My 31 best full-lengths of 2013
Yeah, I decided to make it 31 instead of 30, because it's 13 backwards and, since I'm not including the new Black Sabbath in the list, I thought might give it some kind of reference, because it would have been good without Ozzy's half-assed vocals... and the kvtlest the better, so here we go.
First, I have to say that the following list is purely based on my personal appreciation of the albums, and my emotional attachment to them. If I was judging them on sheer quality, the list would probably different. Also, I'm not totally certain about the order, it was pretty difficult to put some records above others.
Finally, there are many CDs I would have liked to hear in 2013 and that would have had a chance of ending up on my list if I had, like the new Inquisition or the new Locrian. So let's start with number un-13.
31. Russian Circles - Memorial
The first thing that caught my attention about this record was the gorgeous and fascinating album cover. In my opinion, it really reflects Russian Circles' approach to music: simple, yet dense and layered; pretty and dark at the same time. The second thing that shocked me was how the drums sounded. I mean, how can you not band your head (and whole body) off when you hear the first groove in "Deficit"? The beats are simple and catchy, yet full of little subtle cymbal notes, and the mammoth production makes them so refreshing to listen to! That's the main thing that got me into this album: everything on it sounds fucking great: the drums are definite, clear and crushing, the heavily distorted bass shreds your brain, and the guitars are sometimes just plain heavy and other times burst out lush tones and melodies. The flow of the album is also really fun. It starts with a beautiful aerial intro, then crashes on you with quasi-death metal riffing. It is definitely their darkest release so far, but it manages to stay captivating by giving you glimpses of hope in the form of pure musical beauty in songs like "Ethel". It then closes with an atmospheric title track featuring Chelsea Wolfe's haunting, distant vocals. Russian Circles never managed to really move me with their songs before, but the work on the sound of this record is so impressive that it works.