So as the new year begins it’s time to look back over 2013 and talk about all that was good. This was yet another incredible year for music and as usual lots of albums I really liked were unable to make this list, but that’s just the way it goes. So without further ado here is 20 to 15 in my top 20 albums of the year.
Number 20 – Black Sabbath – 13
Is this Black Sabbath’s best work? No of course not. Is it a cracking return from the guys who are responsible for everything we hold dear? Damn right it is. The second the opening riff of “The End is Beginning” hit in I got goose bumps. Tony Iommi is as good as he ever was and there are more amazing riffs on one song on 13 than there are on a lot of great albums this year. Long live Black Sabbath, it’s good to have you back boys.
Number 19 – Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose
The rebirth of Thin Lizzy didn’t seem to get the attention it maybe deserved. One of the greatest rock bands of all time gave up on their name, having only one member that comes close to resembling an original, and released All Hell Breaks Loose under the moniker Black Star Riders. With Scott Gorham on top form and a band that could easily live up to the name they left behind All Hell Breaks Loose may not be the most technical or fancy album of the year, but it is one of the most fun.
Number 18 – Watain – The Wild Hunt
Not just an album but a sonic experience, Watain may be getting big but they’re not leaving their roots completely behind. The introduction of clean vocals on the majestic “They Rode On” may have angered classic fans, but anyone with half a brain can see Watain are one of the kind. The Wild Hunt is one of the most interesting things released in the last year and Watain continue their slow dominant rise to the top.
Number 17 – Heart of a Coward – Severance
The first technical metal band to take the djent formula and make it not only sound huge but also accessible to the masses were always going to do well and that is exactly what Heart of a Coward have done. Full of more big riffs than you could shake a very large stick at, Severance takes everything that was good about their debut album and makes it better. These guys are the real deal and they stand up there with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon as the future for British metal.
Number 16 – Brotherhood of the Lake – Desperation is the English Way Volume 2
Sadly 2013 saw the end of Brotherhood of the Lake as they decided to call it a day. However, it also saw them release their second album which someone managed to filthier and full of even more hate than the first. These boys were a different breed in the UK hardcore scene and it’s gutting to see them go. Even with their demise, I still can’t recommend enough how you should go and get your hands on this, and the first volume, if you are into all things angry and heavy.