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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Zac's Top Ten of 2013

I don't care much for Bruce Springsteen... however he had some killer tunes, especially The Seeger Sessions. Here are my favorite releases of 2013.


Preferred EPs:

Surprise, surprise, surprise! More great music from Sweden. This female lead quartet seduced me with their acid blues influenced dark psych. I Will Hunt You and Foaming Waters was released on a special 7" by Who Can You Trust? Records. They only pressed 500 copies, so if you missed out earlier this year you may be S.O.L. Be sure to check Who Can You Trust? Records web-store for this one and a hand-ful of other Heavy Planet favorites.

Stand-out track: Foaming Waters


My second Preferred EP of 2013 belongs to Nashville Tennessee's The Wans. My love for this trios Tenneessee brethern, All Them Witches, blessed me with an introduction to this "feel good" / get your rocks off EP. Don't miss my favorite track Want You with all its southern swagger and rhythmic wandering.

Stand-out track: Want You


Favorite Full-Length Releases:

It's Black Sabbath. Tony's still got it.

Stand-out track: Age Of Reason


Sometimes the city of Pittsburgh might be guilty of displaying too much pride. I try to be humble for the most part, but I can proudly proclaim musical victory for this city with Supervoid and their progressive, sludge-tastic release Filaments. Releasing a conceptual, "interstellar road trip" of a metal album earlier this year Supervoid are off to an epic start. My apologizies to lead vocalist Brian for describing his performance on Wake of the Smoke Jumper in my write-up earlier this year as female vocals. That is just how dynamic this man's vocal abilities are though folks.

Stand-out track: Wake of the Smoke Jumper


I warned you. Cavern would rear its ugly head come years end and here we are. This authentic release full of sludgy thrashing has stood the test of time and continually battered my ears senseless. I'll show no remorse if you have yet to lend your ears to this Maryland trio and their RIFF lashing.

Stand-out track: Far Beyond Fields and Evergreens

Summoner is the first band to land on my year end list two years in a row. Last year's Pheonix was well rounded and full of stoner and desert rock and haunting, psychedelic fuzz. Atlantian takes the genius that was Pheonix and enhances the formula. Take the Nuclear Dog's words, here you will find "polished psych-edged licks of ingenuity" and "raw-boned riffs". Check out the rest of the review for a better idea of what awaits on Atlantian.

Stand-out track: Under the Crystalline Sky


Earth Rocker simply kicks ass. An all out attack of blues inspired rock and roll fronted by some of the best vocals, defended by some of the grooviest guitar work, and founded on some of the best rhythmic percussion in the business. "If you're gonna do it, you better take it to the stage."

Stand-out tracks: D.C. Sound Attack!, The Face, The Wolf Man Kindly Requests...


The under-dog of 2013 lands at my number five spot. As I described earlier this year... Black Wizard are "like a sleazier, Nordic version of Guns 'N Roses" that rock blazing guitars accompanied by a rhythmic cavalry. Here new listeners will find raw vocals, blistering RIFFS, and even some spacey Radiohead-esque interludes. If you missed Young Wisdom upon its release back in June, now is the time to familiarize yourself with Adam Grant and company and their debut full-length Young Wisdom.

Stand-out track: Wicked Wanderer

*For those readers that truly dug Black Wizard, please check out Adam's other project Three Wolf Moon.


There is so much to say about Heart Of Oak... the excellent progression and transformation of each track, the completely killer blackened-death like vocals, the strike of each drum head or cymbal strike, the intracate and yet groovy RIFFs, the bluesy Gilmour meets Allman picking! What an excellent release! Kenny Cook and the gang have out-done themselves with Heart Of Oak and Anciients first release.

Stand-out tracks: Overthrone, For Lisa

*Kenny is also a part of our number five spot Black Wizard. That is beyond groovy.


I completely fell in love with this album the moment my eyes graced the album artwork. Could I be considered a Pelican fan-boy. I guess so. But how is that a bad thing? Forever Becoming is simply another phenomenal release by the best instrumental band. Period. Will you always be in the mood for albums of this magnitude? Probably not. Will you always walk away with a new impression or new ideas after experiencing a piece of art so authentic? Most certainly. Pelican rules. Welcome to the show Dallas.

Stand-out track: Perpetual Dawn


Still full of that vibrant southern soul All Them Witches produce their very own Psyche-a-delta Rock with immense confidence and swagger. Mr. Staebler's drumming genius has only grown in skill and charisma while the infectious RIFFING will keep you coming back for more. If I might take a line from my favorite track Charles William, "I wanna take you home... everyday.".

Stand-out track: Charles William


I've really grown with Kylesa in their past three releases. Ultraviolet hit me hard upon first spin and has stuck with me throughout all of 2013. These guys and gal, "display their full mainpulation of sonic frequency" here on Ultraviolet and do it with class in a sub-five-minute dark pop, dream sludge tone. I knew this was my favorite album of 2013 immediately, I don't even think album opener Exhale was half way through its three minute run time when I realized it. The quintet have recorded an album that grows in experimentation as it does with time. New to the sound are some spacey psychedelics and Ms. Pleasants totally lovely clean vocals. Something you may be familiar with... the tribal and unchaining sound of Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez's dual percussion.

Stand-out tracks: Exhale, We're Taking This


  1. wicked list ... all killer no fillers!!!

    1. thanks adam! even in what I felt like was a slump of a year for heavy music, there was still a hell of a lot of excellent releases! cheers to 2014!


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