MusicVeins: Top 10 albums of 2013

Well I know this list is coming out a few weeks after the start of 2014, but some of the final albums of the year really needed to sink in. This was a very tough year to narrow down a top 10 list, because so many of the albums were on the same level. Counting down from 10, we’ll look back at a few albums that impacted us during 2013. 

10. O’Brother - Disillussion

"Parasitical"

I have to be honest with this one… it is number 10 for a reason. I highly anticipated a new album from O’Brother, as their last album, Garden Window, was truly epic. I have come to terms with “highly anticipating” music, as it is not a good idea. Disillusion made the top ten purely because it is a good album, just not as good as I expected… that’s my own fault. 

9. Wired To Follow - Everything In Colour

"Lucy"

This album is haunting. Wired to Follow queued me into the video that inspired this track, which you can hear at the end of the track. I think the descriptive terms spoken within this track describe this album perfectly. I wish I could talk in technicolor…

8. The Hope Arsenal - From The Valley

"Wake Your Soul"

I stumbled upon this one via Noisetrade.com and have been hooked ever since. After reading the article on Noisetrade featuring the touching story of cancer and recovery, I figured it had to be emotional music. This album features a great mix of alternative and post rock tracks. I love the decision to switch between vocal and instrumental tracks. More albums should be that bold. 

7. This Is The Giant - Speak Every Word

"Hope/Anxiety/Fear"

This album is definitely one that will solidify This Is The Giant in the post rock world. With hints of Caspian, TWDY, and Mogwai in their sound, you can expect a ton of epic tracks on their debut album. Since this was released late in 2013, I needed some time to give this the chance it deserved. Grab it for free over at Noisetrade.

6. The Ongoing Concept - Saloon

"Saloon"

This album came as a complete shock to me. Sometimes I spend my time browsing through new albums on iTunes to find great music… I found this. Saloon is one of the most unique albums I have heard in a long time. It is so damn catchy and intense, coupled with the old-timey piano and thrashing guitars. I just find this album insanely interesting.

5. Cloudkicker - Subsume

"The Warmth of the Daytime Seemed Like a Dream Now."

This is the first album I have heard from Cloudkicker, but I instantly started downloading their back catalogue. As soon as the intro cuts out, this album is in your face until the very end. It seems a bit simplistic at first, but keeps introducing new elements to keep you guessing. At only 4 tracks, you would think it wouldn’t even make the cut, but this thing racks up close to 40 minutes of music. The most amazing part is that it is JUST. ONE. GUY! Name your price over on his Bandcamp.

4. Alter Bridge - Fortress

"The Uninvited"

Now we are getting into the meat of this list. Alter Bridge is one of my top bands, so of course they would make it on here. I really wanted to put them higher, but just judging by the amount of listens, they fell at #4. This is probably one of AB’s best albums. Still doesn’t reach the levels of Blackbird, but it is probably next in line. I think this album really calls back to their debut, One Day Remains, but still owns the heaviness of their newer releases. 

3. Dream Theater - Dream Theater

"The Bigger Picture"

Consistently being my favorite band for over 12 years, Dream Theater has final released a self-titled album… and it’s great! Like Alter Bridge, DT harkens back to their earlier days with this most recent release. Newcomer, Mike Mangini, final has some input and it shows. Of course I wish this album could be higher, but it will have to settle for #3. DT finally got back to the instrumental as well, with two separate tracks. The album closes with another epic, which isn’ exactly on the same level as their prior epics. Otherwise, this is a great album in true DT fashion.

2. James Labrie - Impermanent Resonance

"Back On The Ground"

Now this is strange, at #2, we have a solo album from the singer of Dream Theater, James Labrie. A few years ago, James released the new stylings of his solo material, and it was shocking. This album follows suit and provides another impressive release. For some reason, James sounds way better on his solo albums than he does on Dream Theater albums, which is another reason why it is a step above. Peter Wildoer is back on drums and screams, which completely gives James his new sound. This album definitely rocks harder than any other this year. 

1. Tauk - Homunculous

"In The Basement of the Alamo"

Here we go, #1. This is a band on the rise and you need to know about them. While this genre, rock-fusion/experimental, maybe not be up everyone’s alley, you cannot deny the musicality of these guys. I initially heard these guys when they dropped a disc at my shop. I was of course blown away by their last work, but this one is so far and above their last release and all other music this year. From start to finish, there is not one bad song, section, or note on this album. This album pulses from upbeat, to seriously laid back, and insanely rockin’. If you find yourself wanting to create amazing music and feel inspired, you know you are listening to the right music. Homunculous will do that to you. 

Well, there you have it!

-Brad

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