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Monday, December 9, 2013

Album Of The Year 2013: # 15 - 11

Hey folks,

the time has finally arrived. Today I'll start my most important countdown: my album of the year ranking. As I said before, it was an incredible year and every record on this list deserves it to be mentioned there. But before I start I want to clarify some things - just to ensure that nobody is irritated. There are some albums on a higher position, although I gave them once a lower rating. This is for one reason only: time. If I write a review I can give the album a few spins and I also have to be a bit more objective, but I don't have the time to see if an album really grows on me - and this is something some albums did over the last months. These are the ones, which found their way back into my cd-player again and again. So, while choosing the order of this ranking I haven't paid attention to my reviews. It was more a choice from the heart, if you want so. Please keep that in mind. But if you want to talk about numbers I can promise you one thing: every album, which ended up on that list, has at least a review-score from eight out of ten. All the other records didn't made it.  Enough with the talking - here is the first part from the 15 best albums in 2013!

# 15: NIVA - "Magnitude"

With "Magnitude" NIVA delievers a stunning peace of AOR music in the typical Swedish style. You've got the hooks, the harmonies, the remarkable melodies, 80's Keyboards and melodic guitars - simply everything you love about that genre and the songwriting is on a very high level. If you don't need  innovations and you believe in this traditional style, this one is for you! Very well done!

# 14: DION BAYMAN - "Smoke & Mirrors"

I think this has to be the biggest surprise this year - in a very positive way. A totally unknown artist from Down Under takes the best ingredients of Bon Jovi, Richard Marx and Bryan Adams and makes it his own with a stunning result. Maybe this album is a bit too soft for some Rockers, but the songwriting is top notch and Dion don't need to hide from his big idols. If you are into this kind of music you just have to check this album out. After my review (where I criticized the bad promotion) Mr. Bayman launched his own Facebookpage. Please go over there and give this talented man a chance to convince you with his music!

# 13: KROKUS - "Dirty Dynamite"

What can I say about these veterans in Rock? Switzerland has always been a great country for Hard Rock music and it all began with this band. With "Dirty Dynamite" Krokus present their best album in years and it's also the kind of AC/DC album we've all been waiting for, but which they have never written in the last 20 years. I just can say I had and still have lots of fun with this record and its great 70's vibe!

# 12: VOLBEAT - "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies"

Here we have another band, which I ignored over the years, but with this album they totally hit the spot in my opinion. It is a strange, but great mixture of metal in the vein of Metallica, traditional Hard Rock, Country, Blues, old time Rock'n'Roll (Elivs Presley, Johnny Cash) and for sure - modern rock. There are two or three songs on it, which aren't my cup of tea, but the overall concept impressed me very much. I will pay attention to this band in the future.

# 11: SHAKRA - "Powerplay"

Ready for some more Hard Rock from Switzerland? For a long time SHAKRA was a very underrated band, but with each album the commercial success gets bigger and bigger. But this isn't a bad thing, because Shakra stay true to their roots with their punchy, riff-oriented Heavy Rock, which is presented in an amazing production. This is one of the best sounding records this year. Thom Blunier is a true genius when it comes to production and sound. But also the songmaterial could convince we. I can't wait for their next release (I think it will arrive in 2015)!

Watch out for # 10 - 06! Coming very soon!!!

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