Here's a look at some of the songs that made a lasting impact on me this year.
“Bible Black,” Heaven and Hell. The best song they’ve recorded since “Heaven and Hell.”
“Keelhauled,” Alestorm. Just try and resist this melody. It’s impossible.
“Another Way You Can Die,” Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Featuring Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, this is a very metallic, very Savatage-flavored tune. Probably the heaviest in the TSO catalog.
“The Only One Sane,” Saint Deamon. Great riffing, undeniable melody, fantastic song.
“Hold the Heathen Hammer High,” Tyr. I can’t resist the big melody of this tune. I have to crank it every time it comes on.
“Silver Bride,” Amorphis. This song wormed its way into my head within a few days and hasn’t left.
“Six Times Dead (16.6),” Primal Fear. I can’t get enough of the military march chorus of this song.
“A Tap Dancer’s Dilemma,” Diablo Swing Orchestra. A great blend of big band and rock. I wish more of the record were in this vein.
“Floyd,” Lynyrd Skynyrd. The first of two completely non-metal songs on my list. Co-written by John 5, this tune is a great, grooving, creepy hard rocker worth a listen even for hardcore metal fans.
“127 Rose Avenue,” Hank Williams Jr. No metal at all here, but it’s a dark, haunting number that’s easily the best he’s recorded in decades.
“No Halos,” Black Water Rising. Great hook, solid hard rock.
“Last of My Kind,” Alice in Chains. Easily the best song on the new record with a great, raging hard rock chorus.