The Top 15 Albums of 2007

It’s been another solid year for new releases, hundreds of bands released new albums in 2007 and it’s been very hard to keep up. I missed out on many new releases in many different genres because I spend my hard earned money. That money I put aside for my music fix has to be spent wisely and some bands/albums just fall through the cracks. I’ve started to get the attention of some labels and distributors so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to review more new releases in 2008.

Another factor is availability. Today anything can be bought online but the prices can be too high, sometimes it’s better to save a few dollars by holding off on a European or Japanese import and waiting for the U.S. release. In a few of those cases, some albums released around the world in 2007 won’t be released properly in the U.S. until early 2008 (Night Ranger, Airbourne, Primal Fear).

Looking back on 2007, I noticed that some bands got more of my attention than others and I picked up a lot of new releases from 2006 that I had missed. I only expect more of the same as my Want List grows and my musical tastes expand. The only criteria I followed for my Top 15 was that the album had to be a studio album, not a live record, best of, or covers collection. So here it is, my Top 15 Albums of 2007:


Scorpions - Humanity Hour 1 (2007)Scorpions – Humanity Hour 1

The surprise of the year! The Scorpions experimented enough over the last few years but they planted the seeds with 2004’s UNBREAKABLE for a major comeback, not that they ever went away. I admit that I was apprehensive when I found out Pop Rock guru Desmond Child was aboard but the relationship produced a solid Hard Rock album full of melody, emotion, and attitude. This album has remained in my playlist rotation since it’s release and I haven’t tired of it yet, that’s the mark of a great album. I missed the band when they came to Boston this past Fall but their is a rumored tour with Judas Priest in 2008, that will make HUMANITY HOUR 1 even better. Another surprise was the advertised price ($7.99 at Best Buy) and the exclusive bonus track ‘Cold’. A great album AND value!


Joe Lynn Turner - Second Hand Life (2007)Joe Lynn Turner – Second Hand Life

Very close to being my #1 album of 2007. So close in fact that I’ve had to listen to this and the Scorpions more in the last week to make the final decision. All the songs are strong and the music is a pure blend of classic AOR and Melodic Hard Rock. The songwriting is intelligent and emotional and the vocals are the best I’ve heard in 2007, JLT is in fine voice, probably the strongest of his career…..he just sounds so smooth, so effortless in his delivery. There were also a couple of Rainbow influences that gave the album a classic sound without sounding dated. Like the Scorpions album, there was a lot of value: the U.S. release on Friday Music was $12.99 and included an exclusive track (‘Freedom’s Wings’) and all the European and Japanese bonus tracks.


Saxon - The Inner SanctumSaxon – The Inner Sanctum

THE INNER SANCTUM was the album of the year for me until the Scorpions and JLT released their albums. Saxon are one of my favorite bands and they have consistently produced great albums since the late ’90s, this record is no exception. Saxon blends their current approach of blazing fast Power Metal with their NWOBHM roots and creates an album of ten really great songs. Saxon are elder statesmen in the realm of Heavy Metal but they do things better than many of the younger bands. The focus is on the songwriting and then translating it to the live show. Every one of these songs could be played alongside the classics, that’s how strong they are. Add the bonus DVD to the studio album and it turns into a great package, also one of my favorite album covers of the year.


Great White - Back To The Rhythm (2007)Great White – Back To The Rhythm

A successful comeback by a band no one expected to do anything. After all that has happened, did anyone think that Great White would actually make an album? They did and they made a great Blues based Hard Rock record. Getting the classic lineup back together rejuvenated the writing and getting singer Jack Russell sober made all the difference as he put in probably the best vocal performance of his career.


Icarus Witch - Songs For The Lost (2007)Icarus Witch – Songs For The Lost

One of the best new bands out there playing a cross between NWOBHM and Traditional Metal. This is their second album and it doesn’t suffer from the “sophomore jinx”, this is a solid slab of straight up Heavy Metal. I even like the cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Mirror Mirror’! A band worth watching for the future.


Primal Fear - New Religion (2007)Primal Fear – New Religion

Primal Fear just make good Heavy Metal records…..period. NEW RELIGION has a bit more melody and harmony within the power of their Metal assault, making the album more accessible and diverse. Everytime I hear a new Primal Fear record, I always wonder how vocalist Ralf Scheepers lost the Judas Priest gig to Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Ralf has grown from being complete Halford clone to being one of the best Metal singers alive. Had to pick this up on import in September, the U.S. release is January 2008.


Airbourne - Runnin’ Wild (2007)Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild

I bought into all the hype and rave reviews and I picked this up very late in the year. I was skeptical because I had heard only two songs and I wondered if AC/DC clones could produce a strong album. Everyone likes AC/DC, and with them out of the picture for now, Airbourne has picked up where Angus & company left off. It’s simple bluesy Hard Rock like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and The Angels but with a youthful energy built for party Rock. Had to get this one on import late in the year also because their U.S. distribution starts in January 2008.


