Hard Rock Hideout’s Stone - Picking the “top ten list” of anything in life is not that easy. Choosing my Top Ten Albums Of 2010 proved to be more daunting than I had initially expected, with there being multiple dozens of excellent albums released this past year, spanning across each sub-genre of Metal, not to mention Hard Rock and Rock as well. I decided this year, to pick out only those ten albums that I can honestly say moved me… as a complete album of songs. I have neverlimited my ears, mind and soul to just Metal, anyone who knows me, understands this. Therefore, finding an album in my “top ten” that is not full-throttle, pedal to the Metal, shouldn’t come across as scandalous.
An album that makes my “top ten” list will move me emotionally, sending signals to my senses that either A: psyches-me-out of my Metal mind or B: makes me feel as though I’ve found a long lost friend, a friend I’ll now have for the rest of my Metal life. Of course quality musicianship, songwriting and overall production comes into play… only those three attributes will fall into place when an album is truly special to me.
Maybe you’ll enjoy, become slightly amused and or confused by my Top Ten Albums Of 2010. Either way, my intent is to showcase and appluad these albums and the bands that created them. Hopefully I peak your interest to buy an album or two from this list. These are the albums that will stand the test of my Metal time on Earth.
KATAKLYSM epitomizes the marriage of melodic and heavy… and succeeds so brilliantly in a Death Metal genre, a genre that has profoundly matured into mandatory importance in my Metal history book, many full moons ago. I’ll say this time and again, when Maurizio Iacono sings, I listen. Jean-Francois Dagenais on guitar is not just impressive, his playing is beyond that. If Death Metal needed “that band” to bridge the gap between the meat & potatoes and the progressive, then KATAKLYSM is that band. “Heaven’s Venom” is more than just another excellent Melodic Death Metal album, it is a collective “sound” and “vibe” that makes me realize that maybe “extreme” should be replaced with “pristine” when describing these ten songs.
On December 2, 2010, I posted a review on Heaven’s Venom, giving more Metal details as to why KATAKLYSM is sitting atop my tier of Metal legendary bands. Clicking the link above will take you there!
The “Classic” Krokus lineup returned in 2010 to bring their Hard Rockin’ brand back… to kick our asses! Metal be thy name, Krokus DID kick my ass with “Hoodoo” and all I can say is: “thank you sirs, may I have more?” A (gasp) fun album is “Hoodoo”, that gives a wink and a smile to the gloriously loud and colorful 80’s decade of Arena Rock and good times thrills. If the songs “Too Hot” and “Hoodoo Woman” doesn’t get your Hard Rock adrenaline flowing, then maybe you should consider living as a hermit in the forests of Maine.
On April 27, 2010, I reviewed Hoodoo and did not hold back my Hard Rockin’ affection for this timeless Hard Rockin’ band. Click on the link above to see it!
Jon Oliva is a man of music. He proves this on “Festival”, by connecting the Rock ‘N’ Roll dots, Jon Oliva has his Classic Rock influences of the Beatles and The Electric Light Orchestra coexisting with the Savatage blood that flows through his ultra-talented veins. Is “Festival” a Heavy Metal album? On the surface it is… only once you really listen to this album a few dozen times, you might very well agree with me that “Festival” is a celebration of Jon Oliva’s musical career. The dark themes and nightmarish lyrics behold a realism that I find stunning, making me hope and pray that Jon Oliva and his band will create a “Festival”… part 2.
On April 15, 2010, my review for “Festival” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Click on the link above to read all about it!
What Greg Hampton (founding member, lead guitarist & vocalist) created with his band The New Czars, is one of the finest blends of Rock Music styles my ears have heard in years. “Doomsday Revolution” takes a Modern Hard Rock lead, with Industrial and Funk experimentation weaved within it’s lustrous interior. Greg Hampton might very well be the “missing link” within a generation of Rock vocal legends such as Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, David Coverdale and yes… Robert Plant. If that sounds too good to be true, then get yourself a copy of “Doomsday Revolution” and thank Stone for serving you right.
Back on September 8, 2010, I posted a detailed album review for Doomsday Revolution. You can click the link above if you want to read all about it!
“Nightmare” is the fifth studio album from A7X and very well should be anointed as their very best. Powerful, angry and raging is “God Hates Us”, while the album opener “Nightmare” speeds on with it’s relentless up-tempo that makes me feel like I belong in the pit, carrying on like a psyched-out Metalhead from 1989. Seriously, what A7X has accomplished with “Nightmare” is nothing short of a Metal miracle, with having to cope with the loss of Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan. I won’t hold back calling this “Nightmare” album the “Back In Black” or “Black Album” of A7X’s catalog.
On November 9, 2010, my review for “Nightmare” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out by clicking the link below!
