Monday, December 30, 2013

Curtiss' Top 25 Albums of 2013: 10-6

10. Celldweller - Blackstar Act One: Purified

This is another absolutely amazing album from Celldweller. This album mixes new styles of ethereal, dubstep, industrial, techno and more to compose a full score for his first novel; yes, you read that right, he is scoring a novel. Honestly, this album probably would have ranked even higher on my list, but it was released just a day before I finalized my top 25.

9. Adrenaline Mob - Coverta

This is a fantastic EP of nothing but covers from one of Mike Portnoy's new projects. The covers are unique and energetic. Musically, this album is incredibly interesting, while many of the vocals are freakishly true to the original sounds of these songs. Some songs, like Break On Through, waver between sounding almost exactly like the original and sounding like something out of the stoner rock scene of the mid 90s (you know, that sound that Queens of the Stone Age dredges up every once in a while from Josh Homme's past with Kyuss). Other tracks, like The Mob Rules, are frighteningly similar to the original versions. If I didn't know that this was recorded after Ronnie James Dio's death, I would swear this was some new re-recording performed by "Heaven & Hell" (the group that the Dio-era of Black Sabbath became after Ozzy exerted his rights to the name Black Sabbath).

8. Alice In Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

The previous release from Alice In Chains took a little getting used to. It was different, and strange, and didn't sound like I wanted Alice In Chains to sound. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed Black Gives Way To Blue, but, without Layne Staley, it felt like something was missing. With this sophomore release from the post-Staley AIC, it feels like they're starting to find their own sound again. It's still not the same as it was before Staley's tragic death, but it is good. This album does a much better job than Black Gives Way To Blue of melding the old, harmonic, dropped-tuning sound that made AIC so popular in the first place, with the new unique sound they were striving toward in the last release.

7. Avicii - True

This is such a bizarre album. I picked it up, expecting all of the tracks to sound similar to their hit single "Wake Me Up." What I got instead was a manic. heterogeneous collection of crazy songs that run the gamut from haunting to peppy and everywhere in between; I love it. This album is amazing. Enough said.

6. Bastille - Bad Blood

The first few times I listened to this album, I enjoyed it, but it didn't really speak to me. I figured it would appear on my list somewhere, but didn't imagine it would be in the top 10, let alone almost break the top 5. After I gave it a few more listens, though, I began to truly appreciate it. This entire album is like an extremely well-done tribute to the classic sounds of Erasure and The Cure, with a modern twist thrown in. Also, if you're interested, there's a great album full of remixes of some of the tracks from this album available, too.

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