|Alex's 2013 In Music|
What I listened to this year, ranked best to worst. didn't listen to 100 I absolutely loved so the rrrrrbottom chunk (90 and down) are albums I'm not huge on.
All Is Calm
Confide's fan-funded album All Is Calm is definitely a step up from their 2010 album
Recover (which was a pretty generic affair). The band tries a few different things,
throw in a couple well-placed electronic parts, but a lot of it just comes off as
Sempiternal rip-offs doused in Risecore. You'll be trying hard to remember anything
you heard after all of the breakdowns and BMTH posturing. Joel Piper has a few
catchy clean spots on the album, but his vocals are way too processed to properly
appreciate his efforts. This isn't really
worth listening to unless you're a huge fan of this genre.
You can tell that David from Disturbed produced the shit out of Trivium on this
album. Lame choruses that aren't even catchy are aplenty. The riffs and
technicality peppered across the album save this from being a disaster.
A pretty harmless (but stupid) jesus-loving metalcore romp with a bunch of dumb
bass drops, breakdowns, and scattered melodic riffs. Nothing really stuck in my
head after listening to it but nothing overly offensive happens in its (probably for
the best) short length.
It Smells Like Frogs
A collection of pretty mediocre Buckethead metal riffs. Nothing is offensively bad
here, but the album is pretty pointless and there are a ton of other better
Buckethead albums that are in a similar vein to this one.
|96||Bring Me the Horizon|
While this album isn't complete garbage like Suicide Season, or falters on its
potential like their last album, it comes off as pretty boring to listen to in its
entirety. The experimentation is nice, but they try too hard to be something
ground-breaking that they forget that they need actual hooks to draw the listener
in, especially for the kind of band that they are.
|95||Red Seas Fire|
A bit of a disappointment from a talented band. Red Seas Fire's new EP is basically
an extension of what we heard before with their previous self-titled release. While
nothing offensively bad happens here, you'll be hard pressed to remember anything
interesting that occurred in the first two tracks, which seem like watered down
versions of their previous material. "Of Motion" is the highlight of the EP, being a
soft song with the clean vocals taking the main stage (it was nice to see the band
trying something a little different for once). EP closer "A Life We Used to Know" is
also a solid track that stands as the best heavier song here. Exposition is worth
hearing if you're a big fan of this band and this scene, but I could think of a lot of
more rewarding progressive metal releases to listen to instead.
|94||A Skylit Drive|
This record is incredibly "meh". Chalked to the brim with average post-hardcore riffs
and Jag's glass-shattering voice. Nothing is outright bad (except a couple vocal
melodies), but you won't remember a thing after listening to this.
It's hard for me to even explain this album, I had the hardest time figuring out if I
enjoyed it or not. Ferg has a fun flow and the atmospheres are compelling, but
parts of this record are just too fucking stupid and bad to be taken that seriously.
Meek sounds really strong on some of these tracks, and sounds like a high-pitched
faggot spewing his bragadocio with weak flow on others. If he was able to make a
consistent album of hard flows in vein of his Kendrick diss and trim out all the
boring, slow-paced features. Meek would produce one of my favourite hip hop
albums of all time most likely.
|91||Machine Gun Kelly|
MGK has never been a downright terrible rapper, and all of his releases have at
least a few cuts that I find myself replaying a decent amount. Despite the fact that
his rapping is almost always solid this time around, Black Flag doesn't really seem to
get anything else right. From all the samey synth driven production to the weak
guest spots (French Montana and Wiz), I hold Black Flag in the same regard as his
releases in that it is only worth hearing to pick out a few highlight songs like
"Breaking News" and "Skate Cans"
Between the Balance
I really wanted to love this EP. After hearing Reshape | Reason, and thoroughly
enjoying it since it was chock-full of awesome riffing and metal in general, Elitist's
Balance comes off as a bit boring and maybe even tired. The mix muffles the
drumming, killing the music's power a little. There is also more of an emphasis on
sections this time around, they sort of sound like slightly less boring Miss May I
clean vocal sections, and slightly less boring isn't really saying much to Elitist's
credit. They seem to have dumbed down and slowed down the frantic pace that
they had on the Reshape | Reason and Caves (and Earth to a lesser extent),
ESPECIALLY during the aforementioned clean sections. Finally, "Echo in the Room" is
one of the most boring songs Elitist have released thus far. However, with all that
said, Between the Balance is still not at all bad in terms of metalcore, and I find
myself going back to "Vice Versa" every now and then, which is the highlight of this
EP. But fans of more *progressive* metal will be a bit disappointed by the band's
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame has the potential to be great, but it is too inconsistent and riddled
with Drake-isms (I don't care who came first). Both the production choices and
Sean's verses range from awesome to terrible, hopefully his next record is more
A decent comeback by Sabbath, it can be a little boring at times. But the the
production is excellent and it has a very nostalgic feel to it, the latter half is the
selling point of this record.
