Kimmo: Some have hailed 2008 as the best year since the eighties as far as the album releases go, but I'd have to disagree. It was a better year than 2007, but still a far cry from the golden years of the eighties. Again, to get into my Top 20 albums a strong "8" was enough, when it comes to the ratings.

What I noticed was that several "old bands" released rather acclaimed comeback albums, but most of them didn't appeal to me. Whitesnake, Crüe, Jamison, Tesla, Dokken... sure, the new stuff from these bands was better than their most of their recent output, but I wasn't blown away. Journey came closest with a rather good album. I don't know, maybe I'm becoming a bit jaded...

Some of you Finns may wonder why I have an album and songs from Janne Hurme on my list... Go listen to the songs, it's AOR in Finnish.

As for the gigs, we saw a decent number of gigs during the summer, KISS, Def Leppard, Leverage and Within Temptation being the most memorable ones. The Kiss gig not necessarily for the music, but as an event...

The last time I complained about the lack of new bands. 2008 was a bit better in that respect, with H.E.A.T. being the brightest shining star, Work Of Art another. Not bad.

2009 has started nicely with some strong releases, hopefully it continues on the same path. A few "comebacks" are around the corner, I have high hopes for the likes of Treat and Danger Danger. Then there's Bon Jovi... "It's gonna be a rock album!" says JBJ... I'll believe it when I hear it.


Urban: I thought I would mostly concentrate on the good things about 2008 (but no such luck). Axl Rose finally managed to find his marbles again (sort of) and chinese democracy came through like a rocket in the sky. It fell rather quickly back to earth tho', due to zero promotion by Axl. Hell, Whitesnake, Metallica, AC/DC, Motley Crue, did all surprise us (well, me) with fine releases. Ehem, on the other hand, let's not talk about the ones by Judas Priest, Extreme, etc.

I tell ya', it's been a rather hectic music year, full of disappointments and disjointed ideas too. Like, labels sending out "promos" with shortened versions of the songs or dodgy voice-overs including a horrific italian speakervoice and everything. And before you go highwire over my rant, could you imagine someone trying to do a book review without the last couple of chapters? It's all b.s. and I'm/ we're not taking part of this lame culture.

I would also advise a certain editor at glorydaze to get a clue or at least grow a spine. We're merely interested in the music, not the actual musicians, and would never kiss-azz just to receive free stuff or to be on friendly terms with all people involved. Keep up the good work.


Bandi: 2008 was a very fruitful year as far as the quantity of melodic rock albums goes; yet quality seemed to suffer this great abundance. The former small record labels that started out on a friendly, music fan basis have grown bigger and they deliver plenty of albums every months. As a result there's no real promotion behind any album/band. Most of the record labels don't even bother with artworks, packaging, or customized promotion; their releases look all the same, the promotional support they give their bands comes down to nothing but promo copies quickly sent out to magazines/webzines and then they jump on to the next release. Album sleeves are full of typing mistakes, sometimes even musicians' names are misspelled [promo copies are even worse from this aspect than the final products buyers see]. There's no way any band could break out of this faceless mass as newcomers get no tour support from their record labels and unless webzine/magazine readers buy a new band's album based on the critics they read, there's no other way the band could deliver their music to potential listeners. Anybody who grew up in the 70s or 80s knows it ain't supposed to be this way.

Although there are some promising new bands every year, they quickly disappear. There were lots of bands in the last couple of years who'd deserve a better way than that [T'Bell, Dreamhunter, Kharma, Crystal Blue, Coastland Ride, etc. etc. Where are they now?]. The genre would desperately need those new faces who are able to deliver some quality as most of the older guys who are still hanging around can not live up to their previous efforts. I included Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Motley Crue, Harem Scarem, Shadowman, House of Lords, Europe in my top 40 list of albums. None of these bands' current releases are anywhere near their classic stuff. The reason they are still top 40? I guess we are all getting used to the fact (rock) music industry is not what it used to be and when there's no juicy roasted hog on the table we are happy about the peanuts thrown there...


During the last few weeks, the staff of RockUnited.Com has spent endless nights re-visiting the releases of 2008, and here are the results: The official Album Chart of 2007 of RockUnited.Com. And various individual charts. You might get a bit of a deja vu-vibe of the chart, but what can we do - our readers agree with us this year!


