Now firmly into 2014, we thought it was time for to remember the great musical year that was 2013!
After the popularity of the post outlining our favourite rock and metal tunes from 2012, we thought it was only right we did it again for 2013 with contributions from the whole Scribes Of Metal team. We've split it into separate posts for rock and metal this time around and first up is the prime cuts of metal from 2013. Read on for what we thought was the pick of the bunch from an admittedly very good year:
Trivium - Brave This Storm (Ben and Jamie)
A lot of people were quite concerned when they heard Disturbed's David Draiman was producing the new Trivium album, Vengeance Falls as the two didn't exactly seem a natural fit. While the album is not necessarily what everyone wanted 100%, it contains some absolute crackers, none more so than Brave This Storm, which has all the elements of a great modern metal song. The brilliant solo from Corey Beauleliu is particularly noteworthy. A song that will have you reaching for the repeat button over and over.
Bring Me The Horizon - Shadow Moses (Emma, Jay, Ben and Jamie)
A song that sums up Bring Me The Horizon's continued meteoric rise over the last twelve months, the lead single from Sempiternal gained airplay across mainstream radio including being championed by several Radio 1 DJ's, and with good reason. It sees BMTH take a more mainstream approach to their sound, with added electronics and a chorus so big it could fill Donington. It probably will in the not too distant future. It's also got a very cool video, which can be enjoyed below:
Five Finger Death Punch - Lift Me Up (Jay and Jamie)
Any band that get's the seal of approval from The Metal God himself, Rob Halford is clearly doing something right, and Five Finger Death Punch certainly were on this corker of a single featuring Halford himself. Ivan Moody more than holds his own in the company of a British metal legend as FFDP blast out one of the catchiest metal songs of 2013. Zoltan Bathory also inserts a face melting solo into the song as the icing on the cake. Get this on your speakers now.
Dream Theater - The Enemy Inside (Jamie)
A fast paced song clocking in at almost seven minutes (so average length for Dream Theater) features a great vocal turn from James Labrie, plenty of Jordan Rudess's wizardry on the keys and some crunching riffs from John Petrucci. The rhythm section of John Myeung and Mike Mangini is it's usual metronomic self. It's a slice of modern prog metal brilliance from one of the genre's finest exponents whilst being a great entry point for people who aren't usual prog fans.
Black Sabbath - God Is Dead (Nik and Jamie)
This song would feature purely for THAT Tony Iommi riff at around the 5:35 mark, but God Is Dead marks a return to the days and sound of old for Black Sabbath, complete with 21st century production values. Ozzy's vocals are thoroughly enjoyable, while Geezer and Tony show that they remain among the very best at what they do, even in their mid 60's. However, we defy anyone to listen to this song without headbanging furiously to THAT riff. Iommi truly is The Iron Man.
Killswitch Engage - In Due Time (Ben, Emily, Simon and Jamie)
When it was announced Jesse Leach was returning to Killswitch Engage, a generation of metal fans celebrated. Then, they got apprehensive? Could they live up to past expectations and the quality of KSE's breakthrough album Alive Or Just Breathing? The answer was largely a resounding YES, and In Due Time was the first taste of what was to come on Disarm The Descent. It doesn't deviate too much from the established metalcore formula, but with some great riffs and Jesse showing that he's lost none of his vocal prowess, this is exactly what Killswitch fans were hoping for. Get your mosh on from the comfort of your sofa or wherever you might be with the video included below for your convenience too:
Chapters - Chapters (Jamie and Nik)
Almost eight minutes of British metal that veers between subtle beauty and thunderous heaviness, including a conclusion that is heavy enough to cause localised earthquakes, Chapters' self titled song is one of the best songs that most people haven't heard yet from 2013. Featuring a guest appearance from Sylosis' singer Josh Middleton, hearing Josh and Chapters' Joe Nally go toe-to-toe vocally is something that has to be heard and enjoyed, many times over.
The Defiled - As I Drown (Jamie)
The Defied's second album Daggers was received extremely well by the masses, with it finding it's way into a large amount of end of year lists. Part of that success can be attributed to the track As I Drown. With an anthemic chorus and the distinctive chuggy riffs that have become hallmarks of The Defiled's sound, As I Drown will be a Defiled staple live hit for years to come.
Cult Of Luna - Passing Through (Jamie)
A song that was described by Jamie in his January review of Vertikal as "It is a six minute mournful lamentation with a twist on the usual Cult Of Luna sound", guitarist Fredik Kihlberg brings a unique, sorrowful tone to this minimalistic closing track from Cult Of Luna's masterpiece of 2013. Totally different to any other song on this list, it is an absolute must hear. It'll be a stony heart indeed that doesn't feel at least a slight twang at this brilliant track. The video for the song can also be experienced below:
Asking Alexandria - The Death Of Me (Emma)
2013 is the year in many people's eyes that Asking Alexandria grew up and started to be taken seriously. The Death Of Me has been regarded by many as adding a maturity to their sound and the title track is one of the best examples of this, keeping up their general heaviness and combining it with a chorus that's designed to be sung by masses in arenas one day. If you'd written them off, we advise you to take a second look at Asking Alexandria and start here.
