Sunday 29 December 2013

Richard Maw - Top 25 Album of 2013

25. Autopsy- The Headless Ritual

No one does DM quite like Autopsy. This was a brilliant return. If I ahd listened more extensively, I have no doubt it would climb higher.

24. Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats- Mind Control

Excellent follow up to Blood Lust- no creepy atmospherics this time, but worthy nonetheless.

23. Forest Swords- Engravings

Pagan themed electronica. Evocative of the woods and the earth.

22. Pentagram Chile- The Malefice

Feral and old school metal. Incredible live, too.

21. Satanic Dystopia- Double Denim Shotgun Massacre

Blackened horror from the Northern Wastelands. Horrible.

20. Avatarium- S/T

Classy and haunting doom with a folk twist. Unusual and hypnotising. A bit of a late entry into the albums of the year list- its stature may grow, I suspect.

19. Monster Magnet- Last Patrol

A real grower of an album. Psychedelic and sprawling, the best in a  long time from Wyndorf. I f I had more time to listen to it, it would most likely climb a lot higher in the list.

18. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds- Push The Sky Away

Another excellent record from a man who is much cooler than you. Uncategorisable stuff and all the better for that.

17. Monkey3 -The 5th Sun

Excellent instrumental stoner goodness from Switzerland.

16. Deicide- In The Minds of Evil

The strongest record in a while from Glen's not so merry men. Death metal, as it was and always should be.

15. Motorhead- Aftershock

A cracking return from the best rock n roll band in the world. Motorhead have influenced everybody and remain the gold standard of integrity in music. If this wasn't “only” the latest in Motorhead's incredible catalogue it would feature a lot higher in this list. Fact: they have never made a bad album. The real deal in every way. We will miss them when they are gone.

14. Death Angel- The Dream Calls For Blood

Rip roaring thrash from a somewhat overlooked band. If you haven't heard it... do yourself a favour and argue for them in the “great thrash pub debate” (Why is it only four bands in the big four? Why aren't Testament included? Is German thrash better than the Bay Area stuff? Who actually likes Joey Belladonna's vocals? Overkill- surely the most consistent of the lot?!).

13. Skeletonwitch- Serpents Unleashed

Great thrash with a blackened twist. Straight ahead, short and sweet.

12. True Widow- Circumambulation

Trippy and dreamy, this is an album to put on and relax to or while you're taking a long look in the mirror (soul searching, not cocaine).

11. Victor Griffin's In-Graved- S/T

Doom legend makes classic 70's style rock record. Some cracking stiff on here. Even the Jethro Tull cover works well. A fine follow up to the Place of Skulls catalogue.

10. The Fall Of Every Season- Amends

One man proggy doom project that blew me away when I first heard it. Sprawling and cold sounding.

9. Sepultura- The Mediator Between The Head and Hands Must Be The Heart

Once one of metal's leading lights, the band's star has dimmed in the last 15 years, but they have made consistently great music for over a decade. What a shame that some won’t give them a chance. Forward thinking and unique, one of my favourite bands of all time.

8. Icons Of Brutality- Between Glory and Despair

Excellent Dutch death. This is how it should be done. Raw and vicious.

7. Immolation- Kingdom of Conspiracy

Brutal songs, blasts and production. This is thoroughly modern death metal.

6. Hail Of Bullets- III The Rommel Chronicles

Historical biography collides with ripping death-doom. Eeeurggghhh!

5. Hypocrisy- End Of Disclosure

Superlative Swe-death. Extra terrestrial themed and with brilliant playing, songs and RIFFS! I loved this album as soon as I heard it.

4. Alter Bridge- Fortress

Melodic hard rock/metal that is dark, American and thoroughly modern. Their best record so far and, no doubt, a gateway for young fans to one day move on to more extreme fare. 

3. Rotting Christ- Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy

I have listened to this countless times. Not black, not goth, not thrash, not death, not trad, but combines the best of those genres... Very different and very cool. What an album.

2. Carcass- Surgical Steel

Stunning record. Is it their best?! Possibly. Some of the passages are simply breath taking. If there is one death metal album from 2013 you should buy, it is this. I said buy- not download/steal (spotify). Support the people who enrich your life.

1.Clutch- Earth Rocker

What can be said? A more complete album is hard to find- across the decades the list would be relatively short. I genuinely think this will become an all time classic. Rock music at its best. Songs, personality, musicianship; the record has it all in spades. I haven't heard an album of its type that is this good in years. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

The list above reflects how much I have listened to albums, enjoyment etc. As usual, it is by no means definitive but the top ten is locked down.

There are several albums that deserve honourable mentions too- indeed, on another day they may have made the list. Sadly, I have not had enough time to really immerse myself in some of these. I do the following a disservice that I hope to rectify: Grave Miasma- Odori Sepulcrurum, Spitiual Beggars- Earth Blues, Zombification- At The Graves of Eternal, Trouble- The Distortion Field, Agrimonia- Rites Of Separation, Howl- Bloodlines, Secrets of The Sky- To Sail Black Waters, Age of Taurus- Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times, Down Among The Dead Men, Procession- To Reap Heavens Apart, Tombstones- Red Skies and Dead Eyes. All great bands with albums that deserve more of my attention for sure.