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           2013
          Album of the Year

Welcome to the Album of the Year article for the year 2013!

As always, this list is a collection of records that moved ME - records that left an impression on ME. I am a big believer in the fact that music is a personal experience, and we all have different tastes - different likes and dislikes. My only purpose for compiling this list is to, perhaps, point you in the direction of something that might move you, and also to give you a glimpse at what moved my life musically during the twelve months we called 2013. This is not about debating which albums are "better," this is simply about the music. It's always about the music here at Dr. Music. With that said, let's talk about my list for the past year....
 
I personally think there is amazing music available to us each and every year, but we don't always have the good fortune to find it. This was a year of late discovery for me. I came upon an up-and-coming band by the name of The Pretty Reckless and their 2010 debut album, Light Me Up. That release took over my ears for more than half the year. Look out for their enigmatic frontwoman Taylor Momsen and the rest of The Pretty Reckless in 2014, when they release their sophomore effort, Going To Hell
There was too much to get to throughout the year. As I say every year, the reason you don't see a lot of artists on my list is not because their material was not worthy of mention, it is simply because I never got a chance to sit down and absorb their latest releases. I wish I would've gotten around to things like The Winery Dogs, the power trio with Billy Sheehan on bass, Mike Portnoy on drums, and Richie Kotzen on vocals and guitar; I'm sure it was sensational! Or perhaps, the latest from Daughtry, Baptized, or Pearl Jam's return to form, Lightning Bolt. What about Joe Satriani's latest? The list goes on and on. Maybe someday I'll get to those, but unfortunately, it just didn't happen for me in 2013.
 
Honorable Mention: 
Deceiver Of The Gods - Amon Amarth, Dancer and the Moon - Blackmore's Night, Fortress - Alter Bridge, The Best Is Yet To Come - Hartmann, Frozen Paradise - ColdSpell, Powerplay - Shakra, Valkyrja - Tyr, Super Collider - Megadeth
 
I would like to tell you a little bit about the things I did get around to that deserve honorable mention. I made great use of my Spotify account in 2013. I was turned on to a band called Alestorm, which is often categorized as "pirate metal" or "folk metal." And yes, these bands sound like pirates doing metal. I found the genre fascinating and full of talented bands. (Preachers of the Night from a German band called Powerwolf made the #10 spot on the list this year) An excellent record was Valkyrja from a band called Tyr. Amon Amarth is another very talented band that many consider "folk metal" because of their Norse mythology themes. If you can get past the rabid dog death metal vocals, their album Deceiver Of The Gods has amazing musicianship that makes for a very adventurous listen. 

Another genre I found was still a burgeoning force was "melodic rock." After I dove into Fergie Frederiksen's phenomenal Any Given Moment release, I was in the mood for more. I searched through the "Related Artists" section supplied by Spotify and found a great amount of worthy listens like Hartmann's stupendous release The Best Is Yet To Come, ColdSpell's Frozen Paradise, and Shakra's heavier Powerplay release. All of them had great vocal performances, great hooks, and many memorable songs.

Some of the more popular artists that I really enjoyed this year were Blackmore's Night and their excellent release Dancer and the Moon, and Fortress by Alter Bridge, who seems to put out something sensational each and every time they go into the studio. Creed's Mark Tremonti can really write a song, and singer Myles Kennedy can really sing 'em. Another Creed member put out a damn good record in 2013 as well. Scott Stapp, vocalist for Creed, shocked me with his very strong Proof Of Life release. Perhaps the best of the honorable ones might be Megadeth's Super Collider - a release that had the #10 spot on my list nailed down for weeks. It was the strongest Megadeth album I've heard in a long time. Another release that was amazing AGAIN this year was Narada Michael Walden's Thunder. I do have a rule about not having any reissues on my list, so Thunder was not eligible (it appeared on the 2012 list!), even though Narada reissued it with a few different tracks this time around. One of those tracks is "40 Days & 40 Nights," a song that Narada expressed a lot of love for when I asked him about 2013's greatest musical moments. (Check out the video here.) Make sure to check out Narada Michael Walden's Thunder if you haven't done so already. It's a killer record packed with songs that are fun and funky, tender and emotional, and are all performed by top shelf musicians. Check out some of the guitar wizardry of Matthew Charles Heulitt on the Thunder album. especially. This guy is somethin' else.  
 
