Ladies and Gentle-ladies,
We the hard working lads at The Circle Pit have been working our asses off around the clock, with little conversations at the bottom of a bottle of Demon Rum, to wind up the best TOP 10 lists that you need to get the ducks in your music collection. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Albums of 2013.
10. STRAY FROM THE PATH – ANONYMOUS
RATM was a crucial part of my mid-teen years. So when a band that can hold a candle to RATM’s pure vitriol, half-rapped, half-growled and spatted compositions, I was ecstatic to say the least. A good album right from the word go, till the last second; filled with amazing hooks and riffs to the brim.
9. HACRIDE – BACK TO WHERE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN
I have long been a sucker for French Metal, but “BTWYHNB” was not exactly the record I was expecting but this four-piece from Poitiers knew how to turn their sound around and after catching them live in my hometown this year, my faith was re-cemented.
8. BEING – ANTHROPOCENE
Released right in the nick of time while most were adding finishing touches their Top so and so lists, Being is just the kind of album I needed to wrap things up: The perfect blend of powerful clean vocals that had a lot of soul to it with a uber-tight instrumental section, “Anthropocene” was a surprise entrant to the game and converted me into an immediate fan.
7. PROTEST THE HERO – VOLITION
A Protest The Hero album is something of a kid-at-a-carnival experience for any fan of complex music. These Math Metallers from Ontario always know how to put up a good display of musicianship, and it keeps getting progressively more mature with every album they put out. “Volition” doesn’t fall an inch away from the lineage of massive albums they have in their repertoire. You can’t really go wrong with this one.
6. HEART OF A COWARD – SEVERANCE
There have been few bands that have helped me reminisce the good times that Pantera gave me; And then HOAC came along and gave meaning to the phrase “brute force” for 2013. And being a long-time fan of Jamie Graham-era Sylosis, I always make it a point to check back regularly on HOAC.
5. ERRA – AUGMENT
If there’s one band which I would still say is flying horribly under the radar right now then it’s ERRA. Being a fan of their previous two releases, this album was one that I was very much looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint for a second.
4. AFTER THE BURIAL – WOLVES WITHIN
Having arrived late at the After The Burial camp I relied mostly on critics to get the lowdown on this 5-piece juggernaut, who have been on and off playlists throughout their collective careers. With “Wolves Within” they really scored the home-run most of their ardent fans had expected to hear earlier. Mosh-crazy anthems that would be any Modern Prog fans wet dream are aplenty on this baby.
3. TIE BETWEEN… CULT OF LUNA – VERTIKAL & ROSETTA – THE ANESTHETE
Every CoL album’s sole purpose is to drop a huge bucket of riffs over a dark white landscape and watch it all turn poetically distorted into meaningful shapes. If you are too bored to sit through that metaphorical orgy, then you, Sir, are most welcome to find the most desolated spot you can think of, wait for a moonless night, and then slip on the headphones with this album on a loop. I’m not saying you’ll wake up happier than Albert Hoffman after his best cycle ride, but it’s a start.
Rosetta seems like the schizophrenic sibling that Cult of Luna has been hiding in the attic: Docile and meditative at times, and outright chaotic at others. The album is a must-try for anyone who has a taste for long winded passages of guitar leads that finally collide head-first into a wall of sound.
2. THE SAFETY FIRE – MOUTH OF SWORDS
“Grind the Ocean” was one album I moaned and complained about how it required “getting used to”, but “Mouth of Swords” turned me into an overnight fan. Technical, catchy, and a barrage of good moments and hooks packaged together in some of the most beautiful compositions I had the pleasure of listening to this year.
1. TIE BETWEEN… TESSERACT – ALTERED STATE & CARCASS – SURGICAL STEEL
Rich in texture and musical depth, pushing boundaries in the truest extent of the phrase, this is one of those records that the bastardized genre/ onomatopoeia that is Djent shall always be recognized by.
I may the farthest thing from a Heavy Metal elitist, but there’s no denying first spot to an album that resurrects a band gone for well over a decade to shut up every cross over Metalcore-Melodeath abomination that’s crawling out of the woodwork these days. The masters of medicinal butchery are back and how!