Album Of The Year

BRIDE - Are You Awake

What a strange year!  I presumed that there would be a huge amount of great albums released this year, but quite a number of them have slipped in to 2024.  X-Sinner, Whitecross, Flood, Stairway, All For The King and others are all delayed, so it's down to Bride, Theocracy, Disciple etc. to battle it out for album of the year.  Theocracy and Disciple always produce amazing albums, and it's no different this year.  They're both incredible albums and both quite often win album of the year.  However, there is something about this Bride album that makes it top of the pile.  The songs aren't as intense as from their Here Is Your God album, and it works to their favour.  They're just catchy hard rock, and it suits Dale's vocals incredibly well.  Also Troy has written some infectious tunes and together the album is one of their best since the 1990's.

2024 could be a really good year for music.  Lots of interesting albums in the pipeline...
Some of those will probably slip to 2025, and below are those albums that may not see the light of day until then (if at all...)

Deth Enemy
Omega Highway
Rage Of AngelsSacred Warrior

20242024 could be a really good year for music.  Lots of interesting albums in the pipeline...
Contenders could possibly be...
(possibility of CD release in 2024 in percent!)
All For The King (90%)
The Brave (90%)
Bride (40%)
Human Code (50%)
Motivik (90%)Stairway (70%)Worldview (70%)X-Sinner (90%)

Out already...
Whitecross! (After so long!!!)

2023Bride - Are You AwakeKind of a strange year as I thought it was going to be a year full of new releases, but in the end I didn't get that many at all.  Also, every time Theocracy make a new album (since their 2nd album) they become my album of the year.  This year their album was awesome (again) but there was something amazing about Bride that made me put it above Theocracy.  Are You Awake is catchier than anything they've done since the 1990's and it's hard rock, with hooks galore.  The artwork was different too, and really added to the feel of the whole album.

Other Greats - Theocracy - Mozaic; Mission Of One - Kill The Cobra; Joshua's Creed - The American Dream; Disciple - Skeleton Psalms

(2 albums this year)
Chaotic Resmblance - Nazarites
Another super difficult year to decide which album to choose.  There were yet again some incredible albums released in 2022, and 4 were right up there.  In the end I chose 2, and one of them had to be Nazarites.   CR may not be my favourite style of metal, but there's just something about this band that I find so compelling.  Maybe it's the passion, maybe it's the calling, maybe it's the lyrics.  Whatever it is, they have it in bucket loads, and I just keep listening and listening to this over and over again.

Other Greats - All For The King - Let There Be Light (which was my third favourite album); Fear Not - Fields Of Sorrow (another incredible album; Saint - Heaven Fell; Stryper - The Final Battle; Thee Final Chaptre - So Let It Be Done; The Brave Grave Digger; Preterist - Blood Moon Rising (Theocracy type awesomeness!); Les Carlsen - He's Coming
(2 albums this year)
Flood - Polarized
Another super difficult year to decide which album to choose.  There were yet again some incredible albums released in 2022, and 4 were right up there.  In the end I chose 2, and one of them had to be Flood.  It's so good to hear the vocals of Guy Ritter once more.  After so many years of no new music, Guy and Gary are back together and have produced another top thrash metal album.  Maybe 3 instrumentals is a bit much, but when the album is this good I can't complain!  Brilliant, memorable and incredible.   They both sound as good as they ever have.

Other Greats - All For The King - Let There Be Light (which was my third favourite album); Fear Not - Fields Of Sorrow (another incredible album; Saint - Heaven Fell; Stryper - The Final Battle; Thee Final Chaptre - So Let It Be Done; The Brave Grave Digger; Preterist - Blood Moon Rising (Theocracy type awesomeness!); Les Carlsen - He's Coming
2021The Brave - Evie's Little GardenMAN, what a difficult year to choose.  So many top albums, including Bride, Gale Force, Trytan, Moonshine Zombies and Darkhorse Hero.  The Thomas Thompson Earth Project also released an amazing album which almost became my album of the year.  However I picked The Brave as the whole thing is incredibly well polished hard rock, with brilliant vocals, song writing and music.  Most albums have a few skip tracks, but there's not a dull track on this album. Superb!

