Posted by JBesanko92
2013 was quite an interesting year for music. There were a host of awesome new bands that cropped up, and many great singles were released during the course of the year as a result.
This list isn’t me trying to be pretentious here. It’s really just a list of singles that were continually played over on my iPod many times, and songs I couldn’t get enough of. Many of the bands featured here happen to be from Australia, and it’s wonderful to see the wealth and diversity steadily emerging from our country in both the metal scene and the music world in general.
P.S. If you guys like, you can also check out my Best Albums of 2013 list that I wrote for Metal Obsession here. It’s my hope you may discover a bit of new music here yourself, but if not, it’s all good. I hold no grudges. It was regardless still an awesome year, and I had a lot of fun discovering so many great new bands and albums to add to my collection.
But now, to the list!
The Top 5 Best Singles of 2013 (according to me)
5. Written in Stone – Thunder and Lightning
A great heavy metal single that helped introduce me to this band from Berlin, Germany. A combination of heavy metal with melodic power and speed interspersed into the mix. Solid vocals, with a great rhythm section. Definitely check it out!
4. Put Your Curse on Me – Stonefield
I was lucky enough to discover this band when my sister suggested we go to a gig down at the Ferntree Gully Hotel (before it sadly closed down) late last year, as one of her friends was doing the sound engineering for the show. I was so glad I did, though! Stonefield are amazing, especially live. They’re a rock group comprised of four sisters from Darraweit Guim, a small town in rural Victoria. They honestly put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen, and were incredibly engaging with their crowd for a band so young and new. I immediately bought their self-titled full length debut, and I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, the production value mightn’t be as solid as their live act, but it’s still a great introduction to the band, and I don’t doubt will also serve as incentive to head over to one of their shows at some point. The trip’s definitely worth it.
3. Angus McFife – Gloryhammer
I first heard about Gloryhammer earlier last year, the new power metal project being helmed by Alestorm frontman, Chris Bowes. Already a fan of Alestorm and Chris (who I also had the pleasure of meeting during the Alestorm gig earlier in 2013; he was just as humble and fun to be around as you’d expect), Gloryhammer was a great find. Cheesy as all hell as you’d expect, in no way does it detract from the pure epicness that oozes from this album; a concept centred around an alternative history of Scotland filled with magic, wizards, and knights – the usual power metal fodder, basically. But that being said, the great arrangements and Thomas L. Winkler’s vocals make it all worthwhile. If you’re a fan of Rhapsody-level cheese, go check out this single, and then go pick this album. You won’t regret it.
2. Sans Memoria – Orpheus Omega
Orpheus Omega are a fantastic band, and one of the hardest working acts in Australia. Virtually every new show I see announced seems to feature them on the bill. That being said, this is in no way a bad thing. Orpheus are also one of the best melodic death metal bands I’ve heard, whether from Australia or otherwise. If you’re a fan of Euro-melodeath bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and At the Gates, you’re going to adore these guys! I know I do.
1. The Magic of Mithren’s Ring – Bane of Winterstorm
It has to be said that Bane of Winterstorm is the best discovery I made all year. Thanks to the guys over at Metal Obsession who first offered me the chance to review their debut full-length, I was absolutely blown away by The Last Sons of Perylin. I don’t think I’ve heard a symphonic power metal album as strong as this one, and that’s coming from someone who loves both old and new, Fabio Lione era, Rhapsody. The fact these guys came out of Melbourne, Australia is just further proof of how far our country has grown in the music world, and makes me proud to say I come from the same city as them. Trust me when I say this is one of the best albums to ever emerge from our humble country, and one of the best symphonic power metal albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. It’s certainly set the bar very high for future releases and new bands, and it featured as my number 1 for the Best Albums of 2013 list, and once you have a listen to it, I’m sure you’ll understand why. (P.S. If you’d like to read some more about my thoughts on this album, you can check out my MO review here)
Here’s to a great year of new singles and albums in 2014!
Posted by JBesanko92
I feel this is somewhat of a momentous occasion (for me, at least, haha). I’m presenting to you all my first ever ‘Music Video of the Week’.
When this idea of a ‘Music Video of the Week’ first occurred to me as something I could do for my blog, I already had the perfect idea for what I’d use as my first MV. And thus, here we are now with Dokken’s successful 1987 single, Dream Warriors. Released to coincide with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, this single, and indeed music video, all hearken back to this awesome Freddy Krueger tale, and personally, what is also one of my all-time favourite films and sequels.
Just as corny as you’d expect, the main premise behind the Dream Warriors music video is the American band, Dokken, use their brand of heavy/glam metal to defeat and drive away Freddy Krueger who is terrorising Kristen Parker, Patricia Arquette’s character in the movie. Combining a small amount of footage from the actual film, it’s interspersed with clever little nods to camera angles and shots used in the movie. For example, a couple of my personal favourites concerns drummer Mick Brown playing his drum lines within the oven in the boiler room, his face partially burned, to the scene where Kristen finds the young girl on the tricycle. The other is George Lynch’s fantastic intro to his guitar solo busting through the room that gets ripped to pieces by the ‘Freddy Worm’ in the feature film. Using one of his signature ESP guitars, decorated with skulls and bones, he rips into his excellent solo, further building the positive rock dream energy that will ultimately slay the Dream Demon that is Freddy.
Filled with tons of references to the Dream Warriors flick, and equally a number of shots that take place in locations from the movie, this music video is still one of the best examples I’ve seen to date of a film-to-music video crossover. And it does so extremely well.
Cleverly incorporating the great talents and wiles of Robert Englund, the man who portrays and brings brilliantly to life the character of Freddy, his scenes throughout as he keeps getting sidelined by Dokken on his mission to take out Kristen are great and enjoyable to watch. It ends on an amusingly ironic note, too, when Freddy wakes up terrified after a bad dream holding a dolly which he then tosses aside before speaking directly to the camera, asking, “What a nightmare! Who were those guys?”
This video is pure 80s indulgence, and is just great fun to watch and listen to, with Don Dokken’s vocals at their strongest. A classic blend of 80s culture if there ever was one!
*Video above is copyright of Dokken and the poster
Posted in Music Video of the Week
Tags: 1987, 80s, A Nightmare on Elm Street, analysis, blog, classic, Dokken, Don Dokken, Dream Warriors, ESP guitars, Freddy Krueger, George Lynch, glam metal, heavy, Kristen Parker, metal, Mick Brown, music video, Music Video of the Week, MV, MVotW, nostalgia, overview, Patricia Arquette, Robert Englund, rock, thoughts