Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The 55 Best Releases Of 2013

As has been the case for the past couple of years now my "Year End Best Of" list is a bit different from most you will likely read. If this is your first visit here then here's the deal. Instead of writing about 2013's "Best Of" album's in a general sense I choose instead  to cover only releases that I've reviewed myself. This doesn't mean that there are no albums out there that I consider to be better options then these particular ones. There are some other albums that I personally added to my own private collection that absolutely floored me! But, if I didn't cover them with a write up then they didn't make this list. It's as simple as that. What wasn't simple though was trying to shift through and sort out the best of the best! There was simply put FAR TOO MUCH good music released in 2013 for me to try to cover it all! In no way is that a bad thing. If anything that just goes to show that 2013 was a good year to be a fan of "heavy metal" as there was awesome releases from the field of N.W.O.B.H.M. (what with comeback albums like "Life Sentence" by Satan as well as "Forgotten Dreams" by Salem!) all the way up to and including black metal (Stellar Master Elite anyone?)! Obviously it would be a huge undertaking then to even attempt to cover each and every release that impressed me so I  dug through the ranks and will highlight just a "few". These are not ranked though so they just appear in random order. I simply numbered them in an attempt to keep the list from getting too far out of hand! If I missed any albums then please forgive such transgressions as I am all too human. With that said, sit back and enjoy this list friends and be sure to keep an eye out for albums that you might might have missed the first time around. I've provided links to each and very review in an effort to make it all a little more interesting for you the reader and so that you can go back (at your leisure of course!) and read why I found said albums to be so good to begin with! Also, each album will include a brief description of the genre (ie: Satan being N.W.O.B.H.M, A Sound Of Thunder being power metal, etc.) and, should I feel so inspired, possibly even more as to why it made my list. Oh, one last thing (and I almost forgot this part!). There were a TON of re-releases that were epic (Nitro anyone? How about Mox Nix?), but I choose not to include those as they were technically not "new albums". The same went for live albums that happened to be released in 2013. Deep Purple, who I still love!, release a live album ("Live in Paris 1975") back in 2013 that was simply killer. But, A) It was a live album which I'm not keen on counting here and B) More importantly it was from WAY BACK in the day. My list covers just 2013 "studio" releases with just one exception (read on for that bit). Whether they are on major labels or demo recordings doesn't matter so much as they are studio recordings. OK, with that I'm finally done so read on and, as always, comments are welcome (including your favorite albums of 2013!).

1)Asomvel-"Knuckle Duster". Pictured above, "Knuckle Duster" is the sound of a British hard rock/heavy metal band tearing through Lemmy-approved, dirty and dusty, everyman rock with more then enough whiskey and cheap beer involved to wash away the working-man blues we all feel from time to time!

2)Salem-"Forgotten Dreams". Possible my favorite comeback story of the year, this is great N.W.O.B.H.M./traditional heavy metal from a band that was sadly passed over the first time around.

3)Nomad Son-"The Darkening". Forget Black Sabbath as Nomad Son are the real leaders of the doom rock/doom metal scene!

4)A Sound Of Thunder-"Time's Arrow". This power metal band, which is fronted by the amazing Nina Osegueda, get's better and better with each new release! With a new LP scheduled for 2014 will this finally be the year that the world wakes up to how epic this band is? Lord knows they deserve every bit of accolade they receive and then some!

5)Lady Beast-"Lady Beast". Great female-fronted heavy metal from a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based act.

6)AC Angry-"Dirty Denim". Pretty cool hard rock/rock and roll!

 7)Gypsy Chief Goliath-"New Machines Of The Night". Thin Lizzy meets traditional heavy metal.

8)Intöxicated – "Rock 'N Roll Hellpatröl". Dirty and mean rock and roll!

9)The Sterling Sisters-"Hale". Excellent Dark Americana!

10)Nightglow-"We Rise". Sensational heavy metal. Enough said!

11)Shock-"Once Denied". Another comeback story of sorts from a Canadian power/thrash band.

12)BornBroken-"The Healing Powers of Hate". Death/thrash that's meant to be played LOUD!

13)The Ragged Saints-"The Sound of Breaking Free". This one was actually the sound of a Finnish band proving that rock music is alive and well!

14)Hell-"Curse & Chapter". British metal with N.W.O.B.H.M. influences.

15)Tales Of Pain-"Into The Labyrinth". Heavy metal/melodic power metal band from Mexico that someone needs to sign ASAP!

16)Brutus-"Behind the Mountains". This is how you show love for seventies hard rock and heavy metal!

17)Stone Cold Kill-"Out For Blood". A young metal band that draws from Asomvel and Motörhead!

18)The Brink-"Would You Love Her". Rock and roll...