1. H.E.A.T. - s/t (Stormvox/Playground)
RockUnited.Com review: " This is the new generation of Melodic Hardrock acts as these Swedes are all in their early twenties. It's frankly a fun mix of AOR/MHR in the vein of Europe, Winger, The Storm, Giant. It's mostly uptempo tracks, biting guitar work and fun keyboards... this is a MUST-HAVE for any fan of the genre. It's hardly 'original' or new, groundbreaking music. But seriously, who cares as long as it's this catchy." [read the full review]

2. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire (Spinefarm)
RockUnited.Com review: "
It's hard to believe how much Firetribe has matured since the first release, but while doing so they haven't lost their magic. On the contrary, they've raised the stakes to where I'd start calling them the Gods of melodic rock, and I'm not joking. If a band can fill an albums worth of classics and do it as heartwarmingly and kickass style as Firetribe has, with lyrics anyone can relate to, they should by now be in the big leagues." [read the full review]

3. Tobias Sammet's Avantasia - The Scarecrow (Nuclear Blast)
RockUnited.Com review: " 'The Scarecrow' is stuffed to the brim with powerful melodic rock that just begs to be listened to again and again. Don't worry about the loose concept behind it all, just sit and listen to some astounding songs played and sang by some of the best rock artists around." [read the full review]

4. Khymera - The Greatest Wonder (Frontiers)
RockUnited.Com review: "
For this third album, the Martin brothers took over the songwriting duties completely. Having already proved that they can pen strong songs, I had the feeling that this one might a be a good one again. And I was right...The Martin brothers may not have reinvented the wheel, but they can surely write great AOR tracks which sound "vintage" and fresh at the same time, if that's possible. " [read the full review]

5. Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock (Frontiers)
RockUnited.Com review: "This isn't music that will change the world, but it's not supposed to. When melodic rock is done just right it's primary job is to make you feel good, and “Are You Ready To Rock” (just how bad is that title) does it with ease...“Are You Ready To Rock” is Melodic Rock with the Rock in big, capital letters. Definitely up there with some of the better albums of it's type, it's one that's really worth adding to your collection." [read the full review]

6. Journey - Revelation (Frontiers)
7. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (Lion Music)
8. House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom (Frontiers)
9. Bob Catley - Immortal (Frontiers)
10. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (Universal)

11. Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad (SPV)
12. It Bites - The Tall Ships (
the It Bites Music Partnership)
12. Leverage - Blind Fire (Frontiers)
Work Of Art - Artwork (Frontiers)
Marcello Vestry - s/t (NL Distribution)

16. Alliance - Road To Heaven (Escape Music)
17. From The Inside - Visions (Frontiers)
18. Airbourne - Runnin' Wild (Roadrunner)
19. The Rain - Yhtä Kuin Voitto (The Rain)
20. My Land - No Man's Land (Valery Records)




Albums Top 20:

1. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire (Spinefarm)
[10 out of 10. Enough said.]
2. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (Universal)

[Their first album was ok, but this one surprised me. Awesome hooks all over the place.]
Khymera - The Greatest Wonder (Frontiers)
[Superb old-school melodic hard rock. All hail the Martin bros.]
4. H.E.A.T. - s/t (Stormvox/Playground)
[Great to see a bunch of twentysomethings playing this kind of music and reaching success without compromises!]
5. Bob Catley - Immortal (Frontiers)
[The combination of Magnus Karlsson's songs and Uncle Bob proved to be a resounding success!]
6. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (Lion Music)
[I'm not a big fan of prog metal, but this one had me hooked. Immense melodies, flawless performances.]
7. The Rain - Yhtä Kuin Voitto (The Rain)
[Metallic, melodic Christian Rock from Finland. In Finnish.]
8. House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom (Frontiers)
[Another fine album from the "new" House Of Lords.]
Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock (Frontiers)
[Catchy melodic hard rock from these Swedes.]

10. Tobias Sammet's Avantasia - The Scarecrow (Nuclear Blast)
[Possibly the most versatile of the three episodes of Sammet's Rock Opera.]