It is always a struggle to find enough time to take in everything I want to. But, I think it's the same situation for all of us that love to experience new music. There are some things that just work their way into the fabric of your life. There is certain music that will define 2014 for you. Sometimes it's the same music that touches millions, and other times it's music that only a few come to know. But, it's that personal journey that is so very special to each of us, and I'd like to share my personal journey through 2013 with you....

 
10.   Preachers Of The Night - Powerwolf
         This was a late addition to the list. The #10 spot was held by Megadeth's Super Collider album for a number of weeks, until I found a few hours to do some deep searching on Spotify.
         I fell in love with what many are calling "pirate metal" or "folk metal," and Powerwolf is one of the best in the genre. They hail from Germany, which can be fairly obvious with some of the lyrics in German and a nice strong, stern German accent. Listening to Powerwolf I sometimes feel like I should hoist a sail and swig rum from a pewter stein, and that's really the beauty of this. While you have rapid double bass drumming, and guitar shredding with lightning fast arpeggios, you also have good solid melodies with a distinct feel. So put a patch over your eye and lace up your swashbuckling boots because Powerwolf gives new meaning to booty calls.
  

9.     Dream Theater - Dream Theater
        Am I surprised that this band had another mind-blowing release? Why should I be? I mean, it’s not like they’ve ever had a bad outing. Well, this album was a little different, though. Dream Theater lost drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy just before recording this album and, honestly, it scared me. Portnoy is not only a phenomenal drummer but he was in touch with the Dream Theater style and sound. He was a huge part of their overall sound, not to mention he was a writer as well. The musical geniuses in Dream Theater didn’t panic, though. They picked a guy named Mike Mangini to fill Portnoy’s gigantic shoes, a feat I wasn’t sure was possible, and he recorded some of the best drum parts in Dream Theater’s long and stunning catalog. They didn’t miss a beat with Mangini; in fact, they might have made a move up. A lot of this material is so over-the-top in complexity it almost seems to say “look what we can do.” Is Dream Theater a band that likes to show off? Oh hell yeah. Why? Because they can.
 
8.     Mosaic - Jann Klose
       

        Thank God for Jann Klose.

        One thing I love is diversity in music; I like to listen to a lot of different styles during the year. 2013 had heavy doses of hard rock and metal for me, which is really my forte, but I really wanted to find some good singer-songwriter stuff for a little balance. Jann Klose is what I found, and he’s a great talent. I lived with this album and fell in love with it, so before I had a chance to see Klose in the live setting I wondered if he would be able to bring the same dynamic to the songs as he did on the album. Not only did he bring the same dynamic to the stage, he brought it all a step further. Jann Klose is a superb singer, songwriter, and performer that recorded a little masterpiece called Mosaic.
        To read the full review of Mosaic, click here.
 
7.     Infestissumam - Ghost B. C.
       

        Be not afraid, it’s not what you think.

        I judged this band prematurely on their image, and it’s almost impossible not to. Their singer, Papa Emeritus as he is known, has skull face paint and dons a papal mitre with an inverted cross. All of the other members of the band are listed as “Nameless Ghouls.” They are sure to sound like Swedish death metal with an overzealous guard dog fronting the band, right? Nope.

        They are Swedish, but fact is, Ghost are one of the more mellow metal acts on the scene today. They have bits of chant and church organ-type stuff, but it’s not corny – and Papa’s got a brand new bag when it comes to Swedish Satanists, a good voice. For the most part it’s good, solid hard rock with great melody. Even metal fans that are faint of heart will probably find something to like with Ghost, as long as they don’t look at the pictures.
 
6.     Fight For My Soul - Jonny Lang
       

        Go Jonny, go!! Jonny be good ....real good.

        This is, BY FAR, Lang’s best album. He really found his voice here, and he lends it to songs that are more than receptive to his style. Lang has gone from being known as a guitar player to being more of a singer. With songs that have funk, gospel, rock and R&B stylings, Lang is found comfortable and completely immersed in every one of these tracks.
To read the full review of Fight For My Soul and listen to my interview with Jonny, click here.
 
5.     Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
        Sure, they dress and act like robots; but, if every band could play as well as these robots we’d all be a little happier with the audible world around us. Call it what you want, but when a record has musicians like Nathan East, Paul Jackson, Jr., and Nile Rodgers, I call it damn good. This album even has legendary songwriter Paul Williams lending his writing and vocal talents to a song. The production is perfection, the writing brilliant, and the musicianship stellar. If you’re a hater, I understand. But do yourself a favor, sit down with this for about a week steady, and skip over “Get Lucky” each time. Nothing against “Get Lucky,” I love the song, but there is so much more to this album. If you really want to get lucky, look beyond and listen close.
       
