top 100 rock songs 2019

Then, on Valentine’s Day, like the pinnacle moment of a John Hughes film, Coverdale hit us over the head with “Shut Up & Kiss Me.”  It’s a slice of nostalgia that will take you back to the ‘80s, a time when the world was far less serious and rock and roll was a lot more decadent and fun. Thank you for taking the time to check out this year’s list.  A lot of work went into making this into a curated playlist, one where inclusion is more important than rankings.  Ranking of art is subjective, and changes from day-to-day based on moods.  That’s the power of music.  I encourage you to listen to the Spotify playlist by clicking at the image on top of the page.  If you want to help promote these artists and help your rock and roll friends discover new music, please share this list on social media. The origin story of N’ Tribe (short for Nordic Tribe) dates back three decades to 1989 in Denmark when the band Royal Hunt was formed.  The band is made up of two of the founding members of Royal Hunt (Andre Andersen and Henrik Brockmann), and current lead guitarist, Jonas Larsen.  Unlike Royal Hunt, N’ Tribe does not fit into any metal or progressive genres; they are straight-up, melodic, bluesy hard rock. Trivium is one of the more bold bands in rock today, constantly tinkering with their sound and not getting bogged down by the past and fan expectations.  “Drowning In The Sound” takes the band in a direction similar to Alter Bridge (though Matt Heafy and Myles Kennedy both possess distinct vocal styles).  Though a bit dissonant and angry, there is an underlying upbeat melody to the song.  The intense drumming sets the pace for this high adrenaline rocker that features old school shredding riffs.  Lyrically, the message taps into what many of us feel in these hyperactive times where we rarely gives ourselves the opportunity to disconnect from all of the noise. I was fortunate to be able to experience them in a live setting when they opened for Shinedown over the summer.  The stage was big.  The venue historic.  But they rose to the occasion in a way that you don’t often see with openers.  If you didn’t know better, you would have thought that you were seeing a seasoned headliner instead of a young band just starting to make a ripple in the vast ocean that is Active Rock. About five years after discovering “Heroes” on MTV, I began watching a television show called 21 Jump Street (about youthful looking undercover cops in a high school).  It starred (then) newcomer, Johnny Depp.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that these two worlds would collide, but this year, it did when Hollywood Vampires released their cover of “Heroes.”. Thanks for all of your hard work throughout the year. [78] STEEL PANTHER (f. ROBIN ZANDER) – “She’s Tight”. In an unusual twist of fate, the legendary drummer is actually playing drums on the song (and album) that is meant to be a tribute to him. With a full, energetic sound that looms as large as Metallica on “the black album,” “If You’re Wrong” takes you on an adrenaline-filled, impassioned journey courtesy of LaSelva’s haunting vocals and Dio-esque lyrics.  Lu Cachie’s gritty riffs are buoyed by fierce, pulsating rhythm section that is Franklin Wyles (drums), John Liberator (bass), and Joe Talotta (rhythm guitar). Veer is a hard-working band, both on and off the stage, in particular the Malfi brothers.  Ronald is a published novelist, and (drummer) Jon crafts custom guitars, does graphic design, is an integral part of promoting the Annapolis, Maryland music scene, and more! According to frontman Michael Del Pizzo…, ” ‘Turn Away’ was coming to fruition no matter how many times we tried to toss it aside.  It just seemed to have a life of its own, and is now what we consider to be the most important track of our career.”. Advertising Crash Midnight is the epitome of a rock and roll band that fully embraces the lifestyle that made bands like Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, and Motley Crue famous.  With a timeless, blues rock sound, this is a band that will resonate with fans who long for the days of larger-than-life rock stars. Required fields are marked *. “Song For The Broken” was co-written, produced, and engineered by Chris Dawson and Jimmy Beattie of Seasons After.  Like Seasons After, Take The Day also hails from Kansas.  Both bands have a sound that stands out from the crowd, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this song from the first listen. The artwork for Dismantle’s “Better When You’re Gone” shows a girl giving the finger to the band off in the distance.  An image that goes hand-in-hand with the lyrics of the song…“stay the fuck away, leave me to myself, cause it’s better when you’re gone.”  You may be thinking that this is an angst-ridden, piss-and-vinegar song filled with growls based on the lyrics, but it’s actually not at all. