Kylie’s Top Albums Of 2013
Kylie’s Top Albums Of 2013
2013 was an incredible year for metal, with a host of old favorites with highly anticipated releases and lots of newcomers exploding onto the scene. I started with a list of 34 albums to whittle down to the ten that rose above all others in a year that might be remembered the way 1986 is for the older crowd.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Children Of Bodom’s early works (Something Wild through Follow The Reaper) until they started to lose my interest. Halo Of Blood harkens back to their first three albums with that great blackened thrashy power metal that got me into them ten years ago.
I tend to tiptoe around bands I hear described as “proggy” by my peers, but when I checked out a few tracks from their debut, I was hooked. I didn’t hear much prog, but I did hear awesome female-fronted USPM.
I pretty much covered everything that hit me when I reviewed this earlier this year, and it’s still kicking my ass. Bay Area thrash isn’t dead, folks!
I have our wonderful admin Dan to thank for getting me hooked on Brazil’s Vandroya in the vendor room at ProgPower. Just so you know, the answer to “Do you have any speedy female-fronted power metal?” is “Vandroya.” With the absence of any new Ancient Bards this year, One is an incredibly good substitute!
With all the hype surrounding this German band’s debut, I was left in the paradoxical place of having low and high expectations for this. And hey, I love it when a band lives up to the hubbub about them!
Again, my review of this sums up all the riffage on this album. Neck brace not not included.
The nerd in me loved the nod to Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (what with 42 tracks and all), and what went from a whim purchase turned into an instant favorite. Also, Ancient Bards’ Sara Squadrani with a prominent role on the album is just icing on the cake. Then again, it’s prog that I enjoy, so maybe it’s the worst prog album ever and I have no clue what I’m doing.
I was never a big Stratovarius fangirl (there were a few tracks from each album I loved to death, and the rest I couldn’t care less about), but I am a big Nemesis fangirl. This is the first Stratovarius album to hook me from beginning to end. Back when this was first released, I hoped this wouldn’t be my album of the year; not because I don’t have an attachment to Stratovarius, but because I was greedy and wanted more!
I’ve always been a huge Tobias Sammet fangirl. I was anticipating this ever since it was first announced. After a couple of mere “average” Avantasia albums, Tobi nailed that classic rock/traditional metal sound that he was going for on Edguy’s Tinnitus Sanctus.
With all the clamor surrounding the release of this album, and saying my intention of checking it out, Dan (who seems to both know my tastes perfectly and can totally airball them) said this might not be my cup of tea. Surely Kylie won’t like an overly-narrative, highly symphonic, epic power metal album. Yup, it’s generally everything I don’t really care for in my metal done in such a way that I was blown away. This is what I was hoping for from Rhapsody Of Fire’s sadly-disappointing Dark Wings Of Steel. Not only that, this is the first album since Gamma Ray’s Power Plant to land a 5/5 rating from me. So I guess it pays to be a greedy little bitch when it comes just wanting more out of your music.
Honorable mentions (#20-11):
Hammerforce – Access Denied //Judicator – Sleepy Plessow // ReVamp – Wild Card // Holy Grail – Ride The Void // Rhapsody Of Fire – Dark Wings Of Steel // Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche // Project: Roenwolfe – Neverwhere Dreamscape // A Sound Of Thunder – Time’s Arrow // Death Angel – The Dream Calls For Blood // Dream Theater – Dream Theater