3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades (2007)3 Inches Of Blood – Fire Up The Blades

A big thanks to a loyal reader, and devout Metalhead, Rene for pushing me to check out this band. Good thing I listened because 3 Inches Of Blood is a great young band that blends many different styles of Metal into their overall sound. Cam Pipes is one of the better Metal vocalists that can incorporate clean/traditional singing with growls. grunts, and groans. Another young band making their mark.


Ted Nugent - Love Grenade (2007)Ted Nugent – Love Grenade

Terrible Ted came roaring from the woods to deliver his best album in years. Continuing with his gonzo attitude and hunter instinct, Ted took his love of the Blues, added his Hard Rock blend and tongue-in-cheek humor, and built the LOVE GRENADE. Jack Blades’ (Night Ranger/Damn Yankees) produces and co-writes here and does a spectacular job at getting the best from the Nuge. One listen to ‘Girl Scout Cookies’ and ‘Funk U’ and you’ll understand.


Kamelot - Ghost Opera (2007)Kamelot – Ghost Opera

Another end of the year addition and it’s a shame I waited so long, it’s a good album. A little more Progressive and Symphonic than their past Power Metal style but still good. Kamelot proves that heavy music can be intricate and diverse while retaining the power…..I really dig the orchestration and strings and the lush backgrounds. Is Roy Khan one of the most underrated singers in Metal or what? Added value to this one is the bonus DVD on the limited edition.


Megadeth - United Abominations (2007)Megadeth – United Abominations

At first, I wasn’t excited or impressed, Megadeth hadn’t regained my trust from 1999’s RISK debacle even though there had been two decent studio releases since. It wasn’t until mid-May when I saw Megadeth open for Heaven & Hell that I stood up and took notice. It’s having classic Megadeth back with Dave Mustaine more focused than ever.


Helloween - Gambling With The Devil (2007)Helloween – Gambling With The Devil

Helloween were kind of put in the same category as Megadeth because I just couldn’t get into their last two albums: RABBIT DON’T COME EASY (2003) & KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – THE LEGACY (2005). There was too much experimentation and enhancements on those records while the band tried to regain their signature sound and promised fans such. This album was more straight ahead Power Metal that Helloween is known for. Andi Deris puts in a spectacular performance and the band has shown that all the lineup changes of recent years hasn’t disrupted their core.


Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt.1) (2007)Iced Earth – Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt.1)

Hard to believe that this is only Iced Earth’s third album since 1998’s masterpiece SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. It’s also hard to believe that after releasing two very spotty concept records, the band would come roaring back to form with another concept album based on the SOMETHING WICKED theme. Unfortunately, recent lineup changes (Owens out, Barlow back in) and some late year additions to my collection have pushed this album down the list, I had it Top 10 easily up until the last couple of weeks.


Endeverafter - Kiss Or Kill (2007)Endeverafter – Kiss Or Kill

Endeverafter came out of nowhere to deliver solid party time Hard Rock. A blend of classic L.A. Hard Rock with today’s edge, I couldn’t find a bad song. I’d like to hear how the do on their next record.


Masterplan - MK II (2007)Masterplan – MK II

I’ve had this CD since early April and I’m still enjoying it. Unfortunately, it ranks a little lower due to my getting used to Mike DiMeo replacing Jorn Lande at the mic and the fact that many top bands released excellent albums later in the year. Really good Power/Progressive Metal here, hopefully the lineup stays stable.

In case my list wasn’t enough, or you simply don’t agree, some other great Music blogs have listed their Top Albums of 2007:


Bring Back Glam

Hard Rock Hideout

Heavy Metal Time Machine

Imagine Echoes

Layla’s Classic Rock Faves

The Metal Minute

Raise Your Fists

Rock & Roll And Meandering Nonsense

Rock Of Ages (Dave’s Best of 2007)

Rock Of Ages (Bill’s Best of 2007)

26 comments on “The Top 15 Albums of 2007

  1. Interesting choices Steve.

    I haven’t heard that Icarus Witch disc yet. I think Bill at ROA gave that one a favorable review too.

    I still haven’t been able to give Great White’s Back to the Rhythm a proper listen. I may have to give that disc more attention now.

    Masterplan’s MKII nearly made my list, but there are a few discs that I have listened to more since then.

    I still haven’t picked up Uncle Ted’s new disc, but will have to do so. I have a few cuts off it, and seems like a good record.

    I am without a doubt, going to pick up the Primal Fear disc in January.

