Angry Metal LisaAngry Metal Guy has become an interwebs institution. You might not realize this, but this is my fifth Top 10(ish) Records o’ the Year since I started this as a lone Internet Metal Warrior back in 2009, reviewing for my literally dozens of readers, none of whom commented. Can’t believe it? Try these on for size. It’s impressive how far this little blog that could has come, and it’s amazing how much I used to review! Several CDs a week! Incredible. Anyway, the times they are achangin’, but the one thing that isn’t changing is that I have opinions and galldarnit, I’m going to tell you them.

But before I do that: it’s important to pay a tribute to Steel Druhm and Madam X who despite their inferior opinions have helped to keep this blog kicking and screaming while I’ve been off doing things that don’t involve the Internet or heavy metal. They have been stalwarts defining this blog (so much so, in fact, that I now regularly receive e-mails addressed to “Mr. Steel,” despite me being the bossity boss boss still [YOU HEAR THAT, EMAIL SENDERS!? RESPECT MY AUTHORITAY!]). You should all be aware that without these two people organizing things and contravening my orders behind my back, Angry Metal Guy would not be up and running.

I also would like to thank our long list of current contributors who like the pests they are continue to reproduce. But most importantly I want to thank Alex Franquelli who left us at the end of the year. His departure marks the first time that a contributor got too old to contribute and quit. Most of the time people just shit out on us and stop responding to their e-mails and start avoiding you on Mass Effect 3 multiplayer (here’s looking at you Lord Doom), but Alex was man enough to say that he really just doesn’t like metal so much anymore and throw in his hat. His unique and engaging writing will be missed. Now, if only we could get Happy Metal Guy to throw in his hat… White Wizzard? Really?

Fair warning, though, 2013 might be my last Top 10(ish) for some time. I, too, am getting old, and this year has been a remarkably difficult year for me in terms of balance, largely because the sheer amount of music has been hard for me to keep up with due to having a job that is expected to be a vocation. Having an avocation when you have a vocation is tough. So, this year you’ll not only be getting this, but a special list (to be posted and explained later); but enjoy these, just in case AngryMetalGuy.com might be AngryMetalGuy-less for all intents and purpose in 2014.

And without further ado, here’s my Top 10(ish) Records o’ 2013.

Beaten to Death - Dødsfest!#(ish): Beaten to Death // Dødsfest! — When Jordan Campbell reviewed these guys and I saw the cover I had sort of a “WTF?” moment. Then I listened to it. Beaten to Death‘s particular approach to grind surprised me, excited me, and led me to purchase the record immediately ($4 on Bandcamp? A worthy expenditure that costs less than a sugary drink at a chain coffee joint). The unusual tone, the use of melody, and the counterintuitive extremity all introduced something that I had never really heard before and it’s so, so good. This could be higher on the list, but it’s a pretty late addition.

Witherscape - The Inheritance#10: Witherscape // The Inheritance (vinyl mix) — In a year when we’re talking about The Loudness War with louder and louder voices, Dan Swanö appears to be getting the message. While The Inheritance was released with a more traditionally loud master, the CD comes with the fully dynamic mix that is magical and makes an awesome record even better. Swanö and his mustachioed partner Ragnar (the metallist [non-Torbjörn] name ever?!) have produced the best Opeth/Edge of Sanity-style melodeath record in years—and it sounds so damned good.

Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)#9: Steven Wilson // The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) — From the opening bass salvo on “Luminol” I knew that The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) wasn’t just an average album. With a strong ’70s feel—dat flute!—and awesome production and an amazing lineup of guest musicians, TRtRtS(aOS) created an unavoidably addictive addition to my record collection in 2013. Between traditional Wilsonesque post-Floyd prog and the strong instrumentation and improvised feel, TRtRtS(aOS) is my favorite Steven Wilson record ever and belongs in any prog fan’s collection.

Sahg - Delusions of Grandeur#8: Sahg // Delusions of Grandeur — On some level I think that Black Sabbath‘s 13 should have sounded like Delusions of GrandeurSahg‘s follow-up to its very good III is better than its predecessor and should not be overlooked. The choruses and song-writing on Delusions of Grandeur remind the listener of the glory days of metal, but still have a modern charm that doesn’t go missing. The whole record is an ass-kicker, dropping awesome riff after awesome chorus, but it’s capped off with the extraordinary closing track “Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy” which is probably the best closer of the year. I can’t get over how much this vocalist sounds like Ozzy, by the way.

