Best of 2013 – JP

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Best of 2013 – JP

I have very broad tastes in Heavy Metal. I enjoy almost all genres and sub-genres. Coupled with the fact that I’m fortunate enough to get exposed to hundreds and hundreds of albums each year, it is easy to find something enjoyable. However because focuses on Real Metal, my choices weighs heavily on Classic/Traditional/True and Power Metal.

I don’t think there has ever been a ‘bad’ year for Metal. I’m heavily involved in the industry so I actually have many different Year-end Top Lists for the various groups that I work for, including my own personal one, which will often take a couple of years to solidify because it takes a long to actually hear all the albums I want to hear and also to see if albums stand the test of time and repeated listens.

I find lists like this often challenging to do because of those very factors; too much material I have not heard and not enough time to spend with the album. There are many albums I did not get to hear which conceivably may have made my list, based on my past enjoyment of the bands, for example, Silent Force, Majesty, Dark Avenger, Dragonhammer and more. Additionally, while many, many of my favorite bands put out great records (Helloween, Stratovarius, Running Wild, U.D.O., Avantasia, Rhapsody, Metal Church) I’m using this opportunity to showcase mostly newer bands that are making exciting new music, instead of just picking my old friends.

1. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Spellbound (Universal)

Yngwie J. Malmsteen-Spellbound
Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Spellbound

The only exception to my rule to focus on newer bands, Yngwie as my favourite guitarists of all time, takes my top spot. Although technically released only in Japan in late December 2012, SPELLBOUND brings everything Yngwie has to offer to the table. One of the major label releases that bookend my list.

2. Gloryhammer-Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife (Napalm)

3. Sigum Regis-Exodus (Ulterium)

4. Death Dealer-War Master (Indie)

5. Dragonsclaw-Judgement Day (Killer Metal)

6. Evertale-Of Elves And Dragons (Indie)

7. Bane Of Winterstorm-The Last Sons Of Perylin (Indie)

8. Ascension-Far Beyond The Stars (Limb)

9. Messenger-Starwolf Part I-The Messengers (Massacre)

10. Avalon-The Land Of New Hope (Frontiers)

11. Thalion-Dawn Of Choas (Maple Metal)

12. Reinxeed-A New World (Liljgren)

13. Golden Resurrection-One Voice For The Kingdom (Liljgren)

14. Twins Crew-The Northern Crusade (Scarlet)

15. Epicrenel-The Crystal Throne (Inverse)

16. Divided Multitude-Feed On Your Misery (Fireball)

17. Tad Morose-Revenant (Despotz)

18. Memory Garden-Doomain (Metal Blade)

19. Victorius-The Awakening (Sonic Attack)

20. Kobra And The Lotus- S/t (Universal)


Best Live Album

Rhapsody: Live – From Chaos To Eternity

RHAPSODY OF FIRE To Release 'Live - From Chaos To Eternity' In May
RHAPSODY OF FIRE ‘Live – From Chaos To Eternity’

Best EP

Manowar-Lord Of Steel-Live

Best Remake album

Harem Scarem-Mood Swings II

Best Covers album

ReinXeed-Swedish Hits Goes Metal II

Best Book

Relentless by Yngwie J. Mamlsteen

Best Tribute Album

Strong As Steel – A Tribute To Anvil

Best DVD

Raven – Rock Until You Drop

Best TV/Movie

NA. Slow year for Metal related TV and movies. No Holliston, no Metalocalypse.

Best Concert

70,000 Tons Of Metal

Best local band

Kobra And The Lotus

Best new band


Best discovery

Cain’s Dinasty

Predictions/Hopes for 2014

  1. W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Carried over from 2010, again).
  2. Matos just rejoined Viper. Can Viper make good Power Metal record again like they did in the 80’s? Who will be the new Angra singer? (Carried over from 2013).
  3. New WA.S.P. album. It’s been five long years since Babylon. Can Blackie come roaring back? We hope so!