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The Vault: Top Ten Metal Albums of 2013

Editor’s Note: In the wacky world of publishing, some stories don’t see the light of day. Whether they sit on the backburner until they become irrelevant, positions change hands or they just plain get cut, it’s just one of those things. Today, one of those unpublished articles will finally get its due as we traverse the archives of “The Vault.”

2013 was a year of madness and mayhem. Plenty of albums came out, but only a few stand out way above the rest. In no particular order, here are my ten best metal albums of 2013.

10. The Ruins of Beverast – Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer

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Alexander’s back with another helping of his distinct brand of atmospheric black metal. This album is a lot more doom metal influenced then the last three, almost to the point where one could argue that this is more of blackened doom metal then actual black metal.While this album is the among bands weakest work, it still packs a punch with its creepy atmosphere and killer riffs. If you want to hear this band sounding their best check out the previous album “The Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite.”

9. Fenrismaw – Helcult

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Hailing from Poughkeepsie, NY comes the debut album from the Norse themed blackened death metal band Fenrismaw. Full of awesome double bass, crushing riffs, monstrous vocals and an overall menacing feel, this band feels like something that would come straight out of Sweden (there’s  even a Grave cover as a bonus track). Next time your friend tells you that all local level bands suck show them this album.

8.Gorguts-Colored Sands

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The first album in 12 years by Canada’s own tech death masters. For an album by a band that hasn’t done anything in so long this release is pretty damn good. The album continues the bands avant-garde influenced sound that started with their 1998 classic”Obscura.” With a sound that’s similar to old Opeth and a vibe that reminds one of Behemoth, “Colored Sands” is this year’s best tech-death release.

7. Windhand – Soma

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A band I discovered through being a fan of Cough. This album is Richmond’s second helping of female fronted Electric Wizard worshiping stoner doom. While the music is not as fun as their debut, this is still a worthwhile album for fans of slow sounds.

6. Motörhead – Aftershock

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Metal pioneers Motörhead prove that they (almost) always put out great material. This album is must more energetic then most of their other recent releases, reminding you how awesome classic Motörhead was. This is Motörhead’s best since at least the early 90’s. How many other bands can you say put out an awesome 22nd album?

5. The Melvins – Tres Carbones

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Here’s a last-minute entry as I listened to this an hour before writing this. These dudes have always been a favorite of mine and every album released by them has been something different (for those who don’t know, they’ve played both grunge and sludge metal before those were even genres). Like about 90 percent of the Melvin’s releases, this album is schizophrenic as fuck. The albums starts off with a few of their traditional sludge tracks with Buzzo’s awesome unconventional riffs in the lead. After that, the album continues with some free-jazz influenced experimental songs, reworks of traditional songs and covers of obscure punk bands. If you’re a Melvins fan this release will not disappoint.

4. Aosoth – IV: Arrow to the Heart

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Out from France comes a band I never bothered to check out till this year and boy do I regret waiting. This album is full of ambiance. Bizarre spoken word parts over soundscapes, guitar work that’s similar to Portal, and eerie sounding songs such as the title track make this album one horror filled ride to Hell. Arrow to the Heart washes the awful taste of Deafheaven’s “Sunbather” right out.

3. Deicide – In The Minds of Evil

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Deicide and Suffocation are my two all time favorite death metal bands. Sadly, the albums that followed 2006’s “The Stench of Redemption” were pretty lackluster, showing signs of Glen Benton losing his touch.That was until “In The Minds of Evil.” Out is the bands failed attempt to go more melodic and in is the evil and brutal sound we come to know and love as Deicide. This album doesn’t sound exactly like the classic Hoffman brothers era but more like a fusion of the new and old with the worst elements of the new sound removed.

2. Inquistion – Obscure verses of the Multiverse

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The two piece Inquisition has been on a winning streak ever since they started, providing us with a unique style of black metal.This album is no different. Not much to say here as it doesn’t differ much from other Inquisition releases (other then the thrash demos). A must have for Inquisition fans.

1. Carcass – Surgical Steel

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And we end off the list with the return of British extreme metal legends Carcass.When Carcass announced a new album everyone wondered what it would sound like. Would it be goregrind like the first two? Simple death metal like the third? Melodic like “Heartwork?” Some even wondered if it would sound like “Swansong” (so glad it didn’t). The answer is a mix of all (sans Swansong). The album’s full of fast intense death metal with the touches of “Heartwork’s” melodeath (such as the solos). Not a single track on this album feels like filler. The whole thing is full of energy and flows perfectly. Though this list is in no order, I believe this album deserves the number one spot.

