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.
The Cult premiere their new film clip for the track, “Honey From A Knife” on VEVO today. “Honey From A Knife” is the latest single from The Cult’s critically acclaimed new album, Choice of Weapon.
Directed by Rick Rodgers and produced by The Cult’s Ian Astbury and NYC based film company Mechanizedmules, the “Honey From A Knife” film clip was shot on location in the Washington Heights nieghborhood of Manhattan on a RED Scarlet camera with Super Speed lenses provided by ARRI.
“Honey From A Knife,“ rooted in the seductiveness of addiction, was inspired by the following Buddhist precept, and Ian Astbury states that the accompanying film reveals a “desperate descent into a fractured psyche”:
“Wealth and beauty, to a man who will not relinquish them, are like a knife covered with honey which, even before he has had the pleasure of eating the honey, cuts the tongue of the child that licks it”.
The Cult are currently on tour in Canada before continuing on to Europe for dates in the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany. Full tour dates are below.
8/25/12 MEDICINE HAT ESPLANDE THEATRE
8/26/12 CALGARY COWBOYS
8/28/12 REGINA Event Plex at Evraz Place
8/31/12 TORONTO Phoenix
9/01/12 MONTREAL Métropolis
9/02/12 Quebec City GRAND THEATER
9/10/12 MANCHESTER APOLLO
9/11/12 Newcastle O2 Academy
9/12/12 Sheffield Academy
9/14/12 GLASGOW BARROWLANDS
9/15/12 BIRMINGHAM ACADEMY
9/16/12 LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
9/19/12 Paris Bataclan
9/20/12 Amsterdam Melkweg
9/21/12 Krefeld Kulturfabrik
“Chilling hard-rock album filled with punk swagger and metallic power..” - Billboard
“As epic and compelling as nearly anything in The Cult’s catalogue.” Magnet
‘Brilliant!” Q MAGAZINE (UK)
A- Entertainment Weekly
Drawing strongly from their many years as hard rock veterans, The Cult have returned with a superb record, Choice Of Weapon. Filled with grand moments of classic rock, hard rock, dark sounds, metal celebration, and all the classic rock and roll elements that metal heads enjoy, Choice Of Weapon is a grand album that should help fans remember that The Cult are a premier hard rock act.
The Cult has always been one of those bands stuck on the cusp of greatness. In the 80s they had plenty of modest hits, but lacked what would be considered a breakthrough song. With the release of 1989’s Sonic Temple, and their massive hit “Fire Woman” it appeared that The Cult was finally going to take their turn basking in the limelight of the hard rock elite. However, for some reason, that didn’t happen, and the band drifted into the background again. This is something I’ve never been able to figure out regarding The Cult. They are an extremely talented, enjoyable band. Why aren’t they more of a household name?
Hopefully, Choice Of Weapon will be the album that puts them back in print and brings the band to the forefront of recognized hard rock acts. It’s obvious from the wonderful product released, that The Cult only chose their best material when recording Choice Of Weapon.
Ian Astbury’s voice is still a sound of beauty, even though he’s been singing and touring for almost 30 years. Billy Duffy’s ability with the guitar has not faltered over the years either, and is still the perfect compliment to Astbury’s vocals. Astbury and Duffy together still make magic comparable to (or even better than) Tyler/Perry, Simmons/Stanley, and Jagger/Richards.
“Life>Death” is a powerful anthem and one of the best tracks on Choice Of Weapon. Reminiscent of a David Bowie song on steroids, “Life>Death” has a powerful hook and a chorus that draws the listener in and guarantees a hit of the repeat button on the MP3 player (or whatever device is being used to play this beauty). With a brilliant solo, stupendous vocals, and a perfect harmonic blend of assorted rock sounds and styles, “Life>Death” is one of the better rock songs that I have heard this year.
“Wilderness Now” is the first song on the album that I didn’t immediately love. Compared to the rest of the solid class of music, “Wilderness Now” is just boring. Astbury’s voice doesn’t sound as pleasing as on other songs, the guitar work is plain and pedestrian, and the overall beat is slow and lacking in creativity or originality. It is the only blemish on an otherwise amazing record.
“Lucifer” makes up for the lacking “Wilderness Now” by bringing back the punch and energy to Choice Of Weapon. A hard rocking, foot stomping, punch in the face reminiscent of a Rob Zombie anthem, “Lucifer” is an energetic tune packed with passion. Astbury’s voice is at its best and Duffy adds some intense guitar work to finish off this fantastic song. “Lucifer” could be the hit that paves the way for a whole new legion of Cult fans.
If you’ve missed The Cult, or if you are seeking a hard rock beauty to add to your stereo this summer, pick up a copy of Choice Of Weapon. You will not be disappointed. With magnificent riffs, fantastic vocals, and a whole lot of power, Choice Of Weapon satisfies as the choice of album for the summer.
