Autopsy - The Headless Ritual cover

20. Autopsy – The Headless Ritual

When Autopsy’s last album Macabre Eternal came out, everybody seemed to be surprised at how solid their first tunes after reforming were. With the release of The Headless Ritual, everyone knew what to expect and they absolutely blew expectations away yet again. A lot of these songs are much faster and less doomy than Macabre and the approach just seems much more solid and focused, which is a deadly combo.


Obliteration - Black Death Horizon cover

19. Obliteration – Black Death Horizon


This record is absolutely disgusting. Every time I hear it, it freaks me out a little at how creepy and awesome it is. This band is labeled death metal, but their sound is so unique and horrifying that they can’t really be put into a specific genre other than maybe “brutal old school blackened death doom”.


Gwar - Battle Maximus cover

18. Gwar – Battle Maximus

This is by far the best album Gwar has ever made. It’s got an incredibly interesting storyline and concept lyrically and the riffs are absolutely NUTS. This is definitely an incredibly fitting tribute to Flattus Maximus.




Ulcerate - Vermis cover

17. Ulcerate – Vermis

I love this band because they remind me of what it would sound like if robots decided to try and recreate the sound of death metal. Their riffing style and their tone is very strange and unique, especially when coupled with their amazing drumming.




Immolation-Kingdom-of-Conspiracy artwork

16. Immolation – Kingdom Of Conspiracy

These legendary NYDM dudes just know how to do death metal right like no others. This album is abundantly heavy, but also has enough catchy parts to stay creative and interesting. When seeing them open for Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death, I believe they absolutely stole the show big time when they played songs from this record.



Witherscape - The Inheritance cover

15. Witherscape – The Inheritance

I’m an admitted Dan Swano fanboy, so I was psyched about him creating this project. The cool thing about this band is that it’s about as close as you’re going to come to hearing a band perfectly capture the glory days sounds of Katatonia and Opeth.




The Ocean - Pelagial cover

14. The Ocean – Pelagial

This is a concept album designed to take you from the surface of the ocean to the very bottom, one of the best concepts for an album I’ve ever heard. It’s definitely the most gorgeous metal album of the year.





13. Clutch – Earth Rocker

Clutch is definitely one of the best hard rock bands on the planet and they stepped it up big time with Earth Rocker. It’s got less of the blues from their last few albums and is much more pro rock.




In Solitude - Sister cover

12. In Solitude – Sister

I wasn’t big into these guys prior to hearing this album, so it definitely caught me by surprise to discover how insanely creative it is. This record is definitely a triumph of the modern throwback style of rock n’ roll.




Exhumed - Necrocracy cover

11. Exhumed – Necrocracy

Matt Harvey has once again proved that as far as death metal goes, old school is most certainly the best school. This is their second album since reforming and in addition to being the best album of their career, Necrocracy is a paint by numbers guide to creating a good death metal record in 2013.



Vhöl cover

10. Vhöl – Vhöl

The most creative album I’ve heard all year. A supergroup with members of Agalloch, Yob and Hammers of Misfortune, but it sounds like the best ’80s hardcore/thrash album never made.




Evergreen Terrace - Dead Horses cover

9. Evergreen Terrace – Dead Horses

I love this album because of how amazingly catch it is. I firmly believe this is the best album Evergreen Terrace has made so far, because it’s a perfect mix of their old school hardcore sound and the massive punch of their last two albums thanks to good production value.




Cathedral - The Last Spire artwork

8. Cathedral – The Last Spire

This is their last album ever and it’s a doozie. The tone on this album is absolutely mindblowing. It’s one of the heaviest, loudest straight ahead doom albums I’ve heard all year and a great way to send off an iconic band.




Subrosa - More Constant Than The Gods cover

7. Subrosa – More Constant Than The Gods

Though the album is incredibly doomy and heavy, the only proper word to describe it is… gorgeous. The track “Cosey Mo” gives me goosebumps literally every time I hear it.




Power Trip - Manifest Decimation cover

6. Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

Probably the best new school thrash album released in a long time. Sounds like a mix of Budweiser, sulphur and someone who snorted a Yellow Jacket (the bee).





Voivod - Target Earth cover

5. Voivod – Target Earth

Super creative, proggy, epic thrash from one of the greatest thrash metal bands to ever exist. Definitely a return to their Sci-Fi thrash glory days.





