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The Best Albums of 2013

Whether you enjoy classic, modern, or independent rock, 2013 was a great year for music. Several “best of” lists have been posted around the internet already, but it’s time for The Writer’s Journey to weigh in with our list and a brief sentence about each. And away we go…

The Best of 2013

10. Brandon Reeves – A Decent Melody. A fantastic independent release from a Georgia-based blues artist, Reeves’ album is much better than decent.
9. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt. The kings of the nineties rule again with a throwback to the seventies.
8. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. Part 1 is good, but Part 2 will go down as a historically great record.

The Best of 2013

7. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay. The Yellow and Black Attack is back with soaring vocals and squealing guitar solos, a fantastic hair metal album.
6. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Essential Tremors. Another throwback rock band with hints of Aerosmith and the Black Crowes.
5. Black Sabbath – 13. Ozzy, Iommi, and Butler recaptured the magic of the band’s beginnings and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 charts.

The Best of 2013

4. Newsted – Heavy Metal Music. It’s heavy and it’s loud and it’s everything you would expect from a former member of Metallica.
3. Krokus – Dirty Dynamite. Full of catchy hooks, but the best song might be the Beatles cover “Help,” arranged as a hair metal ballad.
2. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel. Modern rock at its finest, and they really rock out with a ukulele on “House of Gold.”

The Best of 2013

1. Death On Two Wheels – Death On Two Wheels. Traditional hard rock sound with more authenticity than anyone else out there.

Here are some other “Best of 2013” lists around the web…

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music (2013)

Newsted CD review

Heavy Metal Music
Collective Sounds, 2013
57 minutes

Jason Newsted will always be known as the guy who used to play bass in Metallica. No amount of new projects (and he has had plenty) will change that. But it is nice when a new release comes along that makes you remember fondly his time spent with the thrash masters, an album that hearkens back to those days while not imitating them to the point of parody. Heavy Metal Music is just that—a fitting tribute to his past with his feet firmly planted in the present.

Newsted delivers the voice and bass guitar for the band, with Jesus Mendez Jr. on drums and Jessie Farnsworth on guitars. Mike Mushok of Staind joined the band on the road as Newsted toured with Megadeth on their Gigantour. Newsted’s vocal delivery sounds like a cross between Motörhead’s Lemmy and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, more suitable for the faster-paced songs such as “Soldierhead,” but still appropriate for the mid-tempo rockers like “Above All.” There are no blazing guitar solos to make your jaw drop, but Farnsworth’s worth fits each track. There is no doubt that Newsted is the star of the outfit, and his band is not about to upstage him on his debut solo record.

Highlights of the album include the whiplash-inducing “Soldierhead” and “King Of The Underdogs,” the latter being an anthem for unappreciated metal fans all over the world. “Nocturnus” has a great groove and may bring to the listener’s mind a mid-70s Black Sabbath vibe. “Twisted Tale Of The Comet” also has a great vibe and a great story behind it, written for his late Voivod bandmate Denis D’Amour.

If you are hungry for some new metal that doesn’t sound like the cookie-cutter trash on commercial radio, give Newted’s Heavy Metal Music a try.

1. Heroic Dose
2. Soldierhead
3. …As The Crow Flies
4. Ampossible
5. Long Time Dead
6. Above All
7. King Of The Underdogs
8. Nocturnus
9. Twisted Tail Of The Comet
10. Kindevillusion
11. Futureality

Check out the video for “Soldierhead” below:

Learn more about Newsted.

Learn more about Collective Sounds.

Purchase Newsted – Heavy Metal Music.


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