19)Lucid Dreams-"Lucid Dreams". And this is how you show love for all things AOR, hard rock and heavy metal!

20)Promiscuity-"Basic Instinct". This digital EP offered some of the best sleazy, blackened speed metal of the year! Another band that should be snapped up and singed!

21)Stellar Master Elite-"II: Destructive Interference Generator". Black metal, rock and roll and heavy metal all done up with class and style.

22)Kryptos-"Coils Of Apollyon". Technically this was first released in 2012 before being re-released in 2013, but I'm making an exception as the combo of doom, thrash and traditional heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. is just flat out wicked!
23)Eron-"Never Enough". Thrash rock with groove and a serious amount of attitude!

24)Queen V-"The Best of Queen V". Hard rock/heavy metal with wondering female lead vocals!

25)Ancients-"Heart Of Oak". Progressive metal influenced by Celtic Frost .

26)Witch Cross-"Ax to Grind". A classic album from a classic heavy metal act.

27)Satan-"Life Sentence". One of two release that Brian Ross was involved with that made this list! N.W.O.B.H.M for the uninitiated.

28)Blitzkrieg-"Back From Hell". And this is the other release from Brian Ross and, as with Satan, it's all about N.W.O.B.H.M. done right!

29)Against The Grain-"Surrounded By Snakes". Heavy metal/raw rock and roll that draws as much from Motörhead as it does from bands as diverse as C.O.C. and Metallica!

30)October 31-"Gone to the Devil". This 7" single showed that there was still plenty of life left in this great traditional heavy metal act!

31)Lumbar-"The First and Last Days of Unwelcome". Phenomenal doom.

32)Chosen-"Resolution". This self-release would be a wonderful addition to the collections of Atheist and Cynic fans! 

33)Blood Of Kings-"Starvation". A Seattle band providing proof-positive that killer speed/thrash can still be found if you just know where to look.

34)Storm Warning-"Storm Warning". Never mind the fact that I got burned on ordering a copy of this cassette demo (no thanks to Heavy Merch who stiffed me for a tape and pin!) as this is still cool metal in the vein of Gotham City!

35)Beasto Blanco-"Live Fast Die Loud". Hard and heavy rock featuring current Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric. Endorsed by Johnny Depp of all people!

36)Naga-"Naga". A 2-track demo of incredibly slow doom.

37)The Deep End-"Cop This". AC/DC love at it's best!

38)Badmotorfinger-"It's Not The End". Hard rock? Rock and roll? Heavy metal? A little of everything really.

39)Free Fall-"Power & Volume". Swedish hard rock.

40)Serpent Crown-"Serpent Crown". Heavy power metal/thrash with insane female vocals!

41)To The Pain-"To The Pain". Bits of thrash and doom!

42)Implosion Circle-"The Angry and Enraged". Groove heavy thrash.

43)Palms-"Palms". Post-rock.

44)Romero-"Take The Potion". Stoner rock goodness...

45)Legend-"The Dark Place". More N.W.O.B.H.M....

46)Norselaw-"Serpent In The Circling Sea". Punk heavy metal meets the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement?

47)Ghost Avenue-"Ghost Avenue". Melodic rock/hard rock, traditional metal and N.W.O.B.H.M. influences.

48)Turbo Lovers-"Hopelessly Addicted". I was hopelessly addicted to this Ohio heavy metal band and their cool blend of AC/DC, Motörhead, Green Day and The Dead Boys!

49)Dogs Of Delphi-"Irons In The Fire". Kansas City stoner rock/heavy metal with a mad case of the blues!  http://metalmark.blogspot.com/2013/10/dogs-of-delphi-irons-in-fire.html

50) Lucid Skies-"Hounds". Classic hardcore meets a more metallic version of Pantera.

51) Stiletto Farm-"Bad Reception/Strawberry Sundae Red". A 2-track release from a sleazy UK hard rock/heavy metal band that isn't afraid to acknowledge their punk rock outlook on life while simultaneously doing their best to re-imagine Twister Sister  as a modern day garage rock band!
52) Seremonia-"Ihminen". Seventies rock/acid rock with flutes!

53)End Of Green-"The Painstream". Dark rock, goth rock, etc.

54)Fear Theories-"So It Begins". Traditional heavy metal, power metal and thrash metal that also draws from the likes of Clutch, Helmet and Prong.

55)Ambush-"Demo Tape". A Stellar traditional heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M.-influenced band from Sweden. Should be signed to a major label right now otherwise something is very wrong with the state of modern record labels these days!

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list, but where's Saxon-Sacrifice, which is a killer disc?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

As I did not review Saxon's "Sacrifice" it is not included.

4:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home