My Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2013

James / December 30th, 2013


2013 was the most difficult year of my life. This was the music that helped me get through it. How do I pick my top 5 albums of the year? Simple. The ones I keep listening to the most, and that I think I’ll still be listening to for years to come.


5. Motorhead – Aftershock


Same old Motorhead, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Classic rock n’ roll at a thousand decibels! Motorhead is like whiskey. It’s rough and it packs a punch. You either like it or you don’t. Real men like it.

Highlights: Coup de Grace, Lost Woman Blues, Silence When You Speak to Me


4. Newsted – Heavy Metal Music


The title is what you get. It’s basic heavy metal. No fancy production tricks. Just bare-bones groovy riffs and ass-kicking power, from the very charismatic former Metallica member Jason Newsted.

Highlights: Soldierhead, As the Crow Flies, King of the Underdogs


3. Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor


Rob Zombie surprised me this year with what I think is his best album since Sinister Urge. The songs seem like they were written very spontaneously. It has a fun, clapping, foot-stomping, frolicky nature to it. It’s like the soundtrack to a ghoul’s graveyard party.

Highlights: Ging Gang Gong, Rock and Roll in a Black Hole, Behold the Filthy Creatures, American Band (Grand Funk Railroad cover)


2. Black Sabbath – 13


The long-awaited comeback album that seemed like would never happen, actually happened! It’s the first Black Sabbath album to feature 3/4 of original members since Born Again (1983), and the first with Ozzy on vocals since Never Say Die (1978). It lived up to the hype and delivered exactly what we hoped for. Doomy, heavy blues-based rock and a throwback to the early classic days of Black Sabbath. (Don’t miss the 4 bonus tracks)

Highlights: God is Dead?, Loner, Age of Reason, Damaged Soul, Peace of Mind


1. Ghost – Infestissumam


The sophomore album from Ghost. (There’s about 17 other bands named Ghost, but this is the one!) Words I would use to describe it are epic, trippy, and mind-bending. Under its dark mask of evil are songs that are beautiful and melodic. They won’t get out of my head!

Highlights: Zombie Queen, Body and Blood, Depth of Satan’s Eyes, …all of them.


  • December 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Ghost is pretty awesome! I think their debut album was better though.

    You should check out Uncle Acid’s Mind Control. They were the supporting act for Black Sabbath and they are amazing! I don’t know if you like Clutch, but their newest album is gold.

    • Christoffer Fries Moland

      December 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

      I would say he should check out, all of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats albums. I’ve seen them twice now and they’re awesome!

      • January 5, 2014 at 2:04 am

        Definitely agree with Uncle Acid. Great retro stonerish band. Same applies to Witchcraft and Orange Goblin.

        Unfortunately, a lot of people hate Ghost now, both because they’re driven more by keyboards than guitars, and because they got big before “paying their dues.”

  • xdeathknightx

    December 30, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Great list James, especially your number 1. Ghost, or I believe they are called Ghost B.C. in some parts of the world now are a great occult rock/metal band. And it is a great cd.

  • RoadkillRobin

    December 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

    A bit proud to be Swedish now 😀

    Didn’t like Black Sabbath’s album very much tho, sounds like they tried to made a nostalgic album to sum up their career. But instead of making a greatest hits album they made new songs.

    Can’t say i’ve really heard the other albums. But i’m really curius about the Jason Newstedt one. His other project post Metallica has all been pretty mediocre, the Rockstar Supernova was a real stinker.

  • December 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

    The new Monster Magnet album is pretty good. Would have been in my top albums for the year.

    • Steve

      December 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      I agree. Caught them in November. Was a great show.

  • stoney_1

    December 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Nice picks!! They’re all awesome! I own 3 of the 5 🙂 My 5 are, 5. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks 4. Motorhead – Aftershock 3. Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor 2. Megadeth – Super Collider 1. The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow (such a groovy album!)