4.     Any Given Moment - Fergie Frederiksen
        If you’re a fan of Melodic Rock in the same vein of bands like Boston and Journey, you will absolutely LOVE this stuff. And don't believe this is a charitable position on the list because of Fergie's recent death. This #4 spot comes well earned, as I spent a good portion of the year with Any Given Moment as my soundtrack. To think that this guy made this recording while in the final stages of the cancer that finally defeated him is astonishing. Fergie has long been a treasured voice on the melodic rock scene, and he hadn't lost a shred of his vocal talents, even in his final days with us.
        Fergie, thanks for all of the music you gave us in your lifetime. It's just like you to save the best for last.
        To read the full review of Any Given Moment, click here.
 
3rd Place 

 
3.     Queensryche - Queensryche
        This is, perhaps, the album I am most excited to have on the list.
        I have always been a huge fan of Queensryche. Having found the band before they released their first full length album, The Warning, I was breastfed on the bosom of that 4-song EP. Songs like "Queen Of The Reich" and "The Lady Wore Black" are some of my favorite songs of all time. Seeing this band falter in recent years has been gut-wrenching. Geoff Tate was a vocal god early in the band's catalog, and a mere mortal on the more recent releases. I never would've thought this band could go on in any positive direction without Tate handling the vocal duties, but Todd LaTorre has come in and dazzled the diehards. This is the best Queensryche album since Hear In The Now Frontier. It feels so good to have that old Queensryche back to mother me once again.
        To read the full review of Queensryche, click here.

 2nd Place    
2.     13 - Black Sabbath
        It really is hard to believe that I finally got a dream album from my favorite band of all time.
        This was a long time in the making, and it really could've sucked because of all the politics between each band member over the years. But, even though the album was not recorded with the original lineup, with drummer Bill Ward holding out due to a contractual dispute, this couldn't be any closer to the original Sabbath sound. Complete with rain, the tolling of a bell, and one killer blues harp, Rick Rubin captured the essence of the first Sabbath album exactly as he set out to do. God bless him for it, too. This album has a couple of Sabbath's greatest songs in "End Of The Beginning" and "God Is Dead?" and it is Ozzy's best performance in decades. I don't know if we'll ever see another Sabbath album with this lineup, but one thing's for sure - 13 doesn't suck.
  
Album of the Year
1.     Dig - Heaven & Earth
        Wow, talk about putting together a total package - this is it.
          Bruce Quarto started Quarto Valley Records and gave Stuart Smith and company the freedom to create the best rock album they could possibly make, and this is the powerful product they came up with. From head to toe, this is a well dressed rock and roll scholar. Educated in the shadows of bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Zeppelin, Heaven & Earth put together a collection of songs that let me know that it could still be done; I can still have songs with a classic hard rock feel, and they can really kick ass. I was beginning to think those days were gone because of the lack of bands even trying to write in the classic rock vein. Heaven & Earth is doing it, and they're doing it well. I can't wait until they dig up some more classic rock gems and save rock and roll yet again. (Having one of the greatest album covers in the history of rock and roll doesn't hurt either.)
        To read the full review of Dig, click here.
   
