You can see my picks for numbers 20 through 16 here. (If you're a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, again, prepare to be butthurt. Seriously, we're talking Def Con 1 levels here)
You can see my picks for numbers 15 through 11 here. (Less butthurt in that entry. Maybe.)
My rankings are based on a few factors, with none weighed more heavily than the others. Sales figures, airplay, buzz, and whether the album is something that's actually interesting to listen to, are all figured in. That's just a long-winded way for me to say, "This all just my opinion so if you don't like it, whatever."
#10: Battlecross - "War of Will"
I was around for the first wave of Thrash Metal.
Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Forbidden; I was all about that.
Maybe it's just me being like one of those dad-rock guys who can't get with anything written after grunge took over, but a lot of the New Wave of Trash leaves me a bit flat. Why would I listen to a band ape Death Angel when I can listen to Death Angel, ya know?
But every once in a while, one of those New Wave of Thrash bands breaks through and blows up my speakers. This year, Battlecross was that band.
Hailing from Michigan, (and continuing that state's massive musical winning streak I touched on earlier with The Black Dahlia Murder ), Battlecross has the hooks, the aggression, and the modern metal sensibility to bring a new angle to the Thrash Sound.
How legit are these guys?
So legit, that they were the first opening for Metallica's Orion Music Festival this year in Detroit. (Seriously, did Michigan make a collective deal with the devil in 2013? Cuz, that's kinda my thing.)
Here's to hoping that Metallica was watching the Battlecross set and taking notes on what to do with their next album.
#9: Kvelertak - "Meir"
You can sing along with this next band, but only if you speak Norwegian.
But why get hung up on the lyrics when Kvelertak speaks the universal language of music so well?
Crank this NOW:
What are they singing? Who cares? We're rocking the eff out here!
Have another one:
It's like 70's dad-rock, black metal, and punk are having a threesome in Vahalla!
Kvelertak means "stranglehold" or "choke hold" in Norwegian. "Meir" means more.
These guys have a choke hold on my ears and I want MOAR!
#8: Volbeat - "Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies"
With this entry, I correct a grave injustice.
Despite racking up number one hit after number one hit, Volbeat is nowhere on that list.
Some norms just don't get what's going on with this band. I'll admit, the first time I heard "Warrior's Call " I was all "WTF is up with that voice?" But something kept bringing me back. Eventually, I fell under Volbeat's spell, and I've been there since.
Name one other band in the rock/metal scene that sounds like these guys. Good luck, because there aren't any. Nobody's mixing Rockabilly, Country (the good kind, not Nashville Pop), Load-era Metallica, punk, and on this album, a bit of 80's synth pop, and making it work like these guys do.
And then there's the song with King freaking Diamond:
if metal is going to stay relevant, it has to evolve.
How fitting that a band that shares a name with a Pokemon is a big part of that evolution.
Volbeat, I choose you!
[DISCLAIMER: Scary FN Terry prefers Magic: The Gathering. Ditch the Poke/Digi/Yugi crap, and play the OG CCG already.]
#7: Shining (Norway) - "One One One"
Metal, Industrial, Jazz, Saxophones? Why not mix them all together and see what happens?
So...THAT'S what happens? Why haven't we done this sooner?
Shining (Norway)'s "One One One" has so much going on. Riffs and beats come at you from all sorts of angles. One minute, you're dancing, then you're moshing, then you're just freaking out.
Then there's the sax.
I remember when Jethro Tull beat out Metallica for the Metal Grammy back in the day. I remember the print ads afterwards, claiming in their headline that "The Flute is a Heavy Metal Instrument".
But in the hands of Jorgen Munkeby and pals, the Saxophone is metal as hell.
#6: Clutch - "Earth Rocker"
One word: BUUUUUUAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I'll admit that I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Clutch. They could sing the phone book and I would buy it and rock out to it. (BTW, in case you're a youngin', phone books were big slabs of bound paper that we looked phone numbers up in before the internet.)
"Earth Rocker" is a tigher, brighter, more efficient Clutch. It hits hard from the start and never lets up.
Don't get me wrong. I dig bluesy Clutch too. I just dig "hit it and get it" Clutch a hell of a lot more.
Feel free to post about how much you agree with everything I say, and how you'd love to bear my children even though you're a dude and that's totally impossible in the comment section below. (If you're a lady, I appreciate the offer, but Mrs. Scary would END us.
*In addition to being totally right about every pick so far and you know it, "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest Communications. You can Book Face with him here .
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