    • Steve

      December 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Did you catch NIN live this year? I thought Hesitation marks was alright. Personally he hasn’t done anything unique since Downward Spiral. I prefer the angry NIN

      • stoney_1

        December 31, 2013 at 10:52 am

        I saw the live show from Lollapolloza on my computer, it was really awesome!!

  • December 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I fucking love you James, just when I think you can’t get anymore badass, you go and tell me you love Ghost… You are my god…

  • diegowar

    December 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve seen Ghost live twice this year (in festivals), but couldn’t get into it. Maybe I should have listened to the albums first.

    • diegowar

      December 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Now I’m not done with listening to everything I want that was out in 2013, but my top 5 so far would probably be something like :

      5) Fire Within (Birdy, folk/pop/rock)

      4) Nemesis (Stratovarius, power metal)

      3) The Nexus (Amaranthe, metal/pop)

      2) Ketevan (Katie Melua, blues/jazz/folk/pop)

      1) The Other Side (Tonight Alive, pop/punk)

  • December 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm


    Please quit using the “worst year” excuse anymore. We know the movie will never get done for 2 reasons:

    (1) It will be a complete let down because of all the hype and build up. Your character does not translate into a 2 hour movie. It is a disaster and life excuses will not matter to the thousands who donated money
    (2) The money is gone and the product is unfinished.

    Get the movie done or be honest and let your fans know why you arn’t finishing it. I would advise this path because your videos truly are excellent but the movie is going to really destroy that image.

    I have seen the preview and I couldn’t imagine watching that for over an hour. I love the 10 minute videos to no end.

    Don’t ruin a good thing. Be honest and stop making excuses.

    • diegowar

      December 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      He’s making honest excuses, and you know squat and your reasons aren’t making any sense.

      Enough said.

    • January 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

      The world could use far less people like you in it, so please do the planet a favor, and kill yourself.

    • The Kaleidoscopic God

      January 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      What pills are you SUPPOSED to be on?

  • December 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Show me someone who didn’t have a “difficult year” in 2013. Then ask them if they still got their job done and didn’t make excuses instead. The movie is over a year over due. No updates. People donated money and you let them down. Release it and you will destroy your film career.

    Between a rock and a hard place, James. But quit sitting on the fence.

    • Christoffer Fries Moland

      December 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      No updates? Have you taken a look at the Timeline? It was updated today… And since when is the movie over due? It’s very hard to set deadlines in indie filmmaking. This is not a big Hollywood production.

    • Steve

      December 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Give the guy a break. He has a child plus I read they were having health troubles. Sometimes life takes over.

    • SGold93

      December 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      May I point you in the direction of this link:

    • Jonathan Schoonmaker

      December 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      You try making an independent film on the same scale as James while also taking care of a child and having to make other time-consuming videos like Monster Madness and AVGN episodes. I doubt you’d be any better at it.

      Movies usually take a long time to film, and considering this is not a big studio film, there’s no way James could’ve predicted when the shooting would be finished. Yet, he finished shooting the film, and now all that’s left is the visual effects and other things that will be finished in post, so it won’t be too long before the movie is released.

      Maybe you should learn how to be patient and not give the man shit for something that, in his situation, is completely understandable.

    • The Kaleidoscopic God

      January 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      You are a proper douchenozzle, John Smith. And a liar. You say “no updates”, completely overlooking — or indeed ignoring, as this seems to be an attempt at defamation — the 5 “Movie Update” videos (the last of which was released a few days ago, and details how the entire movie has now been shot) and a number of text posts about it. And who who are you to determine that the movie is “over a year over due”, anyway?

  • December 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    People have a short memory and are forgiving. Let them know the movie will never be released and be HONEST. The money is gone, motivation to complete is gone, and you (being the best film critic I have read) have obviously reviewed your own movie. Put yourself outside the box for a sec. Pretend that movie was made by someone else – what review would you give it after watching it?

    Release that movie and people won’t soon forget how terrible it is. It will be the end of AVGN.

