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2013 Heavy Metal Awards

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As we look back on the year in metal, our writers have put together their awards for 2013. Each writer lists their top five metal albums of 2013 along with awards in various other categories.

Chad Bowar

Chad’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
3. Batillus - Concrete Sustain
4. The Ocean - Pelagial
5. Voivod - Target Earth

  • Best Heavy Metal DVD: Dream Theater - Live At Luna Park
  • Best Heavy Metal Book: David Ellefson - My Life With Deth
  • Most Overrated Album: Watain - The Wild Hunt
  • Most Underrated Album:  Queensryche - Queensryche
  • Best Newcomer: VHOL
  • Best Comeback: Carcass, Black Sabbath
  • Guilty Pleasure Album: Epysode - Fantasmagoria
  • Favorite Interviews Conducted in 2013: Bill Steer (Carcass), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), Phil Anselmo, Floor Jansen (Nightwish/ReVamp)

Edward Banchs

Edward’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Black Sabbath - 13
3. Ocean - Pelagial
4. Dark Tranquility - Construct
5. As They Burn - Will, Love, Life

  • Best Records From Africa in 2013: Wrust - Intellectual Metamorphosis, Facing The Gallows - Chapters, Junkyard Lipstick - Hellbent, The Drift - Dreams of Deluge, Parking Lot Grass - Shimu Mfukoni
  • Most Underrated Records in 2013: Chthonic - Bu-Tik,  Soilwork - The Living Infinite
  • Most Overrated Quote of 2013: "No Ward, No Sabbath!"
  • Best Concert I attended: Katatonia, and Cult of Luna
  • Excited about new records in 2014 from: Darkest Hour, 36 Crazyfists, Every Time I Die, Metallica, Machine Head, Mastodon, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Periphery


Dean Brown

Dean’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury
3.  In Solitude - Sister
4. Gorguts - Colored Sands
5. Clutch - Earth Rocker

  • Best Artwork: Lycus - Tempest by Paolo Girardi
  • Best Newcomer: Pyres
  • Best Gig: Red Fang at Whelans, Dublin
  • Most Underrated Metal Album: In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad
  • Most Overrated Metal Album: Black Sabbath - 13
  • Most Disappointing Metal Album: Kylesa - Ultraviolet
  • Worst Metal Album: Megadeth - Super Collider
  • Metal Label of the Year: Profound Lore

Tom Campagna

Tom's Top 5 Metal Albums Of 2013:
1. Carcass – Surgical Steel
2. Inquisition – Obscure Verses For The Multiverse
3. Satan – Life Sentence
4. Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
5. Church Of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum

  • Most Overrated Album: In Solitude - Sister
  • Label Of The Year: Metal Blade/Nuclear Blast
  • Comeback Band of the Year: Satan
  • Best Live Band: Kvelertak
  • Vocalist of the Year: Rosalie Cunningham - Purson

Dan Drago

Dan's Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Black Sabbath - 13
2. Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
3. Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry of Consciousness
4. Carcass – Surgical Steel
5. Pretty Maids – Motherland

  •  Best Heavy Metal DVD: Anathema - Universal
  • Best Unsigned Release: Black Crown Initiate – Song of the Crippled Bull
  • Best Heavy Metal Book: Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal by Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman
  • Most Underwhelming Album: Geoff Tate’s Queensryche – Frequency Unknown
  • Most Overlooked Album: Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – The Land of New Hope
  • Best Debut Album: Anciients – Heart of Oak
  • Best EP: Night Demon – Night Demon
  • Metal Producer of the Year: Jacob Hansen

Matt Hinch

Matt’s Top 5 Heavy Metal Albums of 2013
1. Clutch - Earth Rocker
2. Anciients - Heart of Oak
3. Subrosa - More Constant Than the Gods
4. VHOL - VHOL
5. Batillus - Concrete Sustain

  • Most Overrated: Ghost - Infestissumam
  • Most Underrated: Uzala - Tales of Blood and Fire
  • Grind Album of the Year: Beaten to Death - Dodsfest!
  • Thrashterpiece of the Year: Noisem - Agony Defined
  • Instrumental Album of the Year: Shooting Guns - Brotherhood of the Ram
  • Death Metal Album of the Year: Exhumed - Necrocracy
  • Black Metal Album of the Year: Woe - Withdrawal
  • Reissue of the Year: YOB - Catharsis
  • Album Cover of the Year: The Ruins of Beverast - Blood Vaults: The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer (Cryptae Sanguinum -- Evangelium Flagrans Henrici Institoris)
  • Concert of the Year: TIE: KEN Mode/Full of Hell - @ The Mansion, Kingston, ON, Oct. 22 and Clutch/Orange Goblin/Lionize/Scorpion Child @ The Sound Academy, Toronto, ON, Apr. 18
  • Best Album I Haven't Heard Yet: Carcass - Surgical Steel
  • Most Anticipated Album of 2014: Culted - Oblique to All Paths


Valerie LittleJohn

Valerie’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass – Surgical Steel
2. Power Trip – Manifest Decimation
3. Locrian – Return to Annihilation
4. Noisem – Agony Defined
5. Entrails – Raging Death

  • Best Heavy Metal DVD: Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart; Live in Philly
  • Best Heavy Metal Book: Laina Dawes: What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal
  • Most Underrated CD: Scolex – Torn From Beyond
  • Most Overrated CD: Watain – The Wild Hunt
  • Best Newcomer: Power Trip
  • Favorite Interview Conducted in 2013 – Matt Harvey (Exhumed)
  • Most Surprising CD – Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
  • Best Show: Carcass (in LA at Troubadour)
  • Best Band to Photograph Live: Testament