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THE PATIENTS LISTS

Paul K. - Wisconsin, USA
Best album I heard all year was the re-worked Vapor Trails [Rush]
Shawn F. - Iowa, USA
A tough one, For me - The Civil Wars [self-titled], Paul McCartney - NEW (best he's put out since Flaming Pie) and Boston - Life, Love & Hope.
Ken A. - Illinois, USA
I'm not in her demographic by about 30 years, but I think she's great, and her album is years ahead of her age. Lorde:Pure Herione
Cheryl P.- A. - Indiana, USA
Paul McCartney - NEW
Kevin R. - Illinois, USA
I might have to go with The Way Life Goes by Tom Keifer. Maybe I just miss those Cinderella years, and it was great to hear something new from him.
Jen H. - Maryland, USA
McCartney's NEW was fantastic. Flaming Pie had been my favorite until just recently. 
Mike C. - Utah, USA
Beth Hart and Joe Bannamassa - SeeSaw
I have one more. Scott Itter turned me on to this group - Heaven and Earth - Dig. It reminds me of early Deep Purple. Thanks Scott!!!
Jimmy Ryan (of The Flyin' Ryan Brothers) - Illinois, USA
The Winery Dogs debut album. It KILLS!
Brandon S. - Illinois, USA
Infestussiman- Ghost. 100% yes.
Bart V. D. - Puurs, Belgium
Infestussiman - Ghost
LeslieVicki P. - Illinois, USA
Synergy by 7th Heaven  
Lori P. K. - Illinois, USA
Darius Rucker - True Believers
Steve F. - Illinois, USA
My vote goes to "New Hometown" from Connor Christian & Southern Gothic
Julie A. G. - Illinois, USA
The Flaming Lips - The Terror, The Next Day - David Bowie, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire - Reflektor and Beck 
Wayne C. - California, USA
Hands down. No comparison. 'DIG' lp HEAVEN & EARTH...every song on this album is the finest display of CLASSIC Hard ROCK...
Jennifer S. - Minnesota, USA
I like Daughtry's new album "Baptized". My hope that Rock is not dead!!
Wayne S. - Arizona, USA
Device - Device
Kevin H. - Illinois, USA
'The Next Day' David Bowie would be mine, but that Lorde album was close.   
Patrick M. - Massachussetts, USA
My album of the year would have to be Pearl Jam's Lighting Bolt because too many bands from their time just can't "do it" anymore. 2013 was the year of many musical disappointments but the one bright spot was Lighting Bolt. The songs were great. "Sirens" was my favorite. Heck, I even heard some of album on the radio. Some of the music was used during the MLB play-offs and World Series.
I happen to catch them live in Worcester, Ma. and they were great. Eddie Vedder's voice is more than good and the band is top notch. 
 
Dean H. - Illinois, USA
Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
Craig D. - USA
The shame is that there wasn’t more candidates!!!! Bad year for music. Was hoping for a new Tool Album. I’d have to give it to the Winery Dogs [self-titled] because who doesn’t like a good power trio? 
Reijo P. - Turku, Finland
1. Lady Gaga - "Artpop"
2. Black Sabbath - "13"
3. Jenni Vartiainen - "Terra"
4. Stryper - "No More Hell to Pay"
5. Beyoncé - "Beyoncé"
6. Haloo Helsinki! - "Maailma on tehty meitä varten"
7. Pylon - "The Harrowing of Hell"
8. Extol - "Extol"
9. LeAnn Rimes - "Spitfire"
10. Avril Lavigne - "Avril Lavigne"
 
Johan C. - Belgium
12. Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe. Intriguing tight big city funk with offbeat rhythms and a lot of grooves, in more than one way reminiscent of early, pre-Purple Rain Prince.
11. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City. In a year in which neither Death Cab for Cutie nor The Shins came with new material, luckily my third favorite indie-pop band did deliver.
10. Turin Brakes - We were here. As Petty once said: 'the waiting is the hardest part'. Three years after the brilliant Outbursts, these two come up with a more organic, slightly psychedelic sound – but the songs remain as strong as ever.
9. Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull. Haters gonna hate, but after the hit and miss Come Around Sundown this is a strong return to form. A solid album, with some songs being up there with their very best.
8. Foals – Holy Fire. Pretentious, arty, in your face – and catchy at the same time. Not many bands try on this duality, and even fewer can get away with it.
7. Wave Machines - Pollen
Strange that this album didn’t crack through to mainstream success. If you think Coldplay moved too much towards stadium anthems and if you want to know how Elbow would sound with more synths: this is worth checking out.
6. Dreadzone – Escapades.
Much to my own surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this hybrid of pop, soul, dancehall, dub and reggae. Knee deep in grooves from start to finish, and with Mick Jones popping up on one track, serving as some kind of B.A.D. reunion.
5. John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts. GusGus providing the soft beats, Midlake providing the rusty acoustic sound, Sinead O’Connor providing some eerie backing vocals – but above all: John Grant acting like the Buster Keaton of pop, with his deadpan delivery of sarcastic, self-pitying lyrics. Most fascinating album of the year.
4. Vertical Horizon – Echoes from the Underground. Not scoring big points on the credibility list with this one, but what the - insert F word here. An album that’s at the crossroads between complex progrock and radio friendly college rock.
3. Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz. In the year the master of laidback, JJ Cale, died, one of his unlawful sons comes with a warm, melodic album that is flawless from start to finish. Rouse’s memorable concert in Antwerp pushed him up a few places in this chart.
2. Arctic Monkeys – AM. All the right hooks. Convincing proof that rock can indeed be sexy as hell.
1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories. And to think I wasn’t even fan of these hipper-than-thou Frenchies. What a spectacular U-turn, from the hardcore techno back in the days, to the colourful hybrid of smooth vibes, progrock, new disco and vocoder funk on the new album. Nothing sounded better in 2013, no band was more adventurous (and, true: no marketing was smarter). A bold move, a sonic masterpiece. Even that weak, boring second single ‘Lose yourself to Dance' couldn't push this baby from the top of the list.
Chuck M. - Wisconsin, USA 
Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King
Every time a song from that album comes on shuffle, I turn off shuffle and listen to the rest of the album.
It gets my feet moving, which makes my hands jealous. Tough to get work done when that happens, but, hey, it's all good!
 
