Jul 092013

We’re just past the halfway point of 2013, and it seems like a good time to take stock of what the year has delivered so far. As I’ve said before, I’m terrible at making “best of” lists. I overthink it, I agonize over it, I have great difficulty comparing metal across different genres. I have great difficulty choosing among albums I like even within a specific genre. When I contemplate making a “best of the year” list, my brain tends to just lock up like an engine that’s had a hole punched in the oil pan. So I’m not providing a list of my own — and I haven’t told my fellow writers that I’m doing this post, so I don’t have anything from them to share either.

No, the main point of this post is to solicit your choices. That’s more fun anyway. I mean, it’s clear that NCS readers have superb taste, because you’re reading NCS; I rest my case. It’s also clear from the comments we get that the readers at this site have diverse interests in metal and, with a few exceptions (those being the people who disagree with me), are highly intelligent. So I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. That’s one of the best reasons to read lists of the year’s best metal — to make new discoveries — in addition to seeing confirmation of the wisdom of your own opinions.

So, in the comments to this post, please leave your lists of the best 2013 metal albums and EPs you’ve heard so far this year. Explanations or descriptions are welcome, but don’t feel you have to make time for that; a simple list is fine, too. A couple more things before you start pecking away on your keyboards or touchpads:

I thought about asking you for a Top 5 list or a Top 10 list, but decided there’s no reason to put an arbitrary limit on this. You might have a Top 3 or a Top 17 — it’s up to you. And to be clear, when I say “Best of 2013”, what I’m really after is not necessarily a critical judgment (though we’re happy to get those), but the 2013 releases that have become your favorites — the ones you’ve been enjoying the most.

And that’s it. Thanks in advance to all who choose to participate in this process.

(And to our other writers who I’m surprising with this post, your lists are welcome, too.)


  178 Responses to “THE BEST OF 2013 SO FAR: A READER’S POLL”

  1. I’m behind on a few releases that I’m sure I’ll like, but that hasn’t stopped me from having ten so far this year that I’ve particularly enjoyed, in no particular order, though Jess and the Ancient Ones have my favorite song this year so far (Astral Sabbat) –

    Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Necrovision (black)
    Cultes des Ghoules – Henbane (black)
    Goat Torment – Dominande Tenebrae (black)
    Howling – A Beast Conceived (death)
    Kingdom – Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy (death)
    Slaughterday – Cosmic Horror (death- demo)
    Trenchrot – Dragged down to Hell (death – demo)
    Jess and the Ancient Ones – Astral Sabbat (psychedelic – ep)
    Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark (occult/psychedelic)
    Vestal Claret – Bloodbath (trad/doom)

  2. Merzbow and Nordvagr – Partikel 3
    Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
    Cloud Rat – Moksha
    Blister Unit – Christ Ape
    Napalm Death – Utilitarian
    Gets Worse – Year of the Bastard

  3. Here’s my list of the best albums of 2013 so far:

    Abyssal – Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. Dark and evil blackened death metal. They take the foundation they built in Denouement and improve upon it by a large margin.
    Amiensus – Restoration. Awesome Emperor worship featuring powerful melodic guitars and stunning clean vocals. There’s even a guest appearance by Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams. I know this was released on New Years Eve of 2012, but I’m still considering it a 2013 release.
    Situs Magus – Le Grand Oeuvre. French black metal with funeral doom trappings that offers up powerful riffs and an epic atmosphere.
    Delete The Mass – Μάζα. Insane Nasum worship from Greece that offers up simple and furious guitars but also possesses intelligent songwriting.
    Aylwin & Stellar Descent – Farallon. A split album featuring two bands that play amazing raw atmospheric black metal. I know this sounds like a stretch, but this is seriously one of the best split albums ever made.
    Sadhaka – Terma. Cascadian black metal that features riffs both morose and triumphant, as well as low droning clean vocals.
    Vallendusk – Black Clouds Gathering. Awesome atmospheric black metal from Indonesia that features amazing guitar work that is warm, grand, melodic, and sometimes quite catchy.

  4. oops – missed the bit where you said they had to be metal releases. Ah well.

  5. It has been a terrific 2013 so far.

    Persefone – Spiritual Migration (current front-runner)
    Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    Nero di Marte – Nero di Marte
    Byzantine – Byzantine
    Returning We Hear the Larks – Far-Stepper/Of Wide Sea (seriously, check this record out. It’s free!)
    The Ocean – Pelagial (although I don’t think it’s, like, the greatest thing in the history of the world ever. I prefer both -Centrics and Precambrian to this record.)

  6. Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    Benea Reach – Possession
    Sleepers Awake – Transcision
    Quest of AIdance – Misanthropic Propagandha
    TesseracT – Altered State
    Hacride – Back To Where You’ve Never Been
    Woe – Withdrawal
    Nero Di Marte – Nero Di Marte
    Persefone – Spiritual Migration

  7. Abbey ov Thelema – Liber DCLXVI
    Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    Anciients – Heart of Oak
    Azure Emote – The Gravity of Impermanence
    Ghost – Infestissumam
    Helcaraxe – Children of Ygg
    Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    Kvelertak – Meir
    Man’s Gin – Rebellion Hymns
    The Ocean – Pelagial (instrumental)
    Pensees Nocturnes – Nom d’une Pipe!
    Vhol – Vhol
    Wormed – Exodromos
    It’s too early in the morning for descriptions. I’m not on trial here!
    Still anticipating: Carcass, Gorguts, Ihsahn, Witherscape, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and I’m curious about the four albums from Agoraphobic Nosebleed that are due sometime.