Late For Nothing
A spazzy hardcore album that is technically impressive, but is inconsistent. The
clean vocal sections are baffling, unappealing, and strange.
Find What You Love and Let It Kill You
I really wanted to love this. Jonny's voice sounds as good as it always does, which
is a plus. The fact of the matter is that the musical backdrop of Find What You
Love And Let It Kill You is mostly sterile synth pads and boring rhythms for Jonny to
do his signature vocal runs and melismas over. It seems like he took more than a
few pages from Abel's book this time around. Nothing here is offensively bad per se,
but you won't feel any need to listen to this more than a couple times.
The songwriting on this record is good, and it is equal parts heavy and catchy. I
feel myself coming back to it every now and then as well, which speaks to its
replay value. Unfortunately the performance is a little too sloppy and the
production is a little too rough to warrant a higher rating, but this band has the
potential to be something great in the future.
This is a really nice step forward from their lame debut. The clean vocals are
stronger, and the new harsh vocalist is much more commanding than the old one.
However, this tends to fall into all the similar traps most Risecore bands fall into,
overusing samey song-writing clich?s.
Nothing Was the Same
Drake's new album sounds really pretty. And it makes for great background music,
but that's all it really is. Listening to this album closely shows you that it's pretty
shallow, and Drizzy hasn't really progressed much as a lyricist.
|81||Funeral For A Friend|
A solid album that showcases the heavier side of FFAF. The vocals are passionate
and performed well, and I found myself nodding my head a lot to the music.
Unfortunately, a lot of this album comes off as stripped-down b-sides of Welcome
Home Armageddon. The music can be a bit bland at times and the songs seem to
run together a bit sometimes. However, this is still worth a listen if you're a big fan
of this band.
|80||Wolves At The Gate|
Back to School
Back to School is a well-performed covers EP, containing songs from renowned
Post-Hardcore bands like Thrice and Thursday. While Wolves at the Gate infuses
their heavier tendencies into this release, it ends up not sounding much different
from the originals. This makes the listener question Back to School's purpose, but it
becomes clear that this was purely just for fun.
A solid metalcore album, but a bit of a disappointment after their debut. When they
aren't being technical, they just sound boring. They were stronger as songwriters
before, and would love to see that return.
My Name Is My Name
Pusha T's solo debut is solid, containing enough tracks of decent flow and
interesting beats to warrant a few listens. However, this album can be a bit of a
bore at times, and he can sound like he's just bastardizing other peoples' flow and
production. "Nostalgia" is easily one of the record highlights here. Overall, this is an
album I'd definitely recommend to Pusha T fans, but it didn't QUITE win me over.
Downtown: Life Under the Gun
Alsina's EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun is insanely catchy! It's a shame a lot of it
sounds the same, since he's an incredibly talented R&B vocalist. The features on
here also drag the quality down a bit. Despite being derivative and unoriginal, this
release is still really fun and I highly enjoyed listening to it.
Another great performance from a technical standpoint. It's heavy as balls. There is
WAY too much chugging though, and none of it is that memorable
am I the only one who thinks this album is really badly mixed? The songs plod on
and on and it's incredibly unpleasant to listen to for the most part. A great
performance from a technical standpoint, but I don't think there is a single part I
actually remembered and liked after hearing it (Other than that orchestral cut,
which was nice) but it's overall really repetitive.
Infinitas is a beautiful, polished record crafted by talented musicians. Unfortunately,
it's all fluff to me and all of the incredibly dry and compressed djent chugs run
together after awhile, which makes all the songs sound a bit too similar to one
another. The clean vocals are the strongest factor in this equation. Circles show a
lot of potential here but just fall short of being memorable by a hair.
