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MusicTalker’s Best Albums of 2013

1. Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent

The studio return of original vocalist Jesse Leach proved to be a successful endeavor and an exceptional release, pleasing many long-time and new fans alike.
2. Black Sabbath – 13

Heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath, reunited in late 2011, showing the world that they still have the power after all these years through this phenomenal release and a world tour.
3. Alter Bridge – Fortress

As a band comprised of all of the members of Creed except for singer Scott Stapp, Alter Bridge continue to portray their superior sound, much different from the former group.  With lead vocalist Myles Kennedy in the limelight, Alter Bridge are virtually unstoppable, as confirmed by Fortress.
4. Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP2

The sequel to 2000’s Marshall Mathers LP, 2013’s Marshall Mathers LP2 affirms that angry Eminem is indeed the best Eminem.  With the necessary controversial insults and the use of a variety of rapping styles, this new effort is arguably his best yet.  From the Beastie Boys-esque “Berzerk” to the lightning speed spitting on “Rap God” to the voice-altering style on “Love Game,” Eminem surprises the listener with the vast versatility he possesses.
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[REVIEW] Can you feel that? It’s Clutch’s “Earth Rocker”!

If any other well-established hard rock/metal group were to title their ninth studio album “Earth Rocker,” it would be perceived that they had lost their inspiration and creativity.  However, taking into account Clutch’s sound and overall style, this is not the case with their latest release of that exact title.

While 2013’s Earth Rocker may not be up to par with 1995’s Clutch, not much else reaches that level of excellence.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque stoner rock style is not as prominent as it was in the band’s early years.  Clutch’s music has definitely evolved into something of its own, as heavily portrayed on Earth Rocker.

The opening title track sounds somewhat reminiscent of “Spacegrass” from the band’s aforementioned self-titled sophomore effort.  It begins with a soft, repetitive bass line accompanied by light high hat cymbal tapping and an eerie guitar groove.  All of a sudden, the heaviness bursts out to create a full-on rock n’ roll song.

“Crucial Velocity” is a bit more groove-laden and includes more melody in vocalist Neil Fallon’s singing.

Fallon exhibits his skill of easily adapting his voice to perfectly match the accompanying music throughout this record.  For instance, on fast songs like “Unto the Breach,” he fluctuates between speedy, melodic vocals to raspy shouts to slower, deep-toned singing.

One song that particularly stands out in terms of Clutch’s diverse sound as well as Fallon’s vocal skills is “Gone Cold.”  It sounds like a Classic Blues song with the chanted vocals on the verses and the very bluesy singing on the chorus in addition to the extremely bluesy bass line.

Overall, Clutch’s Earth Rocker is undoubtedly one of 2013’s best records so far.  For longtime Clutch fans, this is Clutch in top-form.

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