We lost far too many musicians in 2016.
But 2016 is also to be remembered for some great albums. We present 25 of them in the categories melodic hard rock, AOR, classic rock, hard rock, blues rock, southern rock.
Melodic Hard Rock
British Vega released their fourth CD in 2016, Who We Are. It’s probably the best melodic hard rock album of the year. Almost perfect in every respect (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 94/100.
Palace‘s debut Master Of The Universe offers excellent melodic rock with a lot of keyboards. A band to keep an eye on in the years to come (short review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100.
Treat‘s second album after their comeback, Ghost Of Graceland, is more proof for the fact that the band is one of the best melodic hard rock band around in 2016 (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 92/100.
The Defiants self-titled debut was another highlight in 2016. Strong melodic hard rock with powerful vocals (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100.
Mecca‘s third album III is pure undiluted AOR to the highest standard (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 90/100.
Newcomer Bryan Cole debuted with a fine melodic rock album, Sands Of Time, (review). Well done and a promise for the future. Melodicrock.nl rating: 80/100.
With their fourth album Silhouette, Australian White Widdow remains among the best melodic rock bands around. Instantly likeable and very melodic (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 84/100.
Already a guitar god in the 1960’s Jeff Beck is still as relevant today as he ever was. His 17th album Loud Hailer ranks among his best (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 85/100.
Firmly established as one of the best blues based classic rock acts of today, Rival Sons fifth album Hollow Bones is no exception to the rule (review). A band that makes rock history with timeless music. Melodicrock.nl rating: 88/100.
Young new band Inglorious debuted with an impressive rock album (review). Hailed as the great white hope for British classic rock, much is expected of this band for the coming years. Melodicrock.nl rating: 88/100
In 2016 NWOBHM legends Diamond Head issued a surprisingly good eponymous album featuring interesting heavy songs and a very good new singer (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 78/100.
Another pleasant surprise is Dust’s second CD Soulburst: a great heavy rock album that’s firmly rooted in the 1970’s (reviews). More quality from Sweden. Well done! Melodicrock.nl rating: 84/100.
Niterain from Norway delivered a first class sleaze rock album, Vendetta, (their second) in 2016. It’s energetic and thoroughly enjoyable (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 85/100.
Nordic Union‘s self-titled debut combines Nordic giants Erik Martensson and Ronnie Atkins to full effect: powerful hard rock with very good songs (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 85/100.
Young Australian guitarist Hamish Anderson debuted in 2016 with a solid blues rock album, Trouble, that’s one of the highlights in this subgenre (review). A promise for the future. Melodicrock.nl rating: 77/100.
Devon Allman‘s third solo CD, Ride Or Die, is the first since he parted ways with the excellent Royal Southern Brotherhood. It’s a nice, varied album (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 82/100.
Supersonic Blues Machine‘s impressive album, West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco, is a gathering of today’s blues rock greats (review). Hopefully it’s not a one-off. Melodicrock.nl rating: 88/100.
Powerful blues rock trio Simo‘s second CD, Let Love Show The Way, is a strong, jamming style album (review). Definitely one of the best acts on the heavier end of this subgenre. Melodicrock.nl rating: 82/100.
Torch bearers of today’s southern rock Blackberry Smoke came up with their fifth album to date, Like An Arrow. It’s instantly likeable and as brilliant as its predecessor (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 89/100
Robert Jon & The Wreck‘s second album, Good Life Pie, is very entertaining and well made (review). A band to keep an eye on. Melodicrock.nl rating: 82/100.
Dutch classic rock band The Grand East debuts with a diverse and surprisingly good album, Movano Camerata. Melodicrock.nl rating: 77/100.
One of the most interesting instrumental albums of 2016 is Allen Hinds fifth CD, Fly South. It features beautiful melodies with jazz and southern influences (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 78/100.
It took 20 years but in 2016 Zakk Wylde was back with a second retrospective solo album, aptly titled Book Of Shadows II. It’s a very cool set of great country influenced songs mostly on par with his earlier work (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 85/100.
Damian Wilson is a singer/songwriter with a totally different style. His fifth solo album, Built For Fighting, is melodic rock with pop influences and mature lyrics (reviews 1, 2 & 3). A wonderful album. Melodicrock.nl rating: 85/100.
Stand up comedian Jim Breuer wrote some great lyrics for his 1980’s metal style debut album Songs From The Garage (review). Hardly innovative, but convincing, very well made and good fun. Even in 2016. Melodicrock.nl rating: 75/100.