including albums from Septmeber or later of 2003

1. "The Glorious Burden" by Iced Earth (Power/Epic Metal)

After spending much of their career focusing on dark fantasy and similar themes, The Glorious Burden marks a turn towards reality for Iced Earth. The album specifically covers events in world history, and because history is often defined by conflict and tragedy, the tone remains just as dark, epic, and powerful as previous works from the band. The album goes as far back as the fifth century A.D. with Atilla the Hun's ravages across Europe, and as far forward as the terrorist attacks in America in 2001. In between, there is the American Revolution ("Declaration Day", "Valley Forge"), the Napoleonic Wars ("Waterloo"), and World War I ("Red Baron/Blue Max"). The album's centerpiece, however, is "Gettysburg (1863)", a three-part, 32-minute epic that tells the tale of the defining battle of the American Civil War. Backed up with a full orchestra and led by the vocals of new singer Tim Owens (ex-Judas Priest), the music portrays the tremendous power and emotion that must have been present when those two great armies clashed, with the fate of a nation hanging in the balance. Taken as a whole, The Glorious Burden proves that some of our most amazing and resonant stories come not from the imagination of mankind, but rather, from our real-life deeds, for good and ill, throughout all of human history.

Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. The Star Spangled Banner
2. Declaration Day
3. When the Eagle Cries
4. The Reckoning (Don't Tread on Me)
5. Greenface
6. Attila
7. Red Baron/Blue Max
8. Hollow Man
9. Valley Forge
10. Waterloo
11. When The Eagle Cries (Unplugged)

Disc 2-Gettysburg
1. The Devil to Pay
2. Hold At All Costs
3. High Water Mark

2. "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" by Alice Cooper (Rock N Roll)

A throwback to mid 80s/early 90s hard rock. Alice looks back at some points in life in songs like "Detroit City" and "Spirits Rebellious." But it also goes back to that silliness that makes Alice who is with songs like "Backyard Brawl," and "The Song That Didn't Rhyme." And of course the shock is still there in "Novocaine," "This House is Haunted," and "I'm So Angry." Songs like "Love Should Never Feel This Way" and "Between High School and Old School" show that Alice stills remember the emotion of being an American teenager. one of my favorite albums ever.

Track Listing:
1. What Do You Want For Me
2. Between High School and Old School
3. Man of the Year
4. Novocaine
5. Bye Bye Baby
6. Be With You Awhile
7. Detroit City
8. Spirits Rebellious
9. This House Is Haunted
10. Love Should Never Feel This Way
11. The Song That Didn't Rhyme
12. I'm So Angry
13. Backyard Brawl

3. "Contraband" by Velvet Revolver (Hard Rock)

Straight forward hard rock. Plain and simple. Oh yeah, some of the best guitar solos ever are there...but then again, what would you expect from Slash?

Track Listing
1. Sucker Train Blues
2. Do It for the Kids
3. Big Machine
4. Illegal i Song
5. Spectacle
6. Fall to Pieces
7. Headspace
8. Superhuman
9. Set Me Free
10. You Got No Right
11. Slither
12. Dirty Little Thing
13. Loving the Alien

4. "Live" by Blind Guardian (Progressive/Power Metal)

Simply put, Blind Guardian is the best prog/power band in the world. Unlike many bands, none of Blind Guardian's sound, or Hansi Kursch's voice is lost live. Almost every song is better musically, except ironically enough, the songs from Nightfall in Middle-Earth, which i would have thought would have transitoned extremely well to the live format. To think of Blind Guardian, think of Iron Maiden meets Slayer meets Queen.

Track Listing
CD 1
1. War of Wrath
2. Into the Storm
3. Welcome to Dying
4. Nightfall
5. The Script for my Requiem
6. Harvest of Sorrow
7. The Soulforged
8. Valhalla
9. Majesty
10. Mordred's Song
11. Born in a Mourning Hall

CD 2
1. Under the Ice
2. Bright Eyes
3. Punishment Divine
4. The Bard's Song (In the Forest)
5. Imaginations from the Other Side
6. Lost in the Twilight hall
7. A Past and Future Secret
8.Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)
9. Journey Through the Dark
10. Lord of the Rings
11. Mirror Mirror

5. "Death Cult Armageddon" by Dimmu Borgir (Black/Death/Atmospheric Thrash Metal)

Considering that I don't like Black or Death Metal, for it to make this list, you know it has to be good. Mainly I think I like do to the driving guitar riffs of rythm guitarist Galder and keyboardist Mustis. Man, if Shagrath wasn't a black/death metal vocalist, I'd call Dimmu Borgir the best metal band in the world. The lyrics to their songs don't always make sense, as I think they literally translate it to English from their native tongue (Norwegian). Amazingly enough, none of the lyrics qualify as black metal (Satanic Metal), and are mainly neutral. The American version doesn't contain the Bathony cover of "Satan My Master," so that's always a good thing.

Track Listing
1. Allegience
2. Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
3. Lepers Among Us
4. Vredsbyrd
5. For the World to Dictate Our Death
6. Blood Hunger Doctrine
7. Allehelgens Død I Helveds Rike
8. Cataclysm Children
9. Eradication Instincts Defined
10. Unorthodox Manifesto
11. Heavenly Preverse
12. Satan My Master (European release only)