    • January 3, 2014 at 7:19 am

      No, seriously troll dude. Kill yourself. And if you’re able to come back to life, please have the common decency to kill yourself several times over until it finally sticks. Cheers.

  • Kelprunk

    December 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Cool story, John!

    Now tell us how you REALLY feel.

  • Stefan Pinter

    December 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    wow, ghost seems to be pretty well-known! still gotta love them 😉
    believe in one god do we, satan almighty-y-y

  • Steve

    December 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I can’t get into GHOST. I just find them to be more or less a rip off of King Diamond/Mercyful fate. Good music but I prefer the King. Motorhead’s new album was good. Everyone keeps talking about Watain’s latest record Wild Hunt.

  • December 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Rock And Roll In A Black Hole is probably my most-listened to song this year.

  • j f

    December 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Fuck yeah, GHOST!

  • Ace

    December 31, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Love your Mighty Metal list! If these are your flavor then you’ve probably already given LUX by Gemini Syndrome a listen, but if not please do, is one of the few albums I enjoy frequently playing in its entirety.

  • weathermangarver

    December 31, 2013 at 7:39 am

    awesome! i didnt know you liked ghost, i recommend you check out the first album too. i saw them live in ok city in october they were amazing. but the real reason i went was for my fav band ever avenged sevenfold. id really like to know what u think about them , thanks james

  • Whoblehwah

    December 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Pretty awesome list. I’m not surprised at all that you like Ghost, lol. Like someone else already said, if you like them you’d probably like Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats too. You should check them out. My top 5 albums of 2013 (in no particular order) are:

    Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
    If you like rap and don’t like Earl Sweatshirt then I don’t know what to say to you. Not one song on this album could be considered filler. Earl’s a hip-hop prodigy. And he’s only 19!
    Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed
    Straight forward, in your face, metal with crazy vocals. What’s not to like?
    Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
    I’ll admit I haven’t been listening to this much lately, but when it first came out I listened to it so many times. Great album by a great band. KILLLLL THEMMMMM WITH FIIIIIIYAAAA FROM ABOOOOOVE!
    Tyler, The Creator – Wolf
    Another rap album from an Odd Future member. This one has a lot of really deep and personal songs that highlight how mature Tyler can be sometimes. Lyrically he’s not the best, but he’s got a style to him that’s pretty unique.
    Gama Bomb – The Terror Tapes
    Fun thrash metal. ’nuff said.

  • Whoblehwah

    December 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    OH! Sorry to double comment, but I also forgot to mention HELL. They had an epic heavy metal album come out recently. Definitely worth mentioning.

  • Jonathan Schoonmaker

    December 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    My top 5 albums this year are:

    5: Avenged Sevenfold “Hail to the King”

    4: Deep Purple “Now What?!”

    3: Black Sabbath “13”

    2: Dream Theater “Dream Theater”

    1: Haken “The Mountain”

    Dream Theater came very close to taking the top spot until I heard Haken’s “The Mountain.”

  • ejp022791

    January 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    As soon as I saw you posted a top five list I said Ghost better be #1. You did not disappoint me. I STILL have that album on repeat and will for years to come. Good list, James!

  • January 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I like this list!!! I didn’t know you liked ghost! I don’t know if this is your style james but this band has some epic songs. Nekrogoblikon: if you ever have time seriously check them out. Wait for the chorus in this song:

  • culwin

    January 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Why no mention of One Direction’s “Midnight Memories”?

    • Jonathan Schoonmaker

      January 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      I don’t think One Direction would be the type of music that he’d be into.

  • CelestialNomad

    January 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Nice List… I mainly stick to the classics when it comes to music, but I will say Enforcer- Death by Fire shredded my face this year. Mesmerize by Fire & Take me out of this Nightmare capture the essence of the 80’s era.

  • January 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    my best album is this year was free
    255 Battles with the Cursed Shield
    by Epic Game Music..

  • Andrew Kinsey

    January 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Hey James, have you ever heard of Dream Theater? Its awesome.

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