Continuing through our 2013 End Of Year Awards here at Rock Sins, this time around it’s the turn of Southend’s finest Iain to select his best bits from last year. Without further ado…
1) Album of the year – Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
Bring Me The Horizon have delivered an absolute cracker with Sempiternal. They haven’t rested on their laurels of their popularity and continued to work hard to update and improve their sound. Sempiternal has quality written all over it, finer vocals, great production value and a perfect mix of songs smoothly transitioning from the smashing heaviness we have been used to, to the more emotive radio friendly tunes. Sempiternal has an increased use of electronics through the introduction of keyboardist Jordan Fish, normally I would be sceptical about a change like that at this stage, dismissing it as a bit of a gimmick but with this album it has been delivered to perfection, fitting in well with the rest of the band providing an enhanced and more mature sound. For me a good album is simply one you can listen to over and over again and with Sempiternal you get that, this is a deep powerful album with more to discover with each listen.
2) Song of the year – Bring Me The Horizon – Shadow Moses
I do like other bands apart from Bring Me but in my opinion this song was just too good not to select however hard I tried to avoid it! Shadow Moses gets people moving whether it is at the start of a Bring Me gig or at a rock club, it is hard not to get frenetic with your movements when this comes on. From the build up of the sing along introduction to the riff that follows delivering an explosive drop kick to the face, moving from fluid chorus to mosh inducing heaviness it has all of the components of a modern great, you will be hearing this all over the place for many years to come. As the centrepiece of Sempiternal it is not surprising it was used as the main piece in support of the album launch helping build much hype through social and conventional media, previous haters of the band will have had a lot of difficulty ignoring this song and I think it has helped change a lot of opinions out there.
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Black Sabbath – God is Dead
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Obvs)
3) Video of the year – Protest the Hero – Underbite
(Director: Marc Ricciardelli)
Personally I need something a bit different from a music video to grab my attention these days, so many metal videos are pretty much the same with lots of angry head-banging filmed somewhere grimy possible including the odd person skateboarding or sexy lady, so I was very happy to see Protest the Hero deliver something different with Underbite.
This comical cardboard finger-puppet gig video is tightly packaged, eye catching and funny, including many gig clichés you will be familiar with, from extortionate merch prices to meeting strange people in the toilet it is definitely worth a watch, although it is quite hard to pay attention to the song with the visuals taking the focus away.
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The Dillinger Escape Plan – When I lost my bet
4) Gig of the year – Letlive – Camden Electric Ballroom
Letlive have grown a large dedicated following over the last couple of years built on a reputation of consistent great live performances supported by a couple of cracking albums. I was very happy to see that this reputation was well deserved with a quality performance at the Electric Ballroom. This was the first time I had seen Letlive and I was not disappointed, this performance was delivered with energy and passion, smashing song after song into the crowd in quick succession, carried out with quality technical execution from across the band. I thoroughly recommend you check Letlive out live if you get a chance.
You can read my full review of the gig here – https://rocksins.com/2013/10/letlive-night-verses-live-camden-electric-ballroom-2013-17th-october-18571/
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Camden Koko
Bring Me The Horizon – Camden Koko
5) Best Festival Performance – While She Sleeps – Bestival
Unfortunately, I did not get to a metal festival this year so my options for this category are a bit limited but I did head over to the Isle of White in September for the wonderful Bestival. Although the majority of acts at Bestival don’t really fall into the Rock category, the awesome While She Sleeps opened up the main stage on the Saturday with a blasting set to rouse everyone from their hangovers. It was exactly the performance you want to see from a metal band out of their normal habitat, a highly energetic tight performance got the crowd going even though most people did not know who they were. Great personal memories for me with my group of friends all dressed as Vikings head banging along to them, the best way to start the day!
Nile Rodgers and Chic
6) Most disappointing album – Jimmy Eat World – Damage
I won’t dwell on this category for too long. I have selected Damage by Jimmy Eat World for my most disappointing album of the year. I found this album boring with nothing to really grab you and get you going, it doesn’t seem to me like there is anything in it that has not been done before and done better. Hope to see some hits returning for this band in future.
7) Band of the year – Bring Me The Horizon
It has been an absolutely blinding year for Bring Me The Horizon with a huge album coming out, massive hits being played all over the shop and gigging to crowds going crazy for them all over the world. This year has been a huge step for them moving from being as divisive as Marmite, breaking down barriers and building a wide appeal across metal fans.
For so many years I have had many of my contemporaries tell me how awful this band are but now their tunes are changing with a lot of respect being given to Sempiternal, this has led to an expansion in their fan base which has not just been from existing metal fans but also from building a wider mainstream appeal. This year you will have heard songs from Sempiternal being played lots in the mainstream media and from that they have been hitting high up the charts around the world, this is not just good for Bring Me but for rock/metal as a whole.
This year has been the next big step for Bring Me The Horizon by expanding their appeal, to use a couple of awful clichés with the position they are in now and if they continue to work like dogs, the world is their oyster. They may just take it over.
You can follow Iain on Twitter at @iwilletts. You can also follow his Southend based rock / metal / alt club night, The Diamond Cutters Club, on Twitter at @diamondcuttersc.