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  STEVE GÖLDBY'S BEST OF 2016

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Words: Steve Göldby



It's that time of year again and what a year it has been, and now it's time to start publishing the Best Of 2016s from our key people and on 31st December we'll be announcing the end result, one winner from each category. Here's Steve's Best Of 2016s...

BEST BAND: MOTÖRHEAD

steve goldby

So they haven't played a gig or released a new studio album but it just couldn't be anyone else for Best Band Of 2016. They've been the most prominent and the most talked about band this year. Saxönhead brought it all home to us just how much this rock'n'roll institution meant and Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons brought it home just how much they will continue to mean and in between times, the tributes were like nothing ever seen before. The Bomber flew for the last time at Wacken, Mikkey landed a plum gig with the Scorpions and the train kept a rollin', all night long. It will never stop and the name will never die. Motörhead for life. Lemmy forever.

2. AMON AMARTH

An astonishingly good album, an amazing tour, an iconic gig at The Roundhouse, laying waste to Download on a wet Sunday lunchtime and just the most glorious year ever for the best Viking Metal band around. They could easily become the most successful Death Metal band in history if this upward trajectory continues and I'm backing that to happen.

3. SAXON

A new live offering, a new box-set, new videos and more for Britain's favourite road warriors. Biff has become the elder statesman of British Heavy Metal and we couldn't have a better figurehead. He handled Lemmy's passing with class and dignity when the world was looking to him for leadership and the man deserves all the respect on the planet. And he brought Fast Eddie back in from the cold too. Hail Saxon. Long live King Biff.


BEST GIG: SAXON/FASTWAY/GIRLSCHOOL: SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON

steve goldby

What a night this was. It was like all the posters that were on my bedroom wall when I was a kid had suddenly come to life. Girlschool were utterly magnificent, Fast Eddie was superlative after some years out and Saxon just completely smoked it. There were many special memories aside from the music too and the spirit of Lemmy was ever present. "I'm doing this for Phil and Lem," Eddie told us at soundcheck and when he came back on stage to play 'Ace Of Spades' with Saxon, the roar of approval was enough to wake the dead. Not just gig of the year, one of the gigs of a lifetime.

2. ORPHANED LAND: CAMDEN UNDERWORLD, LONDON

If like me, before this night, you have only seen Orphaned Land in the bigger venues as a support act, then make sure you get to one of their headline gigs in a smaller venue because it's a completely different experience when they are in control of their own sound and have their own audience, and what a multi-cultural audience it was too, encompassing every colour, creed, race, nationality and religion you can name. "I'm not closing my eyes, there is a problem, but what I do, I take a Palestinian band to tour with me and we get the Metal Hammer award, I share it with them," said Kobi Farhi before he took to the stage. This modern age visionary is singularly demonstrative of the power of Heavy Metal so more power to him. Utterly and totally inspirational.

3. ICED EARTH/ENSIFERUM: ELECTRIC, BRIXTON, LONDON

A dream billing for me and both bands made a special night of it, Ensiferum by playing a totally unexpected setlist for their second 2016 gig in London and Iced Earth by not trading on past glories, instead reaching out to the future and asking a question of heaven. Both bands were the best I can ever remember seeing them and both bands delivered sets of total quality, filled with the pride and passion that put them where they are. Iced Earth are future major festival headliners while Ensiferum are primed to go from strength to strength. Glory beckons for both.


BEST ALBUM: AMON AMARTH: 'JOMSVIKING'

steve goldby

"Viking ships come out of the mist, ominous sight..." Amon Amarth came of age with their tenth studio album. It's hard and heavy alright but there's a tremendous story behind it, some amazing songs and some of the best arrangements by a Death Metal band ever. OK, the middle part of 'At Dawn's First Light' is sampled from Muse's 'Knights Of Cydonia' but they score more than ten out of ten for the rest so we can overlook that. It's easy to pick album of the year as it's the one you've played the most and the one you sing walking down the street the most. 'Jomsviking' was released in March and I'm still annoying the neighbours with it nine months later.

2. SUIDAKRA: 'REALMS OF ODORIC'

SuidAkrA released their landmark album, 'Book Of Dowth', four years ago and two albums later, 'Realms Of Odoric' joins 'Book...' as a featured release in the SuidAkrA catalogue. 'Pictish Pride' would be a top contender for song of the year if we had that category and this album of mixed delights is one that is sure to reverberate over a period of several years. A masterpiece.

