Yes, it is that time of year again. Hard Rock Hideout writers, Rob Rockitt and Ryo Vie pick our Top 10 albums of 2012. 2012 was a solid year for hard rock. There were many great releases, and quite a few above average ones as well. Trying to pick the top 10 is always a daunting task each year. After a lot of thought, discriminating, listening and re-listening, I have finally made my choices. If you haven’t added the 10 albums below to your collection, you are truly missing out on the best of 2012.
The following albums almost made the cut in the top 10, but are definitely worth mentioning.
RUSH – Clockwork Angels
ACCEPT – Stalingrad
Youngblood – No Retreat
Dokken – Broken Bones
L.A. Guns – Hollywood Forever
The Darkness – Hotcakes
Foxy Shazam – The Church of Rock and Roll
Papa Roach – The Connection
The Treatment – This Might Hurt
Jackyl – Best In Show
Bullet – Full Pull
Slash – Apocalyptic Love
Kill Devil Hill – S/T
SNEW – What’s It To Ya
Europe – Bag of Bones
Jack Blades – Rock N Roll Ride
Fozzy – Sin & Bones
Trixter – New Audio Machine
In This Moment – Blood
Testament – Dark Roots of Earth
And now for my top 10 of 2012!
10. Texas Hippie Coalition – Peacemaker – Texas Hippie Coalition released their third album Peacemaker in 2012, and in my opinion, in it is their best one yet. These boys are obviously still “Pissed Off and Mad About It”. Their anger has inspired a new set of killer tunes including “Hands Up”, “Damn You To Hell”, “Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll”, and “Paw Paw Hill”. Don’t miss this!! Check out the song “Hands Up” below.
9. Halestorm – The Strange Case Of – Halestorm’s latest effort The Strange Case Of isn’t without some cheesy tunes (especially if you have the version with the bonus tracks) but overall, it is a very strong release and Lzzy Hale has never sounded better. Check out the song “Freak Like Me” below.
8. Jettblack – Raining Rock – Raining Rock is no sophomore slump for the UK rockers Jettblack. It is a shame that this hasn’t had an official U.S. release. I am betting a lot of folks missed this one, and everyone who loves classic rock should check this one out. You can get it at Amazon.com.
7. Shinedown – Amaryllis – I loved Shinedown’s 2008 CD The Sound of Madness, so I was really looking forward to hearing Amaryllis. Amaryllis might be borderline when it comes to hard rock, but this is easily one of Shinedown’s best CD’s to date, and easily one of the best of 2012.
Check out the song “Unity” below.
6. Adler – Back From The Dead – One of the biggest surprises of 2012, is the debut album from former Guns N’ Roses drummer Stephen Adler. This CD has great rocking tunes, and no filler tracks. Adler outdid his former band mate Slash as far as new music in 2012 in my opinion.
5. Adrenaline Mob - Omertá – What happens when Russell Allen (Sumphony X) and Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater) join forces? They put out a damn find hard rock album that is NOT progressive metal. I think the non progressive style of Omerta surprised some folks, but give this one a few spins, and you can’t deny that this is a great album. Everyone should be talking about Mike Orlando, who is one incredible guitarist.
Check out the song “Indifferent” below.
4. The Cult – Choice of Weapon – With the Cult set on releasing time capsules instead of albums, I didn’t think we would ever have another new album from the band. Much to my surprise and utter happiness, The Cult released Choice of Weapon last May. In my opinion, this albums stands up to some of the Cult’s best work including Electric and Sonic Temple.
Check out the song “For the Animals”!
3. Charm City Devils – Sins - It took a few years for CCD to put out their second effort Sins, but I can gladly say that it was worth the wait. John Allen is a fine song writer, and pretty decent singer too. Sins leans more toward the modern side of hard rock but their isn’t a bad song on Sins. I love their remake of “Man of Constant Sorrow”, and have played the hell out of Sins in 2012.
Check out the song “Unstoppable” below.
2. Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth – Everyone wanted to see David Lee Roth rejoin Van Halen, but it took a few years for the band to record some new tunes. I say “new” loosely with so many older demo cuts being used on A Different Kind of Truth, but as must people already know. OLD Van Halen is the best Van Halen, and A Different Kind of Truth is a great album. (And yes, I even like the song “Tattoo”.)
1. KISS – Monster – You wanted the best, you got the best!! Never in my wildest dreams did I think KISS would be able to put out another album as strong as Monster. I enjoyed their previous effort Sonic Boom, but Monster outshines that album by a mile. Easily my favorite KISS album since Revenge! This album is practically worth picking up for “Wall of Sound” all by itself. Hopefully KISS will tour for this album another year, and do more songs from it.