LRI’s Top 11 Albums of 2013, It’s One Louder!!

LRI’s Top 11 Albums of 2013, It’s One Louder!!
December 3, 2013 | By More

We told you 2013 was going to be an amazing year for new music from your favorite artists when we wrote our list of most anticipated albums of the new year and we were right. Everyone from totally evil Swedish dudes like Ghost, B.C. to America’s favorite Christian hard rockers Stryper came out of the woodwork; everyone from heavy metal legends to complete unknowns upped the ante, producing some of their best work this past twelve months.  It was incredibly difficult narrowing all these great releases down to a top ten so we made like Nigel Tufnel of Britain’s legendary Spinal Tap and turned it up to eleven.  So, without any further ado, here are the top 11 releases of 2013 in no particular order, BUY THEM ALL!

11.  Scorpion Child-  Self Titled Debut- Nuclear Blast Records

This album came completely out of nowhere and pretty much kicked everyone’s ass who took the time to listen to it.  The band has some of the same retro 70s leanings as a band like Rival Sons but with a little heavier more Dio-ish tint, not metal but definitely heavy.  The entire record is an experience and this is definitely one for the vinyl collectors as well.  When Scorpion Child sings “I live on the mountain and dream of the open sky” they damn well mean it!  I hope they tour more.    BUY IT

10.  Ghost B.C.- Infestissumam- Loma Vista Recordings

Ghost takes a lot of criticism for their theatrical approach and Satanic imagery but the fact of the matter is, they’re on a roll whether you like it or not.  This is their second album of incredibly catchy, unique music and it’s actually much better than their debut.  Those who have seen the band live know that the most shocking secret about Ghost is it’s actually more about the musicianship and songs than you think.  If you’ve held a grudge about them or just missed the point completely, Infestissumam is a great place to start, BUY IT

9.  bree- All American Girl- Werewolf Tunes

Of all of these albums, bree’s debut long player is probably the one you’ve heard the least about as it was released independently and she and her band have yet to launch a major tour.  Incidentally, it was the first record that came to mind when I started writing this list and it was, in many ways, the most surprising, refreshing record I played all year.  Bree combines straight forward hard rock, a bit of southern hospitality vocal twang and rock solid songwriting winding up with one of the best records of 2013, easily.  BUY IT

8. Black Sabbath- 13– Republic Records

We know, everyone waited for this album and then either a. slobbered all over it and hailed it as among the greatest work the Sabs ever released or b. said it was a total waste of time with no good songs and horrible production.  The fact is this album needs to be judged on its collective performances and of course the songs.  It’s easily the best thing Ozzy has been a part of since 1990 and also finds Tony and Geezer in fine form.  The songs, while not all classics, are mostly all memorable and this is still one of the best of the year.  Stop holding a grudge about Bill not being in the band and understand some things just aren’t meant to be. If this was Sabbath’s last record ever I am proud to own it, 13 rocks, BUY IT

7.  Stryper- No More Hell To Pay- Frontiers Records

Stryper have been making solid records ever since they reunited but this is their best yet.  “No More Hell To Pay” is basically a heavier bookend to their classic “To Hell With The Devil” and it is going to surprise some people that really just remember the hairspray, Dial MTV ballad days. Michael Sweet has been on an absolute tear in the last few years and this record proves it with solid production and songs that will both appease the old-school fans while keeping Stryper marching forward for at least another ten years.  One of the best bands from the 80s and one of the best live bands ever is finally getting their just rewards.  BUY IT


6.  Huntress- Starbound Beast- Napalm Records

Thank god Huntress is getting some exposure on the Killswitch/Lamb Of God tour because they, along with Testament, are the whole reason I would go.  This band kicks all kinds of ass on “Starbound Beast”, combining thrashy/death moments with classic heavy metal and the undeniable presence of vocalist Jill Janus.   An added bonus is the Priest cover of “Running Wild” and a sweet lyrical contribution from Lemmy himself.  This is one of the most fun records I cranked all year, I can’t wait to see and hear more from Huntress in 2014.  BUY IT

