As 2013 draws to a close, we’ve been giving the site over to artists to let us know what they’ve been listening to. You can check out part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here, with more coming. However, we also want to let you know what got us going this year. Here’s the first of our contributer’s lists, from New and Noteworthy compiler Chris Colgan.
There are few things in the world that excite me more than the first listen to a new metal album that I’ve been excited to hear. 2013 was a year filled with such moments, and I’m extremely happy to say that I also had quite a few pleasant surprises catch my interest. However, only ten can make the final list of the best for the year. So, without further ado, here are my top ten albums that came out in 2013.
10) Mors Principium Est, …and Death Said Live (AFM)
Mors Principium Est is not re-inventing the wheel on this album – the traditional style of thrash-infused melodic death metal that Finnish bands have become known for is on full display here. The difference is that Mors Principium Est is playing faster, tighter, and more technically than any of their contemporaries. It’s not just complex guitar solos, but also interesting rhythmic arrangements, time changes, and well-crafted melodies that put this album ahead of the pack. If you didn’t check out this album when it came out in January, give it a listen now, because you’re missing out.
9) Skeletonwitch, Serpents Unleashed (Prosthetic)
Skeletonwitch is, in my opinion, the best black metal band in modern metal right now, and I say that with full understanding that they are more of a thrash metal band than a black metal band. The difference between Skeletonwitch and most modern black metal groups is that Skeletonwitch has no filler or density to their music. It’s very straightforward, but it’s downright evil to the core. Serpents Unleashed hits like a punch to the gut, and I love every second of it.
8) Kvelertak, Meir (Roadrunner)
Kvelertak defies classification in every note they play. The mixture of classic punk, early black metal, and good old-fashioned rock and roll just flows together, seamlessly transitioning from one style to the next without any breaks or pauses. It’s a unique and progressive style that many have tried, but only Kvelertak has ever executed so flawlessly. I was late getting on board with this band, but now that I’ve heard Meir, I understand why everyone loves them so much.