Best Albums of 2013: Jackson May

Jackson May’s Top 10 Albums Of 2013

10. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

Continuing the movement of bucking nearly everything that made them unlistenable in their startup years, Bring Me The Horizon have made their first really good album. “Sempiternal” is more post-hardcore than deathcore, and they do it much better than they ever did deathcore. It’s not a particularly deep album and the lyrics can be ultimately cheesy sometimes, but there’s enough here for me to thoroughly enjoy the album. This was the album that spent the most time in my car’s CD player, and for that they take the #10 spot.

9. Exhumed – Necrocracy

Exhumed makes another solid album proving that they almost out-Carcass Carcass even in their glory days. This album has a bit more grind in it than their last album, which only does amazing stuff for them. Is Exhumed the hardest working band in death metal today? Probably. And it shows!

8. The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack

Black Dahlia’s best and most complete album since 2007′s “Nocturnal.” Every album here is an absolute beast, whether it’s from the lightning-fast “In Hell Is Where She Waits For Me,” the crunching “Phantom Limb Masturbation,” or the Morbid Angel-inspired “Into The Everblack,” there’s something on this album for every fan of death metal. If you haven’t taken a look into one of the most consistently awesome “young” American metal bands, now’s a great time to hop on the hype train!

7. Convulse – Evil Prevails

Does old-school death metal have the best track record in all of music for band comeback albums? Convulse sound like thy were frozen in time after the release of their last album back in 1994. Painfully heavy and unrelenting in a way that only a classic Scandinavian death metal band can pull off.

6. Nails – Abandon All Life

The best pissed-off album of 2013. Nails crams all they can into this album that lasts just over 17 minutes – any more and people listening to it might kill someone. For fans of the loudest, fastest, angriest music (and guitar tone) possible. Southern Lord is killing it when it comes to this type of music, and Nails just might do it better than anyone today.

5. Melt-Banana – Fetch

Kinda the sonic polar opposite of Nails, Melt-Banana is happy and upbeat and just downright weird. These pioneers of noise rock/grindcore/pop/whatever are back with a killer album. “Fetch” is catchy rhythm’s one song and the most jarring, time-signature-changing grind song the next, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from them. Required listening for any punk!

4. In Solitude – Sister

The best “occult rock/old-school metal/satan rock” whatever band out there today for sure! Other bands need to stop taking influence from Blue Oyster Cult and Led Zeppelin and more from King Diamond and Mercyful Fate! This is the throwback band for metalheads. Catchy, heavy and supremely evil. “Pallid Hands” is one of the best songs of the year.

3. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Comeback of the year would be an understatement. Daft Punk is the biggest invisible inspiration for the pop music scene worldwide of the last ten years, and it’s about time they got back to showing everyone else how it’s done. “Random Access Memories” is full of the glory days of electronic and funk music. The robot duo recruited a bevy of guests for the album, including Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Julian Casablancas for its more disco-oriented tracks, but used Paul Williams, Giorgio Moroder and DJ Falcon for some of Daft Punk’s best electronica hits ever. This should be the face of pop music for the next decade.

2. Deafheaven – Sunbather

The most talked about “underground” album of 2013 is also one of the best. Deafheaven’s blending of the expansive black metal sound established by bands like Wolves In The Throne Room and Weakling with the post-rock and shoegazing elements of My Bloody Valentine and Alcest has created the best metal album of this hard-to-define genre yet. Sometimes, there needs to be a radical departure from the norm to have an artform truly evolve and that brings about lots of criticism and unwillingness to move forward, but it’s exactly what Deafheaven has done with this album.

1. Magic Circle – Magic Circle

Out Black Sabbath’d Black Sabbath in Black Sabbath’s triumphant return year. It’s astounding what a bunch of punk kids (Magic Circle features members of The Rival Mob, Doomriders, Mind Eraser and more) turn to old-school heavy metal – the result would make Tony Iommi weep with joy. The self-titled debut from these monsters is 40 minutes of pure doom worship that would make any fan of Pagan Altar or Pentagram proud. Magic Circle has brought back the occult mysticism that we can only look back on in wonder from the 70s. The album every fan of every metal sub genre should own in 2013.


Happy New Year!

About Jackson May

Read more from Jackson at Mandatory Metallica and follow him on Twitter at @Mankvill.

View all articles by Jackson May

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