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mastodon421 12-29-2013 09:43 AM

mastodon421's wild, excessive 2013 year-end round-up
Hello peeps. It's that magical time of the year to do my year-end lists. In this thread, you will find:
-Top 10 live performances
-EP of the year
-Rankings of albums 100-51 (no write-ups)
-Top 50 albums (write-ups)
-Top 50 songs
-Bitching at me due to how low albums such as Colored Sands by Gorguts are on my list
-Expletives galore

I will get the ball rolling on this (hopefully) later today. If not, this will get started tomorrow. Get stoked Metal Setlists ;)

mastodon421 12-30-2013 03:52 PM

Now let's get the ball rolling with my top 10 live performances of the year:

10.Skeletonwitch (10/27, The Met, Pawtucket, RI):
Skeletonwitch is one those of bands I could see a thousand times and I still wouldn't get sick of them. Their music really hits the next level in a live setting thanks to their relentless energy and the flow of their setlists, which see them consistently keeping the crowd amped while barely taking time to come up for air. Few acts have the intensity and stage presence that Skeletonwitch and that's why I will continue to see them at every possible chance I get.

9.Kanye West (11/17, TD Garden, Boston, MA)
Say what you want to about Kanye West as a person, but the man knows how to put on a show. His brash demeanor and supreme confidence is especially present in his live performance. The show that he put on was an absolute spectacle thanks one of the most elaborate stage setups I've ever seen (a giant rotating mountain with various, bizarre props and setpieces that only Kanye could think of appearing throughout the night) and a setlist that captured a vast range of emotions and flowed better than just about any other setlist I've ever seen. West's live show perfectly fits his over-the-top personality and I will gladly play a pretty penny to see him again the next time he tours.

8.Run the Jewels (8/13, Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
El-P and Killer Mike really are hip-hop's dream team. Both these guys are good on their own (as they demonstrated with their solo sets earlier in their evening) but when they come together as Run the Jewels, they are quite simply a force to be reckoned with. They have this battle-rap rapport with one another that makes their pairing so special. They are on the same team, but they are constantly trying to one-up each other and it gives them this really fun edge that you don't see in hip-hop very often in the modern era. Killer Mike and El-P really step up to the next level when they're on-stage together and the dynamic the two of them have together made this one of the impressive hip-hop performances I've ever seen.

7.The Dillinger Escape Plan (8/3, The Palladium, Worcester, MA also saw on 4/20)
Summer Slaughter marked the fifth time (and second time of 2013) that I had seen The Dillinger Escape Plan this year and once again, they delivered the goods. The new material from One of Us is the Killer absolutely destroys in a live setting and this show marked the crazy stunt I've seen Greg Puciato pull as he jumped off the VIP balcony at The Palladium. The Dillinger Escape Plan is just the epitome of live chaos and are always a treat to see live.

6.Danny Brown (5/9), Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA)
I went to a lot of hip-hop shows in 2013 and no one impressed me more than Danny Brown. He was the first rapper I'd ever seen perform his songs all the way through live, which sounds like nothing to non hip-hop fans, but a lot of rappers don't finish their songs so it was awesome see someone actually do that. More importantly, Brown had this crazy energy that just lit up the entire room and did a lot of cool improvised things to make his material pop off even more live. I don't know if it's because of his raw sound in the studio or it's just the fact that's he an incredibly-talented MC, but Danny Brown is the uncontested best live rapper I've ever seen.

5.The Black Dahlia Murder (10/27, The Met, Pawtucket, RI also saw on 7/11)
Like Skeletonwitch, who opened the show for them, The Black Dahlia Murder is a veteran metal band that has made their mark in the scene with their consistently excellent live shows. This was the third time I've seen them headline (and sixth time seeing them overall) and each and every show is special. These guys always strive to step their game up and get tighter and tighter as a unit as the years go on, despite an insanely long list of lineup changes over the years. The Black Dahlia Murder are about as entertaining, precise and flat-out fun as a death band can be in a live setting.

4.Revocation (8/3, The Palladium, Worcester, MA also saw on 7/13 and 11/2)
Revocation has been one of my favorite bands for the past three or four years, but it wasn't until this year that they finally lived up to my expectations as a live act. They toured a bunch this year in support of their new album and apparently that consistent touring over the past year made them an elite live act. Their music video shoot at Great Scott in July was cool as hell due to the intimacy and sheer insanity of the crowd but the sound issues held it back from being a landmark show. Summer Slaughter stood out to me the most because it had the same raucous energy and wild crowd response as the Great Scott show, just with a great sound mix to back it up. Revocation continues to step their shit up as a live act and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see them get even better in the near future.