Týr - Valkyrja#7: Týr // Valkyrja — True metal still has a home and that home is apparently in the Faroe Islands. From the opening strains of “Blood of Heroes” I knew that Valkyrja was going to be a special record. As I said to Steel Druhm on Angry Metal Chat™ that day, “No pooch was screwn in the making of this record.” Valkyrja is chock full of sharp riffs, sharper melodies, and excellent performances. These Faroe Islanders do their Scandinavian brethren proud by pounding out track after track of great trad metal. Bonus: the “Where Eagles Dare” cover is awesome.

October Falls - The Plague of a Coming Age#6: October Falls // The Plague of a Coming Age — October Falls‘ The Plague of a Coming Age is one of those sleeper records that people seem to have forgotten about as the year has gone on—and that’s too bad, because it’s the band’s best album ever and easily one of the most complete of the year. I was hooked on this one from the opening strains of “Bloodlines.” The production is perfect, the songwriting is crisp, smart, and still atmospheric enough to evoke the airy, depressing feel that is so hard to do rightOctober Falls keeps getting better and that excites the hell out of me.

Turisas2013#5: Turisas // Turisas2013 — Turisas‘ much-maligned Turisas2013 is a record that has refused to let go during this process. It’s a weird record, but it seems that no matter how far from their roots these guys get, I keep falling for their unique vision. The strange lyrics, the ’80s rock influence, the progressive tendencies, and the sharp pop songwriting make Turisas2013 one of the most fascinating and difficult records of the year—from the perspective of a fan. But the record is maybe their most accessible ever, as well. Sure, I still sometimes feel like the thing is half-baked, but since I still can’t stop listening to it it’s about time I give up on trying to understand why I like it and just accept that I really, really do.

Haken - The Mountain#4: Haken // The Mountain — What do you get when you take a band that doesn’t sound like Dream Theater and then compare them to Dream Theater? A happy Angry Metal Guy when they turn out to not sound like Dream Theater! In this case, Haken gave us the Leprous record that we were all dying to hear. The epic songwriting and the Queen-influenced vocal parts make for endlessly entertaining listening, and “Cockroach King” is one of the best songs of the year. Truly, an exceptional record from an exceptional band.

Trials - In the Shadow of Swords#3: Trials // In the Shadow of Swords — This is without a doubt my surprise of the year. Trials‘ unique take on the thrash genre is a refreshing breath of heavy, melodic, interesting music(al air) in a sea of retro bands, lo-fi basement dwellers who are crawling up their own asses and pretentious hipsters. There are no pretentions here; only sharp riffs, epic songwriting, and the freshest thrash I’ve heard in a long damned time. This is a mandatory purchase. Now if only they’d’ve turned Usha up.

Ayreon - The Theory of Everything#2: Ayreon // The Theory of Everything — The double record is so done. Most bands don’t deserve it and I do not have the time or the patience for most bands that think they do. The Theory of Everything defied those sentiments for me, however. Packed with amazing, thematic songwriting, and stellar vocal performances, TToE is epic, immersive, and just flat-out excellent. While I have some gripes about a thing or two here and there, the music and the performances are so strong that it competed heavily for Record o’ the Year. The poofy-haired cheesehead strikes again! Now record another Guilt Machine record, Arjen!

#1: The Ocean // Pelagial — I’m a sucker for epic concept albums and Pelagial is one of the best that I’ve heard. What makes Pelagial so special is how many layers it has and how immersive it is. Because it was written as an instrumental record first, the musical elements are perfectly composed to be as giving and immersive as possible. The instrumental disc stands alone as a heavy and giving album. What’s so impressive is that Loïc Rosetti’s vocal performance and lyrical approach improves an already excellent record. His work is emotional and evocative, threading the needle between cleans and screams with artistic vision and stand out professionalism. Pelagial is an epic success, and the kind of record that makes you want to put on your headphones and get lost in the deep waters of the band’s vision.

