Dec 022013

(Guest writer KevinP gets a jump on our year-end list series with an assortment of favorites from the year that’s drawing to a close.)

Before I go through my Top 25 Metal Albums of the Year, I felt morally obligated, for some reason or another, to compile a list of my “Other Best Stuff of 2013”, so here goes.


Yes, that’s right, I just said FRANCE.  No, this isn’t a Nickelodeon You Can’t Do that On Television “Opposite Sketch” (which was a Canadian show, but they have a bunch of Frenchies there, so it’s all tied together).

Why France. you say?  Well, how about stellar albums by Otargos, Pyrapisme, Monolithe, Blut Aus Nord, Peste Noire, Ataraxie, Temple of Baal, Supuration, Svart Crown, Aosoth, Seth, Year of No Light, Dunkelnacht.  And I’m still waiting on Impureza & Loudblast before year’s end.  Capisce? (Italian word, both countries are in Europe, just roll with it, okay?)


I’ve been to this club 3X (twice this year & once last year) and I really wish it was my local place (I live in Florida). If I had a magic wand (or infinite amounts of cash) I’d see every band I ever wanted to there.  Nestled in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, it’s a no-nonsense, laid-back metal club/bar, with great beer selection, some good food, great prices, awesome sound, and is SUPER INTIMATE.

I’ve seen Artillery, Oz/Attacker, & Carcass/Immolation and haven’t encountered any douchebags or incidents either.  There is no backstage, bands have to walk through the crowd to get onstage.  No signage outside either, just a black door.  It has an old school speakeasy feel to it.  Heck, they stream most (if not all) of their shows now on the web, so you can get a feel of the place if you don’t live in the area.

One other note: The Carcass/Immolation show in September sold out online within 5 minutes. I feared the worst, thinking it would be wall-to-wall people.  But lo and behold, there was plenty of room to mingle or get any spot you wanted to near the stage.  They easily could have sold a heck of a lot more tickets, but they didn’t.  Excellent run place.  You can even drive 20 minutes south to bask in the Coney Island pizza scene.



Well, technically I’ve been able to listen to bits and pieces here and there, but it’s hard to initiate a little one into grindcore this early in life.



Portal, Grave Miasma, Vasaeleth, VHÖL, Man’s Gin, SubRosa, Helen Money & Gevurah.  Lots of great albums and always willing to take chances on something outside the “norm” (if there is even considered a “norm” these days).



5. Lux InternaThere is light in the body, there is blood in the sun


4. Selim Lemouchi and His EnemiesMens Animus Corpus (EP)


3. Anders BjorlerAntikythera


2. Helen MoneyArriving Angels


1. Anneke van GiersbergenDrive

“Are you out there?  Eh-oh, eh-eh-eh-oh, Is there anybody out there? Eh-oh, eh-eh-eh-oh”

It didn’t hurt that we listened to this album multiple times on our family drives to and from Disney most weekends.  But if you are gonna listen to pop rock, this is the cream of the crop.  Great voice, great songwriting, never felt I was being pandered to.  “Whoa, whoa”


  1. I know we rarely agree on much Kev, but I’m fully with you on the country thing. France has certainly taken the crown this year imo.

  2. Man, Saint Vitus sounds excellent. I’ve read about shows there frequently at Brooklyn Vegan and IO, but now I really must make it a point to visit sometime before doomsday. Too bad it’s 2000+ miles away from me.

    • I’m with you there, and it’s “only” 135 miles for me. The idea of driving through NJ and into NYC during rush hour has been a bit of a deterrent for me, but one of these days though…

  3. Not sure how I slipped this post by the “censors”, but I never got a message saying “REDO, YOU DIDN’T INCLUDE DUNKELNACHT”.


  4. I love Saint Vitus. I’m so happy it’s only 3 subway stops away from me. Been to many shows there. I was at the Carcass/Immolation show and I was surprised by how non-crowded it was as well. I was expecting a wall to wall tuna can, but I had plenty of room to sip my beer.

  5. Sorry..while I love Profound Lore and a ton of the albums they released this year, Iron Bonehead has completely owned everyone in 2013

    Cult of Fire, Bolzer, Sheol, and Beyond to name just a few…A lot of their albums will appear on my “Best Of” list this year

    • I only found the CoF to be “ok”. Beyond was cool. Sheol didn’t do much for me. BOLZER was their clear standout winner. I know others really liked 20 Buck Spin. But the Vastum kinda bored me, couldn’t tolerate A Codex vocals (though I do like bands with that style – go figure), only the Oranssi Pazuzu was a standout with them for me 🙂

      • As I said Im not going to get too much into it because I have a Best Of list to finish, but Iron Bonehead put out some of the strongest demos and EPs this year of any label.

        Profound Lore put out some good solid albums this year, but thats all they were…good albums

    • I was a big fan of the Abyssous and Triumph, Genus albums too. Haven’t heard Cult of Fire yet but I’m looking forward to it and I figure if I like it enough I would have to agree with your choice of best label.

  6. Great post, I’m intrigued by some of those non-metal releases – Helen Money is awesome! It’s like taking a cello approach to metal, but in a completely different direction to Apocalyptica. Lux Interna create a nice dark sound too.

  7. Well, I’m all very happy to see you appreciate all the good metal bands we’ve got at home 🙂

    We’re very black metal, aren’t we ?

    • I’d go with “totally messed in the head” due to all the gloriously good weird stuff your country produces 🙂

      • Haha I agree 🙂 . Smohalla, Glorior Belli, Regarde les Hommes Tomber, Pensées Nocturnes… that’s many bands with a very disturbed musical sense 🙂

  8. I agree with most of your list, with the exception of the Helen Money album. I like her stuff in general, but I thought this album was the only real clunker PL put out this year. Too much like “sketches and ideas for songs” rather than actual songs. The Anneke von G album is an interesting find, though.

  9. i’ve heard so many great things about St. Vitus, hopefully one day i can experience it for myself

  10. Lux Interna send payment to Woven Hand c/o David Euegene Edwards

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