12/20: EDDIE’S TOP ALBUMS 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.

Newsted: Heavy Metal Music

Great to have Jason back and a great live band too!

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. Why no David Bowie the next day?

  2. storminnorman says:

    I think 2013 was a great year in new music because of the great albums you listed. New Sabbath, Motorhead, Queensryche, Thin Lizzy (sort of), Megadeth!!!!! All in the year 2013!!! 3 or 4 decades after all of these bands starting out. Let’s appreciate this year because I don’t think we’ll get this amount of legendary bands releasing new music in the future.

    • I agree…what are you talking about Eddie…not great? we wont have these legend releasing things in the same year ever again. Dont talk to me about the new bands…cant hold a candle.

  3. No Rob Zombie? Wth?

    • Randy Woronoski says:

      Excellent point Mark. Rob’s last album was exceptional. It took me back early Zombie, a phenomenal album all around.

  4. Hey Eddie , nice list. I agree with most of your picks. I personally enjoy Newsted’s: Heavy Metal Music over Megadeth’s Supercollider. I thought it was a very strong debut for Newsted.

    Eddie, now that Kiss is getting inducted in the RRHOF, how about your top ten list of Kiss albums?
    It would be cool to see what albums Kiss fans like the most.

  5. Jammin Jeff says:

    It’s tough to narrow down a year , but let us not overlook Fates Warning’s “Darkness in a Different Light”. They keep comin at you with cool riffs and tasty grooves.

  6. Excellent top ten. My only gripe is with the omittance of Deep Purple’s “Now What?!” album – their best in years. Surely, there will be HELL TO PAY the next time Eddie tries to get Roger and the two Ians on.

  7. My favorite album of 2013 was Ghost infestissumam

  8. I agree ROB ZOMBIE

  9. Also WED13
    Dixie dead!!!

  10. kissfaniam says:

    no monster… oh ace wasnt on it sorry I forgot.

    • Ace wasn’t on it? Didn’t know that? The guy on the cover looked JUST like him! I only like Ace which is why I play EVERY era of Kiss? But believe the easy clueless excuse you like. Oh, and since you are such a huge fan my list was for 2013 releases. That album came out in 2012, not to mention it was weak, having nothing to do with who was on it. But I STILL played it in my Kissmas show… but I only like Ace albums…amazing

      • in fairness to you Eddie, I rip you usually on your opinions of Kiss fans, but I’m still a huge fan of yours… And this moron asking about Monster being omitted is exactly the kind of ass that makes you think the Kiss fans are mostly sheep following Gene’s and Paul’s lead on everything…he doesn’t even know the album came out last year?? Also he is obviously just trying to stir the pot… Good list Eddie… I would want Deep Purple on the list…Surprised so many disliked Megadeth’s Supercollider…I thought it was an excellent metal album..

  11. Eddie,
    Great list (as always)! Sab, Q’Reich, Black Star also in my personal Top 10 of the year. Recently heard the W. Dogs cover to cover, Holy Shit! Your take is dead-on…awesome playing within awesome songs. And thanks so much for posting an ad for Scorpion Child video just below the tab bar on your site a few months back. Hadn’t heard of them, played that video, started to get the G-bumps on the left arm (for some reason it’s always THAT arm). Had to Amazon it, ’cause couldn’t find it anywhere (even my Indep. store on Route 23 in Wayne didn’t have). The album is redicu-killer!
    Merry Christmas Man! Expecting the big guy in the red suit to bring me new DVDs by Sab and DT!

  12. Beth Milligan says:

    Just curious what you think of Lacuna Coil? Saw them on a Sonisphere concert and was wondering your opinion….

  13. Ghost is one of James Hetfield’s favorite new bands.
    He introduced them at the Orion Festival 2012 in Atlantic City
    and he gave them major props. Looking forward to a big year from
    Iron Maiden. Hopefully a North American tour.

    So happy for Peter and Ace. Seeing them jam live at Hard Rock Times
    Square was one of the years’ highlights.

    Merry Christmas, Eddie to you and yours.

    • Thanks Ted. Great that James likes them but I formulate my own opinions and to me don’t hear much to get excited about. But respect all opinions

  14. MetalRob67 says:

    Hey Eddie, thanks for sharing your list. Have you heard the latest from U.D.O., “Steelhammer”? That’s my pick for the best of 2013 by a mile. Thanks.

  15. Marc Chris says:

    I must say the surprise album of 2013 was Stryper. Killer album!

  16. Jesus Ernesto says:

    Thanks a lot Eddie, I’m always looking for the next great thing, and you are always there helping the rock fans to find it. I blindly followed your advice on The Winery Dogs, and I was completely blown away. Also the same happened with Scorpion Child.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of the them, but The Sword gives me that 70′s metal vibe as well, so if you haven’t listened to them yet, I highly recommend you do.

  17. I actually dug the new Dream Theater album. There were some short straight up rockers, some ballads, and some epics! Eddie: what do you think of it?

  18. The Iggy & the Stooges album was pretty good. Iggy’s voice isn’t great, but there were some good songs on there, including the title track.

  19. Great list Eddie, we have very similar tastes in music. I love the fact that you included Stryper’s latest. Many ignored it because it was “Christian”, but it was an excellent, heavy for them release. I love in your book how you notice that occult/devil type topics are readily accepted in metal but if someone mentions faith or God they are immediately dismissed. Off the subject, I always was curious your opinion of a the band Fifth Angel. One of my favorite “hidden gems” from 80′s.

  20. Like your list eddie and agree that it’s a good list, and thanks to THAT METAL SHOW! I have been able to hear about all these bands, love finding new rock, hard rock and metal, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO EDDIE! me and my 14 yr old watch religiously. Recently found a new one myself that is just awesome called FURYON, oh and eddie wonder if you know why one of my favorite bands ever never made it? ICON! THEY WERE SOOO GOOD! THANKS

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