm not looking for the perfection in the musicians when I'm gathering my lists,
but it's mostly the ideas that count, how a band has put together a song.
The first three bands here are the ones that I've admired as long as they've
existed. As a fan of progressive music I'm always pleased to hear all those
tiny strange things bands add in their songs and I think Nightwish, Dream
Theater and Cornerstone all have those influences. Not to mention that
Dream Theater IS a progressive band. And when I speak about being
progressive, for me the word means being a bit deviant from the rest, not only
what time changes you have and how long your song is. I know there's zillions
of opinions about this subject, but I think the subject is more wider.
All of the first three bands here are really melodic and have catchy songs, so
that was one of the reasons for my decision. This is the case with the rest of
the bands on this list too. Music should have melody in it. I know some of you
might not think DT being catchy, but if you listen to them for a few times you
will notice how they get a grip on you. That is if you have the slightest interest
in prog music. But DT are the masters of this genre.
1. Jeff Scott Soto: Prism (Frontiers)
2. Amanda Marshall: Everybody's Got A Story (Sony)
3. Street Talk: Restoration (MTM)
4. Jim Peterik: Rock America (Frontiers)
5. Grand Illusion: View From The Top (Escape)
6. Harem Scarem: Weight of the World (Frontiers)
7. Snakes In Paradise: Dangerous Love (MTM)
8. Mike Tramp: Recovering The Wasted Years (Ulftone)
9. Bon Jovi: Bounce (Polygram)
1. Jack Russell: For You
2. Mike Tramp: Recovering The Wasted Years
3. Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World
4. Ted Nugent: Craveman
5. Butch Walker: Left Of Self Centered
6. Adriangale: Re:Program
7. Bon Jovi: Bounce
8. LA Guns: Waking The Dead
9. Def Leppard: X
10. Dave Meniketti: Meniketti
1. Soul Doctor: Systems Go Wild
2. Jaded Heart: The Journey Will Never End
3. Shy: Unfinished Business
4. Mecca: S/T
5. Evidence One: Criticize The Truth
6. Adriangale: Re:Program
7. Hardline: II
8. Nick Carter: Now Or Never
9. Bon Jovi : Bounce
10. Def Leppard: X
11. Axel Rudi Pell: Shadow Zone
12. Crystal Ball: Virtual Empire
13. Mydra: II
14. Baron: S/T
15. Meniketti Dave: Meniketti
16. Wicked Sensation: Reflected
17. Westworld: Cyberdreams
18. Unruly Child: The Basement Demos
19. Hughes / Turner: Hughes Turner Project
20. Poley Pichler: Big
1. DREAM THEATER: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
2. RUSH: Vapour Trails
3. SYMPHONY-X: The Odyssey
4. THRESHOLD: Critical Mass
5. ENCHANT: Blink Of An Eye
6. STAR ONE: Space Metal
7. KAMELOT: Epica
8. SPOCK’S BEARD: Snow
9. TWO FIRES: Ignition
10. HARLAN CAGE: Temple Of Tears
11. HEAVEN’S CRY: Primal Power Addiction
12. KINGDOM COME: Independent
13. EVERON: Bridge
14. 101 SOUTH: Roll Of The Dice
15. ECHOBRAIN: Echobrain
16. MECCA: Mecca
17. DANIELE LIVERANI: Genius: A Human Into Dreams World
18. TOKEN: Tomorrowland
19. MAGNUM: Breath Of Life
20. AUDIOSLAVE: Audioslave
1. At Vance: Only Human (AFM)
2. Lordi: Would You Love A Monsterman
3. Dream Evil: Chasin' The Dragon
4. Def Leppard: Everyday
4. (tie) Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World
6. Symphony X: The Odyssey
6. (tie) Nightwish: End Of All Hope
6. (tie) Enuff Z'Nuff: Saturday
9. Mecca: Falling Down
9. (tie) Dream Theater: The Great Debate
9. (tie) Last Tribe: Wake Up The World
9. (tie) Avantasia: The Seven Angels
Harem Scarem: This Ain't Over (Frontiers)
2. Def Leppard: Long Long Way To Go
3. Grand Illusion: Between Dark And Dawn
4. Beto Vazquez Infinity: Promises Under The Rain
5. Hardline: Face The Night
5. (tie) Cornerstone: Singing Alone
7. Shaman: Fairy Tale
7. (tie) Dream Theater: Goodnight Kiss
9. Jeff Scott Soto: Till The End Of Time
9. (tie) Thunderstone: Weak
9. (tie) Soul Doctor: See You In Heaven
9. (tie) Two Fires: What The Whole World Needs To Know
|The personal song/ballad/misc. charts of the team!
