This year the plebs get a say. While I have fought against this with every fiber of my body, Madam X‘s caring, feeling, and ultimately populistic, womanly touch has poisoned this blog by allowing people who aren’t me (including herself) to have lists. Frankly I’m offended. No one comes to Angry Metal Guy to read these guys’ lists. But hey, you know how it goes. Times, they are achangin’. As I no longer have time to be the site’s lone dictator, and Steel Druhm has proven incapable of keeping the mustache twirling hipsters underfoot despite his enormous gun collection and tough talk, you, dear reader, get extra Top 10 lists. 

I hope you’re happy.

Noctus:

10. Saor // Roots
9. Portal // Vexovoid
8. Funeralium // Deceived Idealism
7. Lychgate // Lychgate
6. Kayo Dot // Hubardo
5. Gorguts // Colored Sands
4. Rorcal // Vilagvege
3. Altar of Plagues // Teethed Glory and Injury
2. Summoning // Old Morning Dawn
1. Ataraxie // L’Être et la Nausée  – This record is beyond a shadow of doubt one of the finest death/doom records of the past five years. An insane record, crushing as it is chilling, with nearly 80 minutes of challenging, but perfectly performed darkness. The atmosphere and mood of is nigh-on impenetrable; desperation, depression and fury rendered into a constantly shifting blend of crushingly slow, massive and cavernous funeral-doom and blisteringly fast and dangerous death metal. Such a perfect tone is married with song writing prowess that sees not a moment of this gargantuan album wasted — every bit as vital as the last. It always pays to see ambition pay off in such a big, big way, which it does here. This among other things cements Ataraxie‘s masterwork as the finest album of 2013.

Ataraxie

Song o’ the Year: Summoning – “Old Mornings Dawn”

Disappointment of 2013: RosettaThe Anaesthete

Happy Metal Guy:

10. Cóndor // Nadia
9. Skeletal Spectre // Voodoo Dawn
8. Darkthrone // The Underground Resistance
7. Scale the Summit // The Migration
6. Toxic Holocaust // Chemistry of Consciousness
5. Heaven Shall Burn // Veto
4. In Solitude // Sister
3. Exhumed // Necrocracy
2. White Wizzard // The Devils Cut
1. Skeletonwitch // Serpents Unleashed: The black in Skeletonwitch’s blackened thrash didn’t used to be that black [Psst. There aren’t really shades of black… – AMG], but with Serpents Unleashed, the band has sonically migrated to Norway. Combine this intensified blackened edge with the band’s badass name and occultic lyrical themes and one gets a Skeletonwitch that is more convincingly blackened than before. The band’s newfound kvlt-ness also happens to complement their thrashy side well. Throw in a bunch of melodic guitar solos and one gets a record that’s just begging to be spun more times than the Wheel of Fortune has over the years.

Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed

Song o’ the Year:  Sockweb – “Werewolf”

Jordan Campbell:

10. Darkthrone // The Underground Resistance
9. Woe // Withdrawal
8. thehappymask // Ruines
7. Black Crucifixion // Coronation of King Darkness
6. Altar of Plagues // Teethed Glory and Injury
5. Inquisition // Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
4. Arsis // Unwelcome
3. Beastmilk // Climax
2. Beaten to Death // Dødsfest!
1. Deafheaven // Sunbather

Deafhaven - Sunbather

Song o’ the Year: Carcass – “Unfit for Human Consumption”

Grymm:

10.  Vatnett Viskar // Sky Swallower
9.  Exivious // Liminal
8.  Rotting Christ // Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
7.  Russian Circles // Memorial
6.  Patrons of the Rotting Gate // The Rose Coil
5.  Exhumed // Necrocracy
4.  In Solitude // Sister
3.  Gorguts // Colored Sands
2.  Eye of Solitude // Canto III
1.  Carcass // Surgical Steel:  I wanted this album to at least be merely “okay” and not a cash-in, given their long lay-off. Instead, they set yet another bar for other melodic death metal bands to try to catapult over. Ferocious, infectious, humorous, and intelligent. Jeff, Bill… welcome back.

Carcass - Surgical Steel

Song o’ the Year:  Carcass – Captive Bolt Pistol“:  I was teetering between this and “1985”/”Thrasher’s Abattoir”, but that insane caterpillar riff at the 2:13 mark from the seemingly physically-ageless Bill Steer sold me hard.