The Ocean - Pelagial

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): 

  • Ulver // Messe I.X-VI.X — Ulver‘s best record since Perdition City is a thoughtful wandering into classical music and it works really well. This isn’t an easy listen, but it’s a very cool one.
  • Amon Amarth // Deceiver of the Gods — Deceiver of the Gods was Record o’ the Month for July and it was a great example of Amon Amarth‘s sound in the modern era. But honestly, it just felt like a kind of predictable choice for my end of year list. I enjoy the heck out of this album, but there’s records I’d like to pimp more.
  • Leprous // Coal — Coal has grown on me. It’s a weird record, repetitive but emotive. It started out as total hate when I first heard it, but here it is on my mentions list. A strange but cool record.
  • Thyrfing // De ödelösa — One of the more pleasant surprises of 2013, in my opinion, was the rebirth of Thyrfing. These Swedes rocked out an awesome record that I feel is a bit hampered by the airiness of the production. Still, not to be scoffed at.
  • Sleepers Awake // Transcension — Thanks to FtAG’s Top 10(ish) this is a late addition. Weird sludgy Opethian strains that kind of remind me of Mastodon if they sounded like Iron Thrones.
  • Vhöl // Vhöl — Another late addition is Vhöl, who put out one of the most unique albums I’ve heard this year. They’re one of those bands that has the good sense to crib their riffs from such a wide variety of bands that they don’t sound like anyone but themselves.

Disappointments o’ the Year:

  • Orphaned Land // All Is One  This one hurts. Orphaned Land nailed home what I think is still one of the most perfect records I own on ORwarriOR and then mailed it in with All Is One. Regardless of motivation, this record isn’t good. It’s monotonous and while it has its moments (see: my Top 10[ish] Songs o’ 2013), those are few and far between.
  • Ihsahn // Das seelenbrechen — I shouldn’t be disappointed by now, should I? Ihsahn has more bad records than good, by my counting, and yet somehow I get excited and let down every time the guy puts something out.
  • Rhapsody of Fire // Dark Wings of Steel Yeah, so, this one was definitely more expected than the others. With Luca Turilli leaving the band, the writing on Dark Wings of Steel isn’t great and the guitar solos leave much to be desired. There’s a reason Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody stayed signed to Nuclear Blast and Rhapsody of Fire was dropped. Still, I was pulling for these little Italians that could. Unfortunately, they couldn’t.
  • Fleshgod Apocalypse // Labyrinth — While moving in the right direction, Fleshgod still dropped the ball pretty hard on this one because of the production. Still, it encouraged me to hook up with the Metal-Fi guys to do Angry Metal-Fi, so that’s definitely a silver lining.

 

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  • Madam__X

    Love the album art on that Steven Wilson album, I need to hear it!! Also keen to check out Beaten to Death … good Lord there’s just so much pink in that album cover – all kinds of scary! Great list :)

    • Shahir Chagan

      Fear the pink grindcore carnage, fear it!

      • Madam__X

        Absofreakinglutely!!! ;)

        • B2D is tremendous. Like, I can’t get over how fuckign good that record is. IT’s weird, though. There are times when you expect a whiney emo kid to sing and then suddenly it’s growlies.

          • Madam__X

            Ok that’s it, sold! Picking it up now :)

  • Juular

    Yes. Good. Give in to the Lucassen love. You know it’s the right path to take.

    As a side note, your third and fourth link in the “try these on for size” links both link to your 2012 list. You missed 2011.

  • Realkman666

    There’s a new Rhapsody? Mamma mia!

    • Zadion

      Yeah, and it fucking sucks. Ugh, and From Chaos to Eternity was in my top 10 of 2011, too.

    • Yeah, Zadion speaks the truth. The new Rhapsody is quite a poor showing.

      • Realkman666

        As I’ve just discovered. Wow.

        • Luca Turilli’s from 2012 was quite good tho.

          • Realkman666

            *though
            Not superb, but the classical influences elevated it.

          • ONly thing that killed Turilli from 2012 was the movie guy voice.

          • Realkman666

            That guy was probably just a sick joke.

          • It’s hard to tell. I think Turilli takes himself extraordinarily seriously.

          • Realkman666

            As much as I admire him, yep.

  • Shahir Chagan

    AMG always has the best lists. No offence to the other guys, but my taste in extreme / modern metal was influenced by your lists and reviews a few years ago and I find it hard to disagree with this one. So this list is total ownage.
    Except for Turisas. What, do they think they’re FIFA or something?
    P.S. No love for Voivod?