1. Enuff Z'Nuff - Saturday
The Chicago outfit didn't release one of their better albums this year. But one of their better songs, this is marvelous, almost corny, pop-rock, that puts a big smile on my face.
2. Avantasia - The Seven Angels (14 minutes)
OK, it may not be a radio-hit, since it's over 14 minutes long. Do I care? It's Bombastic Metal from hell!!! (It's opera you know)
3. Mike Tramp - Living A Lie
Honestly! I could pick almost any song from The Tramp CD. Laid-back rock at it's best.
4. Harem Scarem - Killing Me
Modern Rock with a hook that is Killing Me :-)
5. At Vance - Only Human
Only Human I Am!! Once you've heard it, you're stuck with it! Great Metal/Hardrock from Germany.
6. Avantasia - The Final Sacrifice
Get Ready For the... Yeah! The guitars feels like a kick to the head! This is metal at its best. I haven't heard such a cool riff since Accept's heydays.
7. Mecca - Falling Down
Smooth rock with similarities to Toto. Great hook!!!
8. Cornerstone - Midnight In Tokyo
Again, I find it difficult to choose the "right" tune. Cornerstone delivers many great songs from their album.
9.Grand Illusion - Battle For Your Heart
Bombastic, fantastic, symphonic... it's Swedish you know.
10. Shiva - Dow Jones Index
Anette sings like a possessed demon here!!! Great hardrock from Sweden.
11. Loud & Clear - Tell Me Why
12. Def Leppard - Everyday
13. Silver - Lovin' You
14. Westworld - A Million Miles
15. Dream Evil - Chasing The Dragon
16. Last Tribe - Witch Dance
17. Eric Martin - Goin' Sane
18. Shy - Breakaway
19. Street Talk - Hare And Hounds
20. Soul Doctor - Good Times Slippin Away
1. Grand Illusion - Between Dark And Dawn
2. Soul Doctor - See You In Heaven
3. Def Leppard - Long Long Way To Go
4. Mike Tramp - Darkness
5. Avantasia - In Quest For
6. Final Frontier - Ambrosia
7. Infinity - Promises Under The Rain
8. Cornerstone - Singing Along
9. Harem Scarem - This Ain't Over
10. Silver - Forever
11. Soul Doctor - Waitin'
12. Dave Meniketti - It's Over
13. Mecca - Silence Of The Heart
14. Westworld - Look To See
15. Journey - Walkin' Away From The Edge
16. Bowes & Morley - Change
17. Mad Margritt - Believe
18. Dream Evil - Losing You
19. Artension - Flower Of The Orient
20. Vicious Mary - Crying For You
1. Dream Evil: Chasin' The Dragon
I was surprised that I got so hooked on a track in which they are singing about chasing dragons, but what can I do? It is terrific!
2. Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World
One of many great tracks on the no. 1 album on my list.
3. At Vance: Only Human
Stylish and catchy melodic metal!
4. Def Leppard: Everyday
A huge hit...in the perfect world.
5. Street Talk: Hare And Hounds
6. Two Fires: More Than A Memory
7. Bon Jovi: Bounce
Okay, it's a sequel to "It's My Life" but darn catchy!
8. Lordi: Would You Love A Monsterman
The biggest chorus of the year!
9. Cornerstone: Resurrection Symphony
Funny how everyone has chosen a different track from this album...this is my favourite, great melody.
10. Harlan Cage: Just A Face In The Rain
The album wasn't as good as I was hoping for, but this track is one of their best ones.
