2004 was a year of change in the rock world. Much like grunge before it, nu-metal was starting to feel like it had an expiration date, leaving the door open for a broader variety of hard rocking sounds.

Velvet Revolver drew big buzz for reuniting three former GN'R members and they paid it off with a banger of a debut album. My Chemical Romance brought emo to new heights and Green Day and Rise Against were riding the punk wave of discontent to big returns. It was a year in which alt rock saw a resurgence thanks to bands such as The Killers, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire.

It was a year in which we said goodbye to Friends, but welcomed Lost and Entourage into our homes through the TV set. We kept in touch through MySpace (thanks Tom), but Facebook had just launched and was looming. Shrek 2 topped the box office, and we were talking to friends on our Razr phones when we weren't jamming tunes on our colored iPod minis, playing "World of Warcraft" or thumbing through "The Da Vinci Code." And yes, "Vote for Pedro" shirts and Livestrong bracelets were all the rage.

READ MORE: 11 Best Metal Albums of 1994

So let's take it back to 2004 and revisit the albums that rocked our world in the gallery below.

15 Best Rock Albums of 2004

What was rocking our world during a period of change?

Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire

10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994

The year 1994 was one of the best for rock music, offering a variety of options for those who liked it loud and upbeat. It was the year that punk re-entered the mainstream, grunge continued its dominance and Woodstock proved to be a tipping point for several bands on the verge of massive popularity.

With that in mind, we flash back to glimpse this landmark year in rock music at its peak and provide you with the 10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994.

Gallery Credit: Chad Childers

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