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Dead Daisies were already on the scene long before the classic rock revival started to take hold for modern hard rock bands. [62] SONNY JIM – “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone”. [49] GOODBYE JUNE – “Secrets In The Sunset”. There’s something about Paul Christiana’s voice that takes “Back To Black” in an entirely different direction.  His vocals, atop a sultry groove from the band, ooze charisma and charm.  Listening to this song conjures up memories of the instantly recognizable theme song to The Sopranos.  Though this is one of the cooler covers that I discovered during the year, it felt like an original to me because I had never heard the Winehouse version before. Infused with the modern edge of today’s active rock, the riffs and leads of the guitar hero days, and the vocal harmonies of yesteryear, “I Am A Nightmare” is a song that is unlike anything else that you will hear on radio today.  Unfortunately, Bobaflex as we know it no longer exists.  Founding member, and one half of the McCoy brothers, Shaun, decided this year to call it quits and focus on his life beyond the stage.  While the remaining members will be staying together, it will be under an entirely different moniker. Featuring the best rock music songs of 2019 with today's rock hits. The (Very Nearly) Definitive List. “Gimme Gimme Rockaway” is not about the tragic moments that have hit the area in recent times.  Quite the opposite!  It’s an homage to life in and around the area.  While not quite in the pure punk realm of The Ramones, there is a punk quality to the song that is definitively New York.  There’s also a little bit of the glam of the Sunset Strip infused into the song.  You don’t have to be able to relate personally or feel the nostalgia of the lyrics to appreciate this killer tune. I always look forward to new Wayland songs because they seem to reinvent themselves more than most other modern rock bands.  “I’m Not Alright” was purposely placed in this position because the catchy chorus screamed classic Cheap Trick to me.  This song doesn’t feature Robin Zander on guest vocals, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it did.  With an opening that has a cool, swampy vibe, this song stands out because of the unlikely elements blending together so perfectly. Two things drew me in when I first listened to “Memories” by Shadows Remain.  The first was the clear, bright, powerful production quality.  The second was Jason Hill’s vocals, which reminded me of Zac Maloy of The Nixons (one of my favorite ‘90s bands).  As it turns out, both Shadows Remain and The Nixons are from Northern Oklahoma.  Perhaps it’s a regional sound that appeals to me.  In most cases, I wouldn’t necessarily highlight the production quality, but in this case, it’s warranted. [29] THE DEFIANTS – “Hollywood In Headlights”. The rock and roll world exists well beyond the realm of Active Rock radio or the confines of North America.  Although a number of the songs featured on this list appeared on the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2019 and/or the Top 50 Active Rock Songs of 2019, Hard Rock Daddy’s TOP 100 HARD ROCK SONGS OF 2019 is not based on radio airplay.  In fact, many of the songs featured received no spins at all. How to describe the current incarnation of Dismantle, a Detroit rock unit whose origins date back to 2006?  Remember the edge that Three Days Grace had when Adam Gontier was the frontman?  Picture that on steroids with Zakk Wylde sitting in on guitar. The chart list of the top 100 alternative songs is updated several times daily. [15] FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – “Inside Out”, Five Finger Death Punch doesn’t usually make you wait very long before they grab you by the throat with their brand of intense aggression.  This time around they did with “Inside Out,” which doesn’t reach a fever pitch until a suspenseful intro builds to a climax.  There’s something else different this time around.  According to guitarist Zoltan Bathory, “it was a focused sober group recording, and our most important album to date.  The album represents rebirth, progression, and transcendence both personally and musically.”. The year was 1984.  I had seen the video for “Take Hold Of The Flame” on MTV, but other than that, I knew very little about Queensryche.  A group of us were heading to the Nassau Coliseum to see Kiss on the “Animalize” tour.  It was the first time that any of us had seen Kiss, so we were all pretty excited.  Well, except for the one acquaintance that went with us because he was there to see Queensryche.  We thought that he was crazy at the time.  Little did I know that Queensryche would become my favorite band not long after that show.  Make sure to pay attention to the lyrics when listening to this one! The sweet, soulful presence of Led Zeppelin meets the sleazy, gritty, ’80s Sunset Strip sound of Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue on Dirty Honey’s “When I’m Gone.”  Dirty Honey is not only the moniker of these L.A. rockers, it is also an accurate description of their sound.  