This Is How The Wind Shifts
Pearson's Square is one of the better entries in Buckethead's hit or miss Pikes
series. The melancholy and beautiful melodies bring to mind other great Buckethead
albums A Real Diamond in the Rough and Shadows Between the Sky. Unfortunately,
some of the longer passages plod on, and the album itself isn't really anything new,
especially for a dedicated Buckethead fan.
Earl's flow on Doris is consistent, the features are decent for the most part. Unfortunately, a lot of the material on this album
blends together since he tries to pull off the same "aggressive" shock-rap feel on every single track.
|70||A Wilhelm Scream|
A strong punk album! Unfortunately the technicality has been turned down a bit in
favour of a more simple performance. This is a shame because its where AWS really
shined on Career Suicide. It's still there in smaller doses, but I would love to see it
come back in the future.
The production here is excellent, exploring all sorts of different dreamy areas.
Rocky's flow is strong sometimes, but he spends a lot of time namedropping and
rapping about nothing essentially.
|68||Born of Osiris|
Tomorrow We Die Alive
The Soul Tape 3
Buckethead Pikes #13
Pike 13 is another one of Buckethead's softer, more heartfelt outings. The album
cover shows him unmasked with his father, who was apparently ill in the hospital
around this time. The album shows that Buckethead is still able to create relaxing
albums that can tug at your emotions. The minimalistic nature of this album really
has the power to draw the listener in. The only issue with this piece is that it lacks
many highlights other than Track 6, the longest piece on the record that features
percussion. The rest of Pike 13, while still beautiful and performed with conviction,
sort of lacks the emotional climaxes and crescendos found in classics like Colma and
This is a really tough album to explain, Kanye basically turns away from MBDTF and
goes in the opposite direction with (mostly) good results. Kanye's production skills
really shine here and his rapping is decent at best and occasionally pretty laughable
at worst, definitely worth the listen if you can get past all the braggadocio.
The Blackest Beautiful
Really impressive performances and catchy songwriting coupled with some of the
worst production I have ever heard. I hope this album sees a re-release in the near
future, it has the potential to be a classic if it wasn't marred by the terrible mix.
The New West
This new Kendrick Lamar tape has some weak parts, including a crap verse from
Meek. The cover art is REALLY gay, but it has mostly quality tracks that explore
different sonic territories not found on GKMC.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Is MMLP2 the classic that hardcore fans have been begging for? Not quite.
However, we have been graced with a slew of incredibly solid tracks that not a lot
of people were expecting from the once washed-up emcee. It's unclear whether
he'll even be releasing more material in the coming years. If MMLP2 is Em throwing
in the towel, it would be a great note to end on.
|61||The Black Dahlia Murder|
The Black Dahlia Murder does another pretty good imitation of their other albums
with their 2013 release. While this is the same tried and true style of music that
we've heard from the band many times before, the music itself is still of a very high
quality despite the similarities. Again, if it ain't broke... don't fix it.
Every Wale album has been made up of hit or miss songs, and the Gifted is no
different. At least the majority of the songs are strong, and some weaker ones are
tacked on which stop it from being the amazing album that Wale has the potential
to release, and deserves to release.
We've heard all this before, from this band itself and other ones like it. There is
absolutely nothing new here, but Blessthefall have matured in the talent
department and have delivered a very hard-hitting album that is not unique, but
|58||After the Burial|
After the Burial create a much more intense album than In Dreams. It is faster
paced and has more of that wankery we all love from Sumerian bands. However, a
really shoddy production job stops the album from being truly amazing and nearly
Back to the Basics
Twista's new EP has some of his strongest flows in years, but bits of it are a little
stupid, and the EP ends too quickly for it to make too much of an impression.
|56||The Color Morale|
These guys always had the melodic edge over a lot of their labelmates on Rise
Records. The clean vocals have always been top-notch and one of my favourite
parts of this group. The band seems to be striving to push boundaries sometimes
here and it really shows. Sadly there's a couple too many mediocre cuts to rate this
This is a pretty out-of-left-field experimental/instrumental rock release that
includes an ex member of Dance Gavin Dance. Some really interesting stuff going on
here with solid guest features, but it just doesn't have the goods to keep my
attention 100% of the time.