3. SKÁLMÖLD: 'VÖGGUVISUR YGGDRASILS'

Iceland's finest absolutely excelled themselves here with their finest offering to date, a nine track opus of pure Viking Folk Metal. On first listen, 'Vögguvísur Yggdrasils' is a hard hitting, driving, brutal affair but once you start to appreciate the subtleties within, you're in for a rich listening experience with anthemic, powerful and memorable tunes. All nine single word titles are a joy to behold and Skälmöld have upped their game majestically with their new album.


BEST FESTIVAL: BLOODSTOCK

steve goldby

Bloodstock 2016 was simply awesome, every single bit of it. Great people, great organisation, great beer and great, great non-stop Heavy Metal from Thursday afternoon until Monday morning. Gojira were the top band while Behemoth and Venom were outstanding and Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons got Dee Snider up to pay tribute to Lemmy. Dee took his twisted sisters on to a British stage for the final ever time on the Saturday and these are just some of the highlights of what was one simply amazing festival.


BEST VIDEO: AMON AMARTH: 'AT DAWN'S FIRST LIGHT'

It's those Viking ships coming out of the mist again...



2. UNLEASH THE ARCHERS: 'TIME STANDS STILL'

The girl's got rhythym...



3. FINSTERFORST: 'AUF DIE ZWÖLF'

German beer, football hooliganism, Heavy Metal accordions; that's three of my four favourite things...




BEST NEW BAND: deVience

steve goldby

deVience are a London based five-piece with a twin guitar assault courtesy of Donnie Roulstone and Jim O'Connor who put some serious gloss on some very punchy, brave, upbeat and hard, driving material. All thirteen tracks are superbly well written and presented with a kick and in a style that you'll find irresistable. The whole album has a sound that is fresh and it's very wild and sexy too. This is the band of Giovanni Spano who offers a vocal style that you can't pin down and compare to any of his peers but he's just landed the part of Ledoux in 'Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical' and an endorsement by Meat Loaf himself says all you need to know about this rising star.

2. THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM

The Doomsday Kingdom, the band founded by Candlemass virtuoso Leif Edling (The Doomfather), have announced the release of their self-titled debut album for March 31st 2017. Doom Metal is about to receive an upgrade as this material surpasses anything ever heard in this genre before.

3. STONEWIRE

Stonewire are a rare talent with one hell of a frontlady at the helm and if you've seen them before, you'll surely agree that it's obvious they will be ramblin' their way to big success in 2017. Watch them take hero's journey as a frenzy of shots are downed by the female version of Robert Plant and the rock hierarchy make room for a more than worthy addition to their ranks.


LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017

steve goldby

On the musical front, the continuing rise to the very top of Iced Earth, Amon Amarth at Bloodstock, a new Ensiferum album and the continuing development of Cellar Darling and Eluveitie, while on the professional front, another blazing year for MetalTalk which starts in Los Angeles where we will be at the NAMM exhibition and reporting for the UK on The Hall Of Heavy Metal History Induction Awards. By then, MetalTalk Radio On TotalRock will be in full swing. Oysters. Easy on the ice...


Steve Göldby's Heavy Metal Chronicles




26.12.16



 

scorpions EXCLUSIVE: SCORPIONS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN EARLY 2018 AND CONTINUE TOURING
Brand new opus will be their first with Mikkey, who was Motörhead drummer for twenty-three years...

nidingr EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE: NIDINGR RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM
"To me this song solidifies a thing that is fucking great about Nidingr - no rules..."

iron maiden BREAKING NEWS: CELLAR DARLING SIGN WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"We are proud and excited to have found partners who understand our music and share our vision..."

iron maiden BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR NORTH AMERICA IN JUNE/JULY
Support on all North American dates will be Ghost and tickets go on-sale from next Friday...

iron maiden HOME OF METAL TO JOIN BLACK SABBATH ON THEIR FINAL DATES
"Fans are our lifeblood, they've always been there to support us. The audiences have been getting bigger as the tour progressed..."

hammerfall EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: HAMMERFALL UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'BUILT TO LAST' TITLE TRACK
Hammerfall are currently on tour throughout Europe and there are plenty of dates left to catch their new epic show...

grim reaper GRIM REAPER'S STEVE GRIMMETT SEVERELY ILL IN ECUADOR
"Unfortunately the operation didn't work and Steve is currently in the operating theatre having limbs removed..."

