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Top 10 hard rock/metal albums of 2013

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2013 has been quite a year for the hard rock/metal scene with the emergence of many virtually unknown bands coming out of left field and making a huge impact in the continuous reshaping of the rock world. Not to be outdone by their rookie counterparts, bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch have released mammoth new material raising the bar for a high standard rock album. Even still, let’s take a look at someone like David Draiman who has been highly successful with Disturbed. This year he started a new project, Device, and released some classic material.

The following is the top 10 hard rock/metal albums for 2013:

1. Stone Sour - The House of Gold and Bones Parts 1 & 2: Corey Taylor has outdone himself with his creativity in the writing of this compilation. The narration of a sci-fi story through music is a modern reminiscence of Pink Floyd’s, The Wall. “Gone Sovereign” “Absolute Zero” “Sadist” and “Peckinpah” help to make The House of Gold and Bones an absolute masterpiece. Be sure to check out their tour starting in January with Pop Evil. It’ll be one of the best tours of 2014.

2. Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King: If there’s one album in this list that will test the strength of your subwoofers, this is it. Particularly in the title track. It is thunderous, to say the least. The guitars kick butt and lead singer, M. Shadow’s voice has never sounded better. Catch them on tour whenever they come to your city, they put on one of the best shows today!

3. Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Parts 1 & 2: Nothing says head-banging like some FFDP and this compilation will definitely send you to see your chiropractor. In addition to the usual grinding and poundage here, there are some really cool ballads that demonstrate Ivan Moody does indeed have a sensitive side to him. Do not miss “Lift Me Up” with Rob Halford. That alone is worth the admission price.

4. Pop Evil - Onyx: This Michigan-based band is one of the up-and-comers here and rest assured this will not the the last you hear about them. Boasting two #1 singles, “Deal with the Devil” and “Trenches” this band is here to stay. Be sure to catch them live with Stone Sour starting in January. The are very entertaining live. One of the best shows you will see.

5. Gemini Syndrome - Lux: This Los-Angeles-based band is fearless when it comes to writing their own songs. Lead singer Aaron Nordstrom tells a lot about his life’s experiences through his songwriting. Lux is as good as it gets with a debut album. Musically all five members gel perfectly. Bassist A.P. Paveri is one of the best bass players today. The band has toured relentlessly throughout the year and has gained popularity with each show. They show no signs of slowing down in 2014. It’s gonna be a great year!

6. Butcher Babies - Goliath: Another debut album making this year’s list. Goliath is pure adrenaline from start to finish. It’s that go-to album when you’re driving late at night and don’t want to fall asleep. You can’t help yourself and sing along with Heidi and Carla with the band’s catchy tunes. The tracks “I Smell a Massacre”, "Magnolia Blvd.” and “Gasoline” will rock your socks off. They were all the talk this year at Mayhem Festival and for good reason: Not just because the girls are hot, yes, they are. But the talent level for the entire band is off the charts! Look for them to keep touring relentlessly this upcoming year. They put on one great show!

7. Buckcherry - Confessions: Confessions is Buckcherry’s best album to date. The band has never sounded better and their live show is highly entertaining. They have since released a greatest hits album which is awesome in itself, yet somehow I still find myself listening to Confessions from start to finish.

8. Device - Device: As mentioned earlier, David Draiman took an idea and ran with it creating Device alongside Geno Lenardo. Every rock fan in the world would love to say “Thank you Mr. Draiman for this gift.” It is pure rock pleasure from start to finish with some surprising special guests including M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold and of course, who can forget the duet with Lzzy Hale covering the classic “If I Close My Eyes Forever”. Taking Device on the road was also a very special treat for rock fans as they got to witness Draiman alongside the highly entertaining and talented Virus on guitar and one of the world’s best drummers in Evanescence’s Will Hunt.

9. Nonpoint - Nonpoint: Coffee not doing it for you this morning? Plug in the latest from this Florida-based band during your commute to work and your boss will be highly impressed with your productivity. From the first track, “Lights, Camera, Action” your adrenaline will instantly kick into overdrive causing your heart to beat harder and faster, and your pupils to dilate. By the time you get through “The Way I See Things”, “I Said It” and “Left for You” you’ll be good to go for the entire day. Who needs 5-Hour Energy when you have Nonpoint?

10. Havok - Unnatural Selection: This thrash band has been around for nearly a decade now and is finally getting some well-deserved attention. Their latest release on Candlelight Records is non-stop energy from start to finish. The guitars here are second-to-none and frontman, Dave Sanchez’ voice is incredible. Move over Megadeth, you have some serious competition here.

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