As we wind up our Unsung Melody Awards Week, we take a look back at the Top
10 20 albums from this year. A list of 10 just wasn’t enough to capture the tremendous amount of great music that was released this year. While there were a few albums that let us down a bit, there were many more that involuntarily lifted our devil horns. We’ll jump right in here and kick things off!!
*Click the iTunes button or the album cover to preview or purchase any album:
20. Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood
19. Robert Randolph & the Family Band – Lickety Split
18. Sick Puppies – Connect
17. ASG – Blood Drive
16. Tom Keifer – The Way Life Goes
15. letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful
14. Taddy Porter – Stay Golden
13. Filter – The Sun Comes Out Tonight
12. Pop Evil – Onyx
11. Vista Chino – Peace
10. Sevendust – Black Out The Sun : By now, you probably own a Sevendust album. If not, well shame on you. Lajon, Clint, Morgan, John and Vince continue to churn out some of the best music around. Black Out The Sun is another great example that these boys can do no wrong.
Highlights include: Faithless, Mountain, Blackout The Sun, Decay and Murder Bar
Sevendust – Decay:
9. The Bronx – IV : The Bronx returned this year with an album that is a little less aggressive than past efforts, but for us, it’s the perfect album from these guys. They have really found their niche and IV delivers a melodic, punk-oriented helluva good time. You can check out our full rundown of IV here.
Highlights include Unholy Hand, Youth Wasted, Pilot Light, Life Less Ordinary and Last Revelation
The Bronx – Youth Wasted (NSFW):
8. Leogun – By The Reins : Last year, Leogun took home our EP of the the year Award. That was just a taste of what these English lads were bringing to the table. Their sound is reminiscent of the mighty Led Zeppelin, but with a modern twist. After tours with KISS and Queens of the Stone Age, I’d expect you’re going to hear a lot more about Leogun in the very near future. You can read our full review of By the Reins here.
Highlights include Piggy in the Middle, Let’s Be Friends, Another Lost Soul, Everyday, Medicine and By the Reins
Leogun – Piggy in the Middle:
7. Beth Hart – Bang Bang Boom Boom : One of these albums is not like the others. This album is honestly much more pop-oriented than any other album on our list. Why would we include this you ask? Well, Beth Hart has always been an extremely talented lady who, much by her own hand, has never really reached her potential. With her recent collaborations with Joe Bonamassa, Beth has grown as an artist and has finally fulfilled her potential…and then some. This album has elements of jazz, blues, pop, rock, swing, gospel and soul. There’s something for everyone and it absolutely deserves your attention. You can read our interview with Beth here and our review here.
Highlights include Baddest Blues, Bang Bang Boom Boom, Caught out in the Rain, Thru the Window of my Mind and the incredibly self-respective Everything Must Change
Beth Hart – Bang Bang Boom Boom:
6. Volbeat – Shady Ladies & Outlaw Gentlemen : With Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, Volbeat came to the plate with a bit of a concept album. The vast majority of the songs focus on the wild, wild west and some of the legendary individuals that helped shape it. Producer Rob Caggiano loved the project and band so much, hell he left Anthrax to join them. After seeing them in concert myself earlier this year, I completely understand why. Their show is terrific and these songs are incredibly polished, well written and singable. That leaves the crowd with no choice but to sing along and enjoy the ride. We gave a comprehensive look at the characters involved on this one, be sure and check out that review here if you haven’t yet.
Highlights include The Nameless One, Dead but Rising, Cape of our Hero, Grammy-Nominated Room 24 with King Diamond, The Hangman’s Body Count, Lola Montez, Black Bart, Lonesome Rider and Doc Holliday
Volbeat – Cape of our Hero:
5. Clutch – Earth Rocker : The evolution of Clutch has been one of the more intriguing processes of the last 20 years. The lyrical journeys created by vocalist Neil Fallon have never disappointed and on Earth Rocker, the twisted tales come at you at high speeds. With the last three albums, we saw the band entering more of a jam band vibe with rock and metal overtones. With Earth Rocker, the band goes at it with a much more raw, aggressive feel and we couldn’t be happier. Clutch, as a band, has taken their own journey over time and simply allowed their fans to tag along. That just might be their secret to success. We reviewed Earth Rocker here, if you’d like a more in-depth discussion. This album has classic written all over it.