Other Greats - Bride - Here Is Your God; Gale Force - Subhuman; Trytan - Blood Of Kings; Darkhorse Hero - Mixtape Volume 2: Living For A Bigger Kingdom; The Thomas Thompson Earth Project - Systematic Brain Drain; Moonshine Zombies - S/T; 
2020Messenger - In To WinNot too many albums out this year (or at least not many that I bought), but of those that I did, it was really tricky deciding which was the best!  In the end I went with Messenger, as the production is brilliant, the music is heavy, and the lyrics and vocals are top notch.   Both Wytch Hazel and Evans & Stokes have produced their best ever stuff, and Stryper's album is the best in at least 30 years!  That's how good Messenger are!  Get all four, and you'll be happy!  (This is a different band to the 2014 one!)
Other greats - Stryper - Even The Devil Believes;  Wytch Hazel - Pentecost;Evans & Stokes - Diary Of The Damned;
Northern Flame - Twisted Reality

2019Saint - The CalfSkillet almost won this year for their brilliant new album, but I can't not let Saint win, for it's their first album in a number of years and it's their best since "The Mark".  This time around they have a new singer, and although that makes Saint's tradmark sound seem slightly different, it works a treat for me
Other greats - Skillet - Victorious; Disciple - Love Letter Kill Shot; The World Will Burn - Nothing's As Real As If Seems
2018Chaotic Resemblance - CovenantAlmost awarded Bride's Snake Eyes album of the year, because it captures alot of their golden age.  But Chaotic Resemblance release this album and it blows me away!  Totally brilliant rock album, with a great look and great sound!
Other greats - Stryper - God Damn Evil; Bride - Snake Eyes; Tourniquet - Gazing At Medusa; Big Chris & D'Bare Bones Band
(2 albums this year)
All For The King - All For The KingI've only done this once before (in 2008) but again this year I'm going to have to award two albums as the album of the year.  Both albums are incredibly good.  All For The King is top notch stuff, with very catchy lyrics.  It's hard rock and loud!  Ten songs and although the album is under 40 minutes long every song is punchy and memorable.  Well worth seeking out this release!
Other greats - D.O.G. - Unleashed; Axilia - Still No Prophet...?; Cell 9 - The Devils Feast; XT - Saved By The Blood (See below)
(2 albums this year)
Signum Regis - Decennium PrimumAnother great album by Signum Regis. This one has ten blistering tracks, and there's no room for fillers at all!  Power metal, and great vocals make this a real top notch album.  Best songs for me are Kingdom Of Light & The Future King.  But let's be frank about this, they're all pretty awesome so what's not to like! 
Other greats - D.O.G. - Unleashed; Axilia - Still No Prophet...?; Cell 9 - The Devils Feast; XT - Saved By The Blood (See above)
Ghost Ship
 2016Theocracy - Ghost ShipThey've done it yet again!  Matt and the band have produced another mind-blowing album that will definitely be my album of the year!  This time around they've moved a little bit away from progressive metal and moved more in to a melodic style.  The songs are shorter, but are as catchy as anything.  Also there is not a dull track on here, everything works flawlessly.
Other greats - Skillet; Stairwar; Michael Sweet; Big Chris & D'Bare Bones Band; Disciple - Long Live The Rebels
2015Signum Regis - Through The StormAnother EP! And another album with the word Storm in it! Anyway, enough of that, this is a great EP and apart from the last track which is just a cover I think this EP really packs a punch. Power metal all the way, with some great lyrics.
Other greats - Deth Enemy - Unmovable; Stryper - Fallen; Scandinavian Metal Praise
2014Messenger - Perfect StormIt's only an EP, but with songs this good it claimed number one spot for the year. Messenger's second EP packs a punch and is good classic metal with great lyrics and great vocals. It faced stiff competition from Disciple's Attack album which was yet another good album from those guys, but Messenger pulled through.
Other greats - Disciple - Attack; Northern Flame - Glimpse Of Hope, Razorigami
2013Razorigami - Weathering The Winter Of The SoulOut of completely nowhere comes this amazing album. Razorigami comes along and it's a brilliant album of soaring vocals, great hooks and exceptional lyrics. Classic hard rock all the way!
Other greats - Stryper, Sacred Warrior, Mission Of One, Bloodgood, Scott Stapp, Bride, All Hail The Power... too many to mention!!!!!
2012Disciple - O God Save Us AllDisciple win with their wonderful album 'O God Save Us All.' They produced yet another superb album that is equally as good as Horseshoes and Handgrenades (my favourite album of 2010). It is basically excellently produced hard/modern rock with a lyrical style that again hits the nail on the head. Long may they do this style of music!
Other greats - Saint - Desperate Night; John Schlitt - The Greater Cause