5.  Volbeat- Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies- Universal Republic

Volbeat just keeps making amazing albums and this was among the most anxiously awaited releases of 2013.  I love how new guitarist Rob Caggiano fits into the production and love his playing and songwriting contributions here.  Michael, Jon and Anders seem revitalized and this is one of the most diverse collections of songs from the band yet.  Everything from the spooky, heavy “Room 24” (featuring King Diamond) to the totally catchy “Lonesome Rider” to the straight ahead “Doc Holliday” stand out here. The radio hits and huge tours keep piling up because, believe it or not, every once in a while the general public just gets it.  BUY IT (look for a new interview with singer Michael Poulson here soon!)

4.  Death Angel- The Dream Calls For Blood- Nuclear Blast Records

Death Angel has a point to prove, clearly.  This album is bound to make a LOT of heavy metal top 10 lists, it is an uncompromising, unrelenting beast of a record with a title that basically says it all.  “Son Of The Morning”, “Left For Dead”, “Empty” and basically the entire album remind you of everything you ever loved about the Bay Area thrash scene but kicks it up a notch with modern attack and production.  Just like their recent tourmates Testament and Anthrax, Death Angel are releasing new music this decade that rivals anything they’ve ever produced.  BUY IT

3.  Skid Row- United World Rebellion, Ch. 1- Megaforce Records

This is a serious return to the aggressive, cutthroat, a.d.d. riddled, Skids sound of old.  I know, I know, it’s not a full album, it’s an EP, it doesn’t feature Sebastian Bach, blah, blah, blah. The fact is, Rachel and Snake were always the songwriters, Johnny kicks ass and I love how SKID ROW sounds on United World Rebellion so much that I can’t wait to hear the next chapter.  I’d rather have one EP of killer material from Skid Row than a double cd/dvd of mediocre material from any lesser artist.  BUY IT

2.  Saxon- Sacrifice- UDR Music

I can honestly say that as much as I love the Black Sabbath album I played Saxon’s “Sacrifice” a little bit more in 2013.  This album says a tremendous amount about the sincerity and dedication of Biff Byford and the Saxon guys at this stage of the game.  They already made their point with their previous album “A Call To Arms” but decided to up the ante and produce a record that basically obliterates its predecessor.  This might be more than just one of the best records of 2013, it might be the best album of Saxon’s career, BUY IT

Make sure and buy the correct Queensryche album for god's sake

Make sure and buy the correct Queensryche album for god’s sake

1.  Queensryche- Self-titled-  Century Media Records

What can be written about Queensryche that hasn’t already been written this year?    They’ve been the subject of not just media coverage but endless fan debate ever since the shit hit the fan between the band and former lead singer Geoff Tate with the metal world just waiting to see how the guys would respond in the studio.  The original and only Queensryche responded, head down with amazing performances, amazing songs and seem positively reborn on this short but sweet return to form.  It’s nice to have them back for good.  (look for an upcoming interview with “new” Ryche singer Todd LaTorre soon). BUY IT

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Category: Reviews

Comments (5)

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  1. Nate says:

    Long live the REAL Queensryche!!

  2. Don says:

    While I don’t love a lot of the ones on this list (surprise! haha), what I do love is that you justify your own opinions as to why each album was chosen. In all honesty, I heard them all (except for Bree which I need to check out) and I just didn’t love ’em. But that Skid Row and Scorpion Child made this list is enough reason for me to take you guys out to Golden Coral one night… my treat.

  3. John says:

    If we ever get down to your neck of the woods I will take you up on that Golden Corral offer man, agreed on the Scorpion Child, they are one of the best new bands out there and bree is right there with em, I wanna see both live

  4. Larry says:

    EASILY the best Queensryche LP since Operation Mindcrime!. Now if only the judge would rule on who actually holds claim to the bands name so we can finally move on from the Tate Fiasco….