bill price GUNS N' ROSES AND SEX PISTOLS PRODUCER/ENGINEER BILL PRICE HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
Price worked with Rod Stewart, INXS, Pete Townshend, Elton John, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Big Audio Dynamite...

fish marillion FISH CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS' WITH UK TOUR
"These are the only dates this year as because of my shoulder operation next month with the extensive recovery period..."

ross the boss UK EXCLUSIVE: ROSS THE BOSS ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES AHEAD OF SPECIAL GUEST SLOT ON MetalTalk RADIO THIS WEEK
"We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy..."

dokken WAS BREAKING NEWS: CLASSIC DOKKEN LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN
Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown will play together in England for the first time in around a quarter-of-a-century...

grand magus DEF LEPPARD AND POISON ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN DATES
"I could not be more excited. I know all of us will give one thousand percent on stage..."

grand magus VIKINGS TO INVADE YORKSHIRE: GRAND MAGUS TO HEADLINE KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL
"Get your tickets now and prepare to raise your fists and bang your heads for the glory of Metal!"

armored saint ARMORED SAINT UK TOUR DATES AND 'MARCH OF THE SAINT (LIVE)' VIDEO ARE HERE
"We're really looking forward to playing these select UK shows in March..."

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES TO FEATURE IN NEW AMAZON PRIME SERIES STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON
The band will be releasing a live mini-album in spring 2017 and will be touring in the UK, France and Germany throughout the year...

martyrd MARTYRD SET TO OPEN FOR METAL ALLEGIANCE, MARTY FRIEDMAN AND GUS G
"NAMM is a blast, total musical sensory overload from every direction. It’s like getting lost in a hurricane - I can't wait."

john garcia EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: JOHN GARCIA UNLEASHES 'GIVE ME 250ml'
"This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!"

avenged sevenfold WAS BREAKING NEWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD TO OPEN LONDON POP-UP STORE
The shop will be hosting in-store raffles and giveaways of exclusive and signed merchandise...

avenged sevenfold ROCK MEETS CLASSIC 2017 EUROPE LINE-UP IS HERE
Rock meets Classic has a terrific vibe and the legendary cross-over-project combines emotional classic with world-famous rock songs...

paddy goes to holyhead PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ARE BACK FOR THE CRAIC ON ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
The band supposedly played their last ever gig two years ago in celebration of their 30th anniversary...

nightlord EXCLUSIVE THE UNKNOWN BAND WHO INFLUENCED METALLICA AIRS ON MetalTalk RADIO
Also featuring is the very first UK radio airplay of Cellar Darling, the band created by former Eluveitie members...

epica EPICA RELEASE 'BEYOND THE MATRIX' VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
"The energy that lives within 'Beyond The Matrix' is extremely contagious. It will sweep you off your feet when the melodies enter your mind..."

nightlord JOHN COGHLAN'S QUO BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN
John Coghlan's Quo have announced UK dates across the Kingdom that will see them busy throughout the year...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN'S WIDOW NEEDS OUR HELP
"Jimmy recently passed away without a proper will in place and now his better half is in trouble..."

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST 'LIVE' TOKYO FEATURING BARDEN, BONNET AND McAULEY OUT IN MARCH
Features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker...

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE OVERDOSED WHEN SHARON HAD CANCER
"I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka..."

eluveitie ELUVEITIE NEW LINE-UP IS COMPLETE, FIRST GIGS GO DOWN A STORM
"Above all we're super happy and thankful that we're complete again and given the chance to have such gifted musicians on board..."

gene simmons GENE SIMMONS RESTAURANT HONOURS US VETS
"The opening day of every Rock & Brews is dedicated to our vets, the public is not allowed in."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION
"I'm completely irresponsible. I'm ignorant about money as a commodity — I have never really understood it."

tony iommi UK EXCLUSIVE: VINCE NEIL FIST FIGHT WITH BOY GEORGE STOPPED AS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SHUTS UP PRESIDENT TRUMP
"They screwed up. That was a huge miss and someone should have a talking-to."

tony iommi GLENN HUGHES: "I'M THRILLED TO BE TOURING THE UK IN JANUARY"
"Let's get 2017 going with a killer night for ROCK lovers, movers and shakers. I'm in. Let's go!"