What’s this? A Hard Rock three piece? A Modern Hard Rock three piece? Can these guys play? Who invited them to the party? Stone will tell you right now… KOPEK is a three piece, they are a Hard Rock band and they bought the copyright for the word relevance. By the way, KOPEK will be invited to the party and they are bringing with them a case of Hard Rock whoop ass that will have you begging “them” for more. Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Jordan brings that “it” factor to the Hard Rock table, “it” being his charisma that resonates from each and every song I hear on “White Collar Lies”. Drummer Shane Cooney and bassist Brad Kinsella round out this Hard Rockin’ trio from Dublin, Ireland, making them a band I recommend to every breathing human being on Earth.
On June 28, 2010, I presented to the world, an album review for White Collar Lies. If you want to know more about this KOPEK album that you should really buy, then click the link above… it will serve you right!
This new DANZIG album could have easily been titled: “How Glenn Danzig Got His Groove Back”. “Deth Red Sabaoth” is a return to dark form for Glenn, with each song carrying it’s worthy weight of thump and stump heaviness. Dare I say once again… Old School? These flashbacks to the Heavy Metal glory years never hurt any band and DANZIG churns out the songs that I want to hear on a long, lost, dark nights cruise through the remote countryside. “Black Candy”, Deth Red Moon” and “Ju Ju Bone” are the three songs that stand-out among, well, 11 stand-out songs. Each time I listen to “Deth Red Sabaoth” I realize wholly, that Glenn Danzig is back… and that makes Stone feel very Metal comfy.
On July 22, 2010, my review for “Deth Red Sabaoth” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out for yourself by clicking the link above!
An Udo-less Accept is hard to “accept”… unless you listen to “Blood Of The Nations”. Mark Tornillo made me a believer from the first note he bellows on “Beat The Bastards”, while not being an Udo clone, Mark just accomplished what always came natural to him… that’s to sing like an Old School Metal warrior! With a near perfect version of the original Accept lineup grinding out 14 songs, at the culmination of my first listen to this album I wanted MORE! This is an Accept album that solidifies this band’s Heavy Metal importance and existence of both past and present. “Blood Of The Nations” also reminds all of us aging Metalheads, that Old School Heavy Metal dreams really do come true.
On September 14, 2010, I posted a very psyched-out review for this Blood Of The Nations album. Check it out if you like, by clicking the link above!
#2 (Tie) EXODUS – EXHIBIT B: THE HUMAN CONDITION
Why have I made it a “tie” between EXODUS – Exhibit B: The Human Condition and OVERKILL -Ironbound? The answer is simple… Thrash Metal albums, from these two ultra-legends, sounding this damn outstanding, has fortunately collided with an uncanny equality. Choosing between these two albums as which is best, is liking choosing between two iced mugs of Blue Moon Ale. Pick ‘em. Founding members Gary Holt (guitar) and Tom Hunting (drums) are the Metal backbone to Exodus being not just pioneers of Thrash Metal, Exodus is one of this genre’s true leaders in 2010. This album is as brutal as any that Exodus has released… and these guys sound tighter than ever!
#2 (Tie) OVERKILL - IRONBOUND
As with Exodus, Overkill are pioneers of the Thrash Metal movement that has seen a resurgence of popularity that reminds me of the 80’s. “Ironbound” is full-blown and in-your-face Thrash Metal that glistens with Old School hunger and never relents with it’s crushing and force driven songs. Founding members Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) are living proof that they can create and play Thrash Metal for 30 years and counting, with different lineups, while never losing a touch of relevance. After three decades of albums, Overkill quite possibly made their verybest with “Ironbound.”
On March 8, 2010, I reviewed “Ironbound” on Hard Rock Hideout. Click the header link above read the complete details!
#1 SCORPIONS – STING IN THE TAIL
“Sting In The Tail” radiates every quality that I yearn for in choosing a #1 album: heaviness, hardness, melodic, memorable, emotional and Old School… all wrapped up into one celebratory goodbye after spanning nearly five decades of existence. This album dominated my Metal soul like none other in 2010, even the ballads “The Good Die Young” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” made an instant impact on me… and I never wave the flag for ballads that often. Klaus Meine sounds as incredible as ever on vocals, while this entire band plays with the fire of twenty year olds. “Sting In The Tail” was not a return to the glory days of 80’s Heavy Metal, instead, this album showcases just how electrifying the Scorpions still are after so many decades. The Scorpions go out proving to me, they never lost their edge. There will never be another band like the Scorpions.
Back on April 3, 2010, I posted a detailed album review on Sting In The Tail. Click the large header below, to read about how much I really dig this Scorpions album!
LONG LIVE METAL.
THANK YOU SCORPIONS.
LONG LIVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.
Today, “Hoodoo” will be officially released in the United States and the response from the press has been overwhelmingly positive.