11. Journey - Revelation (Frontiers)
12. Janne Hurme - Matka Jatkuu (Finrila)
13. Work Of Art - Artwork (Frontiers)
14. Edguy - Tinnitus Sanctus (Nuclear Blast)
15. Marcello Vestry - s/t (NL Distribution)
16. From The Inside - Visions (Frontiers)
17. The Rasmus - Black Roses (Playground)
18. Leverage - Blind Fire (Frontiers)
19. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness (Atlantic)
20. Last Autumn's Dream - Hunting Shadows (Escape Music)

Songs Top 40:

- The Top 10 songs:

1. Khymera - Burn Out
2. Brother Firetribe - Wildest Dreams
3. Janne Hurme - Kantaisko
4. Hinder - Lost In The Sun
5. H.E.A.T - Feel It Again
6. Avantasia - Lost In Space
7. Brother Firetribe - Play It From The Heart
8. Khymera - Borderline
9. Hinder - Heaven Sent
10. H.E.A.T - Cry

- 30 runners-up in alphabetical order:

3 Doors Down - It's Not My Time
Bob Catley - End Of The World
Brother Firetribe - Going Out With A Bang
Eclipse - To Mend A Broken Heart
From The Inside - Days Of Hunger
From The Inside - Light Years
H.E.A.T - Bring The Stars
Hinder - Last Kiss Goodbye
Hinder - Loaded And Alone
House Of Lords - Another Day From Heaven
House Of Lords - I Need To Fly
Janne Hurme - Tyhjää
Journey - After All These Years
Journey - Where Did I Lose Your Love
Khymera - The Other Side
Leverage - Heart Of Darkness
Leverage - Sentenced
Michael Bormann - For A Little While
Nickelback - Gotta Be Somebody
Overland - After The Fire
Random Eyes - You Are The Reason
Rick Springfield - What's Victoria's Secret
Seventh Wonder - A Day Away
Seventh Wonder - One Last Goodbye
Seventh Wonder - Unbreakable
The Rain - Haloo
The Rain - Siivet
The Rasmus - Livin' In A World Without You
Work Of Art - Cover Me
Work Of Art - Why Do I



Albums Top 40:

1. Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad
[Here's a new CD 4 ya'- ta' mr Coverdale.]
2. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls
[Melodic Prog-metal concept album at its best.]
3. Anti-Flag - The Bright Lights Of America
[Damn punks - damn good - damn anti.]
4. Kip Winger - From The Moon To The Sun
[Modern and dark Prog-Rock by the former hairmetal rocker.]
5. Story Of The Year - The Black Swan
[Their 'breakthrough' CD, they deserve a larger audience in europe.]
6. Robbie Dupree - Time And Tide
[Smooth Westcoast by the old master.]
7. Motley Crue - Saints Of Los Angeles
[Punky affair by the old sleaze rockers.]
8. H.E.A.T. - H.E.A.T.
[AOR platter with killer vocals and harmonies.]
9. Tesla - Forever More
[Cumin' atcha with modern influences.]
10.Metallica - Death Magnetic

[Their best effort since the black album.]

11.Guns N'Roses - Chinese Democracy
12.AC/DC - Black Ice
13.Alliance - The Road To Heaven
14.Rick Springfield - Venus In Overdrive
15.Hinder - Take It To The Limit
16.Nickelback - Dark Horse
17.Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock
18.Disturbed - Indestructible
19.RA - Black Sun
20.Bob Catley - Immortal

21.Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness
22.Avantasia - The Scarecrow
23.House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom
24.Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire
25.Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
26.Jar - Scene 29
27.Journey - Revelation
28.Marcello/Vestry - S/T
29.Diablo - Icaros
30.Black Crowes - Warpaint


Foreigner - Too Late
The Killers - Human
H.E.A.T. - Cry, Straight For The Heart
Story Of The Year - Never Let It Go
Shinedown - The Crow And The Butterfly
Kings Of Leon - Closer
Motley Crue - Chicks = Trouble
Asia - Never Again
Guns'N Roses - This I Love
Brother Firetribe - Runaways
Hinder - Last Kiss Goodbye
Eclipse - Breaking My Heart Again
Journey - Change For The Better
House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom
Metallica - The Day That Never Comes
Alliance - Make A Stand, Anything Goes
Black Crowes - Goodbye Daughters Of The Revolution
White Lion - Battle At Little Big Horn
Sarah Brightman & Paul Stanley - I Will Be With You
Work of Art - Why Do I
Nickelback - Shakin' Hands
Grave Robber - I Wanna Kill You Over And Over Again


Judas Priest
White Lion
Jimi Jamison
Alice Cooper
Bryan Adams
Glenn Hughes

etc, etc, etc.