The Black Dahlia Murder – In Hell is Where She Waits For Me (Ben)
The opening salvo of the thunderous collection of songs that is The Black Dahlia Murder's Into The Everblack, In Hell Is Where She Waits For Me typifies everything good about that album and The Black Dahlia Murder in general. From the opening guttural scream from Trevor Strnad, this is an assault on the senses fully powered by Trevor's vocals and the ridiculous drumming from Alan Cassidy. Melodic death metal didn't come better in 2013 than this.
Hatebreed - Boundless (Jay)
Hardcore pioneers Hatebreed's early 2013 album The Divinity Of Purpose was received as one of the band's very best from their long career. From the opening vocal salvo from Jamey Jasta of "Time To Murder It!" to the pummelling riffs all the way throughout the song, Boundless is a track that sits on the border of metal and hardcore expertly in a way that fans of both will love it. Guaranteed to induce moshpits, headbanging and two stepping, Boundless is a modern Hatebreed classic.
Kvelertak – Bruane Brenn (Ben, Jamie K and Jay)
Kvelertak's return in 2013 with Meir saw them simply pick up where they left off with their début album. The pick of the bunch was Bruane Brenn, which sees them combining heaviness with their traditional punk rock tones and a chorus that will refuse to leave your mind once you've heard it a couple of times (at the very least you'll find yourself humming the tune to the chorus over and over again). There's nothing quite like Kvelertak around at the moment and Bruane Brenn is them at their best. For your convenience, you can enjoy the video below:
Kataklysm - Elevate (Jay)
The concluding track on Kataklysm's epic Waiting For The End To Come will sear itself into your memory with pummelling drums and thunderous riffing throughout. It also contains a fantastic chorus which builds to the end with a cry of "I'm already dead!", and an absolutely brain rattling final section among many other noteworthy elements. this is death metal at it's absolute finest in 2013 from Kataklysm.
Crossfaith - Burning White (Jamie K)
Crossfaith's Apocalyze album is chock full of dance metal hits and while many would choose We Are The Future, Scribes team went for the equally floor filling, headbang inducing Burning White. With great use of synths and a very impressive vocal turn from Koie Kenta, this is a song that huge appeal beyond the traditional metal audience, yet remains impressively heavy and outright brutal in places. Guaranteed to be a huge success in rock and metal clubs for years to come.
Protest The Hero - Clarity (Emily & Connor)
At the more proggy end of the metal spectrum, Protest The Hero's Volition album was a most welcome record during the second half of last year. The opening track Clarity features almost ethereal vocals from Rody Walker which layers nicely over the top of some fantastic instrumental work, mixed together with all form of non standard time signatures (in a non djent fashion). Sounding fresh and like very little else that was released last year, Clarity is a must hear song for anyone with prog leanings.
Huntress - Zenith (Nik)
With some serious Judas Priest worship going on here (in a good way), the always unique Huntress come up trumps with their song Zenith. With at least two seriously good riffs and Jill Janus on good form, this is a song that sticks long in the memory. The video is absolutely bonkers too, as you can see below:
While She Sleeps - Death Toll (Connor & Emma)
The audible equivelent on being on the receiving end of an actual bull rampaging in an actual china shop, While She Sleeps' single Death Toll is a non stop assault on the senses with multiple breakdowns and some crazy drumming all held together by Loz Taylor's trademark growled vocals. Four of the best minutes of British metal to be made in 2013.
Carcass - Captive Bolt Pistol (Ben)
Carcass' Surgical Steel album is one of the finest returns to form after an extensive break between writing albums ever heard in the metal world. It's hard to single out any tracks to stand out above the others but Captive Bolt Pistol is a fine example of stunning old school British extreme metal. The drumming of Dan Wilding never lets up for a second combined with some positively evil sounding guitar work and vocals and a fantastic solo from Bill Steer. Just fantastic.
Night Verses - Rage (Emily)
Channelling elements of A Day To Remember, Glassjaw, Tool and Boysetsfire just to name a few and merging it into a hugely enjoyable post-rock / alternative metal sound are relative unknowns Night Verses who finish off our Top 20 with a bang. One of the best clean vocals of the year from singer Douglas Robinson is mixed in with some fantastic guitar work, a dash of alternative time signatures and a main riff around the three minute fifteen second mark that will make the listener want to take out anything within arms reach. A hidden gem that everyone needs to investigate.
Stay tuned for our pick of the bunch of rock anthems from 2013. Thanks to all of Team Scribes for their contributions - Nik Hurwood, Jamie Giberti, Ben Alexander, Jamie Kinman, Emma Younger, Connor Morris, Emily Carter, Jay Alexander, Simon Crampton and Paul Hurwood (although we know Paul likes his rock more than his metal so he's not mentioned here).