13. Charetta-Defying the Inevitable: At only 9 songs, this is the shortest of all of the albums to make the list. It's a small package, but it packs a powerful punch (that's what she said).
Listen to: The Truth is Out, Stop the Cycle
12. Nine Lashes-Escape: Produced by Travis Wyrick (10 Years, Pillar) this young band has the potential to be a future Cornerstone favorite.
Listen to: Words of Red, Escape
11. No Love Lost-No Love Lost: Just outside of the top 10 is this kick ass band from K-Town, Tennessee. Travis Wyrick also produced this solid record.
Listen to: The Silence, Break Me Now
10. Decyfer Down-Crash: When Caleb Oliver, the original lead singer, left the band last year after putting out the EP for Crash, I'd been skeptical that the band was going to jump the shark. Enter TJ Harris. He far exceeded everyone's expectations of how the record was going to sound and the band has remained among the top Christian rock acts in the country.
Listen to: Crash, Fading
9. The Veer Union-Against the Grain: For those of us who know their independent record from a couple of years ago, we were waiting for this to deliver and it did. It's a solid work from this band who's going to be touring with the top radio acts throughout the rest of the year.
Listen to: Seasons, What Have We Done
8. Dredg-The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion: This album that largely deals with agnosticism is Dredg at their absolute best. It's heavy, it's funky, it's groovy and it flat out rocks.
Listen to: Saviour, I Don't Know
7. Halestorm-Halestorm: Lzzy Hale turns the tables on the guys and becomes the most talked about girl rocker of the year so far.
Listen to: I Get Off, Familiar Taste of Poison
6. The Leo Project-Every Song Reminds Me...: This band should have a major record deal right now, it's ridiculous. This album got them on Rock on the Range and has taken them on tours with bands like 10 Years, Adelitas Way, and Tesla.
Listen to: Without the Sunshine, Half as Good
5. Karnivool-Sound Awake: The only band here that won't see an American release of their album until 2010. It's a shame, too because the songs on this record rank from amazing to fucking amazing.
Listen to: Set Fire to the Hive, New Day
4. Nural-Entitlement: This is one of my favorite albums ever produced by David Bendeth. It is basically the male counterpart to Paramore's Riot!, which still hasn't left my player.
Listen to: The Hits Keep Coming, Me or the Music
3. Ben Moody-All For This: As an Evanescence fan, this was an album that I'd been waiting for since 2005. It's a completely unexpected effort, but all the more appreciated.
Listen to: 10/22, Nothing Left of Me
2. Hurt-Goodbye to the Machine: It is not very often when a band's material improves after getting dumped by a major label. Not only is this one of those times, but this is my favorite record of theirs to date.
Listen to: Wars, Well
1. Red-Innocence and Instinct: I really liked End of Silence, but they really stepped their game up big time on Innocence and Instinct. A lot of bands tend to suffer the sophomore curse and Red avoided it in a big way. They built up the hype of the record in a way that I had not seen from many other bands and they delivered with their material.
Listen to: Shadows, Never Be the Same