Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Josh's Top 15-ish EP's of 2013

 Find my honorable mentions posted HERE.  Much like 2012, 2013 has been a pretty damn good year for metal…ESPECIALLY death metal.  This year has not been nearly as good on the EP front, but the contenders at the top were VERY strong.  That being said, I tried to make this list a healthy blend of both my opinion/favoritism and a *SOMEWHAT* unbiased/subjective take on what I thought the best metal albums were.  As I said last year, I tend to place a HEAVY emphasis on progression/innovation within a genre, technicality, lyrical content and especially replay value.  With that, let’s get to the 15 (or 16?) top EPs of 2013.

16.  Vildhjarta – Thousands Of Evils
Genre:  Progressive Deathcore/Djent
For fans of:  Meshuggah, Dissipate, Monuments, Periphery

Kinda meh, but it’s still Vildhjarta.  I could do with more technical flourishes like I know they’re capable of on the next album…it’d definitely get them listed a little higher than 16.

15.  Delusions Of Grandeur – Efficacy
Genre:  Progressive Deathcore
For fans of:  The Contortionist, Aristeia, Iconoclast, Neberu, Entities, Shades Of Black, Shokran

I feel really guilty about having these guys outside of the top 10, because god damn was this album awesome.  The combination of riffs, atmosphere, composition, and production was really unique this year.

14.  Sidious – Ascension To The Throne Ov Self
Genre:  Symphonic/Blackened Death Metal
For fans of:  Behemoth, Carcass, Make Them Suffer, Nexilva, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh

One of those albums that came out of absolutely NOWHERE to completely destroy my ears.  Criminally underappreciated.

13.  Still Falling – Three Suns
Genre:  Atmospheric/Progressive Death Metal
For fans of:  Ne Obliviscaris, I Am Atlas, To The Grave, The Faceless

Some of the highest replay value of any album in 2013…at least in my view!

12.  Aronious – Demo
Genre:  Technical Death Metal
For fans of:  Fallujah, The Faceless, The Black Dahlia Murder

Technically this wasn’t an EP, per se (hence having 16 “top EPs”, since I couldn’t rightfully leave this one out without a mention of some sort), but if it was, this is right where it’d go.  Fans of prog/tech death like Fallujah or “Planetary Duality”-era The Faceless will love this.  Oh, and their logo.

11.  Kardashev – Excipio
Genre:  Progressive/Atmospheric Deathcore/Death Metal
For fans of:  Fallujah, Aegaeon, Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya

The vibes, the grooves, the crushing breakdowns, the reflective atmosphere, the vocals, just…EVERYTHING.

10.  Boreworm – Black Path
Genre:  Atmospheric/Technical Death Metal
Preview:  “Black Path”
For fans of:  Fallujah, Abiotic, Xenobiotic, Burning The Masses

Dense, heavy, and technical.  Nobody else wrote an EP that really nailed those qualities this year quite like Boreworm.

9.  Dethrone The Sovereign – Autocracy Dismantled
Genre:  Symphonic Metalcore?
For fans of:  The Human Abstract, The Raven Autarchy, Knights Of The Abyss, Picture It In Ruins

These guys incorporated just the right amount of The Human Abstract influence into kind of a symphonic/electronic deathcore/metalcore format.  When you’re doing something nobody else in the scene is doing, you’re going to get my attention.

8.  Auras – Panacea
Genre:  Progressive Metalcore/Groove
Preview:  “Cascade”
For fans of:  Entities, Aristeia, The Contortionist

Ethereal grooves of the year.

7.  Delta – Voyage
Genre:  Progressive/Atmospheric Deathcore
Preview:  “Reaper”
For fans of:  Shadow Of The Colossus, Born Of Osiris, Delusions Of Grandeur

The only deathcore album to come out this year that blew me away COMPLETELY by surprise.  If Auras had the ethereal grooves of the year, Delta had by far some of the hardest-hitting.

6.  Behold The Desecration – Omnipresent Putrefaction
Genre:  Technical/Brutal Death Metal
For fans of:  Unhuman, Suffocation, Deeds Of Flesh, Thy Devourer, Decrepit Birth, Abysmal Torment

Their Bandcamp bio says this:  “we want to fuck shit up”.  Well, they do.  The intro riff to that preview song is one of my favorite things all year.

5.  The Zenith Passage – Cosmic Dissonance
Genre:  Progressive/Technical Death Metal
For fans of:  The Faceless, Archspire, Fallujah, Warforged

These guys got signed by Unique Leader not too long after putting out this EP, so you know that they’re pretty much at the forefront of the tech death scene right now.

4.  Polyphia – Inspire
Genre:  Progressive Metal/Instrumental
Preview:  “Transcend”
For fans of:  Plini, Sithu Aye, Intervals, Periphery, Modern Day Babylon, Angel Vivaldi

These guys have to be four of the most talented up-and-coming musicians in the entire metal community.  When you’re an instrumental band and you make #4 on my EP of the year list, you’re doing something right.  I had more plays on this album than almost any other this year.  Out-fucking-standing.

3.  Black Crown Initiate – Song Of The Crippled Bull
Genre:   Progressive Death Metal
For fans of:  Ovid’s Withering, Slice The Cake, Fallujah, Opeth, Between The Buried And Me

Even though this is only an EP, it’s been making top 10 lists all over the place – one of the writers over at Metalsucks even had it as his #4 album of the year.  I don’t know if I’d have it THAT high, but it is pretty incredible.

2.  Cognizance – Inquisitor
Genre:  Technical Death Metal/Deathcore
For fans of:  The Black Dahlia Murder, Arsis, The Faceless, Fallujah

Alex Rudinger of The Faceless did drums for this album, Scott Corstairs of Fallujah had a guest solo, Aaron Matts of Betraying The Martyrs did guest vox, and the dark lord himself shredded himself silly.  OH YEAH, AND NEW FUCKING COGNIZANCE ON NEW YEARS DAY.  This would easily be the best, most exciting EP of the year, except……..

1.  Fallujah – Nomadic
Genre:  Progressive/Atmospheric/Technical Death Metal

The most well-composed technical death metal I have EVER (repeat EVER) heard.  There is so much depth here…how could this be anything BUT number 1?

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