My selection process when making the Best Metal Albums list is pretty organic. Sure, the way the album was created, where it fits in the artist’s catalogue, and other such peripheral factors influence my decision, but the main factor is pretty simple – How does this music make me feel?
If it makes me feel
a) like banging my head into neck-brace territory
b) beaten into ecstatic submission by sheer, brute heaviness
c) in awe of infectious, wicked riffs and superhuman technical ability
d) like destroying everything; and/or
e) absolutely terrified
then we have ourselves a contender, Hades’ ladies and gentlebeasts.
(Note: The word “sunbather” appears only once in this post. And you just read it.)
Without making myself end up in a padded room, I’ve revised the order of this list countless times throughout the year, as repeat listens made new contenders emerge and knock out first-listen faves. I want to give credit where credit’s due, hence my poring over whether an album belongs at the number ten or eleven spot, etc. That said, don’t lose too much sleep over the order here. There’s a ton of great stuff that came out in 2013 for all types of metalheads. These ten albums – not to mention the other ten selections in our More Heavy Hitters list (on the last page) – are all worth many, many listens.
Here’s a playlist featuring one highlight track from each of our selections, from ten to one, so you can listen along as you read.
And now, I give you – The Best Metal Albums of 2013.
10. Reproacher – Nothing to Save
June 11; self-released
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
Nothing to Save was recorded over four days in January at the Boar’s Nest in Salk Lake City by none other than Andy Patterson, who’s worked with Gaza (RIP) and Call of the Void, who are found on this list; there’s a first hint as to what this album sounds like. It is hairy, vicious, and brutal. Technicality is not the name of the game here. Instead, we have violent momentum – barked, throaty vocals; ripping, meaty guitars; and back-alley beatdown percussion. There is the occasional moment of respite, such as “Repose” which will let you catch your breath and not pass out in the pit, but they are few and far between. If gritty, sludgy metal isn’t your thing, you might have trouble getting into this, but I urge you to give it a shot. Nothing to Save drips attitude and brutality. Reproacher have been together for four years now, and their venom is more dangerous than ever. “A New Dark Age”, indeed.