This is the long-lasting question, right? It is like asking someone “what’s the best heavy metal album of all time?” or “who’s the best guitarist that has ever played with Ozzy?”. These are the questions that concern the vast majority of the die hard metal fans all over the world.

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It’s usual at the end of each year to make a review, a flashback of the previous 365 days. In a year with many great losses for the rock and metal world there were some moments that stood out that of course are not the same for everyone of us. Below, Rockpages.gr team tackles the painful task to come up with the absolute best ten albums and the gig of the year in Greek soil. The lists are all over the place, titles get written and then deleted while everyone is trying to appreciate their impressions and memories…

Finally, just for the shake of a top 10 we rate the editors’ choices with the Eurovision system (No.1=12 points, No.2=11 points and so on) in order to have the final ranking. However, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to numbers, the posirions and the ranking. What matters above all is music! Happy New Year!

1.    Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

 

The band’s performance is flawless and despite the fact that Hammett hasn’t written a single note on “Hardwired…”, he absolutely shines on the album as his guitar solos are undoubtedly impressive. Another characteristic of “Hardwired…” is the fact that there are many scattered guitar riffs throughout the album that sometimes “save” an indifferent tune like “Halo On Fire” as after the 3.00 mark, the song is transformed into a sonic juggernaut due to Hetfield’s and Hammett’s awesome guitar work.

Sakis Nikas

MetallicaHardwired

2.    Fates Warning – “Theories Of Flight”

 

The first thing that is really striking with “Theories…” is the up-tempo character of the majorities of the songs and their aggressive attitude; something quite unusual for Fates Warning. Also, there is a clear optimistic mood and a sense of escapism in most of the tracks while the familiar (for Fates Warning) melancholic climate is present in the majestic prog opus of “The Ghosts of Home”. Ray Alder is perfect behind the mic, Bobby Zarzombek is as stomping as ever on the drums, Joey Vera is tight and groovy as ever while Jim Matheos is flawless and unique. Frank Aresti’s presence is small and discreet…yet always significant!

Sakis Nikas

 FatesWarningTheoriesOfFlight

3.    Rotting Christ – Rituals

 

It is obvious that on this album, more so than ever before, mainman Sakis Tolis prioritized and emphasized on the vibe of each individual composition, to the point of ‘sacrificing’ some of the band’s classic traits in order to accomplish a personal, esoteric vision. ‘Rituals’ is a rewarding result. How many bands can successfully incorporate Euripides, Blake and Baudelaire in their music? What other artist pays tribute to important parts of Greek musical heritage the way Sakis does in ‘Tou Thanatoy’ and ‘The Four Horsemen’?

Romanos Terzis

 RottingChristRituals

 4.    Anthrax - For All Kings

 

“For All Kings” carries on really where “Worship Music” stopped but it is enriched with some modern traces here and there while the pure thrash moments are considerably fewer in number. The albums opens with quite possible the best cut which is called “You Gotta Believe” and it reminds of the good old days. This is classic Anthrax at its very best. The follow up “Monster At The End” might not be of the same caliber or quality level but nevertheless is a remarkable moments which shows Anthrax borrowing influence by Disturbed (in the verse) and late Machine Head (at the chorus).

Sakis Nikas

 AnthraxForAllKings

 5.    Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

 

Californians thrashers are back fiercely after an absence of four years. Modern relentless thrash metal and I have the impression that the degree of technical complexity has increased in the compositions, and this is easy to understand when in the lineup super players like DiGiorgio and Gene Hoglan are involved.

Konstantinos “2112” Konstantinou

 TestamentBrotherhood

 6.    Opeth – Sorceress

 

It would be bizarre, if an artist with such an array of influences and a taste as eclectic as Mikael Åkerfeldt’s would keep on making the same type of music, insisting, among other things, on singing in a very specific and restrictive style. Furthermore, no one could ever accuse him of not having explored or evolved the irresistible progressive – death metal combination that made Opeth famous, in the fullest degree.

Romanos Terzis

 

 OpethSorceress

 7.    Innerwish- “Innerwish”

 

It is a complete work with a perfectly clean and "full" production.  "InnerWish" follows the classic stamp/sound that the band has outlined throughout the years and manages to "walk" into new territories such is heavier style and Epic tunes. My personal opinion, is that the band has made the correct choice with Giorgos as his voice matched the bands' new musical direction.

Jason Kasioptas

 InnerwishST

 8.    Avantasia – Ghostlights

 

Every time Tobias Sammet gets ready to unleash a new studio album with Avantasia, there is naturally a buzz in the metal community as it’s not that often nowadays to be treated with such prestigious releases that feature a parade of special guest stars.

