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Articles Home » Best Of » Best Of 2013 - 2014 Dangerzone Best Of 2013
 
Best Of 2013 - 2014 Dangerzone Best Of 2013



ARTIST: Best Of 2013
ARTICLE: Dangerzone Best Of 2013
YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:


Background
Unlike previous years I listened to dozens of new releases in 2013, finding myself not having to deploy overseas for the first time since 2009. This didn't necessarily make my best of list any easier, struggling as always it seems to come up with ten adequate choices. Somehow I managed to conjure them up, with some on the fringe that didn't inspire me enough to warrant an inclusion (Suicidal Tendencies, Moritz, U.D.O.). That said there were some fine albums released in 2013, although I certainly didn't inundate myself with the slew of AOR others may have. The low point of my years reviews were the shameful live farces by stale veterans like Whitesnake and Def Leppard (and another live abomination by Black Sabbath as yet unreviewed). But as for the best? Read on..


The Selections
10: David Bowie 'The Next Day'
In my haste I almost forgot this album, one of the best comebacks I've heard in a long time. Bowie delivered a gritty, dirty rock album that ranks with the best of his classic material, a genuine surprise for a musician so far into his career.

9: Deicide 'In the Minds of Evil'
The ninth album from the Florida death metal legends shows the band to still be as punishing as they were on their 1990 debut. It's been years since I listened to a new Deicide album, but I found myself in a 1995 time warp while deciphering this worthy addition to the bands catalogue.

8: Carcass 'Surgical Steel'
The first album for the reunited English death metal greats since 1996 and an undeniably heavy one. While it doesn't reinvent Carcass' sound it proves their penchant for brutal death metal remains intact some 25 years after their debut. Like Deicide it's been years since I sat down and listened to any of Carcass' albums but this holds up as well as any of them. There's no beating truly guttural thrash.

7: Phil Anselmo and The Illegals 'Walk Through Exits Only'
Anselmo has always been one of the most eclectic performers in metal and this long awaited solo album contained plenty of reference points to Pantera's 90's sound, as well as Anselmo's usual lyrical wit and rants about the music industry and life in general. I sometimes feel Anselmo doesn't get the credit he's earned as a solo artist, but his knack for thrash and unique arrangements made this a highlight of 2013.

6: Necroriser 'Violent'
Every year an obscure thrash album appears out of nowhere and stands above the competition. Necroriser managed to capture my attention this years, the South American's delivering a traditional thrash set that recalls all the genre legends while retaining a definite charm. Who knows if they'll ever be heard from on vinyl again, but this satisfied a certain taste that's hard to find.

5: King Kobra 'II'
This was welcome proof that 2011's comeback set wasn't a one off miracle, with the same lineup blazing their way through another convincing set of 80's influenced hard rock. On reflection it isn't quite as consistent as the previous album, but it's definitely close. Let's hope we haven't heard the last of Appice and company.

4: State Cows 'The Second One'
This was my favourite AOR album of 2013, as the Swedish pair topped their 2010 debut with an album that I'd swear was recorded in 1981 if I didn't know any better. Rarely do you hear such a convincing sound reminiscent of the vintage years, but the State Cows have perfected it. 'This Time' in particular had me searching for superlatives that don't come across too often.

3: Motorhead 'Aftershock'
I truly thought it was over for Motorhead, especially after a slew of abysmal albums from 2006 to 2010 that were the worst of their long career. Somehow Lemmy recovered though, despite his health issues, with an album that's among their best. The heaviness that had gone missing returned in a startling manner and I thought I'd gone back in time to the mid 90's after listening to this vintage heavy metal blast.

2: Black Sabbath '13'
Expectations were high for this long awaited 'reunion' album and it certainly delivered, sticking safely with the formula that brought Sabbath to fame some 44 years ago. I wasn't convinced upon first listens but it eased its way into my consciousness and 'God is Dead' was one my most listened to tracks of the year if my I Tunes player is anything to go by. If it was the last we hear from Ozzy and the two remaining originals then they've gone out on a high point. At least they avoided a 'Nostradamus' type debacle.

1: Sepultura 'The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must be the Heart'
Despite the lengthy album title Sepultura once again proved themselves as the most consistent band in metal with this ferocious release. The opening pair of 'Trauma of War' and 'The Vatican' were the heaviest tracks of the year, thrash so precise and heavy that it brings a tear to the eye. What amazes me is how superior the Derrick Greene era lineups continue to be over anything ex Sepultura leader Max Cavalera has done since he left back in 1996. Cavalera continues to release mediocre albums with his band Soulfly, this years 'Savages' another poor effort which was quickly forgotten. Sepultura on the other hand continue to get stronger, an amazing feat for a vastly underrated band.

Not So Good..
Of course it would be amiss not to mention some of the lowlights of 2013, of which there were a considerable amount (and easier to pinpoint than a top ten) which include duds by the following:

Boston, Sammy Hagar, Black Star Riders, Queensryche with Geoff Tate, Megadeth, Sodom, Mystery,

While not as bad as the above, other slight disappointments included new releases from the following, which I expected more from, perhaps foolishly:

Player, Deep Purple, Krokus, F.M., Evile, Pro Pain.


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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 08 2014 22:23:22
That's three of us with the State Cows album in our Top Ten. It sticks out more in your list, though, than in mine and George's.
#2 | Eric on January 09 2014 22:21:29
Totally agree on the Bowie disc. Look for at least one David review this year from myself. His contribution to classic rock is immeasurable.
#3 | gerard on January 09 2014 22:50:03
Bought Bowie's cd 'Hours...' today for only 1 Euro. Haven't heard it yet though. Would be great to have some Bowie reviews on this site!
#4 | Explorer on January 10 2014 23:32:30
Bowie' s 'Young Americans' is my favourite Bowie album...I'd love to write a review on that, Mr Bowie is definitely under represented here, classic rock in every sense of the word. His new album is a joy to listen to.
 
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