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)

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Children Of Bodom Carpathian Forest
Tiamat Anthrax
December Gun Barrel
Queensryche Nazareth
Mark Boals Dark Moor
Abigor Brainstorm
The Chainsaw Goat Horn
Shakra Fireball Ministry
Lanfear Rob Rock
Beautiful Creatures Stryper
Axenstar Mnemic
Stalker Halloween
Asperity Body Count
Three Inches of Blood Yngwie Malmsteen
Killik Gothic Knights
Construcdead Jaw
Evanescence Kingcrow
Epica Donnerkopf
Low Earth Orbit Lonewolf
Zaius Cyst
Spiral Madness Joe Stump
Schenker/ Pattison Summit Insomnium
Lilitu Dark Age
Six Feet Under The Project Hate
Acheron Made of Iron
Hanzel Und Gretyl Tsjuder
Karmakanic Of Infinity
Code Black The Mighty Nimbus
Kings X Soilwork
Shatterpoint Desire Black
Nevermore Mystic Prophecy
Backyard Babies John Sykes
Diecast Stormwarrior
Chaoswave Oathean
Boomerang Bleed The Sky
Axel Rudi Pell Fire Alley
System Of A Down Slumber
Embraze Mirador
Python Brand New Sin
Ektomorf Goddess Of Desire
Unshine Voyager
Dam Widow
Resurrecturis Havochate
Blitzkrieg Black Majesty
Russell Allen Penetrator
The Firstborn Avenged Sevenfold
Ghost Machinery Balatonizer
Spellbound Gojira
Infliction Urizen
Chain Collector Dragonlord
Detonation Motorhead
Machina End My Sorrow
Thryfing Powerglove
Tandjent Lair Of The Minotaur
Nightmare Hell-Born
Tris Katone The Ocean
Phoenix Mourning 8th Sin
Bludgeon Abysmal Dawn
Sun Descends Theater of Tragedy
Cult of Luna Bloodbound
Psycroptic Mouth of the Architect
Woodtemple Burialmound
I The Ruins of Beverast
Pump Amputated
Semargl Mastodon
Teeth of the Hydra Audrey Horne
Starkweather Centinex
Handful of Hate The Gathering
Diagnose: Lebensgefahr Battered
Terry Sullivan Mindgrinder
Nagelfar Rob Zombie
Hearse Randy Ellefson
Sworn Enemy Architect
Temple Of Blood Hell N' Diesel
Keldian Diamond Dogs
Spheric Universe Experience Cockpit
Rosetta Ost Est Ima
SOS Souls Of We
Virgin Black Uriah Heep
Luna Mortis Faded Hope
Ihsahn Sister Sin
Earthen Grave