Best of 2013


20. Black Sabbath - 13


Yeah, you know the standard of music on this list is going to be good when the godfathers of heavy metal are at the number 20 spot.  In all honesty I love this album, I think the writing is strong, the riffs are.. well they’re Tony Iommi riffs so yes amazing, the pace good, the idea and themes interesting and typical of Black Sabbath.  Ozzy sounds great and gives a good polished performance on the album.  Not the best Sabbath album, but a good addition to the legacy, more than enough to get place on the list.


19. Bleed From Within - Uprising


I have to say when I first heard Bleed From Within, I didn't know what to think, kinda somewhere on the boundary of the new younger metalcore but at the same time just straight up basic heavy metal, and I didn’t pay anymore closer attention to them.  However, when Uprising dropped earlier in the year I loved it.  Seriously it’s freaking amazing, it’s been earning them a place on some of this year’s most high profiled tours and I can see why.  This is what the metal world needed and what the band needed, a back to basic, heavy as fuck listening experience. Just awesome stuff.


18. Emilie de Forest - Only Teardrops


A weird choice after 2 metal albums, believe me I know, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave it off the list.  This album is just big, bombastic europop fun.  After winning the Eurovision Song Contest this year, I really wanted to listen to more from this young singer song-writer.  Every song on this album has a massive drumbeat and Emilie singing and the top of her lungs, and it’s so enjoyable.  The funny thing is I think the song she won the Eurovision with is the weakest song on the album, but hey it’s worth checking out.


17. Airbourne - Black Dog Barking


Ok, back to rock n roll.  Yes, Airbourne delivered a new album this year, that’s… the exact same thing they’ve always done, but, I’ve always liked what they’ve done so why not.  As a third album this one stands pretty well, it’s an improvement on 2010’s “No Guts, No Glory” but still doesn’t reach the heights of the 2007 “Runnin’ Wild”.  It’s a lot of fun with good riffs, good vocals, good beat, great solo’s, and that old style rock n roll that Airbourne capture pretty well.


16. Katatonia - Dethroned and Uncrowned


This one is kinda cheating seeing how this is just an acoustic reworking of their 2012 album “Dead End Kings”.  However in say that, it’s still great and give me a lot of pleasure to listen to.  In my own personal opinion it sounds better than the full electric version.  All the songs a composed beautifully, the production is sharper and the band sound awesome.  Also I bought this on vinyl rather than CD or digital download and it sounds incredible.  One of those albums that makes you stop and think.  Overall, well performed and well written.  Again worth checking out. 

 

15. Dropkick Murphys - Signed and Sealed in Blood


Granted I got this album way after it’s release back in January but, it’s still on here.  To be honest, I don’t really have a lot to say about this one, it’s just really good.  It’s not best work the band has ever released but it’s nice.  All the songs are enjoyable from the fast paced belter “The Battle Rages On” to the restrained balled “Rose Tattoo”.  Overall great album.


14. Avantasia - The Mystery of Time


From the moment I heard this record, I loved it.  You know sometimes nothing beats some good power metal, and Tobias Sammet brings one of the best performances I’ve heard.  The album just flies by even though it has two, ten minute long songs.  This album is crammed with atmosphere and power. Also the artwork is pretty kick ass too


13. Alter Bridge - Fortress


Wow, this finished a lot lower than I planned, I don’t this didn’t hit me the same as their previous stuff.  This is my least favourite Alter Bridge album, I don’t know though everyone seems to like this one so everyone to their own. How is it, well it’s good, it has some interesting riff some decent solos, well written lyrics and good concepts and ideas.  But for me it’s a very mediocre Alter Bridge album.  Then why it at number 13? because although it’s got problems I do admire it, I like it because it’s not a typical AB album.  Enough to give it a listen.


12. Bowling For Soup - Lunch Drunk Love


Some of their most likeable work… for me anyway.  I don’t what separates this one from all the other BFS records but this one just just has a more likable vibe about it.  The songs are very well written, it goes at good pace, the funny parts are funny, the sincere moments are genuine and there was never a moment where I felt the need to skip a track.  True when people say Pop-Punk I think of Bowling for Soup, just an upbeat awesome album.


11. Funeral For A Friend - Conduit


I technically gave a full review of this album earlier this year, but I’ll mention it again anyway.  This album is friggin awesome.  This is just a straightforward punk album, from a band that’s been more than eclectic through the past 10 years or so.  It’s well written, and well executed, everything about this one is great.  True, most of the songs don’t hit past the 3 minute mark but who the fuck say a song has to be long to be good… Also… This is a punk album so, to hell with convention.  Love this one, worthy of the number 11 spot


10. Azylya - Sweet Cerebral Destruction


OK, another I’m slightly cheating with here, this album technically came out in 2012, but according to a number of websites it came out in 2013 plus the band has had a major boost in popularity this year so I thought I’d throw it on the list, besides it’s my list so, yeah.  I only discovered Azylya this year, I saw them at The Dames of Darkness Festival and they were sensational. The songs on this record are fantastic, well written, well produced and capture a great tone and imagination. When this album wants to be heavy, it’s heavy when it want to create an atmosphere it’s dark and gothic but always that element of imagination that keeps it from being too dark.  Honestly, It has truly been one of my favourites of the year.