3.Killswitch Engage (6/8, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, NH)
Being a Killswitch Engage fan for almost 10 years now, this show was special to me. It not only marked my first time seeing them since February 2010, but it was also the first time I got to see the band perform with original vocalist Jesse Leach. Leach has absolutely rejuvenated the band and their live performances are better than ever. It was surreal hearing all of the Alive or Just Breathing material with Leach on vocals after years of hearing Howard Jones do them and he also did an excellent job with the Jones-era material. Seeing Killswitch with Leach back in the band was a dream come true and it made for one of the most enjoyable shows of the year by far.

2.Between the Buried and Me (3/14, House of Blues, Boston, MA)
Every time I see Between the Buried and Me live, it reminds me why I'm a BTBAM fanboy. Even in front of a polarizing crowd opening for Coheed and Cambria, they brought down the house with the same intensity and precision that they have at their headlining shows. The Parralax II material is just as dense and satisfying live as on-record and hearing "Selkies: The Endless Obsession" live again pretty much made my concert-going year. I've seen Between the Buried and Me eight times now and I can't wait to make it nine in February.

1. Every Time I Die (3/15, Royale, Boston, MA)
This was one of those performances that was so special that it almost didn't seem real. I had seen Every Time I Die twice before at Warped Tour 2010 and 2012, but nothing could've prepared me for just how insane they were when they headlined. The lack of a barrier brought the band and crowd energy to a level of bat-shit insanity (so much crowdsurfing and stage diving) that it had to be seen to be believed. It also helped that the setlist was incredible and loaded with a majority of my favorite tracks from their most recent record Ex Lives and the fact that Keith Buckley sounds so god damn amazing vocally. This performance from Every Time I Die was chaotic, hilarious and borderline euphoric. Not only the best performance of 2013, but one of the best performances I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.

Honorable Mentions: Coheed and Cambria (3/14), After the Burial (4/20), Darkest Hour (6/8) Mac Lethal (7/11), Rob Zombie (7/16), Machine Head (7/16) Battlecross (7/16, 11/2), The Ocean (8/3), Unearth (8/3), Death Angel (11/2), High on Fire (11/16)

smearCampaign 12-30-2013 06:19 PM


mastodon421 12-30-2013 06:26 PM

[B]EP of the Year[/B]
San Fransisco progressive/technical death metal act Fallujah quickly became one of my favorite new bands after their incredible 2011 debut LP [I]The Harvest Wombs[/I]. Their new EP, [I]Nomadic[/I], expands upon everything that was great about [I]The Harvest Wombs[/I]. The music on [I]Nomadic[/I] is a lot more moody and atmospheric without losing any of the technical, extreme edge that made their early material so memorable. The two main tracks on here, "The Dead Sea" and "Venom Upon the Blade", are two of my absolute favorite songs of the year due to how layered and vast-sounding they are. You get some beautiful melodic riffing, mind-blowing technicality, punishing blast beats and sinister black metal vocals all on the same track and it's just an awesome and frequent unpredictable combination. A lot of peeps were worshiping at the altar of Gorguts this year, but as I'm as I'm concerned, the technical death metal release of the year came from these Bay Area upstarts. If the trend continues, their second full-length has the potential to be something really, really special.

Standout Tracks
The whole thing

mastodon421 12-30-2013 06:31 PM

Here's all the albums that didn't make the top 50.

100.Atilla-About That Life
99.Daft Punk-Random Access Memories
98.Eminem-The Marshall Mathers LP 2
97.A Loss for Words-Before it Caves
96.Arsonists Get all the Girls-Listen to the Color
95.Thee Oh Sees-Floating Coffin
94.The Weeknd-Kiss Land
93.Kid Cudi-Indicud
92.2 Chainz-B.O.A.T.S II #METIME
91.Dropkick Murphys-Signed and Sealed in Blood
88.Juicy J-Stay Trippy
87.Korn-The Paradigm Shift
86.Bring Me the Horizon-Sempiternal
85.TesseracT-Altered State
83.Vampire Weekend-Modern Vampires of the City
82.A$AP Rocky-Long. Live. A$AP
81.Bad Religion-True North
80.Gorguts-Colored Sands
79.A$AP Ferg-Trap Lord
78.Ghostface Killah-Twelve Reasons to Die
77.Touche Amore-Is Survived By
76.Alice in Chains-The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
75.Queens of the Stone Age-Like Clockwork...
74.J. Cole-Born Sinner
73.Dark Tranquility-Construct
70.mr.muthafuckin' eXquire-Kismet
69.Terror-Live By the Code
68.R.A the Rugged Man-Legends Never Die
67.Noisem-Agony Defined
66.Arcade Fire-Reflektor
63.Volbeat-Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies
62.Havok-Unnatural Selection
61.Doomriders-Grand Blood
60.iwrestledabearonce-Late for Nothing
59.Chimaira-Crown of Phantoms
58.Captain, We're Sinking-The Future is Cancelled
57.Within the Ruins-Elite
56.Ramming Speed-Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die
55.Tyler, the Creator-Wolf
54.Amon Amarth-Deciver of the Gods
53.Children of Bodom-Halo of Blood
52.Red Fang-Whales and Leeches

hellawaits77ny 12-31-2013 07:22 AM

Shit, I wanted to listen to the new Fallujah, forgot about it. Good to hear you liked it.

