The Best Heavy / Melodic Metal Album

1.  Accept - Blind Rage 228
2.  Grand Magus - Triumph And Power 110
3.  Grave Digger - Return Of The Reaper 77
4.  A Sound Of Thunder - The Lesser Key Of Solomon 36
5.  Slough Feg - Digital Resistance 32
6.  Wolf - Devil Seed 29
7.  Striker - City Of Gold 25
8.  Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls (write-in vote) 23
9.  Skull Fist - Chasing The Dream 21
10.  High Spirits - You Are Here 17
11.  Portrait - Crossroads 15
12.  Allen/Lande - The Great Divide (write-in vote) 10
Total votes:
684




A Sound Of Thunder - The Lesser Key Of Solomon

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With four albums released to their name in rapid yearly succession, A Sound Of Thunder demonstrate an obvious creative spark and enthusiasm in heavy metal. In 2014 their efforts in The Lesser Key Of Solomon continue to combine power, progressive and hard rock elements into a dynamic and hooky heavy metal record.

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Accept - Blind Rage

When Accept embarked upon their comeback venture six years ago, they really put their backs into it. Bristling with the same kind of energy that made them a pillar of outstanding heavy metal once before, Accept give us Album #3 of one of the most brilliant second winds a band could wish for. Look at that cover. Does that look like the cover of an album that came here to screw around and not kick any ass? No, it sure as hell doesn't. These riffs will destroy you and these catchy choruses will never leave your head.

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Grand Magus - Triumph And Power

Unleashing yet another wilful set of doom tinged heavy metal cuts in their 2014 effort Triumph And Power, the Swedes of Grand Magus delivered their strong Viking spirit and hearty rhythms in fine form, all with added folk elements to emphasise their position as kings in the Scandinavian scene.

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Grave Digger - Return Of The Reaper

The album title says it all - Grave Digger have returned gloriously to form with this, their 17th album (incredible, isn't it?). Return Of The Reaper brings back some raucous, roaring energy and thrashy aggression that might have waned a bit over previous albums, with Chris Boltendahl sounding as always like he swallowed a chainsaw, and tracks like "Season Of The Witch" and "Grave Desecrator" piling onto the legend of Grave Digger. With a crushingly powerful intro to kick off this exercise in metal mastery, Grave Digger's latest effort is certainly a highlight of their new millennium career.

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High Spirits - You Are Here

Incredibly optimistic, confident, and just plain fun, You Are Here is a magic spell that's gonna change your life. Composed, arranged, and performed by Chris Black, this hard rock opus is filled to the brim with soaring-vocal anthems and headbanging riffs. A pupil of many sounds, Mr. Black is clearly focused in it's direction and aims to please. With it's rockin' catchy grooves, we have an album designed to bring people together and celebrate what Heavy Metal is all about.

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Portrait - Crossroads

Remember when black metal was in its infancy, and Mercyful Fate were the coolest kids on the playground? So do Portrait, evidently, which is why they've taken the opportunity to give us yet another haunting series of first-wave-black-metal-style powerhouse hymns. Fronted with sky-piercing, ghostly screeches, backed by a cracking, lively rhythm section, and middled by mysteriously mercyful riffs, Crossroads delivers some of the strongest and most memorable anthems of 2014.

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Skull Fist - Chasing The Dream

You can almost hear the hair. Let these helium hooks and Crüe-cut licks transport you back to the years when speed metal bands roamed the earth, seeking out metal things to valiantly be metal whilst doing. But there's more to these fine fellows than nostalgia, and tracks like "Hour To Live" and "Mean Street Rider" prove that Skull Fist know how to write some lean, mean heavy metal. Breakneck speeds, phenomenal vocals, and vicious instrumental power - they've got the formula down pat.

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Slough Feg - Digital Resistance

The daunting task of delivering unique yet fittingly traditional heavy metal in this day and age is something that the Americans in Slough Feg never seem to have trouble achieving. Their ninth record in Digital Resistance is no exception, with its proficiency for trailblazing tracks that leave their mark in distinguishable riffs and a sci-fi theme.

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Striker - City Of Gold

If there's one thing more satisfying than seeing the old bands releasing quality albums, it's seeing the young ones taking the flag and claiming it. Striker continues with its brand of energetic and well executed heavy metal. Just when we thought Armed To The Teeth was the pinnacle, City Of Gold comes along showing that the art of air-soloing ain't dead yet. The elder gods of heavy metal will be pleased with this offering, and so shall you.

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Wolf - Devil Seed

"Wolf." Such a perfect name for a band of this style and caliber - simple, straightforward, vicious, memorable, and sharp as hell. Devil Seed is loaded with supremely catchy and blistering tunes, all reminiscent of the good, ol' days, and yet drenched in a youthful exuberance that makes them come to life amazingly. Songs like "Shark Attack" and "Surgeons Of Lobotomy" sit comfortably at the top of Wolf's catalogue, and at the forefront of 2014's heavy metal crop.

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