Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Josh's Top Full Lengths Of 2013 (with Honorable Mentions)

Find my honorable mentions for EP of the year posted HERE, and my top EP’s of the year posted HERE.  While this year hasn’t been quite as good as 2012, 2013 has been a pretty good year for metal…ESPECIALLY death metal.  That being said, expect a healthy dose of death.  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 honorable mentions first.  In no particular order:

In VainAenigma
Genre:  Melodic/Progressive Death Metal

Genre:  Technical/Brutal Death Metal
Preview:  “Nucleon”

Akeldama - Everything Beautiful
Genre:  Progressive Metal/Djent
Preview:  "A New Beginning"

Syn:Drom - Iconoclasm
Genre:  Death Metal/Tech Death
Preview:  “Black Dawn”

Rings Of SaturnDingir
Genre:  Technical Deathcore

The OceanPelagial
Genre:  Post/Progressive Metal

Scale The SummitThe Migration
Genre:  Progressive Metal/Instrumental
Preview:  “Odyssey”

The BurialIn The Taking Of Flesh
Genre:  Blackened Metalcore?/Thrash
Preview:  “Itching Ears”

For some reason, this album gets NO love whatsoever, but it’s got pretty much all I look for in metal.

InfernaeonThe Cancer Within
Genre:  Blackened Death Metal/Technical Death Metal
Preview:  “Ash”

Blackened death as it should be.  Sounds kind of like if Aeon added a lot more black metal influence to their sound.

Humanity’s Last BreathHumanity’s Last Breath
Genre:  Progressive Deathcore
Preview:  “Human Swarm”

Vildhjarta, eat your heart out.  By FAR the hardest-hitting album of the year.

SpheronEcstasy Of God
Genre:  Technical Death Metal

Trevor from TBDM approves.

AenimusTranscend Reality
Genre:  Progressive/Technical Deathcore

Riffs for miles.

Of Glaciers Heart Museum
Genre:  Melodic/Progressive Metalcore

One of the feelsiest metalcore albums of the year.

DysmorphicNotion Of Causality
Genre:  Technical Death Metal

Fit For An AutopsyHellbound
Genre:  Deathcore

If I was more of a fan of straight-up deathcore, this would be up near the top of the whole list.

Scorned DeityAdventum
Genre:  Blackened/Melodic Death Metal

One of the most theatrical, epic releases of 2013.  I REALLY struggled with not having this in my top 25…

ImmolationKingdom Of Conspiracy
Genre:  Death Metal

CarcassSurgical Steel
Genre:  Melodic Death Metal

Genre:  Technical/Progressive Death Metal

Fans of “Planetary Duality”-era The Faceless or a more death metal-ish Abiotic will SHIT THEIR PANTS.  These guys are set to blow up.

And here we go…the top 25!!

25. The Bridal ProcessionDescent Into Arcologies
Genre:  Technical/Blackened/Symphonic Deathcore/Death Metal

24. Shade EmpireOmega Arcane
Genre:  Symphonic Death Metal
Preview:  “Ruins”

23. The Safety FireMouth Of Swords
Genre:  Progressive Metal
Preview:  “Old Souls”

22. Aether RealmOne Chosen By The Gods
Genre:  Extreme/Folk Metal
Preview:  “Hourglass”

21. CoronadoOrigin
Genre:  Progressive/Atmospheric Deathcore
Preview:  “Continuum”

20. RevocationRevocation
Genre:  Technical Thrash Metal
Preview:  “Archfiend”

19. UnhumanUnhuman
Genre:  Technical/Experimental Death Metal

Some of the most unique, creative, and off-the-wall death metal I have EVER heard.  Unreal.

18. Misery SignalsAbsent Light
Genre:  Progressive Metalcore

The preview track is one of my favorite Track 1’s of all time.

17. ArsisUnwelcome
Genre:  Technical/Melodic Death Metal
Preview:  “Scornstar”

Something doesn’t feel right about having Arsis, who are one of my favorite bands of all time, at number 17, especially considering how incredible this album was….

16. Rivers Of NihilThe Conscious Seed Of Light
Genre:  Death Metal
Preview:  “Rain Eater”

Rivers Of Nihil is going to take over the death metal world – pretty much universally-praised album from everybody here.