11. Grand Illusion: I Refuse
12. Last Tribe: Bring Out The Brave
13. Loud & Clear: Tell Me Why
14. 101 South: I'll Never Forget You Baby
15. Hardline: Y
16. Silver: Head Or Heart
17. Snakes In Paradise: There's Something You're Hiding
18. Mecca: Falling Down
19. Westworld: A Million Miles
20. Jeff Scott Soto: 2 Late 4 Goodbyes
1. Def Leppard: Long Long Way To Go
2. Jeff Scott Soto: Till The End Of Time
3. Robert Fleischman: Over My Head
4. Dream Evil: Losing You
5. Hardline: Face The Night
6. Cornerstone: Singing Alone
7. Grand Illusion: Between Dark And Dawn
8. Honeymoon Suite: Even Now
9. Silver Seraph: Desperate Heart
10. Talon: Holding You Soon
Songs from unsigned acts:
1. Human Temple: On A Night Like This
Okay, I may be a bit biased but this song is awesome.
2 Square One: Love Struck Melody
Destined for to be a hit, believe me!
3. House Of Mirrors: Heart Is The Key
Is just as good as Urban writes in his review!
4. Toxic Virgin: Our Only Hope
Terrific hook! A band to watch out for!
5. Sister Manik: Like Your Tears
A mixture of industrial metal and melodic rock. Weird but great.
SATU'S LISTS (and a lot of them!):
I noticed this list consists of albums I've bought myself, except
for Last Tribe and Scanner. So I came to the conclusion my
review year wasn't as good as it could've been, since I bought
all the best albums myself ! So talk about journalists getting the
cream from the top...you readers should be pleased reading
this, knowing we're not all that blessed!
I know there's plenty of great albums out there I haven't gotten
this year, so unfortunately I couldn't include those here and
unfortunately I haven't even heard those! So this list, although
long, is almost all the cd's I've gotten this year. Approx ten cd's
were left out counting all of the cd's in my lists this year.
It was quite tough to pick the best songs here, since many of
my fave albums have lots of great songs in them. These songs
are the rockers, the ones that give you that party feeling and
make you go crazy. I made a different list for the longer songs,
because I think they deserve recognition too, but they're not
exactly your party songs with all those fast and slow parts in
them. Read more about how I picked my albums, categorized the
music etc from the album list.
1. Nightwish: End Of All Hope (Spinefarm)
2. Last Tribe: Wake Up The World (Frontiers)
3. At Vance: Only Human (AFM / PL)
4. Lordi: Would You Love A Monsterman ? (BMG)
5. Thunderstone: Virus (Nuclear Blast)
6. Hammerfall: Riders Of The Storm (Nuclear Blast)
7. Avantasia: Chalice Of Agony (AFM)
8. Freedom Call: Land Of Light (Steamhammer / SPV)
9. Luca Turilli: Demonheart (LMP / SPV)
10. Kotipelto: Travel Through Time (High And Loud)
11. Rhapsody: Power Of The Dragonflame (LMP / SPV)
12. Charon: Sister Misery (Spinefarm)
13. André Andersen: Coming Home (Frontiers)
14. Symphony X: Accolade II (InsideOut)
15. Cornerstone: Unchosen One (Massacre)
16. Dreamtale: Fallen Star (Spinefarm)
17. Sentenced: Neverlasting (Century Media)
18. Sinergy: I Spit On Your Grave (Spinefarm)
19. Harem Scarem: Weight Of The World (Frontiers)
20. Scanner: Sister Mary (Massacre)
Choosing the ballads wasn't any easier than doing the
I started wondering what is a ballad these days. In the
eighties and times before that it was an easy task, it was
a love song with slow tempo. But with todays power metal
bands (which I mostly listen to), it's not that easy. For some
years now it's been cool to do complex songs with different
structures adding whatever you can think of between hell
to folk-song influences and so forth. The rules also apply
to ballads, nothing is sacred anymore. And everyone
categorizes songs differently. For me there's a limit in the
tempo and in those cases where it is a bit faster (not too
fast though) I've chosen the song because of its mood.