Albums Top 20:

1. H.E.A.T. - s/t (Stormvox/Playground)
Khymera - The Greatest Wonder (Frontiers)
Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire (Spinefarm)
4. Tobias Sammet's Avantasia - The Scarecrow (Nuclear Blast)
5. Alibi - Voice Of Reason (Z Records)
6. House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom (Frontiers)
7. Hinder - Take It To The Limit (Universal)

8. Michael Bormann - Capture The Moment (AOR Heaven)
9. Harem Scarem - Hope (Frontiers)
10. Bob Catley - Immortal (Frontiers)

11. The Rain - Yhtä Kuin Voitto (The Rain)
12. My Land - No Man's Land (Valery)
13. HB - Frozen Inside (Bullroser)
14. Leverage - Blind Fire (Frontiers)
15. Janne Hurme - Matka Jatkuu (Finrila)
16. The Rasmus - Black Roses (Playground)
17. Work Of Art - Artwork (Frontiers)
18. Journey - Revelation (Frontiers)
19. Def Leppard - Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (PolyGram)
20. Alliance - The Road To Heaven (Escape Music)

Songs Top 40:

Brother Firetribe - Game They Call Love
H.E.A.T - Feel It Again
Rasmus, The - Livin' In A World Without You
Khymera - Since You Went Away
Leverage - Sentenced
H.E.A.T - There For You
Khymera - Love Has Been And Gone
Hinder - Heartless
Brother Firetribe - Play It From The Heart
H.E.A.T - Bring The Stars
House Of Lords - Another Day From Heaven
Harem Scarem - Shooting star
Khymera - The Other Side
Hinder - Heaven sent
Alibi - The Longest Day
Journey - After All These Years
Khymera - Burn Out
Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire
Hurme, Janne - Kantaisko
Rain, The - Haloo
Alliance - We Don't Talk
Khymera - Love Will Find You
Rain, The - Ohiko Kuljet
Mad Max - Mad Gone Blind
Michael Bormann - I Wanna Hear Your Voice
Myland - Someday Love Leaves You Alone
Brother Firetribe - Wildest Dreams
Khymera - Borderline
Alibi - Hold On
H.E.A.T - Follow Me
Harem Scarem - Nothing without you
Bob Catley - Heat of passion
Hurme, Janne -Tyhjää
Myland - Running in the NIght
Avantasia - Carry me over
Hinder - Without you
Sanctus Real -Turn On The Lights
H.E.A.T - Keep On Dreaming
Shinedown - Breaking Inside
Avantasia - Cry just a little


Albums Top 20:

1. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire (Spinefarm)
2. Journey - Revelation (Frontiers)
3. Leverage - Blind Fire (Frontiers)
4. H.E.A.T. - St (Stormvox)
5. House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom (Frontiers)
6. Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock (Frontiers)
7. Khymera - The Greatest Wonder (Frontiers)
8. Alex Beyrodt's Voodoo Circle - St (AFM)
9. Jimi Jamison - Crossroads Moment (Frontiers)
10. Ramos - Hugo - The Dream (Frontiers)

11. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (Lion Music)
12. Theocracy - Mirror Of Souls (Ulterium Records)
13. Airbourne - Runnin' Wild (Roadrunner)
14. Axel Rudi Pell - Tales Of The Crown (SPV)
15. Lanfear - X To The Power Of Ten (Locomotive)
16. Revolution Renaissance - New Era (Frontiers)
17. Tobias Sammet's Avantasia - The Scarecrow (Nuclear Blast)
18. Silent Call - Creations From A Chosen Path (Escape)
19. The Poodles - Sweet Trade (Lionheart International)
20. Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad (SPV)


21. Marcello - Vestry - St (NL Distribution)
22. Poley - Rivera - Only Human (Angelmilk)
23. MoonMadness - All In Between (Blue Violet)
24. Firewind - The Premonition (Century Media)
25. Evergrey - Torn (SPV)
26. Valentine - Soul Salvation (Valco)
27. China Blue - Twilight Of Destiny (Frontiers)
28. Edguy - Tinnitus Sanctus (Nuclear Blast)
29. Dark Sky - Empty Faces (Aor Heaven)
30. Rick Springfield - Venus In Overdrive (Angelmilk)


