STAFF PICKS • Metal’s Best of 2013 • The Top 5

     That’s right! It’s time to announce the staff picks top 5 of 2013. The year had many releases, many excellent albums. This review is about songs and not the song’s respected album. However, We’re gonna keep this short and to the point. Are you ready? Here we go…

Number Five,

Newsted “Soliderhead”

Jason is back and the music is great. A fresh return back to the fun roots of heavy metal music. This song thrashes. The vocals have a sound of their own, sounding nothing like Metallica. They sound inspired by Motorhead and that, my friends, is a great source of inspiration. Guitarist Jessie Farnsworth delivers some excellent old-school riff-age on this tune. Jesus Mendez Jr. gives the song a great tempo filled beat on the drums. According to Metal Forces Magazine, Mendez Jr. helped Metallica at the headquarters and later was a touring drum tech for Newsted’s Echobrain musical project. Awesome song, an awesome band, check them out.

Number Four,

Death Ray Vision “Barfly”

What do you get when you mix Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and Overcast? Well, you get Death Ray Vision of course! Unlike they respected counterparts which focus on a more Metal format, DRV is straight up, hands down, a hardcore band. That, my friends, makes it kickass in a different way! It’s just pure heavy f***ing music. Brian Fair’s vocals are powerful and aggressive. The vocals are very to the point and make you wanna mosh and fly fists, with a helmet on of course… safety! Pete Cortese and Zack Wells deliver the powerful guitars that are a style between hardcore and punk. Gives it a feeling that packs an extra punch. On bass we have Mike D’Antonio bringing the goods. Mike has had a busy year with Death Ray Vision, Killswitch Engage and filling in on tour for Hatebreed. When does he sleep? The drums on this song are great, they add a fresh perspective to the track. Many change-ups make the song interesting, hell the song starts with drums. Death Ray Vision put out an EP and an album this year, be sure to check them both out. The song “Get Lost Or Get Dead” is great, hear it via the band’s bandcamp page.

Number Three,

Killswitch Engage “In Due Time”

Jesse Leach is back! Right out the gate, this song rips. Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel have always been great at riffing, this tune is no exception. Mike D’Antonio gives an excellent bass performance and if you are not aware, does all the KSE artwork and design projects. The drums on this song rock. Justin Foley delivers such a huge sound but uses a small drum-kit. With Leach back on vocals, this song gives a throwback to the classic KSE era of “Alive Or Just Breathing”, making it very raw and powerful. This song was also was nominated for “Best Metal Performance” at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Not that anybody on this site really pays attention to the Grammy Awards.

Number Two,

Toxic Holocaust “Acid Fuzz”

This song is great fun, however before I explain… let me tell you a little story. Back in the day, my old-man would tell me, “Oh that music you kids listen to, you have to be on drugs to listen to that music”. I would reply explaining that all his music from the 70’s was about drugs. Most metal bands don’t sing about drugs, but all your 70’s music is about drugs. After hearing “Acid Fuzz” I called my old man and told him, “Dad, I found some drug music… wanna hear it?” One of these days I’ll bring the CD to him. Back to the song, watch the video. It’s fricking epic thrash metal! If you like Metallica’s “Kill Em All”, you’ll love Toxic Holocaust. This song never has a dull moment. Joel Grind does double duty in the band, vocals, and guitar. The vocal styling is aggressive, muddy but yet clean in its kickass-ery style. The drums, played by Nick Bellmore, are very punk influences with a clean rapid tempo. Keeps the song moving along fast and fun. Phil Zeller completes the band with great bass playing giving it a full thrash sound. Be sure to purchase the album as it’s a total jamfest as well.

Number One,

Hatebreed “Put It To The Torch”

Here it is, 2013’s best! This song is f***ing powerful. This song is beyond kickass, this song is flawless. Perfect mixture of hardcore elements. Jamey Jasta’s vocals are energy packed and inspirational. The song empowers you to take no sh*t, like most Hatebreed tracks. Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec have stepped it up with the guitars, they sound amazing. Matt Byrne is another drummer that brings the huge sound, while still utilizing a small drum kit. Chris Beattie holds down the bass and completes the sound. If you’re looking for a great hardcore album look no further than “The Divinity Of Purpose”. Pick the album up and check out these tracks as well, “Honor Never Dies” and “The Language”.

So there you have it. Check out these tracks and give us a “like” on Facebook. Can’t wait to see what new music 2014 has to offer.