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  #21  
Old 12-27-2013, 04:22 AM
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18. Vesperia - An Olden Tale

Vesperia is a folk/melodic death metal band that features my awesome guitar teacher shredding it up on lead guitar, alongside the bassist/drummer of Crimson Shadows. I'm not usually one for folk, but this album is just awesome. It has what might be the catchiest melody I've ever heard in "The Swordsman". If there's one thing you listen to on this list, try 30 seconds of that song and you should be hooked. I'm probably a bit biased on this release, but it really is brilliant. Standouts are "The Swordsman", "Forsaken Shores", and the epic "An Olden Tale".

17. Deicide - In The Minds of Evil

This is by far the most old-school sounding Deicide album since "Serpents of the Light". While it isn't as obviously catchy as "To Hell With God", it is probably just as good. I think this one ranks so high just because it caught me by surprise. Benton sounds amazing, and it's nice to hear modern Deicide without Ralph Santolla. I did like some of Santolla's soloing, but it really didn't fit Deicide. My favourite tracks are "In The Minds of Evil", "Godkill", and "End The Wrath of God".

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Once we get to this point, I have to clarify that these next releases are on another level. In any other year where I didn't go so crazy and hear everything humanly possible (though not on MPF's levels), these would make my top 10.

16. Axxion - Wild Racer

RACER! I'M A WILD RACER! That is literally the only thing that goes through my head when I think about this album because it's so brilliant. It took me a while to warm up to the vocals on this album, but now I love them. They're very much in the Skull Fist "crazy guy shouting melodically" style. Overall the album has a lot of awesome speed metal burners, but they can still slow it down when they need to. The best songs are "Wild Racer", "Stallion", and "Still Hungry".

15. Holy Grail - Ride The Void

This is one band that could have messed up badly, but luckily they managed to create something pretty good. It gets a bit misguided at certain points, but there are enough good songs to make me keep coming back to this album. They continued the emphasis on shredding, which is enough to keep me happy despite the questionable moments. The highlights are "Sleep of Virtue", "Silence The Scream", and "The Great Artifice".
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2013, 05:24 AM
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14. Phantom - The Powers That Be

Toronto's traditional heavy metal scene is currently the best in the world, bar none. Phantom may appear to be newcomers, but they're actually the result of Ash Lee Blade breaking up. This first EP from the group is seriously one of the best things I've ever heard. The first three tracks in particular are so undeniably catchy that I always have them randomly popping into my head. While this band sounds nothing like Skull Fist or Cauldron, fans of both bands should definitely enjoy them. Standout tracks are "The Powers That Be", "In Metal", and "Keepers of the Flame".

13. Ghost - Infestissumam

Trendy pick #1 on my list, but this album deserves it. I was certain Ghost would buy into their own hype from the last album, and when I first heard "Secular Haze" and "Year Zero", I was convinced that happened. I decided to give the album a shot anyways when I got an HMV gift card for my birthday and it was a great choice. This record is far better than the first one. It's simplistic, but catchy. The zaniness of the both singles ended up growing on me, and the bouncy "Jigolo Har Megiddo" became in the running for song of the year for me. There's so much that is great about this album to say, but it's really something everyone needs to hear if they haven't. My favourites are "Secular Haze", "Jigolo Har Megiddo", and "Monstrance Clock".

12. Hatchet - Dawn of the End

It's no secret that I was a huge fan of Hatchet's first album. It was a modern thrash masterpiece, and that's probably why this album took a bit to grow on me, but now I enjoy "Dawn of the End" even more than the debut. The production is perfect for a thrash record, with one of the crunchiest tones ever (best noticed on the mid-paced title track). Once again, Jules' signature lead guitar style is really noticeable, despite a bit of a shift in the style of the riffs. There's even some Iron Maiden influence in "Fall From Grace". As you saw from earlier in the list, this was by far the best thrash album of the year by a mile, until another contender arrived. Nonetheless, it will go down as one of the great retro thrash records of all time. The best songs are "Fall From Grace", "Dawn of the End", and "Vanishing Point".

