SAM-ROON-TOP-10-ALBUMS-2013In my opinion, the last few years have not produced many good albums.  Hell, last year I wound up only posting a top 5!  This year, however, things were a little different…  This time around I was cutting bands from a long list of records that I genuinely enjoyed, and I am really excited to share my thoughts on the best of the best for 2013 with you! Enjoy!


#10 Skeletonwitch, “Serpents Unleashed” Oct, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

Skeletonwitch continues to pave an undeniable path in a genre they have not only helped to define, but reinforce with consistently powerful (and brutal) albums.  It’s impossible not to have them in my top ten this year with “Serpents Unleashed.”  The record is possibly the best of their career and the respect is more than earned in my mind.  This album needs to be in everyone’s playlist who call themselves a metalhead!

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#9 Revocation, “Self Titled” Aug, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

What a record! Revocation is probably the most surprising band for me in the last few years.  Chaos of Forms is one of my favorite records of the decade so far and their new self-titled contribution just reinforces what I thought when I heard them for the first time.  This band is doing something that goes far and beyond the rest of the genre, and it’s that special something that I’ve grown to appreciate.  This one is a must-have.

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#8 Devil To Pay, “Fate Is Your Muse” Apr, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

Devil to Pay is one of my favorite underground bands because their live show is so authentic and real that you can’t help but get involved.  You become immersed in the entire experience.  Their albums have been really, really good in the past, but I think “Fate Is Your Muse” is the first record that captures that live feeling and puts it across the way I feel about the live show.

This is a group that some of you might not know yet and I don’t want you to be left in the dark about them.  They tour a lot so try to catch them live if you can.  Luckily, until then, you can find a ton of their music streaming online.

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#7 Alice In Chains, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” May, 2013

Alice In Chains is a band you, your mother and your dog probably all know about.  We all know about the turmoil, the death… the whole story.  What I don’t think a lot of people (besides some industry) have been paying attention to, is the evolution and perseverance of this group.  They’ve been through so much, and on top of all the personal tribulations, the fans had turned their back on them for a long time… including me.

“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” is a fucking good record.  It feels authentic and real to me.  It feels like the real deal to me.  Is it old Alice In Chains? No.  It’s not supposed to be.  It’s new, with an old feeling that they have always been good at hitting.  You don’t have to take my word for it, the whole record is streaming on Spotify.  Hear for yourself.  This is an awesome record, and it’s here when you’re ready to return to being a fan of this group.

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#6 Carcass, “Surgical Steel” Sept, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

I don’t even need to say anything about the new Carcass record because you probably all own it, and you’ve probably seen that it’s on almost every ‘top albums of the year’ list on the inter-webs.  I’ll just add to the onslaught of love for “Surgical Steel” by saying that it’s one of the most powerful records I’ve heard in a while from any group.  The band sounds amazing, the production is excellent, and the songwriting is exactly where you would hope Carcass would be; uncompromising brutality with the added kick of guitar mastery.  Get this album.  If you already have it, get it again.

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#5 Kuolmanlaakso, “Musta Aurinko Nousse EP” Nov, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

The only unfair ‘album’ on my list is Kuolemanlaakso because it’s an EP and the full record comes out next year.  So why put it?  Because the “Musta Aurinko Nousee EP” is awesome, it’s brutal, and it’s different than most of what you’ve probably heard this year.  I’ve listened to the EP about 20 times already and it’s probably going to be on again in a few minutes… maybe right after I get done listening to the first record again!  Get your hands on this EP and stay tuned for the full-length coming out early next year!

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#4 Dethklok, “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera” Oct, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

I might get some ‘feedback’ for putting Dethklok on my list for the “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera,” but I really don’t care.  You need to hear this if you haven’t already.  Brendon Small has outdone himself with the creation of this ‘rock opera’ by pulling in a 50-piece orchestra, and guest artists Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell and George Corpsegrinder Fisher.  The music was written for the one-hour season finale of season 4 of the Metalocalypse TV series and it really upstages everything Small has done before with this show.

One listen through to this record and you’re going to want to see the season finale (if you haven’t already) and then you’re going to want to own it.  Check it out!

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#3 Watain, “The Wild Hunt” Aug, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

Shit’s getting real!  We’re at number 3 and this was honestly the easiest part of putting the list together.  The previous 7 were very difficult to order, but I knew these three were my top picks for the list before I typed a letter.  Watain have put together a truly unique piece of art here with “The Wild Hunt.”

The group is defying the social norm of what we know Black Metal to be and stretching their boundaries to explore ‘blackened death’ as-well-as incorporate some melody where most might not dare… and they’ve done it really well.  It’s not too much experimenting to detract from the roots of the band, but it’s enough to show that there’s something more going on here than meets the eye.

Watain‘s, “The Wild Hunt” is an absolute must-have for any fan of Black, Death or Extreme metal.  Hell, even melodic metal fas will enjoy this one.  Give it a spin, and support a band that is doing something special!

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#2 Scale The Summit, “The Migration” Jun, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

This one might surprise a few people because I haven’t talked about this record much, but Scale The Summit have put together a record that I absolutely love.  “The Migration” is progressive as hell, melodic as hell, groovy as hell, and produced like a masterpiece.  But don’t be deterred if you aren’t a prog fan, these are songs.  Each piece has a life, breathing with intensity and executed with an understanding of dynamics that allows for a very powerful listening experience.

If I had to describe them in a sentence I would say, “imagine Animals as Leaders but with a more authentic sound.”  Luckily I don’t have to (and it’s not really fare to compare anyway) because you can listen to the whole thing after you purchase the album for yourself.  I would never lead you astray, you can buy this one before you sample it.  If you don’t know me that well, have a listen below while you search for it on iTunes.

Scale The Summit‘s, “The Migration” is one of my favorite records of the year because of it’s beauty, melody and musical execution.  I could listen to this album all day, every day.

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#1 Chosen, “Resolution” Apr, 2013

Album Review On Metal News Online:

Few bands have what it takes to impress me, mostly because I’m a jerk who likes things a particular way.  I hate fake, and I hate over-production.  I like music that is interesting, even if it means sacrificing that which might sell a little better to the masses (I think a lot of you would agree with me on that point).

This album was released early in the year so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and it has stood the test of ‘limited’ time, with a year full of fantastic records coming out, but never wiping it from the top spot for me.

Okay now everyone shut up and pay attention!  Not only is Chosen‘s, “Resolution” my pick of album of the year, but it’s also an album that you can download for free, courtesy of the band. (Download:  The unsigned Irish metal group released “Resolution”  back in April and since then I have played it about a thousand times.  These guys have a little of everything from death to prog to thrash to melodic metal and more, and the record is a masterpiece in my opinion.

Can I quote myself from the album review?  Eh, why not: “There must be something in the whiskey over there.”

I have selected Chosen‘s, “Resolution” as my album of the year 

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Special Mention:

Lamb of God, “As The Palaces Burn” Remix / Remaster

Thanks so much for checking out my list! Cheers to a 2014 filled with amazing music! I’m looking forward to listening to it!

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