Top Rock + Metal Songs of 2013
Hard rock and metal fans had plenty to be happy about in 2013, as there was something great for just about everyone. Whether it be metal pioneers Black Sabbath making their return, grunge vets Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam keeping things rolling or a bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Pop Evil being appreciated for taking their music to new heights, 2013 will be a memorable period for metal and hard rock lovers.
In one of the hardest lists to compile and necessitating plenty of debate, we’ve settled on an eclectic collection of songs we feel best represents the greatest that hard rock and metal had to offer over this past year. So scroll down and enjoy as we count down the Top Rock + Metal Songs of 2013.
Pearl Jam’s ‘Sirens’ starts off simply enough as a mid-tempo track, but begins to build toward the chorus. It’s at that point that Eddie Vedder‘s voice reaches full emotional impact. Add in a Mike McCready Pink Floyd-esque guitar solo in the middle to seal the deal, and ‘Sirens’ hits home as Pearl Jam’s latest classic song. By the end of ‘Sirens’ you’ll be singing along with Vedder’s “Oh-oh, ah-ha’s.”
‘I Sat By the Ocean’
In an album filled with guest stars, it’s one of the songs that features strictly the Queens of the Stone Age lineup that is their best track. ‘I Sat By the Ocean’ finds its groove right off the bat and rides it for all that it is worth. With mesmerizing guitar work from Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen and Dean Fertita, this song rocks and the track’s hard ending leaves the listener wanting for more.
2013 is the year that Pop Evil finally took that next step in their career, and it’s due in part to their first-ever chart-topping single ‘Trenches.’ This aggressive track features an in-your-face guitar lick, a foot-stomping beat and the undeniable Leigh Kakaty announcing his presence with the line “Here I come, here I come.” Equal parts aggressive and melodic, ‘Trenches’ is not only one of the top radio tracks of the year, but also one of the Top Rock Songs of 2013.
A slow build guitar lick straight into a Jean-Paul Gaster overdrive beat is how Clutch‘s ‘Earth Rocker’ pulls you in and Neil Fallon’s unabashed vocals is what keeps you fist-pumping through this track. Fallon, Tim Sult and Dan Maines keep the song driving, but it’s Gaster’s drumming that takes the lead. ‘Earth Rocker’ delivers as advertised and by the end of this high-energy track you’ve gotten the message.
The world was introduced to Palms with their single ‘Patagonia’ and it set the tone for what was to come. Frontman Chino Moreno‘s dreamy slow-played vocals drift over the atmospheric waves of music provided by former members of the band Isis. It’s a beautiful sounding track that shows Moreno’s restraint one moment and his ability to unleash a full voiced scream the next, all conveying exactly what the song needs.
Egypt Central is no more, but out of the ashes of that band comes Devour the Day. The group made an immediate imprint with their breakout single, ‘Good Man,’ with Blake Allison delivering an impassioned song about a man questioning his faith. Add in a very catchy guitar lick from Joey “Chicago” Walser and the song quickly began catching on with listeners. ‘Good Man’ is a foot-stomping, fist-pumping anthem that deserves a spot amongst the Top Rock Songs of 2013.
‘God Is Dead?’
Welcome back Black Sabbath! The hypnotic Tony Iommi guitar lines, the power drumming of Brad Wilk and some wicked bass licks from Geezer Butler all fill our ears in the first minute of ‘God Is Dead?’ before Ozzy Osbourne even utters the song’s first line. Osbourne revealed the idea for the song came from a magazine cover and evolved into a rumination about reconciling the atrocities in the world (some committed in the name of religion) with the idea of faith. This heady track not only makes you think, but it rocks alongside some of Sabbath’s finest.
‘Do Me a Favor’
Stone Sour have reached new heights over the last two years with their double-disc ‘House of Gold & Bones’ album and ‘Do Me a Favor’ ranks among their best songs. The hard-hitting beats of Roy Mayorga and the driving guitar work of Josh Rand and Jim Root set the backdrop for Corey Taylor‘s portrait of a man’s downward spiral. It doesn’t get more brutal than when Taylor belts, “So do me a favor / Your behavior / Is just a reason why there is no savior.”
From the opening blast of “grunge meets stoner metal,” we’re hooked on Alice in Chains’ ‘Hollow.’ But it doesn’t stop there, as Jerry Cantrell and company deliver a mesmerizing and haunting descent into madness. This sludge-filled track ranks amongst Alice in Chains’ best songs with Cantrell’s voice never sounding better and the harmonizing with William DuVall adding the perfect touch.
Oli Sykes and his Bring Me the Horizon crew are clicking on all cylinders on ‘Shadow Moses,’ a dark yet anthemic track with his bandmates delivering the call-and-response line, ‘We’re going nowhere.” ‘Shadow Moses’ provides some of the most pummeling, unabashed music of the year, made all the more unique by Jordan Fish’s subtle synth lines. While they may be a metalcore band, ‘Shadow Moses’ also shows elements of punk with a few melodic moments as well. This brutally excellent rocker stands as our Top Song of 2013.