Music goes a long way to inspire me or keep me focused.

2013 was a really good year in terms of new releases, and I think I ended up spending more money on music this year than ever before.  It didn’t have much of an impact on my budget though, since I wasn’t as tempted to buy games during the Holiday Steam Sales.  So, while looking ahead to this year, here are my top music releases of 2013!

10. Autodafeh – Blackout Scenario

This is actually the album that introduced me to Autodafeh.  I think I could safely recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of Front 242 or Portion Control.

9. Juno Reactor – The Golden Sun of the Great East

It was simply great to see these guys make a return. The first song alone is beautiful, so if you don’t feel like listening to the entire CD, at least give “Final Frontier” a chance.

8. How to Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

I originally considered putting Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails here, but then I decided that Welcome Oblivion had won me over more.  I’d say it’s a bit like a chilled out version of Year Zero.

7. Lazerhawk – Skull and Shark

This is actually a soundtrack made for a comic of the same name.  I’m torn between calling this one or Visitors my favorite album by this artist.

6. Comaduster – Hollow Worlds

Just when I thought I wasn’t the biggest fan of dubstep, Comaduster came along.  He’s another artist I was introduced to in 2013, though he apparently worked for Bioware and made the song “Hide to Seek” for the Eternity Bar in Mass Effect 2.

5. Skinny Puppy – Weapon

I was pleasantly surprised by this one, as I had a difficult time enjoying previous albums like hanDover.  I especially liked the song “Illisit.”

4. Die Krupps – The Machinists of Joy

If there’s an album that can evoke imagery such as robo-nazi’s riding tanks though a post-apocalyptic landscape, this is it. “Essenbeck” especially gets me moving.

3. Volt 9000 – Conopoly

With this, Volt 9000 went from sounding like a quirky retro-industrial project to something that’s still retro-sounding, but demands to be taken more seriously. Angry about GMO’s? The recession? Drones?  Well, this might be exactly the thing for you.

2. Front Line Assembly – Echogenetic

This album was enough to get me to fly all the way to London to see Front Line Assembly live.  Well, that, and the fact that I haven’t taken an actual vacation in a long time.

1. THYX – Below the City

THYX is a side project of Stefan Poiss, the lead behind another favorite band of mine, mind.in.a.box.  I consider every track on this album to be simply beautiful, with my favorite being “The Street.”  Like in The Way Home, Stefan Poiss lets his natural voice come through more, rather than relying so much on vocoders.