Hard Rock Albums Of The Year

  • DEEP PURPLE - Now What?!

    DEEP PURPLE – Now What?!

  • HEAVEN AND EARTH - Dig

    HEAVEN AND EARTH – Dig

  • BLACK SABBATH - 13

    BLACK SABBATH – 13

Even though the first half of 2013 has yet to pass, it’s easy to say which records in the classic hard rock genre can win the day. At least, they rock hard DME’s day, three of them. That’s to answer the question what pleases me now on the (un)easy listening front.

The first isNow What?!” by DEEP PURPLE. Looks like Bob Ezrin, having sharpened his producer’s teeth not only on ALICE COOPER and Alice Cooper but also on PINK FLOYD and Peter Gabriel, reminded Ian Gillan and Co that they’ve always been a prog group as much as heavy metal pioneers… although it’d been good if Don Airey based his sway more on what he did with Jon Hiseman in COLOSSEUM II rather than ELP’s fare.

The second: “Dig” by HEAVEN AND EARTH. Building on the irresistibility of his name-tagging solo album, Stuart Smith upgraded the collective spirit of its follow-up and, with a new, groovier, line-up, delivered a smash – both posh and daring in its retrofuturistic sound.

Last, but not least, BLACK SABBATH‘s “13”. What could have turned out a nightmare, came out as a cursed blessing worthy of the band’s canon. With a lot of hints at the riffs of yore and the ending linking back to their debut, with Ozzy‘s unexpectedly powerful voice and fantastic sound, there’s much to love and zilch to baulk at.

To answer another question, there’ll be no reviews of DP and BS records on the site, with no promos sent DME’s way. Sorry, guys. Yet here the one on “Dig”.

P.S. Ah yes, there’s also mighty SNAKECHARMER just below the Top 3.

June 10, 2013

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