Saturday, 9 August 2014

THE REST - other great albums of 2013

Some of these albums were great, but not good enough for the top 3. Some of them were just "ok" but good enough to re-listen sometimes. Some of them are guilty pleasures. Two of these albums have full reviews linked to them... Here goes nothing:

1. Hurts – Exile
A follow up to one of the most stellar debuts in recent pop memory, Hurts were always going to have a rough time. Though not as memorable as their previous outing, EXILE still manages to be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant music realm. Read the full review HERE.
Link me up: HURTS - Only You

2. HIM – Tears on Tape
HIM are back. While discussing how HIM is basically Billy Idol 2.0 meets Black Sabbath might be a topic for another time, it is a joy and pleasure to have these guys back kicking ass – though the new record is short and, at times, uninspired. Link to full review HERE.
Link me up:  HIM - w.l.s.t.d

3.  Ancient Vvisdom – Deathlike
Satanic, semi-acoustic rocknrol with a dark, almost goth twist? Their debut album was a un-burnished, undiscovered masterpiece and the sophomore one continues in the same vein. Not a lot of change, but perhaps it is for the best – the only thing hindering it is the singes sometimes feeble, uncontrolled vocals. On the other hand – maybe this is what they were gunning for.

4. Stone Sour - Houseof Gold and Bones pt.2
 The older they get, the more conscise, razor sharp their sound gets. I was surprised at how more coherent the second part of this double album felt. And off course its produced immaculately well. R

8. Arctic Monkeys – AM
This is the sound of a band maturing. Ear sex.

9. KING 810 - Midwest Murderers EP
A hardcore band recommended by Robb Flynn of MachineHead – it sounds like the mixture of hardcore with early era Slipknot, especially the visceral, anger ridden  and passionate vocals.
Link me up:  (note - this is not off the EP) KING810 - Fat around the heart
 This band exploded, and for good reason – its catchy, no-frills synth pop that you’d have to try really hard not to like. And you’d be wrong…
 Link me up: CHVRCHES - Recover

11. Falling In Reverse
 It’s a guilty pleasure – a post-emo band led by a charismatic, douchebag frontman. What is attractive about this album is that it is a frenzied, hit-and-miss mixture of genres, from pop rock, to rap-metal to Dragonforce-like speed metal, to emo-core. Not for everyone.
12. Trivium
Hiring Disturbed's singer as a producer, losing their identity by relegating their trademark growl vocals to second base and diluting and "rockifyiong" the songs - Its obvious Trivium have faltered...but even with this flawed album  they continue to be great songwriters and an overall killer consistent band. I will be writing a more detailed article on this, and a few other albums from this list.
Link me up:  Trivium - No way to heal
13. Amaranthe – Nexus
 More of the same – for good or for bad. The good part is that some songs are ABBA catchy, with that recognizable vocal trio and pounding sound. The bad is that the rest of the album feels like rinse, repeat.
Link me up:  Amaranthe - Stardust
14.  Fleshgod Apocalypse - Labyrinth
 No one does epic like Fleshgod, at least when it comes to death metal. The first two tracks literally give me ghoosebumps and make me do the Gladiator ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED stop and hand-spread. The rest? Good, but not great – and just a tad chaotic and messy with songwriting.
15. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail to the King
 The only reason this even made the list is because I’m such a fanboy. Sure, there are about 4 good songs on it, but it boils down to this – there is a difference between an homage (see Daft Punk) and a lame cover album with no covers on it, but what hurts most is the fact that Hail to the King has very few memorable songs – watch this space for more writing on what went wrong here.

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