  8. Vreid – Welcome Farewell
    Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance, but this might be a little early to judge because I just got it this week. I imagine that the new Extol could be on my Best of 2013 list too, but I also just got that one too.

  9. I love these lists. They always make me aware of a wider range of good bands. I am listening to Vallendusk on bandcamp right now, and like what I hear. Thanks BreadGod. If I remember right, it was your 2012 list that introduced me to Mgła.

  10. Been thinking about this for the past couple weeks. A couple definite favorites so far:

    Inter Arma
    Altar of Plagues

    • I’ve never been able to get into Vreid despite my great love for Windir, but I like Thrawsunblat more than anything Woods of Ypres released.

    • Thrawsunblat is high on my list of albums to check out — should have done it before now after posting about them when the first single came out.

  11. The Ocean – Pelagial. I think 80% of the few comments I have on this site have to do with me extolling the greatness of this disc. It’s the greatest thing in the history of the world ever, except for Opeth’s Still Life and Blackwater Park.

    The rest (despite the fact that I’m well behind on other releases I want to include):
    Kvelertak – Meir
    Anciients – Heart Of Oak
    Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer
    Cult of Luna – Vertikal
    Shining – One One One
    Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack
    Clutch – Earth Rocker
    Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    The Bronx – IV
    Bad Religion – True North

  12. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (and refused to bow down to “Metal only” restrictions)
    Rotting Christ – Kata Ton Diamonia Eatoy
    Fen – Dustwalker
    Riverside – Shrine of New Generation Slaves
    Cultes Des Ghoules – Henbane
    Persefone – Spiritual Migration
    Summoning – Old Mornings Dawn
    Leprous – Coal
    Enforcer – Death By Fire
    Satan – Life Sentence
    Locrian – Return to Annihilation
    Orphaned Land – All Is One
    Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
    Stratovarius – Nemesis

    Just off the top of my head

  13. I don’t have a lot to add here, as most of my favorites have already been mentioned. Anciients, Howling, Tribulation, Extol, Hacride – all of have been great. Here’s a few I’m shocked haven’t been mentioned thus far:

    Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam; A rare album that lives up to its title. Quite possibly the best album they’ve released since the early 90s.

    Skeletal Spectre – Voodoo Dawn; Yep I’m including a double dose of Vanessa Nocera. One of the pinnacles of OSDM revivalism.

    Voivod – Target Earth; I know, not typical NCS fare, but it’s an amazing return to form and full og great riffs.

    Byzantine – S/T; This is looking like the year everyone releases a reunion record (see Voivod, too), but Byzantine has set the bar incredibly high for just how much growth is possible without even being together as a band.

    Albums of the Year thus far: Byzantine and Extol.

    Albums I’m looking forward to: Witherscape, Carcass, Shade Empire, The Safety Fire, Formless, Shattered Skies and Lorelei.

  14. Some stuff I’ve really enjoyed so far this year:

    Agrimonia – Rites of Separation
    Infera Bruo – Desolate Unknown
    Aosoth – IV: Arrow in the Heart
    Ghost BC – Infestissumam
    Stilla – Till Stilla Falla
    Entropia – Vesper
    October Falls – Plague of a Coming Age

  15. Interestingly there’s an album on a few lists here that’s going to crop up in a Synn Report later this week…

  16. 1. The Ocean – Pelagial
    2. Clutch – Earth Rocker

    (the rest are in no particular order)

    3. Anciients – Heart of Oak
    4. Ohio Sky – This House Is Old and Filled With Ghosts
    5. Svart Crown – Profane
    6. Leprous – Coal
    7. Alice In Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
    8. DEP – Whatever the hell their new one’s called
    9. Ehhh… I dunno, the live HOF albums, maybe? Aside from Clutch & The Ocean, it’s been a bit of a slow year so far, really. Those are the only two that have really blown my doors off and that I haven’t gotten bored with.

    • Lots to look forward to, though – Carcass, Protest the Hero, Casualties of Cool, Butch Walker & the Black Widows, Revocation, Scale the Summit, Ihsahn, probably some other thing I’m forgetting that’s really obvious but that I’m still forgetting.

  17. I haven’t even thought about what order I might put these in later, and some of them I really need to listen to more, but here are the albums that have really stood out for me so far:

    Tribulation- The Formulas of Death
    Vorum- Poisoned Void
    Voices- From the Human Forest……..
    Ghost- Infestissumam
    Thrawsunblat- Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings
    Crest of Darkness- In the Presence of Death
    Acrimonious- Sunyata
    Paradox- Tales of the Weird
    The Beyond- Frostbitepanzerfuck
    Caladan Brood- Echoes of Battle
    Thou Art Lord- The Regal Pulse of Lucifer
    Vhol- Vhol
    Lesbian- Forestelevision

    I’ll cut myself off there. I’m not sure what it is but it seems like there’s been an oddly high number of releases that I’ve really enjoyed this year.

