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Best Of 2012 - 2013 (Gdazegod)

ARTICLE: Best Of 2012 (Gdazegod)
YEAR: 2013


Well 2012 has finally passed us by, and yet with the dreaded doomsday date of 21 December 2012 now beyond us, the world still looks as if it needs a crisis to shake off the old school Cabal that appears to be clinging on for dear life. And by 'dear life', that means clinging on to 'YOU'; taking your energy, your thoughts, your dreams, your resources and your money. Can you imagine what the planet would be like without these vampire sucking hordes hanging onto your coattails? From banks, to real estate agents, to local Government, to Internet Providers, IRS and other tax agents around the world. You get the picture.. And just as I write this, the USA is about ready to toss itself off the Fiscal Cliff, all the while President Obama awards a payrise to those in Congress! You have got to be freaking me!! Talk about irresponsible!

This might seem a little out of the ordinary when wrapping up the year 2012, but it's all part and parcel of what was a defining year all round. Perhaps not so in the world of melodic rock and AOR, which rarely showed signs of artistic difference and off-the-wall creativity. Unfortunately, I will have to say that the year was mainly filled by what can only be described as 'cookie-cutter' type releases. A handful of artists proved to be different, but they were far and few between.

For me, the scene was best represented by artists in the crossover prog/melodic rock sub-genre. There was lots to like here. Dockers Guild, It Bites, Rush, Marillion, Flying Colors, Presto Ballet and many more. Old dinosaurs continue to be chipped away at; like sandstone exposed to the caustic winds of time, while younger new generation bands like Sturm Und Drang, De La Cruz and Wigelius keep flying the 80's flag despite not even being born back then! Go figure!

Every year we seem to have this discussion/round-up concerning the state of affairs toward pirating, fileshares, torrenting, buying CD's etc. It's an old hoary chestnut that won't go away, nor is there any resolution on the horizon. Sure, Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload empire went down like a house of cards earlier in the year. But so too did all the Prosecutors and Law Enforcement authorities in both New Zealand and the USA, who got made to look like a bunch of Keystone Cops during proceedings. Lots of porkies and fibs were told right across the backline, including NZ's Prime Minister and Deputy PM, plus all the idiots back at the FBI. The less said about Zionist Hollywood and the RIAA the better, but they had their fists right up inside stirring things up, that much is true. All in the name of 'harvesting your disposable income'.

On the GLORYDAZE front, it was a tough year personally because I did not have a lot of spare time to commit to reviews. I'm sure the same could be said for the other members of the team. Though we finally managed our 5000 articles target right on the finish line of 31 December 2012, we probably could've got there a lot earlier if we all had spare time. But considering this is just a hobby, I'll take 5000 and move on from there. We are heading into our 14th year of existence (come May 2013) so hooray to all of us!

To be fair, I'm actually getting more satisfaction out of reviewing (and catching up on) past years material. There are a few gaps in some artists discography which we will fill during the next year. Bands like Thin Lizzy, Savatage, Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull and Michael Stanley Band are some examples.

So what about my top 10 for the year. Admittedly, I had a hard time coming up with 10 (which I'm sure is something Alun and Reyno can agree on.. lol!), but here they are, in no particular order, apart from the last two in the list.

In Summary

Rush - Clockwork Angels
During the year, I became a fan of the Steampunk brigade. If you don't what it is, do a Google look-up. It is actually a sub-genre of sci-fi. If you've watched TV shows like Sanctuary, Warehouse 13 and Firefly, then you'll know what I mean. Canadian band Rush decided to go down this path with their 'Clockwork Angels' album, with sci-fi writer Kevin Anderson tasked with the job of creating a storyboard for the album's concept; and it worked a treat. One of Rush's better albums in recent times, even if it took 3 years to get to the market.

Sonic Station - Sonic Station
The west coast sub-genre is still hanging on by the barest of margins, and still has its share of loyal followers. The Sonic Station CD was one of the better releases in this genre, perhaps since the 2010 offering by State Cows. The mix of female vocalists such as Marika Willstedt and Tove Lo along with main man Alexander Kronbrink resulted in a quite beautiful album. I hope Frontiers can be persuaded to throw some more $ at Kronbrink for CD#2.

Presto Ballet - Relic Of The Modern World
Anytime this band releases something, I get interested. The other outfit who excite me just as equally is Athur Offen's Flag. No disappointments here, another great old-school prog/pomp/melodic rock offering.

Gene The Werewolf - Rock N Roll Animal
It was all fun and games with this entertaining Pittsburgh outfit. Goodness knows, our favourite sub-genres of rock could use more bands like GTW to spread the humour around. 'I Only Wanna Rock N Roll' was a just a great song all round wasn't it? Yeah!!!!!

Eclipse - Blled And Scream
I don't think this album would have missed many Top 10 lists around the world. Pure shredding hard rock from Mr Martensson and co. Attitude meets firepower.

Blessed By A Broken Heart - Feel The Power
A sure fire surprise to see these guys on my list. Released back in January 2012, this former hard-core band from Canada added a whole dose of sugar for their hard hitting but mostly melodic 'Feel The Power'. It certainly got me interested, the album containing some terrific tunes.

H.E.A.T - Address The Nation
These young Swedes continue to impress, and with new singer Erik Gronvall, they are on the up still. Ten tracks of crisp, pure AOR. Can't wait for the next one.