Todd Lyons

Todd’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Gorguts - Colour Sands
3. Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
4. Deafheaven - Sunbather
5. The Ocean - Pelagial

Karen Mann

Karen’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Carcass -- Surgical Steel
2. Inter Arma -- Sky Burial
3. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats -- Mind Control
4. Toxic Holocaust -- Chemistry of Consciousness
5. Windhand -- Soma

  • Best Concert: Tie: Carcass at Maryland Deathfest and Sleep at Hopscotch
  • Biggest Concert Disappointment: Venom cut off mid-song at Maryland Deathfest because of the new curfew
  • Concert Where I Actually Thought I Might Die: Pig Destroyer and Gorguts at a tiny club (Slim's in Raleigh) during Hopscotch
  • Most Overrated Album: Blood Ceremony -- The Eldritch Dark
  • Biggest Album Disappointment: The Devil's Blood -- III: Tabula Rasa or Death & the Seven Pillars
  • Best Up-and-Coming-Band: Earthling

Dan Marsicano

Dan's Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad
2. The Ruins of Beverast - Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer (Cryptae Sanguinum – Evangelium Flagrans Henrici Institoris)
3. Satan - Life Sentence
4. VHOL - Vhol
5. Carcass - Surgical Steel

  • Most Overrated Album: Deafheaven - Sunbather
  • Most Underrated Album: The Lion’s Daughter - A Black Sea
  • Biggest Disappointment: Revocation - Revocation
  • Best Newcomer: Eight Bells
  • Best Debut: In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad
  • Best Live Show: The whole MDF weekend

Evan Mugford

Evan’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Beastwars - Blood Becomes Fire
2. Inter Arma - Sky Burial
3. Caligula’s Horse - The Tide, the Thief, and River's End
4. Volbeat - Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies
5. Orphaned Land - All is One

Neil Pretorius

Neil’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013:
1. Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
2. Judicator – Sleepy Plessow
3. Howling – A Beast Conceived
4. VHOL – Vhöl
5. Carcass – Surgical Steel

  • Biggest Disappointments: Black Sabbath – 13,  Watain – The Wild Hunt, Turisas – Turisas2013, Megadeth – Super Collider, Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony
  • Best Newcomer: VHOL (tied with Caladan Brood)
  • Most Improved Band: Queensrÿche (Todd La Torre version)
  • Least Improved Band: Watain
  • Best Unsigned Band: Necrosy
  • Best Metal DVD: Iron Maiden – Maiden England ‘88
  • Best Reissue: Lamb of God – As the Palaces Burn (10th Anniversary Remastered/Remixed Edition)
  • Best Cover Art: Sulphur Aeon –Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide

Dave Schalek

Dave's Top 5 Metal Albums Of 2013:
1. Inquisition - Obscure Verses For The Multiverse
2. Aosoth - IV: Arrow In Heart
3. Carcass - Surgical Steel
4. Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
5. Exhumed - Necrocracy, Lightning Swords of Death - Baphometic Chaosium, and Church Of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum (tie)

  • Best EP:‭ ‬Bölzer Aura
  • Labels of The Year:‭ ‬Season Of Mist Records and Iron Bonehead Productions
  • Best Heavy Metal Book:‭ ‬Decibel Presents The Brewtal Truth Guide To Extreme Beers by Adam Tepeleden
  • Best Concert: Black Sabbath at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA; August 28th
  • Best Festival: Maryland Death Fest 2013, May 23-26th; Baltimore, MD.
  • Best Newcomers:‭ ‬Bone Sickness, Bölzer
  • Best Comebacks:‭ ‬Black Sabbath, Satan
  • Most Overrated Album:‭ ‬ Watain - The Wild Hunt
  • Most Underrated Album:‭ ‬Seidr - Ginnungagap
  • Biggest Disappointments:‭ ‬Glorior Belli - Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls, Convulse - Evil Prevails, Amon Amarth - Deceiver of The Gods
  • Man of the Year:‭ ‬Sam Dunn
  • In Memoriam:‭ ‬Jeff Hanneman

Kevin Sirois

Kevin's Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013
1. Nails - Abandon All Life
2. Mutoid Man - Helium Head
3. Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed
4. Carcass - Surgical Steel
5. Exhumed - Necrocracy

  • Label of the Year - 20 Buck Spin
  • Most Underrated Album - Blockheads - This World Is Dead
  • Biggest Disappointment - The Black Dahlia Murder - Everblack
  • Favorite Concert of the Year - Clutch with Orange Goblin, Lionize and Scorpion Child at Toad's Place in New Haven, Conn.
  • Best Vinyl Package - Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
  • Best Album Art - Bone Sickness - Alone in the Grave EP
  • Favorite Song Title - Gaytheist - "Poocano"
  • Most Headbangable Album of the Year - Lord Dying - Summon the Faithless
  • Biggest Pet Peeve of the Year - People who go to metal shows and just stand there like a statue, not even nodding their heads

Natalie Zed

Natalie’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2013
1. Carcass - Surgical Steel
2. Gorguts - Coloured Sands
3. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
4. KEN Mode - Entrench
5. Pristina - Hopeless Godless

  • Best Heavy Metal DVD: Devin Townsend Presents The Retinal Circus
  • Most Underrated Metal Album: Ereb Altor -- Fire Meets Ice, Obelyskkh - Hymn to Pan
  • Best Newcomer: Anciients
  • Best Comeback: Carcass Gorguts
  • Most Surprisingly Not Terrible Record: Black Sabbath - 13
  • Best Live Show: Gojira @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre, February 13th 2013
  • Best Festival Experience: Maryland Deathfest XI

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