The stoner rock heavyweights have finally returned to follow up 2007’s Era Vulgaris, delivering yet again with a phenomenal release. From the experimental opener “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” to the 6-minute epic “I Appear Missing” and closing title track, the alternative veterans from the Southwest never disappoint.
2. Korn – The Paradigm Shift
After bringing founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch back into the fold, the nu metal pioneers wasted no time in recording and releasing their eleventh studio album, a sonic blend of their signature sound and aggressive electronics.
3. Norma Jean – Wrongdoers
Norma Jean has outdone themselves on Wrongdoers, merging the atmosphere of Meridional with the killer melodies of Redeemer.
4. The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
Dillinger has crafted a chaotic masterpiece. One of Us is the Killer showcases times of crazed aggression in addition to moments of intense beauty.
5. Close Your Eyes – Line in the Sand
Typically when the frontman leaves a band, the band loses its charm. Such is not the case with Sam Robinson’s Close Your Eyes. He adds his British voice to the signature melodic hardcore and pop-punk hybrid the Abilene natives are known for.
6. Clutch – Earth Rocker
Tired of the same modern rock over and over? Looking for some good ole fashioned rock ‘n’ roll? Then Earth Rocker is for you! Clutch dominates with their best work yet.
7. Five Iron Frenzy – Engine of a Million Plots
10 years after calling it quits the Denver-based ska group have released an album. Engine of a Million Plots pays tribute to the time ska was popular while offering up a refreshing alternative-driven sound.
8. The Urge – Galvanized
Galvanized is another blast from the past for ska fans. The Urge adds soulful vocals into the “alternative rock with horns” sound, giving a few standout songs the edge over some of Five Iron Frenzy’s tracks.
9. August Burns Red – Rescue & Restore
ABR never ceases to amaze with their technical yet melodic brand of metalcore. The instrumentation on Rescue & Restore is what secures it as one of the top releases of 2013.
10. Love & Death – Between Here & Lost
Not only did Brian “Head” Welch deliver a stellar record back with Korn, but he also released the debut full-length from his own band back in January. Between Here & Lost is nu metal at its finest.