tony iommi TONY IOMMI HAS SUCCESSFUL THROAT OPERATION AND IS CANCER-FREE
"We had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out Christmas Day..."

ronnie montrose RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED: ALL-STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT TO TAKE PLACE AT NAMM 2017
"Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression..."

motorhead beer PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO APPEAR AT MOTÖRHEAD BEER LAUNCH IN LONDON
This is sure to be one superb night with beer, live music and Motörhead, but not necessarily in that order...

tony iommi BLACK STAR RIDERS PREMIERE 'TESTIFY OR SAY GOODBYE'
Black Star Riders are set to release their forthcoming album 'Heavy Fire' on 3rd February via Nuclear Blast...

tony iommi BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI DROPS HEAVY METAL AND JOINS THE CHOIR
"It's a bit different to Sabbath!" says Tony, in probably the biggest understatement of all time...

tony iommi ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It's pretty wild to think that this whole ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC...

jimi hendrix JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher.."

alestorm ALESTORM ENTER FLORIDA STUDIO BUT A CHALLENGE AWAITS THEM BACK IN BLIGHTY
"It is full of epic songs about pirates, drinking, and pseudoscientific cryptogeography..."

queen QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY WANTS TO BRING ROCK TO A NEW GENERATION
"It was actually all very planned and deliberate and came totally out of Freddie's fevered imagination..."

phil lynott MASS TRIBUTES PAID TO PHIL LYNOTT ON ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
"God bless my old friend, thanks for the faith you showed in allowing me to record your music..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ENTER STUDIO TO BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
"One thing I want to make clear to everybody across air nation is that Joe Bonamassa and I never fell out..."

hair metal heaven BLAZE BAYLEY BRAND NEW ALBUM AND WORLD TOUR DETAILS ARE HERE
'Endure And Survive' is set for release on 3rd March 2017 and will be accompanied by a world tour totalling some 120 shows...

hair metal heaven HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST ACTS FOR INAUGURAL EVENT
The Hair Metal Heaven Festival has a very eighties feel to it, as the team behind it explain here...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE TEST PILOT DROPS TWO GRAND ON NEW MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO SLOT
"A few spins later and I turned up a row of gold Snaggletooths which promptly caught fire and the voice of the man himself commanded: 'Turn it up!'"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE NEW 'inFinite' TRAILERS AND EXPECTED ALBUM FORMATS
'Time For Bedlam', the first single which was revealed late last year, is available as instant grat as part of the digital album pre-order...

hollywood AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR COULD LAST FIVE YEARS
"We had a talk a few weeks back about going into the studio. When that'll happen, though, I'm not sure. We certainly have plenty of ideas..."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE MEGADETH MAINMAN DAVE MUSTAINE REVEALS HE'S AN ARSENAL FC SUPPORTER
Megadeth, formed in Los Angeles in 1983 after Dave left Metallica, are currently enjoying a rich vein of form...

hollywood FORMER PEARL JAM DRUMMER HITS OUT AT THE BAND
"We need music, each other and the spirit of Rock & Roll now, more than ever before..."

hollywood HOLLYWOOD SIGN CHANGED BY PRANKSTERS TO READ 'HOLLYWEED'
"An artist's role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in..."

metallica METALLICA GUITARIST KIRK HAMMETT'S HOME FOR SALE FOR £16m
Apparently a house like this doubles its asking price every six or seven years...

kiss EXCLUSIVE KISS' GENE SIMMONS DROPS BIGGEST HINT YET THAT ACE FREHLEY REUNION IS ON
Over 7,000 likes later, fans are in big speculation that it really is going to happen...

rick parfitt WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLOODSTOCK UNVEIL SECOND 2017 HEADLINER
"Megadeth had a blast last time and I can't wait to bring the Dystopia World Tour to Bloodstock this Summer."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE JOHN COGHLAN REVEALS TWO NEW TRACKS WITH RICK PARFITT ARE NEARLY READY FOR RELEASE
"It was going to be Status Quo PLC [Parfitt, Lancaster, Coghlan] and that was Francis' idea originally."

wizz wizzard WIZZ WIZZARD VOCALIST WIZZ BEAUPREZ HAS PASSED AWAY
Wizz Wizzard were signed to Rock Sector Records and labelmate Chris Appleton of Absolva led the tributes...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO TO TOUR IN 2017
"It was very emotional. I didn't think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down...."

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