Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Favorite Albums of 2013

2013 was an interesting year for music. It seemed like a lot of bands lost key members, regrouped, and released self-titled albums. Now that the year is almost over it’s time to list my picks of the year. As always – these didn’t necessarily come out this year, it’s just stuff I discovered this year.

Symphony X, Iconoclast – Oh. My. Word. This album was so awesome I bought it twice. I am not kidding. The riffs are aggressive and heavy, the songs are epic and interesting with great hooks. I listened to this album throughout the year when I needed a true metal fix.

Paramore, Paramore – Paramore is one of those rare bands that get better with each album. They took some risks here but I think they paid off as this is their best album yet. Kudos to the epic Shoegazer finale.

Coheed and Cambria, The Afterman: Ascension/Decension – Coheed’s Afterman saga made me breathe a sigh of relief. I thought the band was on a downhill slope after Year of the Black Rainbow. Turns out it was only a misstep and the band is back with a great double album.

Daniel Amos, Dig Here Said The Angel – It’s great to have another album by one of my favorite bands. It’s every bit as good as you may have heard. I hope we don’t have to wait another thirteen years for an album.

Ayreon, The Theory of Everything - What an awesome way to end the year! Ayreon’s newest is a fine example of progressive music. It’s dense and full of ideas. Great melodies, great vocalists, great instrumentation. While I’m not wild about the story, the music more than makes up for it.

Honorable Mentions

Amon Amarth, Deceiver of the Gods
Toy Matinee, Toy Matinee
Gama Bomb, The Terror Tapes

Disappointments of 2013

Vanden Plas, The Seraphic Clockwork – I loved Christ 0, so I thought Clockwork would be just as good. I was wrong. It’s kind of boring. The story is also kind of whackadoo so it’s really hard to relate to. I hope the band backs off on the theatrics for the next album and concentrates on writing strong songs.

Tatesryche, Frequency Unknown – Can I say this is a disappointment if I didn’t have any expectations for it? I was hoping Geoff Tate would really bring his A-game, but nope. This was just a quick cash-grab while he still has permission to use the Queensryche name. The other Queensryche is much, much better.

Dream Theater, Dream Theater – Man, it really pains me to put this here. I even pre-ordered this album as I have become a big Dream Theater fan over the last year or so. Unfortunately, I’ve listened to this album several times and it just doesn’t stick. Aside from the awesome “The Enemy Inside” the rest of the tracks just don’t do anything for me. Oh well… maybe next time.

Neal Morse, ? – I had really high expectations for this one. It wasn’t bad but didn’t wow me like I thought it would. I suppose that’s not really fair, but it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want! And you’ll like it!

Panic! At The Disco, Too Weird To Live, To Rare To Die! – Yawn! Panic’s new one was the very definition of “blah.” Not great, not awful, just there.

Looking Forward To In 2014

Deliverance, Hear What I Say!
James LaBrie, Impermanent Resonance
Bloodgood, Dangerously Close
Lust Control, Tiny Little Dots
Lady Gaga, Artpop
Maschine, Rubidium

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