Were Good Hard Rock Releases Hard to Find from '95-'98? Our Response to Chris Jericho
5/25/2011 1:39:04 PM by Eric

Fozzy vocalist Chris Jericho [link] recently posted a Twitter comment that good rock records were hard to find from 1995-1998. While I certainly agree with Jericho that rock records were very hard to come by at that time, I still believe there was an abundance of great records out then...but your really had to get the dirt and grime under your nails digging deep enough.

1995 was a fairly good year as all of your big corporate hard rock bands had a few good strokes left (remember Warrant and Winger both had great albums in the early 90s along with Tesla) and the overall vibe to the Europeans and a few American bar acts was that hard music was still the party soundtrack of choice. We were all hardheaded, even me, with the flannel shirts and Grunge movement that kept the parties sedated.

Choice albums from 1995:
Clutch - Clutch
Dokken - Dysfunctional (Sony's attempt to still recreate success)
Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (and The Colour and the Shape in '97)
L.A. Guns - Vicious Circle
Nasty Idols - Heroes For Sale
Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis (not a fantastic release, but a few solid tunes)
Pretty Maids - Scream (easily the heaviest hard rock on the planet in the 90s)
Savatage - Dead Winter Dead
Skid Row - Subhuman Race
Stonewashed - Way Of Thorns (often mislabeled as Way Of Thorns - Stonewashed)
White Cross - Equilibrium (leaning towards alternative)
Z-Lot Z - Tearing At Your Mind
Rated X - Words
Skitzotik - Skitzotik
Bloodstone - Fight For Jerusalem
(all 3 of the above available domestically on the long defunct Long Island Records)

By 1996 it was a churning sea of label dumps and low-end affairs. 1998 is probably the worst year. By that point mainstream Ugly Kid Joe, Warrant, Winger, Skid Row, Tesla, etc were all told to take a hike. CMG International still had their arms wide open to embrace a few of these acts--everything from Dokken to Saxon to Overkill to BOC landed on their stoop while mainstream commercial labels looked for post-grunge in rap rock and bastard child Nu-metal.  These rock releases did come out and are worth looking into.

Bruce Dickinson - Accident of Birth
Chroming Rose - New World (got pushed stateside by Impulse Music store's small Pulse Records label)
Godsmack - Godsmack
Impellitteri - Screaming Symphony (and Eye Of The Hurricane in '97)
Jackyl - Cut The Crap (had some staying power on rock radio, Brian Johnson helped with a duet)
Pink Cream 69 - Electrified (post Andi Deris era started here...Deris left for Helloween)
Pretty Maids - Spooked (again the heaviest hard rock on the planet at this time)
Push - Maximum Entertainment
Victory - Voiceprint (last record before the reunion in 2002)

<< back >>

Bathory The Kovenant
Racer X The Great Deceiver
Grave Carpathian Forest
Karaboudjan Deceased
Deranged Norma Jean
Ring of Fire Agoraphobic Nosebleed
God Dethroned Dr. Butcher
Valley's Eve Tungsten
Byfist Runemagick
Rage Sinergy
Mnemic Silent Scythe
Brides of Destruction Royal Anguish
Dreamaker F5
Force Of Evil Soil
Node Death Angel
Gothic Knights Jag Panzer
downBleed Leash Law
Messiah's Kiss Wolf
Disarmonia Mundi Velvet Revolver
Dragonspoon Brutal Mastication
De Lirium's Order Acrid
Therion Mob Rules
Scorpions Bonfire
Unleashed Skeletonwitch
Rhapsody of Fire Lullacry
Medusa Theocracy
Marshall Law Six Feet Under
The Project Hate Arch Enemy
Within Temptation Acheron
Anger Triumph
Betrayer John Oliva's Pain
Cradle To Grave Gods Of Fire
Corrosion Of Conformity Belef
Hellfueled Requiem Aeternam
Veni Domine Maze Of Torment
Hellfire Mechanical Poet
Car Bomb Chuck Schuldiner
Wolverine Chaoswave
Oathean Bleed The Sky
Lord Gore Neil Turbin
Groundcrew Astarte
Graveworm Amorphis
Subterranean Masquerade Unchained
Dynamic Lights Voyager
Nuse Leaves Eyes
Ritual Killer Killing Spree
Thor Fates Warning
Widow Holy Blood
Clutch Blitzkrieg
Warchild Mercyful Fate
Violent Storm Ignarus
Savage Circus Phantom X
Mistress Akercocke
Dreamland Ram-Zet
Asrai Midnight Idols
Dogs Of Winter Taunusheim
Insense End My Sorrow
Intronaut Poison
Ephel Duath Lair Of The Minotaur
Fields Of The Nephilim Nightmare
Vore Manngard
Dawn of Azazel Cult of Luna
Suzukiton Bloodbound
Swashbuckle Psycroptic
Sahg Agalloch
Fleshgore From the Grave
Skyforger The Ruins of Beverast
Death Breath Abominant
Eighteen Visions Escape The Fate
Middian Kotipelto
Phazm Skullflower
Blood Tsunami The Gathering
Onslaught Static-X
Dezperadoz Five Finger Death Punch
The Prophecy Gotthard
Nominon Retrospective
Wuthering Heights Funeral
Echoes of Eternity Destynation
Pathosray Armory
Moonshine Godhead
Souls Of We Trinacria
Medieval Steel Alestorm
The More I See Iron Fire
Kiuas Place Of Skulls
Luna Mortis Papa Roach
Nasty Idols Mustasch
Sister Sin Suffocation