For me a ballad is still a song that has a sad feeling to it,
even if it was about your flu or your love long gone. It's
simply a song that gives you shivers and makes you feel
down. And yet I love ballads ! I usually tend to like the
simple ones with only vocals and piano/acoustic guitar/violin,
but this year there weren't much of those. When you add too
much things to a ballad the song often loses the beauty of a
simple human feeling, the sad feeling and the point of it all
with it. Sometimes a song doesn't need much, only a small
thing can wake your interest. Sometimes it can even be an
irritating voice that makes it beautiful !
But this list is a big exception to this "simple rule", like my
number one, Shaman. This song is one of the best sad
(or should I say tragic) ones I've heard in a while in all it's
complexity. But then again I've always admired these Brazilians
and the way they make songs. The lyrics are a killer too.
Thunderstone and Kotipelto have quite simple ballads, but
I love the dramatic change in "Weak" by Thunderstone, it
really works !
1. Shaman Fairy Tale (NTS)
2. Thunderstone: Weak (Nuclear Blast)
3. Kotipelto: Beauty Has Come (High And Loud)
4. Entwine: Until The End (Spikefarm)
5. Beto Vazquez Infinity: Promises Under The Rain (Drakkar)
6. Harem Scarem: This Ain't Over (Frontiers)
7. Lost Weekend: I'm Not The One (Frontiers)
8. Nightwish: Forever Yours (Spinefarm)
9. Timo Tolkki: Are You The One ? (Nuclear Blast)
10. Freedom Call: Bleeding Heart (Steamhammer/SPV)
11. Scanner: Always Alien (Massacre)
12. Vicious Mary: Crying For You (Frontiers)
13. Sentenced: Aika Multaa Muistot (Everything Is Nothing) (Century Media)
14. Charon: Sorrowsong (Spinefarm)
15. Dreamtale: Silent Path (Spinefarm)
16. Avantasia: Anywhere (AFM)
17. Luca Turilli: Timeless Oceans (LMP / SPV)
18. Hammerfall: Dreams Come True (Nuclear Blast)
EPIC / LONG SONGS
BAND: SONG / ALBUM - RUNNING TIME (LABEL)
1. Nightwish: Beauty Of The Beast / Century Child - 10:22 minutes (Spinefarm)
2. Avantasia: The Seven Angels / The Metal Opera Pt. II - 14:15 (AFM)
3. Dream Theater: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence / Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence - 42:04 (Elektra)
4. Dream Theater: The Glass Prison / Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence - 13:52 (Elektra)
5. Rhapsody: Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness / Power Of The Dragonflame - 19:03 (LMP / SPV)
6. Luca Turilli: Prophet Of The Last Eclipse / Prophet Of The Last Eclipse - 11:49 (LMP / SPV)
7. Dreamtale: Farewell.../ Beyond Reality - 7:16 (Spinefarm)
8. 7 Months: Senőrita Serenade / 7 Months - 8:19 (Frontiers)
9. Symphony X: The Odyssey / The Odyssey - 24:09 (InsideOut)
10. Tunnelvision: While The World Awaits / Tomorrow - 11:00 (Massacre)
MOST WATCHED VIDEOS
I wanted to make this list, since you hardly know what metal bands have
released videos these days. There simply aren't much, if any, metal
shows on tv anymore, which is a shame. The vids below are the ones
that have been running on finnish tv channels, so it is quite limited. The
number one is of course the one that made the best impact on me, it's not
chosen by how much I like the song, but how it all comes together in the
video. It doesn't necessarily have to follow the lyrics, 'cos sometimes that
can make the video look really dumb. Andrew W.K. was a nice surprise
with the humour in it, there aren't much videos like these and Lordi is
an impressive sight themselves already, though I liked the story in "Devil"
too, kind of reminded me of this scene from the movie Hellraiser.
The year 2002 was quite poor for videos, so I counted some videos here
that weren't that special, but just wanted to enlighten you what is out there.
I'd have to say the first four videos here were the ones I truely injoyed
watching, the rest were too plain. That's why I categorized this section
as "Most Watched" and not "Best Videos", otherwise it would've been a
short list !
