So it’s the time of year where every personality and website starts doing their recap of the year. Everyone does a Top whatever of the year but the problem is limiting yourself to that often leaves albums out cause those top lists are based on sales, listens, or social media mentions. I’ve decided that instead of a top whatever list I’m going to give you a list of albums I feel you must have in your collection from this year.
Black Sabbath – 13
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Black Sabbath’s first studio album in more years than most of us can remember with Ozzy Osbourne fronting the band again should not be missed. It was number 1 in several countries despite the controversy that kept Bill Ward off the album and it not being a full reunion album. But even though it’s not a full reunion it’s still the Sabbath sound that many of us have come to know.
Gunfire-N-Sodomy – Gunfire-N-Sodomy EP
How many times have we heard bands and said “I wish I could’ve been there from the beginning”. Well this is one of those rare times in history where you can do just that because Gunfire-N-Sodomy is a new sound that you want to check out. The idea of acoustic death metal might sound crazy or impossible in writing but when you listen to this debut EP you find that it is very possible and sounds better than you could’ve imagined.
Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
Being a long time fan of Rob Zombie this was a breath of fresh air and a return to his early solo albums. I might go so far as to consider this a comeback album because it has the same fun and wild vibe that first drew me to his music. His previous albums, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 and Educated Horses, had their highlights but as a complete album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is the vibe missing on those previous albums. You’ll definitely find yourself singing along with some of this album just make sure you’re not in public when singing along with Teenage Nosferatu Pussy.
Newsted – Heavy Metal Music
The first full length album from Jason Newsted’s latest band is definitely what it’s called. Anyone who doubted him will feel stupid for doing so after hearing this album. A pure metal album from beginning to end. No overly produced tracks, no bass missing, just pure metal music that’s raw and heavy.
Generation Kill – We’re All Gonna Die
The sophomore album from Generation Kill does everything but die. Many bands struggle with their second album but not the case from Rob Dukes and the guys of Generation Kill. They pick up right where they left off on their debut but take it to the next level. Everything from full on thrash to just pure raw metal can be found on this album. It took longer than planned for this album to get released this year but it was worth the wait.
Decypher – Decypher EP
For those of you who remember the mid to late 90s when rock and metal were still part of regular everyday radio then this Staten Island band is one to be aware of. While this is only a taste of a full length album to come its a solid introduction to a band that knows exactly what rock is about. If Alice In Chains was your band in the 90s then Decypher is a band to have on your radar.
Black Water Rising – Pissed And Driven
The long awaited second album from Black Water Rising was another album that was worth the wait. Pure energy emits from this album and just says metal all over it. This album is loaded with great riffs and melodies throughout. This album was released near summers end but this album is an album that you can and should turn on and crank during your barbecues next summer or any long drive.
Charetta – Apocalypse EP
Another great local band to have on your radar and their latest album should make some people really sit up and take notice. Charetta manages to put the energy they bring to the stage right into this album. This could definitely be considered the musical equivalent to 5-hour energy.
Lita Ford – The Bitch Is Back…Live
Usually I wouldn’t put a live album on my must haves list because those albums can be hit or miss. But that isn’t the case here. This is a simple, fun, and are live album. They didn’t spend big bucks wiring up every angle of the venue with microphones and fine tuning it after with ProTools. This is a live album that sounds as a live album should. You feel like you are there and you feel how intimate the show was. It’s what all live albums today should be like.
Love and Death – Between Here & Lost
This album and band literally slipped under everyone’s radar including mine. Formed Brian “Head” Welch in 2012 they released this debut album in the beginning of the year to very little fanfare. After seeing them open for Korn I immediately ordered the album because I was very impressed by what I heard live. This band is heavy, has that nu-metal vibe, and harmonies that you probably wouldn’t expect from that genre of music.
The Winery Dogs – The Winery Dogs
Without a doubt this has to be the breakout album of the year. When Mike Portnoy took his leave from Adrenaline Mob to concentrate on The Winery Dogs a few people wondered if it was the right move. But after this albums release and we all heard how well he, Billy Sheehan, and Richie Kotzen it was obvious that this new band was something to take notice of. An album that mixes up so many aspects of hard rock that I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this album. It’s got both a new school and old school sound that is great for all rockers.
Well there you go gang. Those are the albums that came out this year that I think belong in your library of rock and metal. Check them out and let’s see what kind of tunes we get in 2014.