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Another 2013 List? How Original!

As if twenty billion 2013 lists weren't enough, here's mine. Spoilers: it's rpretty much all prog
15Dream Theater
Dream Theater

What a painfully average album. When it first streamed, I listened to this in its entirety, then I listened to some Rush. In my drunken haze, I couldn't distinguish between the two. I know, I know, I know what you're thinking, and yes. I have a drinking problem - 5/10
14The Flower Kings
Desolation Rose

Oh god what are you doing, Mr Stolt?! Banks of Eden was so good and you come out with, this!? Tower One and White Tuxedoes are great, but the rest of the album is just painful to listen to. The melodies are corny, and not in the good- upbeat-classic-Flower-Kings-style corny, just bad corny. The album was rushed, what do you expect when you spend a year on the entire process? - 5.5/10
13Everything Everything

Hit and miss album. They've tasted the sweet nectar of the limelight in the music industry and sucking on its tit, which makes Arc suffer greatly in originality. Half of the album just sounds like the same recylced indie pop, but songs like Cough Cough and Undrowned make up for that. The rest of Arc isn't diabolical, but I'd kill to be able to see Everything Everything pre-Arc, Man Alive was a masterpiece - 6/10
Surgical Steel

Death Metal isn't my cup of tea, but Carcass is surprisingly appealing. They weren't my favourite act at Damnation Festival, although it's pretty hard to top the others. The didn't play Granulating or Nocompliance though so I was pretty pissed at that - 7/10
Shrine of New Generation Slaves

Pleasant album, nothing too remarkable, not much to say - 7/10
One One One

Shining are one of those bands that are way better live than on their studio albums, like iLiKETRAiNS or The Pineapple Thief, only more demonic. One One One isn't the most consistent album, and definitely a step down from Blackjazz, but The One Inside is just so god damn amazing I cannot even. These guys were definitely the biggest surprise at Damnation Festival, I'm so glad I caught them - what's better than metal and sax? Seriously though, killer combination - 7.5/10
9And So I Watch You From Afar
All Hail Bright Futures

Saw these guys at Leeds Festival not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at the energy brought by these guys at the smallest tent in the venue! Maybe not their most technical album, but definitely their most upbeat. Although the album tails of at the end, it holds its form with stronger songs like Big Things Do Remarkable and Rats On A Rock - 7.5/10
8Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Descension

Relatively disappointing. I mean, it's nowhere near what I expected it to be, but it's naturally hard to follow Ascension. The first half of the album -is- on the same level as Ascension, I'll give Coheed that. But the last half that's comprised of ballads just seems... bland? Bland. The small time frame that the double album was written in is evidence enough for the rushed feeling at the end of Descension. Or I could just be cynical towards ballads in general because I am incapable of feelings? Eh. Also, the jazz breakdown at the end of Number City was way too short, they could've made that into a whole new song. I loved it! - 7.5/10
7Scale the Summit
The Migration

All aboard the hype train! I only heard of Scale the Summit from you guys, and the hype was pretty well deserved. Atlas Novus blew me away, and the rest of the album is pretty strong too. I really want to go see these guys live if they ever come to the UK - my one tiny tiny issue is that instrumental progressive metal seems rather.... limiting. Like ASIWYFA, I'm unsure how long these guys will go on for creating decent original music. - 8/10
6David Maxim Micic
Bilo 3.0

Now this -was- a surprise for me! Great album by this guy here, I'm not going to pretend to know stuff about him because I don't, but the boundaries of prog are certainly being pushed. I mean, scat? Operatic breakdowns? That's pretty damn Zappa right there. The heavy-yet- optimistic elements just scream 'Devin Townsend' - some might argue that this results from sponging off other artists' unique characteristics, but I love it. Some of the album is quite forgettable though, IMO, but it might help if I had a physical copy at hand so I could enjoy this more frequently *cough cough* - 8.5/10
5Atoms for Peace

Whilst the world waits patiently for another Radiohead album, Thom Yorke gets to work on Atoms for Peace. An album that's essentially a more energetic The King of Limbs makes me pretty damn happy. The only downside is that parts of the album often parallel Thom Yorke's The Eraser, which makes me question the level of originality in AFP - 8.5/10
4The Ocean

I only heard of these guys around September-time when I bought Damnation Festival tickets - Pelagial is a great concept album and an even better show when performed in its entirety. With fluid songwriting, 9 minutes feels like 3, breaking the often stagnant repertoire of progressive metal. The opening piano track, Epipelagic, is nice too - 8.5/10
3Cult of Luna

Ditto to #4. Bought their latest album seeing as though I ought to give them a look due to all the hype, and my god is the hype well deserved. Harsh vocals were never my cup of tea but by Jove have Cult of Luna turned that around. I managed to catch them play The Weapon and In Awe Of (yes yes yes I know they were the opening and closing tracks, but my mate wanted to buy a sandwich and the venue was packed as fuck) and it was damn brilliant - 9/10
2Steven Wilson
The Raven That Refused to Sing

Mr Wilsons done it again - although it lacks a certain flair of originality, you can't flaw him from drawing inspiration from his progressive roots. You know what? I've read too many reviews of this album saying it's brilliant, and I agree. Go read those, I can't be arsed saying again how good this album is - 9.5/10
The Mountain

What can I say? Haken have really reached their climax with this record. With all the greatest parts extracted from their previous two albums but with twice the charm, The Mountain is easily the strongest album this year. Every song is strong standalone yet works like clockwork in a grand concept album; with original and unique tracks that never tire after multiple spins, this album is definitely one of my favourites this year, if not all time. Also, that falsetto in Falling Back to Earth. hnnnnnnnnnnnnnng - 10/10
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