Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best of 2013: special awards

So we have once again reached the end of a year. Geez, it feels like the years keeps on flying by faster and faster. Despite that the time has once again sprung by way too fast, we still have some things from 2013 that we probably will look back at and either laugh, cry or smile at. Here are some of those things.

Best Newcomer: The Italian band Ashes of Chaos impressed me a lot with their concept album "Eye". A nice mix of progressive metal, death metal and several other styles. And the story is also very interesting and intriguing

Worst album: That honour goes without a doubt to Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals's horrible debut album "Walk Through Exits Only". This is not music, this is pure shit. I respect Phil Anselmo as a musician, but this is way below his normal standards. He does not even sing good. This record should have been scrapped from the start.

Biggest disappointment:
I can see that the death of James "The Rev" Sullivan may have inhibited the song writing process, but that is not an acceptable excuse. "Hail To The King" is just a boring album filled with plagiarism and sloppy song writing. Some songs, like "Planets" and "Coming Home", makes the album somewhat interesting, but it is still a huge step back from the great predecessor "Nightmare".

Biggest surprise: I did not expect much from Drowning Pool when they presented "Resilience", but they kicked me in the stomach with heavy and catchy songs that proofs that their super hit "Bodies" was not a lucky shot. And the new singer Jasen Moreno brings the band to another level.

Memorial award: Not a day goes by without me being reminded that the riff master Jeff Hanneman is not with us anymore. After couple years of illness, he eventually passed away thanks to a alcohol-related cirrhosis on the 2nd of May. May you forever live south of heaven, reigning in blood.

Best genre: I am pretty surprised that the power metal genre had so many great releases this year. Stratovarius, Helloween, Avantasia, Hammerforce, Týr, Battle Beast, they all released some high quality albums. Good job there.

Best music video 1: Despite the fact that most of the instrumental parts gets voiced over by army veterans, the music video for the Dream Theater song "The Enemy Inside" is a stunning tale of the aftermath that every homecoming soldier experience. Definitely one of the most moving videos I have watched in several years.

Best music video 2: I just cannot stop laughing at Gama Bomb's video of "Terrorscope". The half crappy effects and seeing the band act like English nerds gives the video a unique touch of craziness. The best part though is the happy ending.

Best album cover: 

I am a sucker for a couple of things, and the grim reaper is one of them. Kataklysm's album "Waiting For The End To Come" is not only well detailed in the music, but also on the cover. Not sure though what I should feel about the naked child in the middle. No matter what, it is still a cool album cover.

Ugliest album cover 1: 

The cover to the White Wizzard album "The Devil's Cut" is just a complete mind fuck. Besides the hideous green/purple color combination, we have a nun skeleton riding a naked, ball gagged priest in front of a pentagram. I seriously don't even know how you can come up with this stuff.

Ugliest album cover 2:

The cover to the Megadeth album "Super Collider" is not ugly per se, but they have just stolen the picture from the Internet and Photoshopped in some stupid effects. The one who created this cover must be lazy as hell. And where the hell is Vic?

Best instrumental album: No one can beat the master Joe Satriani when it comes to instrumental music, and "Unstoppable Momentum" was just another proof of that. Such diversity and skills cannot be found in any other instrumental release.

Best comeback: Sorry Black Sabbath, but I give this award to Carcass. Their latest album, "Surgical Steel", was a excellent performance that showed of Carcass's wide range, and the music was executed with surgical precision. They show once again that they are the greatest band that have come from Liverpool since The Beatles.

Unfinished Business: The fight between Queensrÿche and Geoff Tate is still unfinished and I cannot believe that it takes such a long time only to decide who gets the rights for a band name. The matter should have been resolved this Autumn, but for some reason, Tate succeeded to postpone the verdict to the 27th of January next year. I guess he knows that he is losing and I am not surprised, he deserves to lose. I just hope for the sake of the metal community that the judge grants the right Queensrÿche the full rights to the name.

So what is your favourite moment of 2013? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stay Metal

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