mk’s 2013 Metal Top 10

10. Zombie Inc. – Homo Gusticus

Of course, you’d expect me to make mention of this at some point. Another project from Martin S (Pungent Stench fame). He has a great DM vox and knows how to put together a great DM song. I can’t say that this would ever fit as a Ps record as it is a little more fast-paced and trad in the DM approach, rather than what he has achieved with PS. Still though this is again a great template for all those fucks out there that think they know how to write a DM song. Take a look over your shoulder for the old dudes who can still tear you a new one.

9. Gutfucked – Fucked to Death

I’m getting a little too predictable here aren’t I? Perhaps that is a reflection on the quality this year. In terms of quality, this is a smothering of inappropriate song titles, lyrics that are inaudible, frenetic but simplistic guitar/drum playing and the devouring of a sacrificial human being at the end. OK, I made that last one up.

8. Carcass – Surgical Steel

One thing in Carcass favour has always been the raspy vocals of Jeff. Much like Tardy from Obituary, the vocals just add to the brutal/angry sound put across. I do have one point to make however with the modern Carcass sound – the sound is much more a brutal in your face neck-breaking speed, rather than the melodic DM we listened to in the 90’s. Necroticism from 91 is still my favourite of theirs. Listen to that and you’ll see what I mean. Regardless, and perhaps sadly for the genre, a bunch of blokes in their late 40’s can still put together a pummelling effort better than many of the wannabe’s that cite these guys as influences. Hopefully we continue to hear more from them.

7. Korn – The Paradigm Shift

Cutting to the chase here – this is their best effort for a number of years. Do you credit Head’s return on this? I’m not sure – Davis is a strong person I thought, so one person’s influence on the sound can’t be that much that they turn from rap infused rubbish on their last record to the sound we hear on this record. It starts off with some powerful songs kind of in the Untouchables mode. You won’t get the dick lyrics and sound of the early stuff. The maturity is there again but this is also back to heavy modern sound that the majority of long-time fans would have come to accept and love.

6. Pestilence – Obsideo

I get tired of saying it and Zan agrees……why can’t the newbies in the DM scene match it with the old blokes? Trying too hard to be different, when really you just need to be you. That’s what a number of the old bands having a renesiance period so-to-speak these days are just killing it (that’s in a good way)!!!!!

5. Parasitic Ejaculation – Rationing The Sacred Human Remains

In some ways liking this shows how shallow I can be when it comes to liking some certain music. The Vox sounding like you are churning up some vile vomit from your stomach into the toilet is brilliant!! Match that with a sludgy, in parts up-beat, production sound and you get a tasty recipe of ‘Fuck knows what you are singing about but I love it to pieces (human pieces – arms, toes, ears…..)’ The odd outtake of stabbing some poor person for example is really the tasty coagulated blood you need on the top of your raw meat pizza. Bring it!!!!

4. Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

Darn it, they’ve gone all serious on me. No ‘Canadian Metal’, or ‘Dungeon Shaker’ anywhere here. However don’t mind in the slightest. I call it blackened thrash in today’s terms – others will disagree. In any case, who cares – I could listen to this all day long.

3. Hatebreed – The Divinity Of Purpose

Mock me as much as you will, but I was very close to putting this number one. They were one of the first bands in the mid-90’s providing that slightly up-beat sound to what Pantera were doing at the time. Call it metalcore I don’t really care. For me Jasta vox is the standout from all others releasing records with this similar sound. As soon as he sings, you better fucking stand to attention. Ignoring what he has to say brings consequences. “Fists up and head high” mother fuckers!!!!

2. Nocturnal Graves – …From The Bloodline Of Cain

Who would have thought we’d have a bunch of Aussies contributing to the book of masterful Blackened Thrash. This is as good as any efforts from European bands I have heard. Raspy vocals, relentless guitar and drum work with that edgy production that makes you think they ran this over a sharp razor blade before committing to digital sound.

1. Black Sabbath – 13

I must firstly point out what a privilege it is to finally hear a new Black Sabbath record on day one of its release. And DEAR GOD, they don’t disappoint. The blueprint for the intro to the first track is a little cliché for them, but who cares. This was going to always be a sink or swim exercise – they have proved without a doubt that even without the drugs (except for the ones they take for arthritis pain these days), they are one of the greatest institutions for which this record brings no shame to. I’m happy.

Honourable Mention

Cliteater – Cliteaten Back To Life

Worthy mention for keeping the ‘splatter-metal’ genre alive. Inappropriate song titles, full-force, in your face grind and a sprinkling of movie out-takes which have you questioning what these guys do with their spare time, is absolutely spot on for me and puts a smile on my face. Just keep this one hidden from your mum.

Blood Red Throne – Blood Red Throne

Good work guys. The paramedic said I was only unconscious for a few minutes rather than the full resuscitation activity required from listening to previous efforts. This is a good thing as not only is my life saved, but the record is much more palatable than previous pummelling efforts.

Devourment – Conceived In Sewage

I’m aware I am developing a pattern here in my Honourable Mention list – a bunch of Death Metal releases that were almost there. This one certainly fits that mould. Cudos to the guys for changing the tempo here enabling me to catch my breath. To save my poor, weary fingers, similar can be said of Embalmed – Regiment of Death.

Hatriot – Heroes Of Origin

It would be very easy to place this in the Top10 as I am an Exodus fan and even more so I am a Zetro fan. However it is that first bit that puts this record in the worth mentions space. It really is a little too close to that Exodus sound for me to say ‘Good job guys’. I’d have likes Zetro and his band of kids to come up with something along the same lines, but easily distinguishable as their own sound. There is nothing here that is their own sound. Not that is a bad thing, as mentioned. It just doesn’t make the 10.

New Keepers Of The Water Towers – Cosmic Child

I’m really not sure where to place this one to be honest. It actually requires you to listen closely but that means an investment in a few 10-min plus efforts. Partly for that reason it doesn’t make my final top10. Very close, but you need to prepare yourself for an uninterrupted listen to get the full value.

Six Feet Under – Unborn

I’ll put my hand up as a Barney fan, so have followed SFU with great interest. I’m torn however on this effort. This is very different from the ‘lets make it as brutal approach that Barney has always focussed on. Sure his vox is as you’d expect, but there are a number of songs that are very ‘light’ in the DM mould.

Autopsy – The Headless Ritual

What a diverse piece of music this is? Thrash/Death/Roll in plenty of places. I don’t know much about these guys apart from they have got back together in the past 5 or so years and are putting some music together as a bunch of 40-odd year olds that is new and fresh. Look no further than a song like ‘When Hammer Meets Bone’. It’s got a lot to offer and then some.

Satyricon – Satyricon

I’ll put it as honourable but tis very close to a dishonourable. The first track they released ‘Our World, it Rumbles tonight’ is great. Then we have to put up with some clean vocals from some fill-in a couple of tracks later. The tempo is pretty much dull (call it moody) with the occasional track showing that grit of anger they are known for, thus it scrapes in as a record I’ll lilkely listen to again (and try to forget its failings).

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