Metal as Fuck's Top 100 Metal Releases of 2013: Numbers 25-1

And the winner is...

25. Soilwork - The Living Infinite (Nuclear Blast)

Sweden's Soilwork raised the bar of melodic death metal to new (and very long) heights with The Living Infinite, believed to be the first double album in death metal history. 

24. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Labyrinth (Nuclear Blast)

Greek mythology-based mayhem from the madcap Italians, the success of which has inspired them to branch out into marketing their own wine and pasta...

23. Killswitch Engage - Disarn the Descent (Roadrunner)

Thrashingly fast, crushingly heavy at times yet still retainiing that trademark Killswitch melodic sensibility... DtD stands as one of KE's finest moments.

22. Red Fang - Whales and Leehes (Relapse Records)

"a bunch of affable, beer-lovin' bros deftly harnessing a sludge-n'-roll approach in catchy three-minute slices" - so said our own Henry York in his Whales... review when the album came out. And guess what - he was right!

21. Suffocation - Pinnacle of Bedlam (Nuclear Blast)

One of the true Gods of the death metal genre, sounding just as filthy and uncompromising today as they ever were. Timelessly brutal, in fact...

20. Deafheaven - Sunbather (Deathwish)

The poet John Milton in his magnum opus Paradise Lost spoke at length of the concept of terrible beauty, and there's a lot of that about Sunbather, the second studio album from Americans Deafheaven - have a listen to opening track Dream House for confirmation. Stunning, epic stuff that transcends genre.. 

19. Avantasia - The Mystery of Time (Nuclear Blast)

"The Mystery of Time is all class – all of the time – and it’s another wonderful addition to the Tobias Sammet canon." So said I when I eviewed this elpee back in April, and time has only improved what is indeed another jewel in Tobias Sammet's metal opera crown. 

 

18. Neuronspoiler - Emergence (Own Label)

A lot of very good new metal talent is um, emerging from the UK at the moment, and Londoners Neuronspoiler are among the cream of that crop. Forward looking whilst always paying respect to the old Gods, this is traditional heavy metal as it should be played in the 21st century. 

17. Black Sabbath - 13 (Vertigo)

After the untilmely death of Ronnie James Dio, I secretly prayed for the inevitable Sabs reunion with Tony Martin; It didn't happen of course, but the reunion the rest of the metal world wanted did. This is the result. 

16. Stryper - No More Hell to Pay (Frontiers Records)

In the same way that you don't need to worship the great horned one to enjoy a bit of black metal every now and them, you absolutely don't need to be a Christian to get a hell of a lot out of NMHTP - which is simply a great old school metal album from one of the best bands in the world in the genre. Peerless stuff. 

15. Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods (Metal Blade)

Upon it's release in June this year Deceiver... reduced MaF Associate Editor Carrie Gibson into - in her own words -  'a headbanging mess'. 'THIS IS METAL!!' she screamed before we go the elephant tranquilizers into her, but you have to agree she had - and has - a point. Watch this band march inexorably to the top of the tree in the next couple of years. 

14. Portal - Vexovoid (Profound Lore)

MaF's Matt Foster sums up Portal neatly for you here: "Portal is an institution in horror and repulsion. Each new release is like a jagged, festering wound being torn in your psyche and left for the crawling swarms of madness to infest your mind. I feel a much saner man, knowing these freaks exist." Well said that man!

13. Exhumed - Necrocracy (Relapse)

Our man with his fimger on the grind pulse, Jobby, gave us these words of wisdom on Necrocracy in August: "The songs on Necrocracy are notably longer than on previous albums, contain a lot more variety, and seem more … mature (as mature as a goregrind album can be)".Do we need more mature grind? I think we do.

 

12. Rotting Christ - Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού (Season of Mist)

Another year, another Rotting Christ album - but somehow Sakis Tolis and company keep evolving, pushing the boundaries of their art further and further whilst keeping us all interested into the bargain. Their best work? quite possibly, but perhaps more than that, as Daniel Death said in his review of this album, " Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is not only a superb musical experience: it’s also a spiritual one. This album will wake up the evil inside you." Be warned...

11. Trivium - Vengeance Falls  (Roadrunner)

"An unqualified success in my eyes, Vengeance Falls is perhaps the first album that fully encapsulates the gargantuan talent that is resident within this band." So said Ferrum Templor when he raved about VF last month, and Trivium's high placing in our poll would seem to indicate that he wasn't alone. Will they make more fans than they lose with their "Draimanesque' new direction? Time will tell...