    • I left Sunyata off my list because I thought it was a 2012 release, but I guess it came out this year in the US. I love that album.

    • That Voices album is really fucking great. I need to listen to it more, but I think it could have gone on my list.

  18. Amon Amarth – Deciever of the Gods: Best one since With Odin on our Side?
    Arsis – Unwelcome: They stepped up everything a few notches
    The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack: Awesome as usual
    Satan – Life Sentence: Good old school metal
    Seeds of Perdition – From Within: Great first EP from a local melodic death metal band, check it out on Bandcamp!

    • At first glance I thought it read Axis of Perdition and my heart jumped at the thought of a new one. Sorry this comment has little to do with your post. Just wanted to throw the name out there, I guess.

  19. Agrimonia – Rites of Separation
    Vhol – Vhol
    Progenie Terrestre Pura – U.M.A.
    Skagos – Anarchic
    Nails – Abandon All Life
    Caladan Brood – Echoes of Battle
    Saor – Root

    • Cool to see Progenie Terrestre Pura on here (I like the other choices too), and I see it showed up on another list below. I really love that album and feel like a douchebag for not having reviewed it yet. Word needs to be spread.

      • That one came out of left field for me as a suggestion from a friend. Had he not suggested it I probably never would have found it. Definitely deserves some credit.

        • It’s been one I’ve been hoping to get round to for a while, but I’m still working through a backlog!

        • I waited and looked for it only because I had reviewed their two-song promo back in 2011, and it blew me away. They’re pretty far under the radar, though they shouldn’t be.

  20. THE OCEAN – “Pelagial”

    ARSIS – “Unwelcome”

    BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – “Everblack”

    THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT – “Tetragrammaton”

    GHOST – “Infestissuman”

    ROTTEN SOUND – “Species at War”

    DEAFHEAVEN – “Sunbather”

    ALTAR OF PLAGUES – “Teethed Glory and Injury”

    SUMMONING – “Old Mornings Dawn”

    VREID – “Welcome Farewell”

    SUFFOCATION – “Pinnacle of Bedlam”

  21. I can’t hope to win Old Man Windbreaker’s most kvltest list award this time around. Quite a few albums i like. But i am doing up a post on Metalspree for the same. I might as well share it here tomorrow. 🙂

  22. The Monolith-Deathcult-Tetragrammaton
    In Vain-Aenigma
    Persefone-Spiritual Migration
    Dark Tranquillity-Construct

    …in no particular order, of course.

  23. Hell no i am not waiting that long!!!! And i am very much with Islander here. Compiling a list is the next hardest thing to sorting tracks on to your music player with limited disk space. Well here goes in no particular order. Sorry for the length, i am indecision junkie.
    Kongh – Soul Creation
    Krypts – Unending Degradation
    Illuminati – The Core
    Lantern – Below
    Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We are in Death
    Katalepsy – autopsychois
    The Flight of Sleipnir – Saga
    Vuyvr – Eiskalt
    Crown – Psychurgy
    Regarde les hommes tomber -regarde les hommes tomber
    Krownn – Hyborian Age
    Light Bearer – Silver Tongue
    No Omega – Shame
    The Phantom Carriage – Falls
    Omnium Gatherum – Beyond
    Cortez – Phoebus
    Soliloquium – The Concept of Escape
    Man the Machete – Idiokrati
    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    Rorcal – Világvége
    Asg – Blood Drive
    Caladan Brood – Echoes of Battle
    Scale the Summit – The Migration
    Vex – Memorious
    Man the Machetes – Idiokrati
    Supuration – Cube 3
    Redwood Hill – Descender
    Seven Sisters of Sleep – Descender
    Thranenkind – The Elk
    Beastwars – Blood Becomes Fire
    Shade Empire – Omega Arcane
    Universe217 – Never
    Vallendusk – Black Clouds Gathering
    The Fall of Every Season – Amends

  24. Deafheaven – Sunbather
    The Ocean – Pelagial
    Means End – The Didact
    Spock’s Beard – Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
    Rings Of Saturn – Dingir
    Pomegranate Tiger – Entities
    Chon – Newborn Sun
    Acrania – The Beginning Of The End
    Abyssal – Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius
    Decades Of Despair – Alive
    Scale The Summit – The Migration
    Author And Punisher – Women And Children
    Vomitous – Empires Of Great Enslavement
    Arsis – Unwelcome
    Satan – Life Sentence
    Anciients – Heart Of Oak
    Wormed – Exodromos
    Dark Sermon – In Tongues
    Thrawsunblat – Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings
    Soilwork – The Living Infinite
    Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
    Omnium Gatherum – Beyond
    Mors Principium Est – And Death Said Live

    It’s been a good year.