Runners up: Noisem – Agony Defined, Exhumed – Necrocracy, Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam

EP of the year: Bill X Nye – Richard X Lenski

Non Metal album of the year: David Bowie – The Next Day (with Chelsea Wolfe’s Pain is Beauty a close 2nd)

Anthony and Chris’s Top 5 Metal Concerts of 2015

As we continue to open the can of worms that is 2016, there are an abundance of great hard rock/heavy metal concerts waiting in the wings.
Of course there are the big festivals such as Maryland Deathfest and Germany’s Keep it True and Wacken Open Air, but those aren’t always the best shows of the year for each individual person for one reason or another.
Sometimes, it’s the little local shows that make the most impact.
Join us as Bonesaw’s contirubuting writer Anthony Carioscia (Tonythechosen) and Editor in Chief Chris Butera put the final nails in 2015’s coffin by discussing their top five concert experiences of last year.
5: Electric Wizard (4/2/2015) and At The Gates (4/12/2015), Webster Hall, NYC
Anthony: Number five for me would be Electric Wizard at Webster hall. I’ve been wanting to see these guys live since high school and the car ride there was fun. It sucks that I missed the opener but their (Eletric Wizard’s)  performance made it worth going for one band.
 
Chris: I wanted to go to that so bad. was so bummed to see it sell out so fast

Anthony:  It’s crazy how fast it sold out. I remember when I first got into doom and how no one was into it. How that times changed.

Chris: Doom pretty much became the flavor of the month once Black Sabbath started up again. I remember barely any doom bands around and then all of a sudden you can’t find a show around here without one.

Anthony: Maryland Deathfest gets loaded with doom now.

Chris: The D is unofficially for doom at this point. My 5th is also at Webster hall. My number five goes to At the Gates on April 12.

Anthony: With Vallenfye Pallbearer and Converge right?

Chris: Yes they were. I got to  see them on their reunion tour in 2008, when we thought it was one and done. Then they came back and put out a new album that I thought was decent, but impossible to live up to Slaughter of the Soul. In my opinion they should have just toured but maybe they were pressured into it and maybe they were jonesing for a new record anyway.  This show was unbelievable knowing what At The Gates can do. I rank it at 5 because I’m not crazy about any of the openers minus Pallbearer.

Anthony: I caught At The Gates at Maryland Deathfest 2014. It was pretty killer. How did Pallbeaer do? I never caught them live.

Chris: They did very well. One of the best shows I’ve been to  this year.

4: Nuclear Assault (9/12/2015) Gramercy Theater, NYC

Anthony: I guess my number 4 would be Nuclear Assault at Gramercy theater.

Chris:  Mine as well. If in fact this is Nuclear Assault’s last outing, it was a great send-off in their hometown

Anthony: I think after that one off show on Maryland Deathfest they are done.

Chris: Just the overall atmosphere was great. A bunch of hometown heroes and their friends. You couldn’t ask for a better ending.

Anthony: That was my second time seeing them. Both times they killed it. John Connelly’s voice sounds just as good it did in the 80’s. Having Whiplash open was a good choice too.

Chris: John always sounds awesome. I caught them at their semi-secret reunion in 2010 as well. Whiplash surprised me. I was not sure if they would be that good but they definitely still had their chops. It seems like they got better with age, and they were already good. Murphy’s law was a lot of fun too. Their energy was great and they were funny as hell.

Anthony: I was never a fan of Murphy’s Law but that set was fun as hell to watch.

Chris: They made if feel like a ceremony because they brought their whole crew with them onstage. It felt like a big house party.

3: Napalm Death,Voivod,Exhumed,Iron Regan and Ringworm (2/8/2015)  The Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie, NY and Ghost (9/27/2015) Terminal 5, NYC

Anthony: I guess since this was 4 for both of us. I’ll go with my 3rd choice, 3 would be Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Regan and Ringworm at the chance theater.

Chris: That sounds ridiculous. I forgot about that tour

Anthony: It was a crazy show both the line up itself and what happened that day. I got to interview Barney (Greenway) in person. Hes a great guy and I was starstruck. He gets extra points for bashing the Chance’s disgusting bathrooms. The best performances were them Exhumed and Iron Reagan. Voivod’s set could have been better and of course a shout out to the local opener Blast Furnace. Those dudes are always awesome.

Chris: The above three are always great. Haven’t seen them in awhile but looking forward to Napalm Death and The Melvins as well as Vektor and Voivod.

