Part of our year-end LISTMANIA series consists of posting best-of-the-year lists published at places other than NCS. Usually, the other places are selected metal zines and so-called “big platform” web sites. But this year we’re including a list we’ve never included before, one that was compiled by a big retailer: iTunes.
When I first learned that iTunes had put together a “Best of 2013” list for metal, I was skeptical. First, they’re a store. They sell music, but I don’t know anyone into metal who turns to iTunes for reviews or recommendations. Second, because they’re a store, they’re going to confine their list to albums they sell. Obviously, with that restriction, a lot of great 2013 albums are out of the running before the race even begins because they aren’t on iTunes.
And third, the top-selling albums at this particular store (at the moment) happen to be by the likes of Beyonce, B.o.B., Pentatonix, We the Kings, and Lorde. Also, the iTunes editors’ picked The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as album of the year across all genres.
So, with all those reasons to be skeptical, I was really surprised at the quality of the iTunes list. It’s got some names I expected to see — ones that are popping up on lists everywhere — but it also includes some pretty deep cuts, too, and most of the albums are definitely in the more extreme end of the metal spectrum. In fact, this list is a lot better than similar lists I’ve seen at many of the general entertainment portals that I guess some people do visit for recommendations.
There are 33 albums on the iTunes list, and they’re not ranked in numerical order, nor is there any textual explanation accompanying the selections. I’m just going to give you the names in the order in which they appear. Should you want to see them on iTunes, go HERE.
Kylesa – Ultraviolet
Exhumed – Necrocracy
Carcass – Surgical Steel
Pelican – Forever Becoming
Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
Gorguts – Colored Sands
Watain – The Wild Hunt
Deafheaven – Sunbather
Cult of Luna – Vertikal
Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood
Inquisition – Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
Noisem – Agony Defined
Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry of Consciousness
Nails – Abandon All Life
Ulcerate – Vermis
Anciients – Heart of Oak
Craven Idol – Towards Eschaton
Portal – Vexovoid
Cathedral – The Last Spire
Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed
Corrections House – Last City Zero
Batillus – Concrete Sustain
Sandrider – Godhead
Jucifer – the Russian album
Septicflesh – Ophidian Wheel
Castevet – Obsian
Woe – Withdrawal
Agrimonia – Rites of Separation
Wolvserpent – Perigaea Antahkarana
Vattnet Viskar – Sky Swallower
Satan – Life Sentence
Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
Grave Miasma – Odori Sepulcrorum