It’s the final countdown… what better way to celebrate the magazine’s fifth birthday than by finding out who recorded our top twenty five albums to have been released in that time?

25. Paradise LostObsidian (Nuclear Blast) 2020

“Despite being a band with a past that’s very much to be proud of, with Obsidian Paradise Lost they prove that it’s not the past that defines them, but very much the now and the next. Splendid stuff on all fronts”. – Scott Adams 24/4/20. Full review HERE

24. Cats In SpaceScarecrow (Harmony Factory) 2017

“I said earlier that Scarecrow wasn’t necessarily better than its predecessor, but I was messing about. It is, and it’s also better than anything else in its field you’ll hear in 2017. Majestic”. – SA 25/07/17. Full Review HERE

23. DynaztyThe Dark Delight (AFM) 2020

“Is there anyone in the world of modern metal that sounds as awe-inspiringly massive as Dynazty?.. Everything is recorded with impact on the listener as the main priority – which makes The Dark Delight almost faultless in my book” – Gavin Strickmann, 17/03/20. Full review HERE

22. KansasThe Prelude Implicit (InsideOut Music) 2016

The Prelude Implicit is a grand statement, perhaps the grandest Kansas has made in the last thirty five years. It is the sound of a band comfortable with all the facets of it’s past, yet excited about the new possibilities of the future; But above all, it is a triumph” SA 13/09/16. Full review HERE

21. Tau CrossMessengers of Deception (Easy Action) 2020

“For all my flippancy about the lyrical content of this record, there is an awful lot here to get your teeth into should you care to invest some time and energy. If not – no matter. Like I said, you’ll not hear many better albums in this milieu this year…” – Michael Stronge, 30/11/20. Full review HERE

20. Dennis DeYoung26 East: Volume 1 (Frontiers Music) 2020

“DeYoung has another album in the can, 26 East Volume 2, and even if it’s only half as good as this offering then our protagonist will end his storied, fifty-year plus career on a high. But for now just immerse yourself in this beautifully crafted piece of classic rock and enjoy every last second of it. It’s impossible not to, I can fully assure you…” SA 05/05/20. Full review HERE

19. Devin TownsendEmpath (InsideOut Music) 2019

“A totally fucking brilliant album…with more layers upon layers of aural pleasure; the amount of stuff crammed into every song should blow your fucking mind – but then if you’re not a fan already, there’s a good chance that Empath won’t convince you any further”. Albert Petersen, 04/03/19. Full review HERE

18. Audrey HorneBlackout (Napalm Records) 2018

“Norwegians Audrey Horne are now, somewhat incredibly, six albums old with the release of new record Blackout. I say incredibly, because I just can’t believe the band aren’t huge this far in to their career. When you consider what the likes of F**e F****r D***h P***h have done, sales wise (eyes mist over, looks into middle distance shaking head and smiling ruefully)…” GS, 09/02/18. Full review HERE

17. AC/DCPower Up (Sony) 2020

“That AC/DC have come up with one of their best albums in decades – there are moments here when you will find yourself quite literally unable to stop smiling whilst listening – is nothing short of miraculous. Power Up indeed…” – SA, 13/11/20. Full review HERE

16. Blue Öyster CultThe Symbol Remains (Frontiers Music) 2020

“There are truly enough good moments here to snare even the least amenable mind, and if this turns out to be Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma’s recorded swansong, then it’s hard to imagine them going out in greater style than this. Simply tremendous stuff”. – GS, 19/10/20. Full Review HERE

15. PounderUncivilized (Hells Headbangers) 2019

“On Uncivilized Pounder deal out the metal in rousing, inspirational but most importantly sincere style and there is not one second on this album that won’t please the denim-clad faithful who were there at the time…” – SA, 18/02/19. Full review HERE

14. StrikerStand In The Fire (Record Breaking Records) 2016

“Yep, they’ve done it. Striker’s last two albums, 2012’s Armed to the Teeth and City of Gold from 2014 both suggested a band that was capable of making the leap from enthusiastic young pups to serious international contenders; With their latest, self-titled extravaganza they confirm those suspicions. Striker are evidently the real deal”. SA, 10/03/16. Full review HERE

13. Armored SaintPunching The Sky (Metal Blade) 2020

“Comfortably their most comprehensively satisfying release in years, Armored Saint appear to have either found the keys to the fountain of youth or, more likely, have made their peace with the ageing process and determined to simply be the best they can be, whatever their vintage and damn the torpedoes. Whatever the answer, Punch The Sky is the sound of masters at work, and definitely one of 2020’s must-have heavy metal records”. SA, 15/10/20. Full review HERE

12. TestamentBrotherhood of the Snake (Nuclear Blast) 2016

“Overall then Brotherhood… isn’t quite as intensely aggressive as it’s predecessor, but the flip side of that is that this album is actually more listenable – or at least accessible – and certainly so to the casual listener. But whether you’re a die hard member of Testament‘s legions or just a curious interloper, there’s sure as hell going to be plenty here to spread a smile across your face. This is a great album”. – MS, 11/10/16 Full review HERE

