Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Best Metal and Rock Top 10 for 2013

Well the year is almost over and it is time to look back at the albums that connected and hit the mark for 2013. Anyone who has been a constant visitor to this blog will notice that I have spoken about these albums in previous posts in more detail.

1. Protest The Hero – Volition

Disclaimer; I was one of those fans that contributed to this album, so the competition for the best album of 2013 wasn’t even close. Protest The Hero wins hands down. They delivered an album for the fans. It has everything that a condensed progressive technical metal album should have. Plus it has Chris Adler on drums. In 2011, “Scurrilous” was number seven on my list.

If you want the detailed breakdown, here it is;

This album also shows how the mainstream media is out of touch. Despite all the hype around Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater, Korn and Black Sabbath, the biggest release of the year belongs to Protest The Hero.

And deservedly so.

They connected with their audience via Indiegogo. They have cut through all the internet noise without the need of major label. In the age of information overload, Protest The Hero relied on their audience and their music to get their message through.

2. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King

Call this album what you will, however no one can take away the fact that it is a damn good listen. Having those nods to the past and building on those influences is what music is all about. In twenty years time, this album will be revered and copied, because that is how music is made.

3. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 1

Part 1 is a killer classic metal album with arena melodic rock chorus. Watch You Bleed, Lift Me Up, The Wrong Side Of Heaven, Anywhere But Here are all rock sing a longs.

4. Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent

Jesse Leach is back and man can he write a catchy chorus. Each song goes through so many vocal emotions, it’s one heck of a roller coaster. The Times Of Grace project brought Jesse back into the metal world. “The Hymn Of A Broken Man” was one great album and it was in my top 10 list for that year.

In 2009, I also had the self titled Killswitch Engage album at number five in my top 10 list.

5. TesserAcT – Altered State

This band is really branching out from the Djent constraints by embracing atmospheric style song writing. The math metal is still there and the vocals bring it all home. I have always said, TesseracT will be seen as the new Pink Floyd by a whole new generation. In 2011, TesseracT came in ninth position with the album “One”. I was pleasently surprised to see this one pop in Robb Flynn’s top 10 list.

6. Trivium – Vengeance Falls

Trivium have always had the balls to make decisions. Working with Dave Draiman is one of them. Seriously i cant see an issue with how the vocal melodies are phrased or delivered by Heafy. I really like this album. The music is top-notch and the songs are of high quality. In 2011, Trivium came in tenth position with the album “In Waves”.

7. Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman – Descension

Another band that is employing data to connect with fans. They have been on the road since January and released two slabs of music within 3 months. This album doesn’t have Domino The Destitute, but it has Sentry The Defiant plus others.

8. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 2

A Day In My Life. Man that chorus just hooks me in. Put to the side the cliché rhyming from Moody and just focus on the musical melodies and you will be hooked as well. It’s been played on repeat on my iPhone on my way to work and on my way home.

“American Capitalist” was fifth in my 2011 list and “War Is The Answer” was 2nd in 2009, just behind “Black Clouds and Silver Linings” from Dream Theater.

9. Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies

I was a fan of this band before they broke through in the U.S. It was the “Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil” album from 2007 that made me a fan. I was really looking forward to this release and the band didn’t disappoint. It has all of their trademarks with a dash of country and hillbilly thrown into the mix.

10. Alter Bridge – Fortress

Mark Tremonti is one hell of a guitar player and most importantly a hell of a songwriter. Teaming up with Myles Kennedy has been a godsend. Alter Bridge get better with each album and they rarely fail to disappoint.

Notable Mentions

Audrey Horne – Youngblood

If you don’t know this band, you should. I swear every genre of music and time period associated with music is heard on this album. Give this band the attention they deserve. Their whole catalogue is on Spotify so there is no excuse to not check them out. Any band that is from Norway and with a black metal post deserves to be heard in a hard rock context.

Mutiny Within – Synchronicity

The only thing holding this band back is what their definition of success is and Chris Clancy. He is so hung up on fighting for the old system and how it used to be, he is failing to see opportunities in front of him.

