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Best Metal Newcomers Of 2013 Explored, Part 2

Each year in our annual metal awards we take a look at the best “newcomers” – those bands that released debut full-lengths worth your time.

To help get you acquainted with the best new talent releasing albums you may have missed, we’ll be looking at each of the bands nominated for the “best newcomer” category by our staff. Today, writer Rex_84 covers Vista Chino, The Resistance, Raven Lord, Skan, and Lord Dying. Here's what he had to say:

Thanks to Facebook and local venues, there was hardly a day that went by without receiving a flyer or like request on an unfamiliar band. Bands from around the globe injected new ideas into sounds we know well. In the end, however, my list mostly consists of new bands containing members from the artists I've gotten to know and love through my years as a heavy metal fan.

Vista Chino

Vista Chino rose from the ashes of Kyuss Lives when former Kyuss guitar Josh Homme and bassist Scott Reeder sued the band for "trademark infringement and consumer fraud." Although no longer containing the "Kyuss" in their name, Brant Bjork easily filled Josh Homme's shoes. Vista Chino's debut "Peace" is the fuzzy, desert rock album Kyuss fans have long for since the group disbanded nearly twenty years ago.

The Resistance

The "Rise From Treason" EP proved that the Gothenburg, Sweden melodic death metal scene is still here and still heavy. The magnetic rhythm section of Glenn Ljungström and Jesper Strömblad heard in the early years of In Flames and Hammerfall has once again brought together, this time heavily accented with hardcore groove. "The Haunted Made Me Do It" front man Marco Aro provides the perfect vocal bravado for this style.

Raven Lord

Raven Lord is certainly a product of the times. The group's first effort "Descent to the Underworld" contains power metal musicians from all over the globe. Although the album doesn't offer a Tim "Ripper" Owens or Blaze Bayley, its members have a long resume that includes such vaunted names. Vocals strong enough to rise out of the valley and over the mountains, guitar wizardry and cinematic keyboard-generated atmospheres were all food for fodder for any fan of power metal or classic heavy metal.


Just when we thought most of the blood had been mopped up from another sanguinary year of metallic sounds, Skan takes aim for the first time with it's "The Old King" EP. The recording was primarily handled by Skrew member, Joseph Merino. Other members joined him after the EP's release. "The Old King" puts thrash, death metal and black metal into a blender, resulting in a tasty, original sound with plenty of aggression to get your blood boiling!

Lord Dying

Pac Northwest newcomers, Lord Dying top this list for crunchiest guitars. The group's bombardment of bruising guitar riffs known as "Summoning the Faithless" proved a major acquisition for Relapse Records. Too up-tempo to be considered a doom band and too doom-y to receive the groove metal tag, Lord Dying found its own niche that includes bands such High On Fire. Expect to see these guys take the stage opening for some of your favorites artists in 2014.

Looking for more new talent that came out in 2013? Check out yesterday's article covering Witherscape, Gloryhammer, and Cnoc an Tursa right here.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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8 Comments on "Best Metal Newcomers Of 2013 Explored, Part 2"

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CROMCarl's avatar


1. CROMCarl writes:

Nice! Raven Lord is another great new act! Cszaba will have another candidate this year with Exorcism. Lord Dying is awesome too. Great stuff here!

# Jan 14, 2014 @ 6:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar


2. R10 writes:

I'll have to check out Raven Lord, I like pretty much all the newcomers, but I'm wondering why Ashes of Ares hasn't gotten any mention? Matt Barlow and Van Williams of Nevermore. Album is downright badass in my opinion.

# Jan 14, 2014 @ 6:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar


3. CROMCarl writes:

I know I had Ashes in my Top 10, but we only did a Top 5. I do really like them a lot - but 2013 had so many great newcomers.

# Jan 14, 2014 @ 7:20 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Former Contributor

4. xFiruath writes:

Ashes of Ares was alright but not spectacular. Not a bad album at all, but it definitely didn't grab me. It's just pretty much more Barlow-era Iced Earth.

# Jan 14, 2014 @ 7:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar


5. hellrat writes:

^agreed---could not get into it...terrible lyrics and arrangements; pretty much a barlow cliché band...that is my problem with iced earth in general, I hate more than half of the vocals; way too f***in cheesy...A of A seems to focus on and highlight that aspect

well, some folks love that sh!t :)


# Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar


6. hellrat writes:

^but then, so does the new iced earth...WAY too many cheeseball sing along bullsh!t

# Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:17 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar


7. R10 writes:

I think the Resistance is better than Witherscape. It's basically Swano and fill in guests. Not even a real band.

# Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:30 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rex_84's avatar


8. Rex_84 writes:

In regards to R10's comments: I don't hear every album that comes out. The Ashes of Ares came out at a bad time for me and I didn't receive, so I can't really comment on it. I might put them in my top 5 because I'm an Iced Earth fan, but I can't speculate. There were other albums that received a ton of press that I didn't receive (I'll keep hounding you Nuke Blast!), so I had to base my decisions on the several hundred albums I did hear. Also, it's nice to include some albums that everybody didn't include on their list, some that that should have.

# Jan 15, 2014 @ 4:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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