The Living Infinite
A sprawling double album that is successful for the most part. The vocal
performance is the highlight of the record, being very strong. The instrumentals are
at their best when they operate a breakneck pace, but can sound stale sometimes
during the more mid-tempo numbers.
Magna Carta... Holy Grail
Jay-Z's incredibly hyped up 2013 album more or less delivers what it promised, even
it is sort of carried by everything except the MC himself. This is kind of funny
the amount of braggadocio in the lyrical content. Save for a handful of shoddy
verses, Hov's lyrics and flow are solid at best and terrible at worst. However, the
best parts of the package lie in the production, and the excellent guest features
from Beyonce, Timberlake, Frank Ocean, and Nas.
|52||Hands Like Houses|
In some ways, Hands Like Houses pick up from where they left off with Ground
Dweller. At the same time, they show off some new ideas that keep this new
instalment fresh. Some of the softer bits can be a little grating, and it's not as good
as the debut as a whole, but it is still that catchy Hands Like Houses we all know
An impressive album that sounds like a mix of a heavier Mastodon and Isis. The
musicianship is excellent, but the album as a whole can be a little boring sometimes.
Defeater's Letters Home is a great continuation of their series of concept albums. It
all sounds like typical Defeater, and can be a little boring at times, but I love their
sound, and that's all I really need.
The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2
Part 2 of Timberlake's 20/20 experience is another great addition to his grandiose
comeback to the music field. Catchy and epic cuts like "Amnesia" and "Cabaret"
make the 2 of 2 worth coming back to for more. Unfortunately, a few duds and
plodding, repetitive sections make this the lesser half of Justin's series. Ultimately,
the fact that Timberlake can release this much quality material in such a short time
is admirable, and I'm excited to hear what comes next.
The North Borders
A nice continuation of Black Sands that is impressive, but can feel a little tried-
and-true at times. It's well-structured and is a perfect record to relax to while
working as it isn't to obtrusive.
|47||Life on Repeat|
Blacklisted is a decidedly heavier affair for Life on Repeat. The riffs are fast-paced
and the vocals are quite strong. The choruses here will always have you bobbing
your head. While the music has taken a different direction and still maintained it's
catchy-factor, Blacklisted can still feel a little bit static, with not much variety from
song to song.
|46||Rings of Saturn|
This new album is definitely a step-up in terms of songwriting. The music is still way
too technical, over-the-top and fun as always. However, this stuff is almost TOO
ridiculous for it's own good and can be a pain to listen to unless you're in the right
mood and even like technical deathcore.
|45||Tyler The Creator|
Wolf is a major improvement from Goblin. This time around, Tyler doesn't blatantly
use the conscience-gimmick as an excuse for a lack of any songwriting, but uses it
tastefully to compliment the album. Everything from production to flow is similar to
Goblin but performed way better.
|44||Scale the Summit|
I'm a fan of this band, and if you like the Collective, you'll like this album as well. It
is very impressive in terms of technicality, and some of the melodies are very
beautiful. I just find the album boring to listen to in its entirety, it can feel like I'm
just being played AT by a bunch of talented musicians trying to show off their talent
instead of being played TO, and sometimes its not all that catchy.
The Other Side
The band takes a bit more of a serious route with the new release. It is less
bombastic andisn't as good as their debut, but the band is still going strong and
show that they have that knack for catchy hooks and choruses with an expectedly
strong performance from Jenna.
A great extension to his 2013 album. The rock influence is executed perfectly and
not in a garbage manner like Lil Wayne's Rebirth. Usually Tech EPs are a little weak,
but Therapy is probably his strongest one!
|41||I Am King|
This is some pretty typical stuff, we've heard it all before, but this is probably the
catchiest and most underrated metalcore performance of the year. Would definitely
recommend this to any fan of Periphery (Sotelo is even featured on it)
Misery Signals have still got it. Absent Light brings back some of what we loved in
their debut and mixes in some of the Mirrors sound. I'm not huge on some of the
production choices, but I'm glad to have another no-holds-barred metal onslaught
from some of metalcore's finest.