11. Satan - Life Sentence

This is the second and last trendy pick of my list, but, again, this is quite deserving. I actually got to hear this album well before it leaked/was released, and I knew immediately it was something special. I don't think there has ever been a release in the last decade that has sounded so convincingly old-school. I honestly don't think I can say anything about this album that hasn't been said by anyone else, so I'll just ended it here. My favourites are "Twenty Twenty Five", "Siege Mentality", and the best song of all: "Testimony".
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Last edited by Spiner202; 12-28-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2013, 05:54 AM
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[b][size="3"]
12. Hatchet - Dawn of the End

It's not secret that I was a huge fan of Hatchet's first album. It was a modern thrash masterpiece, and that's probably why this album took a bit to grow on me, but now I enjoy "Dawn of the End" even more than the debut. The production is perfect for a thrash record, with one of the crunchiest tones ever (best noticed on the mid-paced title track). Once again, Jules' signature lead guitar style is really noticeable, despite a bit of a shift in the style of the riffs. There's even some Iron Maiden influence in "Fall From Grace". As you saw from earlier in the list, this was by far the best thrash album of the year by a mile, until another contender arrived. Nonetheless, it will go down as one of the great retro thrash records of all time. The best songs are "Fall From Grace", "Dawn of the End", and "Vanishing Point".
My boys! I really should send this blurb over to Julz and company, I'm sure they'd be humbled as all hell from reading it. I forgot, did you finally get to see them on the Soilwork tour?

Now that it's been a good amount of time since the album came out, I definitely think Dawn of the End is a very high watermark for the traditional side of the retro-thrash thing, along with Waking Into Nightmares (we'll have to see if Fog of War match it, I think it's very possible). It's almost kind of like a nice coda for the re-thrash thing.
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2013, 06:09 AM
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My boys! I really should send this blurb over to Julz and company, I'm sure they'd be humbled as all hell from reading it. I forgot, did you finally get to see them on the Soilwork tour?
Yeah I saw them and it was awesome! I'm currently wearing my Hatchet shirt from that tour.

Quote:
Now that it's been a good amount of time since the album came out, I definitely think Dawn of the End is a very high watermark for the traditional side of the retro-thrash thing, along with Waking Into Nightmares (we'll have to see if Fog of War match it, I think it's very possible). It's almost kind of like a nice coda for the re-thrash thing.
I would agree those two are near the top. Waking Into Nightmares is the best retro-thrash album and will never be beaten, but Dawn of the End ranks up there with Feed The Beast, Citizen Brain, and a few others that top my retro-thrash list. Fog of War definitely has the potential, but I don't love their first album for some reason.
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2013, 06:18 AM
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Life Sentence was trendy? I barely heard anyone talk about it.
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  #26  
Old 12-28-2013, 06:50 AM
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Life Sentence was trendy? I barely heard anyone talk about it.
No it's trendy.
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2013, 07:40 AM
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I would agree those two are near the top. Waking Into Nightmares is the best retro-thrash album and will never be beaten, but Dawn of the End ranks up there with Feed The Beast, Citizen Brain, and a few others that top my retro-thrash list. Fog of War definitely has the potential, but I don't love their first album for some reason.
Fog's first album is honestly only alright IMO. They've grown up a lot since that album, both musically and lyrically. I'm standing behind their upcoming album (whenever the hell it actually comes out) mainly because I know how good the songs are from seeing them plenty of times in the last couple of years. I'm confident that they won't fuck up the production, so I think it'll be a great one.