Monster Magnet - Last Patrol cover

4. Monster Magnet – Last Patrol

Like any good Monster Magnet album, Last Patrol delves into the lyrical realms of science fiction and fantasy laid over fist-pumping psychedleic jams. Unlike their past few efforts, however, Last Patrol has a very laid back, old school feel to it thanks to its smooth production and it really is the perfect album for tuning in and dropping out.



Gorguts - Colored Sands cover

3. Gorguts – Colored Sands

Gorguts have always been known for creating incredibly creative death metal, but they stepped it up significantly on Colored Sands. Somehow Luc Lemay and co managed to take their signature death metal style and twist and morph it into an absolutely monolithic beast of an album.




Motörhead - Aftershock cover

2. Motörhead – Aftershock

Aftershock is Motörhead’s 21st album, yet somehow it very well may be one of their best. All Motörhead albums have their own appeal and are genuinely enjoyable, however on Aftershock, they managed to create something significantly better than they ever have before. Whether it be the increased bluesiness, the increased punk rock influence or the perfect production job, I sincerely believe Motörhead could retire with this as their last album, because it showcases them at the very tip top of their game.

Carcass - Surgical Steel cover

1. Carcass – Surgical Steel

There are a lot of reasons why I love this album enough to name it the best heavy album of the year. The main reason though, is because no matter how many times I listen to it, I can’t help but air guitar along wildly and marvel Bill Steer’s genius. Simply put, Carcass made an album that mixes their signature goregrind style with Heartwork’s more melodic side, thus creating a Death Metal Megazord.

Cover of Issue #4. Get it here.

1 2 3 4 5


  1. I dont know half of these bands but you left off HUNTRESS!!!! with star bound beast fantastic album you scum over looked!

  2. Wow you must not have heard the newest shade empire album omega arcane. I have that my album of the year hands down and it’s not even in the top 100! Listen to it it’s an absolute masterpiece

    • Clutch,Vista Chino,Queens of the Stone Age,Coliseum,Palms,Mutoid Man,Kadavar,KEN Mode,Doomriders,True Widow,Black Star Riders,Kylesa,Intronaut,Orchid,Red Fang, and ASG are all pretty much rock bands.

  3. I didn’t see the parallax II by between the buried and me! Cmon man!

  4. Wow.No Deafheaven,Kvelertak,Pelican,Whores,Beastwars,Bovine,Tsar Bomba,Grandfather,Beastmilk,Melvins,Tomahawk,Anacondas,Kongh,Zozobra,Tidal Arms,Lumbar,Black Thai,Big Business,Pissed Jeans,Kings Destroy,California X,Big Jesus or Gozu?

    • Sadly I didn’t get to hear the new Pelican, Beastmilk, Big Business or Kings Destroy albums in time, otherwise they would have been on the list for sure. also, Kvelertak, Whores, Kongh and Zozobra were very close to making the list.

  5. Damn good list. This year I just started to listen to doom/sludge/stoner stuff.

  6. Hello, Black Sabbath not in the top 100? Saxon, Argus, Procession, Dream Death, Manilla Road, Cardinals Folly, Asomvel, Satan, Hell.

    • Both good albums, but I’d bet money this writer hasn’t considered either, as they’re both mostly considered punk/hardcore, which are pathetically represented in this list. In other words, TA and MLIW have 100% too little death metal to even be mentioned. Ridiculous.

  7. Chemikillibrium Reply

    There is a glaring gaping black hole chasm where PRONG should appear… How in the f**k this mighty force of brilliant sonic exploratory surgery could be omitted is incomprehensible… Correct this folly forthwith.

  8. The ability of this list to focus on only a tiny sliver of the “rock” and “metal” genres while claiming to be anything resembling an all-encompassing list is absolutely mind-blowing.
    There are maybe a half-dozen hard rock albums on here, and essentially zero representation of punk, which clearly falls under the rock/metal umbrella as well- not to mention literally nothing in softer/indie rock, which believe it or not is also considered “rock” by most standards. Absurd. Maybe broaden your horizons if you’re gonna make this kind of list, or just make a list of only ” death metal” albums?

  9. It’s a good list, but there are many of the above which wouldn’t be on my list at all. Kvelertak, Bovine, Deafheaven, Steak number eight, all would have taken the flag from Kylesa in my honest opinion. and where is Sabbath?! :)

  10. Not a metal rock mentioned but death metal thrashhardcore. Check out great metal rock bands out there and listen to their screams and howls.

Write A Comment