2013 has proven to be a triumphant year for rock and roll. This year hasn’t been shy of its miraculous comebacks, with such names as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Boston each making their own long awaited returns. Cinderella’s Tom Keifer made his long awaited solo debut, and we had two different Queensryche lineups each issue their own album. With so much great material, it become that much more difficult to choose the ten Best Rock Albums of 2013.
10) ‘Dirty Dynamite’
The acclaimed hard rock group continue to boldly deliver new material which embodies the spirit of Bon Scott-era AC/DC. Distortion-fueled riffs and good time classics in surplus, ‘Dirty Dynamite’ shows that Krokus still has it. The album even includes a strong cover of The Beatles’ “Help”, reduced to a power ballad pace.
The former Beatle delivers his finest solo effort in decades on ‘New’. This album showed Paul McCartney speeding his music up to present day by combining his signature nostalgic rock style with modern pop influences.
Combining the overflowing charisma of David Lee Roth and the melodic hard rock styling of Def Leppard, Reckless Love keep hair metal alive on their third studio album ‘Spirit’. This effort showed the Finnish rock group beginning to experiment with new musical styles, such as Accept and Tim Owens-fronted Judas Priest.
7) ‘Life, Love & Hope’
Classic rock forerunners Boston issued their first new studio album in eleven years, ‘Life, Love & Hope’, earlier this month. The album shows Boston returning to the same mindset they were on during the ‘Walk On’ era. ‘Life, Love & Hope’ is a hastily welcomed new effort filled with plenty of Tom Scholz’ instantly recognizable guitar playing and those memorable group vocal melodies.
6) ‘Bridge the Gap’
Recruiting former Rainbow lead vocalist Doogie White, as well as his former Scorpions’ band mates Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell, Michael Schenker combines the energetic playing style of his early years with a more modern metal direction on his new studio album ‘Bridge the Gap’.
5) ‘No More Hell to Pay’
Their second album of the year overall, Stryper returned with a strong collection of new studio material on ‘No More Hell to Pay’. The album is filled to the brim with memorable anthems and nostalgic elements which hark back to Stryper’s celebrated ‘Soldiers Under Command’ era.
4) ‘The Way Life Goes’
An album nearly two decades in the making, Cinderella lead vocalist Tom Keifer made his debut as a solo artist this year with ‘The Way Life Goes’. It took plenty of courage for Tom to release this album following his long recovery from vocal chord paralysis, but I’m glad he finally did as it’s some of his finest work.
3) ‘Now What?!’
Look past the humorous album title, and you will see an explosive performance of heavy rock on the first Deep Purple album since 2005’s ‘Rapture of the Deep’. The album includes several touching tributes to the late Jon Lord, but largely boasts fast paced rock with elaborate synthesizer work and mind bending guitar licks.
One of the most unlikeliest and heavily desired of reunion albums finally surfaced this year. 2013 marked the return of Black Sabbath, who delivered their long awaited comeback album ’13’ with original lead singer Ozzy Osbourne back at the helm. While the band didn’t do anything revolutionary with their new album, the fact is they didn’t have to. They instead once again proved their relevance and importance to the heavy metal music genre.
All it took was the simple removal of a certain lead singer in order for Queensryche to create their finest studio album since ‘Empire’. The entire band is in top form as they deliver the mesmerizing batch of progressive metal that every dedicated Queensryche fan has waited the past nineteen years for, and by doing so earned the title of this year’s best rock album.