Dan & Arno’s “Best Album Closers of 2012”
In a perfect world every album would deliver from start to finish. In this one, a closer can be just that: the capper on an excellent experience. Or it can be the one track that redeems an otherwise so-so record. Dan & Arno were kind enough to include both on their list of Best Album Closers of 2012.
1. Dragonforce -“Last Man Stands”, from the album The Power Within
Arno: For their first listenable album in ages, Dragonforce pulled out all the stops and secured beginning, middle, and end of their newfound brand of straightforward power metal goodness. “Last Man Stands” is a dream of a closer, boasting a chorus catchier than the flu when a sick kid sneezes in your mouth. Gross, right?
2. Burning Point – “Holier Than Thou”, from the album The Ignitor
Dan: I’ve always thought that Burning Point was a better power metal band than most people gave them credit for, and while I still recognize that they’re not pushing barriers by any means, I found The Ignitor to be smashing. “Holier Than Thou” provides a whirlwind tour-de-force of everything great about the band in one vicious stroke, and is easily amongst my favorite songs of last year.
3. Grave Digger – “Home At Last”, from the album Clash Of The Gods
Dan: While the new Grave Digger was a bit of a letdown for me in some ways, I can’t really say I expected the old dogs to learn any new tricks. Even though some of the album was dragging, this rousing closer is an example of why I keep listening to and keep loving this band as a whole.
4. ReinXeed – “Welcome To The Theater”, from the album Welcome To The Theater
Dan: Tommy never fails. Another year, another album, and he consistently betters both himself and ReinXeed in the process. Welcome To The Theatre is truly the best “cinema metal” that you will ever hear, hands-down. Every song on the album is a different thematic treat, and the titular closer wraps a bow around a lusciously sweeping power metal experience.
5. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – “Of Michael The Archangel & Lucifer’s Fall”, from the album Ascending To Infinity
Arno: Is it technically a closer when it takes up half the album? Luca Turilli finally gets the closing epic right with this fifteen minute monster of biblical proportions. His Rhapsody may not be too far removed from the “Of Fire” variety, but at least they beat them in this regard: to close of an excellent album with one of the tastiest epics these Italians have ever done.
6. Threshold – “The Rubicon”, from the album March Of Progress
Dan: What’s really left to say about Threshold that hasn’t been said? They’re high royalty of the melodic prog realm, have inspired countless others, and overcome every trial set before them with seemingly superhuman grace. “The Rubicon” is a masterful prog closer from a band that fiercely embodies excellence and consistency.
7. Vision Divine – “Destination Set To Nowhere”, from the album Destination Set To Nowhere
Arno: An atypical pick, but this moody almost-ballad is such a fitting finish to a tale of interstellar tragedy. It leaves the disillusioned protagonist floating around in space, searching for a new home wherever. Fabio Lione croons in a Khan-esque emotional fashion, and so we set out for nowhere in particular, except the repeat button.
8. Pharaoh – “In Our Hands”, from the album Bury The Light
Arno: Bury The Light packs many surprises, and among its more twisted progressive experiments, it also has its share of simple power metal delights. “In Our Hands” is an upbeat, inspirational tune to take matters in thine own extremities and get on with it. After all, you have the power now, IN … YOUR … HAAAAANDS!
9. Elvenking – “Chronicle Of A Frozen Era”, from the album Era
Arno: A terrific tribute to everything that makes this band great sometimes. The atmosphere is mystic, the chorus spellbinding, and Damnagoras still that singer you either love or hate. As a fan of Era, this feels to me like the perfect point of farewell until Elvenking’s ever-suspenseful next incarnation. If they stick to powercore from here on, at least they gave the folkpower a satisfactory salute.
10. Orden Ogan – “Take This Light”, from the album To The End
Dan: Ok, I admit it, this is probably the cheesiest song I could have picked from the entire year. “Take This Light”, or as we’ve all taken to calling it, “The Dolphin Song”, is an extremely soft, warm, and dreamy ballad from a power metal band that does atmosphere like no other. I don’t usually have patience for such songs, but this is a big exception.