The Best Hard Rock Album

1.  Nightingale - Retribution 159
2.  Blues Pills - Blues Pills 122
3.  Slash - World On Fire 102
4.  Earth - Primitive And Deadly 93
5.  Freak Kitchen - Cooking With Pagans 35
6.  Ace Frehley - Space Invader 25
7.  Siena Root - Pioneers 11
  Spectral Haze - I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains 11
9.  AC/DC - Rock Or Bust (write-in vote) 10
10.  Bask - American Hollow 9
11.  The Grape And The Grain - The Grape And The Grain 8
Total votes:
634




Ace Frehley - Space Invader

By far the most senior nominee in this particular category (and, truth be told, probably in the entire MS Awards), the legendary Ace Frehley nonetheless packs a punch with the second installment in his return to the hard rock world. Boasting the same lightning licks and red-hot guitar-playing that made him great in his old Kiss days, with a new garage rock essence reminiscent of classic Alice Cooper that keeps him safe from the ravages of over-production, Ace lets us know with Space Invader that we still have to respect our elders.

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Bask - American Hollow

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Bask's music is as colourful as the album cover. They conjure up a very particular psychedelic vibe throughout and their dreamy arrangements are enough to reel you in. Once you enter that sweet spot, it's impossible to leave. Innovative and overflowed with feeling, American Hollow channels country and stoner rock, and puts Bask on the map in a big way.

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Blues Pills - Blues Pills

No two ways about it - this is a soulful, bluesy, psychedelic monster of a record, best enjoyed in conjunction with a lava lamp and the year 1970. Led by a stalwart frontwoman and filled out by a gang of groovy mules fresh out of the time machine, Blues Pills play it so old school that they make Black Sabbath look like a bunch of crazy, little punks. If you've ever wondered what would happen if Janis Joplin sang for Jimi Hendrix and they hijacked Led Zeppelin's rhythm section... now's your chance to find out.

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Earth - Primitive And Deadly

Earth have consistently proven themselves as never being comfortable with one identity, and Primitive And Deadly is no exception to this trend. This album taps into the bluesy, Western-tinged psychedelia previously explored with The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, but in a much darker, heavier aspect. The addition of guest vocalists, something Earth haven't utilized in quite a while, adds a fresh and ambitious new dimension to the music, helping to make this album one of the most engaging of the past year.

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Freak Kitchen - Cooking With Pagans

Holy Cow! Cow-abunga! The Swedish crazy hard-rocking trio is back on track with new moosic. Less twisted than the album before it, rather non-linear in song structures, with exceptional guitar-work by IA, and thoughtful, insightful and often satirical lyrics, Cooking With Pagans is vintage Freak Kitchen. It's hard rock and great fun for the intelligent type. Goody Goody!

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Nightingale - Retribution

A new Nightingale album has taken a very long time to see daylight but Swanö and company are back with an album that is as much a Nightingale album as any previous one; the sound and the atmosphere of the album stays true to the course set in the past. Maybe not so original music-wise but strong lyrically and polished to completeness, Retribution is probably their most solid release to date.

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Siena Root - Pioneers

They may not be pioneers but making a deep bow to the golden age and monsters of heavy rock and dropping their psychedelic aspect, Siena Root have crafted an album that rocks good in vein of the sounds of old. Signature Deep Purple sounds, occasional Black Sabbath riffs, airy The Doors atmosphere, Uriah Heep rocking - for sure you'll find more similarities with other's of the time, and you'll not be disappointed.

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Slash - World On Fire

Following the success of 2012's Apocalyptic Love, the formula doesn't change: Slash's well-known guitarwork, Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy's versatile vocals and the energy brought by The Conspirators once again create a high-speed, thrilling hard rock fun ride. Slash still has it. Whatever it is.

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Spectral Haze - I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains

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There's been quite a steady revival in the areas of space and psychedelic rock in recent years, and the newcomers in Spectral Haze are looking to carve a mark on it. They succeed triumphantly, with a groovy, relaxing atmosphere topped off by all the usual tricks of the style. Riffs hypnotize you while electronics send you into a spiritual daze, both of which can easily make you think this album was released back in the early 70s if you're not careful.

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The Grape And The Grain - The Grape And The Grain

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The Grape And The Grain makes blues-drunk rock of the variety that screams "America." Not enjoying this kind of thing is, therefore, anti-American, and no one wants to be that.

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