The 2012 MelRock Awards


Welcome to the 2012 MelRock Awards. I's 2014 already. Only a year late! This is where I roll out my usual "it's never too late to discover or remember great music you might have missed..." line. Hopefully it still works!
I apologize profusely for the ridiculously late (and hopefully not too irrelevant) 2012 Awards page. The 2013 page is right around the corner...stand by...

I've made sure to complete these awards, as 2012 was truly a killer year for music. Some amazing albums were on offer, where any of the top 5-6 could have been Album Of The Year in any other year and the plethora of classic songs made Song Of The Year almost impossible to pick. The runners up are all great songs that deserve to be in your collections - do check them out if you haven't already had them in high rotation for the last 18+ months!



Rick Springfield

Songs For The End Of The World

Not too many 60+ year olds continue to kick ass with new tunes, and even less of them can make a statement as fresh, as vibrant and as contemporary as this album. Rick Springfield delivers arguably his best album since the 80s - an album that is filled with his usual angst filled anthems, but delivered with an upbeat attitude. The energy within these songs is something a 30 year old would be proud of. There was no question this would be my album of the year after I'd had it a week. It really is the perfect melodic rock album for me and many others.





Bleed Scream

These Swedish lads deserve to be huge - their attitude, attention to detail and energy flows through every track on this album. The guys get better and better with age and fans were relieved to see that the long wait for this album was well worth it. Taking a heavier direction, the guys really turned it on and nailed it. Harmonies, melodies and rousing rock anthems from start to finish. Another perfect album in my estimation.







Address The Nation

I didn't award this album a perfect score, but it was so damn close. And as time went on, it continues to be an album on high rotation and of constant enjoyment, so for that reason it edges out the also awesome Jimi Jamison album at #4. The band took a gamble on newcomer Erik Gronwall and discovered a match made in heaven. The slightly different approach Erik brings to the table has in my view, taken this band to the next level and on the brink of world domination. This is how I love my melodic rock delivered and Erik's vocals are simply brilliant.




Jimi Jamison

Never Too Late

Teaming with the guy that can do no wrong - Erik Martensson - Jimi delivers one of his best vocal performances ever on an album packed with hard hitting songs that define his career. Anthems, heartfelt melodies and emotional vocals. Fist in the air, feel good music, all delievred with a powerful production. Perfect for all fans of Jimi's past and present and still a much loved album for me.


Van Halen

A Different Kind Of Truth

One of my favourite groups of all time. But no one gave them a chance of recapturing former glories, so it was with genuine excitement and amazement that this album not only matched the long held expectations, but exceeded them. The energy within this album was my biggest surprise, I really didn't expect the tempo to be quite so furious from these old dogs. But what a great album - pieced together through adversity and a less than standard way of recording, but whatever they did - it worked!




Halestrom - The Strange Case Of...

- The best female fronted hard rock band on the planet and an album that lives up to that claim. The songs are fantastic and the production truly in your face. And the ballads! They are just fantastic.





Shinedown - Amaryllis

- And the best modern rock/metal band on the planet right here. They can do no wrong. The vocals of Smith and the power from the rest of the band make them leaders in their field.




Pride Of Lions - Immortal

- Life in the old dog yet... The Jim Peterik/Toby Hitchcock vehicle returns for another album of pomp friendly, feel good, anthemic old school melodic rock.




Magnum - On The 13th Day

- Another veteran of the scene also turning on their best, showing bands twenty years their junior just how it's done. Their best album since reforming.




Jack Blades - Rock N Roll Ride

- Jack's second solo album is a far better and more consistent album than his debut and sits right alongside the awesome Night Ranger album from 2011 as a must have release.

