12/14/13: EDDIE TRUNK’S TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2013

Hard to believe we are close to the end of 2013 already. So as usual I am posting my top 10 personal albums of the year almost passed. I hope you check out some of the stuff below if you missed it and share similar taste. I wouldn’t say 2013 was a great year for new music, but there were some solid albums for sure. I feature a ton of new music every week in both radio shows. It is SO important to get the word out on this stuff since so little gets mainstream airplay and sales are so minimal these days. In a couple weeks I’ll be doing my Year In Review special to end 2013 spotlighting my favorites and many more that were released in the past year all in one show. So here are my top 10 for 2013 and as usual hope I didn’t forget anything!

 

1: The Winery Dogs

Easily my favorite of the year, and NOT because they are friends and I had something to do with their formation! Stands to reason as a fan of all three members I would like the album, but even I couldn’t have anticipated an album of songs this strong when I suggested Richie Kotzen to Portnoy and Sheehan when their attempted band with John Sykes fell apart. I knew what Kotzen was capable of for sure as a massive fan of his solo work the last 10 years, but even I had no idea this could gel so well and so quickly. The playing is of course all top notch with three virtuosos in the band, but that can also turn an album into a wank off fest and lose songs. This album creates the perfect balance of amazing playing but never at the expense of great SONGS. Production top notch and mixed by brilliantly by Jay Ruston, one of my favorites in that end of the business. I have always known Kotzen was an amazing singer and player, many only knew his as a player. So it was great to see so many let in on the secret of his vocal ability through this album. Richie was the least known guy in this band but that all changed with this albums release and he became somewhat of a 25 year overnight sensation. Just had lunch with him last week and he told me how his solo albums have increased in sales which is great to hear as people finally find out more about this incredible all around talent. By no means do I want to overshadow the amazing contributions from Portnoy and Sheehan. This would not be the masterpiece it is without all three of these guys singing, playing and writing! It’s just that Kotzen as singer, guitarist and writer was the wildcard in this whole thing and he delivered Ace’s all the way in every way. Not a bad song on the album. I’d also suggest if you have the US version to seek out a bonus track from the Japanese edition called “Criminal”. Great song and it was criminal it was left off the US version. Many skeptics wonder if this band has legs. All indications are they do, with more tour dates on sale now next year. After that it’s anyone’s guess and I hope for many more albums. But whatever happens in the future they made an amazing debut that was easily my favorite release of 2013. And that would still be the case if they weren’t friends and if I had nothing to do with it!

 

2: Alter Bridge: Fortress

Band gets better and heavier with every album. Mark Tremonti’s solo debut was one of my top 10 of 2012. This album has those same amazing riffs and playing coupled with equally amazing playing and singing by Myles Kennedy. The rhythm section of Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips driving everything perfectly. Great production as well from Elvis Baskette that is crushing but not at the expense of dynamics. An epic incredible 4th album from Alter Bridge who I can not wait to see live and let’s hope America embraces them like Europe has already where they can headline arenas.

 

3: Black Star Riders: All Hell Breaks Loose

What was Thin Lizzy wisely changed their name to BSR when they decided to make new music. New music that channels the greatness of Lizzy with a fresh coat of paint. Ricky Warwick shows his love and influence of Lynott while still very much bringing his own approach to the band. Damon Johnson and classic era Lizzy member Scott Gorham deliver those classic dual solos all over the album. Reagrdless if you are a classic Lizzy fan or just a fan of great well played hard rock that channels all that was great about Thin Lizzy while still being fresh and new, this album was a very impressive debut for sure.

 

4: Buckcherry: Confessions

An ambitious concept album and one very personal to singer Josh Todd. Also turned out to be the best Buckcherry album since the comeback 15. If you missed this revisit, really impressive piece of work from a band more known for party hard rock anthems going a bit deeper.

 

5: Queensryche: Queensryche

The first “Tate-less” release from Ryche and they delivered a solid album that merges elements of their early days with Empire era period sounding stuff as well. To lose such a key member and voice like Tate and still make an album this strong is pretty amazing. By the way, I also thought Tate’s Frequency Unknown was solid, but to me it was more of a Tate and friends record while this album retained more of a classic Queensryche band vibe featuring 3/5 of the original members.

