Favorite Albums of 2013

Sorry for not getting to the last few albums on the “catching up” list. I was going to burn out and not get to an end of the year round up if I kept trying to do those. They are first on my list for the beginning of the new year.

I’m calling this my favorite albums of 2013. This is mostly to avoid the confusion that comes from labeling these lists “best albums” of 2013. My list might actually be slightly different if I listed what I thought were technically the best. These are the albums I enjoyed the most, especially on this last listen through.

The process was to form a short list of about 20 albums that I thought had a chance. I then listened to all of them and gave them a precise ranking as I went. Since there isn’t really a significant or meaningful distinction between the album I ranked as number 1 vs number 4 and so on, I have divided it into my favorite 5 by alphabetical ordering rather than ranking:

Hybrid – Angst
Kayo Dot – Hubardo
Leprous – Coal
The Gabriel Construct – Interior City
The Ocean – Pelagial

The next five I’ll call Honorable Mentions (still alphabetical):

Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
Gigan – Multi-Dimensional Fractal-Sorcery and Super Science
Shining – One One One
SubRosa – More Constant than Gods
Zealotry – The Charnel Expanse

The albums on the short list that didn’t quite make it and wish there was a place for them were:

Deafheaven – Sunbather
Gorguts – Colored Sands
Mombu – Niger
Wormed – Exodromos

These four just didn’t live up to the hype in my head on my most recent listen though. They were good enough to list here, but just didn’t blow me away in the way they originally did. I guess as part of this year wrap up I should say a few words about my year.

This was my first year being on an all-access music service. I have a little guilt about this, because I’m not entirely sure how it affects the economics of bands. I ended up listening to twice as much music (probably around 50 albums) for far, far less money. I did occasionally have to buy some stuff from small bands that only had releases through bandcamp (which I’m happy to do).

I think one of my biggest surprises this year was Dillinger Escape Plan. They’ve been moving in a direction that I like less and less. I actually almost didn’t listen to the album at all, but on this last listen I found them to have a really fantastic balance between technical riffs, complicated ideas, and heart-felt rocking out.

My two biggest disappointments were iwrestledabearonce and Exivious. I’ve been following and loving what both of these bands have been doing for a long time. Neither one released a bad album, but they just didn’t live up to what I had hoped.

I think my best new find has to be Niger’s Mombu. That duo really blows me away and I hope they get more exposure soon because they deserve it.

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2 thoughts on “Favorite Albums of 2013

  1. Strongly disagree with your picks (Coal and Pelagial are terrible music for me), but it is still a pleasure to read your dissection of the music and conclusions for the year nonetheless.

    Btw, recommended list:
    http://www.deathmetal.org/news/best-of-2013/

  2. You’re right, favorite versus best of. Good \distinction, very mature. Same for me!

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