11 Lionville - II
12 Hartmann - Balance
13 Jeff Scott Soto - Damage Control
14 Black Country Communion - Afterglow
15 Hardline - Danger Zone
16 Hess - Living In Yesterday
17 Rush - Clockwork Angels
18 Delta Goodrem - Child Of The Universe
19 Bonrud - Save Tomorrow
20 Romeo's Daughter - Rapture


21 Threshold - March Of Progress
22 Richard Marx - Inside My Head
23 Sunstorm - Emotional Fire
24 Loverboy - Rock N Roll Revival
25 Ten - Heresey & Creed
26 Dare - Calm Before The Storm II
27 Trixter - New Audio Machine
28 Lover Under Cover - Set The Night On Fire
29 Sapphire Eyes - Sapphire Eyes
30 Europe - Bag Of Bones


31 Tango Down - Identity Crisis
32 Circus Maximus - Nine
33 Asia - XXX
34 House Of Shakira - HoS
35 Jeremey Frederick - Every Little Thing
36 Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway
37 Casablanca - Apocalyptic Youth
38 Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
39 Empires Of Eden - Channelling The Infinite
40 Empires Of Eden - Channelling The Infinite


Honorable Mentions: (in no particular order)
  • Gun - Break the Silence
  • Chris Antblad - A New Dawn
  • Primal Fear - Unbreakable
  • Eric Martin - Mr. Rock Vocalist
  • Mad Max - Another Night Of Passion
  • The Veer Union - Divide The Blackened Sky
  • Dynazty - Sultans Of Sin
  • Blessed By A Broken Heart - Feel The Power
  • Pink - The Truth About Love
  • Flying Colors - Flying Colors
  • Silence - City (Days) / City (Nights)
  • Impera - Legacy Of Life
  • Issa - Can't Stop
  • Dante Fox - Lost Man's Ground
  • Anberlin - Vital
  • Axel Rudi Pell - Circle Of The Oath
  • Miles Of Will - Wild Ride EP




  1. Shinedown - Amarylis
  2. Threshold - March Of Progress
  3. Circus Maximus - Nine
  4. Empires Of Eden - Channelling The Infinite
  5. Adrenalin Mob - Omerta
  6. Black Majesty - Stargazer
  7. Primal Fear - Unbreakable
  8. Bloodbound - In The Name Of Metal
  9. It Bites - Map Of The Past
  10. End Of September - End Of September
  11. Unisonic - Unisonic



.....(New Band/Artist/Solo Debut, Not Project)

  1. Lover Under Cover - Set The Night On Fire
  2. Sapphire Eyes - Sapphire Eyes
  3. Jeremey Frederick - Every Little Thing
  4. Casablanca - Apocalyptic Youth
  5. Flying Colors - Flying Colors
  6. Impera - Legacy Of Life
  7. Something Unto Noting - S.U.N.
  8. I Am I - Event Horizon
  9. Docker's Guild - The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age Of Ignorance
  10. Unisonic - Unisonic
  1. Mr. Big - Raw Like Sushi 100
  2. Night Ranger - 24 Strings And A Drummer
  3. Jimi Jamison - Live At Firefest
  4. Glass Tiger - Then, Now & Next
  5. Queen - Live In Budapest
  6. Y&T - Live at the Mystic
  7. Royal Hunt - The Best Of Royal Works 1992-2012
  8. AC/DC - Live at River Plate
  9. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
  10. Dio - The Very Beast Of Vol. 2
  11. Bon Jovi - Inside Out
  12. Starship - Playlist
  13. Axe - Axeology 1979-2001
  14. Triumph - Live At Sweden Rock
  1. Glass Tiger - The Thin Red Line (2CD)
  2. Youngblood - Youngblood
  3. Inxs - Kick (25th Anniversary)
  4. Adrenalin - Road Of The Gypsy
  5. Angel - Rock Candy Catalogue Series
  6. Kane Roberts - Kane Roberts & Saints & Sinners (Yesterrock)
  7. Kiss - Destroyer Resurrected
  8. Aldo Nova - Rock Candy Catalogue Series
  9. FM - Tough It Out & Indiscreet
  10. Max Carl - The Circle
  11. Craaft - Second Honeymoon
  1. Rick Springfield - Our Ship's Sinking