Vocalist Marc Storace worked marathon hours for the last 2 weeks as well as this week to accommodate the US media. The phone lines are smoking across the Atlantic between Switzerland and America in order to respond to all the requests for phone interviews.
Marc was supposed to do an interview for the “Eddie Trunk Radio Show” in New York this coming Friday. Due to the untimely death of rock icon Ronnie James Dio and the planned public memorial service this coming Sunday, May 30th in Los Angeles and open to the public to celebrate the life and music of Ronnie James Dio, Eddie had to postpone said interview for the near future. When the news first broke that Ronnie had passed on May 16th, Marc had been asked by many to comment on his passing. In a conversation with Jason Coldiron for CWG Magazine / Metal Assault, Marc paid tribute to the rock icon in a touching way, extending his and the band’s condolences to Dio’s wife Wendy and their family. This interview has been picked up by various other magazines and can be seen/heard on YouTube as well.
To hear Marc’s tribute to Dio, listen to the clip below.
Marc actually auditioned at one time for Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow prior to joining Krokus and eventually Dio became Rainbow’s vocalist.
To our fans in the United States: Look for “Hoodoo” in your local record stores. And if you can’t find it there, log on to some of the web sites like amazon.com and get your copy directly sent to you within days. Produced by founder and bassist Chris Von Rohr, “Hoodoo” will not just rock your socks off but the enclosed cd booklet will be “eye candy” for every Krokus fan. Besides pictures and credits it also includes all the lyrics of the songs. And for our “old faithfull’s” we printed them even a little larger than usual! [weren’t we told that first thing that “goes” is the eyesight, as we get older] So, what are you waiting for?
To get the hard copy/jewel case delivered directly to your doorstep in no time, click on/copy in your browser:
Here is what some of the US critics had to say about “Hoodoo”:
“Balls out Rock-n-Roll the way it should be played. “– Loud Reviews
“Hoodoo has, in fact, achieved the difficult task of preserving the true Krokus vibe while sounding fresh and vibrant against the present-day hard-rock landscape – in short, it has brought the past into the present” –Heavy Metal Hog
“Solid, straight up, in your face rock n roll” – Metal Pub
“Do not resist the “hoodoo spell”, let it get under your skin and enjoy the magic ride!” – Hard Rock Hideout
“Hoodoo is yet another excellent album from a classic hard rock/metal band pumping blood back into what has become a stagnant genre over the last 20 years” – Mojo Radio
“Krokus has taken that shot and created an album that is on par with some of their best work. I would rank HOODOO right up there with the classic albums of the 1980-1984 era and I am positive that this record will be one of my top albums of 2010” – Heavy Metal Addiction
“Hoodoo is chock full of well worn, rockers that at once, rehash the past and refresh the legacy” – Hails & Horns
“The new album fits right in with Krokus masterpieces like Metal Rendez-Vous, One Vice At A Time and Headhunter right from the opening guitar of the CD opener”—The Examiner
“Krokus Bring An All Out Rock Assault With “Hoodoo” – Revolver Blips
“This is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. It rocks from beginning to end. The sounds are full of energy and the band is fired up” – Metal Excess
“Hoodoo is proof that Krokus is simply one of the best Hard Rock bands ever, and, that they aren’t stopping any time soon” – Hard Rock Haven
“Krokus has chosen the perfect time to get back into the game. Hoodoo fits nicely next to their classic albums of yesteryear. While Swiss cheese may come with holes in it, Hoodoo has none; this is a complete album, start to finish” – Classic Rock Revisited
Krokus set the bar! No other act in Switzerland has sold as many albums as Krokus has so far in 2010! Let the celebration begin.
After the band’s sold out show on April 30th in Zuchwil, Sony Music Switzerland proudly presented Platinum Record Awards to the rockers for their current album “Hoodoo”, which still is in the “Top Ten” of the Swiss charts.
If you missed it, check out the band’s video clip for their first single, “Hoodoo Woman” below.
February 26th seems such a long time ago, when “Hoodoo” was released in multiple countries around the world. As you read on our NEWS page, the cd shot from zero to Number 1 in Switzerland in the first week of release and is in the charts in many other countries as well.
In Switzerland the cd turned “gold” on the 1st day of release and within 4 weeks after release earned the band “Platinum Record Award” status! Congrats to KROKUS and double-congrats to Chris Von Rohr, who besides co-writing, recording and designing the cd cover also produced the “Hoodoo” with blood, sweat and tears (of joy). Sony Music will present to the band their gold and platinum awards prior to the first concert of the “Hoodoo Tour” in Zuchwil on April 30th, 2010.
And 6 weeks after release, “Hoodoo” is still in the “Top 5” of the Swiss charts and continuously selling strong, thanks to all of you fans.