Thierry T. - Switzerland
For me, the best record of the year was Shamall - Turn Off

Here are a few lists from some popular music magazines:
 
ROLLING STONE
1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
2. Kanye West - Yeezus
3. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
4. Paul McCartney - New
5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
6. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
7. Lorde - Pure Heroine
8. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
9. Arctic Monkeys - AM
10. John Fogerty - Wrote a Song for Everyone
11. Parquet Courts - Tally All the Things That You Broke
12. Jake Bugg - S/T
13. Disclosure - Settle
14. Drake - Nothing Was The Same
15. Atoms for Peace - AMOK
16. David Bowie - The Next Day
17. Danny Brown - Old
18. Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose
19. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
20. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
21. Sky Ferreira - Night Time My Time
22. Phoenix - Entertainment
23. My Bloody Valentine - MBV
24. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
25. Elton John - The Diving Board
26. Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap
27. Miley Cyrus - Bangerz
28. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
29. Bombino - Nomad
30. Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob
31. Haim - Days Are Gone
32. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
33. Pusha T - My Name is My Name
34. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
35. Best Coast - Fade Away EP
36. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
37. The So-So Glos - Blowout
38. Kurt Vile - Walkin on a Pretty Daze
39. Keith Urban - Fuse
40. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
41. J Cole - Born Sinner
42. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
43. Savages - Silence Yourself
44. Valerie June - Pushin' Against a Stone
45. Avicii - True
46. Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
47. MIA - Matangi
48. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
49. The Flaming Lips - The Terror
50. Beck - Song Reader
SPIN
50. Drake - Nothing Was the Same
49. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
48. Body/Head - Coming Apart
47. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
46. Pusha T - My Name is My Name
45. Superchunk - I Hate Music
44. William Tyler - Impossbile Truth
43. Death Grips - Government Plates
42. James Holden - The Inheritors
41. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
40. Bill Callahan - Dream River
39. My Bloody Valentine - m b v
38. Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady
37. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
36. Kelela - Cut 4 Me
35. Ashley Monroe- Like A Rose
34. Kvelertak - Meir
33. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
32. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
31. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
30. 2 Chainz - B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time
29. Rudimental - Home
28. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
27. Migos - Young Rich Niggas
26. Rhye - Woman
25. Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In
24. DJ Rashad - I Don't Give a Fuck EP
23. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
22. Deafheaven - Sunbather
21. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
20. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
19. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
18. Mikal Cronin - MCII
17. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
16. Omar Souleyman - Wenu Wenu
15. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
14. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
13. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
12. Danny Brown - Old
11. M.I.A. - Matangi
10. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
9. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
8. Ka - The Night's Gambit
7. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
6. Tim Hecker - Virgins
5. Disclosure - Settle
4. Haim - Days Are Gone
3. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires in the City
2. Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap
1. Kanye West - Yeezus
CLASSIC ROCK
 
