Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Music Non Stop: 2010 surprises

As the year comes to a close I will go ahead and share with you two bands that almost came out of nowhere with great albums that will most likely be in the Top 10 and one of these looks like it will end up #1.

First up is Charred Walls of the Damned, what a mouthful right? Anyway, this has been labeled a "super-group" by some. Richard Christy left Iced Earth to be a side kick for Howard Stern, cool and weird at the same time I guess. So he decided to go ahead and make an album after about 6 - 7 years. So you put Richard on drums (known for work in Death and Iced Earth), Steve DiGiorio on bass (from such bands as Death, Iced Earth, Sadus, and Testament among others), Tim "Ripper" Owens on vocals (from Iced Earth, Judas Priest, and his solo band), and you round it off with Jason Suecof on guitar. Who? you might ask. Jason is more known for his producing skills Trivium, DevilDriver, God Forbid, The Autumn Offering) than his guitar playing, but he is a fine musician. In fact it's his solo on The Autumn Offering's Embrace the Gutter that made me pick up the album.

Ok so onto the album. What can I say... this is the album that Iced Earth should have released after The Glorious Burden. I don't mind the continuing of the Something Wicked Trilogy, but in terms of music, this is what Iced Earth could/should have sounded like. I mean it shouldn't surprise anyone, look at that line-up, 3/4 of them played in Iced Earth. The music is crisp and beautifully played. Ripper does a great job here. Let me say this, I am by no means a fan of Ripper. He's good. His best album for me was TGB because he showed some variety and wasn't trying to copy Halford (not his fault either). His solo stuff was average. But here he shines again. It's enough of the mid-range and enough of the high stuff for me. I love this album. And it came as a welcomed surprise when most bands are starting to sound alike, these guys stand out. Check out their Myspace, HERE.

Next up is Blaze Bayley. He of course came from Wolfsbane and more known Iron Maiden. He got screwed in Maiden and was forced out after two albums. So when I heard stuff from his solo debut I was shocked. I was so much better than Maiden, it was up there with Bruce Dickinson's solo material. Here is the lead track from the debut;

awesome. Anyway, the follow-up was good as well, but their 3rd album was pretty bad. I gave up on the band when everyone left. So when they released The Man Who Would Not Die, I didn't look at it (big mistake). This year came Promise and Terror. I caught the lead track and video and was instantly hooked. I sounded like it was right off the earlier albums.

The album is full of great tracks. God of Speed has one of the best riffs I have ever heard in a song and Comfortable in Darkness sounds like it was off of Iron Maiden's X-Factor, dark and brooding. This is a great album and it's great to see Blaze get some credit for it. Check out his Myspace, HERE.

Just a couple of surprise albums this year and there is one more, but not as good as these. Top 10 is just around the corner.

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