It has to be said that 2013 has been an incredible year for music, and this list has been very tough to compile; I could easily have stretched it to a Top 50. That being said, this list represents my personal favorites of the year; we'll be posting lists from Wayne Simmons and Trevor Proctor in the coming weeks.
So, counting down from 20 to 1, here are my favorites from 2013:
20: Napalm Christ: Demo 2013 (Goatprayer Records)
Okay, so this is a demo, and not an album, but with 6 tunes contained it has proven to be a favorite of mine. A damned fine release.
19. Harm: Cadaver Christi (FDA Rekotz)
German Death Metal that is purely and simply a blast to listen to.
18. Age of Taurus: Desperate Souls of Tortured Times (Metal Blade)
Seriously one of the most played albums of this year. This fucker grooves along.
17. Altar of Plagues: Teethed Glory & Injury (Profound Lore)
The swansong from this Irish band, and what a way to bow out. Fantastic.
16. Voices: From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain (Candlelight)
A devastating blast from start to finish.
15. Inquisition: Obscure Verses for the Multiverse (Season of Mist)
USBM that is unrelenting in its assault. Stunning.
14. Windhand: Soma (Relapse)
Quite simply a monster of an album. Beautiful and epic.
13. Nephren-Ka: The Fall of Omnius (Kaotoxin)
I've listened to a lot of Death Metal from France this year, but this was definitely the pick of the bunch for me. Terrific album.
12. Amon Amarth: Deceiver of the Gods (Metal Blade)
Melodic Death Metal played to perfection from the Swedish juggernaut.
11. Crown: Psychurgy (Candlelight)
Possibly the most crushing album of the year, even with the use of a drum machine. Outstanding.
10. Carcass: Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)
It certainly wasn't Symphonies of Sickness, but then I didn't expect it to be. A wonderful return from Carcass.
9. FŌR: Blakaz Askǭ Hertô (Iron Bonehead Productions)
This beast came out of nowhere, and then proceeded to kick my ass. Incredibly good album.
8. Craven Idol: Towards Eschaton (Dark Descent Records)
Dark Descent have released a ton of great releases this year, and this is without doubt one of the best. Pure evil.
7. Vattnet Viskar: Sky Swallower (Century Media)
Post-Black Metal? What exactly is that? All I know is that Sky Swallower was, and is, an amazing album.
6. Vastum: Patricidal Lust (20 Buck Spin)
I bought the CD and Vinyl edition of this album. Yes, it is that good. Fucking ugly, but damned good.
5. Ov Hollowness: The World Ends (Code666)
Atmospheric Black Metal that I first listened to back in January. It has had many, many spins since. One man destruction from Canada.
4. Temple Nightside: Condemnation (Dark Descent Records)
The ugliest, most oppressive album of the year. This album is terrifying.
3. When the Deadbolt Breaks: Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth (EarOne Productions)
An almost 2 hour journey that rewards on every listen.
2. Deafheaven: Sunbather (Deathwish Inc)
This album almost made the number one spot. Nuff said.
1. Eye of Solitude: Canto III (Kaotoxin)
The depths of despair, that this album reaches, is only matched by the beauty of the music.