Hearts And Hands – My Own Machine

A great pop metal or pop rock album. Hearts and Hands started off as a side project for Chelsea Grin vocalist Alex Koehler. However since he departed after their 2012 self titled EP, the band has undergone a significant transformation and their sound has shifted away from breakdowns and screams to effected guitars, acoustics and great songs.

Love and Death – Between Here and The Lost

A hundred times better than the new Korn album. They even sound like Korn on some of the songs. Brian Head Welch is a star and this album proves it.

Sound Of Contact – Dimensionaut

Progressive Rock and a voice that sounds very similar to Phil Collins. Plus any album that has a concept attached to it, always gets my attention. Its plot follows an alienated, unnamed human who is tired of humanity and embraces his fate as a traveler of dimensions, time and galaxies. Throughout the story, the dimensionaut constructs his escape from reality, realizing new experiences and encountering love in the process.

Faith Circus – Turn Up The Band

If this band had the same attention as Avenged Sevenfold, critics would come out and comment how each song sounds like a rip off from every successful glam rock and blues rock album made in the Eighties. Music is derivative and Faith Circus deliver. It is a great listen from start to finish. Another band from Norway that deserves your attention.

Final Notable Mentions

Due to my kids overdosing on the music I placed on their iPods certain classic rock albums have come back into my life.

Twisted Sister – You Cant Stop Rock N Roll
Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry
Kiss – Lick It Up
Kiss – Asylum
Kiss – Destroyer
Deep Purple – Machine Head
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
Europe – The Final Countdown

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

The Prophetic Writings of Dave Mustaine

Throughout my life, bands like Megadeth, Metallica and Queensryche, have commented a fair bit on governments, democracy and the corruption that happens.

In the last 10 years, the Entertainment Industries have shown to the world, how corrupt they really are, and how they would do anything to protect obsolete business models. When I started writing this post, the themes that started to appear, reminded me of Megadeth songs.

Dave Mustaine is renowned for his mouth and his witty/snarly lyrical writing. Remember a time when musicians used to lead. Dave Mustaine is one of those musicians.

Seeking Asylum

There is a current role reversal happening in our lives today. Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away, political dissidents would actually SEEK asylum in Democratic Free countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Now people are looking for asylum in other countries to get AWAY from the Democratic Free countries. How the times have changed?

It reminds me of the lyrics to The World Needs A Hero (from the album The World Needs A Hero, released in 2001).

An Iron Fist quietly sits inside the Velvet Glove
Take control, untouchable just like God above
I can’t escape, wrapped in red tape, what will become of me?
If I object, then I defect my country tis of thee

Bradley Manning, detained in red tape and military courts. What will become of him? He didn’t kill anyone? He didn’t terrorise anyone? He didn’t bomb any public infrastructure? So why is he imprisoned? All he did was to embarrass a government.

Ed Snowden, leaked information about the NSA spying on US Citizens and now he is treated as a criminal, seeking asylum in countries that will not hand him over to the US. Remember the time when Communist defectors seeked asylum in the US. This is what corrupted democracy leads too? All Snowden did was to embarrass a government.

Copyright Levy

Most of Europe has a Copyright Levy imposed on the purchase of storage media, smartphones, tablets and any other connected devices.  In my view, since there is such a levy on digital products, whether devices or storage media, then non-commercial infringement should be permitted. The copyright monopolies shouldn’t get to have it both ways – either they need to go after alleged “pirates”, or they can tax the items “pirates” use. Makes you wonder why organisations like HADOPI (in France) were formed, since the public had already paid for the content without even wanting to?

Sort of like the song Dread and The Fugitive Mind (from the album The World Needs A Hero, released in 2001).

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too
If you shake my hand better count your fingers

Nothing else can sum up the Entertainment lobby groups and the Copyright Cartels better than the above two lines from Dave Mustaine.

ENFORCEMENT

Speaking of enforcement, Hadopi in France, has been a total waste of time and money. It was created as a gradual response system to piracy. Basically three warnings and then no internet. The aim of Hadopi was to push people to legal paid services.

“While illicit file sharing has dropped, legal paid services have not benefited as was hoped.”

The entertainment industry focus should be trying to figure out ways to make more money however the entertainment industries believe that getting rid of piracy will lead to more money. All it will do is push piracy further into a darknet.

