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metal talk
26th December 2013

Collated by Johnny Main

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...

Dutch Michael


Absolva, who were called by my own boss and 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:

Andy Millen

amon amarth

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.

Mark Taylor

black sabbath

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...

Steve Goldby

black star riders

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.

Mike Foley


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.

Johnny Main

def con one

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.

Jools Green

down amongst the dead men

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!

Ian Sutherland


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 -
Amon Amarth -
Black Sabbath -
Black Star Riders -
Cosmograf -
Def Con One -
Down Among The Dead Men -
Anneke Van Giersbergen - BEST OF 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best Bands Of 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best Albums Of 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best Gigs Of 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best Singles Of 2013
MetalTalk Top Ten Photographs Of 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best New Bands Of 2013
MetalTalk Writers' Best Promo Videos Of 2013
Things To Look Forward To In 2014



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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