Metal

Anthrax – For All Kings (2016)

Anthrax – For All Kings (2016)

‘For All Kings’ not only stands with my favorite Anthrax records – it’s easily the best complete metal album I’ve heard in several years.

Zakk Wylde, “Sleeping Dogs” from Book of Shadows II (2016): One Track Mind

Zakk Wylde, “Sleeping Dogs” from Book of Shadows II (2016): One Track Mind

Zakk Wylde’s “Sleeping Dogs” makes a good promise for ‘Book of Shadows II.’ Here’s hoping the rest of the album delivers on it.

Fred Phillips’ Best of 2015 (Hard Rock + Metal): Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Queensryche

Fred Phillips’ Best of 2015 (Hard Rock + Metal): Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Queensryche

Picking a Best of 2015 list wasn’t easy. A few albums were outstanding, but I sometimes had a hard time finding new music that connected.

Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Was a One of a Kind Legend, Warts and All

Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Was a One of a Kind Legend, Warts and All

Uncompromising, unafraid and utterly cool, the late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister embodied the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.

Queensryche – Condition Human (2015)

Queensryche – Condition Human (2015)

‘Condition Human’ marks the full return of the Queensryche that I know and love.

Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud (2015)

Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud (2015)

In a year that, for me at least, has been largely uninspiring on the music front, Amorphis’ ‘Under the Red Cloud’ is a glittering jewel.

Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

Glenn Danzig has a pretty good history with covers, and ‘Skeletons’ makes a direct reference to that with another Elvis Presley song.

Louis Minus XVI – Kindergarten (2015)

Louis Minus XVI – Kindergarten (2015)

Experimental French quartet Louis Minus XVI’s ‘Kindergarten’ is easier to like because it’s harder to pin down.

Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (2015)

Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (2015)

‘The Pale Emperor,’ more than any from Marilyn Manson in the intervening years, seems like the natural successor to ‘Mechanical Animals.’

Kiss’ return-to-form Sonic Boom was anything but a guilty pleasure for me

Kiss’ return-to-form Sonic Boom was anything but a guilty pleasure for me

Kiss’ ‘Sonic Boom,’ released on Oct. 6, 2009, was packed with hooks, anthemic choruses, and a lifetime supply of innuendo. What’s not to like?