While continuing to post our own year-end lists of 2013’s best metal as chosen by our staff and numerous guest writers, we also continue to make room for lists published by selected ‘zines and so-called “big platform” web sites with dramatically larger audiences than metal-only sites like this one. This morning one appeared that we’ve been waiting for: Pitchfork.com’s list of “The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2013”.
Pitchfork has been around since 1996 and now boasts “a fiercely loyal audience of more than 5 million unique visitors each month”. Metal is only one of the genres of music to which Pitchfork devotes attention (and certainly one of the smallest in terms of audience), though because of Pitchfork’s size it has been the platform for many significant metal song and album premieres this year. Its Top 40 list was compiled by Pitchfork editor Brandon Stosuy as part of his ongoing Show No Mercy column. Whatever else you may think of Pitchfork’s main musical coverage, I think Show No Mercy is worth reading.
Stosuy’s list includes explanations for the top 25 picks, plus sample songs, and you can go HERE to check out all of that. Via that same link you can also see the lists assembled by current and former Pitchfork contributors Grayson Currin, Drew Daniel, Kim Kelly, Andy O’Connor, Hank Shteamer, and Zoe Camp.
After the jump, I’m just going to embed the Top 40 list itself, with a few thoughts. As always, we encourage you to leave your own reactions in the Comment section.
A FEW THOUGHTS
The list includes all the “usual suspects”, by which I mean bands that have appeared on just about every “best of” list I’ve seen on the bigger sites, as well as many metal blogs: Carcass, Gorguts, Inquisition, and In Solitude. And the No. 1 spot is filled by a band who have soared to equal prominence (you know, the one that has become the favorite punching bag for kvlt fans across the globe — undeservedly so, in my opinion).
But what I find most interesting about the list are the surprise appearances — for example, Agrimonia in the No 2 spot, Power Trip (a favorite of our man BadWolf) in the No 4 position, Lycus at No 6, and SubRosa at No 9. I also thought it was cool to see bands such as Noisem, Nails, Tribulation, VHOL, Grave Miasma, The Ruins of Beverast, and Castevet in the Top 20. All of these bands are deserving of the attention — though I don’t mean to suggest they’re the only ones on the list who are.
And how about 20 Buck Spin having as many artists on the list (4) as Relapse? And if you’re counting the label appearances, Profound Lore takes the prize with 6.
40. Bone Sickness: Alone in the Grave [20 Buck Spin]
39. Batillus: Concrete Sustain [Seventh Rule]
38. Raspberry Bulbs: Deformed Worship [Blackest Ever Black]
37. GNAW: Horrible Chamber [Seventh Rule]
36. Altar of Plagues: Teethed Glory and Injury [Profound Lore]
35. Locrian: Return to Annihilation [Relapse]
34. Atlantean Kodex: The White Goddess [Cruz del Sur]
33. Mouth of the Architect: Dawning [Translation Loss]
32. Celeste: Animale(s) [Denovali ]
31. The Body: Christs, Redeemers [Thrill Jockey]
30. Vaura: The Missing [Profound Lore]
29. Yellow Eyes: Hammer of Night [Sibir]
28. Windhand: Soma [Relapse]
27. Vastum: Patricidal Lust [20 Buck Spin]
26. Exhumed: Necrocracy [Relapse]
16. Tribulation: The Formulas of Death [Invictus Productions]