    • Voivod never stuck for me. Though he who wrote the review loved it. Finntroll was never up to snuff for end of the year, but it was a very good record.

  • Chorchs

    pufff, finally, “Pelagial”, I was thinking that I was the only one who think how amazing is this record (even I buyed a special edition), and I have to say it, Luc Rosseti is really awesome live…

    for all the time that I follow you, though I don’t post (my terrible english), I was sure that I agree more with AMG and Steel Druhm’s lists, I thought that maybe more with Steel’s list, we share de melodeath side, but the truth is that AMG list is the most useless list for me, ha ha…

    … I agree even with the horable mentions, maybe I put Leprous higher, amazing live too…

    With other lists I pick one or two albums for my to do list… here nothing…shame

    • I’ve had a very proggy year. Sorry you didn’t dig this list.

      • bucaneer

        I took the “useless” to mean “I heard and liked all albums in the list, can’t find new recommendations here”. It’s quite a positive comment.

        • Oh! I misunderstood that. Thanks!

        • Chorchs

          thanks bucaneer!
          Sorry I didn’t explain very well…
          The only ones I didn’t heard are Thyrfing and Beaten to death, and yes, I Heard and liked all the others albums…
          Actually, It’s not useless for me I have the two I mentioned before…

          Like Bucaneer said my intention was to emphasize how I agree with that list…

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    Shade Empire Omega Arcane is the best of the year

    • No, it really wasn’t. My proof? Well, I wrote a list. Should I make a graph, too?

      • Some of us are visual learners…

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Great list. I thought Finntroll was going to grow on you as well.
    Here’s to hoping I am not an Angry Lambeau Guy tomorrow!

    • You a Packers fan?

      • FutureBeyondSatan

        I bleed Green and Gold.

        • Well, as a Sconnie but a Vikings fan (long story), with lots of friends who will be at the game tonight, I respect it.

  • Christofer

    Nice list but no love for the latest Tribulation-album? Good to see that Thyrfing gets a honorable mention, the new album is great, didn´t expect that to be honest.

    • I never heard the new Tribulation record. Should I have?

      • Christofer

        It’s the best album of the year in my opinion. I think you should at least give it a listen or two.

  • ChrisOfTheMonolith

    Perhaps more bamds should write all their music first, then allow the vocalist at it. I pansied out of ranking, but Pelagial is definitely top 2, and I couldn’t agree more with its inclusion.

    Few things I really need to hear – Ayreon is popping up very frequently, so might start there.

    • I really agree. We write songs around vocal parts instead of writing vocal parts around songs. Amazingly written songs with added vocals create even better outcomes for everyone involved.

  • Another great list! Thanks for doing these, I look forward to them every year. I would have Amon Amarth, Ayreon, Carcass, Witherscape, Tyr, Thyrfing as my favorite albums of the year.

    I really liked The Ocean, Hakan, and October Falls but only gave them a few listens so far. (I’ll probably get way into these records next year!) I haven’t heard Beaten to Death, Shag or Trials yet. Sounds like I would really dig Trials. Turisas2013 is super fun and catchy. It does have an addictive quality.

    Hopefully 2014 will have a better start than last year!

  • Zadion

    For the first time, I actually think I like Mr. Druhm’s list better! Still a great list though, lots of cool albums. I am a big Arjen fan but The Theory of Everything has yet to grow on me. All of your disappoints are right there alongside mine as well – especially Orphaned Land and RoF.

    A couple albums I’m surprised got absolutely NO mention by any of the writers are the new Protest the Hero and TesseracT albums. PtH ended up being my album of the year, and TesseracT was just really great.

    • Madam__X

      I really enjoyed TesseracT’s One album, but with the lineup changes I’ve been hesitant to spin the new stuff. Based on what you say though I’ll give it a listen!

      • Yeah, if you enjoyed ‘One’ then it would be worth your time to give ‘Altered States’ a listen. I actually think the first few tracks are really great, but I think ‘One’ is better overall.

        • Madam__X

          Good stuff, I shall indeed!!

      • Leroy

        Actually, Altered State is the best thing they’ve done. I’ve never understood the hype around Dan Tompkins and – whilst I loved his recent skyharbor work – his vocals were what inhibited me from liking Tesseract until now. The new guy, O’hara, seemingly has no metal allusions and really brings their more ambient sound to the fore, which is definitely a nice change in the recent sea of djent (I can’t believe I just used the word djent) masquerading as prog.