Q MAGAZINE
1. Arctic Monkeys - AM
2. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
4. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
5. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
6. Manic Street Preachers - Rewind the Film
7. Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others
8. Bill Ryder Jones - A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart
9. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
10. Haim - Days Are Gone
11. Jagwar Ma - Howlin'
12. My Bloody Valentine - MBV
13. Steve Mason - Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time
14. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
15. Foals - Holy Fire
16. Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
17. Matthew E White - Big Inner
18. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
19. Factory Floor - S/T
20. Biffy Clyro - Opposites
21. Palma Violets - 180
22. Suede - Bloodsports
23. Disclosure - Settle
24. Empire of the Sun - Ice on the Dune
25. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
26. Kanye West - Yeezus
27. Bill Callahan - Dream River
28. Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
29. Daniel Avery - Drone Logic
30. Pet Shop Boys - Electric
31. Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady
32. Savages - Silence Yourself
33. Parquet Courts - LIght Up Gold
34. Prefab Sprout - Crimson Red
35. Devendra Banhart - Mala
36. Kurt Vile - Walkin on a Pretty Daze
37. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
38. Goldfrapp - Tales of Us
39. Alunageorge - Body Music
40. Run the Jewels - S/T
41. Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect
42. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
43. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
44. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
45. Sigur Ros Kveikur
46. James Blake - Overgrown
47. The Strokes - Comedown Machine
48. Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum
49. Primal Scream - More Light
50. Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day
LOUDWIRE
10.  Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor - Rob Zombie
09.  Earth Rocker - Clutch
08.  True North - Bad Religion
07.  The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 - Five Finger Death Punch
06.  Burials - AFI
05.  Hail To The King - Avenged Sevenfold
04.  Fortress - Alter Bridge
03.  House Of Gold & Bones, Vol. 2 - Stone Sour
02.  ...Like Clockwork - Queens of the Stone Age
01.  The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here - Alice In Chains
MOJO MAGAZINE
1. Bill Callahan - Dream River
2. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
4. Arctic Monkeys - AM
5. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
6. Deerhunter - Monomania
7. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
8. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle - Perils from the Sea
9. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
10. John Murry - The Graceless Age
11. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
12. Prefab Sprout - Crimson Red
13. My Bloody Valentine - MBV
14. Holden - Inheritors
15. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
16. Factory Floor - Factory Floor
17. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
18. Arcade Fire - Reflector
19. Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
20. Pet Shop Boys - Electric
21. Mavis Staples - One True Vine
22. Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
23. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
24. Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
25. James Blake - Overgrown
26. Villagers {Awayland}
27. Disclosure - Settle
28. Manic Street Preachers - Rewind the Film
29. John Hopkins - Immunity
30. Primal Scream - More Light
31. Elvis Costello and The Roots - Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs
32. Glenn Jones - My Garden State
33. Bill Bragg - Tooth & Nail
34. Karen Gwyer - Needs Continuum
35. Midlake - Antiphon
36. Low - The Invisible Way
37. Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum
38. Kanye West - Yeezus
39. Roy Harper - Man & Myth
40. Black Sabbath - 13
41. Goldfrapp - Tales of Us
42. Paul McCartney - New
43. Haim - Days Are Gone
44. Johnny Marr - The Messenger
45. These New Puritans - Fields of Reeds
46. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
47. Julia Holter - Loud City Song
48. The Flaming Lips - The Terror
49. Tim Hecker - Virgins
50. Time is a Mountain - S/T
KERRANG!
1. Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
2. Biffy Clyro - Opposites
3. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
4. Asking Alexandra - From Death To Destiny
5. Avenged Sevenfold - Hail To The King
6. Paramore - Paramore
7. Letlive - The Blackest Beautiful
8. The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation
9. The Bronx - The Bronx IV
10. Queens Of The Stoneage - ....Like Clockwork
11. Tonight Alive - The Other Side
12. Watain - The Wild Hunt
13. Black Sabbath - 13
14. Deaf Havana - Old Souls
15. Alter Bridge - Fortress
16. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
17. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
18. Fall Out Boy - Save Rock And Roll
19. Deafheaven - Sunbather
20. State Champs - The Finer Things
21. Nails - Abandon All Life
22. The Defiled - Daggers
