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Our Editor-In-Chief, R. Scott Bolton, 
tells us his choices.

by R. Scott Bolton

Greetings, fellow headbangers!

I don't usually do a year-end list because I'm so certain I'm going to forget somebody worthy of being included here. But East Coast Editor Christopher J. Kelter has convinced me that this is still fun, so here goes:

Honorable Mention (in no particular order)
PHAROAH "After the Fire"
FU MANCHU "Go for It ... Live"
CHIMAIRA "The Impossibility of Reason"
POWERMAN 5000 "Transform"
PRO-PAIN "Run For Cover"
BRUCE KULICK "Transformer"
STRATOVARIUS "Elements Pt. 1"
TYPE O NEGATIVE "Life Is Killing Me"
HED(pe) "Blackout"
FL "What Does That Stand For?"
THERAPY? "High Anxiety"
SKID ROW "Thickskin"
SLEEP "Dopesmoker"
CHIGGER RED "The Hard Road"
FLAMETHROWER "Flamethrower"
IRON MAIDEN "Dance of Death"
HELLOWEEN "Rabbit Don't Come Easy"

And, my Top Ten for 2003:

10. ROB ZOMBIE "Past, Present & Future" - A compilation, but what a compilation! The included DVD was a major bonus.

9. AGENT STEEL "Order of the Illuminati" - Classic heavy metal with a dynamic modern punch

8. GODSMACK "Faceless" - Amidst silly complaints it sounds like all their other stuff, Godsmack still kicks solid ass.

7. SAMMY HAGAR "Live Hallelujah" - Nobody rocks live like Sammy Hagar and this CD captures it all. Still waiting for the double CD version, Sammy!

6. ALICE COOPER "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" - Cooper returns to his rock'n'roll roots with this down and dirty CD.

5. HUGHES TURNER PROJECT "Hughes Turner Project" - The combo of Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner made for a great cooperative rock record.

4. ZZ TOP "Mescalero" - Not heavy metal, but, damn, it was good to see that Li'l Ol' Band from Texas come back swinging from near career death.

3. GARY HUGHES "Once and Future King" Part 1 & 2 - Two releases, but really one CD, this rich, all-star concept album exceeded all expectations.

2. CAGE "Darker Than Black" - The future of heavy metal? Maybe. Cage takes Judas Priest heavy metal and brings it into the Cradle of Filth era.

1. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "The Blessed Hellride" - Zakk Wylde may be the savior of heavy metal. He gets better with every CD and "The Blessed Hellride" was easily his best yet.

Rock on, my metal friends. And, remember, "Music is the Most Individual Art."

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400