Disappointments of 2013 (tie):  Orphaned Land – All is One and Dark Tranquillity – Construct:  Now I know why it takes Orphaned Land forever to write albums.  The two years between the incredible ORWarriOR and this record was not enough to flesh out an incredibly mediocre affair.  As for Construct, the writing was on the wall with the bland We Are the Void, but at least that record had a song or two to elevate it a hair.  I’m hoping the good ship DT will redirect its course and soon.

JF Williams:

10. Death Grips // Government Plates
9. Vastum // Patricidal Lust
8. Dispirit // 111112
7. Nails // Abandon All Life
6. Bölzer // Aura
5. Torture Chain // Mutilating Astral Entities
4. Paysage d’Hiver // Das Tor
3. Carcass // Surgical Steel
2. Inquisition // Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
1. Deafheaven // Sunbather: With Sunbather, Deafheaven have transformed from being one of many post-black ‘metalgaze’ groups to having created a beautiful record that transcends its genre and may very well go on to be a classic. It’s an ecstatic, life-affirming revelation of a record that overflows with passion, vigor and vitality.

Deafhaven - Sunbather

Song o’ the Year: Deafheaven – “Dream House”

Kronos:

10. Author and Punisher // Women and Children
9.
Disfiguring the Goddess // Deprive/Black Earth Child
8. Rosetta // The Anaesthete
7. The Schoenberg Automaton // Vela
6. Rings of Saturn // Dingir
5. Ulcerate // Vermis
4. Revocation // Revocation
3. Gorguts // Colored Sands
2. Wormed// Exodromos
1. Altar of Plagues // Teethed Glory and Injury

Altar of Plagues_Teethed

Song o’ the Year: Leprous – “The Cloak”

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  • Madam__X

    So many albums I missed, some serious catchup is called for!! Also stoked to see the Skeletonwitch album on your list HMG.

    • Satanic Royal Court Jester

      Liking HMG’s list too, but for the inclusion of Skeletal Spectre. Vanessa Nocera’s vocals on the Howling albums that came out this year, A Beast Conceived and Tear The Screams From Your Throat, also deserve mention. Great stuff.

    • The Metal Pigeon

      Ive been thinking about this a lot… that question of how honest would I feel about my own top ten list had I attempted to listen to every single noteworthy release this year? Its almost impossible considering work/sleep/eat/etc time and still being able to give each album a respectable amount of listens. Part of the way I determine my favorite records of the year is by looking at how often I came back to them for repeat listens purely out of pleasure, not obligation or hype.

      At the end of the year, I guess I’m ok with missing some records but being really certain of the ones I did listen to. I doubt anyone could cover them all alone.

      • Madam__X

        I have a similar system myself :)

  • RU63

    HMG, our (wife&me) list is very similar, we trust your reviews; we will now have to listen to Cóndor, Skeletal Spectre, Scale the Summit, and Heaven Shall Burn.

    • Check out the song “Werewolf” by father-daughter grindcore duo Sockweb, too! Had the pair’s studio album been released this month like it was originally supposed to be, it might very well have been my record of 2013 instead!

      • RU63

        LOL, cute, and quite catchy. I prefer “Bullies are Mean”; i’ll show my daughter these videos tonight.

  • Czeching You Out

    I seem to be alone in appreciating Children of Bodom’s Halo of Blood. What seems to be the general consensus against it?

    • I enjoyed the record and think the album artwork is the best in the band’s discography to date. But the music is quite forgettable; it simply doesn’t stick in one’s mind for long. I would put it on my “The Okay Albums of 2013” list, if I ever made one.

  • Grymm

    For the record, Veto BARELY missed my list this year (it got bumped off at the last minute by a late listen of Patrons of the Rotting Gate). Those who were put off by HSB’s last album should give this a listen, as it’s a vastly improved record over Invictus. Very solid.

    • Grymm

      Also, I regret my lack of VoiVod. It is also a great record.

  • Cool lists, some diversity never hurt anyone, but where’s Madam X’s list? Natalie Zed’s? Are they gonna have their own separate posts? Do we have to beg? I don’t mind begging :P.