Albums Top 20:

1) It Bites - "The Tall Ships"
2) Avantasia - "The Scarecrow"
3) H.E.A.T - "H.E.A.T"
4) Airbourne - "Runnin Wild"
5) Brother Firetribe - "Heart Full Of Fire"
6) Def Leppard - "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge"
7) Myland - "No Mans Land"
8) Stone Gods - "Silver Spoons & Broken Bones"
9) Bob Catley - "Immortal"
10) S.I.N - "The 13th Apostle"

11) Krackerjack - "Rock On"
12) Wildhearts - "Stop Us If You"ve Heard This One Before"
13) Eclipse - "Are You ready To Rock"
14) Whitesnake - "Good To Be Bad"
15) From The Inside - "Visions"
16) Thunder - "Bang"
17) Ecliptica - "Impetus"
18) Man-Raze - "Surreal"
19) China Blue - "Twilight Of Destiny"
20) Dear Superstar - "Heartless"

Bubbling Under…

Leverage - "Blind Fire"
Viron - "Ferrum Gravis"
Voodoo Six - "First Hit For Free"
Overland - "Break Away"
Journey - "Revelations"
Alice Cooper - "Along Came A Spider"
Metallica - "Death Magnetic"

DVD Of The Year - FM "Back In The Saddle"

Gig Of The Year - Airbourne at the Louisiana in Bristol

Band Of The Year - Heaven"s Basement (look out World, here they come in 2009)

Event of The Year - Hard Rock Hell 2

Disappointment of the year - No "proper" Maiden Tour


Albums Top 20:

1. Pendragon – Pure
2. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Global Warning
3. Marillion – Happiness Is The Road Part 2
4. Circle2Circle – Delusions Of Grandeur
5. Ayreon – 01101101
6. Opeth – Watershed
7. Everon – North
8. It Bites – The Tall Ships
9. RPWL – The RPWL Experience
10. Warrel Dane – Praises To The War Machine

11. Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
12. Dominici – 03 A Trilogy Part 3
13. Journey – Revelations
14. Metallica – Death Magnetic
15. Evergrey – Torn
16. Joe Satriani – Professor Satchafunkilus And The Musterion Of Rock
17. AC/DC – Black Ice
18. Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider
19. Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles
20. Perzonal War – Bloodline

Best DVDs :

1. Dream Theater – Chaos In Motion
2. Within Temptation – Black Symphony
3. Spock’s Beard – Live

Best Concert:

Jon Oliva’s Pain in Tilburg, The Netherlands in March 2008.


Albums Top 20:

1. Marcello/Vestry - s/t
2. H.E.A.T. - s/t
3. Alliance - Road To Heaven
4. Avantasia - The Scarecrow
5. Work of Art - s/t
6. John Jeff Touch - First Touch
7. From The Inside - Visions
8. Brother Frietribe - Heart Full of Fire
9. Elevener - When Caleidoscopes Collide
10. Khymera - The Greatest Wonder

11. Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock
12. Last Autumn's Dream - Hunting Shadows
13. Masquarage - Moonlight Time
14. Paul Gilbert - Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar
15. Harem Scarem - Hope
16. Journey - Revelation
17. Shadowman - Ghost In The Mirror
18. Valentine - Soul Salvation
19. Ramos/Hugo - The Dream
20. Southwest Sunrise - Sleep In The Fire

21. Overland - Break Away
22. Leverage - Blind Fire
23. Victor Gann - The Devil's Ben Busy
24. Poley/Rivera - Only Human
25. House of Lords - Come To My Kingdom
26. Jimi Jamison - Crossroads Moment
27. Mitch Malloy - Faith
28. Shannon - Angel In Disguise
29. Mattson - Dream Child
30. Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad

31. Bob Catley - Immortal
32. Steve Stevens - Memory Crash
33. Def Leppard - Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
34. Alibi - Voice of Reason
35. Danger Avenue - Avenues And Boulevards
36. Motley Crue - Saints of L.A.
37. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness
38. Gary Moore - Bad For You Baby
39. Enuff Z' Nuff - Dissonance
40. Europe - Almost Unplugged