Flying Colors Tops The Ten Best Albums of 2012, Which includes Slash, Halestorm, P!nk and Adrenaline Mob.

I’ve been writing regularly for Zoiks! for roughly four years. This will be my fourth best of list. 2012 has hands down been my favorite year for music since I’ve been contributing to Zoiks!. Through out the year I kept coming across new favorite albums. I’ve had a really hard time organizing my top ten, so here's my best effort.

10. Call Me No One – "Last Parade"

Clint Lowery (Sevendust) is one of my favorite modern day guitarists and Morgan Rose (Sevendust) is one of my favorite modern day rock drummers. So naturally I was really intrigued by their side project Call Me No One. What they came up with was very much not a Sevendust sounding record. It has more of a Nine Inch Nails meets Foo Fighters feel to it. Clint sings and plays guitar. Clint show’s why Sevendust missed him so much while he was gone. "Last Parade" is an album that I keep coming back to, it’s a great album.

9. Eye Empire – "Impact"

Eye Empire is I guess a super group made up of guys who’ve had moderate success in the music industry…needless to say, they’ve been around the block. I always wonder how creative people handle the business side of creativity and Eye Empire has made the business side creative. They’ve built this small but loyal following by releasing limited edition albums or eps for their die hard fans. Those limited editions received a national release with "Impact." In terms the best value for your buck you can’t go wrong with "Impact," it features nineteen songs, with each song as strong as the next.

8. Tremonti – "All I Was"

Mark Tremonti is a modern day guitar god. Even those that hate Creed love Mark Tremonti. Tremonti’s "All I Was" is far and away the heaviest thing he has ever done, but his vocals are full of melody that is lacking in most metal. This shit is borderline as heavy as bands like Machine Head and Lamb of God, but the vocal melodies are so ear friendly that anybody can get into it. "All I Was" is what I like to call a gateway album. It’s going to get Mark Tremonti fans into the bands he liked growing up, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Metallica etc etc. Not only is the album fucking amazing, but so is his live show.

7. P!nk – "The Truth About Love"

We all have our guilty pleasures. P!nk is one of mine. "The Truth About Love" is one of her best albums. What I’ve always liked about P!nk is that she’s really a rock chick stuck in a pop stars body. The only complaint I have with P!nk is that most of her shit is over produced pop music…much of it rocks, but I just wish there was more live musicians in the studio and less computers. With "The Truth About Love" I feel like it has that live feel to it. Don’t get me wrong some of the songs are more computers and fewer musicians, but it’s still a pretty amazing album.

6. Adrenaline Mob – "Omerta"

Earlier this year I predicted this album would top my best of list. I think this album suffers from coming out too early in 2012. For a good three months I listened to "Omerta" non stop and next to nothing else. Adrenaline Mob is a groove heavy metal band in the vein of Black Label Society or Pantera. It’s heavy as shit, but the vocals are accessible so fans of bands like Godsmack and Disturbed would really like them. Lzzy Hale makes a guest appearance on the Duran Duran cover "Come Undone" that is so amazing that I get goosebumps when I listen to it. My biggest complaint with Adrenaline Mob is that Mike Portnoy has like four other projects going on at the same time, that said his other projects kick ass so it’s hard to get too down on him.

5. Rush - "Clockwork Angels"

I could have easily left Rush off this list and grouped them with Aerosmith and Van Halen, but they released essentially a "2112" for my generation. It’s not some half ass effort either it’s a full on prog rock concept album that I thought I’d never get from Rush. I’m only 33, so when I discovered the old Rush classic prog rock records they had already been around for like 20 years. With "Clockwork Angels" it felt like they made it for my generation of Rush fans. How many "classic rock" bands release music that you can hold up against their greatest works? Well Rush did just that with "Clockwork Angels." I'm sure to get several comments burying me for this not being number 1.

4. In This Moment – "Blood"

My list looks weird with Rush at 5 and then In This Moment at 4, but hear me out. In This Moment has been that band on the verge for years now. “Blood” is the type of album that moves a band from the second stage to the main stage. There is not a weak song on the album. I look forward to In This Moment headlining arenas…largely due to the quality of “Blood.”

3. Slash – “Apocalyptic Love”

This album could easily be my favorite album of the year. In fact my top 3 are pretty close to tied for number one. Nothing turns me on musically more than a Slash guitar riff. Even if the song isn’t that great, his guitar riffs always get me. Mix in Myles Kennedy one of my favorite modern day singers and you have a combination that can’t beat. I hope Velvet Revolver nor Guns n Roses ever gets back together, because Slash is at his best right now.

 2. Halestorm – “The Strange Case Of…”

Halestorm is just perfect, almost too perfect. They’re metal, hard rock, rock, soft rock, they’re everything rock related and they can do it all to perfection. I mentioned that Myles Kennedy is one of my favorite modern day singers, up until 2012 I’d have said he was my favorite, but I think Lzzy Hale may have topped my list. She has a beautiful Ann Wilson type voice, but can also scream with the best of them. This is definitely the album I listened to the most in 2012.

 1. Flying Colors – “Flying Colors”

2012 was the year of Mike Portnoy. He quits Dream Theater and comes out with two of the best albums of 2012. Flying Colors is so completely original. It has elements of prog rock, hard rock and pop music mixed into one. It reminds me of when Yes did “90125” only I like “Flying Colors” better. Mike Portnoy, Steve Morse, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey McPherson are the perfect combination of guys for the perfect band. Mike Portnoy is also the most frustrating musician for me in 2012 in that I want more Adrenaline Mob and more Flying Colors.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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