5.5: Black Sabbath: 13

Their 3/4 reunion record was way better than anyone thought it would be. Led by the all time riff master Tony Iommi (NEVER ending supply of amazing riffs!). The founding fathers of metal able to come up with an album that channels their history but still sounds fresh and most important like Black Sabbath!

6: Scorpion Child

New band from Austin Texas that sounds like they could have come from the 70′s. Killer guitar riff based hard rock that at times reminds me of Fastway. “Liquor” my favorite track on it. Promising new band and hope to see them live.

 

7: Stryper: No More Hell To Pay

Michael Sweet wrote the bulk of the album and produced it as well. The best new music from this band in a while with great guitar sounds and those incredible lead and harmony vocals all over the place. Regardless of your religious beliefs, if you believe in well played hard rock with amazing vocals listen and enjoy.

 

8: Motorhead: Aftershock

With recent health scares surrounding Lemmy and various ailments catching up to the iconic front man you would expect maybe a tired sounding album after all these years? To the contrary it’s the best album from the band in several years. Motorhead is always going to sound like Motorhead, but by their standards there is a bit more variety here which makes it stand out a bit more.

 

9: Michael Monroe: Horns & Halos

His album last year Sensory Overdrive was also a top 10 for me. This album isn’t quite as good as that one but it’s close. The former leader of Hanoi Rocks is on a roll. Only hope the American audience takes notice. “The Ballad Of The Lower E Side” my favorite track. Killer snotty hard rock!

 

10: Megadeth: Supercollider

Many thought this was Risk all over again when the title track was released as a single, but that wasn’t a sign of the direction of the rest of the album (plus I like the song!). Lot’s of classic Megadeth metal on this and a great cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat to end the album. Can’t argue with that!

 

Other stuff to check out that I liked:

Anthrax: Anthems (covers EP otherwise would have been in the top 10 easily. But they always do great covers.

Skid Row: United World Rebellion (again only an EP, but direction wise back to where Skids should be.

Avenged Sevenfold: Hail To The King

More groove and song oriented than other stuff I heard from them.

Tom Keifer: The Way Life Goes

Lot’s of directions but great to finally have new music from the leader of Cinderella.

Saxon: Sacrifice

One of British metal’s best but still slightly under the radar bands.

Kill Devil Hill: Revolution Rise

Album 2 and a great continuation of what they started on debut.

Hear all of the above and many more on my Year In Review radio special debuting on Q104.3 NYC 11P ET 12/27/13.

Comments

  1. Have you heard the new Dream Theater?

  2. Jess Tilley says:

    Black star riders, Queensryche, and the Winery dogs for sure. Kick ass records, have all of them on vinyland they sou nd amazing!

  3. Eddie…great to hear/see your opinions as always! What about Sabbath’s 13???? Also, have to disagree on your honorable mention of AX7 as it basically rips off several other iconic metal bands such as Metallica, Megadeth and AC/DC. You should check out Bullet For My Valentine – Temper Temper! Great melodic rock!

  4. Hard to believe no mention of Volbeat’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies. A guess your not impressed with a grammy nod? IMO one of the top 5 albums of the year.

    Disappointed in Duluth, Zedhead

    • I am not impressed with Grammy’s at all in metal and hard rock because the Grammy’s are CLUELESS! Anthrax for an AC/DC cover? Catagory not even televised. Does nothing for artists career. Joke until they get someone with a clue running it.

      • Yeah I get it, Grammy’s are a POP game. But still, you gotta love what Volbeat has done with their last coupla albums?

        Zed

  5. Rich Allegretti says:

    I had to see how many times he would kiss his own ass for “having something to do” with the Winery Dogs release. Not 1 line in it happens. God it’s pathetic self-pandering and insecurity. Happens one more time in the middle and close out with more self congratulatory BS.

    Man that was a pathetic and transparent review no matter how much thou doth protest otherwise.

    At least Stryper was in the top 10 and I’d much rather hear that record.

    • Thanks for being a fan and posting here Rich! So sorry you just don’t get it and are so crazed that the entire point of the post escapes you. Apologies for being proud of having a hand in putting a band together so many like. Really sorry for that and so sorry for you that THE BAND mentioned it in all their press so I addressed it. Really man, I’ll try and do better for you, but thanks for being a fan and being on my site!

