In a strong year for metal releases, I thought many of these records would make my year-end top 10. Close, but not quite. That doesn't mean they're not well worth checking out, though.
Firewind, "The Premonition." Perhaps the most consistent band in the power metal genre. Gus G. should become a bonafied guitar hero.
Warrel Dane, "Praises to the War Machine." He proves he can make solid metal with or without his bandmates in Nevermore.
Avantasia, "The Scarecrow." Finally, an all-star concept project that really works.
Alestorm, "Captain Morgan's Revenge." This catchy pirate-metal piece was easily more fun than anything else released this year.
Extreme, "Saudades de Rock." The funk-rockers successfully morph themselves into a 1970s rock style that really works. Plus, Nuno Bettencourt gets the shred on again.
Hank III, "Damn Right, Rebel Proud." While not as good as his last record "Straight to Hell," this one sees the introduction of more of the hellbilly style he's practiced on the side. (Review to come soon).