Anthony's top 10 of 2013
I didn't listen to many albums in 2013 compared to many of you (probably 25 or so, which is about par for what I usually listen to), but unlike the last couple of years where I was struggling to fill out the lower spots of my list there were a lot of really good albums I heard that at least 1-8 were easily filled. Or something.
I'm just going to do my stuff in one post. I also will add some comments for stuff that deserves comments, but won't do a huge post on everything because a.) I don't think anyone really cares and b.) The reasoning behind my picks are usually no more than "This album fucking rules." I'm also going to go in order from 1-10.
Top 10 albums of 2013
1. Revocation - Revocation
This album just plain fucking rules. It doesn't quite get to the heights that Chaos of Forms does (To be honest, I don't think anything will), but this album is still full of the same stuff we love from this band. After topping my best of list 3 years in a row, I'm very confident that these guys are the best band making music right now.
2. The Black Dahlia Murder - Everblack
Quick tangent about this band: How the fuck did it take me THIS long to get into the band. A friend of mine in university gave me Unhallowed and Miasma (this was around late 2006/early 2007), and I kind of dug those albums but wasn't blown away. For whatever reason I lost the albums from my hard drive and didn't every really make any effort to get back into the band despite constantly hearing about them. Then Earlier this year I was driving and Moonlight Equilibrium started playing on Sirius and I loved what I heard. I listened Ritual in full, loved it, eventually downloaded the leak of Everblack and loved that, blind bought Nocturnal and Deflorate at an HMV around that time, and yeah...rest is history. These guys are probably one of my favourite bands now despite only being into them for about a year.
I eventually went back and listened to Unhallowed and Miasma, and while I enjoy those albums, my opinion of them is the same as it was when I first heard them. While they've definitely made a steady progression in all of their albums, the biggest gap is definitely between Miasma and Nocturnal. The main thing that I liked was the contrast between Trevor's growl and scream/shriek was far more noticeable, and broke up the monotony that I find is common in most death metal. The three albums since then have seemed to follow the Nocturnal model.
Back to Everblack though, this album is plain awesome. The first half is definitely stronger than the second half, but Map of Scars kicks ass as a closer so it's not a huge dropoff. Despite it being #2 on my list I think I listened to this album more than any other this year.
3. Protest the Hero - Volition
Another band I couldn't really get into when I heard them through a friend or online or whatever. I'll be completely honest and say my curiosity to give this album a shot was Chris Adler's presence. But everything on this album is great. The songwriting, the guitar work, the quirkiness of some of the song arrangements. Even Rody's vocals are not nearly annoying compared to stuff I heard before. Whether this band actually sound different from past albums or I just didn't see something in them until now, I don't know. I'll be checking out their other stuff at some point in the near future for sure though.
4. Katatonia - Dethroned and Uncrowned
Just a different version of Dead End Kings, yes, but this album is fucking beautiful. The acoustic versions of Dead Letters and Hypnone are especially beautiful.
5. Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed
Not much I can say about this other than "This album's awesome."
6. Chthonic - Bu-tik
Curiosity of this band after hearing a couple of songs and seeing them live a couple of years ago led me to check this album out. Will definitely be checking out the rest of their catalogue soon.
7. Arsis - Unwelcome
Another new band for me. Just a good melodic death metal album. As with Chthonic will be checking out more of their music as well.
8. DevilDriver - Winter Kills
I'm a firm believer that this band hit their peak with The Last Kind Words in 2007, which is one of my favourite albums of all time. But this is probably their best album since that one. Much more focused than Pray for Villains, and not as one-note as Beast. Great album.
9. Kataklysm - Waiting for the World to End
Wasn't a huge fan of Heaven's Venom. This album is much better. Nothing reinventing the wheel for them, just another dose of their melodic, groovy death metal that I love oh so much.
10. God is an Astronaut - Origins
Finally, a non-metal album. I discovered this band through a co-worker. I'm usually not a big post-rock, instrumental guy, but these guys are just so spacey and relaxing it's hard to not put any of their albums on and just sit back and enjoy. Origins is no different.
Worst album of 2013: Megadeth - Supercollider
As bad as has been reported by most people? Probably not, but still the worst thing I listened to. After Kingmaker this album is a complete snorefest.
Most dissapointing of 2013:
Chimaira - Crown of Phantoms
I knew going in it would be different, but being one of my favourite bands of all time I still wanted to love this album even with all the lineup changes. I even contributed to their IndieGoGo campaign for this. But this album just isn't very good. The songwriting isn't as strong, the songs overall are just kinda meh with some exceptions (The Machine, All that's Left is Blood). And the dudes from Daath couldn't even bring any of their quirky stuff from that side of it. Overall just very dissapointing.
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Recovery was such a great return to form and kick in the balls to people like me who thought he was done, it's looking like he's back on the quest to making mediocre music again. It's not Encore bad, and probably not even Relapse bad, but this album just fails on a lot of levels. Even ignoring the fact that this is supposed to be the sequel to the best rap album of all time.
Most overrated album: Carcass - Surgical Steel
This might seem like a bit of a hypocritical choice since I put Arsis in my top 10. But I didn't get the hype of this album. I'll admit i'm not a fan of Carcass to begin with, and wasn't really all that familiar with any of their albums before this. Maybe i'm just too young to appreciate them or something, since they apparently had an influence on a lot of my favourite bands. But taking this album at face value, it's just ok. Not a huge fan of the vocals, and outside of the solos (there are a few really good ones), the music is just sort of standard melodeath.
Best albums of 2012 that I heard in 2013:
Every Time I Die - Ex Lives
Black Breath - Sentenced to Life
Cancer Bats - Dead Set on Living