26. Coldsteel - America Idle (EP)
This band sort of came out of nowhere with a new release. This is a thrash band from the early 90's that put out one album before disbanding, but has recently reformed to put out this EP. The vocals are a bit gruff, and the riffs are nothing special, but the songwriting is contagious. I was actually familiar with them before they got on the Helloween tour, but they were awesome there, and that made me enjoy this release even more. The highlights are "America Idle" and "Blood Secrets"
25. Anvil - Hope In Hell
This is a bit of a disappointing release from Anvil. It is by no means bad, but "Juggernaut of Justice" was amazing, and this was a step down. A lot of the lyrics feel cliche, but that doesn't stop several of these songs from being really catchy. Also, it's hard not to like an album of this quality when you consider that Lips is 57 and still going strong. I suppose this ranking is the result of my excessive love for Anvil, but it's an enjoyable album nonetheless. Standout tracks are "Hope In Hell" and "Eat Your Words".
24. Havok - Unnatural Selection
This was one of my most anticipated records, but it didn't turn out perfectly. A few songs on this album are completely brilliant. They're thrashy, fast, and aggressive. But then the band made some questionable choices (the Sebastian Bach-esque vocals on "Under The Gun", the "Children of the Grave" cover, etc). It seems like the thrash community really disliked this album, but everyone else loved it. I fall right in the middle of those two, as I do enjoy listening to it, but my expectations were much higher. The best songs are "I Am The State", "Give Me Liberty... Or Give Me Death", and "Unnatural Selection".
23. Huntress - Starbound Beast
Huntress took a huge step up on this album as Jill Janus got rid of her "wailingness". The songs in general seem more focused. This album took a few listens to sink in, because it didn't have any standout hits like the last record did. I'm not sure why the band gets the hate they do, but I love Huntress' music. My favourites are "I Want To Fuck You To Death", "Destroy Your Life", and "Spectra Spectral".
4/24 - Skull Fist
5/3 - Dragonforce
5/16 - Cauldron
6/20 - Bolt Thrower
7/30-8/1 - Wacken Open Air