Sakis Nikas

 AvantasiaGhostlights

 9.    Gojira – Magma

 

After 2012’s amazing ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’, brothers Duplantier took their time, and, now living in Brooklyn, searched – and found as it turns out – the way to make their music a little more accessible without sacrificing its particularities. Their mother passed away during the writing process for the new record, and this has given an even more powerful sentimental substance to ‘Magma’.

Romanos Terzis

 GojiraMagma

 10.    Helstar - Vampiro

 

Helstar’s trademark power/thrash outbursts are wonderfully blended with a technical atmosphere that is not tiring at all and takes “Vampiro” to another, higher level! The presence of two new members –Andrew Atwood on guitar and Garrick Smith on bass- has breathed new air to the band while Helstar’s founders Larry Barragan and James Rivera are having the time of their life with the latter being right at home with the whole vampire theme of the album.

Sakis Nikas

 HelstarVampiro

 

 

 

Kostas Voulgarelis


1. Monkey3 - Astral Symmetry
2. Opeth - The Sorceress
3. Black Mountain - IV
4. Hexvessel-When We Are Death
5. Messa - Belfry
6. Goatess - Ii Purgatory Under New Management
7. Witchcraft - Nucleus
8. Wolf People - Ruins
9. Goat - Requiem
10. 1000mods - Repeated Exposure To...

         Καλύτερη συναυλία: Avatarium, The Slayerking        

Yiannis Dolas

1. Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
2. Volbeat – Seal The Deal
3. Apollo – Waterdevils
4. Imperial State Electric – All Through The Night
5. Sunburst – Fragments Of Creation
6. C.O.P. UK – No Place For Heaven
7. Inglorious – Inglorious
8. Maverick – Big Red
9. Mystic Prophecy – War Brigade
10. High Spirits – Motivator

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Οι Turbonegro στο Rockwave Festival

Dimitris Kazantzis

1. Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
2. Epica - The Holographic Principle
3. Marillion - F.E.A.R.
4. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake
5. September Code - Iii
6. Rotting Christ - Rituals
7. Lacuna Coil - Delirium
8. Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight
9. Delain - Moonbathers
10. Operation: Mindcrime – Resurraction

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Scorpions 

Kostas Kounadinis

1. Agatus - The Eternalist
2. Innerwish - Innerwish
3. Helstar - Vampiro
4. Vicious Rumors - Concussion Protocol
5. Attacker - Sins Of The World
6. Running Wild - Rapid Foray
7. Wild Rose - Four
8. Wardrum - Awakening
9. The Defiants - The Defiants
10. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Heir Apparent (Up The Hammers Festival)

Mariza “Crash”

1. Shiraz Lane-For Crying Out Loud
2. Pretty Maids-Kingmaker
3. Toxicrose-Total Tranquility
4. Avantasia-Ghostlights
5. Change Of Heart- Continuum
6. Wild Rose-‘4’
7. Blackrain-Released
8. Phantom 5-Phantom 5
9. Nordic Union-Nordic Union
10. Vega-Who we are

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Nasty Ratz - Sleaze N’ Roll Festival 2016

Kostantinos “2112” Kostantinou

1. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
2. Q5 – New World Order
3. Last In Line – Heavy Crown
4. Kansas – The Prelude Implicit
5. Wolf Hoffmann – Headbangers’ Symphony
6. Anthrax – For All Kings
7. Vardis – Red Eye
8. Fates Warning – Theories Of Flight
9. Hammerfall – Built To Last
10. Eclipse – Armageddonize

Καλύτερη Συναυλια: Dirkschneider – Anvil

Sakis Nikas

1. Metallica – “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”
2. Fates Warning – “Theories Of Flight”
3. Graham Bonnet Band – “The Book”
4. Rick Springfield – “Rocket Science”
5. Helstar – “Vampiro”
6. Last In Line – “Heavy Crown”
7. Innerwish- “Innerwish”
8. Testament – “Brotherhood Of The Snake”
9. Dexter Ward – “Rendez-Vous With Destiny”
10. White Widdow – “Silhouette”

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: White Widdow (δεύτερη μέρα)

Dio Papageorgiou

1. King Crimson - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of

                                  Monkey Mind
2. Hansen & Friends - XXX - Three Decades in Metal
3. Insomnium - Winters Gate
4. Avantasia - Ghostlights
5. Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
6. Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary
7. Evergrey - The Storm Within
8. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake
9. Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
10. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Poo

 

