The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013
|Courtesy of Weathermaker Records|
Clutch singer Neil Fallon's voice and approach are aggro and insistent, imparting Clutch with an in-your-face musical and aural punkiness that's bolstered with a metal heaviness and thick psych groove. The Maryland-based quartet delivers 44 minutes of ferocity and precision in Earth Rocker, the band's tenth album. Somewhat akin to Down meets Monster Magnet with a dash of Helmet, Clutch have consistently released their unrelenting, blues-influenced brand of heavy rock/metal since 1993, and with Earth Rocker, thankfully, show no signs of slowing down. As the title of Clutch's 2001 album claimed: Pure Rock Fury. Indeed.
Courtesy of Century Media
On paper, it might seem like an oxymoron: Folk Metal. But on Blodsvept it's a revelation. Helsinki, Finland's Finntroll mesh black and folk metal to dramatic and cohesive effect. Yes, there might be a momentary inkling of "Oh how they danced, the little people of Stonehenge," to reference Spinal Tap, but Dio would be proud of Medieval-sounding song titles like "Skogsdotter" ("Daughter of the Forest") or "Midvinterdraken" ("The Mid-Winter Dragon.") The octet even seems to use horns on "Mordminnen" ("Memories of Murder") which is the heaviest danceable black metal song in recent history. There's a fine line between clever and stupid, and Finntroll's melodic, Pagan-esque ultra-heaviness fall on the clever side.