      • masterpantera says:

        Eddie, i got to tell you that i’m listening to richie kotzen since he joined poison. ‘native tongue’ was an amazing record and i always knew that richie was the responsible of such change in the band. i followed him since then, i’ve found almost all of his cds on internet (living in argentina makes hard to find a lot of music, and more if they are hard and heavy)… so sad when poison came to argentina and richie was replaced by blues saraceno. and when i knew that the sykes-portnoy Project was broken, i found myself hoping for richie being involved. and knowing that you’re the mentor, i only got to tell you thanks! (obviously i went to see the winery dogs when they came to argentine in august!)

  6. Utah Rocker says:

    Thanks Eddie. Always trust your musical smarts when it comes to heavy metal, so I’ll give some of these a listen I haven’t heard this year and buy the ones that tempt me the most.

  7. Deep Purple’s Now What!? should be on that list.

  8. darren chandos says:

    Eddie, I totally agree with your top three. What a great year for new studio releases. Rock is alive and well. Have you listened to Monster Truck? Another great band in the classic rock vein. Smile Empty Soul just had a great release as well. Much underrated in my opinion. Kill Devil Hill would of been in my top 10. It is nice that so many bands are doing such great things. I will say, I don’t like this ep stuff a lot of these bands are doing. I understand it, but I don’t like it. Complete records please. I probably could not list 10 for the year because I haven’t even purchased 10 cds. You tube and downloads do not count. I love finding bands on there, but support the bands by purchasing the hard copy. I know you do, and I do as well. Buckcherry will have Monster Truck as a support out west. Can’t wait for that show.

  9. If this list doesn’t confirm that rock is dead, I don’t know what else would. Imagine a “Top Ten” list of releases anytime from 1967 to 1994 compared to this! I would dare say that in a banner year like 1973 or 1977 or (add another here), the 50th to 60th best rekkids would blow this list away.

  10. jeff retherford says:

    Most notably absent is Clutch-Earth Rocker.One of the best albums of the last decade.

  11. Jason Stephens says:

    Can’t believe you missed out on Anvil’s Hope In Hell.

  12. Love the Winery Dogs, they are the big surprise of 2013, a brilliant debut album by three very talented musicians, hope they tour down under in 2014.
    Also really enjoyed BSR and the name change has worked well, an excellent album. They have blended the sound of Thin Lizzy and BSR while remaining relevant and contemporary.
    Alterbridge are on the verge of greatness Fortress may see them lift their profile around the Classic Rock world. Myles Kennedy has a great voice.
    I thought Black Sabbath’s 13 is one of the albums of the year a great come back and 13 is nearly as good as some of the classic Sabbath albums from the 70s. Saw them play live in Auckland and they were amazing.

    • I should have mentioned Deep Purple’s ‘What Now’ Purple’s best album since ‘Perfect Strangers’ these veteran musicians still rock

  13. Was surprised not to see Black Sabbath 13 on here. Were you disappointed in the album?

  14. David Gray says:

    Not one mention of Black Sabbath “13″
    How can this be not to mention Skeletonwitch, Toxic Holocaust, Ramming Speed etc

  15. john westcott says:

    No Fate’s Warning or Dream Theater????

  16. jim forden says:

    what about threshold- march of progress or haken -the mountain?

  17. Stryper is the best cd of the year.

  18. I gotta tell you I’m a little disappointed you know I understand that your good friends with Mike Portnoy but let me tell you how you constantly ignore Dream Theater albums since Mike Portnoy left the band is beyond me Dream Theater has been one of the best progressive metal bands in the last 20 years Emma to Grammy nominations in the last 4 years how you can ignore or not mention them in anything is beyond me I always took you as an open minded person when it comes to metal and rock but I have to tell you I’m a very disappointed fan of yours!!!!!!

    • Really? That’s why I continue to play their albums on my radio show and the new album is in my Year End Show in a couple weeks? You are LOST and clearly don’t get it! Even when MP WAS in the band he will be the first to tell you I didn’t love everything about DT. I like and respect the band but not into prog and won’t fake it! And PLEASE don’t list Grammy’s meaning anything ever for hard rock/metal. I remain the ONLY one that plays DT music on the radio in NYC and most other places, new and old!