11. Mark SlaughterHalfway There (EMP) 2017

“Almost perfect, then, and certainly better than most of the old duffers of Slaughter’s vintage that can be bothered to write new music in 2017 are coming up with. Hints of Boston (Turn It in particular is redolent of Tom Scholz and company) abound, whiffs of Nelson occur, but above all this album is 100% Mark Slaughter and that’s a bit of a result. Essential listening”. – SA, 08/05/17 Full Review HERE

10. NeuronspoilerSpoiled For Choice (Own Label) 2020

Spoiled For Choice is clearly the work of a band ready to make a big step up, a band ready to take it’s place on the World stage. Good luck to them!” – SA, 09/08/20. Full review HERE

9. QueensrÿcheThe Verdict (Century Media) 2019

“This is solid, enjoyable metal from a band that owes nothing to any of us, and long may they prosper – but oh! How Dark Reverie has set me to thinking what an exciting future this band can have again if they possess the bravery to spread their wings just a little next time around…” – SA, 07/02/19 Full review HERE

8. Deep PurpleWhoosh! (earMUSIC) 2020

“An unexpected triumph, then; It’s been rumoured of course that this may well be the last time we see (or more importantly hear) Deep Purple in the recording studio. If it is, then it’s hard to imagine a better parting shot”. – SA, 26/08/20 Full review HERE

7. Striker – Striker (Record Breaking Records) 2017

“On balance this is a heavier Striker, guitars set to thrash rather than get the hair metal memory cells twitching in ecstasy, although there are still plenty of chant along choruses to get involved in should you be so minded… Get stuck in and get involved… you won’t regret it”. – SA, 28/02/17. Full review HERE

6. Last In LineHeavy Crown (Frontiers Music) 2016

Jimmy Bain’s characteristic grinding bass sound roves all over the record, most notably in excellent opening cut Devil in Me and the Holy Diveresque Orange Glow… It’s still unclear as to whether the band intends to carry on in the shadow of Bain’s death; if they do not, they leave us at least with a fine slab of old-fashioned heavy rock to remember him by. Well worth a listen”. – SA, 16/03/16. Full review HERE

5. StryperGod Damn Evil (Frontiers Music) 2018

“Stryper turn it around and deliver a tidy album that really is about as good as they’ve managed in any of their twenty first century incarnations. They’ve given up – largely – trying to out-heavy themselves and settled instead for playing to their many strengths, the upshot of which is an edifyingly listenable collection of true metal anthems that fans old and new are going to lap up. Tremendous work, reverend blokes!” – GS, Full review HERE

4. OverkillThe Wings of War (Nuclear Blast) 2019

“Nineteen studio albums and nearly forty years into their career, a band like New Jersey thrash stalwarts Overkill have absolutely no business sounding as fresh as they do on new album The Wings of War… I rarely get excited or worked up about old bands treading the boards these days – but right here on The Wings of War are ten reasons to get very fucking excited indeed. Top stuff, and highly recommended”. – MS, Full review 02/08/19 HERE

3. SaxonThunderbolt (Militia Guard) 2018

“What is there to say about a band who, forty years into their career, can still churn out new music as vital and enjoyable as they do on Thunderbolt, their twenty second full-length studio outing? Whenever you speak to vocalist Biff Byford – who incidentally puts in one of his most impressive vocal performances in a long time throughout Thunderbolt – about his beloved life’s work, he’s always very keen to point out that Saxon consider themselves to be very much song writing craftsmen, and that artisan approach to the trade delivers in spades for the band here. Coupled with the best production the band have enjoyed for quite some while courtesy of Andy Sneap, the quality of the songs on offer on Thunderbolt marks this album as one of the best the band has delivered in the last decade or so. Impressive, and most a welcome addition to the band’s canon”. – SA, 07/02/18 Full review HERE

2. RavenMetal City (SPV/Steamhammer) 2020

“Halfway through Metal City’s titanic opening track The Power, you’ll realise that Raven bassist/vocalist John Gallagher wasn’t wrong. It’s quite obvious that both he and guitar playing brother Mark have taken their trusty old warhorse, caparisoned it in gleaming new battle colours and just gone for broke… In the course of trying to raise the bar one more time, Raven have created just about the perfect modern-day traditional heavy metal album. Magnificent”. – SA, 24/08/20 Full review HERE

That’s ninety nine of the best albums of the last five years neatly summarised and dealt with – which leaves just one more to go…

Sentinel Daily‘s finest album of the last five years is…

1. Judas PriestFirepower (Sony) 2018

“Recalling producer Tom Allom to the fold, the man who helmed the band through such classic albums as British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith is a masterstroke; teaming him up with Andy Sneap, one of the best of the current crop of metal producers (and the man now nominated to substitute for Glenn Tipton in the live arena) doubly so. This successful melding of old and new working arrangements means that the sound of Firepower dwarfs anything the band have recorded since their ‘reformation’ album Angel of Retribution, with beefy, stadium metal anthems like Never the Heroes sounding frankly astounding as they pound out of the speakers in the Sentinel Daily office… If this is farewell, Glenn, so be it, Thank you for everything, but most of all thank you for Firepower“. – SA, 14/02/18 Full review HERE