  2. Rick Springfield - Wide Awake

  3. H.EA.T. - Breaking The Silence

  4. Eclipse - Wake Me Up

  5. Jimi Jamison - Everybody's Got A Broken Heart

  6. Rick Springfield - One Way Street
  7. H.E.A.T. - Living On The Run
  8. Van Halen - You And Your Blues
  9. Eclipse - Bleed And Scream
  10. H.E.A.T - It's All About Tonight
  11. Jeff Scott Soto - Die A Little
  12. Pride Of Lions - Delusional
  13. Jimi Jamison - Never Too Late
  14. Rick Springfield - Signs Of Life
  15. Jim Jamison - Not Tonight
  16. Van Halen - Trouble With Never
  17. H.E.A.T. - Better Off Alone
  18. Eclipse - Battlegrounds
  19. Hardline - 10,000 Reasons
  20. Jeff Scott Soto - Damage Control
  21. Van Halen - China Town
  22. Pride Of Lions - Immortal
  23. Gotthard - Remember It's Me
  24. Jack Blades - Born For This
  25. Eclipse - Bitter Taste
  26. Shinedown - Unity
  27. Halestorm - Mrs. Hyde
  28. Magnum - So Let It Rain
  29. Pride Of Lions - Tie Down The Wind
  30. Hartmann - All Of My Life
  31. Rick Springfield - My Last Heartbeat
  32. Shinedown - Adrenaline
  33. Richie Sambora - Every Road Lead Back To You
  34. Magnum - Shadowtown
  35. Van Halen - Blood & Fire
  36. Threshold - Ashes
  37. Richard Marx - Had Enough
  38. Romeo's Daughter - Alive
  39. Bonrud - Bullet In The Back
  40. Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway
  41. Miles of Will - Wild Ride
  42. Pride Of Lions - Vital Signs
  43. Shinedown - I'm Not Alright
  44. Delta Goodrem - Child Of The Universe
  45. Tango Down - Back To Life
  46. Sunstorm - Never Give Up
  47. H.E.A.T. - Need Her
  48. Tyketto - Faithless
  49. Miles of Will - Time & Place
  50. Loverboy - Heartbreaker
  51. Jack Blades - Back In The Game
  52. Trixter - Tattoo's & Misery
Honorable Mentions: (in no particular order)
  • Jeff Scott Soto - Give A Little More
  • Jeff Scott Soto - Look Inside Your Heart
  • Jeff Scott Soto - Afraid To Die
  • Gun - Break The Silence
  • Van Halen - Stay Frosty
  • Asia - Face On The Bridge
  • Rick Springfield - My DUI
  • Delta Goodrem - Dancing With A Broken Heart
  • Loverboy - No Tomorrow
  • Bonrud - We Collide
  • Bonrud - Save Tomorrow
  • Romeo's Daughter - Trippin'
  • Romeo's Daughter - Talking Love
  • Anberlin - Self-Starter
  • Anberlin - Someone Anyone
  • AOR - Above Suspicion
  • AOR - From LA To Paris
  • Van Halen - Bullethead
  • Asia - Tomorrow The World
  • Asia - Ghost Of A Chance
  • Black Country Communion - Big Train
  • Black Country Communion - Confessor
  • Black Country Communion - Afterglow
  • Departure - You Don't Need To Do This Anymore
  • Dokken - Empire
  • Dynazty - Raise Your Hands
  • Dynazty - More Than A Man
  • Eclipse - SOS
  • Eclipse - After The End Of The World
  • Europe - Not Supposed To Sing The Blues
  • Europe - Bag Of Bones
  • Europe - Doghouse
  • Threshold - Coda
  • Trixter - Live For The Day
  • Trixter - Drag Me Down
  • Tyketto - Here's Hoping It Hurts
  • Magnum - On The 13th Day
  • Magnum - See How They Fall
  • Magnum - From Within
  • Jimi Jamison - The Great Unknown
  • Jimi Jamison - I Can't Turn Back
  • H.E.A.T - Downtown
  • Halestorm - In Your Room
  • Halestorm - Here's To Us
  • Halestorm - Beautiful With You
  • Hardline - Fever Dreams
  • Hardline - Stay
  • Hartmann - Like A River
  • Hartmann - You Are The One
  • Hess - Don't Leave Me
  • Hess - Living In Yesterday
  • Jack Blades - Say You Will
  • Jack Blades - Love Life
  • Lionville - All We Need
  • Lionville - Another Day
  • Lionville - The Only Way Is Up
  • Last Autumn's Dream - Angels Will Cry
  • Sapphire Eyes - You're My Wings
  • Sapphire Eyes - This Love This Time
  • Soleil Moon - History Repeats It's Pages
  • Tango Down - Cryin To Me
  • Tango Down - Alone
  • Tango Down - Blame
  • Ten - Arabian Nights
  • Ten - Gunrunning
  • Wig Wam - Wall Street
  • Wig Wam - Wrong Can Feel So Right
  • Wigelius - Angeline
  • Wigelius - Too Young To Fall In Love
  • Rush - Seven Cities Of Gold
  • Rush - The Wreckers
  • Rush - Headlong Flight