  25. Awesome…I’ll actually write up an article with my top choices, but some of my Runner-ups would be:

    Sorcery – Arrival at Six (death)
    Skeletal Spectre – Voodoo dawn (death/doom)
    Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We Are in Death (death)
    Intöxicated – Rock ‘n Roll Hellpatröl (speed/heavy)
    Månegarm – Legions Of The North (folk/black)
    Assaultery – Life Denied (black/thrash)
    Dødsfall – Djevelens evangelie (black)
    Desolator – Unearthly Monument (death)
    Execution – Perversions And Blasphemy (black/thrash)
    Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Necrovision

  26. “Satan – Life Sentence” / Haven’t banged my head this much with a “classic metal” sounding album since decades ago (yes, thats plural). Truly inspiring and original work for such a classic territory. The sound of metal that metal grew up to 🙂

    “Shade Empire – Omega Arcane” / Majestic and Mystical are a couple of words to describe what they achieved, for me, in the Symphonic “Black” Metal sound, even now after we already enjoyed so many similar stellar releases from other bands.

    “Assemble The Chariots – The Sulphur Voids EP” / This came out late December so i think its fair to mention it now. Symphonic Death/Black from the future, thats how i saw it. Cant wait for their debut album.

    “The Bridal Procession – Descent Into Arcologies” / Crazy and gifted french band with unique Atmospheric Technical Death ideas that drive me nuts, such a pity they disbanded.

    “Cognizance – Inquisition EP” / Uk Technical Death Metal with very fresh ideas and Alex Rudinger behind the drums, tech freak heaven!

    “My Dying Bride – 2013 – The Manuscript EP” / Small and precious, this release showed me they still have that special “it”, hope is not lost after all!!

    • Got a review of “Descent Into Arcologies” in the pipeline.

      Not a best of 2013 for me, but still a worthy release.

      • It’s great that you mentioned Cognizance. They should have released a full length. Baby steps perhaps? The guys were kind enough to mail me the tracks, wrote a review thereafter. http://metalspreev2.com/2013/03/14/cognizance-inquisition/

      • As an album, to fit in a Best of 2013 may be too optimistic, sure, it has quite a few weak spots since it was the final release and they probably filled it up with some weak songs out of need probably. For me though, a good bunch of songs from this album are so unique and offer so much to the Tech Death genre that makes it to my eyes and ears much more worthier to be in a Best of list than a “very well written” album from one more classic band who releases their tenth or whatever release and they are not called Bolt Thrower 🙂

  27. Top releases:

    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    Fell Voices – Regnum Saturni
    Ash Borer – Bloodlands
    Fen – Dustwalker
    Sannhet – Known Flood
    Entropia – Vesper
    Locrian – Return to Annhilation
    October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age

    Other pretty good stuff:

    Progenie Terrestre Pura – U.M.A.
    Ov Hollowness – The World Ends
    Unru – MMXIII
    Din of Awakening – Demo
    Kvelertak – Meir
    Scale the Summit – The Migration
    Clouds Collide – Until the Wind Stops Blowing…
    Torture Chain – Mutilating Astral Entities

    Stuff that’s fantastic but maybe not metal:

    Cloudkicker – Hello
    Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Devotion
    Hexvessel – Iron Marsh
    Wardruna – Yggdrasil
    Sigur Ros – Kveikur
    The Haxan Cloak – Excavation (darkest album of the year)

    …and Frigoris, Skagos & Anciients are on my listen-to list, but I haven’t checked them out yet!

  28. My music taste is more on the melodic death metal side, maybe because we have here in Finland a great bunch of mdm bands i don’t know, but that’s my main taste and the list is going to be filled with pretty much of it.

    Omnium Gatherum-Beyond
    Noumena-Death Walks With Me
    Eternal Tears of Sorrow-Saivon Lapsi
    Kalmah-Seventh Swamphony
    Cult Of Luna-Vertikal
    In Vain-Ænigma
    Caladan Brood-Echoes of Battle

    And finally i gotta say i’m pretty impressed with the work guys from my school did.
    Nuclear Omnicide-The Presence of Evil

    I was pretty sure there were more records…I just hope that Be’lakor or Agalloch would soon release a new album!

    • You do indeed have some great mdm bands in Finland. The Omnium Gatherum album is still one of my favorites of the year, and I’m really digging the Kalmah album, too (but I like everything they do).

  29. Hacride

    • Enjoying the Byzantine love that’s showing up on many of these lists. Comeback album of the year?

      • …for the simple reason that they did an awesome job creating a straight forward ‘modern’ ( = kinda 00’s nu without being nu) metal album without sounding obsolete…That’s the first album I ‘ve heard from byzantine…and that to me says a lot … being on my playlist for months
        …the same goes for hacride…Lazarus was a good album but not that good. they trimmed down their songs keeping their essence, their emotion, and passion… + great lyrics from the new vocalist
        …recommended ‘ pharaoh – bury the light’.. It’s a 2012 release but the best for me this year…tim aymar( control denied) on vocals…us power at it’s finest

      • In most years, an easy yes…the problem is that Extol’s album is also an amazing comeback record. I think a joint award may be in order. And I’m going to second the mention of Pharaoh from below; not many people heard about the album last year and it is phenomenal.

  30. In no particular order, in spite of the numbering:
    1)Vhol- Vhol
    2)Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult-Necrovision. Consistently good. Surprised they don’t get more press, and not just from this site. Nice to see them getting some love on these lists.
    5)Anciients- Heart Of Oak
    6)Cluth- Earth Rocker. Always solid.
    7)Voices- From The Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain. Basically the spiritual successor to Akercocke, as it contains half the band. My favorite album of the year so far.
    8)Chthonic- Bu-Tik
    9) Botanist- IV:Mandragora
    10)Thrawsunblat- Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings

  31. And if there is anything remotely metalcore in any of the lists. It ought to be Misery Signals, the only band i have some sort of respect for. Heres hoping their new album to not turning out to be a chore.