Had no idea Within the Ruins was still around. And I'm with you on the new AIC, it wasn't high on my list. Didn't dislike it, but I don't find myself coming back to it much.

Kinda bummed to see Terror is so low on your list, figured you'd like it. One of my favorites of the year.

Keep up the list, looking forward to it!

mastodon421 12-31-2013 08:22 AM

[QUOTE=hellawaits77ny;551834]Shit, I wanted to listen to the new Fallujah, forgot about it. Good to hear you liked it.

Had no idea Within the Ruins was still around. And I'm with you on the new AIC, it wasn't high on my list. Didn't dislike it, but I don't find myself coming back to it much.

Kinda bummed to see Terror is so low on your list, figured you'd like it. One of my favorites of the year.

Keep up the list, looking forward to it![/QUOTE]

I thought by Live by the Code was solid, it just didn't strike me like Keepers of the Faith, One for the Underdogs and their other top-notch material did.

I'm completely with you on AIC. Few solid songs and definitely not a bad record, just really disappointing and no where near the quality I expected out of them.

mastodon421 12-31-2013 08:37 AM

Let the top 50 commence!
[B]50.Chance the Rapper-Acid Rap[/B]

20 year-old Chance the Rapper has been the hot shit rapper of 2013 thanks to his new mixtape [I]Acid Rap[/I]. You look at just about any publication's year-end best list and Chance is on it. It took me awhile to warm up to it and I certainly don't think it's revolutionary as a lot of people of do, but [I]Acid Rap[/I] is solid and unique hip-hop. Think of Chance as a drugged-out version of Childish Gambino. He raps in an incredibly high-pitched voice, frequently sings his hooks and makes a bunch of abstract references that take a bit to fully understand just like Gambino, except he also a love of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. What makes Chance unique is his jazzy, oddball production. His lyrics don't always shine, but his production is consistently diverse and interesting. I also have to give him props for the guest spots. Despite being unsigned and basically brand-new on the scene, he got the likes of Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Twista and Gambino himself to appear on this record, which is completely awesome (not to mention Action Bronson's verse on "NaNa" is one of his funniest and flat-out best.) With the 2013 he's had, Chance the Rapper is no doubt on his way to become one of the most popular and dynamic acts in underground hip-hop.

Standout Tracks
1.NaNa (feat. Action Bronson)
3.Favorite Song (feat. Childish Gambino)

mastodon421 12-31-2013 08:56 AM

[B]49.Mac Miller-Watching Movies with the Sound Off[/B]

I'm still having a hard time processing that [I]Watching Movies with the Sound Off[/I] was made by the same guy that made songs like "Party on Fifth Ave" and "Donald Trump" just two short years ago. Mac Miller wanted to prove that he has evolved as an artist and he did so in a big way by improving every single aspect of his music. Miller's lyrics are far sharper than before with a lot of clever worldplay and legitimately amusing punchlines, as well as some surprisingly introspective tracks that look at his thoughts on fame and mourning the loss of one of his best friends who committed suicide ("The Star Room", "ReMEMBER"). The production choices are also unlike anything he's ever done before. Miller himself handles about half of the production while the other half is handled by such heavyweights as Pharell, The Alchemist, Clams Casino and Flying Lotus. The sound is mostly low-key and trippy with occasional bursts of flash on bangers like "Bird Call" and "Watching Movies". Miller still has a little bit of ways to go in his reinvention as an artist as he occasionally returns to his frat-boy roots here, but [I]Watching Movies with the Sound Off[/I] is a great jumping off point for the rest of Miller's career.

Standout Tracks
1.Watching Movies
2.Bird Call

hellawaits77ny 12-31-2013 09:08 AM

[QUOTE=mastodon421;551840]I thought by Live by the Code was solid, it just didn't strike me like Keepers of the Faith, One for the Underdogs and their other top-notch material did.

I'm completely with you on AIC. Few solid songs and definitely not a bad record, just really disappointing and no where near the quality I expected out of them.[/QUOTE]

Yes, Keepers of Faith suprised the hell outta me. I didn't do a Best Of 2010 list, but it might very well be my favorite of 2010, and my 2nd favorite Terror album after Underdogs.

Yep AIC wasn't bad and it did have good songs, but it just kind of dragged alongly boringly after a while.

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