Episode 118: The End of the End (of the Year)

It’s that time! Time for Brian and Nick to share their top albums for 2013!  And this year, there are more than ever!  After individually making lists of more than 20 albums (beyond 20 was largely undecided when they worked on the collective list), the combined lists brought a Top 25!! There were so many great albums this year, it was hard not make a list this long.  Realistically, it should be even longer because there are even more great albums that didn’t make the cut because of math, but there was just not enough time (and energy) to go further.


So, without further delay, here is The Sideshow Podcast’s Top 25 Albums of 2013!  Feel free to discuss and debate (and leave your own lists) in the comments.

  1. Nails – Abandon All Life (Southern Lord)
  2. Byzantine – Byzantine (independent)
  3. Norma JeanWrongdoers (Razor & Tie)
  4. Nero Di MarteNero Di Marte (Prosthetic)
  5. AmorphisCircle (Nuclear Blast)
  6. Dead Letter CircusThe Catalyst Fire (The End)
  7. The OceanPelagial (Metal Blade)
  8. SkeletonwitchSerpents Unleashed (Prosthetic)
  9. CarcassSurgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)
  10. TesseracTAltered State (Century Media)
  11. Dark TranquilityConstruct (Century Media)
  12. Protest The HeroVolition (Razor & Tie)
  13. DisperseLiving Mirrors (Season of Mist)
  14. Bring Me the HorizonSempiternal (Epitaph)
  15. UnhumanUnhuman (independent)
  16. SoilworkThe Living Infinite (Nuclear Blast)
  17. AnciientsHeart of Oak (Season of Mist)
  18. Audrey HorneYoungblood (Napalm)
  19. The Dillinger Escape PlanOne of Us is the Killer (Party Smasher/Sumerian)
  20. LunarseaHundred Light Years (Punishment 18)
  21. EnshineOrigin (Rain Without End)
  22. Man Must DiePeace Was Never an Option (Lifeforce)
  23. Weekend NachosStill (Relapse)
  24. DevilDriverWinter Kills (Napalm)
  25. Old GodsStylized Violence (Forge Again)


  1. Overall you guys have quite a good list, as my numbers 2 and 3 are your numbers 1 and 2. But as I’m sure you could have guessed, I have a bunch of comments:

    -Did I hear correctly that Carcass didn’t even make Nick’s top 20 list? I understand if death metal isn’t your thing, but to me Surgical Steel would seem to cross over to appeal to most metal fans in general, not just fans of classic death metal.

    -Since we’re trashing Decibel’s list, the stupidest pick on the Decibel list is Melt Banana. Have you ever actually listened to Melt Banana? You should at least give that a listen online somewhere even if only for 60 seconds because you have to hear just how bad Melt Banana is. It sounds like the worst music Yoko Ono ever made.

    -Regarding best live act, I actually agree with you that it is too hard to pick. If you noticed when I pointed out that you missed the category of best live act that I myself didn’t give a pick for it because I have no idea who I would pick. So why don’t we make it easy and pick the worst live act. I have a feeling we can all agree that would be Cult of Luna. They were so bad that I left the concert in the middle of their set.

    -Amorphis is number 5? I didn’t even listen to that one! I didn’t realize how proggy it was until listening to that song you played. I like proggy, so I’ll have to buy it.

    -Nick said he was surprised that Nails was number one for you, and I am surprised as well, but surprised in a good way. If I didn’t tell you already, I did see Nails live at Saint Vitus earlier this year. They weren’t “scary” as Nick thought they might be. I had high expectations when seeing them live and they did not quite live up to those high expectations. If you meant that they’d be scary to see live because of the crowd, the crowds at Saint Vitus are a bit odd. I’ve only been there twice, but each time the crowd was a little reluctant to get right up front and mosh. Part of it might be the setup of the place, but part of it might be that the Brooklyn hipsters are too cool to mosh. I’m not sure.

    -I’m predicting that neither of you are going to like Subrosa. They are this year’s Pallbearer. Pallbearer was the doom album of the year last year. But it wasn’t in my or your top 20 for 2012. Subrosa may have released the best doom album of 2013 but it still doesn’t make a top 30 for me.

    -You aren’t missing anything by skipping Deafheaven and In Solitude. I listened to both albums and both are nothing special and nothing different than their previous stuff.

    -I’m a little surprised that Killswitch didn’t even make it to number 25 for you guys.

    -And finally, did you really listen to 210 albums this year? That’s quite a feat!

    1. Comments on your comments:

      – Yeah, Carcass didn’t make my list. While I agree that it is a fantastic album (fairly certain I gave it a 5) there were many albums that I found better. I have at LEAST 10 “Runners Up” that fall in the same category as Carcass. I think I just never had quite the same appreciation that most people had/have for them. Also, as I commented before, I wasn’t totally thrilled on the production of “Surgical Steel.”

      – I have a friend that likes Melt Banana so I have suffered that same experience. I know I always encourage weird and different things and try to give praises to bands that take me by surprise…….but, ya know, there’s always an exception!

      – Amorphis. Yeah, surprised me too. I always have it in my head when the album ends. You should definitely buy it.

      – I think I recall you telling us about the Nails show. I’m thinking Brooklyn hipsters are to blame for that experience. I think the crowds at the small bars up here would absolutely murder each other.

      – I wholeheartedly expect to not like SubRosa, but since they were on at least 80% of the lists I looked at, I felt like we should at least give it a try. …..don’t expect a high rating from this guy!

      – I streamed a couple Deafheaven songs just to make sure they hadn’t drastically changed since their last album. I still don’t get it. It isn’t Bereft levels of bad or anything, it just doesn’t impress me at all.

      – Yeah. There are 210 albums in the Album Artwork folder that Mike made for us, and that doesn’t take First Impressions, Showcases, or a couple EP’s into consideration. Been a busy year!!

      1. I know how you feel about Carcass and “runners up.” I found the hardest part of my list was coming up with numbers 18 through 20 because I wanted to squeeze in 10 albums in those 3 slots, most notably Alice In Chains, Anciients, and Revocation.

        I bought the Amorphis album and have listened to it twice already and am liking it. For some reason I thought they were straight up death metal which is why I skipped it in the first place. But I enjoy the mix of styles and influences on it, including even the little bit of folk elements here and there.

  2. I know you guys hated some of the bands on my list but here is mine:

    Top 10 CD’s of 2013

    10.) Ovid’s Withering- Scryers of the Ibis
    9.) James Labrie- Impermanent Resonance
    8.) Seeker- Unloved
    7.) Within in the Ruins- Elite
    6.) Impending Doom- Death will Reign
    5.) Sphere- Primordial
    4.) Hail to the King- Dynasties
    3.) Benea Reach- Possession
    2.) Megalodon- Darkness in Sonance
    1.) Northlane- Singularity

    10 Honorable Mentions (In No Particular Order)
    Fit for a King- Creation/Destruction
    Idols- Choose Hate
    Sworn In- The Death Card
    Thy Art is Murder- Hate
    Twelve Foot Ninja- Silent Machine
    The Walking Dead Orchestra- Architects of Destruction
    Humanity’s Last Breath- S/T
    Submissioner- Inretrospect
    Amaranthe- The Nexus
    Slice the Cake- Other Slices

    Top 5 EP’s of 2013

    5.) Towers- Into the Void
    4.) Graves- Pestilence
    3.) Black Tongue- Falsifier
    2.) Immoralist- Widow
    1.) Lorna Shore- Maleficium

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