Best Vocalist of 2013 – 3rd Annual Loudwire Music Awards
Here’s a category in the 3rd Annual Loudwire Music Awards that’s fixated on the central member of any band — the vocalist. Which singer shined the brightest this past year? It’s time for you to vote in for the Best Vocalist of 2013.
All of these singers led their bands through 2013, releasing new works that have helped shape the musical landscape 365 days in length. Rock and metal legends populate this category, as do impressive newcomers and mysterious figures. Make your choice for Best Vocalist of 2013 in the poll below.
Corey Taylor made his voice heard in 2013, but more so with Stone Sour than the project that made him a household name, Slipknot. Off the back of ‘House of Gold & Bones – Part 1,’ Stone Sour created a second part to the critically acclaimed record, leading to many fans preaching preference for ‘Part 2.’ Touring with both Stone Sour and Slipknot, Taylor tattooed his mark on 2013.
Is there a greater musical “coming home” story of 2013 than Jesse Leach‘s return to Killswitch Engage? After a decade away from the trailblazing metalcore act, Leach put down a solid vocal performance on ‘Disarm the Descent’ along with commanding his spot onstage where he rightfully belongs. Howard Jones is a hell of a vocalist, but Killswitch fans didn’t forget that so is Leach.
Queens of the Stone Age released one of their finest pieces, ‘…Like Clockwork,’ in 2013, radiating an excitement rarely reserved for experimental rock in mainstream music. ‘…Like Clockwork’ became one of the most acclaimed releases of 2013, thanks in large part to the voice of Josh Homme. The QOTSA frontman transfers from haunting to powerful to beautiful with an old-school crooning element mixed in.
Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants often dwells in the shadows of the band’s vocal section, but with the release of ‘Ultraviolet’ this year, Pleasants stepped up to occupy more of the spotlight than ever before. The frontwoman’s vocal prowess takes on many forms, such as the hazy march-through-the-desert style of ‘Unspoken’ and the innocent schoolyard dynamic of ‘Vulture’s Landing.’
There are few voices in rock more powerful than that of this category’s defending champ, Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy. The vocalist soars on Alter Bridge’s 2013 full-length, ‘Fortress,’ and with the guitar help of Mark Tremonti, ‘Fortress’ won over critics and naysayers with it’s craftsmanship. Kennedy also sings for guitar legend Slash, with Kennedy even lending his vocals to the soundtrack for Slash’s debut horror film, ‘Nothing Left to Fear.’
Did any straight-up, down-and-dirty rock band have a better year than Clutch? The group’s 2013 full-length, ‘Earth Rocker,’ is one of their greatest achievements to date, and singer Neil Fallon leads once again with his unique vocal style. The lure of Fallon’s vocals affects those looking for smooth crooning with a gritty bar band attitude, and Fallon is front-and-center once again with the awesome ‘Earth Rocker.’
Bring Me the Horizon took their music to a whole new level in 2013 with the genre-stretching ‘Sempiternal.’ The frontman of Bring Me the Horizon, Oli Sykes, is a huge part of the band’s stylistic shift, taking on a multidimensional role on vocals. From metalcore gutturals to clean singing and aggressive yells, Sykes commands attention with an impressive set of skills.
There’s no way we could breeze over the Prince of Darkness in 2013. With Ozzy Osbourne at the helm, Black Sabbath released the long-awaited triumph ’13’ this year after an unfortunate series of events held back the band’s original reunion plans. Ozzy exudes his trademark wail on masterful tracks such as ‘God Is Dead?’ and ‘Age of Reason,’ which have become new fan favorites for Sabbath followers.
Papa Emeritus II
Metal’s own Pope, Papa Emeritus II, cast his haze over the entirety of 2013. The single ‘Secular Haze’ was released just in time for the New Year, and ‘Year Zero’ along with the rest of ‘Infestissumam’ made a phenomenal impact. Thanks in part to the haunting sweetness of Papa Emeritus II’s voice and his unsettling stage presence, Ghost B.C. ascended to a new level of popularity this year.
Todd La Torre
It’s rare that a brand new singer injects such energy and momentum into an already iconic act, but Todd La Torre did just that for Queensryche. After a messy split with singer Geoff Tate that left us with two incarnations of Queensryche, the Todd La Torre-fronted heavy metal act released a self-titled full-length that showcased a revitalized band who were once again comfortable in their own shoes.