      • masterpantera says:

        i haven’t listened the new DT album a lot, only a couple of times, i like it a lot, but i don’t think that if i listen to it about a thousand times more, it will became over my favorite ones, ‘images & words’ and ‘black clouds and silver linings’. and i didn’t like ‘a dramatic turn of events’.

        and excuse me for my ignorance, what is a grammy? is about that song of jackyl?

  19. Bryan Russell says:

    Eddie, a lot of peeps gave you a hard time for leaving off sabbath, you shouldn’t have to change your list just because of them, unless you really feel sabbath needs to be on it. I personally think 13 lacked in quality. Ozzy sounded so mono toned on all of the songs. It’s so hard to listen to. There are a few good tracks but it’s not the greatest comeback I’ve ever heard. Just go with your original list.

  20. Not a Dream Theater fan?

  21. Jordan Garelick says:

    Gee whiz Eddie no mention of new Dream Theater album!!
    I’m surprised and disappointed!!
    Your loss……

  22. Randy Woronoski says:

    I would definitely have to include Five Finger Death in the list of top albums of 2013. Phenomenal albums, both vol.1 & 2. And they’re even better live.

  23. Gustavo Freitas says:

    Finally someone placed Black Star Riders as oe of the top albums pf the year! And it had to be no other than Mr. Trunk. To me it was the best album of the year, along with Satriani’s Unstoppable Momentum. Cheers Eddie! Gustavo Freitas- São Paulo, Brazil.

  24. Trond Emil Hansen says:

    Hi. I aggree with most of your album choosed, but have to say that The Dead Daisies debute album shoul be on the list. Its deffently one of the best album of the year :-)

  25. Eddie,

    Good list. You mentioned that you’d love to catch Scorpion Child live sometime. I’ve seen them twice this year and they put on a great show. You won’t be disappointed.

  26. Great list Eddie. Winery Dogs and BSR are 2 of my favorites as well. Glad to see you like Stryper’s No More Hell to Pay as well. Definitely that classic sound! But I was very surprised not to see “13″ on your list? Not one of your favorites this year? I found I was pretty impressed by it for a band 40+ years into their career and able to put out some of their heaviest material ever. What are your thoughts here?

  27. Eddie!

    What are your thoughts about Steven Wilson’s “The Raven Who Refused To Sing”? Too artsy? Why not on your list? Steven is burning up the progressive rock scene right now!

    Cheers

    Didier Clement from Canada

  28. Kevin Kinkelaar says:

    Have you heard KingShifter’s “26 Tons”? Released 9/3/13 on Pavement Records…heavy groove rock..a cross between Crowbar and Sevendust.

  29. Dude U left out 13!! F’n Sabbath came back in a Major way!! Saw Ted Nugent in Laughlin then like 3 days later I saw 13!! Black Sabbath F’n Rocked the LA sports Arena!! Total start 2 finish, the place was about to colapse!! Soooo Awsome!! No mention, Come on Man!! Also saw earlier in the summer the Real Queensryche with “Tate”!! It was like Flashback to old!! They Rocked the Hell out of the Fair to open for Whitesnake!! Tate Killed them!! Coverdale was toast after a long tour!! He was ok through half way, then the band covered for him!! U need to get in touch Dude!! Sabbath ruled this year!! If U didn’t see them, shame on U!! Respectfully, Rocken Ken!!

  30. Barbara Max says:

    Hi Eddie and Happy Holidays, one of the top 10 records this yearshould also be the incredible album The Angel, by Hard Rock Artist Barbara Max who is making her presense known and is working on get next record Goddess’ which she had just recorded with UFO guys in London at Abbey Road Studios Two new tracks of hers with the Legendary Pete Way bass Laurence Archer guitars and Produced and Clive Edwards drums. and gaining over a million fans worldwideAvailable on ITunes and most popular online stores. . This record has so many stunning songs.with such incredible vocals. beautiful classic new hard rock masterpieces. Also featuring a Dio Tribute song Wizard Of Rock a complete stunner!!! You should check this incredible artist out!!! Top picks Also are Lock & Key & No Shelter with David Spitz bass Steve Riley LA Guns drums . Simply amazing music. Amazing Artist.

