In the first of our Best Of 2013 articles which will close off the year, here's who some of your favourite MetalTalk writers thought were the best Band Of 2013...
Absolva, who were called by my own boss and MetalTalk.net editor Steve Goldby - see here!, "British Metal Kings of the 21st Century". There's nothing more you can add after that! The official video for 'Code Red', can be seen here:
Unquestionably for me, it's Amon Amarth. From the release of their 'Deceiver Of The Gods' album in the summer to their live tour, they show no let up in style, power or lyrics. They absolutely storm - be it on large festival stages or smaller ones, like The Barrowlands in Glasgow.
It's been an incredible return for the pioneers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath, who delivered the goods with their Rick Rubin produced album '13' which hit the Number 1 spot on both sides of the Atlantic (and another seven countries to boot) whilst reaching the Top 10 in (ironically) another 13 other countries too.
Article continues below...
Black Star Riders get my vote because of the fact that they have overcome the negative reception they received when they reformed as Thin Lizzy. Ricky Warwick has proved himself more than worthy of fronting this legendary band (Thin Lizzy) and their new album, 'All Hell Breaks Loose' is a killer that only just lost out to Saxon as my album of the year. 'All Hell Breaks Loose' was billed as Black Star Riders' debut album, but they will always be Thin Lizzy to me and this opus has a rightful place alongside the Phil Lynott classics.
This is a difficult one, as how does one choose a "best" band when there are so many parameters? A case could be made for The Rolling Stones for still going after 50 years and Black Sabbath who produced a decent album to tour with, and aren't just coasting on past glories. In the end my choice of band is a dead heat between The Temperance Movement, progressive acts Cosmograf and The Tangent. The latter being the brainchilds of Robin Armstrong and Andy Tillison respectively, and both bands have independently produced thought provoking and emotionally engaging albums packed with musical grandeur.
The overall band of the year for me in 2013, are without a doubt, Def Con One. The Newcastle based quartet ooze professionalism in their live shows with vocalist Davey Meikle who is just an incredible frontman while guitarist Johnny Hunter seemingly has all the heaviest and best riffs. Of course, no band would be complete without a solid engine room and Def Con One have one in the shape of bass player Steve Miller and drummer Antton Lant. This is a truly excellent band that Britain should be very proud of and I'm looking forward to hearing more new music from the boys in 2014 as well as seeing more of their electrifying live performances.
For me, it just has to be Down Among The Dead Men – the combination of the mighty vocal skills of Dave Ingram and the legendary guitar work of Rogga Johansson is undoubtedly a winning one, and they would have been my best new band but given the musical pedigree of these gentlemen and their impressive array of past bands and projects, I think they are too over qualified!
None of the established bands I followed released new product and backed it up with a huge amount of activity outside of Anneke Van Giersbergen but great though Anneke is I have to make The Temperance Movement both New Band AND Band Of The Year! From releasing an EP and my seeing them in front of 100 people in Dundee to a top 20 album and a sell out European tour in around six months! Also in Phil Campbell there is finally a great new male singer on the block! They deserve all the accolades they get.
Absolva - http://www.facebook.com/absolva
Amon Amarth - http://amonamarth.com/
Black Sabbath - http://www.blacksabbath.com/
Black Star Riders - http://blackstarriders.com/
Cosmograf - http://www.cosmograf.com/
Def Con One - http://www.facebook.com/defcononehq
Down Among The Dead Men - http://www.facebook.com/DownAmongTheDeadMen
Anneke Van Giersbergen - http://www.annekevangiersbergen.com/