Anthony: Voivod were amazing at Maryland Deathfest 2011 and had a much better set. I plan on going to the Napalm Death/Melvins show as well.

Chris: My 3 would be Ghost at Terminal 5 . It was my first time seeing them and was blown away by their presence.

 Anthony: They are a lot of fun live. I’ve seen them twice.

 

Chris: They’re unbelievable. The house was packed and it was the same week the Pope was in town so there was a very ominous vibe in the air.

Anthony: I wonder if that was scheduled on purpose.

Chris: Could be. Also the opener Purson was pretty good too. Their singer/guitarist was a breath of fresh air. She’s got a lot of charisma.

Anthony: Never heard of them. Last time I saw Ghost the opener was King Dude who was cool but didn’t fit the bill at all.

Chris: I heard mixed reactions about King Dude on that show, but their music is pretty decent. Purson is similar to Coven in that female-fronted psychadelic rock (which a lot of people mistake for doom).

Anthony: Coven-esque bands are pretty common nowadays.

Chris: Unfortunately, a lot of people are jumping on that but this one stood out.

2: Maryland Deathfest XIII (5/21/2015-5/24/2015) Baltimore, MD

Anthony: My 2nd place choice would be the Almighty Maryland Deathfest.

Chris: That would have been my first but I feel like because I didn’t go to it that puts in second for me as well. I have yet to go but i’m clamoring for one.

Anthony: It’s an experience. This was my third time going. This was the only year where I went all four days. I normally skip Thursday.

Chris: It sounds like the raddest party. I feel like the 10,000 Tons of Metal cruise is becoming the semi-mainstream version of this. Which band was your favorite at this year’s Maryland Deathfest?

Anthony: I’d say Agoraphobic Nosebleed had the best performance. Craziest pit ive ever seen. Demilich was a close second though.

Chris: Wasn’t that one of their (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) first shows or something?

Anthony: First official show. Also the Mobb Deep bonus show that was packaged with it was cool to0 though we left when it looked like fights were starting.

Chris: I could see that happening due to a mixed crowd.

Anthony: Yeah more metalheads were watching them than rap fans.

Chris: Groovy. I think our number one is the same band, possibly a different show each,

 Anthony: King Diamond?

Chris: Yep.

1: King Diamond and Exodus (11/20 and 11/21/2015) Playstation Theater, NYC

Anthony: I caught King Diamond on the Abigail tour at the Playstation theater.

 

Chris: Me too, which night?

Anthony: The 21st, I also caught King Diamond at Mayhem Fest but this show throws it out of the water. Mainly because of King playing all of Abigail and not having to sit through Hellyeah and Devil Wears Prada. Slayer and Jungle Rot ruled though.

Chris: I saw the man himself on the 20th, night two for me.
Mayhem Fest shot themselves in the foot with that lineup.

Anthony: I can’t believe how much he (King Diamond) recovered.

Chris: Me too. I had tickets for King Diamond and Kreator in 2008 – just before he had the back surgery and then the triple bypass so when this was announced I was so psyched because that tour got cancelled for the above reasons. I would up having my friend go down to the venue the day the first night tickets went on sale and he got tickets for the second night about an hour before they were officially announced so it was a sweet score.

 Anthony: It was sold out but thanks to Adrenaline PR I was able to get free last minute tickets. I do feel Exodus got screwed over on the tour though.

 

Chris: Exodus was great as usual, I liked how their merchandise played off of NWA’s imagery. It was nice seeing them with Zetro. How do you think they got screwed?

Anthony: Maybe it was just my show, but when I saw them they didn’t even play for half an hour and had no pit. They were much better when I caught them at the Chance with Testament last  year.

Chris: I felt that their set could have been longer but “Impaler” was awesome to hear. I still can’t believe they played that. They had a decent set for me and their pit was ok. It could have been bigger but the crowds were mostly older fans. There were a few dads and their grown children in attendance.

Anthony: I was so glad King Diamond played “Melissa” and “Come to the Sabbath” back to back, especially since those songs were connected. The fact that they were right before the Abigail part of the set made it seem like a short film before the main one.

Chris: I agree. He also played “Curse of the Pharoahs” for me which was awesome. I just remember that this was the first show in a very long time where I was smiling and legitimately happy the entire time.
Anthony: This might very well be the best live performance Iv’e ever seen.

Chris: It did a lot for me personally. It definitely has earned a spot in the top five of all time.

Anthony: Same here.

Chris: The King is King, what more can I say?