(As our 2013 Listmania series continues on its first day, occasional NCS contributor and hard man to please KevinP offers up this year-end list of his top 25 albums of the year, with notes on the top 10.)
I made a big stink about only doing a Top 10 last year and that was my plan again. But I found it nearly impossible with the sheer amount of quality releases. I went to 15, then 20, and finally settled on 25. Heck, I could have easily done 40, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
25. Majestic Downfall – Three
24. Attacker – Giants of Cannan
23. Tribulation – The Formulas of Death
22. Sulphur Aeon – Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide
21. Lantern – Below
20. Grave Miasma – Odori Sepulcrorum
19. Ataraxie – L’Etre et la Nausee
18. Artillery – Legions
17. Andy Winter – Incomprehensible
16. Supuration – Cu3e
15. Blut Aus Nord – What Once Was…Liber III
14. Onslaught – VI
13. Oliva – Raise the Curtain
12. Cult of Luna – Vertikal
11. Pryapisme – Hyperblast Super Collider
10. Universe 217 – Never
If Ann Wilson and Janis Joplin merged and sung to some doom metal. One of those finds I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon. Luckily I did.
9. Abyssal – Novit Enim Dominus Oui Sunt Eius
Heavy and absolutely crushing, soaked in evil atmosphere.
8. Portal – Vexovoid
Did Portal just make an “accessible” album? Well, the term is relative. This album will buzzsaw your brain in half with a swarm of bees.
7. Bolzer – Aura (EP)
One of the freshest pieces of music I heard all year. This Swiss duo create such a dizzying, hypnotic, and ultimately memorable 23 minutes of music, you can’t help but lust for more.
6. Hail of Bullets – III The Rommel Chronicles
Their third album and their best. Heavier production and song writing refined with a fine tooth comb (it’s a joke people, 3/5ths of the band are bald).
5. Zombie Inc – Homo Gusticus
Eclipses their debut in every way. And it’s Martin Schirenc singing about zombies. What’s not to love?
4. Oranssi Pazuzu – Valonielu
Psychedelic and spacey Finnish black metal. Well, its not really black metal in the traditional sense, but it has the overtones of such. I’m not really sure how to describe this album, as I’ll fail to do it justice. Just listen.
3. Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
When I interviewed Eric Cutler earlier this year, he felt that they needed and were able to eclipse 2011’s highly praised Macabre Eternal. At the time, I did’t agree with that sentiment. Now, after months of allowing myself to fully digest this album, I wholeheartedly agree. A more “to the point” album with a nastier production to boot. Simply amazing that a band that has been around since 1987 is able to mine the same well and still come up with something fresh and original without any compromises.
2. Wolfheart – Winterborn
Take everything that you love about Tuomas Saukkonen and his previous bands (minus the clean vocals) and roll it into one delicious package. If there’s any justice in the metal world, the man will finally get his “due” with this effort.
1. Immolation – Kingdom of Conpsiracy
As great of a year as this was for metal releases, there was really no contest when it came down to it. The boys from Yonkers have been on a roll since 2010, releasing some of the greatest material in their career, and this album was no exception. Absolutely punishing and unrelenting for its 40-minute run time, with enough variation to allow this to seep into your cerebral cortex.