Top 13 of 2013

Here are the top 13 albums from 2013. I can only hope that by 2060 I’ll be dead. Happy New Year!

1.       Avantasia – The Mystery Of Time

Not only featuring some of the best musicians and vocalists metal has to offer, The Mystery Of Time also features some of the best songs to be released this year and from Avantasia’s history. The Great Mystery alone is reason enough to love this.

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,2.       Amon Amarth – Deceiver Of The Gods 

Beards, Thor and death metal, a collection of three mighty things and all feature in Number 2, Deceiver of the Gods. Crushing riffs and vocals make it a fierce fucker of an album, but it’s melodic enough to sing along to live. A perfect combination.

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3.       Hell – Curse And Chapter

While sadly a studio album can do nothing to compare to the wonders of a live Hell show, they still manage to make this release a “performance.” You can almost picture them striding round the studio in full costumed garb. If it wasn’t for Avantasia and Amon Amarth, this would have been a number one with no competition.

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4.       Clutch – Earth Rocker

You can’t go wrong with Clutch, it’s just a fact of life. This album has been appearing in many professional and amateur top albums alike with good reason. Earth Rocker is a more energetic offering than previous efforts, a tighter, faster, well oiled machine; but with that traditional Clutch style stomp to keep us hooked.

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5.       Turisas – Turisas2013

This album drew a lot of mixed reactions but aside from a dodgy cover and name, ‘Turisas2013’ won me over pretty quickly. Once you get away from your expectations of more ‘Battle Metal’ or more ‘Stand Up And Fight’ and appreciate it for what it is, you realise it’s a solid as fuck album. A mix of themes from the traditional Turisas fare like ‘Ten More Miles.’ through to the bonkers ‘No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea’ ensures there’s something for everyone.

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6.       Black Sabbath – 13

People can throw as many toys out of as many prams over the Bill Ward issue, but when you have Tony and Geezer laying dark, doomy riffs down under Ozzy’s classic drone, you have something special. It’s also pretty special hearing Black Sabbath with a modern production, Geezers bass is a thing of beauty with proper mixing (and without, but you know what I mean) and the riffs are up there with the early Sabbath offerings.

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7.       Airbourne – Black Dog Barking

Black Dog Barking is a powerhouse that brings their sound even further forward. Combining the best elements of Running Wild and No Guts, No Glory, they have managed to create a sound that is as close to live as can be while still being incredibly well produced and mixed. It also confirms that Australians know how to make good rock n roll.

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8.       Joe Satriani – Unstoppable Momentum

What’s not to love about a man who can paint a picture with notes? While maybe not as enjoyable as the previous album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards, Unstoppable Momentum has the classic Satch vibe we all know. The only issue is that this album is fairly summery, and listening to it now at Christmas has just wiped out my body clock.

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9.       White Wizzard – Devils Cut

Despite the utter clusterfuck of a tour that followed and the battles that were waged publicly on Facebook, the album itself was a really good bit of music. The new members (now ex-members) pushed White Wizzard away from being a New Wave of British Heavy Metal clone and carved the band a bit of a unique spot. While still holding fiercely to the NWOBHM sound, new influences seeped in to make this one of the highlights of the traditional metal resurgence.

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10.    Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife

Creating a beautiful contrast to all the metal bands putting on angry faces or insisting their music is incredibly laired and deep, Gloryhammer’s self aware, tongue in cheek approach is a breath of fresh air. With tales of undead unicorns and track titles like The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder they have taken a playful swipe at some of the sillier aspects of power metal while at the same time releasing a spectacularly solid album. The music is well played and the choruses are hideously catchy, you can’t ask for much more.

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11.   Evile – Skull

With what is now Ol Drake’s final outing with Evile, he has ended his Evile career with a bang. While it would be hard to match the power of Enter the Grave, Skull comes pretty damn close. Matt’s vocals are at their strongest and his brothers soloing once again is something unique in the sub-genre.

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12.   Gama Bomb – The Terror Tapes

The Terror Tapes is a different sound for Gama Bomb, Philly’s throat surgery has changed his vocal style and has given the band a whole new vibe. The riffs are as fast and the lyrics are as fun but the delivery is deeper and “throatier” opposed to the previous high shrieks.

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 13.   Ghost – Infestissumam

Lucifer once again has worked his magic, allowing Ghost to release Infestissumam. Coming in at number 13 is somewhat fitting for the band (though Sabbath may have been a better fit for this spot..), the music again is a throwback to 70s style hard rock. While it isn’t quite as good as their previous album, Year Zero, is the best song they’ve released.

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