  32. Haven’t listened to too much yet, but here goes:
    Altar of Plagues

  33. I’m not ready to make a list yet, but if I had to do my end-of-year list today, three things would be trve:

    1. Profound Lore would fucking dominate the list. Moreso than they usually do (hey, they’ve had my top album of the year for two years running).

    2. It would be my least metal list ever. Between Man’s Gin, Lux Interna, and The Black Heart Rebellion, I think my non-metal listening has been a lot better experience than my metal listening.

    3. Fucking PORTAL.

  34. Getting the new Nails, Darkthrone, and Vhol at the same time was a good day’s work. Also liking Woe and deafheaven, and Run the Jewels (NOT metal).

  35. Abyssal
    Of Wolves
    Tsar Bomba
    Killswitch Engage

  36. i’m pretty sure my list will be most “mainstream” and cheesy, and that i’ll remember 20 other albums right after i hit the “submit comment” button, but here goes:

    Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam
    Immolation – Kingdom of Conspiracy
    Arsis – Unwelcome
    Aosoth – IV: An Arrow in Heart
    Battlecross – War of Will
    Havok – Unnatural Selection
    Ramming Speed – Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die
    The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack
    Killswitch Engage – Disarm the Descent
    Evile – Skull
    Alice In Chains – Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
    Soilwork – The Living Infinite
    Jungle Rot – Terror Regime
    Six Feet Under – Unborn
    Warbeast – Destroy
    Heaven Shall Burn – Veto
    Blood Red Throne – Blood Red Throne
    Portal – Vexovoid
    Devourment – Conceived in Sewage
    Sevendust – Black Out the Sun

    • I have failed to connect myself with Aosoth’s Arrow in Heart. I might be the only one here who thinks that they should have held on to their more muddier production. For i thought Aosoth’s III was one of the best releases from the French underground and secretly wished IV was a continuation of that.

      • i agree that III is the better album, but IV is still really great

        • Going to have to respectfully disagree with that. III was great, but ‘Arrow’ is goddamn amazing and has been hogging my car stereo to the chagrin of everything else.

  37. ok, one more:

    As They Burn – Will Love Life

  38. In rough order:
    Dark Tranquility-Construct
    Just Before Dawn-Precis Innan Gryningen
    Murder Made God-Irreverence
    Boss Keloid-The Calming Influence of Teeth
    Lycus-Tempest (Cvlt Nation just streamed the full album, love it)
    One Inch Giant-The Great White Beyond
    Howling-A Beast Conceived
    Blood Red Throne-Blood Red Throne
    All Pigs Must Die-Nothing Violates This Nature

  39. In no particular order:

    Adora Vivos – Toward The Empyrean. Beautiful melancholic metal, featuring some of the guys from Amiensus (which I really need to get my ass around to buying).
    Byzantine – S/T. Southern-infused metal. Would you believe this is the first album of their’s I’ve heard?
    Mechina – Empyrean. Fucking brilliant sci fi metal.
    Rotting Christ – Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy. Everyone should know this already.
    Hope For The Dying – Aletheia. Proggy metal. Apparently they’re christian, but there’s no ‘worship the lord’ lyrics so don’t freak out.
    In Vain – Aenigma. Already mentioned here a few times.


    The Devil, S/T: According to Metal Archives this is Nov 2012, but you know, probably slipped off people’s radar being one of those near-end-year releases, so I’m throwing it in. A huge slab of riff and doomy keyboards with no vocals but only audio samples providing the thematic elements, and it works.
    Chaostar – Anomima. Featuring Christos Antoniou and Fotis Benardo from Septic Flesh, but this really isn’t metal. Kind of experimental neoclassical. Not to everyone’s taste. I didn’t know this band existed until seeing the promo material for this come out – their back catalogue has been a great find for me this year.
    Summoning – just got this via itunes this morning.

    Looking forward to:
    In Dread Response – NZ metal band.
    Synthetic Breed – math metal from the land of Oz.
    Welicoruss – this was supposed to come out last week, so don’t know what’s up with that yet. Love the single ‘Sons of the North’.
    Diablerie – French industrial band I discovered courtesy of NCS. Full length should be out later this year I hope.
    Lorelei – come on, just fucking release this already!!

  40. I have so many possibilities that I don’t really know when this list will end. After the first two albums (my top two of the year), these are in no particular order.