2011Theocracy - As The World BleedsWell, what can be said other than WOW!!! Theocracy creat some beautifully crafted progressive metal. Matt Smith, has yet again proven that he's a mastercraftsman when it comes to producing top notch albums. And now he has a complete band behind him Theocracy's newest album just thumps home brilliance from start to finish.
Other greats - Sarepta - Smokin' Vineyard; Golden Resurrection - Man..Mission
 2010Disciple - Horseshoes & HandgrenadesDisciple have been going for year and years, but this is their best lyrically. I rate it as their best album they've done, even though "Back Again" was an awesome album, and quite a bit heavier, this one really delivers on all fronts. Passion, quality and laden with hooks proves that you don't have to be incredibly heavy to be excellent.
Other greats - Golden Resurrection - Glory To My King
 2009Bride - Tsar BombaBride release their 2009 album, and although it's not their heaviest it still packs a punch and proves that Dale can sing with all the power of a true metal vocalist. Lots of tracks, lots of styles. It almost lost out to ReinXeed's brilliant 'Higher' album, but Bride's surefootedness in the world of christian rock makes them stand out from the crowd.
Other greats - ReinXeed - 'Higher'; Stryper 'Murder By Pride'
(2 albums this year)
Seventh Avenue - TeriumSeventh Avenue have done it again in producing a top class classic metal album. More tracks than before, and a longer album aswell. What's so amazing about SA is they keep getting better with each album. Eternals got 9.5 out of 10 and this is better! I've listened to it countless times and it's still stuck in my cd player.
Other greats - See below!
(2 albums this year)
Theocracy - Mirror Of SoulsWell, what can I say, but WOW! 2008 is the year when there HAS to be a split for best album. Terium is absolutely great, but Mirror Of Souls is equally as good. Matt Smith returns for his sophomore album, and even though there's only 8 songs it's enough to keep any metal head happy for months. Almost 70 minutes of metal bliss.
Other greats - See above!
2007Boarders - The World Hates MeTotal suprise to find this band, who are from Italy. Never heard of them, but once I'd listened to their 3 songs on myspace I was hooked. Thing is, all their songs are absolutely great. Similar to Megadeth, but some songs have some high pitched lines in them. Just the kind of album I crave! Lyrics are good too.
Other greats - Bride 'Skin For Skin'
2006Saint - The MarkSaint have released many great albums and this really is their peak. Saint are known for their apocalyptic style and this album is exactly what it's all about. It's the book of Revelation. Saint nail their image totally.
Other greats -
2005Rob Rock - Holy HellRob did some amazing albums with Chris Impellitteri and nothing else he's done has been quite as good. That was until now. Holy Hell really puts Robs name on the map. His vocals are truly amazing and just the opening track alone shows how powerful the songs, and his vocals are.
Other greats - Whitecross '1987'
2004Seventh Avenue - EternalsSeventh Avenue have their second album on my list. Eternals is the best album they've done to 2004. Herbie's vocals have improved again, and Mike writes some great lyrics.
Other greats -
2003Harmony - Dreaming AwakeInteresting album this one. From Scandanvia comes this melodic and quite relaxing metal album. If ever there's a time when you want to listen to metal, but nothing heavy, then put this on and you'll be pleasantly surprised! Too many instumentals for my liking, but the songs are just awesome.
Other greats - Theocracy 'S/T'; Dreamquest 'The Release'
2002Seventh Avenue - Between The WorldsSome of the tracks from the german classic/epic metal masters aren't to my taste, but others are so good that it beat many good albums to the top of the pile. Herbie sounds the best to date and the lyrics keep getting better.
Other greats - 
2001Warrior - The Code Of LifeRob Rock again, for the 3rd time. Just goes to show that where ever he goes you can pretty much guarantee a top notch album. Bruce from Iron Maiden co-writes one of the songs, which is an added bonus, but Rob, who writes most of them (and from a christian perspective) shows us where his heart really is!!!
Other greats - 
2000Alice Cooper - Brutal PlanetAlice Cooper? Is he a christian? Enough already! This album is Alice the way I like to hear him. Lyrics that are clearly showing that there is a God and that it's not being good that gets you to heaven. Love Alice's vocals, and because of the lyrics this makes it my favourite by him.
Other greats - 
1999Omega Highway - LoveIn a year when hardly any great christian hard rock or metal comes out, this album turns up.  It may be slightly more raw than Alice Cooper, Impellitteri or Warrior, but those lyrics really are a cut above the rest. It's rock/hard rock with a cool kind of sound and bucket loads of passion.
Other greats -
1998Impellitteri - Eye Of The HurricaneImpellitteri's second album in my list. Rob's vocals yet again prove he's one of the best in the business, and Chris' blistering solos are world class. All tracks are either great or better, and there's a bonus cd added to the album which adds to the listening pleasure.
