And now for something completely different.
The first entry is a more exotic one, as it’s not everyday that you get to listen to Finnish post-apocalyptic post-punk that really gets you going. With it’s couple of boring tracks, this album is a marvel to behold in the year 2013, packing a sound that is pretty hard to imitate. +1 Rad Resistance.
9. SHITFUCKER “Suck Cocks In Hell”
Detroit Rock City's most dirty and die-hard band. This absolutely disgusting metalpunk trio’s debut LP, after a series of very good EPs and demos, surely delivers the edgyness. It’s just something about Demonbitch’s vocals that makes you crawling back for more. Includes Acid Witch member Tim Shagrat as “perverse proselyzing Axemaster”.
Now we’re talking no-bullshit traditional doom, baby. French-Canadian rulers Annick and Francois, freshly returned from their trip around the world (which included some riff writing for this album) got together and recorded some of the most promising material around. Hands down the best track is the last one, “Tenebrario”, absolutely bone-chilling music.
If it weren’t for a couple of weaker tracks, this hypnothising album would’ve made one of the top spots, clearly, as the singles off it, namely “Poison Apple” and “Mind Crawler” are some of the most amazing songs 2013 has had to offer. Quite the trip this LP is, with its concept story about a cult member murdering his fellow disciples and forming his own religion is pure greatness, yet this offering from our second favourite uncle (Uncle Creepy=best) still is a few steps behind from their sophomore record, “Blood Lust”. Follow the leader!
Nobody does death metal better than the Swedes, and when that pure-bread Swedish extreme music is coupled with cosmic and ethereal vibes, you get a truly unique death metal album that sends you to far away places before smashing you back into the ground with pounding Dissection-like riffs and hamonies.
5. ARCTIC MONKEYS “AM”
It’s pretty damn good if you ask me. (words coming from a non-Arctic Monkeys fan)
This is 4th dimension shit right here. In Solitude are pretty much breaking their own game and expanding ridiculously into strange new places. The result is an esotheric explosion that is completely different from their first album and a little bit from their second, mixing everything from post-punk, gothic, alternative to heavy, speed and thrash, and manage to pull it off without being to homosensual about it. Masterpiece.
Wawawa. Fast, catchy, visceral, Swedish. Best speed metal album in eons, surpassing “Diamonds” and earning a lot of respect in the songwritting department for these charismatic and ghoulish Swedes. Who would have thought that an instrumental track would surpass a lot of the heavy metal that is being put out today? Galloping riffs all around.
2. BLOOD CEREMONY “The Eldrich Dark”
I have not heard such clever songwriting in a very long time. Amazing chemistry between the guitar, flute and drums happening on this 40 minute mammoth that would put even some Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull songs to shame. It took me three days of listening to this record on repeat to put it on it’s well deserved 2nd place on my dandy list.
Hands down, the best. Rarely do I form emotional ties with an album, let alone a masterpiece of so many different influences, sounds and eras combined. The feels are too strong to speak more, take my advice, plug this into your headphones, sit back and feel absorbed into the musical experience of a lifetime.
5. BOLZER “Aura”
Damn this black death metal. Damn. This duo does live shows with only a guitar and drums and still manage to be as intense as possible. Pretty rare thing for a new black metal band.
4. JESS & THE ANCIENT ONES “Astral Sabbath”
Not for the title track, not for the 14 minute epic, but for the Shocking Blue cover this EP finds its place in my list. Waiting to hear more from this promissing band.
3. RANGER “Knights Of Darkness”
Dis some fast shit. Not too often do newcomer speed metal bands manage to sound so sharp and jam-packed to the brim. Impressive guitar work to say the least.
2. BLACK MAGIC SS “Panzerwitch”
No other band can sound as fucked up, bleached, muffled and pounding as Black Magic SS. Very good keyboard-work. Who expects a NSBM band to sound like the fucking Doors at times and pull off one of the best EPs this year? Also, they’re misterious as fuck, with only one more 7” released and no metal-archives, last.fm, allmusic etc. page. Talk about cult.
1. HIGH SPIRITS “2013”
Everything Chris Black touches turns to gold. Of course the best EP of the past 365 days is from High Spirits, one of the greatest bands of the century so far.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats “Mind Crawler” – I wonder how much did the creator of this amazing music video lose of his precious mind searching for absolutely everything cult/biker/satan/drug/mass panic-related that made its way into the media in the 60s and 70s. All synched with the drums. Perfect.
DISSAPOINTMENT AWARD: Jex Thoth “Blood Moon Rise” – While the song “Keep Your Weeds” is one of the best this year, the rest are just boring as shitttt :( Avoid.
BEST NEWCOMERS: Alucarda “Dope Forever/Forever Loaded” demo – Satan’s Satyrs worshiping with Electric Wizard-inspired instrumentals. A beauty of a 4-track to put on when you’re trying to feel as filthy as possible. Which reminds me...
FILTHIEST ALBUM: Nekrofilth “Devil’s Breath” – If Abscess and Black Flag had a baby and the baby recorded an album and Putrid drew the cover, it would make me sick to my stomach.
SEMPITERMAL DOOM AWARD: Magic Circle “s/t” – The riff game ridiculous.
AN ALBUM I REALLY WANTED TO LIKE: Kadavar “Abra Kadavar” – even though it still packs a handful of great riffs and some good songwriting, it feels so hollow and plastic-like compared to their self titled LP. Yet another very promising band that fell under the wing of Nuclear Blast.
MOST ORIGINAL SOUND: Black Magic SS – I’ve already made my point.
BEST RECORD COVER: Watain “The Wild Hunt” – The funny thing about Watain is that they always have such amazing cover artwork, yet their albums are the audio equivalent of a banana being nailed to a tree. Happy to say that The Wild Hunt’s artwork beats them all to a bloody pulp, thanx to artist Zbyszek Bielak (The Devil’s Blood, Ghost, Behemoth).
MOST PRIMITIVE SOUND: Occult Burial “Demo MMXIII” – Did anybody say Bathory ^_^ ?
RIDING THE WINGS OF 2014: Acid Witch/Nunslaughter “Spooky” split 7” – The Half Life 3 of music, two new ACID WITCH songs. (out JANUARY 2014) Also looking extraordinarily forward to new MORBUS CHRON material.
All in all, I don't know if I should say 2013 was a richer year in metal and alltogether good music or if I got more open minded with the times, even though the latter is more possible. 2014 is gonna shred, though.