09. Heaven’s Basement - Filthy Empire


Alright then, the first album I bought this year.  This is such a kick ass rock record, great riff, awesome solo’s, massive sing along lyrics everything a great rock record needs.  I have had so much fun listening to Heaven’s Basement this year.  Every song just pops but there is never a point when it seems overwhelming, the writing is catchy and every song has a good strong hook. Again seen this band live this year and these songs sound amazing live.  Check this one one if you haven’t.


08. The Blackout - Start The Party


Another album I’ve already done a full review of this year.  This has got to be my second favourite Blackout album to day, the favourite being “The Best In Town”.  The writing on this one is more simplistic than I’ve ever heard The Blackout yet it’s somehow more mature than I’ve heard them.  Like I said earlier this year, it’s like the sill fun of “The Best In Town” along the more mature way of thinking from “Hope”.  The Blackout are getting better and better and show no sign of slowing down.


07. Tegan And Sara - Heartthrob


I have to admit I was immediately taken back when I heard “Heartthrob”. I thought, Tegan and Sara song lasting over 2:50 minutes impossible.  However I think this album has produced some of my favourite songs from Tegan and Sara.  It’s clear that they’re not going for their typical format of music, less the acoustic indie rock and more to the electronic european style dance-pop.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this album uses the electronic style very much to it’s favour. Also, like The Blackout, the songwriting is simplistic yet complex at the same time, and I have loved it, I mean every second of it.

 

06. Fall Out Boy - Save Rock and Roll


Here it is, my soundtrack to summer 2013.  Yeah this album came out in May which means it got heave playtime through June and July. This album is so freaking good.  Every song is excellent.  It’s well written, well produced, it has the catchiest hooks I’ve heard in a long time.  It’s one of those big sing-it-out-loud records, it’s not one to be played in the background.  This is one to have on full blast.  Clearly I’ve had too much fun with this album and to that I say… well to quote Fall Out Boy’s last album.. I Don’t Care


 

05. Hell To Pay - Judgement Day


I’ve waited years for a full length Hell To Pay album to come around, and when it did in 2013 my go was this worth the wait.  Not only is this album pack with awesome riffs, great solos, well written lyrics, it is a great modern update on the classic rock of the 70’s and 80’s.  The Manchester based quartet struggled to get this released this year, originally due for May it saw the light of day in November and it is amazing.  Hopefully there is much more to come from them.


04. Amaranthe - The Nexus


So, this band suddenly hit me in the face this year.  This album is brilliant, ok so it not the best written album I have ever heard, and the production is too cluttered, but, something doesn’t have to be good to be awesome.  This album just throws everything into the mix, from power metal, to techno to melodic death metal.  I only discovered Amaranthe this year but I have become a fan of them in a very short time it’s something about how the songs flow and what ever the tone they always manage to hit the right tone. Well, I liked it anyway.


03. Hatebreed - The Divinity of Purpose


I was thinking to myself, what was the best metal album this year? which album just didn’t care and was just pure as fuck metal.  The answer… Hatebreed.  To be honest never really payed much attention to these guys until this year… This album is a damn good record.  Every song is just powerful and heavy, these guys haven’t missed a step with this album, it just works I really don’t know what else to say, go and get it if you haven’t.


02. KT Tunstall - Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon


I’m not even going to pretend, this album is amazing, love every solitary second of it, no joke.  This album is so beautifully composed, so well written, so captivating, it is just a great record.  All I can do is praise it, and this album has done very well this year, it sounds like simple poetry weaved into beautiful atmospheric music.  I think KT has outdone herself once again, this album is basically a full length version of her 2011 EP “The Scarlet Tulip” and it is a very welcome addition to my collection.


01. Tantric - 37 Channels


Oh, boy what do I say about my favourite band coming back with a new album. How about… oh thank god it doesn’t suck, Hugo actually works a producer with this music.  After 2009’s Mind Control, I desperately hoped this would be the sound they were going to go with, and thank god Hugo didn’t let that sound continue on to this record.  37 Channels is fantastic, no joke when this album first dropped in September I listened to it 25 times in one day.  In fact, I don’t think there has been a day when I haven’t listened to it.  The writing is great, the production is great if not a little muted, the songs are just so good.  I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an album this much since… Tantric’s album “The End Begins”.  Amazing all around and it is my favourite album of 2013


So there it is my Top 20 Albums of 2013, heres to an awesome 2014 may many new album be awesome in the new year.