It wasn’t that long ago when bands like this, talented though they may be, didn’t have a home on Active Rock radio.  There is undoubtedly a classic rock revival going on, due in no small part to the impact that has been made by Greta Van Fleet.  They have their fair share of critics, but they deserve credit for blazing a trail for bands like Dirty Honey to garner radio attention.   “When I’m Gone” has a distinct Zeppelin vibe, but because of the infusion of the Sunset Strip sound of yesteryear (from the band’s hometown), Dirty Honey is unlikely to feel the wrath of critics and fans for being too derivative.  Ironically, the evolution of Active Rock radio may very well be defined by going back in time and embracing timeless rock and roll from bands like Dirty Honey. COMING SOON – Top Hard Rock Artists of the 2010s…stay tuned! [90] A DAY TO REMEMBER – “Degenerates”. Find the top 100 Rock & Roll songs for the year of 2013 and listen to them all! At the bottom of the page (beneath the reviews) is a listing of the songs in order. The Ferrymen is a European supergroup of talented artists that are not nearly as well-known in the United States.  Featuring Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear), Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Lords Of Black), and Mike Terrana (Axel Rudi Pell), The Ferrymen is another inspired pairing on Italy’s Frontiers Music. [7] ALTER BRIDGE – “Wouldn’t You Rather”. Ozzy has dealt with his fair share of maladies in recent years, which undoubtedly brought his mortality to the forefront.  That, and watching so many of his peers die before their time.  I admit that I was a bit surprised to hear that he would be releasing an album after all these years, but appreciative just the same.  The darkness that has always been a part of his lyrics now feels more realistic.  “Under The Graveyard” is a painful dose of reality about the aging process, and what it feels like when you approach the age where many rock stars have died. “Native Soul,” the title track off of Edge Of Forever’s latest album, takes a turn away from the band’s neoclassical sound and towards the more bluesy hard rock of bands like Tangier.  The big, anthemic vocal harmonies use the same formula that Styx has used for decades.  “Native Soul” is the definition of arena rock. A power trio of cousins – Milbourn, Tyler Baker, and Brandon Qualkenbush – these Nashville rockers continue to rise above the din with their southern blues, gospel-infused brand of timeless rock and roll.  “Secrets In The Sunset” sounds fresh and new today, but could just as easily be an undiscovered gem from a ’70s time capsule that has just been opened for the first time in decades.  With psychedelic mysticism, power, and depth, this song will instantly stand out on any Active Rock playlist.  Whereas typical Active Rock songs tend to have a similar vibe, Goodbye June is making music that feels like it should be played to the arena rock crowds of yesteryear.  The mission of this band is to honor the memory of Baker’s brother in name (he passed away in the month of June) and in spirit.  It’s a lot to live up to, but if any band is up to the task, it’s Goodbye June. Backyard Babies have released seven studio albums and have won two Swedish Grammys since their debut in 1989.  When you listen to “44 Undead,” you will probably think more about the Sunset Strip in L.A. than Scandinavia.  Given their sound, that’s understandable.  However, the band is considered to be sleaze rock pioneers in their corner of the world.  Kids in America may know their music (even if they don’t know their name).  The band’s single, “Minus Celcius” was featured as a playable bonus track in Guitar Hero III, and “Degenerated” is available as a download from Guitar Hero World Tour. [75] THE DEAD DAISIES – “Dead And Gone”. Fall Out Boy, "I've Been Waiting" Myles Kennedy has always had an uplifting quality to his voice, but his lyrics have often times been heart wrenching (in a good way).  Life changes for each of us as we enter different stages.  Ideally, wisdom goes hand-in-hand with aging.  As the sands of time continue to fall, you start to appreciate things that you might not have earlier on. “H.O.M.E.” is a song that celebrates life in North Carolina.  A song that oozes pride from a band that clearly bleeds Carolina Blue.  A song that gives you a glimpse into the lives of people from the area in a similar manner to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”  The band’s customary melodic sound is infused with a rap rock element that adds a fun twist to the song. [69] SHALLOW SIDE – “Sound The Alarm”. [45] CORY MARKS (f. IVAN MOODY, MICK MARS) – “Outlaws & Outsiders”. Radio Airplay + Sales Data + Streaming Data = HOT ROCK SONGS. Find out now! Whenever I listen to Crash Midnight, I am taken back in time to the early days of Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses.  