The Music God’s Best of 2016 Hard Rock Top 30

So, here it is, the FINAL LIST! It’s the granddaddy of them all, The Hard Rock Top 30. I started doing this list almost 7 years ago with a Top 10 and now here we are having expanded!

This list flip flopped a bunch the last week or so, with some late editions coming in that knocked a couple of others off the list. Overall, it was an amazing year for Hard rock and it was extremely hard to choose the final list. There’s still a bunch of other artists that could have easily been here given it being just a bit weaker of a year. I almost could of easily done a Top 50 without much thought.

As always, thoughts/remarks/comments can be left here or emailed to:

30) TEMPT – Runaway

New York based hard band that comes in with a sound that is somewhere between early Bon Jovi and early Trixter. The CD is loaded with super catchy songs that will have your head bobbing along.

29) Major Crush – Trophy Kids

Hard rock with a bit of a modern rock touch to it, it’s catchy with some great driving beats and a bit of a pop edge.

28) The Defiants – The Defiants

Project featuring Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel, and Rob Marchello. It’s got that Danger Danger vibe to it but with a bit more kick. Well written songs featuring lots of fancy guitar work from Marcello.

27) Ted Poley – Beyond The Fade

A great record with lots of the same feel as a Danger Danger record but featuring Ted solo. There’s some ridiculously fun songs on here that have HUGE hooks.

26) The Tip – Sailor’s Grave

The Tip is the type of band that Buckcherry and Hinder WISHES they could be. Taking a page from the playbook of early Aerosmith and then putting some STANK on it, these guys have enough swagger here for ten bands. Want to keep any party raging until 4 in the morning? This is the record that will do it!

25) King Company – One For The Road

Hard rock with some progressive touches to it. It’s got big songs with bigger choruses and great production to top it off.

24) Kee Marcello – Scaling Up

This is one of the records that shocked me most this year. Kee has always been an outstanding guitarist but I’ve never been a giant fan of his vocals. Upon hearing this though, I was shocked just how well this record flowed together. Repeated listens makes me believe that this could almost be Prisoner’s in Paradise, Part 2. I hope to hear lots more like this from Kee in the future.

23) Pretty Maids – Kingmaker

I think we all know what to expect from any Pretty Maids record and this is no exception. Giant sounding guitars with the incredible vocals of Ronnie Atkins. It’s almost shocking that this is ranked as low as it is. It’s just been that good of a year though.

22) Eclipse – Armageddonize

Erik Martensson and crew return with another incredible slab of melodic rock. Full of rockers, great ballads, and super production.

21) Billion Dollar Babies – Chemical God

Hard rock band with lots of melodies and a touch of Wednesday 13 style mixed in.

20) Massive Wagons – Welcome To The World

Massive grooves laced with even bigger vocals and songs with hooks for days. A giant sized record for these guys that should lead to big things in the future.

19) KAATO – Kaato

project featuring Mitch Malloy on guitar, it’s a romp through that old school rock style popular during the golden age of rock with some modern edges slapped on for good measure. Singer Kurt Lowney carries this songs effortlessly and is a name that you should be watching for!

18) Nordic Union – Nordic Union

Erik Martensson and Ronnie Atkins combine for a raging slab of hard rock that was an early favorite. “Hypocrisy” and “21 Guns” are standouts on here.

17) Darkh – A Story Yet Untold

hard from from Praugue that is in the Alice Cooper meets Sister vein. I definitely look forward to more from them.

16) Bryan Cole – Sands of Time

An incredibly well done CD from Pittsburg based singer/songwriter that reminds me of if Michael Sweet sang for Journey. This is only this low on the list because it came in at the very end of cutoff and I haven’t had as much time with it. Given more time to live with this, it could have easily ranked in my Top 5 this year. Someone you might be hearing on the radio show very soon.

15) Apocalyptic Lovers – Redemption, Volume 1

A super rocking CD in the Dokken arena of sound, it’s got big rocking guitars, killer vocals, and the type of songs that stay in your head for hours.

14) Roth Brock Project – Roth Brock Project

A project that was a good surprise as I expected it to be much more AOR sounding than it is. It’s a CD chucked full of head on rockers that will have you grooving hard. Terry Brock sounds in top form here.

13) Tyketto – Reach

Tyketto return with a much heavier than expected CD that “Kicks Like a Mule” to steal one of their titles. If there was any doubt whether these guys still had it in them, this should shut up the doubters, straight away!