Rating: Out of 10
- Honey From A Knife
- Elemental Light
- The Wolf
- For The Animals
- Wilderness Now
- A Pale Horse
- This Night In The City Forever
The Cult Is:
Ian Astbury – Vocals
Billy Duffy – Guitars
Chris Wyse – Bass
John Tempesta – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
The Cult has released a new video, “For the Animals” in support of their up and coming album, Choice Of Weapon, which will be released May 21st internationally, and on May 22nd in North America, via Cooking Vinyl worldwide. You can pre-order Choice of Weapon at Amazon at this link.
The Cult’s new album, Choice of Weapon, will be released May 22nd via Cooking Vinyl Records.
The album track listing is below:
Honey From a Knife
For The Animals
A Pale Horse
This Night in the City Forever
You can check out the new song “Lucifer” by entering your email in the box below!
The new Cult Digital Capsule # 2 is available for purchase now. The Enhanced CD is shipping the first week of December. Order them now in The Cult Capsule Store!
Legendary rock band The Cult prepares to release new music on November 16th via innovative music capsules, heralding a new era of music delivery that will impact the way we hear music for years to come.
Legendary rock band The Cult prepares to release new music on November 16th via innovative music capsules, heralding a new era of music delivery that will impact the way we hear music for years to come. Capsule 2: New Blood Deep Cuts features new songs “Embers” and “Until The Light Takes Us,” live recordings of some of the band’s huge hits and an intimate look into The Cult’s rehearsal space, with a never before seen warm-up performance of “Black Angel.” Rather than revisit the traditional method of releasing a long form CD, the band is pioneering a new way of providing material. Capsules span multiple media formats including vinyl, digital, USB, CD and DVD formats, and can be purchased at: http://cultcapsulestore.com.
Frontman Ian Astbury explains, “We are stepping away from the conventional system. By including new music, live music and film, we are giving our fans the opportunity to own other creative visions. The Capsule is a way of delivering music in bites, quicker and fresher than in the context of an album format.”
Capsule 2: New Blood Deep Cuts’ lead track, “Embers,” will be available exclusively on iTunes beginning November 1st for 2 weeks, while iTunes’ exciting new music-oriented social network site called Ping boasts an exclusive On Demand preview streaming of “Embers, the “Black Angel” rehearsal film and new band photos. For an advanced taste of “Embers”: http://aderra.net/Embers_Preview.html.
On the heels of their wildly successful Love Live Tour celebrating their 1985 groundbreaking album, The Cult announces a new run of U.S. dates on their L’America Tour kicking off October 28th in Chicago. UK dates begin January 18, 2011 in Leeds. Fans are afforded the unique opportunity of leaving the venue each night after a Cult concert with a full recording of the show on a USB flash drive – to relive each incendiary moment.
The Cult is Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitar), Chris Wyse (bass), John Tempesta (drums) and Mike Dimkich (rhythm guitar), who worked with producer Chris Goss (Queens of the Stone Age, Unkle) to bring the new capsule recordings to life.
“Our latest recordings are a mixture of violent guitars, emotive vocal performances with high melody and driving beats,” offers Astbury. “Textured metaphysical rock music for the contemporary music head.”
The Cult U.S. 2010 Tour Dates:
10/28 Chicago, IL @Vic Theatre
10/29 Buffalo, NY @The Town Ballroom
10/30 Sayreville, NJ @Starland Ballroom
10/31 Worcester, MA @The Palladium
11/2 Baltimore, MD @Rams Head Live!
11/3 Hartford, CT @Webster Theatre
11/5 Munhall, PA @Carnegie Mellon University
11/6 Atlantic City, NJ @House of Blues
11/8 St. Petersburg, FL @Jannus Live
11/9 Melbourne, FL @Levelz Night Club
11/10 Orlando, FL @Hard Rock Live
11/12 Atlanta, GA @The Tabernacle
11/13 Charlotte, NC @Fillmore Charlotte
11/14 Raleigh, NC @Lincoln Theatre
11/15 Cleveland, OH @House of Blues
11/17 Grand Rapids, MI @The Orbit Room
11/18 South Bend, IN @Club Fever
11/19 Detroit, MI @The Fillmore Detroit
11/20 Milwuakee, WI @The Rave
The Cult UK 2011 Tour Dates:
1/18 O2 Academy Leeds
1/19 O2 Academy Bristol
1/21 HMV Hammersmith Apollo
1/22 Cambridge Corn Exchange
1/23 O2 Academy Bournemouth
1/24 Nottingham Rock City
1/26 Wolves Civic Hall
1/27 O2 Academy Newcastle
1/29 O2 Academy Glasgow
1/30 Manchester Academy
Do you want to check out some new tunes by The Cult or Endeverafter?
The New York Post has The Cult’s – I Assassin, and Endeverafter’s Road to Destruction available as free downloads, now through Friday, November 9th!