This band has an “it factor” that makes you wonder how big they would have been if they made their debut in the mid-‘80s. Many of the bands from Tesla’s era are still touring today, but don’t necessarily feel the need to release new music.  To their credit, Tesla has continued to write and record new music.  2019’s Shock was the band’s fourth release of the millennium.  Because of the signature raspy sound of Jeff Keith’s vocals, Tesla’s new music retains the feel of their classic material. Badflower is one of the most compelling rising stars in rock today for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their ability to stir emotions with their songs.  There’s something about the way that Josh Katz infuses his lyrics with bittersweet melancholy that conjures up a wide range of emotions with his impassioned delivery.  Sometimes sad, sometimes angry, but still with an underlying air of hope and defiant resolve.  If you dig deeper and follow the band on Twitter, songs like “The Jester” take on an even deeper meaning. “Hollywood In Headlights” is not based on any particular time period.  It’s a teenage love story that is as old as time, going back to the days of Romeo and Juliet.  In fact, that famous duo is mentioned in the lyrics.  Who among us cannot relate to the carefree days of our youth, and thinking about the one that got away? The groove of “Memories” gets you banging your head to the crunchy riffs from the first note.  It’s something that many people don’t consciously appreciate, but for me, songs with this kind of spacing have their own kind of musicality.  Letting the song breathe helps create a dynamic that allows the heavy hitting moments to be felt that much more.  Shadows Remain is definitely a band to keep on your radar as we move into the next decade. Of course, this rock music collective has always featured musicians that made their bones when classic rock was current, so their sound is expected.  Still, most don’t deliver like The Dead Daisies.  Their sound is particularly impressive when you factor in the transient nature of its members.  The cohesive chemistry continues with “Dead And Gone,” a song that is equal parts southern flavor and timeless blues rock.  (Former) frontman John Corabi is mostly known for being a hard rock vocalist.  While there is definitely a hint of Deep Purple and Ian Gillan on this track, the southern rock influences shine through most on “Dead And Gone.”  As usual, the band has a big arena sound complemented by shredding guitar that take you back in time.  The Dead Daisies may just be the perfect bridge between the past and the present. “Lonely Nights” is an energetic, feel-good cover of the 1981 classic by Bryan Adams off of JORN’s upcoming 2020 release, Heavy Rock Radio II: Executing The Classics.  Imagine the power of Ronnie James Dio, the rasp of Steven Tyler, and the aggression of Ivan Moody all rolled into one.  That’s Jorn in a nutshell. Bruce Springsteen, 'The Rising' Writer: Springsteen. On “Leviathan,” one of the things that grabs your attention right away is the subtle use of guitar harmonies.  Very few bands these days can deliver an edgy punk intensity in a feel-good song, but Volbeat does so vividly on “Leviathan.”  Lyrically, Volbeat always marches to the beat of their own drum with references that are atypical in rock music.  “Leviathan” is no exception.  The song is a fantastical journey about a relationship with a sea creature of the same name referenced in the Hebrew Bible.  This fun musical and lyrical escape is highlighted by the impressive shredding of guitarist Rob Caggiano. For the past several years, new music from Tool was as much folklore as a Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster sighting…lots of talk, but no substantiation.  After a 13-year hiatus, new music from Tool actually arrived.  Perhaps it was by design that the opening line contains the lyrics “long overdue”…perhaps not.  No matter.  What matters most is that the seemingly endless wait for new Tool music came to a merciful end in 2019. The 100 most popular and best selling alternative songs at Apple's iTunes store, find the newest releases and some of today's best alternative songs. W The single re-entered the top ten on the week ending December 28, 2019. The eerie, atmospheric melancholy of Highly Suspect meets the angst of Nirvana on Empty Trail’s “Lost.”  You don’t need to watch the video to experience theater of the mind on this tension-filled tune that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Somehow, amidst the darkness, Rick Lambert taps into Sebastian Bach-like melodic aggression as “Lost” builds to a crescendo.  Just when you think there is no escape from the psychedelic chaos of Lambert’s mind-bending dissonant riff, the madness comes to an abrupt halt to reveal a softer, more soulful side of his voice.  It’s like a beam of sunlight piercing through an ominous cloud.  It’s hard to think of another band that melds ’80s hard rock sensibilities with ’90s grunge to form a sound that feels fresh and current.  “Lost” is the type of song that you need to let wash over you multiple times to appreciate its complexities. I was so blown away to see ZFG on the list! [54] MICHAEL MONROE – “Last Train To Tokyo”. When I first discovered Sonny Jim’s “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone,” I thought that it may have been a solo artist covering the Cinderella classic of the same name from the ‘80s.  It turned out that the song is an original, and Sonny Jim is a band, not a solo artist. From heavy metal to punk rock, these are the best rock songs of 2019. Get weekly updates from everything happening on HardRockDaddy.com. Like Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain,” “Under Your Scars” opens with a beautiful piano and touching vocals.  The underlying strings provide a depth that helps bring out the emotion of the song.  Godsmack and Erna may be known for their intensity, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t shine when they pull things back a bit.  The band doesn’t usually dabble in the love song arena, but “Under Your Scars” shows that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so more often.  The meaning behind the song is one that everyone with any kind of life experience can appreciate.  As life progresses, we all accumulate our fair share of baggage.  “Under Your Scars” acknowledges that baggage, while delivering the sage advice that the weight of the past should not diminish happiness in the future. Individuals like to come up with their weirdest best dance moves when rock songs with a catchy chorus are playing. Intense and melodic, “Fleur de lis” straddles the line between symphonic, theatrical, and power metal.  You don’t expect to use the word “beauty” when describing something this powerful, but it is a fitting description of a song blends thunderous double bass drumming with sweet melodies. It’s taken me forty years to realize that Foreigner’s “Dirty White Boy” is actually a bit ironic.  The song is as clean and melodic as the band itself.  I heard shades of “Dirty White Boy” in the opening vocals of “Helluva Ride,” but in this case, it is not at all ironic.  Frontman Dylan Villain is dirty in the way that you want your rock stars to be. It’s songs like “Half Mast Blues” that makes you wonder how The Lazys have managed to fly under the radar thus far.  To borrow from the theme of the song, they are a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. For all questions, requests and artist submissions: It was a cool November morning in 1977.  I woke up early, excited to celebrate my 9th birthday and open my presents.  Unwrapping the big one first, I was psyched to see that it was the boombox that I had asked for, but the smaller present is the one … Learn more >>. “Tonight, we’re just counting down the seconds til we die.”  There’s something about that line that conjured up the same kind of feelings that I get whenever I hear “Dust In The Wind” by Kansas.  Cross The Divide was one of my favorite discoveries of 2019. In 2018, the video for “Yuve Yuve Yu” went viral.  At the time, it seemed like a bit of a novelty seeing Mongolian metal performed with unusual instruments on a mountain top.  The song had a cool groove, and even though I had no idea what the lyrics meant, there was something about it that get stuck in my head.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this viral sensation to emerge on Active Rock radio, a format that doesn’t tend to reward outside-the-box, unique songs.  If not for the updated version of “Yuve, Yuve, Yu” – which blends nu metal, English vocals by Danny Case (From Ashes To New) – it’s hard to imagine that this breakthrough would have happened.  An unlikely collaboration has resulted in a song that blends so well that it feels like Case has always been a member of this Mongolian metal outfit.  His vocals perfectly complement the song without taking away from the catchy chant that gets stuck in your head.  Usually, an earworm like this would be maddening, but in this case, it makes you feel like a warrior marching into battle.  Not since Rammstein’s “Du Hast” has a song created mass appeal solely because of the primal feeling that it inspires in the listener. Starset is unlike any other band on the scene today.  Though their music gets played on radio as isolated singles, this is one of the few bands (outside of prog) that features a continuing storyline. It’s not easy to work “shiver me timbers” into a lyric without sounding like a cartoonish cliché, but The Lazys did so masterfully in “Half Mast Blues.”  There are enough pirate references in this upbeat, rum-soaked rocker to make it feel authentic, but in actuality, the song is about a genuine issue that has effected most men at one time or another.  Let’s just say that it isn’t a pirate flag that is being flown at half-mast in the song.  You need to listen to the lyrics carefully to get the full gist of the meaning, but if you’d rather just hoist one up and party, you can ignore the lyrics and just feel the infectious groove uplift your spirits. I eventually realized that Tate and the rest of the band were headed in different directions both musically and personally.  