10. Dream Theater - Dream Theater (Road Runner)

"Put simply, Dream Theater is a staggeringly good album, a colossal melding of all the bits you like about the band with all the flab and grandiosity (almost) eradicated in favour of simply producing the most thrilling sixty eight minutes and one second of music it’s possible for a small group of human musicians to produce." 

 

 

9. The Black Dahlia Murder - Everblack (Metal Blade)

"Where TBDM’s strength is unrivalled is keeping balance while treading razor-blade lines. Chops sound godly yet never technical. Their black metal pastiches, such as Every Rope a Noose, are unforgivingly vicious and dare defy the cloistered “order.” Ego is reeled in and teamwork lands on deck, bloodied by hook in mouth". - Crushtor, 14/06/13

8. Cult of Luna - Vertikal II (Indie Recordings)

Four tracks of post-metal, cinematographical brilliance (the songs on this and it's companion album Vertikal were written as a soundtrack-style accompaniment to Fritz Lang's twenties classic Metropolis) -  that caught the ear of more than a few this year, prompting Jobby to advise "If you haven’t seen Metropolis, or heard Vertikal II (or Vertikal), you owe it to yourself". Do DVD shops still exist?

7. Kvelertak - Meir (Roadrunner)

Meir than just a copy of their debut... sorry. The Norwegian punks returned after making one of the must-hear debuts of this century and well... blew it away really. A thrilling mix of punky anger and bile and classy classic rock shape throwing that was meant to please no-one but themselves but pleased us all anyway, Meir is having your cake and eating it in sonic form. Where will they go from here?

 

6. Gorguts - Colored Sands (Season of Mist)

"Sure, it’s chock-full of brutal blasting and complex musicianship that will keep the purists hooked, but its the elaborate song structures and overarching feel of the album — it sounds big, like some immeasurably powerful interstellar entity coasting through the measureless reaches of space; alien, but not alienating — that makes this such a standout". - that man Jobby again, 20/08/13

5. Ghost - Infestissumam (Sonet Records)

Aside from Avenged Sevenfold, Ghost would appear to be the most straight-down-the-line love 'em or hate 'em act in the world of metal at the moment. Cue our man in Queensland Albert Petersen, who had this to say on the subject: "Ghost are bags of Satanic fun. Shut up! I love 'em and that's the end of it!" That's fair enough of course, but we think the next album might need to be a bit more metallic than this one if fan loss is to be kept down to a minimum...

4. Ulcerate - Verrmis (Relapse Records)

Clearly our man listening to the stuff the world wants to hear most, Jobby was on the spot again and reviewed this for us back in October, His closing judgement sums Vemis up in a big, metal-plated nutshell: "Above all else, this is a death metal album that truly displays artistic depth of expression alongside the to-be-expected intensity and extremity. This is a rare gem, not to be missed." Can you say 'Amen' after a death metal review? You can now.

3. Audrey Horne - Youngblood (Napalm Records)

Being labelled a 'post-grunge supergroup' should be enough to kill off the career of most groups, but the 'Hornes, now four albums deep into their career, would appear to be made of sterner stuff, and thank the maker for that, because album number four is the quite superb Youngblood. Coming on at times like a heady mix of Paul Stanley fronting Iron Maiden, AH are an outstanding proposition when on song which, on this album, was all of the time. Utterly fantastic. 

2. Orphaned Land - All is One (Century Media)

'Not metal enough!' cry Orphaned Land's longterm fans, and yes, it isn't anywhere near as brutal or indeed progressive as much of their past work, but it's probably the record they had to make in terms of survival and growth, and by those criteria All is One is astunning, unmitigated success. Epic, rousing, thoughtful, soulful, All is One is all these things and more. And only one album could beat it in 2013...

1. Carcass - Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)

It's very rare that an album - especially a 'comeback' album - unites opinion quite as strongly as Surgical Steel has among the metal faithful. A runaway winner amongst our poll correspondents, SS is clearly the album we were all waiting for, And Jeff Walker, Bill Steer and Dan Wilding didn't let us down. A thrilling synthesis of all the best bits of the best Carcass albums delivered with a fire and spite that caught us all by surprise, it is, quite rightly, Metal as Fuck's Top Metal Album of 2013. Hail.