Crazy Lixx - Riot Avenue
I had a good opportunity to listen to a bunch of glam/sleaze melodic rock during the year. Crazy Lixx take the award with a solid bunch of hard whacking tracks, and in a year where Reckless Love were on vacation, It's good to know the Lixx boyz delivered the goods.

And onto the top two albums for me..

Lionville - II
This album stuck with me for weeks on end. From the start to finish, a gorgeous record that is not too fat nor too lean. Some wonderful songs here, and with Lars Safsund singing his arse off on Stefano Lionetti's well-written material, there was only ever going to be one result. Sensational!

Dockers Guild - The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1 The Age Of Ignorance
Well, if Lionsville stuck with me for weeks on end, then Dockers Guild stuck with me for months on end. 3 months to be exact; after I bought the CD did I finally get around to reviewing it. The album is BIG on everything! Amazing storyline and concept, great players and performances all round. Bombastic doesn't even do the album justice! I wish more bands could do stuff of this quality.

The year wouldn't be complete without acknowledging the likes of Derek Oliver, Dave Reynolds (c/- Rock Candy), Georg Siegl @AOR Heaven, the good folk at Yesterrock, FNA Records and Eonian Records for continuing to amaze us with reissues that many of us are finally managing to remove off our digital wants lists. From Rock Candy, the Roadmaster, Dakota, Angel and SPYS reissues were heaven sent. AOR Heaven got their mits on that rare Roq Royale reissue, so too Bricklin, Roxus and Marchello.

It's too early to tell, but new forthcoming releases from Sweden's Taste and De La Cruz from the Sunshine Strip of Queensland Australia are a couple to look out for. I'm also hopeful that former VXN singer Sherrie Marginean will get her solo album out into the market, and I'm looking forward to reviewing the forthcoming Vega album, even if pre-releases are already out there on Blog/Torrent land.

As always, I'd like to pay a special thanks to the regulars: Eric Abrahamsen, Alun Thomas, Chris Harper, Dave Reynolds, Lee Bradfield, Kelv Hellrazer for their contributions during the year.

Of note, a big thanks go to Derek Oliver (Rock Candy), Birgit Schwanke (Yesterrock), Sebastian Eder (Music By Mail), Gregor Klee (Avenue Of Allies), Paul Rutland & Kelv Hellrazer (AOR BLVD), Dave Tedder, the Gonzo Multimedia team, the Frontiers team and George Siegl (AOR Heaven) for all the promos this year. If I've missed anybody, a big thanks to you too!

May we all rock on into 2013!

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#1 | tompa on January 01 2013 14:19:15
Agree totally about Presto Ballet, they sound great and they make great music. If you're into the "old" sound. Haven't felt inclined to try any of the other albums apart from Rush, who I for some reason just can't get into anymore.
#2 | swazi on January 01 2013 17:33:56
And I completely agree to the Docker's Guild CD. Amazing stuff! It will take the #1 position in my top 10 list this year.
#3 | sabace on January 01 2013 19:28:08
I have'nt heard any of them!
#4 | Nick C on January 01 2013 23:02:13
Steampunk seems to be taking off doesn't it. I'd never heard of the term until a few years ago but I subconsciously was already a big admirer of it for many years. The fact that one of my favourite authors when I was small was Jules Verne and many of his stories lend themselves to the fact one of my fave films The Fabulous World of Jules Verne by Karel Zeman is a pretty early example of the genre in cinema - took me years to find a decent copy on DVD (and a DVDR at that!). But films like Metropolis and Shapes of Things to Come (although the latter could be termed dieselpunk I guess) were signposts along the way. I love stuff like that...alternate tech in the wrong timeframe as such...don't get your steampunk mixed with your dieselpunk upsets people with nothing more to worry about haha! Me? Screw it I just love the off kilter tech/Sci Fi not bothered about labels.

Out of your list and Erics I only have the Rush album....looks like I'm out of the loop a bit, but then again was I ever in it Sad I was never a real finger on the pulse guy...gonna have to check a few out at some point.
#5 | Eric on January 01 2013 23:12:04
It's a cool scene and my first exposure visually was the dazzling 1995 French film 'City of Lost Children' which is worth checking out. Rush has never really been my cup 'o tea, but I might look into 'Clockwork Angels' after all.
#6 | Nick C on January 01 2013 23:21:37
City of Lost Children is fantastic! I have the DVD but it has this awful overdub on ... there is a version with just subtitles which is the one I need to get.
#7 | gdazegod on January 02 2013 13:17:14
I've just sat back and watched 'The Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow', after pulling a full day doing GD stuff whilst on holiday. Not quite steampunk, more comic book, but loved it nonetheless, except for Gwyneth Paltrow's annoying character..
#8 | Nick C on January 03 2013 12:48:53
Sky Captain is Dieselpunk I believe...I love the robots in that one.
#9 | gdazegod on January 03 2013 12:50:25
Thanks Nick. Dieselpunk it is.. lol!
#10 | englandashes on January 13 2013 21:17:14
I think I really need to get the Dockers Guild, totally passed me by for some reason in 2012, on the list it goes.
#11 | swazi on January 13 2013 22:02:14
Oh yes, my friend! PRONTO! Smile
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