  1. Shinedown - Adrenalin
  2. Threshold - Ashes
  3. Shinedown - Enemies
  4. Halestorm - Love Bites (So Do I)
  5. Threshold - Coda
  6. Empires Of Eden - This Time
  7. Circus Maximus - Architect Of Fortune
  8. Black Majesty - Lost Highway
  9. Bloodbound - Mr. Darkness
  10. Adrenalin Mob - Indifferent
  1. Delta Goodrem - I'm Not Ready
  2. Halestorm - Break In
  3. H.EA.T. - The One And Only
  4. Hardline - Please Have Faith In Me
  5. Hess - It's Over
  6. Jeremey Frederick - This Is Your Life
  7. Lita Ford - Mother
  8. Pride Of Lions - Are You The Same Girl
  9. Richard Marx - Wouldn't Let You Love Me
  10. Hartmann - The Best Is Yet To Come
  11. Ten - The Riddle
  12. Wigelius - Talking About Love
  13. Aerosmith - What Could Have Been Love
2012 Best Artwork
2 3


2012 Artist Awards

Rick Springfield

2012 was a year of veterans showing how it's done and Rick's vocal performance on his latest album was nothing short of stunning.

Honorable Mentions - Erik Gronwall (H.E.A.T); Toby Hitchcock; Jimi Jamison; Lzzy Hale (Halestorm); Brent Smith (Shinedown)

Past Winners:
2011 - Eric Martin
2010 - Marcie Free
2009 - John Elefante
2008 - Arnel Pineda
2007 - Mike Reno
2006 - Pekka Ansio Heino
2005 - Jorn Lande
2004 - Jeff Scott Soto
2003 - Harry Hess.

Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
Class is class. Exceeding all expectations and still relevant after 30 years of making music...still showing the kids how it's done.

Honorable Mentions - Rick Springfield; Erik Martinsson; Magnus Henriksson; Joe Hottinger (Halestorm); Zach Myers (Shinedown), Jim Peterik (Pride Of Lions).

Past Winners:
2011 - Neal Schon
2010 - Steve Lukather
2009 - Erik Martensson
2008 - Doug Aldrich
2007 - Thorsten Koehne
2006 - Steve Lukather
2005 - Magnus Karlsson

Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
Who would have given Van Halen a chance of delivering a high-energy album after all these years? And the old guy behind the kit hammering away furiously like a 20 year old is this year's Drummer of The Year.

Honorable Mentions - Barry Kerch (Shinedown); Arejay Hale (Halestorm); Rodger Carter (Rick Springfield); Robban Back (Eclipse).

Past Winners:
2011 - Pat Torpey
2010 - Jamie Borger
2009 - Steve West
2008 - The Drum Machine
2007 - Kelly Keagy
2006 - Simon Phillips
2005 - Daniel Flores.

Wolfgang Van Halen (Van Halen)
The kid delivers. On a hiding to nothing - son of the band's legendary guitarist and deposing the very popular Michael Anthony - Wolfgang withstands the pressure and shows talent runs in the bloodlines. A great effort on the VH album.

Honorable mentions - Matt Bissonette (Rick Springfield), Jack Blades, Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion).

Past Winners:
2011 - Billy Sheehan
2010 - Nalle Pahlsson
2009 - Bruno Ravel
2008 - Matt Bissonette
2007 - Jack Blades
2006 - Marcel Jacob

Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Lionville, Issa, Empires of Eden, Laneslide)
The Italian master made 2012 his own with a hand in more than 10 albums over the course of the year, either playing, writing and/or producing...with even more coming up in 2013/2014!

