Jul 122013

(Earlier this week we asked NCS readers to share with us their lists of the best 2013 albums they’ve heard so far — and man did we get lists! More than 60 at last count, plus a bunch of interesting discussion. Our long-time supporter and occasional contributor SurgicalBrute decided to save his list for a post, and this is it, with sample music from each of his 25 picks.)

Anyone who’s ever made one of these lists knows how difficult they are to come up with. The truth is, for every one band that makes it onto a list, there’s probably another fifteen that are every bit as impressive and could have easily been chosen (which explains why some of you listed every band you could think of…seriously guys, save some albums for the rest of us ☺).

Personally, I’ve found the first half of 2013 to be extremely strong…new releases by metal stalwarts like Horna, Autopsy, and Amon Amarth…long awaited debuts by Lantern, KryptsVorum, and Sacriphyx. Hell, if things were to somehow totally tank from this point forward, I think we’d still come out ahead. Fortunately, we know that’s not going to happen, and it makes me eager to find out what’s in store for the rest of the year.

So, here’s my top 25 albums so far…Tell me what else you think I need to grab.

Shroud of the Heretic – Revelations in Alchemy (Death)


Witchgrave – Witchgrave (traditional)


Symptom – Opulent Atrocity (death)


Eternal Khan – A Primitive History EP (Black/Doom)


Cnoc An Tursa – The Giants of Auld (folk/black)


Lantern – Below (black/death)


Satan – Life Sentence (NWoBHM)


Katechon – Man, God, Giant (Death)


Old Skin – Old Skin demo (Black/Death)


Orator – Kapalgnosis (Death/Thrash)


Slidhr – Deluge (Black)


Sawhill Sacrifice – Deus Humana Satanas (Black/Thrash)


Bölzer – Aura EP (Black/Death)


Torture Chain – Mutilating Astral Entities (Black)


Sacriphyx – The Western Front (Death/black/thrash)


Mold – Cremated Alive demo (Death)


Veneror – Percussimus Foedus cum Morte (Black)


Situs Magus – Le grand oeuvre (Black)


Flagellant (Swe) – Maledictum (Black)


Manzer – Light of the Wreckers (Black/Thrash)


Ruin Lust – Ruin Lust (Black/Death)


Necrocurse – Grip of the Dead (Death)


Cultes Des Ghoules – Henbane (Black)


Black Oath – Ov Qliphoth And Darkness (Doom)


Ogdru Jahad – I (Black/Death)


  1. I’m not sure if I am happy or sad that there’s another curmudgeon.

    Maybe if I “poo poo’d” this list I would still retain the title of King Curmudgeon.

    Your thoughts?

    • I think one of us just had a list with 25 awesome bands posted, and the other one is a johnny-come-lately who probably likes Metallica’s black album 🙂

  2. Lots of good stuff for me to track down here! I loved Black Oath’s previous albums, but haven’t had a chance to listen to this one in full yet. Lantern is another one that I’m excited for but haven’t tracked down yet.. and now my list of albums to check out is quite a bit longer.

    • That was actually a last minute substitution for me…bumped out Imprecation’s new one after hearing how awesome it was

  3. That Bolzer is a beast of an EP. Pretty sure that will end up on the end of year list. Well great, now I have a ton more to track down. Thanks for the list!

  4. Several of these were releases I wanted to check out but didn’t because there was no legal means of streaming them online. But of the ones I have heard, I super agree with Lantern. Slidhr is really good, as is the Bolzer ep.

  5. the new christicide and chaos invocation. diffently worth additions to this list

  6. Underground? Bah. Not only have I heard OF several of these, I’ve even ACTUALLY heard some of them.

    Grade: Must Try Harder.

  7. No Tribulation? You should also check out Tyrant Goatgaldrakona, and if you dig Cnoc An Tursa, you might like Fir Bolg.

    • Tyrant Goatgaldrakona…nice

      Ive eyeballed that Fir Bolg but havent gotten around to checking it out yet….if its anything like Cnoc An Tursa I’ll definitely give it a listen

      I know a lot of people really dig it, but Im just not a big fan of the direction Tribulation took with the new album…Its cool that they want to experiment with their sound, but it wasnt my thing. Just my personal feelings on it

  8. From the looks of it you aren’t much of a Doom fan but I’d say at least check out Magic Circle if you haven’t. My top record of the year so far. I’ve got Katechon, Eternal Khan, Bolzer, Lantern, Torture Chain, Sacriphyx and Cultes Des Ghoules on my list as well. I’d say check out Magister Templi – Lucifer Leviathon Logos and Wulkanaz – Paurpura Fraeovibokos if you haven’t. As far as demo’s go check out Ranger, Eternal Champion, Infant Death, Scavenger Brats and Black Magick SS which I believe are all on Bandcamp.

    • I enjoy funeral doom…death/doom…blackened doom..some sludge. I can be VERY picky about metal that uses clean vocals, so when I listen to traditional doom and traditional heavy metal I like for it to sound a certain way (one of those, “I know it when I hear it” type things)

      I’ll definitely check out your reco’s though…thanks man

  9. Give Supuration – CU3E a listen. Only their third album in 20 years. Sounds like Voivod gone Swedeath.

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