Here it is, freaks! The beginning of list-mania! This is the episode where we present our auxiliary lists before next week’s grande finale of our top albums of 2013! This is also the last episode of the year to include full album reviews, of which there are two.
We’d love to hear what your picks are for the lists we did this week and for best albums of 2013. Tell us all about them in the comments!
Reviews: After the Burial – Wolves Within (Sumerian); Still Remains – Ceasing to Breathe (self-released)
After The Burial – Wolves Within
Some of my favourite 2013 releases.
Shade Empire – Omega Arcane
Amorphis – Circle
Lunarsea – Hundred Light Years
In Vain – AEnigma
Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony
The Ocean – Pelagial
Enshine – Origin
Anciients – Heart of Oak
Gris – A l’ame Enflammee l’ame Constellee
Sombres Forets – La Mort du Soleil
Thanks for the reply Matt! Some of those are DEFINITELY on my list, but you have a few on there there we didn’t get to this year (Gris, Sombres Forets, etc.) that I will plan on checking out over the next few weeks for our “Shit We Missed in 2013” episode.
Here’s a few of my picks for your categories:
Worst album: I have to go with Voivod. I know you guys didn’t listen to their 2013 album Target Earth but it got a lot of hype in the beginning of the year so I thought I’d check it out. That’s one of those ones that I just don’t get why people like it so much.
As for Deadlock, that’s one of those albums that I can totally understand why others don’t like it. There’s certainly nothing groundbreaking about The Arsonist, and it’s a little bit cliched as that style and those type of songs have been done a thousand times before. But maybe the reason I enjoyed this album is because I haven’t been oversaturated with that type of thing. Sometimes albums just hit you at the right place and time and strike a chord with you and for whatever reason, I can’t deny that Deadlock did that for me this year. And factor in that I don’t listen to 200 albums in a year like you guys do, so Deadlock being number 18 out of 70 for me means it is at the 25th percentile for me, wereas a top 20 from you guys would represent the top 10 percent.
Most disappointing: that’s easily Ghost. That’s the one that I can’t understand how it could be on so many other people’s lists. I think it was number one on Metal Insider. I even “get” Ghost. As I’ve said before, I think the first album is great. But this new one is just boring. The songs don’t stand out or sink in. They just sort of blend in to one bland mass of music.
Most overlooked: I’m going with Kadavar. I could have also went with Unhuman, but I think their type of tech death with those insane vocals isn’t quite for everyone. But to me Kadavar should have a wide appeal that for some reason just isn’t breaking through. I guess that could be due to the fact that they aren’t quite all that heavy, but Clutch isn’t all that heavy and they are getting a lot of recognition.
Most improved: Born of Osiris. Tomorrow We Die Alive sees them step out from generic deathcore. As a side note, I didn’t listen to Bring Me The Horizon.
You asked for it so you’re going to get it: Kvelertak is your most disappointing??? Your expectations must have been just too high because Meir is a very good album.
As for Tesseract, I’m in between you guys, as you saw it was my number 20 album of the year, which will certainly be under Nick. I can’t disagree with Brian about the fact that it drags a little at about 3/4 of the way through, but that doesn’t mean that the other 40 minutes of the album aren’t good.
Best artwork: Holy shit, I never even noticed that those things are hooded figures on the album artwork of Abandon All Life by Nails. This is a tough category but I might have to go with Gorguts. If I look at it quickly it looks like sand falling through an hour glass, but it is really 2 pairs of arms and hands praying without a head.
I’m guessing Byzantine is the other album in Nick’s top 3 aside from the 2 he already mentioned (Norma Jean and TesseracT).
I know you mentioned you’ll probably do a “shit you missed” but I might recommend a “let me try that one again” for Inquisition. If there is one album that has grown on me it was Obscure Verses from the Multiverse. Yes, the vocals are bad. Ignore them. The guitar riffs are so good that they cannot be denied. And it’s not just one or two riffs here and there: the entire album is non-stop awesome riffs.
You left out a couple of categories: best live act (a really tough one this year) and best beer of the year. Hands down the beer award has to go to Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Smoked Doppelbock, which I discovered thanks to Brian. As he put it, it’s like drinking smoked bacon. I love it! Another good one from the same brewery is their Urbock, which is still smoky but not quite as sweet or as heavy and has a nice balance.
Glad you liked the sweater! I almost got you the Dying Fetus one. That might not have gone over so well with the family if you had worn the Dying fetus sweater on Christmas Day.
Again Bob – solid list. I can’t really disagree with any of those.
Byzantine will definitely be up there for me. I haven’t figured out my order yet for the tops. I have the list whittled down, but the order is troubling me. They are all quite different albums, and each has their appeal on different days at different times. I suppose I should figure it out though since we’re recording in 2 days!
I will revisit Inquisition. As you may recall, I didn’t loathe the album as much as Brian because I did notice the awesome guitar throughout the disc. Now that I know what to expect from the vocals, it will probably be a little less jarring to go back to again.
We very intentionally cut out Best Live Act this year. Tooooooo many shows! Neither of could decide on a favorite, and we weren’t sure if we should make it individual best act, or best all around tour. Rather than stress over it – we cut it.
Best Beer of 2013. I forgot that we had talked about that before. I tried another smoked bacon beer up here when Brian was visiting a while back. I can’t remember if it is the one you’re talking about or not – but damn it was good! I didn’t try too much new and exciting this year, but one that I discovered is the Meantime London Stout. It’s VERY smooth and has a nice coffee taste to it. Not overly thick or strong and goes down very easy. I’d highly recommend it. Other good ones: Yeti Imperial Stout, Uinta Baba Black Lager, and Harviestoun’s “Old Engine Oil.”
I wore the ETID to two Christmas parties on Christmas day, and had all our family photos taken with it.