Dec 182013

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

  26 Responses to “THE ITUNES “BEST OF 2013” LIST FOR METAL”

  1. I’d imagine that this list is based off what was purchased the most.

  2. I was wondering if this is a list of ‘best sellers’ in the metal genre in the iTunes store – completely by the numbers of sales, or if someone has actually put the list together? I can’t figure it out from the iTunes site either.

    • According to this story, there is also an identification of the most downloaded albums (not sub-categorized for metal), which is different from the editors’ picks as “the best”.

      • Ahh, right you are. Like Kazz below I was thinking this would be an unexpected list if it were best-sellers. But after reading that article you link to and following through to iTunes, their ‘bestsellers’ list in metal is kind of surprising too: (only 10 listed, not sure if there’s anything in the order)
        Deafheaven – Sunbather
        Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
        Carcass – Surgical Steel (bonus version)
        Gorguts – Colored Sands
        Death Angel – The dream calls for blood
        Pelican – Forever Becoming
        Kylesa – Ultraviolet
        Watain – The Wild Hunt
        Cult Of Luna – Vertikal
        Exhumed – Necrocracy (Deluxe version)

  3. Good list overall.

    BTW, I really like the Lorde album.

  4. I’m guessing that this list really isn’t aimed at the entrenched metalheads but rather the casual iTunes shopper who may be curious about metal and is wondering what may be considered good. A shopping guide, if you will.

  5. It definitely doesn’t look like a list of what would be the most purchased metal albums. I mean, Satan, Agrimonia, Craven Idol? I think it’s a legit grouping. It’s way better than some of the “best metal of 2013” lists I’ve seen in other places.

  6. that actually is a pretty good list. because Portal is on it. 😉

  7. At this point, I barely even have it in me to whine about Finntroll not being on a list.

    I will proceed to buy that now.

    • Ah I did a little google search and this release is a reissue of an oldie (I didn’t know); too bad. Oh well, I’ll give it a go nevertheless.

    • Hahaha, that was my first reaction aswell, but it only lasted a brief second, before i remembered the news i saw about a re-release.

    • Yeah it’s a re-release, they’ve done about 3 or so now, and it looks like Season Of Mist are slowly going through re-releasing all their older albums, so you may see another pop up too.

      • It’s nice that they’re rereleasing older albums, but timing-wise a new album or EP from Septicflesh would be plausible therefore some of us got excited…

        Ah well, I’m sure they’ll release a new one next year. Though it will be hard to trump the Great Mass, that’s for sure.

        • Yeah, such a phenomenal album. If you’re interested there’s an interview with Christos here:
 where he talks about it a bit. The short of it: heavier (or course every artist says this so not sure what to make of it), maybe more horns in the orchestration, and they’re going with Logan Madder as a producer, which is an interesting choice.

  9. its a good list and to think that itunes recommended me justin bieber rihanna and timberlake to me. Even if all of my purchases from there is metal -___-

  10. Septicflesh…re-release. IMO re-releases should not be considered for year end lists…only in the year they were originally released. But it is iTunes. It’s more than an argument that they have other motives at heart.

  11. Huh. Didn’t see that coming.

  12. No Pelagial 🙁

  13. Usually Itunes also lists as best overall metal song and album…didn’t this year?

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