So here’s my list for the top 10 metal albums of the year. One thing I must say is that I’ve listened to a load of metal albums this year and I really loved some of them. But this year I just couldn’t find that barely perfect album that I loved more than all the others, like it was for me with Periphery’s and Tony Danza’s 2012 albums, or Machine Head‘s 2011 album. My favourite album of the year resulted to be an album from a different music genre, so this is just the list of my top 10 albums of the year concerning Metal.
TOP 10 ALBUMS
10. TESSERACT – ALTERED STATE
This album brought TesseracT into a new light for me and was a fundamental album for heavy metal itself. It showed the world a band capable of creating something completely new and so manifestly beautiful – even to those who renounced the idea that this music still has something interesting to give.
9. SOILWORK – THE LIVING INFINITE
The great thing of this album is it’s magnitude. Soilwork’s “The Living Infinite” came across as one of the most ambitious, attempted musical projects this year. It resulted in an enormous double album, reviving the reputation of a band and the genre they represent.
8. THE OCEAN – PELAGIAL
This album has been praised enough and it surely doesn’t need my modest opinion to be even more acclaimed. An overwhelming and passionate experience filled with dramatic, intense, and powerful music. This is an album that couldn’t go without being included.
7. PROTEST THE HERO – VOLITION
This was one of the most discussed and awaited albums of the year. It resulted to be great, even mind-blowing in some passages. This is definitely the album I’ve appreciated the most from this band.
6. BREAKDOWN OF SANITY – PERCEPTION
I just couldn’t resist putting this album on the final list. I’m not a big fan of the new generation metalcore bands, but these guys did it on a much higher scale. “Perception” is a massive and devastating release, capable of bringing elation and destruction with every track.
5. DAMNED SPRING FRAGRANTIA – DIVERGENCES
I’m surely biased on this, being that I’m from Italy. But I’ve legitimately been jamming this album for the better half of 2013. It’s surely one of the heaviest releases packed this year. A savage and unpredictable progressive metalcore assault.
4. HUMANITY’S LAST BREATH – HUMANITY’S LAST BREATH
This is another one of the heaviest albums of 2013 for sure. As I said in the review, this is much more than the accused Vildhjarta rip-off. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to exclusively stream this full album when it came out.
3. LETLIVE – BLACKEST BEAUTIFUL
When I listened to “Banshee” for the first time, it completely blew me away. This is music with a burning and kicking soul, pushed forward by the amazing vocals of Jason Aalon Alexander Butler. I would give him the title for 2013’s best vocal performance.
2. AFTER THE BURIAL – WOLVES WITHIN
To me, this had been the most anticipated release of the year. And it packed almost everything I wanted from it. After The Burial delivered an awesome record in “Wolves Within”. However, it lacks the real innovation that was present in their previous albums. Still a great release and one of the best albums of the year but it failed to reach the absolute top.
1. DREAMSHADE – THE GIFT OF LIFE
Since After The Burial failed to attain first place, the list remains ruled by an album which was released at the beginning of 2013 and remained in my top list for the whole year. Dreamshade reminded me of what pure and touching songwriting can do without the overwhelming special effects of modern metal production. I fell in love with this band from the first listen. Nothing too brilliant, different, or even necessarily innovative – just some beautiful music. It’s far from perfect but it’s still the metal album I enjoyed most during 2013.
TOP 5 EPS
5. AFTER THE BURIAL – THIS LIFE IS ALL WE HAVE
Ok, this is nothing new, but the re-recorded version of these 3 songs were absolutely incredible and perfect in all passages. If it was new material, this would have been #1.
4. POLYPHIA – INSPIRE
This was no doubt one of the greatest instrumental releases of the year. These super-talented young men need to find a god of a vocalist as soon as possible. I can’t wait to see what they’ll be able to do in the future. An act to watch out for, definetly.
3. VILDHJARTA – THOUSANDS OF EVILS
Vildhjarta have done it again… They’ve destroyed our minds. This EP features some of their most interesting material so far. It packs some good surprises and beloved, unexpected passages.
2. BEND THE SKY – OBSERVATORY
Here’s another incredible and bright instrumental experience. This band’s mash up of modern metal and orchestral music is something splendid and uplifting, capable of elevating your existence. “Observatory” is their most mature and complete work to date. Incredible.
1. PLINI – OTHER THINGS / SWEET NOTHINGS
These two EPs by Plini are both better than all those mentioned above but you can’t just chose one. So I decided to put them here together, especially considering they’re two parts of the same trilogy in progress. “Sweet Nothings” may be the best one, but “Other Things” features that beautiful song that is “Heart” and some… Let me reiterate, you just can’t choose one. Anyways, here we have the best instrumental material released in 2013, in my opinion.
Scale The Summit – The Migration
Lifeforms – Multidimensional
The Holy Guile – FSU
Sworn In – The Death Card
Within The Ruins – Elite
Maximum The Hormone – Yoshu Fukushu
Benea Reach – Possession
Northlane – Singularity
Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descession
No Consequence – IO
Human Improvement Process – Deafening Dissonant Millenium
Reflections – Exi(s)t
James Labrie – Impermanent Resonance
Nemertines – Death, My Love
Atlantis Chronicles – Ten Miles Under Water
Caricature – The Sound Of One Man’s World Collapsing