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2008: The Rock Strikes Back!

Well, it’s that time of year again, the time where all the bands are gearing up for a tour or they already are on tour. It’s also the time they start rolling out the new albums.

2008 kicked off in an awesome way with Avantasia’s The Scarecrow, but let’s take a look at other hopefuls and what’s out now, what will be out soon, and what will be out later in the year.

Jon Oliva’s Pain – Global Warning
Release Date: May 6?
I’m a fan of early Savatage (before they got all progressive), so I checked out Jon’s Tage Mahal hoping for a Savatage-worthy release. I didn’t get it. BUT… The songs I’ve heard on JOP’s MySpace page for this new album are pretty good and reviews are saying THIS album *is* worthy of Savatage. There’s some conflicting reports (at least to me) as to what day it has been/will be released. I’ve seen quite a few supposed release dates for March, April, and May. Amazon & CD Universe are listing May 6 though…

Whitesnake – Good to Be Bad
Release Date: April 15
While I don’t own it yet, I have been able to listen to this album numerous times in it’s entirety and it complete rocks. It stands right beside their 1987 self-titled and Slip of the Tongue. Great, great guitar work. I can already say this is one of the year’s best releases.

Def Leppard – Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
Release Date: April 29
A lot of places (such as Rolling Stone magazine) are giving the album so-so reviews. But I’m liking what I’ve heard so far and it seems like YEAH! really inspired Def Lep to rock again.

Dokken – Lightning Strikes Again
Release Date: May 13
Admittedly, I’ve never followed Dokken closely. I own Tooth and Nail, but I always found them a bit bland. They just didn’t stick out for me amongst other bands of the era. Again, thanks to MySpace, I’m able to hear the new stuff and I’m loving it. It definitely sounds like Dokken and I’m loving the song “Heart to Stone”.

Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
Release Date: June 17
Crue Fest has been announced (I have my tickets for the 7/15 Detroit show) and the Crue has released their new single “Saints of Los Angeles” and it absolutely rocks. It has that old-school Motley sound, I can’t get enough of it. I can’t wait to get this album and to see them play it live.

Judas Priest – Nostradamus
Release Date: June 17
June 17th– the best day of the year in 2008! Priest AND Crue! The newly released song gives me hope.

Release Date: September
Okay, so St. Anger was a huge dud, but the band seems to realize and admit that now. They say they’re going old-school (somewhere between ...And Justice For All and the Black Album), but don’t all the veteran bands say that to keep the old-school fans coming back? Hopefully, they can pull it off. I’ll be buying it to find out.

Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider
Release Date: July?
Alice really hasn’t disappointed over the years. He had a few missteps in the 80s, but everything from Trashed onward has been either solid or great. I wonder if they garage sound he went back to on The Eyes of Alice Cooper and Dirty Diamonds will continue here. It was originally scheduled for May ’08, that date was pushed back a long time ago. His official website says it’ll be released sometime in the summer to coincide with the tour that starts in July.

Steelheart – Samurai
Release Date: 2008?
The Just A Taste EP was released in 2006 and featured three tracks from Samurai plus the original version of “We All Die Young” (before it was re-recorded for Rock Star). I can’t find any release date other anymore specific than 2008. I’ve heard the songs off the EP, and they’re great. Especially “LOL (Laughing Out Loud)” very heavy, very modern. Not what I was expecting from Steelheart, but that’s okay because it still rocks.

Release Date: Fall/Winter
Again, I can’t anything definite on this release other than “2008”, but I’m assuming it’ll be released in the fall. I’m really looking forward to this. Much like YEAH! inspired Def Leppard to start rocking again, I’m hoping Honkin’ On Bobo did the same for Aerosmith. Please no more trash like Just Push Play! “Devil’s Got A New Diguise” was classic Aerosmith, so hopefully we’ll get more of the same. Although, I’m reading some rumors that the album will be a mix of new material, plus re-recordings of older stuff that didn’t make any previous albums. That’s kinda lame if it’s true, why do I want to listen to stuff that wasn’t good enough the first time around?

Heaven and Hell
Release Date: 2008
I’m really looking forward to this one. The new songs they recorded for the Black Sabbath: The Dio Years compilation were really good and I’m always game for Black Sabbath without Ozzy. No definite date set, I’m not even sure if they’re recording anything right now, but Dio says 2008 and that’s good enough for me.

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