Yesterday, Japan released “Hoodoo” in their country and May 25th is the release date in the USA.
The band has reunited with their classic lineup of Chris von Rohr, Fernando von Arb, Freddy Steady, Mark Kohler and Marc Storace. The end result is a CD that shows the band firing on all cylinders.
Marc Storace doesn’t attempt to those high-pitched screams like he did in the eighties, but the music is so good, I doubt you will miss them. Fernando Von Arb and company seem to be playing with a renewed vigor, and Hoodoo shines as a result of it.
The opening song “Drive It In” feels a whole lot like an AC/DC tune. Nonetheless this song flat-out rocks and gets Hoodoo started on the right pace.
The first single from the album, “Hoodoo Woman” is a good tune with a ZZ Top like vibe to it. ( Check it out in the video below.) I like the song, but it is far from the best song on Hoodoo.
I am not sure why the band chose to cover the Steppenwolf classic, Born to Be Wild. Countless bands (i.e. The Cult, Hinder, Raven) have covered this one already. A minor guitar tweak on this song by Fernando Von Arb gives this song a fresh feel, and I like this cover version the best out of all of them.
I must admit that I thought the lyrics of “Rock’n Roll Handshake” were kind of silly at first, but the more I hear this song, the more I want to sing along with it. It is a very catchy tune.
When I first listened to the intro on “Too Hot”, the Foreigner song “Hot Blooded” immediately came to mind. It starts off in a similar fashion. Overall, I felt that song was fairly ordinary, but the guitar fills from Fernando Von Arb take it up a notch.
“In My Blood” is a hard rockin’, foot-tapper that helps kick Hoodoo back in gear. I absolutely love the bluesy rocker “Dirty Street”. “Keep Me Rollin” is one of the faster tunes on Hoodoo, and is another great one!
In my opinion, Krokus saved the best for last with their scorcher “Firestar”.
Every time I finish listening to Hoodoo, I want to hit repeat and play it again. Krokus has turned out their best album since the classic ’84 album, The Blitz. You gotta get this!
You can check out the band’s 9-minute video press kit for the new album here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Drive It In
- Hoodoo Woman
- Born To Be Wild
- Rock’n Roll Handshake
- Ride Into The Sun
- Too Hot
- In My Blood
- Dirty Street
- Keep Me Rollin
- Shot of Love
Marc Storace – Lead Vocals
Chris Von Rohr – Bass, Vocals
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar, vocals
Mark Kohler – Guitar
Freddy Steady – Drums
Krokus sent out the following update this evening:
The wait is almost over. Only 41 more days (and nights) and the new cd “Hoodoo” will be released. And trust me, the long wait was worth it. “Hoodoo” offers Krokus fans 11 tracks and the digipak version includes additionally a DVD memorizing the “magic moments” of and around the 2008 reunion concert at Stade De Suisse in Bern, Switzerland.
Logging on to our HOME web page, you will hear a glimpse of the track “Hoodoo Woman”. To hear the entire new song, log on to our www.myspace.com/krokusonline web page (jukebox). When logging on, you’ll also enjoy an “oversized” version of the brilliant artwork details of the “Hoodoo” cover.
“Hoodoo Woman” will get under your skin. Guaranteed! The more often you listen to it, the more you will get captivated by the “Hoodoo Magic”. I listened to it so many times that I can’t get it out of my mind anymore. The chorus line “…mamma was a hoodoo woman, papa was a hoodoo man…” is haunting me (in a good way, of course) at various hours of the day and is engraved in my brain and soul. The same will happen to you, when the “Hoodoo Woman” will put her spell on you! If you want to sing along, go to our GLOBE CLUB page under LYRICS – 2010 HOODOO.
As we speak (or in this case “read”), the cd is being pressed and cover/booklet printed. Over a year in the making, the “Hoodoo Men” are resting exhausted in the “Hoodoo Lounge”. They gave it their all, especially “Hoodoo Chris”, who also produced the new release.
“Hoodoo” was recorded by Dennis Ward (producer of “Hellraiser”) at House of Music Studios in Winterbach, Germany with additional recordings at Pink Bild & Ton (engineered by ex-Krokus Jürg Naegeli) in Solothurn, Switzerland and Henson Studios, Los Angeles. For track listing, go to our DISCOGRAPHY page.
Photography, artwork & graphic design of the cover by Martin Häusler, who also took the awesome live pictures during the 2008 reunion concert in Bern. A few pictures of the “Hoodoo” series are on our GLOBE CLUB page (under MULTIMEDIA>KROKUS PICTURES>2010 HOODOO) and you can re-visit his live shots on our GALLERY page (Stade De Suisse).
Do not resist the “hoodoo spell”, let it get under your skin and enjoy the magic ride!