  31. whoa…..Not even a mention of the Black Sabbath album? Too much jet lag from the book tour ED?

  32. What did you think of the new Dream Theater album?

  33. Good list Eddie. Alot of what I expected to see from a few of your comments through the year.
    I’m sure you didn’t forget Sabbath so I’m guessing from your early comments of just warming to it that it didn’t get warm enough to make the list???? Personly thought it was outstanding in places, overall very good and was about as good as they could do at the late stage of their careers. I know they borrowed from themselves to make it but, it still sounded fresh and at the same time a great album to bookend their legacy with.

  34. Good list but BLACK SABBATH 13 easily album of the year. I was happy to see SCORPION CHILD but alter bridge…awful!

  35. Where’s Black Sabbath???

  36. So cool that you included Scorpion Child. I interviewed them on the mayhem tour last summer and took some up close shots of their performance. When they took the smaller sumerian band stage that day they owned it. The performance was just awesome. I’m a traditional metal head but this band has that 70′s zeppelin meets soundgarden vibe and it sounded incredible. Looking forward to their next release and seeing them play again in the states. Rock On!!!

  37. JADES SONG says:

    You hit upon most of the greats from this past year. Good list! I would have to add Sabbath’s 13 to that list as well.

  38. scott Robinson says:

    Not even a mention on Black Sabbath? They were my #1 with Winery Dogs at #2

  39. Free Fall – Power & Volume
    Black Oak Arkansas – Back Thar n’ Over Yonder
    Orchid – The Mouths of Madness
    Giuda – Let’s Do It Again
    Kadavar – Abra Kadavar
    Coney Hatch – Four
    Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
    Purson – The Circle & The Blue Door
    Monster Magnet – Lost Patrol
    Seventh Key – I Will Survive

    Honorable Mentions go to:

    Black Sabbath – 13
    Brownsville Station – Still Smokin’
    Sound of Contact – Dimensionaut
    Rush – Vapor Trails Remixed
    Ghost – Infestissumam

  40. Domenic Vitanza says:

    Every release you reviewed I have purchased. Amazing you have the same taste as I down to a “t’.

    Nice job Eddie!

  41. David Grigger says:

    What about Ashes Of Ares? Best Metal release this year!

  42. masterpantera says:

    my favorite albums of 2013:
    1- the winery dogs
    2- dream theater
    …i didn’t own any other 2013 álbum. but i’ve recently own about 40 old cds, from scorpions love at first sting, to megadeth endgame, from baron rojo en un lugar de la marcha to armored saint revelations.

  43. Brandon Carbaugh says:

    I like your list Eddie, but other than the great ones on your list as far as metal is concerned I liked phil anselmos solo album, rob zombies album and also Jason newsteds album and that’s just naming a few of the top of my head that came out this year.

  44. So easily baited.

  45. Great list Eddie. Not identical to mine but so what? I don’t know if you just aren’t into some of the New bands but personally bands …some not new per set…but kylesa baroness orange goblin of course clutch coheed &cambria is like a new version of rush, big wreck, black tusk, pinnick gales& pridgen, red fang, the answer, trouble, all are worth checking out. Looking fwd to new ty tabor fu man chi Jake e lee blackfinger and more in 2014. People who like the very heavy should check out England’s my silent wake…they had a great several releases this past year

  46. I’m glad you gave Avenged Sevenfold a mention. Ghost definitely does NOT belong in the top 10. I don’t see the appeal of that band.

    What was in the Top 10 before Black Sabbath was put in? It’s odd you forgot something in your top 10 and only put it back in when people complained. Not really a top 10 album IMO. Also, some of the bands mentioned you don’t play multiple songs from the album on your radio show. If you do it’s usually only when that guest comes on.

  47. Black Star Riders sucks, boring, shouldn’t make top 50. ACCEPT, BLACK WATER RISING, ADRENLINE MOB!

  48. Chris Niforatos says:

    Deep Fucking Purple – Now What!!!!! was the best release in 2013.

  49. Man, Eddie your list has got folks talking!! Great list. Happy Holidays.

  50. No mention of Joe Satriani “Unstoppable Momentum”!!!

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