J. Cole's Born Sinner is easily his best in my mind. With skilled production and lyrical
prowess in songs like "Villuminati", "Rich Niggaz" and "Born Sinner", and an ear for
pop hooks (see "Crooked Smile") there is definitely a lot to enjoy here. The sparing
use of guest spots is nice too, seeing as lot of mainstream hip-hop releases seem
to be flooded with them lately. The only issue is that nothing here really breaks the
mold, and sometimes I feel like I'm just listening to some amalgamation of all the
other big rappers in the game right now.
|38||Squid the Whale|
Four More is a very catchy EP that explores a bluesier territories than their debut.
Every song on here is pleasant, but it is very short and feels like it's missing
Blue Chips 2
Blue Chips 2 is a great second installment to the first collaboration with Party
Supplies. The samples and upbeat instrumentals compliment Bronson's less serious
style really well, making this mixtape a great time to listen to. It can be a bit boring
at times, and Bronson mostly does more of the same, but awesome tracks like
"Practice" and "Midget Cough" will always give you something to come back to.
Full of War
Conditions step it up a notch in the heavy-department from their debut. Better
production and a stronger vocal performance bring us a very impressive Anberlin-
influenced album. Some if runs together, but you'll find yourself toe tapping through
the whole run time.
Unfortunately, this is nowhere near as good as the original trilogy of mixtapes, but
there are still some dreamy cuts to be found here that explore some new territories.
Also, the title track is one of Abel's best songs.
Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever
This Logic tape continues his trend of being consistent. Most of the songs are
great and his flow is strong and lyrical as it always is. However, I find myself
laughing at this tape from time to time because he says some pretty homo things
|33||Arsonists Get All The Girls|
Listen to the Color
AGATG goes back to their wacky roots, straying from the more serious sound of
Motherland. The results are mixed, and the album isn't as good as Motherland.
What we get here is a very fun instrumental metal band that isn't meant to be
taken that seriously, but meant to be listened to by fans who want to hear a band
genuinely having fun making an album, which definitely shows.
Oh, Sleeper sounds as heavy as ever here. The raw anger possibly surpasses even
Children of Fire. An excellent feature from Casey Sabol (who has been missed
greatly) and a nice softer cut make for an awesome EP that makes me excited for
Dear California is an extremely catchy post-hardcore EP that sports an incredibly
soul influenced vocalist. The songs almost never let up the pace, and when they
do, the softer parts are placed perfectly. The band is quite talented, and the
production is quite raw but fits their style. The only issue I have is that the tracks
can be a little repetitive sometimes with their verse-chorus format.
Green has been one of the most consistent names in the scene with his abundance
of projects. Young Legs expands on the sound of Beautiful Things, and is incredibly
pleasant to listen to. It seems to be a tribute to his children. Jazzy cuts like "When
You Sang to Me" even bring John Mayer to mind. Green has always been filled to
the brim with new tricks, so I don't think he'll be boring us anytime soon.
An extremely colourful and catchy second release from the SoCal instrumental
wizards. This is definitely a softer affair compared to the much heavier debut, but it
still brings the heavy and the wank whilst still being pleasant to listen to. A couple
interlude tracks and riffs feel a little empty andor half baked which hold this back
from being truly amazing. Despite that, this is still definitely worth your time.
While we've heard of a lot of this kind of stuff before from these guys, Apathy- fronted hip-hop group Demigodz put out an
album that doesn't really have a bad track, and all the MCs are on top of their game.
This is a massive step forward from their debut. The instrumental performance is to
be commended, it never lets up in its groove and complexity. The clean vocals are
way less gay and over-processed than before, but they can still get on your nerves
Knock Madness is incredibly cheesy, which is why people don't take it seriously.
Hopsin sounds stronger than ever, effortlessly rapping through these songs. He is
strongly influenced by old-school Eminem, which isn't a bad thing because we don't
have old-school Eminem anymore. Knock Madness is a fun time if you take it for
what it is.
Because the Internet
Gambino essentially throws equal parts Yeezus, Drake, Kendrick, Chance, and his
old material into a mixing pot, and [i]Because the Internet[/i] is the result. While it
isn't really something unique (although it tries hard to be). Glover has managed to
put out a collection of fine flows coupled with one of my favourite production jobs
this year in hip-hop.