    Clutch – Earth Rocker
    Pryapisme – Hyperblast Super Collider
    Bad Religion – True North
    Finntroll – Blodsvept
    Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
    Rob Sonic – Alice In Thunderdome
    How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
    Total Fucking Destruction – Monsters
    Blockheads – This World Is Dead
    Mindless Self Indulgence – How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence
    K.Flay – West Ghost
    Dessa – Parts Of Speech
    Antigama – Meteor
    Amon Amarth – Deceiver Of The Gods
    Amorphis – Circle
    Squash Bowels – Grindcoholism
    Inhumate – Expulsed
    Polkadot Cadaver – Last Call In Jonestown
    The Grammar Club – Bioavailable
    Rotting Christ – Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού
    Watsky – Cardboard Castles
    Ayria – Plastic Makes Perfect
    The Uncluded – Hokey Fright
    Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
    The Ocean – Pelagial
    Pomegranate Tiger – Entities
    Tribulation – The Formulas Of Death
    Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – Mind Control
    Shining – One One One
    Huntress – Starbound Beast
    P.L.F. – Devious Persecution And Wholesale Slaughter
    Satan – Life Sentence
    Ghost – Infestissumam
    Iron Reagan – Worse Than Dead
    Immolation – Kingdom Of Conspiracy
    Abnormal Thought Patterns – Manipulation Under Anesthesia
    Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury
    Arm Cannon – LegVacuum 2
    Arsis – Unwelcome
    ASG – Blood Drive
    Azure Emote – The Gravity Of Impermanence
    Billy Woods – Dour Candy
    Bispora – The Pineal Chronicles Phase I: Furtherance
    Black Sabbath – 13
    Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
    Brent A Petrie – The Void
    Cage – Saint Nicolas
    Chthonic – Bú-Tik
    Cnoc An Tursa – The Giants Of Auld
    Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descension
    Czarface – Czarface
    Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
    Deathchain – Ritual Death Metal
    Deeds Of Flesh – Portals To Canaan
    Disinterred – Demo MMXIII
    Dropkick Murphys – Signed And Sealed In Blood
    False Flag Attack – Grind The Human Scum
    Fir Bolg – Towards Ancestral Lands
    Five Horse Johnson – The Taking Of Blackheart
    Fuck The Facts – Amer
    Gogol Bordello – Pura Vida Conspiracy
    Head Cleaner – Of Worms And Men
    How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
    Ill Bill – The Grimy Awards
    Ixpapalotl – Corpse Republic
    Jess And The Ancient Ones – Astral Sabbat
    Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rise
    Joel Grind – The Yellowgoat Sessions
    Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony
    Karnivool – Asymmetry
    KMFDM – Kunst
    Lantern – Below
    Leprous – Coal
    Orphaned Land – All Is One
    Panther – Speed Bitch Motor Fuck
    Purson – The Circle And The Blue Door
    Returning We Hear The Larks – Far-Stepper/Of Wide Sea
    Robot Lords Of Tokyo – Virtue & Vice
    Robots Pulling Levers – Zong!
    Rotten Sound – Species At War
    Rusted Brain – High Voltage Thrash
    Sacriphyx – The Western Front
    Scale The Summit – The Migration
    Suffocation – Pinnacle Of Bedlam
    Suidakra – Eternal Defiance
    Summoning – Old Mornings Dawn
    Supuration – CU3E
    Swollen Members – Beautiful Death Machine
    The White Mandingos – The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me
    The Zenith Passage – Cosmic Dissonance
    TrenchRot – Dragged Down To Hell
    Tyrant Goatgaldrakona – Horns In The Dark
    Vorum – Poisoned Void
    Woe – Withdrawal
    zYnthetic – oxIDIze

    I think that about covers it. I may have missed a few.

    • Every one of those albums is complete garbage.

      No but seriously, that’s a lot of list. I really liked that Antigama album, in addition to plenty others you named. I didn’t include Clutch because it’s “not metal” but it’d probably be in my top 5 overall. I probably could have put another 30 albums on my list. It’s been some year.

      • That’s probably about half of the 2013 releases I’ve listened to… these were the ones that were worthy of mention. As is my usual policy, I give no fucks on whether an album is metal or not… I mean, really, my top 5 of the year so far (Clutch, Pryapisme, Bad Religion, Run The Jewels, and probably Finntroll) is only 2/5 metal (and one of those fifths is debatable). But I gotta mention them anyway.

    • I’m wondering if that band Pryapisme in your top two named themselves after the medical condition? Priapism: “a potentially painful medical condition, in which the erect penis does not return to its flaccid state” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapism. lulz

      Only half what you’ve heard this year?! I see why you’re called the Professor.

      • Half of the 2013 albums I’ve listened to… that doesn’t account for everything that I’ve listened to that’s not from this year (which is probably an equal number, if not more).

        And yes, that is precisely where Pryapisme got their name. They’re French, which explains some of it, and they’re also incredibly weird music, which explains the rest of it. They’re also utterly brilliant.

    • I like how this list becomes alphabetical only after a certain point at about 1/3 of it 🙂

      • Yeah, after I stopped being able to remember all the albums I found worthwhile off the top of my head, I went through my music library and got the remaining ones. I didn’t feel like going back through and reorganizing the entire list.

    • dammit, is completely forgot to put Deeds Of Flesh – Portals To Canaan on my list

      • It’s a good album, one of the best tech-death albums this year, although I haven’t heard a lot of really memorable tech-death this year.

        • Just listened to that yesterday, and I have to agree on all counts. Not a banner year for the genre, and even though Portals to Canaan is a high point I don’t think it would be on my year end best of.

          I think maybe Gorguts will be tech death’s saving grace this year.

          • Admittedly, I’m not a Gorguts fan and the two new tracks have not at all interested me, so I’m not on the same page there. I know a lot of people are eager to hear it, though.