23. Panic! At The Disco - Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!
24. Jamie Lenman - Muscle Memory
25. A Day To Remember - Common Courtesy
DECIBEL MAGAZINE
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. In Solitude - Sister
3. Gorguts - Colored Sands
4. SubRosa - More Constant Than The Gods 
5. Inquisition - Obscure Verses For The Multiverse
6. Cult of Luna - Vertikal
7. Melt Banana - Fetch
8. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
9. Noisem - Agony Defined
10. Tribulation - The Formulas of Death
11. Deafheaven - Sunbather
12. Toxic Holocaust - Chemistry of Consciousness
13. Nails - Abandon All Life
14. Inter Arma - Sky Burial
15. Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
16. Secrets of the Sky - To Sail Black Waters
17. Purson - The Circle and the Blue Door
18. Lycus - Tempest
19. Ihsahn - Das Seelenbrechen
20. The Ruins of Beverast - Blood Vaults: The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer
21. Antigama - Meteor
22. Kylesa - Ultraviolet
23. Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy
24. Exhumed - Necrocracy
25. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Mind Control
26. Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
27. Ulcerate - Vermis
28. Anciients - Heart of Oak
29. Craven Idol - Towards Eschaton
30. Iron Reagan - Worse Than Dead
31. Portal - Vexovoid
32. Coliseum - Sister Faith
33. Cathedral - The Last Spire
34. Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed
35. Noctum - Final Sacrifice
36. AEvangelist - Omen Ex Simulacra
37. Watain - The Wild Hunt
38. Corrections House - Last City Zero
39. Dark Tranquility - Construct
40. Batillus - Concrete Sustain
PITCHFORK
50. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
49. Julia Holter - Loud City Song
48. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
47. The Range - Nonfiction
46. M.I.A. - Matangi
45. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
44. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
43. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
42. Rhye - Woman
41. Mutual Benefit - Love's Crushing Diamond
40. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
39. A$AP Rocky - LongLiveA$AP
38. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
37. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
36. Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe
35. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
34. Forest Swords - Engravings
33. Burial - Truant / Rough Sleeper
32. DJ Koze - Amygdala
31. Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety
30. Deerhunter - Monomania
29. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
29. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
27. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight...
26. James Blake - Overgrown
25. Drake - Nothing Was the Same
24. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
23. DJ Rashad - Double Cup
22. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
21. Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe
20. Jai Paul - Jai Paul
19. Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
18. Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady
17. Haim - Days Are Gone
16. Bill Callahan - Dream River
15. Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time
14. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
13. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
12. Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap
11. Darkside - Psychic
10. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
9. Savages - SIlence Yourself
8. Majical Cloudz - Impersonator
7. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
6. Deafheaven - Sunbather
5. Danny Brown - Old
4. My Bloody Valentine - mbv
3. Disclosure - Settle
2. Kanye West - Yeezus
1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
REVOLVER MAGAZINE
1. Black Sabbath – 13
2. Deafheaven – Sunbather
3. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail to the King
4. Kvelertak – Meir
5. Nails – Abandon All Life
6. Carcass – Surgical Steel
7. Ghost – Infestissumam
8. Windhand – Soma
9. Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
10. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
11. The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer
12. Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies
13. Korn – The Paradigm Shift
14. Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones pt. 2
15. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side of Heaven…
16. ASG – Blood Drive
17. Watain – The Wild Hunt
18. A Pale Horse Named Death – Lay My Soul to Waste
19. Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
20. Gorguts – Colored Sands
BILLBOARD
15.  Chance The Rapper, "Acid Rap"
14.  Lady Gaga, "ARTPOP"
13.  CHVRCHES, "The Bones of What You Believe"
12.  Vampire Weekend, "Modern Vampires of the City"
11.  Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience"
10.  Kacey Musgraves, "Same Trailer Different Park"
09.  Arcade Fire, "Reflektor"
08.  Rhye, "Woman"
07.  Daft Punk, "Random Access Memories"
06.  HAIM, "Days Are GDrake, "Nothing Was The Same"
05.  Drake, "Nothing Was The Same"
04.  Lorde, "Pure Heroine"
03.  Disclosure, "Settle"
02.  Kanye West, "Yeezus"
01.  Beyoncé, "Beyoncé"
MUSIC ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE
10) 'Dirty Diamonds' - Krokus