    • Madam X, Fisting, myself and of course AMG all get separate lists. It’s a seniority thing.

      • Guest

        Cool beans.

  • Juan Esteban Mendoza

    Wait…. White Wizzard is not HMG’s record of the year? Holy fuck and a half

    • He knows what’s good for him apparently.

      • Zadion

        I was drinking when I read your comment and literally did one of those spit-takes you see in a sitcom.

    • It got relegated to the second spot because the band breakup drama ruined the record a little for me. Also, in hindsight, I think the second half of the album is a bit draggy. I still think the first half of the album is absolutely brilliant though!

      • Ash Pearson

        Serpents Unleashed is certainly a great replacement however. It’s also nice to see Toxic Holocaust on that list, they certianally deserves it!

  • Leroy

    Yeah, with you on DT’s Construct being bland as hell. As to We are the Void, however, I pushed it to the back of my collection pretty much after I bought it in 2010. I by chance unwittingly resurrected it at a train station on an overseas trip recently – I’m now of the opinion it has much more atmosphere than everyone gave it credit for! I’m starting to feel the same way about Soilwork’s double album from earlier this year…

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    No one comes to Angry Metal Guy to read these guys’ lists.
    And now we see why…

    • Noctus

      I’d have thought people would have come to Angry Metal Guy to read interesting posts. Not to complain. Cheers for proving me wrong there, bud.

      • FutureBeyondSatan

        If that was taken as a complaint then you are in for a rough life, kid.
        Did you even read AMG’s intro?

        • Noctus

          I probably know the intro better than you do considering I write for the site. [:

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Happy to see a lot of these records being given their proper respect. Stuff such as Altar of Plagues, Carcass, Skeletonwitch, even Deafheaven (though some would argue it gets more respect than it deserves). Truly great records. If I had to say whose list was most similar to my own (and I do because I just wrote that) I’d say Noctus’ list would be a pretty good fit. Especially for the inclusion of Summoning, which I really enjoyed.

  • Jay Alan Goodwin

    @HMG: That Skeletonwitch record sounds fantastic as well. I have the black vinyl and it’s a really good pressing (in a time where quality control has gone to shit with a lot of vinyl LPs.) Chemistry of Consciousness sounds good too.

    • Madam__X

      I’d love to hear Skeletonwitch on vinyl!

      • Jay Alan Goodwin

        I have Breathing the Fire, Beyond the Permafrost, and Forever Abomination (signed by the whole band) as well. All good stuff :)

        • Madam__X

          That’s wickedly cool!! :)

        • Christofer

          Awesome. I’m not jealous at all. :)

    • I AM JEALOUS!!!

  • Christofer

    Skeletonwitch! Fantastic record.

  • Excentric_1307

    Aside from Gorguts, it seems like 2013 was not the year for notable death metal.

    • Madam__X

      Check out Blood Mortized, The Demon The Angel The Disease (2013 release) or The Key to a Black Heart from back in 2012.

      • Excentric_1307

        Own them, love them. I would include Torture Division as well. The Carcass album was also incredible, although oddly I’m not sure I would put them into the same basket as any of the aforementioned bands.

    • Satanic Royal Court Jester

      Um, I don’t really even like death metal that much, but I found the debuts from both Sacriphyx (The Western Front) and Lantern (Below) to be extremely notable. Also enjoyed Tribulation’s The Formulas of Death and, once again, Skeletal Spectre’s Voodoo Dawn is just a great piece of Swedeath with an American frontwoman..

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    and SHADE EMPIRE Omega Arcane where is?

    • Where it belongs: not on any of these lists.

      • Andres Pintos Nocerino

        for me is the best of the year

  • Shahir Chagan

    I honestly don’t get the hype over Sunbather. I mean, I love shoegaze, atmospheric black metal and post-black metal but that album seemed to take all the worst parts of those genres and put them in one album. Yuck.

  • Sordid Bass

    I’m on HMG’s side. The White Wizzard album this year was fantastic and Skeletonwitch is outright amazing.

    HMG. Can we be friends?

    • Not unless you liked the 2013 albums by Attila and The Browning too!

  • Glad to see Dingir made one of these lists. Shame Amon Amarth didn’t; would deserve it for being so freaking entertaining.
    The introduction by AMG is a hilarious read!