HHM picks for Best Albums of 2013

By on December 29, 2013

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This is has been a a pretty rad year in music. There have been a slew of stand out records released in 2013….but I am gonna keep this down to my Top 10. Take it or leave it, it is the list of the artists/albums that moved me or caught my attention more than the others. If you would like chime  in or voice your opinion on the list,  please visit our Facebook page and comment under this post. (comments on the site are turned off due to the high annoyance factor of fucking spam bots…..sorry. – DaveHHM

Here we go….

Adelaine – Currents

1

In my opinion, Adelaine is an extremely underrated band. Stormy has some the best vocals of any female in the business. I dig the fact that she never seems to play it safe. She goes for it when she sings. This album delivers everything from heart felt ballads to epic sing-along anthems to ridiculously catchy hooks. I sincerely hope this band continues to make music, holds on to the fire inside to keep pushing onward making a name for themselves.

The Story So Far – What You Don’t See

6

The Story So Far is quite the amazing band. Every song, every album. It is damn near impossible to hit skip when a TSSF song comes on. It is kind of mind blowing that a band can be that good all the time.  Every song on What You Don’t See is an anthem in itself. You definitely feel the power and raw emotion in Parker’s vocals, almost to the point that you feel exactly what he was feeling at the exact moment he put pen to paper. All the hate, angst, disappointment as well as the pain.

Story Of The Year – Page Avenue: Ten Years and Counting

3

There is a short list of bands that I call ‘All Time Favorites’ and SOTY is most definitely on that list. Page Avenue was a monumental record and the Ten Years and Counting edition is a fitting tribute to where SOTY has come from, where they’ve been and where they are headed. Dan’s vocals are always personal and up front but this record has a way of going deeper. Giving you a slightly different perspective on the songs. It’s beautiful to put it simply. It’s a great album if you’re in the mood to relax and wind down but still want to listen to one of your favorite bands. Ya know, without having to resort to some cheesy ‘Punk Goes…..’

Survive This! – The Life You’ve Chosen

11

I have known vocalist Shawn Zyvoloski for a number of years through various projects. I remember when he made the move to join this band. They instantly clicked, since they have all known each other a long time as well. I am extremely proud of these guys. For a debut album, this is quite an impressive effort. It isn’t the typical Post Hardcore album. It is a fresh take on a scene that needs it for sure. I am especially fond of the stab at mainstream pop music with ‘Wrong Direction’. I am also thankful that Shawn hung in there and continued to follow his dreams. These guys never gave up and this proves that with hard work, it can happen. I would also like to thank Ronnie Radke for believing in the band and taking them under his wing.

Honour Crest – Spilled Ink

12

Honour Crest is the epitome of hard work. This band has been recording their own music and touring the country for a number of years. Recently signing to Rise records definitely opened the door for them but didn’t make them. They have been busy doing that all by themselves for years. It merely permitted them to record Spilled Ink in an environment more fitting to the production it needed. Not only are they the most hard working guys that I know in the business but they are all so humble. Lead vocalist Lucas Borza is without a doubt the sweetest kid that I know. Spilled Ink is an album these guys should be proud of. It sets a benchmark for metalcore and it is HC through and through. Make sure you catch a show next time they roll through your area.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

The Venetia Fair – Every Sick, Disgusting Thought We’ve Got In Our Brain

5

To put it lightly, these guys are fucking nuts and proud of it. I have had the pleasure of getting to know these guys and it isn’t an act. These fuckers are real life. The way they live is also the way they write music. This record has some of the most innovative approaches to writing, song structure and vocals. The album is a roller coaster ride. BUT, every song belongs and is quite good.  Every single one of them. The album is traverse and unique yet every song fits together like a puzzle almost. Benny’s range is slightly un-human though. No man should be able to deliver vocals on that many levels. I have seen them live, this isn’t just studio trickery. They pull it off night after night. In short….If they had roller coasters at the circus……TVF

Falling In Reverse – Fashionably Late

10

In the world of Ronnie Radke there is a bold line drawn between ‘Fans’ and ‘Haters’….which is blatantly stupid. If you don’t dig him or his music, whatever. Don’t listen. Ronnie and the guys in Falling In Reverse write what they want and how they want. Does it always fit the mold ..most certainly not and that’s the beauty of it. That doesn’t make it any less of an art form. Imagine being at a point in your life that you are given the freedom to do what you want artistically. This album is for all intents and purposes the product of just that. It wasn’t written for everyone else. They wrote and recorded it for themselves and I must commend that. A huge amount of growth in Ronnie can be taken away form this record. Gone is the angst and hatred of the post-prison frustration of The Drug In Me Is You. What you’re left with is artistic and personal expression from a man who has lived and been through more than the vast majority of us.

letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful

8

letlive. is a conundrum. They don’t fit into any sort of genre. As soon as you put your finger on what they are, they throw you a curve-ball. This album has all the beauty and chaos of a Shakespearean play. You tend to feel your emotions being toyed with. It is apparent that they pushed themselves away from the overflowing Post Hardcore genre a little with a much more performance oriented, personal record. To say that the mold was broken when Jason first gripped a mic is an understatement. It is pure genius. He is by far one the best vocalists around today, any genre. The only problem I see is that I doubt anyone will be doing any letlive. covers in the future, no one would dare set themselves up for failure. The guy is a vocal phenom.

The Color Morale – Know Hope

9

The Color Morale is one of the more inspirational bands in the scene today. Garret’s writing is 100% from his heart. He lives that way. I sat down with him a couple days before the release of Know Hope and got to talk about the raw emotion that he puts into  music and what it means to him to have this avenue of expression. This whole ‘Hope’ movement isn’t just a facade. It is the way these guys live.  This album has surely been a springboard for them. If it hasn’t been….what the hell are you people waiting for?? Buy the record, put on headphones and soak it in. Trust me, it is gem in the PH scene. There are only a few kids in the scene with pipes like this, even fewer that have a positive uplifting message to offer the world.

Senses Fail – Renacer

2

It’s Senses Fail for fucks sake….

Kidding. I make no bones about the fact that I am a HUGE Senses Fail fan. But….honestly, this record is fantastic on it’s own accord. Yes, it is quite different from their previous releases. Part growth and part settling into a groove that they comfortable with. Writing music for themselves. The kind of stuff they want to play live. There are moments in the record that are pseudo hardcore throwbacks but done in a distinctively Senses Fail way.

If there was any doubt whether or not these guys were washed up and done with music…..Renacer puts ALL that to rest. My personal favorite is ‘The Path’. It is straight kick to the gut. The song exudes power from beginning to end. Then there is the flip side with ‘Between the Mountain and the Sea’, it is moving and thought provoking.

I wish I had more than two thumbs to give up for this record. It is really good.

Satellite – Calling Birds

7

Where do I begin with this album. I have never in my life been more moved by a record. I found this record during some very difficult times in my life this year. I immediately connected with this album and Steven’s vocals. This isn’t a feel good record per say. On the contrary, it is record that makes you feel things you need to even though you may not want to. Every song finds a way of getting to you on some level. You instantly recognize the despair, anguish and underlying message of hope in the music. I will warn you….if there is some painful skeleton in your closet or memory you are trying to suppress, Satellite will find it and make you revisit that head on. The stand out track for me is ‘Ring The Bells’, but have some tissue on hand. Don’t get me wrong though. Not every song is a sappy ballad written to make you bawl your eyes out.  There are real messages of light in the darkness as well. I literally love this record. It is beautifully crafted and a showcase of some of the best songwriting I have ever come across. I sing these guys’ praises to everyone that I can. My goal is the convert the entire world into Satellite fans. This band is a class act and true artists in every sense of the word.

Conditions – Full Of War

4

I was instantly impressed by this record, not only because I am an admitted Conditions fanboy…but because this was a huge step in progression of the band. They finally matched upper level production with their already phenomenal songwriting. It is however a little bittersweet because of the recent announcement that Conditions will only be doing one more tour in 2014 then hanging up their instruments. I have followed Conditions for a loooooong time. They are also semi-local to me so I have had the pleasure of seeing them play multiple times in my hometown as well in their hometown of Richmond, VA. Judging by the play count in my iTunes library, I think it’s pretty safe to say that they are my favorite band.  When they first releases ‘Walking Separate Ways’ I knew right then this album was going to be special. Soon after, I received the full album and it has been in steady rotation on my speakers ever since. If this is to be the final release from them, well then, they leave us with an exceptional indie record that rivals any album even in the Major world. Every song flows so well, everything neat and tidy. Listen to one song and you will have a very difficult time getting it out of your head from the rest of the day. I am extremely proud to call these guys friends and I am going to miss them play live tremendously. They have left a lasting impression on me over the years that will not soon fade.

There you have it, that’s my list and I’m sticking to it. If you haven’t listened to some of these albums, check them out for yourself and Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

– DaveHHM

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DaveHHM

Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.

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