Getting (well, downloading) new albums is always a test: either it’s a new classic or it’s trash. In terms of the new classics, there are a potentially limited number of songs I adore right away and those are the ones I listen to over and over again until they get old quick.

The albums I’ve loved this year have been the two Avantasia ones, especially the ten minute epics, a handful of songs from Kamelot, the entire Accept album (which is so heavy and generally excellent), the new Masterplan and Nevermore. Still love Whitesnake’s 2008 album and just discovered Greg Howe II’s two albums from ‘89 and ’91.

But all of this awesomeness will soon fade and I’ll find myself listening to old favorites soon enough. But new Star One and Symphony X to look forward to—so there’s always more!