15. Shores Of ElysiumEntity In The Void
Genre:  Technical Deathcore
Preview:  “Mind Sculpt”

Some people compare Shores of Elysium to Within The Ruins, but I think that’s doing them a disservice – SOE is MUCH better in pretty much every aspect, minus production.  This band pretty much dominated in the riff department in 2013.

14. Shadow Of The ColossusEnd Game
Genre:  Progressive Death Metal
Preview:  “Insurgence”

HOW IS THIS OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 10, SERIOUSLY.  Unfortunately SOTC didn’t achieve quite the same resonance with “End Game” as they did with their self-titled, but this is still a phenomenal album.

13. Dissonance In DesignSentient
Genre:  Progressive/Melodic Death Metal
Preview:  “Absolution”

Imagine a mixture of Fallujah and Vale Of Pnath…not too shabby, huh?  Not only does this band does a wonderful job weaving a great story (the concept of the album is metal-as-hell by itself), but they also find a way to create a nuanced, immersive atmosphere that perfectly complements each chapter of the album's story.  Oh, and THE RIFFS.

12. TesseracTAltered State
Genre:  Progressive/Atmospheric Metal

This album is so high almost entirely because of the chorus in the preview song…literally the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard/seen.

11. GorgutsColored Sands
Genre:  Blackened/Avant-Garde Death Metal

Well this had to be on here, didn’t it?  No AOTY list is complete without it.

10. PersefoneSpiritual Migration
Genre:  Progressive/Melodic Death Metal

One of those albums that absolutely hits you in the fucking face and screams “HEY, WE HAVE INSANE TALENT AND WE KNOW HOW TO USE IT.”

9. Protest The HeroVolition
Genre:  Progressive/Technical Metal

My favorite album of theirs’.  Out-of-this-world technicality.

8. The Black Dahlia MurderEverblack
Genre:  Melodic Death Metal

Until Ne Obliviscaris comes out with 10 years worth of incredible albums, TBDM is my favorite band, period.  Definitely not their best work to date, but it’s still Dahlia.

7. UlcerateVermis
Genre:  Blackened/Avant-Garde Death Metal

What you wouldn’t have expected is that this album was actually better than Gorguts’ release from this year.  Deep, dense, dark, twisted, and evil-as-all-fuck.

6. ExtolExtol
Genre:  Progressive Death Metal

This album will change the prog death metal scene.  Count on it.

5. ErraAugment
Genre:  Progressive Metalcore
Preview:  “Rebirth”

This album was somehow number 5 on my album of the year list, despite being probably my most disappointing release of 2013…I had such high expectations after “Impulse”, and this album didn’t QUITE live up to them.  Regardless, a phenomenal achievement by a band that’s poised to explode as the kings of American metalcore.

4. Caligula’s HorseThe Tide, The Thief, And The River’s End
Genre:  Progressive Metal/Alternative Rock

You are seriously fucking up if you don’t give this a chance.  Soaring, beautiful vocals, outrageous technicality and composition, and influences from approximately 3 jillion different genres.  If you take a chance on one album this year, PLEASE let it be this one.

3. Fleshgod ApocalypseLabyrinth
Genre:  Symphonic Death Metal
Preview:  “Warpledge”

God mode.  The production is kinda meh (should’ve been mastered a little quieter to get rid of the “wall-of-noise” effects), but whatever.  The album is insane enough to make up for it.

2. Ovid’s WitheringScryers Of The Ibis
Genre:  Symphonic/Progressive Deathcore

Fuckin Ovdi, am I right?  FLAWLESS album.  Do I even need to justify this one any further?

1. Shaded EnmityForsaken & Forgotten
Genre:  Progressive/Melodic/Blackened Death Metal

I’ll say now what I said when I first heard these guys:  Shaded Enmity do for death metal some of what Ne Obliviscaris do for black metal.  Unparalleled passion, emotion, and composition.  A more than deserving #1 album of the year, and NOBODY ELSE IS GIVING THIS ALBUM ITS DUES.  FIX IT!


  1. you convinced me, gotta check caligula's horse
    also, finally The Burial gets some love :D

  2. Whoa this is a great list. About time somebody acknowledges the burial and dissonance in design! Gonna have to give ulerate and unhuman a proper listen now


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