That’s right, my friends! 2013 is coming to an end! And I could not have asked for a better year to start at NT because this year was filled with so many amazing releases! From shocking stories to amazing releases, 2013 is one for the books. Here, I’m going to look back at my choices for the best (And worst) that 2013 had to offer.
Oh and if you don’t like what I choose, I just have this to say.
TOP 25 BEST ALBUMS
What an insane year for music! With so many good releases it was hard to narrow it down to just 25 for me, but I managed to do it. Here it is, my choices for the best albums of 2013!
One of the most highly anticipated albums of 2013, the path to release for “Hail To The King” was paved with a cryptic puzzle that the band had put together. While not anything groundbreaking or highly innovated, A7X didn’t disappoint with this one and it’s amazing hard rock sound and melodic anthem-like vibe earns it the #25 spot on my list.
Showing off the poppy side of hard rock, Icon For Hire’s sophomore release is an amazing follow up to 2011’s “Scripted” that hits both hard and soft. With a perfect mix of calm and wild, “Icon For Hire” is well deserving of #24.
The biggest highlight behind this release was the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach, and marks a return to the older sound of KSE, while keeping it fresh. Heavy and fast, this is one album you cannot miss!
After The Burial was a late release, but it was powerful. Hard hitting is an understatement. This album kills and if not for better releases earlier in the year, this would be so much higher.
Personally, I have a lot of praise for this album, but for my full feelings, I reviewed it. To quote, “It’s definitely better than Awake in some areas, but still lacks in others that Awake still rules in. And compared to Comatose, it’s heavier yet something is missing to surpass it.” Read my full review here: Skillet Review
Right from the get go, you’ll be hooked. An album that took about 10 listens to fully get appreciation for, this album almost never even made it on my list. But persistence got me to truly love this album and I promise you will too.
Unsigned Rhode Island based “It Lives, It Breathes” dropped one HELL of an EP this year. A fresh face in the metal scene is always welcome, and it evens features an amazing guest appearances from David Escamilla from Crown The Empire!
Stone Sour is one of the greatest modern hard rock bands of all time. I do not regret saying that because they have the material to back it up. Fronted by the incomparable Corey Taylor, the second part to “House of Gold & Bones” was the perfect follow up to Part 1 as it somehow improved on an already near perfect release. There is a reason Stone Sour is big, and this is one of the many pieces of proof.
What can I say about this amazing band and their debut EP? 5 track of unbridled power. I could heap so much praise about them, how they are easily one of the best new bands of 2013, how they are one of the best rap/metal bands of the modern era, but in all honesty, my co-worker BearlySinister put it best. Read his amazing review of these guys here: FATN Review
The first of three albums he released in 2013 (That’s right, three), Aorta Borealis was easily one of the best albums not only for the sound, but because all the instrumentation and vocals were done by one man. That just makes this piece of art even more amazing.
This band blew me away. I didn’t think much of them at first, but then I heard the first single “Pleasure and Pain” and I was hooked like a druggie. With an amazing vocal style, instrumentation that shows prowess that not many debut albums possess, and an addictive sound from start to finish, “Lux” is one album you MUST hear before you die.
Years in the making, and almost doomed to darkness forever due to a lawsuit, ADTR’s newest effort is a true labor of love for their fans. They fought tooth and nail for this album to see the light of day and I’m really glad it did. Perfect in every aspect, this is a testament as to why ADTR will never die.
One of the best rap releases this year, Hopsin is showing why he’s been called the “savior to rap” time and time again. While that can be debated, his prowess and skill isn’t undeniable. With a smooth flow, amazing rhymes, and lyrics that go against the norm for rap today, Knock Madness is one of the best releases in the genre this year and very deserving of the #13 spot.
A story of a hopeless love. Murder and insanity. The “Two-Faced Charade” story is a grisly tale of lust and love spiraled out of control. Gruesome and evil, this is one of the best concept albums in recent years, and completely worth trying out. The music that tells the tale is spot on near-perfection too. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
One of the best Rise Records bands out there today, My Ticket Home is like the metalcore/post-hardcore child of Slipknot, Deftones, and Tool. But at a closer listen, it’s a unique and hard-hitting album that is solid on all fronts and proves Rise isn’t all Sleeping With Sirens lovey-dovey stuff.
Some people bitch and moan that Five Finger Death Punch sold out after “The Way Of The Fist” and that’s an opinion you have a right to have. However, you’re wrong if you think they’ve lost any edge since then, as “The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell” two-part release is, in essence, a giant middle finger in your face as you get hit by a freight train going 300 miles an hour. Fast, aggressive, powerful, and emotional, this is one (well, two technically) release you should not miss if you’re a fan of metal music.
Melodic and fast, heavy at times and soft when needed, “Vengeance Falls” is Trivium at their finest. The best Trivium album to date, I fell in love with the album from the very first track. Do yourself a favor and check this out. The whole album is streaming right now.