This must be one of the most emotional and bombastic albums I've heard this year.
Sunbather is quite the beast of an album with multiple 10+ minute tracks. There is
quite a lot of variety here with equal doses black metal, post-rock, and shoegaze.
With blasts galore and a good ear for melody, I'd recommend Sunbather to any
metal fan looking for something a little fresh.
TesseracT's sophomore album is definitely much more atmospheric than their debut.
Altered State is a release that took some time to grow on me and I found myself
appreciating it more and more each time I listened to it. It can get a bit samey at
certain points but there really isn't a bad song on here.
The Difference Between Hell and Home
Counterparts bring back a bit of their metalcore sound found on their debut this
time around. The results are positive, and they craft a catchy and hard-hitting
album that has a perfect blend of hardcore and metalcore, and have managed to
find their own sound instead of sounding like everyone else.
One of the strangest hip hop albums to break into the mainstream (other than Acid
Rap). Brown's strong flow works well with the dreamy production backdrop.
"Wonderbread" is one of the strangest hip hop tracks that I love and find hilarious
at the same time.
One Big Particular Loop
Formerly Oceana, Polyenso puts out an album that is a little Radiohead-influenced.
The laid back, jazzy, subtle jams and crooning vocals will draw you in immediately.
It provides enough substance to devour so it doesn't become too boring.
An incredibly epic symphonic death metal album that has a long runtime. While the
symphonic parts compliment the album perfectly, and don't become overbearing.
Some of these tracks could use some trimming as they can get a little monotonous.
|18||Chance the Rapper|
A very unique release, exploring the possibilities of psychedelic hip-hop. Chance's
strange voice is compelling when accompanied by the laid back production. The
features from Childish Gambino, Action Bronson, Vic Mensa, and Twista all keep the
quality up to par. A lot of rappers have been trying to cop Chance's flow after this
release, and it's not hard to see why.
This new Arsis album is a welcome return to form after Starve For the Devil
received mixed reception. It falls somewhere in between We Are the Nightmare and
A Celebration of Guilt in terms of sound. It strikes a near-perfect balance between
melody and technicality. While sounding a little tried-and-true, Arsis produces
another great record for the fans
|16||August Burns Red|
Rescue and Restore
This 2013 August Burns Red album sports improved production and the similar high
energy performances that are always expected with this particular metalcore outfit.
It employs just the right amount of experimentation that doesn't sound as forced as
a few of the moments on Leveler. The only downside with this album is that the
songs still occasionally blur together, which seems to be a recurring problem. Aside
from that, this album is still worth hearing immediately.
Stolas is a pretty unique and talented post-hardcore band signed to Blue Swan
records. They debut excels on all instrumental fronts, but can be a little weak in
the vocal department. Thankfully an abundance of guest spots distracts the
listener from this fact. The songs are catchy as ever, and the heavy-soft dynamics
are jarring in the best way possible.
Baths is the pseudonym for Will Wiesenfield's electronic solo project. Rewinding to
2010, he presented us with his debut piece known as Cerulean. Wiesenfield's debut
displayed itself as a carefree record that was as enthusiastic as it was ambitious.
The glitchy and stutter-laden feel of Cerulean, combined with its scattered falsetto
vocals and overall optimistic feel, was something unique-sounding to me, as
someone who is relatively new to this field of sonic exploration. This year, with his
sophomore release, Obsidian, his style has taken a drastic turn towards a darker
side of electronic music, I'd almost describe it as similar to Burial's 2007 record
Untrue, except noticeably more vocal driven. It's arguably even more vocal-driven
than Cerulean, which mostly works out for the better than for the worse. This is
one of my favourite records from 2013 so far.
|13||The Speed of Sound in Seawater|
This is a very pretty-sounding Folk/Indie/Emo/Whatever album. Each song has its
own unique feel and none of it blurs together. It definitely seems influenced by This
Town Needs Guns and American Football. Ear-grabbing guitar riffs that aren't
overbearing and soothing vocals form a consistent album minus a couple mediocre
This 100+ minute sprawling disc is one of the strangest listens I've ever had the
pleasure of listening to. The atmosphere is key to drawing the listener in, and the
songwriting has the perfect amount of variation to keep you interested.