1. Lordi: Devil Is A Loser (And He's My Bitch) (BMG)
2. Lordi: Would You Love A Monsterman (BMG)
3. Andrew W.K.: She Is Beautiful (Island Records)
4. Hammerfall: Hearts On Fire (Nuclear Blast)
5. Manowar: Warriors Of The World United (Nuclear Blast)
6. Sentenced: No One There (Century Media)
7. Thunderstone: Virus (Nuclear Blast)
8. Nightwish: Bless The Child (Spinefarm)
9. Sinergy: Suicide By My Side (Spinefarm)
10. 69 Eyes: Betty Blue (Gaga Goodies / Poko)
Yeah, you could say who needs cover songs, but sometimes you might be
surprised how someone else can make the song sound much better or worse.
Or just make it sound complitely different. I put At Vance for nr.1 eventhough
their cover isn't offering anything new, but this version is a real pleasure to
hear, it's really tight and has been my faves since my childhood. As for
Nightwish, they just couldn't go wrong with anything ! Tarja and Marco sound
as great as always here and the arrangements shake the ground. Thunderstone
isn't giving anything new to us with the Iron Maiden song here either, but this
one just rocks !
BAND - SONG - ORIGINAL WRITER (LABEL)
1. At Vance - I Surrender - Russ Ballard (AFM / PL)
2. Nightwish - The Phantom Of The Opera - A. Lloyd Webber/T. Rice (Spinefarm)
3. Thunderstone - Wasted Years - Adrian Smith (Nuclear Blast)
4. Hammerfall - Rising Force - Yngwie J. Malmsteen/Joe Lynn Turner (Nuclear Blast)
5. Norther - Final Countdown - J. Tempest (Spinefarm)
6. Machine Men - Aces High - Steve Harris (Dynamic Arts)
7. Entwine - Tears Are Falling - Paul Stanley (Spikefarm)
SOME PRICELESS MOMENTS
There's been lots of those, but here's a few.
1. Nino Laurenne of THUNDERSTONE rapping for us
2. Sami Virtanen (KOTIPELTO) doing impersinations of Ford Fairlane
3. WEIRD conversations with Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS/KOTIPELTO)
4. Emppu Vuorinen (NIGHTWISH) reciting a poem.
5. Tony Kakko & Marko Paasikoski (SONATA ARCTICA) "blushing" in the
album listening session, where the press were laughing at
one song (which wasn't funny really, but different kind of stuff
you would expect to hear from the guys).
6. Seing a granny video from SENTENCED, a metal band ! Poor guys.
Not that I'm insensitive, but the image, the image !!
7. HANOI ROCKS interviewing press !
8. Having famous and gourgeous long-haired guitarist drool after you !
Surely women enjoy all the nice compliments they get from guys
and wise versa !! =)
9. All the great shows I've seen (f.e. Blackmore's Night, Angra, Savatage,
Iced Earth, Hughes/Turner Project, etc)
10. STRATOVARIUS album listening party
TOP 10 SONGS
1. SYMPHONY-X - The Odyssey
2. DREAM THEATER - The Great Debate
3. STAR ONE - The Eyes Of Ra
4. THRESHOLD - Critical Mass part 1
5. RUSH - Ghostrider
6. KAMELOT - On The Coldest Winter Night
7. 101 SOUTH - Roll Of The Dice
8. SPOCK’S BEARD - The Devil’s Got My Troat
9. HEAVEN’S CRY - A New Paradigm
10.ECHOBRAIN - Spoonfed
TOP 10 BALLADS
1. DREAM THEATER - Goodnight Kiss
2. TWO FIRES - What The Whole World Needs To Know
3. KINGDOM COME - Darling
4. STRATOVARIUS - Papillon
5. HAREM SCAREM - This Ain’t Over
6. MAXVILLE - She’s Not You
7. THRESHOLD - Avalon
8. 7 MONTHS - Sometimes
9. SPOCK’S BEARD - Wind At My Back
10.HARDLINE - Face The Night