        Diamond in the rough album, for sure.

    • Tesseract sucks. But Protest the Hero is a band I don’t hate, I just never got my hands on the new record ’cause they never sent me promo of it.

  • Zadion

    Also, where’s Amorphis in your disappointment list? That was a pretty big let down for me.

    • ‘Cause they’d delivered a disappointment in the record previously and I was expecting another one.

      • Zadion

        Previous two Ihsahn records were way more disappointing than the last Amorphis I’d say, but Ihsahn still made it there. :P

        • I expect more from him ’cause he’s a goddamned genius.

          • Zadion

            Okay, how about Omnium Gatherum, then? ;o I do recall you stating how disappointed you were n that record earlier this year…

          • I didn’t have really high expectations. New World Shadows was awesome, but as a general rule I’m not super sold on that band.

    • Mike Eckman

      A contender for disappointment of the year for me, would be Dark Tranqulity – Construct. These guys have been one of the most consistently awesome melodic death bands ever, and as the only remaining original Gothenburg band still playing, I had high hopes for this album. Its not terrible by any means and there are a couple catchy songs, but at least 3/4ths of the album is filler to my ears. I expected more, WAY more!

  • Mike Eckman

    Great list! Of all the staffer’s Top 10-ish lists of the years, mine is closest to yours. I am familiar with all of these albums with the exception of “Beaten to Death”. I agree that most of these albums are worthy of Top 10 with the exception of Turisas. I don’t get the love these guys get around here. Yes, they’re above average power metal, and they do bring a slightly fresh take on the tried and true power metal sound…but only slightly. When I compare Turisas2013 to something like last years Sabaton record, there is no comparison. Turisas is just an above average band that does nothing worthy of top 10 status. Of course, this is just all my two cents. I love this site! :)

    • Matus Dust

      Personally I find Sabaton quite boring or perhaps predictable is a better word. Turisas record does something to me… something different than majority of metal records. I keep finding double meanings or sarcastic metaphores in the lyrics. The album looks really dumb on the first sight, but there is more to it under the surface.

  • Mike Eckman

    Oh, and one more thing.

    AMG, you say this might be your last, but it won’t. If you’re anything like me and you bleed metal, you won’t be able to stay away. Yeah, life does get in the way sometimes, but when its something you feel so passionately about, you will find the time. 2014 will have some gems and you won’t be able to stay away! I am looking forward to your continued contributions to this site! :)

    • How right you are! This, unfortunately, applies to me as well. =P

  • This list. I like this list. This is the first place (besides on my own inferior list) where I’ve seen ‘Dødsfest!’ get its due credit!

    • Yeah, had I listened to Dødsfest! earlier in the year it would’ve been higher, but it really did just pop in on the back end of my list in the last two weeks.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I wonder if nobody here has listened to the new Tribulation album. I knew it was going to be my album of the year as soon as I finished listening to it the first time. It’s just an immense monolith of death metal. Gripping atmosphere, awesome riffs, creativity to spare and it doesn’t get boring despite it being 75 minutes long.

    Another forgotten standout for me was the new Spektr. Listening to that album in the right mood is just out of this world. It’s as close to legit scary as I’ve ever heard music.

    Other favorites include Altar of Plagues, Ghost, Gorguts, In Vain, The Ocean, Persefone, Satan, Shade Empire, Skeletonwitch, Steve Wilson, Summoning, Toxic Holocaust, Vhöl and Witherscape.

    All in all, 2013 wasn’t as bad as it seemed it’d be.

  • euthanatos

    If he leaves, we will riot. It’s that simple.

  • Vega Magnus

    Haven’t listened to most of these, however, I must say that I found October Falls to be really shitty. Maybe it is just that I’ve listened to stuff like Be’lakor, Insomnium, and other similar bands so much that I’m sick of this type of mopey melodeath, but I just really was bored by that album.

    • October Falls isn’t mopey death metal at all. It’s mopey black metal, and they’ve got a deep Ulver love. I think it’s fantastic.

  • Ok, I have a celebrity deathmatch for you, who has more projects we love, Steven Wilson or Dan Swanö?