Other greats - Bride 'Oddities'
1997New Jerusalem - S/TNot a great year for metal (the mid late nineties weren't the best as the world was still interested in grunge) but New Jerusalem produced a different and varied album. Some tracks work brilliantly, whilst others are not so good. Hard Rock, sometimes feeling like Guns N Roses, sometimes a million miles away!
Other greats - Saviour Machine 'Legend Part 1'
1996Impellitteri - Screaming SymphonyGreat name for an album! Great album! Only nine tracks, but when the nine are this good, who cares! Chris Impelliteri proves that his speed on the solos is pretty much world class. Metal all the way!
Other greats - 
1995Siloam - Dying To LiveSometimes accused of being over produced, Siloam's second album is slick and smooth hard rock. Not as heavy as most other albums on this list, it still is very memorable and has plenty of hooks throughout.
Other greats - 
 1994Barren Cross - Rattle Your CageOh, the mid nineties weren't agreat time from metal. Grunge was the new thing and it just seemed to destroy the true metal scene. Bands from the 80's that reformed changed their style to suit. But not Barren Cross! They released an amazing album which sounded every bit like their 80's stuff. Classic metal all the way!
Other greats - Bride 'Scarecrow Messiah'
 1993Stairway - No Rest: No MercyStairway are one of the few remaining Christian metal albums from the UK. They're still kicking out great albums and this (which was their first) is brilliant. It's their best apart from Interregnum (2010) which finally relegated this great album to second place in the Stairway discography. Classic sounds and classic artwork from Rodney Matthews.
Other greats -
1992Bride - Snakes In The PlaygroundThe album that opened Bride to the world. They've moved away from their almost thrash metal ways of Live To Die and to a lesser extent Silence Is Madness, and release a Guns N Roses style hard rock album. And it goes down a storm. Dales sings like he could bring the house down!
Other greats -
 1991Sacred Warrior - ObsessionsSacred Warrior aren't my favourite band, but this album just works so well. Every track is great, and Ray sings just in the right way that it's not abrasive but truly spellbinding. The lyrics are bold too, and here is an album that I don't have to press skip once!
Other greats -
1990Tourniquet - Stop The BleedingGuy Ritter hits the world with his vocals that no one had ever heard of at the time (in the christian metal world). His range was amazing from growls to high pitched squeals. Ted Kirkpatrick on drums, and Gary Lenaire on guitars brings together and awesome partnership that would last for 3 albums, and stun the metal world of it's day.
Other greats - Holy Soldier 'S/T'; Stryper 'Against The Law'
1989Bride - Silence Is MadnessWonderful album by Bride. Not as intense as their previous album (Live to Die) this still packs a punch and has great artwork aswell. Every track (bar one) is furious and loud and the christian metal scene can rejoice in a landmark release from the longest serving christian metal bands around.
Other greats - X-Sinner 'Get It'
1988Neon Cross - S/TLoud high pitched metal from Neon Cross. They've only done a couple of albums, and this one is one that'll pin you to the ground and make you listen to it again and again. Not the greatest in terms of production, but still an album which is compelling from start to finish.
Other greats - Bride 'Live To Die'; Stryper 'In God We Trust'
1987Petra - This Means WarNot Petras heaviest album (that would be either 1988's On Fire or 2003's Jeykll and Hyde) this album still rocks all the way through. Bob Hartman proves he can write some amazing stuff, and the opening track alone gives it a true feeling of power..
Other greats - Whitecross 'S/T'
1986Stryper - To Hell With The DevilStryper go universal with this album. They put themselves and christian metal on the map. Why did this album do so much? Because it's truly a great album. The title track sums up the album - thumping clear heavy metal with a message of salvation in Christ.
Other greats - Bride 'Show No Mercy'
1985Stryper - Soldiers Under CommandStryper released their first full album in 1985. Michael has great vocals and the tracks give the glory to God. At the time it was something new and amazing, and still today it is a great album that many regard as Strypers best effort.
Other greats -
1984Barnabas - Feel The FireOne of Barnabas' strengths were their lyrics, and Feel The Fire is the best of the bunch. With such an awesome song as "Breathless Wonderment", this female vocal, hard rock band really had to be the best of 1984's albums
Other greats -
1983Petra - Not Of This WorldThis was the Petra album that first got me interested in Christian rock! Grave Robber and Lift Him Up were great songs and Greg really shows his vocal talents, while Bob and co. play their distinctive rock which reaches the heavens!
Other greats -