  41. Wow, so many replies already. Now about my list, I liked the random ‘top 17’ suggestion, so here goes! Especially the first nine records will most likely end up in my final end-of-year top 20 list:

    1// The Ocean – Pelagial
    2// In Vain – Aenigma
    3// Persefone – Spiritual Migration
    4// Shade Empire – Omega Arcane
    5// The Fall of Every Season – Amends
    6// Hanging Garden – At Every Door
    7// Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    8// Heaven Shall Burn – Veto
    9// Agrypnie – Aetis Cineris
    10// Amorphis – Circle
    11// Omnium Gatherum – Beyond
    12// Dark Tranquillity – Construct
    13// Extol – Extol
    14// Enshine – Origin
    15// Steven Wilson – The Raven that Refused to Sing
    16// Uneven Structure – 8 (remastered)
    17// Fractal Gates – Beyond the Self

  42. Apocynthion – Sidereus Nuncius (http://apocynthion.bandcamp.com/): This album mixes two of my favorite things: science fiction and black metal.

    Shaded Enmity – Forsaken And Forgotten (http://shadedenmity.bandcamp.com/): 2013, so far, has found me discovering a real fondness for melodic death metal. Aside from the obvious selections from Soilwork and Omnium Gatherum, this fit the bill perfectly.

    Vallendusk – Black Clouds Gathering (http://pestproductions.bandcamp.com/album/black-clouds-gathering): If it wasn’t obvious yet, I love Bandcamp, and this is one of the random discoveries it has led me to. Excellent atmospheric black metal.

    Caladan Brood – Echoes Of Battle (http://caladanbrood.bandcamp.com/): As a fan of Erikson and Esslemont’s Malazan empire, expectations couldn’t have been higher for this epic black metal album. It did not disappoint.

    Mechina – Empyrean (http://mechinamusic.bandcamp.com/): This album mixes two of my favorite things: death metal and science fiction.

    And we’ve come full circle.

    • I like the instrument part of shaded enmity, but can’t stand the vocal, just fucking annoying. what a shame.

  43. dammit, one more:

    Mumakil – Flies Will Starve

  44. My favorites so far have been the new albums by:

    Omnium Gatherum
    In Vain
    Dark Tranquillity
    Rotting Christ
    Dark Moor
    Eternal Tears of Sorrow
    The Black Dahlia Murder
    Killswitch Engage

    Nothing too surprising, and it seems they are all more or less “well known” bands (with the exception of Enshine’s debut), but I can attest that all of these releases are at least memorable, well produced, interesting or just plain fun and enjoyable.

    By the way, I’m compiling a list of all the 2013 albums I’ve heard, in case you want something a little bit more in depth (and colorful) than this barebones list.


  45. No certain order.
    Rotting Christ
    Valient Thorr
    Lightning Swords of Death
    Enabler – Shift of Redemtion

    So much to look forward too still tho! Watain! In Solitude! Revocation, All Pigs Must Die…
    Need to hear more of that Satan record and the Lord Dying about to come out.
    Great year so far!!

  46. In no particular order:
    Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
    Ramming Speed – Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die
    Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack
    The Monolith Deathcult – Tetragrammaton
    Kvelertak – Meir ( was a little disappointed at first, but I’ve been warming up to it lately)

    Can I just assume new the Gorguts album?

  47. Kvelertak – Meir
    Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
    Keep Of Kallesin – Introspection EP
    Fuck The Facts – Amer EP
    Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony
    Fen – Dustwalker
    Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury

    These have been dominating my play list recently. Although quite a few other good releases this year.

  48. Been enjoying all of these a lot this year. Intronaut’s album is my number one so far though.
    Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
    Anciients – Heart of Oak
    ASG – Blood Drive
    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer
    Fallujah – Nomadic EP
    Hybrid – Angst
    Intronaut – Habitual Levitations
    Leprous – Coal
    The Moth Gatherer – A Bright Celestial Light
    Mouth of the Architect – Dawning
    The Ocean – Pelagial
    Returning We Hear the Larks – Far Stepper/Of Wide Sea
    Sannhet – Known Flood
    Sleepers Awake – Transcension

  49. No particular order, no descriptions(not out of a lack, just simply don’t have the words at the moment.)

    August Burns Red – Rescue & Restore
    City & Colour – The Hurry & The Harm
    Cult of Luna – Vertikal
    Dark Tranquillity – Construct
    Deafheaven – Sunbather

  50. A few more i failed to mention.
    Revenge – Hymns of Annihilation
    Verminous – The Unholy Communion (A cool version of Last Supper as cover art)
    Spheron – Ecstasy of God
    Agonal – A Suffering Complete
    Darkestrah – Manas
    Graveyard of Souls – Shadows of Life
    Slidhr – Deluge
    Disfigured Divinity – Zapotectron
    Decaying – The Last Days of War
    Cannot forget the new Autopsy!!! better than Macabre Eternal

  51. Most of you probably already know what you think of these bands already, but if you haven’t heard Bölzer and you are a death metal fan… definitely give them a listen.