    Great list! Glad to see we had some of the same picks!

  2. Interesting selections. I liked that Joe Lynn Turner one but not enough to name it in my top 10 and found Icarus Witch okay but not a contender.

    Dave had Great White in his top 10 and Helloween was the only one I had in mine – a surprise really as of all the rock blogs I read I find your tastes closest to mine!

    Some albums there I still need to explore I think!

  3. Seems like we all had a few albums in common but it just shows that the scene is diverse and so are the tastes of the listener. I think we all did a great job putting up our lists and I hope we all continue because it was fun and I read all the sites daily.

  4. Hail Steve. You realy did a great job by giving your opinion of each of your fave album of 2007, and it was nice to see my name in one of them.
    I agree with many of your top 15 list, like the last HELLOWEEN, GREAT WHITE, JOE LYNN TURNER(but still dont know if that one is going to be on my top 25 list because i like the last STAN BUSH or MADMAX albums more, if we talk about melodic hard rock albums), ICED EARTH, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD or SAXON for exemple. GREAT TOP 15 Steve and you made me want to buy ICARUS WITCH album.
    Ohhh and i was also surprised to see the last SCORPIONS album being number 1. Its one of my fave album of the year too but still dont know where to put it in my top 25. I will post my top 25 later on your blog Steve if you dont mind. Thanksssssssss.

  5. My fave 25 albums of 2007 are(only studio albums, no re-release, best of, mini-cd´s or live albums):
    1. LIZZY BORDEN:APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH. This is my fave album of the year. Totaly increible and pure heavy metal the way it should be. Masterpiece.
    2. SCORPIONS:HUMANITY HOUR 1. This one is more modern but the songs are just very good played with a lot of passion.
    3. HELLOWEEN:GAMBLING WITH THE DEVIL. My second wave Andi Deris album with the band(MASTER OF THE RINGS being my fave). Great songs.
    4. GREAT WHITE:BACK TO THE RHYTHM. Great comeback album with songs full with passion.
    5. ROB ROCK:GARDEN OF CHAOS. This was a surprise to me, killer songs.
    6. MERCILESS DEATH:EVIL IN THE NIGHT. Thrash metal old school rules.
    7. WASP:DOMINATOR. Blackie did it again. Great.
    8. U.D.O:MASTERCUTOR. Respect respect.
    9. MANOWAR:GODS OF WAR. If you take of the album those narrations and instrumental tracks then their are still 9 songs left, and those 9 songs bring MANOWAR to number 9 on my list.
    11. 3 INCHES OF BLOOD:FIRE UP THE BLADES. Pure violence and force.
    12. GRAVE DIGGER:LIBERTY OR DEATH. chris did it again, great.
    13. STAN BUSH:IN THIS LIFE. Always delivering great albums.
    14. MADMAX:WHITE SANDS. A big surprise to me because they sound heavy again.
    15. WIZARD:GOOCHAN. An other surprise. Killer heavy metal less underground then before but with great songs that take you to battle.
    16. ICED EARTH:FRAMING ARMAGEDDON. Ripper Owens make this not sounding like a tipical ICED EARTH album but the songs are great.
    17. INTENSE:AS OUR ARMY GROWS. This one sound like old ICED EARTH.
    18. ONSLAUGHT:KILLING PEACE. Great thrash metal comeback album.
    19. SAXON:THE INNER SANCTUM. I dont agree with many of the great reviews on the net but it still deserve to be at number 19.
    20. STORMZONE:CAUGHT IN THE ACT. great nwobhm/heavy rock sounding album. Bring you back in time.
    21. SINNER:MASK OF SANITY. Always releasing good albums.
    23. HUMA:LUCHANDO A MUERTE. Together with HOLD PERSON(not on the list), my fave Spanish heavy metal band at the moment.
    24. CRYSTAL VIPER:THE CURSE OF CRYSTAL VIPER. The way heavy metal should sound in 2007.
    25. MEGADETH:UNITED ABOMINATIONS. 4 or 5 very good songs give me the faith back in this band for the future.
    I had to leave many great bands of this list like MASTERPLAN, NOCTURNAL BREED, VAINGLORY, MUNICIPAL WASTE, RITUAL STEEL, GAMMA RAY, HELIX etc…and also some cd´s that didnt arrive in time to be incluided in this list like ANGEL DOWN by SEBASTIAN BACH or WAR OF THE EIGHT SAINT by STEEL ASSASSIN for exemple.

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  13. Hellmaster – Dragonforce didn’t release an album in 2007 so they don’t belong on this chart. Also, Dragonforce may be good but they aren’t the be all and end all in the Metal World. I have their albums and, while they are good, I can name 10 bands off the top of my head that are better! I will go on record saying I like Dragonforce.

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