    And too bad you didn’t got VHÖL’s promo earlier in the year, I was following that project since 2012 because I’m a bit of a Cobbett and Dekker fanboi since their Ludicra days, and I was very excited to see what they could come with Scheidt added to the mix and I was really blown away.

    I have to be a little selfish here and hope your profession gives you some spare time for you to share some of your insight here. While the rest of the staff is making a great job keeping the site going, your opinions and sense of humor made this site what it is today, and it would be sorely missed. Here’s to a really *ANGRY* year for you all.

    • For me it’s Swanö hands down. I respect Steven Wilson as a producer more than Swanö, but I like Swanö’s own projects better than Wilson’s. I was never a fan of Porcupine Tree or even much of Wilson’s earlier solo stuff.

      • I had a feeling you would say Swanö. I do like Porcupine Tree and Blackfield tho, it was a bit hard to get into PT at first but it has grown on me a lot. And I was stupidly excited about what he could do with Åkerfeldt, and I actually liked it. Swanö is a beast tho.

      • McBasstard

        I was first introduced to Swano with pan thy monium. Man that project was awesome. Reminded me of Mike Pattons stuff.

  • Zadion

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! I remember when I first discovered AMG’s website, too: I was super excited for Blind Guardian’s last album, checked the Wiki page for it every day, and his review was the first review sourced on the Wiki page. I vaguely recall commenting that I don’t like some of the things he said in the review, but I kept coming back regardless and he’s been my lone provider for excellent albums since. Most of my favorite bands now I’ve found through this website.

    • I think it’s hilarious that you kept coming back.

      • Zadion

        Considering the review you gave AtEoT – yeah, me too. :P

  • Jay Alan Goodwin

    Not feeling Haken at all but you’ve got some great stuff on this list. Especially October Falls’ “Plague of a Coming Age.” I’ve not seen this on anyone else’s list and it’s a shame. Witherscape was great too. I only listen to that vinyl mix as well :)

  • Carlos_Marrickvillian

    Love this site! I always look forward to the record of the month and have discovered some real gems like B2D and October Falls to name a couple. Thanks for all your hard work its appreciated!

    This year Gorguts is a clear winner for me, though not much separates my top 4, they’re all records I know I’ll be going back to for years.
    1. Gorguts – Coloured Sands2. Voivod – Target Earth
    3. Revocation – Revocation
    4. Carcass – Surgical Steel

    5. Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    6. Sahg – Delusions Of Grandeur
    7. Locrian – Return to Annihilation
    8. Kylesa – Ultraviolet
    9. October Falls – Plague Of A Coming Age
    10. Amorphis – Circle

    Most disappointing
    Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Mind Control.

    Most Overrated
    Deafheaven I bought this instead of The Ocean’s…because of the hype… think I made a big mistake, Its not bad I just cant see how its at the top of so many lists.

    Most Underrated (except at AMG)
    Sahg Delusions of Grandeur, such an epic record and IMO the best by this band the lack of attention is freaking criminal!

    Most likley to appear on a longer List
    Black Sabbath / Haken / Darkthrone / Inquisition

    On my to do list…(i.e this list was prepared without quality time being spent with releases by)
    Black Dahlia Murder / The Dillinger Escape Plan / Sub Rosa / The Ocean / Pestilence / Pelican / Hail of Bullets / Nails / Monster Magnet

    Thanks again!Oh and your resignation….Not Accepted!

    • Haha, nice lists here. I think next year we should institute most overrated.

  • D.F.A.

    ish: Skeletonwitch – Generic Stoner Artwork but Black Thrash. What.
    10: Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath is Dead?
    9: Anciients – New Kid
    8: Leprous – Still Growing
    7: Atlantean Kodex – Fantasygasm
    666: Tyr – Songs ‘bout Vikings Fuckin’
    5: In Vain – Better than In Mourning
    4: Caladan Brood – Gallowbraid
    3: Carcass – 17
    2: Deafheaven – Hipstergaze
    1: The Ocean – The Ocean Conceptualized

    Honored Guests:
    Kongh (interesting shit right here)
    Elder (EP from ’12 and live from this year but just this band in general is super promising)
    Haken

    Horrible Mentions:
    Orphaned Land and (sorry about this but) AMG’s list. I can tell your heart isn’t completely in it and I fully understand that. Jobs and bills and shit. I had somewhat of a revival of metal this year and I hope for the sake of this blog you have the same. Your blog has helped shape my metal and musical tastes. I love you.

