Release Date: 18 February 2014
Length: 49 minutes
Genre: Death metal
Studio Albums: This is their debut album
Release Date: 7 January 2014
Length: 33 minutes
Genre: Heavy metal
Studio Albums: None
Release Date: 29 November 2013
Length: 11 minutes
Genre: Thrash/heavy metal
Studio Albums: None
Release Date: 20 January 2014
Length: 36 minutes
Genre: Black metal
Studio Albums: One previous album
Release Date: 27 September 2013
Length: 56 minutes
Genre: Technical death metal
Studio Albums: Four previous albums
Release Date: 11 November 2013
Genre: Progressive metal
Studio Albums: This is their debut album
Posted by atleastimhousebroken
2013 was an odd year for me. While there were countless amounts of outstanding releases, I found myself extremely burned out with heavy metal overload. That’s not to say I even for a moment slowed down on my heavy metal listening in the slightest, but found myself with lots of difficulty getting into something new unless it was something extra special. Something beyond just a solid death metal/black metal/post metal/doom metal/etc metal album. It had to be absolutely extraordinary to pull me away from my current need of delving back into the thousands of albums already in my collection.
However, within my current disregard throughout the year for actively seeking out the new or checking out new albums from established artists I’m already a fan of I still did find a good amount of time to embrace the new. There were many great releases this year and I gave a listen a lot of them. On the contrary, many albums you would think would objectively be on my list you may not find here (honorable mention post coming in the very near future), as naturally, a top ten list is very subjective and the following albums are the records that really shone through despite my bout of new music burnout and got lot of playtime in between obsessive bouts of the classics. In fact, every record here I would consider a modern classic and recommend taking some time to check it out. So, without further ado, here’s my favorite releases of 2013.
#2 Repetitive, industrial element
I have a weak spot for extremely bass-heavy, repetitive music and bands with a dark, industrial and dissonant atmosphere. The music is very hypnotic and easy to get lost in; it can be quite demanding and disturbing to listen to, but in the end it’s a very rewarding experience. My favourite bands for a disturbing and dark experience are Author & Punisher, The Amenta, Altar of Plagues, Wormed.
Author & Punisher – Fearce
#1 Contrast or balance
Ever since I discovered and started to love Opeth many years ago, I’ve always liked music with contrasts. Many opposing moods in one song , it creates a kind of balance that I find very satisfying. An “all in one” kind of feeling. It can be the contrast between clean and harsh vocals or cleans and heavy music, metal mixed with other music styles, slow/fast pace or heavy/ambient sound. This element is present in most of my favourite bands like Textures, Skyharbor, Borknagar, In Mourning, Twelve Foot Ninja and Benea Reach.
Uneven Structure – Frost
#10 Soilwork – The Living Infinite Review
Soilwork is back, better and more inspired than ever before. With their speedy guitars, brutal drums and blasting choruses this double album is an uplifting and energizing and most of all a VERY FUN listening experience. Listen here.
Straightforward, heartfelt post-hardcore. The songs are very powerful, much thanks to the strong, captivating melodies and the vocalist with his charismatic attitude and emotional voice. Listening to this album gives me energy and strength and it’s perfect for a good, loud, headbanging sing-along. Listen here.
I know this is not the most accessible album. But once I took the time to understand it, it was very rewarding. I love the dark, murky atmosphere and the underlying, unsettling mood. The eeriness of the bass lines and the unconventional, complex drumming. I’m a big fan of their previous albums too, but this one gave me even more of a challenge and really hit the spot for me. Listen here.
I loved their previous album and was very happy to find that ‘Possession’ is just as good and many times even better. The songs are unexpected and unique in their nature, the songwriting is creative and organic and the singer is definitely an important piece in this; he performs a wide range of styles with confidence and power. Listen here.
#6 White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings Review
Yay, I get to include my favourite singer on another best of the year-list, third year in a row now! Even though it’s far from metal, this album is very special to me in many ways. It’s dark, personal, honest and incredibly beautiful and not only because of the outstanding vocals. The lyrics are thought-provoking and ‘Ties Of Grace’ might be the best song ever created. Listen here.
#5 The Ocean – Pelagial Review
This is not a band that has interested me much before. But the effort of a concept album with meaningful, philosophical lyrics where every song is named after the different layers of the ocean, the much more proggy sound made me want to check it out. The massive, constantly changing and flowing sound grew on me, slowly. Very slowly. Until the whole album finally ended up in my top 5 of the year. Listen here.
There are many bands that were new to me this year on my list, Earthtone9 is one of them. It didn’t take long for me to start to love their progressive, almost sludgy feeling, the effortlessly executed melodic hooks and the huge attitude. They have an intelligent, bass-y sound and together with the confident, edgy singing they have given me many unforgettable tunes this year. Listen here.
#3 Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury Review
Thrilling. Challenging. Intense. And extremely rewarding. This is an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ is very addictive and has been my number one choice all year when it comes to really dark, heavy music. Listen here.
#2 TesseracT – Altered State Review
‘Altered State’ is my most played album this year and I love it to bits, both the instrumental version and the original one. This is TesseracT forging their own unique path; this is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong, layered musical structures combined with an intense, emotional atmosphere. These songs are magical. Listen here.
#1 Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End Review
To place higher than TesseracT on my list, that’s quite the achievement! Caligula’s Horse managed to craft and put together a collection of songs that meets all my requirements for The Perfect Album. I have never heard songs that feel so honest and alive, amazing guitar solos with so much emotion and incredible vocals with equal amounts of mighty power and fragile beauty. I have never before owned an album that touched me so deeply. This was my big mindblowing surprise of the year. Listen here.
“It’s like the sound of a caveman running around a spaceship”. Fun, fun, fun. Listen here.
19. Moth – Endlessly In Motion Review
An early release of proggy death with some of the best lyrics I’ve seen this year. It hasn’t left my playlist since it came out in January. Listen here.
It might make hardcore DT-fans go “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”, but I think this is the band’s best effort since.. since ever. These songs make me melt like butter in sunshine. Listen here.
Intense, emotional, technical, groovy. With great lyrics and huge riffs, Hacride was one of the best new discoveries this year. Listen here.
This album provides a very special, epic journey through distant industrial constellations and symphonic galaxies. The Fear Factory-like singing is amazing and the female vocals are a wonderful addition to the symphonic orchestration and the relentless double bass drums. This could be a soundtrack to an epic movie. Listen here.
This is a late release, that made it on my list at the very last minute. It would most likely been placed higher if I could have given it the time it deserves. Just like the fantastic album cover, the album is filled with uplifting, unexpected twists and turns that will make you go “ah!” and “oh!”. No other music this year has cheered me up like ‘Bilo 3.0‘; impressive performances by very talented young musicians. Listen here.
‘Flesh Is Heir’ is as grim, cold and evil as it can be, but at the same time it’s melodic and relaxing. Dense atmosphere, disgusting and ugly…and so, so lovely. Listen here.
Although painfully short, it’s impossible to not like this album. Honest, fun and at times weird, but always passionate and absolutely captivating! Listen here.
12. Crimson Dawn – In Strange Aeons… Review
Crimson Dawn is a band that has managed to create a refreshing, modern epic doom sound in both their songwriting and the production. There is clearly lots of soul and thought put into every detail on the album and I hope more people will discover this über-tasty Italian delicacy. Listen here.
A very impressive debut album filled with bleak, beautiful, explosive music. It’s gigantic and earthy. They balance the extreme feelings perfectly and gracefully. Goosebumps! Listen here.