2013 was an epic year for metal. I can't think of a year in recent memory that saw so many awesome metal albums come out in a single year. Even narrowing this list down to 10 was very difficult. So put on that Amon Amarth shirt, shotgun a beer, throw up the metal horns and let's do this.
10 / Finntroll - Bloodsvept
What can I say? These guys are just fun to listen to and this is a great release. Some of the best folk metal of the year.
8 / Kalmah - Seventh Swamphony
One of my favorite Scandinavian bands and Seventh Swamphony is amazing all the way though.
6 / Falkenbach - Asa
If you haven't heard of Falkenbach, click the buy button right now. Another long-awaited album, Asa delivers some of the best folk metal ever.
4 / Týr - Valkyrja
Týr is the new Metallica. Jussaying. Valkyrja is every bit as good as The Lay of Thrym and a fantastic metal album on its own.
9 / Kevelertak - Meir
Another high energy band. I was lucky enough to see them in NYC this year and it was a killer show.
7 / Living Sacrifice - Ghost Thief
I had the immense pleasure of opening for these guys back in the day, after several years they're still coming out with amazing records that are relevant and kick ass.
5 / Omnium Gatherum - Beyond
We were treated very early in the year to this beautiful death metal album. Be sure to check out the video for The Unknowing.
3 / MyGrain - Planetary Breathing
MyGrain is still pretty under the radar, despite their huge sound and energy. I waited for a few years for this album and was not disappointed.
2 / Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods
Ok, so Amon is one of those bands that metal heads either love or hate, but still respect either way. Sure, they're a bit cheesy and overboard on the whole viking bit (which I think is the reason for the big divide– Myself? Love it.), I absolutely loved this album. So much better than Surtur Rising and so many great tracks. I'll have a special place for Amon on my end, as they provided a great soundtrack while reading the Song of Ice and Fire series.
1 / Amorphis - Circle
Sorry all, its a no contest for the #1 metal album of the year (for the guy sitting behind this screen). Amorphis is it for me. They encompass everything I love about metal. Folklore, driving guitars, melody, harsh and clean vocals, a bit of synth and an a gihugous sound. Again, I waited several years for the new album and it was Christmas early for me when it was finally released. Do yourself a favor and buy Circle (and all of Amorphis' other albums) right now.
So that's pretty much it. I absolutely loved 2013 for music. I had to spend some time to really pair down this list (see and contribute on RDIO). I'm actually worried we won't be this lucky to have this level of amazing albums come out again in a year ever. While metal is probably my favorite genre of music, there were other amazing albums released this year, including my all time favorite band, Nine Inch Nails. So the bar has been set super high. Thanks to all the wonderful bands and musicians for sharing their talent with us. And do your bit by actually purchasing their albums either in physical or digital format so they'll keep doing it.