Oh yes, there were plenty of albums released that almost made it on to the table above, and these albums are worthy of a mention. Some years only a few albums were even 'good' but other years there were many great albums.So although these albums below weren't the no.1 album of that year, they were still very impressive. Here is a list of the 'almosts'.1986 - Bride - Show No Mercy. This is the year of Stryper's To Hell With The Devil, so unfortunately Bride miss out. But if it weren't for that then Bride would have won the album of the year. This is Bride's first album and one that really put them on the map. Dale sings all the high notes with ease and the passion and energy of the album from start to finish is evident.1988 - Bride - Live To Die. Bride keep producing good albums, and this one is no exception. It's their most extreme album, and almost goes into the thrash area. Dales vocals are gold!1989 - X-Sinner - Get It. What a great album this was. It was said to be just an ACDC clone, but to my mind it's better than ACDC, and all tracks were great.1990 - Holy Soldier - S/T. Hair metal. What more can you say! Fun, lively and Steven Patrick sings in this own style that is very compelling.1997 - Saviour Machine - Legend Part 1. Wonderful gothic album that is a picture of the book of Revelation. Eric Clayton on vocals proves that he has a top voice. It's not the easiest album to get into, but if you start at the beginning it's quite difficult to stop until the end.1998 - Bride - Oddities. This album almost got album of the year, but Impellitteri just pipped it at the post. In my opinion this is Bride's best album lyrically. It's not metal, but it's modern hard rock. But the lyrics are just head and shoulders above anything else out that year.2003 - Dreamquest - The Release. An independant album which really caught my by surprise. It's not the longest album in the world, but it's almost the fastest! They call it 'Adventure Metal' and that pretty much sums up what the music is like!2003 - Theocracy - S/T. Flippin' 'eck! What an album. Matt Smith does what no one thought could be done. He creates an album all by himself which sounds better than pretty much any other album out around that time. It's progressive, it's melodic, it's layered, it's got harmonies. And Matt did all of it!!!!2005 - Whitecross - 1987. A rerecording of their stellar S/T album. This time round the production is better and some of the tracks even sound better with Scott's lower registered vocals.2007 - Bride - Skin For Skin. Bride go back to their metal ways with yet another great album. It's a bit more diverse than their older metal offerings, but it's still a great return to the heavy ways of old!2010 - The other great albums that came out this year were...Saint with their album Hell Blade (released in Dec '09, but copyright says 2010)Stairway with their album Interregnum (released in April)Audiovision with their album Focus (April)Jerusalem with their album She (October)ReinXeed with their album Majestic (October)Golden Ressurection with their album Glory To My King (December)HB with their album The Jesus Metal Explosion (December)Newsboys with their album Born Again (I know it's not metal, but it's great.)