Highlights include Earth Rocker, Crucial Velocity, D.C. Sound Attack, Gone Cold, Cyborg Bette, Oh Isabella and The Wolfman Kindly Requests…
Clutch – Crucial Velocity (Lyric Video):
4. Monster Truck – Furiosity : Monster Truck is a no frills, ass-kicking band from Canada. Do I honestly need to say more? Ok, I will. I think I summed it up best in my review: For rock music junkies, this album is pure heroin. I know, because dammit, I’m addicted. Having spent about a month with this album, I can tell you that there is not one single song that I skip on this album. I put in the disc and let it ride. The way music should be. I say screw iTunes and buying single songs, give me an album that kicks my ass from start to finish and that’s exactly what Monster Truck has delivered with Furiosity.
Highlights include Old Train, The Lion, Power of the People, Sweet Mountain River, For the Sun, The Giant and My Love is True
Monster Truck – Sweet Mountain River:
3. Walking Papers – Walking Papers : Walking Papers is a band that features former Guns’N’Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan and Screaming Trees/Mad Season drummer Barrett Martin. Fellow Seattle alum Jeff Angell handles the guitar and vocal duties, as Ben Anderson plays the keyboards to round out the lineup. Their sound is rock. Their sound is bluesy. Their sound is refreshing. It’s simplistic in nature, yet it overflows with depth. The music is a akin to looking at a picket fence, the individuals and their instruments are all there as the boards, but you can see or in this case hear clearly between them. You can see just enough of what’s going on behind that fence to keep you captivated. There’s little room to hide on this album and it’s absolutely brilliant. Each musician stands alone, but it’s completely cohesive. A very difficult sound to sum up, but an absolute must for 2013.
Highlights include The Whole World’s Watching, Your Secrets Safe with Me, Red Envelopes, The Butcher, Capital T and Independence Day
Walking Papers – The Whole World’s Watching (Live):
2. QOTSA – …Like Clockwork : Queens of the Stone Age are known for being eccentric. For pushing the envelope, and for being one of the most creative bands around. I’ll be honest, the first time through this album, I was looking for the high energy, groove oriented songs like Feel Good Hit of the Summer or No One Knows from the past. After not hearing much that resonated with that particular sound, I kind of scoffed at the album. I gave it a few days and returned to the album with a new mindset and was completely encapsulated for the next 8 hours. I devoured the album. I craved more. Fast forward a couple of more days and I was completely in love with this album. So if you too have had that mindset about an album and …Like Clockwork didn’t strike you at first, I beg you to give it a few more spins. It’s absolutely amazing from start to finish.
Highlights include Keep Your Eyes Peeled, I Sat by the Ocean, The Vampyre of Time and Memory, If I Had a Tail, My God is the Sun, Fairweather Friends, Smooth Sailing and I Appear Missing
QOTSA – The Vampyre of Time and Memory:
1. Alter Bridge – Fortress : Fortress is an album that I honestly wasn’t expecting much from. It’s not that Alter Bridge isn’t talented by any means. It’s just that I felt the band had gotten as good as they could get. Then, Myles Kennedy went off with Slash and Mark Tremonti recorded and toured a solo album. When the band came back together, many things had changed and it was all for the better in our opinion. This is the best album yet from Alter Bridge. Hands down. Not a single song sounds like filler, and they all have a distinctive sound, yet they seem to somehow meld together. Easily one of the darkest albums they have released, it’s a stellar effort, and one that beckons your listen. You can read my full review of the album here.
Highlights include Cry of Achilles, Addicted to Pain, Peace is Broken, Waters Rising, Farther From the Sun, All Ends Well and the title-track Fortress
Alter Bridge – Addicted To Pain:
Just like last year, we hope you’ve enjoyed our list. I’m sure there are a few of you that can tell us what we left out. Feel free to add them in the comments. Tell us if we nailed it, or if we’re idiots. We wanna know!