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.
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.
Song o’ the Year: Summoning – “Old Mornings Dawn”
Disappointment of 2013: Rosetta – The 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.
Song o’ the Year: Sockweb – “Werewolf”
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
Song o’ the Year: Carcass – “Unfit for Human Consumption”
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.
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.
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.
Song o’ the Year: Deafheaven – “Dream House”
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
Song o’ the Year: Leprous – “The Cloak”