The time came to embrace the change.  Which brings us to today…. There isn’t a lot of information to be gleaned from Matt Mitchell’s Facebook page.  The British singer got his start in the mid-2000s with an AOR band called Pride.  He went a little heavier with his next project, Furyon.  That band enjoyed some success in Europe, but was eventually “put on ice.”  Mitchell continued to have success overseas with the lighter, bluesy sounding Colour Of Noise. A take on “Time,” the title track from Freddie Mercury’s musical, “Time Waits For No One” was a previously unreleased track that came out in 2019.  The original version of the song features heavy percussion and backing vocals.  Recorded in 1985, producer Dave Clark had Mercury record a stripped down version with only piano accompaniment.  It remained unearthed until Clark discovered it in the spring of 2018.  Not wanting the track to be overshadowed by the juggernaut that was Queen’s biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, Clark held off releasing the track for a year.  Other than recording a new piano track, the song is as it was when it was recorded decades ago. [68] ANOTHER LOST YEAR – “H.O.M.E.”. I look forward to your posts during the week.  Their music goes beyond conveying and/or invoking emotion in the listener.  Often times, this relies upon atmospheric moods to set the tone. [40] TAKE THE DAY – “Song For The Broken”. When you throw a pebble into a large body of water, the ripple effect is barely noticeable.  But when you throw a boulder into that same body of water, the splash catches your attention and the ripple effect draws you in.  Saul chose to make a big splash with their debut single, “Brother,” a song with the intense emotions of Nothing More, the fierce rhythm of Five Finger Death Punch, the soul of Sevendust, and the mainstream progression of Gemini Syndrome. [56] THE END MACHINE – “Alive Today”. Rival Sons don’t get the recognition that they deserve for the resurgence of the blues rock sound of the ‘70s back into the mainstream.  That’s probably because they have too many layers to draw direct comparisons to just one band.  While it may help for marketing purposes to be known as “the next” (insert classic band here), it also tends to pigeonhole you into being a poor man’s version of that same band. There’s a familiarity to The Wilkof Project, but it took several listens to put my finger on what it is because “Magic” has more layers than you realize once you peel back the onion.  The darkness of Black Sabbath, the groove of Led Zeppelin, and the subtle undertones of Queensryche set the stage for vocals that conjure up thoughts of Mark Tremonti on the lower register and Glenn Hughes when Matt Wilkof soars into the upper register.  Aside from the fact that Wilkof is the former vocalist/guitarist of Another Black Day (who hails from West Palm Beach in Florida), there isn’t much information to be gleaned about this project on social media. Artist 100; All Weekly Charts; YEAR-END . “Goodbye Divinity” is a virtuoso clinic melded with an infectious hook and soaring melody.  Thundering intensity seamlessly yields to beautiful vocal harmonies and the showcasing of each musician without ever feeling gratuitous.  It’s the kind of song that makes you yearn to see these musical geniuses in a live setting. [77] WHITESNAKE – “Shut Up & Kiss Me”. Depending on your musical taste, this song features at least two “outsiders” to the genre.  Rockers may feel a little uneasy about the twang of the guitar riffs, and country fans may feel the same way about the gritty intensity that Ivan Moody brings to the table, or the distortion of Mick Mars’ guitar solo.  From the twangy guitars yielding way to rock riffs, and country vocals blended with one of the iconic voices in rock today, “Outlaws & Outsiders” works on every level. Though it’s hard to imagine this particular supergroup coming to fruition, the end result is something special.  Butler has always been considered one of the premier bassists in rock, but his contributions were largely overshadowed by Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Ronnie James Dio.  Deadland Ritual’s overall sound is not heavily Sabbath influenced, particularly the vocals and melodies, but there is a Sabbath undercurrent because of Butler’s playing.  It adds a hint of foreboding darkness to counterbalance Perez’s vocals and overall vocal harmonies.  Stevens keeps the song moving with heavy riffs, and when he shreds, you realize just how good he is.  Like Butler, he was overshadowed by Idol.  Same for Sorum, who had to contend with the larger-than-life personalities of Axl Rose and Slash.  To a lesser degree, Perez is also a bit of an underrated talent, as Apocalyptica is known mostly for their incredible cello playing.

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