Showing off a more vulnerable side of Sick Puppies while maintaining that in your face attitude, “Connect” is one of the most emotional albums of the year. It has a song for every emotion as Sick Puppies has done with every album.
Black Veil Brides “Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones” is an album that shocked the hell out of me. I never thought I’d praise these guys like this, but holy hell have they improved. Andy’s vocals are so much better than the last album and the instrumentals are top notch. Taken as a whole, the album was an amazing step up and completely worthy of the praise. Whether you love them or you hate them, I stand by this decision.
To quote my review, “About That Life is simply put the greatest Attila album to date. A perfect mix of partying and destruction, with a hefty dose of controversy, this is sure to be a fast seller.” I was right. The best selling Attila album, with a debut on the Billboard 200 at #22. Anyone who complained about the lyrical content doesn’t know Attila. Listening to Attila expecting deep, life-changing lyrics is like listening to a screeching monkey expecting Beethoven music. This album is party deathcore at it’s finest.
Again, I’ll quote my review here for the first album in my top 5. “With near perfect sounds, amazing replay value, and a will to innovate in a day where the easy way is taken way too often, New Demons has all the makings to be album of the year. Very few artists have ever shown this much improvement within such a short amount of time. I See Stars are at the top of their game, and they show no sign of giving up that trend.” I See Stars have been one of the best bands on Sumerian for awhile, and this is clear proof of it. A sound that is unique and not commonplace when you hear the term “metalcore”, I See Stars has found the perfect mix of electronic and metalcore, perfecting the electronicore genre with a fine precision that few bands ever achieve.
What can I say about Bring Me The Horizon that hasn’t been said? What can I say about “Sempiternal” that hasn’t been said already? A drastic change from the previous works by the British metalcore outfit, Sempiternal is the most complete package that the band has ever put out. A melodic and aggressive showing that includes clean vocals from frontman Oliver Sykes (which were angelic and unexpectedly amazing), “Sempiternal” is an album that you cannot miss.
One of the heaviest bands on the Rise Records lineup, this album is filled with hate. From a song directed at Austin Carlile (As Landon tweeted, “There is ONE song about mr. Carlile and it’s “Digging Your Grave“. Hate me for it, I don’t give a fuck. You’ll never know why either.”) to the song about avenging a rape victim (Premeditated), “Could You Watch Your Children Burn” is pure hatred for anyone and everyone.
Hatred. Brutality. Anger. A gigantic middle finger to all of humanity. That’s how I describe “The Death Card” in a few words. I never thought I’d find an album that would personify hatred in only 40 minutes. This is just one of those albums that makes you want to punch everyone and their mamas. I wrestled constantly at whether this would be #1 or #2. I fought with myself night after night, replaying this perfect album over and over again, and if it wasn’t for what I chose for #1 getting just a little deeper into me, this was a surefire #1.
This. This is the album that I’ve talked up the most since it was announced. I scratched and clawed at every soundbite I could get to preview it. I posted a thousand times a day on numerous sites about it. Every song that was released was replayed at least dozen times within the first 24 hours. I waited and waited and waited…And finally, after months and months of waiting, “From Death To Destiny” released. And simply put, it’s perfection. The most drastic change in sound from the UK band, this album is the one album that I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to. Starting at the first track (which features soundbites from the infamous Seattle show), Asking Alexandria shows they’ve honed their craft to a level of perfection that is unparalleled in accomplishing the goal of evolution that all bands strive to achieve. There is a reason that this is the most popular band on the Sumerian Records roster, and they show no signs of ever giving up that crown. This is the best Asking Alexandria album ever, and my choice for the 2013 Album of the Year!
TOP 10 WORST ALBUMS
10. Megadeth “Super Collider”
9. Everyone Dies In Utah “Neutral Ground”
8. Kanye West “Yeezus”
7. Jay-Z “Magna Carta Holy Grail
6. Lil Wayne “I Am Not A Human Being II”
5. Tyga “Hotel California”
4. Britney Spears “Britney Jean”
3. Neurotic November “Anunnaki”
2. Miley Cyrus “Bangerz”
1. Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines”
TOP 10 BEST SINGLES
10. Chelsea Grin “Letters”
9. Conquer Divide “Eyes Wide Shut”
8. Like Vultures “Thrift Shop”
7. Sick Puppies “Gunfight”
6. Veil Of Maya “Subject Zero”
5. Alesana “Fatima Rusalka”
4. Of Mice & Men “Bones Exposed”
3. Ice Nine Kills “Connect The Cuts”
2. Dead By April “As A Butterfly”
1. Capture The Crown “Live Life”
TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS
5. From Ashes To New “Stay This Way”
4. I See Stars “Murder Mitten”
3. Asking Alexandria “Killing You”
2. Sworn In “Snake Eyes”
1. The Plot In You “Premeditated”