9) ‘New’ - Paul McCartney
8) ‘Spirit’ - Reckless Love
7) ‘Life, Love & Hope’ - Boston
6) ‘Bridge the Gap’ - Michael Schenker
5) ‘No More Hell to Pay’ - Stryper
4) ‘The Way Life Goes’ - Tom Keifer
3) ‘Now What?!’ - Deep Purple
2) '13' - Black Sabbath
1) ‘Queensryche’ - Queensryche
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
1. Kanye West, ‘Yeezus’ (Def Jam)
2. Lonnie Holley, ‘Keeping a Record of It’ (Dust-to-Digital)
3. Bill Callahan, ‘Dream River’ (Drag City)
4. Valerie June, ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone’ (Concord) 
5. Robbie Fulks, ‘Gone Away Backward’ (Bloodshot)
6. Savages, ‘Silence Yourself’ (Matador/Pop Noire)
7. Chance the Rapper , ‘Acid Rap’ (self-released)
8. Rough Seven, ‘Codebreaker’ (Upper Ninth) 
9. Paul McCartney, ‘N ew’ (Capitol/EMI) 
10. Mikal Cronin, ‘MC II’ (Merge)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Greg Kot)   greg@gregkot.com
1. Parquet Courts - "Light Up Gold"
2. Chance the Rapper - "Acid Rap"
3. Allen Toussaint - "Songbook"
4. Darkside - "Psychic"
5. Savages - "Silence Yourself"
6. Rhye - "Woman"
7. Vic Mensa - "Innanetape"
8. Deltron 3030 - "Event II"
9. Boogarins - "As Plantas Que Curam"
10. Neko Case - "The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You"
11. Willis Earl Beal - "Nobody Knows"
12. Shuggie Otis - "Inspiration Information/Wings of Love"
13. Richard Thompson - "Electric"
14. Bombino - "Nomad"
15. Sam Phillips - "Push Any Button"
16. Superchunk - "I Hate Music"
17. Wooden Shjips - "Back to Land"
18. Queens of the Stone Age - "...Like Clockwork"
19. Rokia Traore - "Beautiful Africa"
20. David Bowie - "The Next Day"
METAL HAMMER
1. Clutch - Earth Rocker
2. Carcass - Surgical Steel
3. Black Sabbath - 13
4. Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats - Mind Control
5. Ghost - Infestissumam
6. Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
7. Ihsahn - Das Seelenbrechen
8. Motõrhead - Aftershock
9. Watain - The Wild Hunt
10. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
11. Cathedral - The Last Spire
12. Letlive - The Blackest Beautiful
13. In Solitude - Sister
14. Alter Bridge - Fortress
15. Purson - The Circle And The Blue Door
16. The Dillinger Escape Plan - One Of Us Is The Killer
17. Deafhaven - Sunbather
18. Kvelertak - Meir
19. Killswitch Engage - Disarm The Descent
20. The Bronx - The Bronx (IV)
21. Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vols. 1 & 2
22. Heart Of A Coward - Severance
23. Malevolence - Reign Of Suffering
24. Nails - Abandon All Life
25. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance 
26. Tesseract - Altered State
27. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals: Walk Through Exits Only
28. Wardruna - Yggdrasil
29. Hell - Curse & Chapter
30. Alice In Chains: The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
31. Cult Of Luna - Vertikal
32. Dream Theater - Dream Theater
33. Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
34. Beastmilk - Climax
35. Twilight Of The Gods - Fire On The Mountain
36. Orchid - The Mouths Of Madness
37. Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
38. Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
39. Avatarium - Avatarium
40. Black Spiders - This Savage Land
41. Jex Thoth - Blood Moon Rise
42. Wilson - Full Blast Fuckery
43. Argus - Beyond The Martyrs
44. Bleed From Within - Uprising
45. HIM - Tears On Tape
46. Satan - Life Sentance
47. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
48. The Defiled - Daggers
49. Monster Magnet - Last Patrol
50. Bruce Soord and Jonas Renkse - Wisdom of Crowds
GUITAR WORLD
30. Ghost B.C. — Infestissumam
29. Gorguts — Colored Sands
28. Megadeth — Super Collider
27. Children of Bodom — Halo Of Blood
26. Steven Wilson — The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)
25. Asking Alexandria — From Death to Destiny
24. Paul McCartney — New
23. Portugal. The Man — Evil Friends
22. Avenged Sevenfold — Hail To The King
21. Brad Paisley — Wheelhouse
20. Black Veil Brides — Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones
19. The Dillinger Escape Plan — One Of Us Is The Killer
18. Motorhead — Aftershock
17. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats — Mind Control
16. Volbeat — Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
15. Deafheaven — Sunbather
14. The Aristocrats — Culture Clash
13. My Bloody Valentine — mbv
12. Buddy Guy — Rhythm & Blues
11. Arctic Monkeys — AM
10. Carcass — Surgical Steel
09. Joe Satriani — Unstoppable Momentum
08. Gov't Mule — Shout!
07. Savages — Silence Yourself
06. The Winery Dogs — The Winery Dogs
05. Alice In Chains — The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
04. Death Angel — The Dream Calls for Blood
03. Queens of the Stone Age — ...Like Clockwork
02. Dream Theater — Dream Theater
01. Black Sabbath — 13
ULTIMATE CLASSIC ROCK (ultimateclassicrock.com)
10.  Wrote a Song for Everyone - John Fogerty
09.  Sound City: Real to Reel - Various Artists
08.  People, Hell & Angels - Jimi Hendrix
07.  Aftershock - Motorhead
06.  Shout - Gov't Mule
05.  The Diving Board - Elton John
04.  Wise Up Ghost - Elvis Costello and the Roots
03.  New - Paul McCartney
02.  Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) - Bob Dylan
01.  The Next Day - David Bowie





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