(A continuation from the previous post)
The Gray : Best music of 2013
Music saved my life this year.
It was simply a great year for music. Just like last year I didn't write a whole lotta reviews, but ended up doing more interviews and concert reviews. I was able to check out a lot of new stuff and see some of the bands that are on my list perform live, which (admittedly) helped with my decisison. I've already submitted one "Best Of" list and have two more to go in the next week. Because of peer pressure I thought I'd better get this up, STAT.
I responded to my selections either on a visceral or technical level - I don't even know if those are the right words to use, but what I'm trying to say if bands /their music physically / emotionally moved me, or if there was something about the mixing, production, etc. that was exceptionally good. In relation to Gorguts and Carcass, both who are bands that released new albums after quite long hiatuses, I noted the fact that both releases were incredibly stellar comebacks. I loved Cathedral's The Last Spire, which will be their last. One of the decisions I made was that it was an exceptional swan song - at this point they could have just pumped out bile and their fans would have loved it (Edit: but I find that a lot of their albums seem a tad over-produced - to crisp and shiny - especially those done via their retro phase and not the early Doom stuff).
I was a bit hesitant about adding Darkthrone's The Underground Resistance not because I didn't love it, but because I am a new-ish fan. In some ways, I wanted to delve into their catalogue a bit more in order to make a better comparison and be able to judge this subjectively objectively. But I simply thought this was a fun, trad-metal album. "Leave No Cross Unturned" is my single of the year.
I listened to a lot more Grind than usual this year. Luckily for me, I saw Repulsion play three times, as well as Pig Destroyer, caught Full of Hell and whatever else was playing at Maryland Deathfest this year. The Weekend Nachos album blew me away.
MDF is always crazy fun ( this year was not that great, in terms of the weather and some logistical issues) and SXSW music fest this year was...well, meh, so the Decibel's 100th Anniversary / Neurosis show(s) in Philadelphia; Calgary's Noctis Festival and Austin's Housecore Horror Festival stood out for me this year. They were all really laid back festivals with laid back people (MDF is turning a bit douchey) with impressive lineups. Austin was especially great because the weather was good, we had some SERIOUS Mexican food, awesome BBQ and the beer was cheap!
My metal friends - new and old - also were a saving grace this year. What ended up happening was that every time I went through a rough patch in Toronto, I was able to hop on a plane to do a book-related event and ended up hanging with folks for a day or two. Going to these shows and seeing people I rarely see in person was a real lifesaver.
So enough blabbering. Here is my "Best Of Music" list. I don't really have a #1 that I could legitimately justify as being #1, so what are below are albums I personally enjoyed.
- Cathedral- The Last Spire (Rise Above Records)
- Full of Hell – Rudiments of Mutilation (A389 Records)
- Coffins – The Fleshland (Relapse)
- Carcass – Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)
- Gorguts – Colored Sands (Season of Mist)
- Nails – Abandon All Life (Southern Lord)
- Lesbian – Foresttelevision (Translation Loss)
- Weekend Nachos – Still (Relapse)
- Church of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above Records / Metal Blade Records)
- Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (Peaceville Records)
- Inter Arma – Sky Burial (Relapse)
- Iron Man – South of The Earth (Rise Above Records / Metal Blade Records)
- Iron Tongue – The Dogs have Barked, The Birds Have …… (Neurot Recordings)
- Subrosa – More Constant Than the Gods (Profound Lore)
- Windhand – Soma (Relapse)
- Sannhet - Known Flood (Sacrament Music)
- Vista Chino – Peace (Napalm Records)
- Anciients – Heat of Oak (Seasons of Mist)
- Royal Thunder – Blue (Relapse)
- Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Mind Control (Rise Above)
- Isis - Celestial (Reissue, 2000)
- Kylesa - Ultraviolet (Season of Mist)
- White Widows - (s/t, Sacrement)
- Whores - Clean (Relapse)
- Red Fang - Whales and Leeches (Relapse)