Honorable mentions - "Mr. Keyboards" Eric Ragno, Michael T Ross, Jim Peterik (Pride Of Lions), Mark Stanway (Magnum).

Past Winners:
2011 - Eric Ragno
2010 - CJ Vanston
2009 - Darren Wharton
2008 - Eric Ragno
2007 - Eric Ragno.

Erik Martensson (For the Eclipse album - with Magnus Henriksson - and also the Jimi Jamison album)
Two fantastic albums with huge, bombastic sound...brining the best out of everyone.

Honorable mentions - Ross Hogarth (Van Halen); Rick Springfield & Matt Bissonette; Tobias Lindell (H.E.A.T); Howard Benson (Halestorm); Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Lionville, as well as helping with parts in Frozen Rain, Code of Silence, Charming Grace, Sapphire Eyes, Wheels Of Fire)

Past Winners:
2011 - Kevin Shirley
2010 - Steve Lukather, CJ Vanston, Steve MacMillan
2009 - Erik Martensson
2008 - Dennis Ward
2007 - Dennis Ward
2006 - Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem)
2005 - Dennis Ward
2004 - Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi
2003 - Tommy Denander.

2012 Rest In Peace

Chris Stamp (Manager The Who); Elysium's guitarist/vocalist Terry Allen; Rick Chadock - guitarist for White Sister; Beyond The Bridge guitar and keyboard player Simon Oberender; Scandal keyboard player Benjy King; Rob Grant, founding member and bass player of the Canadian group Sarasin; guitarist for Starship - Mark Abrahamian; Elton John's longtime bassist Bob Birch; Daryl Cotton iconic figure in Australia, vocalist for Zoot & solo; Larry Hoppen, one of the founding members of the band Orleans; the legend Jon Lord (Deep Purple); John Harrison, founding bassist for legendary space rock band Hawkwind; Rock City Angels frontman/founder Bobby Durang; Tommy Shaw's mom; Mark McConnell (Seb Bach band drummer); comedian CC Banana; Men At Work's Greg Ham; pop culture icon Dick Clark; Child's Play frontman Brian Jack; Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack; legendary guitar great Ronnie Montrose; The Monkees' Davey Jones; Sven Gali guitarist Dee Cernile; Dean Alrich, aka Rockindeano; Riot guitarist Mark Reale; Robbie France (played drums for UFO and Diamond Head); Therese Hanserot, the original lead singer in Destiny.

May these great names all be remembered for their contribution to music and may they continue to rest in peace, with their collective legacies living on.

Worst Of 2012


  1. Axxis - Rediscovered
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen - Spellbound
  3. S.A. Adams - Unearthed
  4. Cannon - Burning Love
  5. Steve Harris - British Lion
  6. Kaisas - Unify
  7. Dee Snider - Dee Does Broadway
  8. The Angels - Take It To The Streets
  9. Imperial State Electric - Pop War
  10. Great White - Elation



2012 WTF?

Seriously Great only had the budget for half an album cover??

Could there be a worse band name than Audio Porn?

Dee Snider doing Broadway. In what universe do some of these artists think that albums like these will appeal to the fan base?

Longest album title of 2012: Docker's Guild - The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age Of Ignorance. Quite a mouthful! Very interesting album though.

I'm still trying to work out how Night Ranger came up with "24 Strings and a Drummer". If Brad had 12 strings, Joel also, then what about Jack's bass? That'd make 28. If Brad had 6 and Joel 12 plus Jack, then that's 22. And what about Eric's keys? Ah's a great album!
UPDATE: "NR called it "24 strings" because Blades actually play a guitar on the DVD, not a bass. And in the middle of the concert, they have an extra guitarist from Shaw-Blades help them, so 4x six strings guitars..." Still doesn't explain the keyboards :)

German rockers Dominoe FINALLY released an album without the song Here I Am on it! Congrats guys...

I'm sure there was lots more, but this was 2012, I can't think back that far. Time to get onto the 2013 Awards!