Hubardo is only held back by an incredibly weak opening track.
|11||The Dillinger Escape Plan|
One Of Us Is The Killer
Sumerian did a great job with not compromising Dillinger's sound on their Sumerian
debut. This is definitely something a lot of fans were worrying about. Dillinger
sounds as aggressive, mathy, and demented as ever here. Occasionally it feels like
we've heard this all before, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Oh man, this album is straight fire. Tech is on the top of his game on nearly every
song. All the songs seem like unique entities as well. There are some sweet guest
spots from Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Snow Tha Product, Twisted Insane, and
many others, and they all feel like they belong there too. With a couple
questionable choices like including Wiz Khalifa and some strange skits. I can't really
say anything else bad about this album.
|9||I The Mighty|
After the incredibly well-made EP Karma Never Sleeps, I the Mighty clearly put
much effort into their 2013 LP to make sure it delivered to our high expectations of
them. Other than a couple duds like "Four Letter Words", this smart 13-track album
is incredibly catchy and contains just the right amount of technicality. A definite
contender for post-hardcore AOTY
|8||Coheed and Cambria|
The Afterman: Descension
The second half of Coheed's Afterman series takes equal parts of influence from the
poppier In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and No World For Tomorrow, as well
as bringing in some of its own sound. It includes great heavier cuts like "Sentry the
Defiant" and "Gravity's", and insanely catchy songs like "Dark Side of Me" and
"Iron Fist". Coheed has gotten their spark back with this new record.
|7||Dance Gavin Dance|
This is the first Dance Gavin Dance release with Tilian Pearson. He does a decent
job, and doesn't outright ruin the album or make it worse. The riffs are still catchy,
and Jon Mess gives one of his best performances. They show that they still have
some tricks up their sleeve in the latter half. However, a slightly disappointing
production job stops this from being a classic.
|6||Run the Jewels|
Run the Jewels
Production-wise, this album basically suceeds in everything Yeezus was trying to
accomplishes, and outshines it in nearly every department, including the lyrical side
of it. With MCs Killer Mike and El-P providing a variety of top-notch lyrical content
and stellar flow, Run The Jewels is one of my favourite 2013 hip-hop albums.
A beautiful record that expands on the bombastic yet relaxed feel of Animals and
also successfully experiments with various electronics. The interlude-esque tracks
on this release are also top-notch. Definitely an improvement from the already
awesome debut record. 188.8.131.52.0 is a must-get this year.
|4||Protest the Hero|
2013 marks the release of our heroes' fourth record, Volition. Lamb of God's Chris
Adler sits in the drummer's seat for this album and fits in with the rest of the outfit
near-flawlessly, and doesn't steal the show by showing off too much. Vocalist Rody
Walker's harsh vocals make a welcome return this time around, albeit in small doses.
The songwriting here is more dynamic and engaging than Protest the Hero has been
in years, bringing elements and sounds from all the previous albums together to
craft something truly special.
The 20/20 Experience
This is easily Timberlake's best release so far. Sporting darker, more atmospheric
cuts like "Tunnel Vision" and "Don't Hold the Wall", and tracks on the poppier side
like "Suit and Tie" and "That Girl". This is probably one of the most epic "pop"
albums I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I'm definitely glad to have
Timberlake back in the world of music.
Previously, on their 4-track EP, Dangerous Times and My Dangerous Ways,
Amarionette showed us that they were a band capable of writing catchy post-
hardcore tunes and that they had the potential to become something great, with a
singer that did his best (albeit slightly overbearing) Claudio Sanchez impression
throughout the release. On their 2013 self-titled album, you can tell Amarionette
put a lot of work into this record, with the instrumentation being much more
technical and calculated and still retaining their catchy factor. The vocalist finds
his own voice, and works better as a unit with the band while still having his stand-
out moments. Amarionette is a criminally underrated record that deserves to be
heard and loved by more fans of Coheed & Cambria or Dance Gavin Dance.
|1||A Lot Like Birds|
No Place is an amazing album, filled with songwriting that bends and weaves in
peculiar ways, but still presents itself as a coherent body of work. It is
sound and the production is solid. The lyrics are also very poetic. No Place is a
must listen for anyone who wants to hear something that is a little more unique.