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No it's trendy.
It's trendy in the best possible way. It's an old as hell NWOBHM band releasing a new album on some obscure basement label. It should have been totally forgotten just like any new album by a NWOBHM band that isn't Saxon or Iron Maiden always is, but it got recognition because the album's actually phenomenal. Life Sentence deserves every accolade it gets and as far as I'm concerned, it was the real comeback of the year whereas everyone seems to be harping on Surgical Steel.
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Last edited by Onioner; 12-28-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Onioner View Post
Fog's first album is honestly only alright IMO. They've grown up a lot since that album, both musically and lyrically. I'm standing behind their upcoming album (whenever the hell it actually comes out) mainly because I know how good the songs are from seeing them plenty of times in the last couple of years. I'm confident that they won't fuck up the production, so I think it'll be a great one.
Glad to hear. I do think they could be a great band, but when I finally got the debut, it didn't hit me as well as I expected.

Quote:
It's trendy in the best possible way. It's an old as hell NWOBHM band releasing a new album on some obscure basement label. It should have been totally forgotten just like any new album by a NWOBHM band that isn't Saxon or Iron Maiden always is, but it got recognition because the album's actually phenomenal. Life Sentence deserves every accolade it gets and as far as I'm concerned, it was the real comeback of the year whereas everyone seems to be harping on Surgical Steel.
This sums it up well. It's a trendy pick because it's on every tr00 metalhead's list (including mine), but it's well-deserved. My top 10 (or 30) in no way coincides with the general taste of any other list I've seen, but somehow Satan manages to break through all of that and get the #11 spot, so I'd say it's definitely trendy.
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2013, 09:37 AM
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This sums it up well. It's a trendy pick because it's on every tr00 metalhead's list (including mine), but it's well-deserved. My top 10 (or 30) in no way coincides with the general taste of any other list I've seen, but somehow Satan manages to break through all of that and get the #11 spot, so I'd say it's definitely trendy.
Fair enough. It's high up on my list as well. I thought you were talking like Ghost or Deafheaven trendy though.
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  #30  
Old 12-29-2013, 05:05 AM
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Top 10 Albums of 2013

10. Blazon Stone - Return To Port Royal

Forget "Resilient", this is the album you need to hear to fulfill your piracy needs! This isn't even Running Wild worship; it's the second coming of Running Wild. The vocalist isn't quite a dead ringer for Rolf, but his voice is equally as fitting. Ced (the guitarist/mastermind) totally understands the intervals that make those pirate-like riffs. I'm really surprised no one is talking about this, but I know it is popular because it is the most-viewed review on my webzine of 3 years, despite the review only being up since May. Standout tracks are "Return to Port Royal", "Stand Your Line", "Curse of the Ghost Ship", and "Blackbeard".

9. Warbringer - IV: Empires Collapse

This is not at all the Warbringer album I wanted. After several listens, however, it did grow on me. The band went out and did some things different. Even the song that seemed like it was going to ruin the record ("The Turning of the Gears") has become one of my favourites. I do think had the band just run with the Vektor/HeXen influence they used on "Hunter-Seeker", this would probably be the top album of the year. That song is easily the best on the album, and already one of the greatest thrash songs ever. I'm not totally sold on the doomy "Leviathan", but aside from that track, this album was a pleasant surprise. My favourites are "The Turning of the Gears", "One Dimension", "Hunter-Seeker", and "Iron City".

8. White Wizzard - The Devil's Cut

If you are in a band and want your band to be awesome, listen to this album. I have never heard an album that is more blatant about the fact that they have better guitar players than you. With Dragonforce, it's a novelty (and a great one at that), but on "The Devil's Cut", White Wizzard uses every single opportunity where there is no singing to shred. Also, it's great to see that Jon recovered from "Flying Tigers". That album had some good ideas, but it was too ambitious for its own good. There are still some moments on "The Devil's Cut" that aren't 100% memorable, but this is still an impressive release. While this is probably my favourite White Wizzard lineup already, I'm not at all concerned that they've all been fired again, because Jon Leon will put it all together again in a great way. The best songs are "Strike the Iron", "Torpedo of Truth", "Storm Chaser", and "The Sun Also Rises".
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