7) Carcass, Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)
Need proof that Bill Steer is a metal genius on guitar? First, listen to “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System.” Pretty insane, eh? Then prepare yourself, for Surgical Steel is jam packed with similar face melting riffs and truly top notch death metal anthems. It’s an album not only earns Carcass the title of “best comeback of the year,” but also arguably the “best extreme release of 2013.” Granted, many wouldn’t expect less from such an influential band like Carcass. But it’s still a relief to see that Carcass were still able to succeed everyone’s expectations with their first album in 17 years (and not to mention with only half of its original lineup).
Key track: “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System”
6) Trivium, Vengeance Falls (Roadrunner)
Let’s address the elephant in the room right off the bat: Yes, you can hear David Draiman’s influence as producer on this album, especially in the vocals and rhythm in general. However, that shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. Trivium crafted an album that further develops the technicality and aggression heard on Shogun and pushes the powerful melodies that started to seep into the music on In Waves. As a result, Trivium made an album that’s slightly more accessible without selling out or compromising its extreme elements. But what about all of the Disturbed comparisons? Well, this is the type of album I wish Disturbed (and more mainstream metal bands for that matter) would have the balls to make.
Key track: “Villainy Thrives”
5) Killswitch Engage, Disarm The Descent (Roadrunner)
Jesse Leach is the fire that Killswitch Engage needed to move forward. He first proved that onstage last year during his first tours with the band in almost a decade. Then he proved it with Disarm The Descent. Not only did they produce strong songs and catchy hooks, but the band as a whole sounds tighter, more focused and all around more passionate on this album than they have in years. And while many feared that Howard Jones’ signature vocals would be missed, Leach’s voice is stronger than ever, as heard through his deathly growls “No End In Sight” and his heartfelt clean vocals on “The Hell In Me.”
Key track: “The Hell In Me.”