  • TminusEight

    Great list, I checked out almost all of those when they were reviewed and liked many.
    Aside from many awesome bookmarked tracks across black, melo and proggy metal (discovered courtesy of this site), the 2013 album that stuck with me is Summoning – Old Morning’s Dawn. The rest of my regular playlist is still dominated by great albums from prior years that are proving very hard to move on from – Be’lakor’s latest two, the unparalleled Moonsorrow, and a couple of gems from Insomnium and Before the Dawn.
    But the really great thing about this site is that as well as hooking me up with some amazing music, it provides me with an unmissable daily read. Almost everything Steel Druhm writes leaves me interested, amused, and better educated, and in fact the whole crew should be on everybody’s list as a bunch of the greatest music writers o’ the Millennium. And so even as the suggestion of a somewhat less *Angry* 2014 fills me with sadness, we can all rest assured that it shall nonetheless remain quintessentially METAL.

    Happy New Year!

    • This is the nicest thing anyone said about me since that homeless guy called me a “white devil.”

  • The Metal Pigeon

    Great write up as always, I see that you and I saw eye to eye on October Falls — great stuff.

  • Thanks John. I appreciate this a lot. We’ll have to see how things go, but to be frank it’s pretty hard right now for me to even think about staying because of the kind of time requirements I have elsewhere. I’m neck deep in shit to do.

  • Juan Esteban Mendoza

    Ah man, it’s a shame you’re leaving. I’ve really enjoyed reading to your reviews for about a year and half, since I discovered the website. But good luck in whatever 2014 brings you.

    As for the list, “Pelagial” is definitely record of the year for me too. I was really upset that I couldn’t see them live during the Summer Slaughter tour.

    Anyhow, good luck again, and hopefully we’ll hear from you once in a while

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    October Falls and Steven Wilson were very awesome indeed, and Pelagial for me was the #1 album of 2013 as well :) Great list!

    I had noticed your declining number of contributions to this (your!) site of late AMG and it’s a real fucking shame to see you thinking about leaving.. I’m hoping somehow you get to come back at times to this blog, but if not I’d like to thank you greatly for exposing me to all sorts of new music and entertaining with awesome reviews over the past years! I wish you great fortune in your future endeavors!

  • skooly d

    I am delighted at your retooled take on the new Leprous. The Valley is simply astounding.

    • It took a long, long time to click for me. Hard to listen to because of how repetitive it gets, but the feel is ultimately a winner.

  • Richard Saunders

    AMG is the sole provider of decent metal reviews for us as far afield as South Africa, so dare NOT go anywhere, pleeeze! And I love your number 1 choice as well, thought there was something wrong with me! Can’t believe someone is too old to listen Metal music, it is the only music to listen to! I’m 60 and cannot and will not listen to anything else!

  • Richard Saunders

    This is the first website I read every morning and from the distant shores of South Africa, you CANNOT leave us, pleeeze! Metal is the only music that means anything in my life, and also would like to say the bands you have introduced me to are too numerous to mention. I have had go to Bandcamp, iTunes, etc. to find their music! By the way, I agree with your number 1 choice, I was starting to doubt myself when I could not stop listening to that album. I’m 60 and have found a whole new world of metal music through your website, you’re never too old to love metal music!

  • bucaneer

    +1 to this. I found the site when AMG gave 5/5 to Pain of Salvation’s Road Salt. His reviews have since introduced me to some great bands like Cormorant and Moonsorrow. What would Angry Metal Guy be without the Angry Metal Guy? I mean, none of the other contributors even gave a nod to Pelagial, which clearly means their opinion is worthless.

  • Speaking of Faroese music, have you had the chance (or will) to listen to Hamferð – Evst?

  • Richard Saunders

    Sorry, I commented twice on your list, pure internet ignorance on my behalf! Have you heard “Bay of Kings” by “Liklukt”?

  • Mr T

    Till Stila Falla era paltskallar.

  • Steve

    Not a mention of Carcass? What the……

    • I like the Carcass record. I think it’s good, but I missed the Carcass boat when I was getting into death metal and they still don’t really rock my world.

  • David S.

    Idk , but i liked All Is One. It took a few listens but its just a tad bit happier in theme then the others. Sure , its not a Concept Album but still has good theme to it.