25) Necrotic Disgorgement – Documentaries of Dementia
A death metal album full of swagger, insanely offensive titles and brutal music. If ever I’m feeling in need of a pick-me-up, this is the album I turn to.
24) Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose
Scott Gorham and co. decided to not record an album under the Thin Lizzy moniker, and instead became Black Star Riders. They created an album that rolls back the years to a simpler time of hard rock, hard fighting and hard living. A modern-era classic that Lynnott would be proud of.
23) Red Fang – Whales and Leeches
True blue fuzz and filth, a great follow-up to 2011’s ‘Murder the Mountains’.
22) Born of Osiris – Tomorrow We Die Alive
I’m not the only one who’s surprised that this album is here. But it is. And it is amazing, combining electronic elements with ridiculously heavy, slamming blast beats. Take a risk and check it out.
21) Speedtrap – Powerdose
Some great thrash metal from Helsinki, bringing back the raw aggression of the early 80’s and throwing in some new millennium venom with it.
20) Revelation – Inner Harbor
A sonic road odyssey, with prog turns and rock highways that send the mind racing.
19) Wormed – Exodromos
These Spanish noise maniacs take this year’s title for ‘Lowest Vocal Pitch’, Phlegeton’s pipes are just that guttural his tones have been known to cause nosebleeds in more sensitive listeners.
18) Hierophant – Great Mother Holy Monster
My very first review for The Sludgelord was for these Italian hardcore ruffians. And yes, their terrific audio madness is
still as potent now as it was all those months ago.
17) Palms – Palms
Chino Moreno and Isis created a beautiful album, full of spacy goodness and oozing New Romantic style. The perfect album to chill out to after a long, hard day.
16) Black Sabbath – 13
One of the most polarizing albums of this year, ‘13’ has elicited a great many reactions from press and public alike. Although it is a shame original drummer Bill Ward was not allowed to record the album for whatever reason, Brad Wilk delivers an excellent stand-in job. As for Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, the album rolls back the years to the time when these three men were at their most vital. Whether you love it or you hate it, you have to respect the fact that these guys are still going and still desire to create heavy music.
15) Gary Numan – Splinter
The godfather of industrial came back into the fray with an album of darkly delightful electro tunes. This guy seems to have an endless supply of inspiration: he’s a marvel to behold.
14) Blackout – We Are Here
This Brooklyn cave metal trio blew me away with their six track of epic, fuzz-fueled sludgery. Every metalhead’s home should have this in their collection.
13) Exivious – Liminal
The new band from ex-Cynic member Tymon Kruidenier took me on a prog journey of heroic proportions. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the noise.
12) Kylesa – Ultraviolet
Recommended to me by the illustrious Matt Fitton, Kylesa are space, rock, sound and vibrancy all rolled into one. Plus Laura Pleasants is one hell of a guitarist.
11) Rivers of Nihil – The Conscious Seed of Light
A brutal debut from this Reading, PA quintet. Listen to track ‘Mechanical Trees’ and feel your mind rage with happiness.
10) Orchid – The Mouths of Madness
Orchid are living, breathing reincarnations of the 70s hard rock scene. ‘The Mouths of Madness’ is a fitting homage to those days, a beautiful metal epic that soars above the everyday metal landscape.
9) Dichotomy – Paradigms
Tech death never sounded so good. These fine gents from the Emerald Isle created an album so brutal, so gosh-darn monolithic, it threatened to turn my speakers into molten lumps of plastic. Amazing doesn’t begin to cover it.
8) Kataklysm – Waiting for the End to Come
7) Euphoric Defilement – Ascending to the Worms
6) Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
5) Motörhead – Aftershock
I owe a lot to Motörhead. One of my earliest musical memories is of my dad putting on his vinyl of ‘Iron Fist’ and showing me what fast music was all about. I got to repay my dad for this gift by taking him to see them live for his 63rd birthday. Lemmy and co. have always been there for me: outlaws who stuck a middle finger up to bullshit at every opportunity. ‘Aftershock’ is just another fist raised in defiance of Father Time, and is filled to the brim with riffs, speed and passion. Here’s to you, Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey: Motörhead forever!
4) Combichrist – No Redemption
These German industrial demons threw 2013 a curve ball by not only writing an album for use with a video game (Devil May Cry), they also made it a balls-to-the-wall rock fest. Andy LaPlegua and friends tear the scene apart with their catchy hooks and uncompromising attitude towards making heavy music. Quite simply, ‘No Redemption’ rocks.
3) Carcass – Surgical Steel
2) Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
1) The Ocean - Pelagial
Here it is. THE album of 2013 for me. German prog metal behemoths The Ocean and ‘Pelagial’. An album so vast the seven seas could be dwarfed by its scope. So deep, you could never see its true end. Robin Staps and his merry band of troubadours took my mind and sent it hurtling down to skull-crushing levels. Ever since then I have listened regularly to this album and found new marvels to wonder at, new inspirations to draw from. If I were stranded on a desert island, I would most certainly take The Ocean with me.