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Best Of 2008 - 2008 gdazegod


Same as the others, not in any order but here are some of my selections from the past year of 2008!

All in all, 2008 was a much better year than the previous two or three. Releases in the AOR sub-genre were limited to a handful of spacialist labels. The tried and true of Frontiers, Escape Music, AOR Heaven etc. New labels are starting to appear, such as Eonian Records, NL Distribution, but mostly, good releases surfaced on smaller lesser known labels.

Reissue labels are still going strong. Look at the huge list of product from AOR-FM, Wounded Bird, Retrospect and Rock Candy Records. Surely at this rate, it won't be too long before all the notable unreleased albums from yesterday will have their day in the 'digital sun'. Keep up the good work Bruce, Terry, Sam, Dante and Derek!

Good to see many old-timers back in the groove again. AC/DC, Metallica, Guns N Roses (?), Nazareth, Uriah Heep, Whitesnake, It Bites and Asia all saw releases.. of varying quality.

The issue of piracy still remains a big thorn in the side of record companies. I'm not really sure it touches the AOR sub genre a great deal as many of the releases are on limited supply/print anyway. However, what Torrents and Blogspot sites have revealed, is a healthy interest in older music. Goes to show, some of the best music in this sub genre was released years ago and hasn't been heard by a majority of us yet!

Onwards and upwards for 2009!!!


Best Of 2008

Bullet - Bite The Bullet
Unlike some others, I didn't really warm to AC/DC, as much as I warmed to these OTT clones from Sweden. Mix a little bit of Accept, an outrageous 80's attitude, and a lead singer, who twenty years ago would've fronted Swedish doomsters Candlemass, and you get BULLET!!!!!!! Tremendous album, simplistic, and back to basics stuff. Throughly enjoyable.

Myland - No Mans Land
Has been compulsory listening for me all year. Myland is on the list!!!!

Elevener - When Kaleidoscopes Collide
Another heavily played album all year. Swedish AOR meets Stan Meissner. Lovely stuff.

Anthem - Black Empire
Japanese metallers who appears have never gone away since the late great 80's. A lot of ripper melodic metal with sizzling guitarwork.

Journey - Revelation
Like Jeff, I agree that this deserves to make the top 10. The band introduce a new talent, release three discs as part of their June 2008 Walmart deal, and tour relentlessly during the year. Well done chaps!

Marcello Vestry - s/t
Two more guys who display their talent for all to see. Hopefully they can make this a proper band project, lose the drum machine, and continue the blistering sound as evidenced on this album!

Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls
Pretty amazing album, hard to describe, need to get totally absorbed into it. With lead singer Tommy Karevik, these boys have an ace in the hole!

Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire
I'll admit it.. I'm a fan of these guys. Like Myland, Brother Firetribe is on the list!

H.E.A.T - H.E.A.T
Another compulsory addition to the list. The songs have been around in demo form for a wee while, but to get these on a CD full of awesome songs, and to see this on an indie label (Stormvox) was indeed a victory for the small guys!

Oz Knozz - 10,000 Days And Nights
The absolute bolter in the field for 2008. A very pleasant surprise from Texas, proving once and for all that pomp rock has survived the test of time!

Honorable Mentions

The Bright - In Lucid Dreams
Neat little Texas band with a lot going for them. Lead singer Julie Lange could be a star of the future!

Frozen Rain - Frozen Rain
Finally we got to hear Kurt Vereecke's AOR project out of Belgium. This is the 'Lec Zorn' project for 2008!

House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom
Their follow up to their very good 2006 album. A bit samey sound throughout, but pretty good nonetheless.

Khymera - The Greatest Wonder
Another band that gets better and better. Denis Ward really should put out a solo album of his own!

It Bites - The Tall Ships
Who would've thought? The introduction of John Mitchell who took over from Francis Dunnery was a masterstroke. Look forward to more music from this lot in future.

Work Of Art - Artwork
Classy AOR from Sweden. I found it a bit too generic, would like to see them establish their own identity before I cast further opinion. Still, they are very good at what they do!

New Kids On The Block
Watch out for: Ferras, Ladyhawke, HungryHeart and Echo Jet.

Write Offs

Silent Rage - Four Letter Words
A shame really.. great band otherwise.. I hope they pull a magic rabbit out of the hat!

Sandalinas - Fly To The Sun
A bit of a disappointment really.

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