Vaggelis Saridelis

1. Downfall Of Gaia – Atrophy
2. NOFX - First Ditch Effort
3. Rotting Christ – Rituals
4. Opeth – Sorceress
5. Gojira – Magma
6. Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
7. Anthrax - For All Kings
8. Wardruna – Ragnarok
9. Metallica – Hardwired To Self-Destruct
10. Glenn Hughes – Resonate

Kostantinos Spiliotis

1. Metallica - Hardwired...To Self Destruct
2. Megadeth - Dystopia
3. Rotting Christ - Rituals
4. 1000Mods - Repeated Exposure To...
5. Planet Of Zeus - Loyal To The Pack
6. Nightstalker - As Above, So Below
7. Anthrax - For All Kings
8. Russian Circles - Guidance
9. Lamb Of God - The Duke
10. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Smoke The Fuzz Fest

George Terzakis

1. Harakiri For The Sky - III: Trauma
2. Decembre Noir - Forsaken Earth
3. Suidakra - Realms Of Odoric
4. Oceans Of Slumber - Winter
5. Poem - Skein Syndrome
6. Be'lakor - Vessels
7. Evergery - The Storm Within
8. Hatebreed - The Concrete Confessional
9. Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
10. InnerWish - InnerWish

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Oceans Of Slumber, Mother Of Millions

Romanos Terzis

1. Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct
2. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
3. Gojira – Magma
4. Rotting Christ – Rituals
5. Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
6. Dream Theater – The Astonishing
7. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
8. King 810 – La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God
9. Anthrax – For All Kings
10.David Bowie – Blackstar

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Steven Wilson

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Vinnie Vincent is definitely a mysterious figure in rock n’ roll. Basically, his picture should be right beside the term “self-destructive” in every dictionary because it’s really a wonder how such a talented musician is MIA in the last 20 or so odd years. Vincent was not only a charismatic guitarist but also a brilliant composer with a unique sense of melody.

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Blackthorne was a short-lived supergroup that unfortunately, for a number of reasons, didn’t achieve the success that so rightfully deserved and almost right after the release of its debut album “Afterlife” in 1993 it vanished in obscurity! Flash forward 23 years later and Cherry Red Records brings forth the second “lost” album by Blackthorne “Don’t Kill The Thrill” thus we grab the chance to talk with Bob Kulick and Jimmy Waldo; two founding members who shed more light on the case of Blackthorne.
Interview: Sakis Nikas

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Greece was never the most productive country when it comes to the release of hard rock albums. But even in the very difficult period of the 80s, when in order for a Greek outfit to ink a deal with a label was as easy as the winning of the Champions League trophy by West Hum United, some bands made the difference and left behind a bunch of albums that are still considered classic. We are talking about Douglas, Raw Silk and Nok Aout (just to name three of them). Their albums are very hard to find and the younger generations should be satisfied by what floats around in the infinite well of the internet.

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New Long Fest…the biggest underground open-air festival of Greece will open its gates once more this summer. Starting as Mousika Kymata (Music Waves) back in 2005, it has evolved in many ways and for 12th year in the row it calls out for all the fans of hard and heavy sound.

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Most of us like to relax by listening to music or watching movies. So, what better when these two are combined? In this article we recommend movies around our favorite music. First of all, we don’t mean movies that we see a band playing music or movies that have rock/metal soundtrack, because the list goes on and on. Also, not movies in which our favorite musicians appear. This list is personal and has to do with movies that show us musicians, fans, trends of the scene in the year that they are taking place or simply movies made for pure fun. Some of them are best watched with friends and cold beers. Enjoy responsibly! George Terzakis
Note: The list is in chronological order

 

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I read from time to time on the various social media many comments and articles regarding the end of the music industry and the decline of all those colossal labels that once ruled the music world and defined the lives and careers of all the artists worldwide.

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They say that 80s is the love era: I say that’s a more traditional view. In this article, you will not read about my experience of the 80s, since I wasn’t born until 1991! Although I am a 90s kid, musicians like Chris Cornell, Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder never touched me. Music for somebody like me is the reason to leave the house and go out partying all night long. You’re going to dress along with the party mood that you are and you’re going to have an amazing time without feeling sorry or being miserable. I want the lyrics of the songs to talk about sex, drugs, rock n’ roll!

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28 Dec 2015

MUSICIANS PICK...

Published in WILDSIDE
2 comments

The end of the year is connected with the classic “best of” lists for the past 12 months. What we have here is something similar focusing on the best albums released in 2015 (although some went beyond that) as chosen by 24 artists Greeks and international, singers, guitarists, bassists and drummers… We asked them to choose their 5 albums they enjoyed the most (although someone came up with 6! we know how hard it is to chose, so we allowed it!) in random order and here are the results. Enjoy…

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