Mushroomhead truly reigns from the topmost tier of rock and metal, taking an art that can quickly become repetitive and turning it into a mind-boggling sensation of multiple sounds blending into one astounding taste of ear candy. The combination of vocals from Mann and Nothing never cease to intrigue me, one rough and the other melodic, but it is their ability to blend their differences so well that stands Mushroomhead out from the rest of the pack.Overall heavy rock with metal fusion, there are surprises in XIII that will tickle your musical tummy and perk your ears up in interest. My absolute favorite song on the CD would have to be Sun Doesn’t Rise, but its difficult to pick just one from this amazing collection of songs. In Kill Tomorrow the treat is the tasty break in the song that provides a spectacular drum solo followed by rolling, crunching “railroad” guitars. Listen for the baby giggling in the background.Mother Machine Gun starts out with a beautiful piano solo, that quickly melds into Mann’s growling vocals, before being joined by Nothing’s mellow metal-croon. Nowhere to go and One More Day have some interestingly dark, intense moods. The Dream is Over and The War Inside are a pure, driving metal fest, and I can’t leave out the beauty of the classical piano sounds in Our Own Way, sending us the lyrical message to “Arise! From your failures, Traitors all await your final fall.”The synthesizer and drumming, marching mood in Destroy the World Around Me, with its building feeling of a premonition of dread, and don’t forget to log in with your CD and pick up the copies of The Simpleton and Along The Way from Mushroomhead’s website, a nice little bonus.I don’t know what to say about Thirteen. It stirs the beast inside me in pleasing and yet uncomfortable ways. I can honestly see myself sitting on a grassy hillock, a crisp breeze fluttering my hair, looking out over the valleys as the world ends around me.That odd, Celtic feel brought to life with the guitar/synthesizer, as mournful as the sound of bagpipes rolling across fog shrouded Heaths. I feel like I am frozen, locked up rigid with longing, and forced to gaze into the abyss of my own mind. And just when you think the music is going to release you, a child’s laughter fills your headphones, and the beast spreads its wings to lift you up once more, the same tune but deeper and more sorrowful, sharply contrasting with the baby’s giggling. A choir is brought in now, lifting up the highs while the bass pounds lower still, and eventually fades into nothing more than the sounds of a scratchy record on an old phonograph.Then the song breaks into a remake of “Crazy” by a early nineties pop artist named Seal, taking something originally mediocre at best and cranking it into a modern rock masterpiece. Other bands have remade pop tunes successfully, like White Zombie’s version of “Boogieman” and Dope’s version of “You Spin Me Round”, and Mushroomhead joins the ranks of those successful covers.Really, don’t let anyone say this song is boring. It is very un-metal, but a truly talented band should be able to move you in mysterious ways, and Thirteen moves me deeply inside, lightening the sludge as the base of my soul’s pillar.ENJOY!!