    So far, my top 22 (shout out to Taylor Swift):
    Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
    Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
    Bölzer – Aura [EP]
    Coffins – The Fleshland
    Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
    Evile – Skull
    Ghostface Killah – Twelve Reasons to Die
    Hatebreed – The Divinity of Purpose
    Havok – Unnatural Selection
    Illogic & Blockhead – Capture the Sun
    Immolation – Kingdom of Conspiracy
    Imprecation – Satanae Tenebris Infinita
    Katalepsy – Autopsychosis
    My Bloody Valentine – m b v
    My Dying Bride – The Manuscript [EP]
    Saxon – Sacrifice
    Soilwork – The Living Infinite
    Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam
    Sulphur Aeon – Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide
    Svart Crown – Profane
    The Doppelgangaz – Hark
    The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Whenever, If Ever

  52. In no particular order

    Kvelertak – Meir
    Brutality – Ruins of Humans EP
    Kylesa – Ultraviolet
    Hellcannon – Soothsayer EP
    Black Dahlia Murder – Into The Ever black
    TesseracT – Altered State
    Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
    Satan (UK) – Life Sentence
    Intronaut – Habitual Levitations
    Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the gods
    Nijqahdda – Serpents in the Sky
    Within the Ruins – Elite
    Tribulation – The Formulas of Death

  53. the ones I most enjoyed:

    The Ocean – Pelagial (both the instrumental and vocal versions are very high up my list)
    Leprous – Coal
    Extol – Extol
    The Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer
    All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature

    some other great releases:

    scale the summit – the migration
    wormed – exodromos
    woe – withdrawal
    altar of plagues – teethed glory and injury
    deafheaven – sunbather
    pryapisme – hyperblast super collider
    intronaut – habitual levitations
    cult of luna – vertikal
    coilguns – commuters
    clipping – midcity

  54. . Imperium Dekadenz – Meadows of Nostalgia
    . Csejthe – Reeminiscence
    . Tristania – The Darkest White
    . Deafheaven – Sunbather
    . Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – S/T
    . Magic Circle – Magic Circle
    . Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart
    . Sulphur Aeon – Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide
    . Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Mind Control
    . Katalepsy – Autopsychosis

  55. I just want to interject that I’m blown away by the number and quality of the responses to this invitation for lists. Makes me wish I had the next six months with nothing but the time needed to hear everything I’ve missed that’s showed up here.

  56. 1. MAGIC CIRCLE Magic Circle

    2. SACRIPHYX The Western Front

    3. TORTURE CHAIN Mutilating Astral Entities

    4. MAGISTER TEMPLI Lucifer Leviathan Logos

    5. ENFORCER Death By Fire

    6. DARKTHRONE The Underground Resistance

    7. JOEL GRIND The Yellowgoat Sessions

    8. PURSON The Circle and The Blue Door

    9. LANTERN Below

    10. WULKANAZ Paurpura Fraeovibokos

    11. KATECHON Man God Giant


    13. PROCESSION To Reap Heavens Apart

    14. SUMMONING Old Mornings Dawn

    15. CULTES DES GHOULES Henbane

  57. Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods (biased, favorite band)
    Dark Tranquillity – Construct
    Finntroll – Blodsvept
    Lacerated and Carbonized – The Core of Disruption (great band from my hometown Rio de Janeiro)
    Rotting Christ – Kataton Daimona Eaytoy
    Summoning – Old Mornings Dawn
    Vreid – Welcome Farewell

  58. Mechina’s Empyrean has been pretty kind to me.

  59. This new Battlesoul might be creeping into my best of list too.

  60. Holy Christ, I’ll never get through this list, too many albums I haven’t even heard of before.

    Only ones so far that have not been mentioned would be:

    Andy Winter
    Hail of Bullets (yeah it’s not out yet, but it will rule, how can it not?)
    The Project Hate – yeah it came out in December, but it was on the day I did my 2012 list, so I’m counting it as part of 2013. LOL

  61. Caladan Brood – Echoes of Battle (this immediately became one of my favorite albums of all time)
    The Monolith Deathcult – Tetragrammaton
    The Zenith Passage – Cosmic Dissonance (SF – themed technical death metal band I stumbled upon few months ago)
    Wolfchant – Embraced by Fire (I can’t get enough of this)
    Aether Realm – One Chosen by the Gods
    Sulphur Aeon – Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide
    Spheron – Ecstasy of God
    Wardruna – Runaljod: Yggdrasil
    Jungle Rot – Terror Regime
    Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony

  62. Not a huge comprehensive list, but the two releases I can’t stop listening to are VHOL and Aosoth.

  63. Hope i’m not to late for the party! Anyways…

    Infernal Poetry-Paraphiliac
    Redwood Hill-Descender
    Anciients-Hearts Of Oak
    Cult Of Luna-Vertikal
    Encircling Sea-A Forgotten Land
    Humanfly-Awesome Science
    Intronaut-Habitual Levitations
    Light Bearer-Silver Tongue
    New Keepers Of The Water Towers-Cosmic Child
    The Ocean-Pelagial
    Steven Wilson-The Raven Who Refused To Sing

    • Encircling Sea- Forgotten Land
      Caladan Brood- Echoes of Battle
      Karnivool- Asymmetry
      Terror- Live by the Code
      The Reign of Kindo- Play with Fire

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