Sort of like the lyrics in Symphony Of Destruction (from the album Countdown To Extinction, released in 1992).

You take a mortal man
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch people’s heads a roll

Let’s change them up to suit;

You take the RIAA
And put them in control
Watch them become gods
Watch people’s heads a roll

BLOCKADES

All over the world, blockades of websites is becoming common. The site they are all after is The Pirate Bay. The labels claim that the infamous torrent site facilitates copyright infringement. In countries like the UK and Ireland the courts agreed and ISP’s are forced to implement the block. Of course, users can easily bypass any blockade by using one of the many available Pirate Bay proxy sites. It’s that old whac-a-mole game. The Recording Associations around the world are spending monies in costly legal avenues and lobbying/bribery, instead of innovating.

Reminds me of the song New World Order  (originally recorded for the Youthanasia album of 1994 and released on the Th1rt3en album in 2011).

Monitoring all wages
New world order comes in stages
Your currency is obsolete
Feel the agony of defeat

Power resides in the ones that can purchase legal solutions to assist in their bad business models. The currency of fairness and justice is obsolete, against the power of money. We are all slaves to it. The whole blockade of websites is due to money, not piracy.

THE ART OF WAR VIA THE ARM OF THE LAW

The Entertainment industries like the RIAA seem to think that by using the arm of the law to extract money by force or to threaten people by force is a satisfactory response for copyright infringements. Remember people, copyright infringement is a civil matter not a criminal matter. However when power resides with the ones that control government, anything is possible.

Reminds me of the song Endgame (from the album Endgame, released in 2009).

The Ex-President signed a secret bill that can land a legal US Citizen in jail
And the Patriot Act stripped away our Constitutional Rights

All rights removed, you’re punished, captured and enslaved
Believe me when I say, This is the Endgame

Admins of websites have been found guilty for facilitating copyright infringement, have been given sentences harsher then murderers and drug dealers. These admins didn’t kill anyone, however if you take a penny from the wealthy, you have committed a grievous crime that needs to be punished severely.

INNOVATION STIFLING

Spotify has been far more successful in tackling piracy than any law. So what does the RIAA do? They want to charge more for the licensing fees. I am waiting for the punch line to come from the RIAA that this increase is needed to protect the artists that create the content. When it comes to money people just become dumb and those people are in charge of companies that make dumb decisions.

Sort of like the song, Millennium Of The Blind (from the album Th1rt3en, released in 2011)

All your money’s ours to bankroll corrupt wars
You can’t see what you’re fighting for
Trust your leaders as they send you out to die
The true face of evil can’t be seen without eyes

You can tweak the above to read;

All the money’s ours to bankroll shakedown wars
You can’t see what we are legislating for
Trust in the RIAA as they protect what you create
Through bribery and corruption so that politicians legislate

JUDGES SET MARKET PRICES

A 3 judge panel has set prices on the rates that internet services like Pandora need to pay, so that they can play music on line and the RIAA claims it is a free market.

Reminds me of the song Bite The Hand That Feeds (from the album Endgame, released in 2009).

They ball-gagged Lady Justice
And blindfolded her so she can’t see

They took everything and anything
As long as it once belonged to me

When the Courts have Judges that used to work for the Copyright Monopolies, the verdict is always the same. Good for business, bad for the people.

POLITICIANS PUSH CORPORATE PROPAGANDA

When are politicians going to stand for the people again. Instead we have the people that we voted in, pushing the agendas of corporations. A good example is the new RIAA stooge Marsha Blackburn. Enough said.

All of this reminds me of Peace Sells (from the album Peace Sells But Who’s Buying, released in 1986) and We The People (from the album Th1rt3en, released in 2011).

What do you mean “I couldn’t be President of the United States of America?”
Tell me something, it’s still “We The People” right

Nope, it is not we the people anymore and it hasn’t been for a long time. It is We With The Money.

Violate your rights, no more equality
Surrender freedom, your social security

When our politicians started to want to earn the same as Wall Street bankers, the writing was on the wall for equality and justice. Looking at all of the headings in this post, it makes me feel like I am living in a dictatorship. All of this is happening in Democracy. Peace Sells people, and the Copyright Cartels have purchased it all up.

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