Editor Ken’s Top 10 of 2019
Editor Ken’s Top 10 of 2019
What a terrific year for music 2019 has been! It’s been absolutely difficult to hear everything that’s arrived through the email of Highwire Daze magazine, but what an exhilarating challenge it has been overall. Older bands such as Black Star Riders, Borknagar and Spread Eagle presented career defining albums. Newer collectives such as Diane & The Deductibles, Holding Absence and The Stolen have presented powerhouse albums that should garner them a good deal of admiration and respect. Here is Editor Ken’s listing of the Top 10 Albums and EP’s of 2019 – in alphabetical order – showing yet again his very diverse and unpredictable taste in music. Read on…
Editor Ken’s Top 10 Albums of 2019
Another State of Grace by Black Star Riders (Nuclear Blast Records)
Another State Of Grace is the fourth magnum opus for Black Star Riders, jammed packed with rock and roll anthems that will absolutely exhilarate the senses. A recent tour supporting Judas Priest has placed Black Star Riders on the worldwide map – not to mention their rocking linage, as the band features Ricky Warwick of The Almighty and legendary guitarist Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy within their ranks. Unveiling a solid collection of songs that will stand the test of time, Another State Of Grace presents a band at the very height of the career – not only extending the legacy of the iconic Thin Lizzy, but further pursuing a new entity whose current sonic output has been thoroughly impressive.
Black Star Riders on Facebook
True North by Borknagar (Century Media Records)
Øystein G. Brun and his comrades in the almighty Borknagar have journeyed to True North, unleashing a masterwork of staggering proportions. The avant-garde Black Metal pioneers and innovators from Norway are at the pinnacle of their artistry with True North, their 11th studio magnum opus album. All this and Borknagar will be touring the States in 2020 on the Devastation On The Nation tour – their 1st since traversing the continent supporting the infamous Emperor on the Kings Of Terror Tour in 1999. True North is jammed packed with imagination and depth, and is well worth travelling the corners of the world to seek out.
Borknagar on Facebook
Unbroken by Carl Dixon (AOR Heaven)
Carl Dixon of the epically underrated Canadian hard rock band Coney Hatch has unveiled a new solo endeavor entitled Unbroken – and the 11 songs contained within are nothing short of a triumph for this inspirational artist. Unbroken is a collaboration between Carl Dixon and Robert Boebel, whose own impressive credits within the German music scene include Frontline and Phantom V. One of the most fully realized AOR melodic rock albums of the year, highlights include memorable selections such as Can’t Love A Memory, Bowl Me Over, and Nothing Lasts Forever.
Carl Dixon on Facebook
TWO by Diane & The Deductibles (DRAIA Productions)
A classic rock band with a thoroughly original modern day approach, Diane & The Deductibles present TWO upon the world at large. Featuring members of Air Supply, Geoff Tate’s Queensryche, and Hurricane, the songs found within are empowering and inspired. Fronted by a powerhouse vocal performance from Diane Adams and featuring the mesmerizing guitar tapestries of Robert Sarzo and Keith Lynch – as well as the jamming rhythm section of bassist Cliff Rehrig and drummer Ronnie Ciago – Diane & The Deductibles will absolutely enrapture fans of acts such as Heart and Bonnie Riatt.
Diane & The Deductibles on Facebook
Holding Absence by Holding Absence (SharpTone Records)
Containing a stunning amalgamation of post hardcore and shoegaze reveries, the Self-Titled debut album from Holding Absence is nothing short of mesmerizing. From the staggering implementations of Perish to the haunting grand finale of Wilt, the passion and dynamic sense of urgency found within the Holding Absence experience certainly renders these tapestries as one of the very best debuts of 2019. It will be exciting to see what the future has in store for Holding Absence and their music that moves the soul and the sets the imagination in flight.
Holding Absence on Facebook
48 Seconds by Phil Lanzon (Phil Lanzon Ditties)
Phil Lanzon has experienced an absolutely epic last few years with his main band Uriah Heep, weaving his keyboard magic upon the proceedings. The thrilling reveries continue with 48 Seconds, Lanzon’s second solo album that vibrantly tantalizes the senses. Jammed packed with dazzling rock and pop tapestries with highlights such as Forty Line, Rock N’ Roll Children, and You Can Make A Living, 48 Hours presents an artist at the very height of his creative energies. And be sure to stay until the end and experience the seismic title track about the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Phil Lanzon on Facebook
Subway To The Stars by Spread Eagle (Frontiers Music Srl)
Even hardcore fans of Spread Eagle could color themselves absolutely amazed by this astounding comeback entreaty.