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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ray's 25 Immaculate Receptions for 2013

Ahh, 2013, another intriguing year for metal music, a year filled with drama, controversy, arrests, fan bitchery and sagging sales reports, all of which we could've lived without.  On the other hand, Black Sabbath's 13 became one of the biggest success stories of the year and a number of artists pushed beyond their considerable talents to evolve even further and maintain a sense of credibility for the genre.  Ihsahn, The Ocean, Cult of Luna, Kylesa, Scale the Summit and of course, the mighty freedom fighters, Chthonic, all come to mind.  Beloved veterans Motorhead and Monster Magnet delivered career-defining records with Aftershock and The Last Patrol respectively, while ex-Iced Earth singer Matt Barlow came back to the scene and gave what I believe to be the finest metal vocal performance of the year with his new band, Ashes of Ares. 
 
Soprano Floor Jansen is one of the hot topics of metal in 2013, emerging as the new vocalist for Nightwish plus her own band, Revamp, both of which released products this year.  She also peeks in with Simone Simons for a pair of duets on Epica's astounding Retrospect.  Floor appears destined to become a household name in the symphonic metal bracket.

I think Megadeth took a little more heat than they deserved for Super Collider, but I understand why the faithful turned from that album.  It's nowhere near as offensive as the general consensus believes, but still, it'll be (as always) interesting to see where Mr. Mustaine and the crew go next after issuing a pop-flavored hard rock album instead thrash.  Then Voivod defied the odds with Dan "Chewy" Mongrain doing a remarkable job filling shoes nobody ever thought could be replaced.  Target Earth was a major surprise and it filled my heart with giddiness since I've sung Voivod's praises for much of my life.  Hails.

Two of my selections for this year's Immaculate Receptions list for metal music are barely metal (i.e. Conny Ochs and Matt Boroff), but they are so ingenious, infective and relevant they deserve their spots on this list.  There are a bigger number of Honorable Mentions I flagged this year because there was so much good material being generated they simply deserve acknowledgement.  It was a great year for me personally at Blabbermouth and I was happy to have made many new band chums, industry friends and readers this year.  2014 should be no less fun at the Blab and I'm ready to rock.

With that, here's my 25 Immaculate Receptions List for 2013: 

                                    


1.  ChthonicBu-Tik

2.  The OceanPelagial

3.  VoivodTarget Earth

4.  Cult of LunaVertikal

5.  SoilworkThe Living Infinite

6.  Black Sabbath13

7.  Soul RemnantsBlack and Blood

8.  Palms s/t

9.  CarcassSurgical Steel

10.  DisfigurementSoul Rot EP

11.  Monster MagnetThe Last Patrol

12.  IhsahnDas Seelenbrechen

13.  A Pale Horse Named DeathLay My Soul to Waste

14.  Conny OchsBlack Happy

15.  TomahawkOddfellows

16.  MotorheadAftershock

17.  Ashes of Aress/t

18.  A Storm of LightNations to Flames

19.  CzarNo One is Alone if No One is Alive

20.  Death AngelThe Dream Calls for Blood

21.  Fates WarningDarkness in a Different Light

22.  KylesaUltraviolet

23.  Matt BoroffSweet Hand of Fate

24.  Philip H. Anselmo and the IllegalsWalk Through Exits Only

25.  Be’LakorOf Breath and Bone
 
    
                                 

Honorable Mention List:

AnnihilatorFeast


SkeletonwitchSerpents Unleashed

Vista ChinoPeace

Children of BodomHalo of Blood

Scale the SummitThe Migration

MoonbowThe End of Time

AttackheadVoices in the Dark Red Vinyl Edition

SepulturaThe Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart

Hank 3’s 3A Fiendish Threat

Nephren-KaThe Fall of Omnius

Queensryche (Todd LaTorre camp) – s/t

Black TuskTend No Wounds EP

Ephel Duath - Hemmed by Daylight, Shaped by Darkness

Oceans of Slumber - Aetherial 

Melvins - Tres Cabrones

Sinister Realm - World of Evil

Iron Man - South of the Earth

Mutation - Error 500

Kataklysm - Waiting for the End to Come

 
 
 

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