Every year the same thing again: people start to write up their favorite releases of the year. And every year we also indulge ourselves into these kind of subjective endeavors. We collect the top 10 releases of all of our writers and photographers and put them together to calculate the ultimate GRIMM “Albums of the year” list. Those among us who have rather unique lists tailored to their personal flavor pallet, tend to write out a motivation of why they think these belong to some of the best releases of the year. Here is Annet’s list, counting down from 10 to 1:
10. Windrose – Wintersaga
They got themselves on my radar by covering ‘Diggy Diggy Hole’, a few words that a guy who was streaming the game Minecraft was singing while he, you guessed it, was digging a hole. The song got made and covered by multiple bands, including Windrose. They completely threw everything they had in it and made it a song of their own. The rest of the album is just like that. Songs that are made by dwarves who can play their instruments very, very well. Do you know where they are also good at? Digging holes. Read the full album review here.
9. Skillet – Victorious
Christian rock band Skillet blew me away this year with Victorious. Single ‘Legendary’ pumped us up for the whole album and when it came, it got received with both hands. An album that pumps you up and gets you ready for whatever there is to come. You know that there’s always someone there for you. For some people it may be God, for some people it may be your parents, your best friend or maybe your pet. Just know you are not alone and you have the power to achieve what you want to. Read the full review here.
8. Spoil engine – Renaissance Noire
Something local and something good. This one is heavy and makes you mosh on the spot. Whether you’re at home, at work, or at the grocery store. Everybody will know what’s playing on your headphones. It’s loud, it’s clear, it’s the new album from Spoil Engine. Read the full album review here.
7. The New Roses – Nothing But Wild
Done with your daily dose of negativity and done with dragging yourself though the same shit every day? Well, listen to this album. It will give you the courage to break your routine and get in your car and drive it to who knows where. It also has songs about love and heartbreaks, or… just life. In general, this album gives you the feeling that you are on top of the world and you decide what happens with your life. The truth is, you already are. You just need to realize it. Read the full album review here and our interview with vocalist Timmy Rough here.
6. In Flames – I, The Mask
Melodic metal that hits like a rock. In Flames always seems to make music that just makes a huge impact. This album talks about modern times. The role that technology has in our lives, being stuck inside yourself, breaking free of yourself and frustration. This album has a really clear message, but what this album does to you, depends on how you take it. Read the full album review here.
5. Sabaton – Great War
History teacher Sabaton is back to teach us about the great war this time. It’s a classical Sabaton album. Nothing new on it than what we are used from them. Why is this album in the list then? Well, I started listening to this album after I saw them performing live on TWO main stages at Wacken Open Air in Germany at the same time. They just gave one big blast of sound and show and you couldn’t do much more than enjoying it and join the party. This album reminds me of that show. Read the full album review here and our recent interview with Pär Sundström here, here and here.
4. Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings
An album that got a lot of critique, because it supposedly should have lost its power. Yeah, it is not as though on the heavy guitars, but this one is pure. Pure as a heart can be, served in an album right through your ears into your brain. Lead singer Noora Louhimo’s voice is so clean and raw at the same time. This is a heavy metal album to take your time for, not one just for five minutes. Take your time to absorb some of its power. Read the full album review here.
3. While She Sleeps – So What?
A realistic one this time. The first song on the album, Anti-social, tells you: ‘I’m not anti-social, I’m anti bullshit’. The video for this song shows what this song is saying. Wake up people. Don’t live on your screens, don’t believe what everybody is saying and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and others.
A very strong melodic metal core album. Screams that hit though the bone, clean vocals that make you think and music that build a wall meant to be broken (get the pun)? Read the full album review here.
2. Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex
Gloryhammer‘s third album. Again a fantasy album on this list with again a great story. A totally different one than for instance Avantasia‘s Moonglow though. This story is the followup of the previous two albums. Main character Angus Mcfife travels through time and space to stop the evil wizard Zargothrax. Which he does, but at the cost of his own life… This album leaves a huge question mark of what the next album will be like. Will Angus come back to life? Will Zargothrax rise again? I’m afraid we will have to wait for about four years to know the answer to that.
If you are into power metal and like fantasy stories, this is the album of the year for you. Read the full album review here.
Moonglow is the first album that I scored 10 out of 10. It just hits all the marks. It has a beautiful story line about a creature that doesn’t fit in the mainstream society. He tries to escape into his own fantasy world. His ‘magic world in sepia’, as the song Lavender calls it. The album is so strong that it pulls you into this magic world and just never lets you go. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and surround yourself by people who are just as crazy as you are. Or at least, that’s the message that I take out of this. Read the full album review here.