Lists. Lists are both the bane and the joy of many metalheads’ lives. We are constantly in search of ‘the best death metal bands you’ve never heard of in Paraguay’ or something like that. We seek out the unknown, then attempt to quantify it in top 10s, top 50s, top 100s. Year-end lists are the ultimate expression of our desire to have an unarguable truth in what defines ‘the best’ of something. Yet, as music taste is subjective, we can’t really ever have something that satisfies everyone.

So, in the spirit of listing things, I have collected 23 lists of ‘best of 2013’ from a variety of magazines and websites, and put them into a spreadsheet to try and determine if there is any general correlation between the views of these people on the best records of 2013. Some things were not surprising (Motorhead, Carcass and Windhand did very well), some things were (no votes for new Suffocation? Really?). There were a great many records that only gathered one vote, one suggestion that it was a brilliant record as part of 2013. Some records didn’t appear that I enjoyed (Boris -Praparat and New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child) and some that I felt were very poor (Megadeth – Super Collider anyone?) did.

But in the end, I am not here to judge, merely to report. I know what my favourite records of last year were, and most of them were here. Some weren’t. There’s just no accounting for taste eh?So, according to my research, the top records of 2013 are as follows:

1. Carcass – Surgical Steel (a clear winner with 13 votes)

2. Clutch – Earth Rocker and Windhand – Soma (both 8)

3. Black Sabbath – 13 (7)

4. Deafheaven – Sunbather, In Solitude – Sister, Motorhead – Aftershock, SubRosa – More Constant Than the Gods (6)

5. Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury, Autopsy – The Headless Ritual, Avatarium – Avatarium, Beastmilk – Climax, Gorguts – Colored Sands, Kverlertak – Meir, Nails – Abandon All Life, The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Mind Control (5)

In total, there were 331 different records on my list, many of which I know,many I don’t. But you can bet I’ll be looking forward to finding the ones I didn’t in the near future.


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