12) Jim Crean – Insatiable

This CD is like an 80’s Rock Party in a box. Jim really hits all the marks on this thing with hints of Dio, White Lion, WASP, and more without really ripping any of them off. Featuring a duet with Mike Tramp on the song “Can’t Find My Way”, this CD is classic sounding on every level.

11) Nitroville – Cheating The Hangman

ripping hard rock band featuring Tola Lamont on vocals, she really adds fire to the songs. This band isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel, they’re just trying to get those wheels rolling at 100 mph!

10) Madysin Hatter – Lose Your Mind

Spunk hard rock sung with conviction and fire. Lots of styles on this one that give it great variety.

9) Gene The Werewolf – The Loner

Another Pittsburg based rocker that came out of nowhere to make his mark. This has all of the same qualities that made me obsess of the band The Wild last year. This is 10 songs of uncompromising, in your face, rock and roll that will have rocking your ass off!

8) Jace Pawlak – Promise

huge hook laden AOR tunes in the Fee Waybill/Diane Warren style of songwriting. Jace perfectly blurs the line between where Def Leppard, Richard Marx, and Journey would dwell on the musical spectrum. This record is a superb balance of hard rock playing and melodic style singing.

7) Faithsedge – Restoration

From the opening moments you know this CD is going to be special. lead singer Giancarlo Floridia has managed to once again put together a set of rocking songs that caress your heart while ripping it out at the same time. Accompanied by Tim Gaines, Matt Starr, and Alex De Rosso he’s found a band that can provide the proper kick to these songs and put them over the top!

6) Mitch Malloy – Making Noise

Anyone that knows me knows how much of a fanboy I am when it comes to Mitch’s music, so imagine how giddy I was when an opportunity to interview Mitch for the radio show came this summer! It was like Christmas came months early! We chatted about this fine slab of rock music that takes Mitch back to his early influences and finds him rocking out a far bit more than recently. This is everything you expect from him and more. A perfectly crafted set of tunes that showcase why he’s one of the top guys in Nashville.

5) Catalano – Dark Skies

I don’t think there’s a more over the top rocker on this list than Roxx. Great thing is, he backs it all up with a storming set of hard rock tunes that also find him leading the guitar charge as well. I often here that rock n roll is dead and I reply NOT with guys like this around!

4) Sister – Stand Up, Forward, March!

When I heard this record was coming out, I knew it was going to be amazing. I’ve yet to hear this band do anything that wasn’t. With all the attitude and ferocity of their earlier stuff but with a new added sense of melody, this is, no pun intended, one motherfucker of a record. Melding punk credo with hard rock guitars, this band comes to rip your face off. The song “Let It Bleed” is also something to behold, as it’s a full on Type O Negative style song that is a total change of direction for the band.

3) Michael Sweet – One Sided War

The Stryper singer returns with his heaviest solo record to date. Much like a fine wine, Michael has only gotten better with age. This is exactly what you expect from him: songs that rock with a positive message, a giant bottom end, and crystal clear production

2) deVIence – deVIence

the debut album from these English rockers that is one serious ass record of tunes that will have your fist in the air and your head banging along. Lead Singer Gio is one of the best new voices that I’ve heard this year with a voice that comes in somewhere between sounding like Badlands and Guns n Roses in tone.

This record is full of tunes that a brilliant start to their career and should postition them nicely for a long run in the business. If I was a betting man, I’d be willing to bet you’re going to hear a ton more from this group and that their name will be one you see on Headlines VERY soon!

1) Jim Breuer and The Loud & Rowdy – Songs From The Garage

So, I’m sure that everyone knows Jim as an actor and comedian, but with this record, he proves that he has some SERIOUS metal chops as well! Even with the goofy comedy lyrics throughout songs like “Raising Teenage Girls” and “Be A Dick 2nite”, this record is a serious slab of ass kicking rock n roll. The song “Old School” is a song that any aspiring rocker would be proud to call his own. This record also sounds super ridiculous cranked loud in the car with the windows down! Ultimately, that this rocked so hard from a NON-rocker put this one over the top for #1! Here’s to hoping it’s not the last rock CD that Jim does!

2 thoughts on “The Music God’s Best of 2016 Hard Rock Top 30”

    1. Thanks Mike. Lots of goodies on here to go along with the better known names. All of them are worth the money.

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