Hannah’s Top 20 Albums Of 2013

By on 27 December 2013


Ah, the End Of Year List. Whether you love or loathe the process of airing your tastes for all to see and choking on your mince pie in rage at the sight of others’, it’s become a tradition round these ‘ere parts, and after such a good year in metal it’d be wrong not to partake. So try and keep those mince pies down as I present to you my End Of Year List – warts (or should that be wolves?) and all.

WORDS: Hannah May Kilroy

flesh20. Fleshgod Apocalypse – ‘Labyrinth’ (Nuclear Blast)

I can’t think of a better way to start than with death metal that’s infused with a load of crazy classical symphonies and played by handsome Italians.




Powerwolf Preachers Of The Night album cover artwork packshot Terrorizer19. Powerwolf – ‘Preachers Of The Night’ (Napalm)

Oh dear. Do I really have to explain myself with this one!? The truth is, while I turn my nose up at most of the bombastic power metal that Tom plonks on the stereo (soz, Tom), who wouldn’t be won over by werewolf-themed, super camp German power metal? (Don’t answer that.)



rob18. Rob Zombie – ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’ (T-Boy / Zodiac Swan / Universal Music)

My kvlt points may be massively dwindling at this stage, but my teenage self would have burst a blood vessel knowing the fact that this year I’d finally get to interview the man himself, and thankfully his new album is just as fun and ridiculous as ever. Shame about his new film, though…



earls17. The Earls Of Mars – ‘The Earls Of Mars’ (Candlelight)

Speaking of ridiculous, these madcap Londoners make vaudeville extreme with their debut, and have such delightful song titles as ‘The Astronomer Pig’ and ‘Mr. Osbourne’s Hazelnuts’. Nope, I’ve no idea, either.



oran16. Oranssi Pazuzu – ‘Valonielu’ (Svart)

Swirling, proggy, spacey black metal from Finland that’s a complex listen and fascinating journey, culminating in the mesmerising 15-minute closer ‘Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa’.




cultofl15. Cult Of Luna ‘Vertikal’ (Indie)

Another complex listen that was well worth the wait (five years since ‘Eternal Kingdom’!), as this beautiful album is the Swedes’ best yet.




gloriorcover14. Glorior Belli – ‘Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls’ (Agonia) 

Despite hailing from the capital of France, Glorior Belli spike their black metal with twangs of Southern rock. As these are two of my absolute favourite genres, it’s no wonder their fifth album is on my list.



cnoca13. Cnoc An Tursa – ‘The Giants Of Auld’ (Candlelight)

The debut full-length from these lovely Scottish lads is a bleak yet brilliant piece of folky black metal.




altar12. Altar Of Plagues – ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’ (Candlelight)

I was lucky enough to join the lads in the studio for a day while they put together their final masterpiece, and as soon as it arrived in the office I sat at my desk listening to the whole thing in one go, lost in a trance. That they’re hanging up the towel is maddening, but at least they left us with this work of brilliance.



kodex11. Atlantean Kodex – ‘The White Goddess’ (Cruz Del Sur)

Oohhh, I do love some of the epic stuff. And before you baulk at the mere mention of the word ‘epic’, let it be known that these Germans do epic properly… without even a sniff of cheese.




mael10. Mael Mórdha – ‘Damned When Dead’ (Candlelight)

The poor lads must be sick of all the Primordial comparisons by now, but they’re certainly undeniable, and not just because they’re Irish. Mael Mórdha are fond of war paint, whistles and penning a good chant – just don’t mention Eurovision to them.



twi9. Twilight Of The Gods – ‘Fire On The Mountain’ (Season Of Mist)

They started as a Bathory tribute band paying homage to the Viking era, which was reason enough for me to love them. Then they ditched that idea and started playing Manowar-style fist-pumping classic metal with lyrics like “metal phallus to the sky”. Amazing. Oh, and they’re fronted by Alan Averill. Now you know why I really love them.



BeastmilkCover8. Beastmilk – ‘Climax’ (Svart)

Get past the Joy Division comparisons and hipster associations and just focus on the fact that the dangerously-named Beastmilk sure know how to write a catchy tune with their erratic soundtrack to the end of the world.



falk7. Falkenbach – ‘Asa’ (Prophecy)

I love Iceland, I love Vikings, I love Falkenbach. This album is gloriously uplifting, catchy and magical.




scorp6. Scorpion Child – ‘Scorpion Child’ (Nuclear Blast)

Baby bands reviving sunny classic rock made for summer festivals are no rarity these days – but none make songs as deliciously catchy as these Texans. Easily the best debut I’ve heard in ages.




watainwild5. Watain – ‘The Wild Hunt’ (Century Media)

… and from cheery summertime rock to everyone’s favourite Satanists! Although they do have a sweet little ballad in there this time.




pursonn4. Purson – ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’ (Rise Above)

She may be young, but Rosalie Cunningham’s ridiculously talented songwriting skills favour the sounds of the ‘60s, and the London band’s psychedelic debut is made all the more wonderful when watched live just to see those fabulous retro outfits of theirs.



wardruna3. Wardruna – ‘Yggdrasil’ (Indie)

Easily the best gig I saw this year was this Norwegian folk entity playing the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where the haunting, atmospheric tones of their mesmerising second album were made all the more powerful.



clutchearth2. Clutch – ‘Earth Rocker’ (Weathermaker)

As everyone and their dog knows, if you don’t like Clutch, there’s something seriously wrong with you. This makes me want to drink lots of beers whilst sporting a fake beard and adopting an American drawl. PAR-TAY!



rottingchrist1. Rotting Christ – ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eautou’ (Season Of Mist)

No one does black metal like Rotting Christ; these Greek titans know how to make their brand of BM truly grandiose. From haunting chants to racing, hellish blasts of blackened groove, this staggeringly epic and varied album has been spinning non-stop on my stereo.

About Kez Whelan

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