Next up in the Rocksins’ End Of Year awards is our features editor Jamie. Here’s his selection of the great, the good and the not so great…
1) Album Of The Year – Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume One
There’s been some fantastic albums this year, and it’s been really hard to single one out. Despite very strong competition from the likes of Alter Bridge and Cult of Luna, my album of the year is the first half of Five Finger Death Punch’s double header, The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume One. From the cracking opener “Lift Me Up” featuring Rob Halford through to the nightclub worthy cover of Mama Said Knock You Out, this is the album that I’ve gone back to time and again this year. I’ll be publishing my full top 10 at some point but FFDP top the pile for me in 2013. My review of FFDP’s Wrong Side Of Heaven Volume One can be read here should anyone want to.
2) Song Of The Year – Bring Me The Horizon – Shadow Moses
There have been so many great songs this year it’s hard to narrow it down to just one but this song is a) an enormous banger of the highest proportions and b) made me take a second look at Bring Me The Horizon. I still don’t like them, but Shadow Moses shows just exactly what they are capable of. When they get it right, they are up there with the very best. Guaranteed to set off mosh pits like a nuclear device has been detonated in the middle and an enormous chorus, this song has it all.
Alter Bridge – Cry Of Achilles
Crossfaith – We Are The Future
Black Sabbath – God Is Dead
3) Video Of The Year – Steel Panther – Party Like It’s The End Of The World
What can you say about Steel Panther that hasn’t already been said? They’re not everyones cup of tea but no-one plays up to some of rock and metals all time stereotypes like The Panther too. They manage to throw in just about every rock music video cliche going (and a whole bunch of new ones) in the enormously over the top video for Party Like It’s The End Of The World, and therefore get my vote for video of the year. Watch it below (enormously NSFW as this is the full proper video):
Behemoth – Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
Bring Me The Horizon – Shadow Moses
4) Gig Of The Year – Killswitch Engage & Sylosis, Shepherds Bush Empire
As 2013 was the year I became a Dad, gigs have been much fewer and further between this year. The undoubted pick of the bunch that I did get to was Jessie Leach’s return to UK shores with Killswitch Engage after ten years. A hero’s welcome for the band where every single lyric of every song belted back at the band for an hour and a half, the new material sounding enormous and the favourites even more so was something truly special. Add in the fact they were supported ably by a brutal 45 minute performance from Reading thrashers Sylosis, this gig had everything it needed and more to live very long in the memory. Read the full review of the show here.
Alter Bridge – Wembley Arena (review of that gig can also be read right here).
5) Best Festival Performance – Rammstein (Download 2013)
By far the greatest live performance I saw all year, and indeed one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Rammstein’s Download performance (after multiple years of the festival organisers trying to get the band to play) was hugely worth the wait. They put on the greatest show package in metal, and have some amazing songs to go with it. Ninety minutes of absolute metal perfection. You can read the review of their performance, and the whole of Sunday at Download 2013 here.
Hang The Bastard
Five Finger Death Punch (all Download 2013)
6) Most disappointing album – Megadeth – Super Collider
This was a pretty close run thing this year between Megadeth and Bullet For My Valentine’s Temper Temper but Mega Dave and co get the nod because fans of the band just expect so much more from them than this. Other than the single Kingmaker, which was great, and a cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat, this is just overwhelmingly bad. Risk Part 2, but less entertaining. Here’s hoping they bounce back to form next time around. You can read my disapproval of Super Collider here should you wish to.
Bullet For My Valentine – Temper Temper
Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones part II
7) Band Of The Year – Five Finger Death Punch
There are numerous bands who’ve had fantastic years in 2013 from America, the UK and further afield but for me, the continued sustained success achieved by Five Finger Death Punch (who I readily acknowledge are a marmite band for many metal fans) gets them the nod and their second award from me. They’ve turned in great performances at Download, on the Mayhem Festival in the US where they headlined with Rob Zombie, and with Avenged Sevenfold all across Europe. They’ve released two albums which both surpassed anyones expectations to mainly positive critical and huge fan acclaim. They’ve sold over 250,000 albums this year in the US alone, which in the current climate for a modern metal band is incredible. And having had the privilege to meet some of them this year, the ones I met are nice guys who don’t take anything for granted. Like it or not, 2013 has been the year of The Death Punch. Let’s see what they manage in 2014.
Bring Me The Horizon
You can follow Jamie for ramblings about Rock and Metal, as well as Web Development, Drupal, SEO, Arsenal and many other things on Twitter at @JamieGiberti.