The PiNP Top 10 Albums of 2013 Dec 31, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that in lieu of Tuesday Teardown, I’ve started a #PiNPLP hashtag. I wish I could stay on top of reviewing music, but it’s been increasingly difficult over the years. What I have been on top of however, is expanding my catalog into some pretty strange and obscure acts.

Here’s a disclaimer first: PLEASE go out to your local record shop and have them order these albums for you if you’re interested in including them in your own catalog. They could really use your business.

This year’s Top 10 Albums of 2013 is hardly all metal but there are some very dark bands in there. I’m pretty stoked on this list, so check it out, in no particular order below!

Ash Borer “Bloodlands”

Fucking Ash Borer! This band continues to desecrate everything in their path. Named after an invasive beetle found in the lush forests of Oregon, this USBM band began assaulting soundsytems in 2011 and spread as rapidly as their pestilent namesake. Their first LP changed USBM for me and “Bloodlands” really pushed their m.o. home. First, it was recorded live and mixed down on 1/2″ tape, giving it a compressed, yes, Norwegian sound. Add in that album art by Timo Ketola and “Bloodlands” really killed it in 2013 for me.

Buy their music here.

Vatican Shadow “Remember Your Black Day”

The work of Dominick Fernow is hit or miss, at least in my experience and even moreso than Prurient, his most known act, I found the work of Vatican Shadow way more dark. “Remember Your Black Day” is everything I love about industrial and electronic music. Its cold, foreboding and the military overtones give the entire experience the feeling of conflict, or in many ways a narrative, only deciphered after many plays. Be prepared for an all out war when you put it on. Seriously, how incredible is that album art?

Buy his music here.

Darkthrone “The Underground Resistance”

In their day, this band has dabbled in just about every facet of metal. They started as death metal, then black metal, onto weird industrial shit, d-beat and now, NWOBHM. Is there anything Nocturno and Fenriz can’t conquer? I guess it’s just in their viking blood!

Buy their music here.

Krypts “Unending Degradation”

As far a I’m concerned, Finnish death metal has been crushing it consistently and so it goes without saying that Helsinki’s Krypts are more than capable of delivering a fatal blow. “Unending Degradation” surprised me and I’ve been following the band for a few years now. Is it good? You bet your rotting corpse!

Buy their music here.

Uncle Acid “Mind Control”

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats really shook a lot of top 10 lists this year with “Mind Control”, so it felt a little cliché adding it to mine but truth be told, I really dig this album. Almost to the point of frustration. Why do I like it? I have no idea. Maybe because it’s not metal, at all and yet it tends to prance along the line so well. Psychedelic? I guess. Rock? Sure. Metal? Mehhhhhhhhhh. Don’t like my apprehension dissuade you, I’ve played this one countless times.

Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand “The Cosmic Trigger”

Der Blutharsch and their other projects have quickly become one of my favorite bands. I originally picked up “The story about the digging of the hole and the hearing of the sounds from hell” in 2011 and was completely enthralled at the strange gothy, folky, almost gypsy sound of this Austrian band. “The Cosmic Trigger” takes a bit to warm up to, but you’ll be surprised how often you’ll play it. Especially on longer, solo rides.

Buy their music here or here.

Jastreb “Mother Europe”

From the same camp as Der Blutharsch comes Jastreb. Truth be told, I don’t know a whole lot about them, but this stoner-driven psych “Kraut rock” album really blew me away the first time the stylus dropped to the wax. North is the first track on “Mother Europe (embedded above) and the entire album responds to this avalanche of cacophonous notes and rhythms. All I have to say is what the fuck are those Austrians smoking?

Buy their music here.

Usnea “S/T”

Wow. What a total surprise this was. Take all of your favorite metal genres that are truly dark and toss them in a blender. Let’s see: that’s death, doom, black and drone. The resulting liquid will be so brutally dark, yet so finely mixed that it will be outright intoxicating. In fact, the vinyl isn’t dark enough. Usnea’s self titled is one of my favorites. Fuck me, the PNW is a hotbed for amazing metal these days.

Buy their music here.

Chelsea Wolfe “Pain is Beauty”

Say, for a second that I was ranking albums from one to ten, this one be up at the very top. I can’t think of another release this year that I have listened to as much as Chelsea Wolfe’s “Pain is Beauty”. Compared to her other three albums, it’s a new point of departure but is equally as compelling and engaging. Also, she’s one of my favorite artists in terms of presentation and total package.

Buy her music here.

All Pigs Must Die “Silencer”

Ok. Fuck. Everything. This band desecrates everything you hold dear. Seriously one of the best hardcore bands alive today. They graduated with a Magnum Cum LOUD AS FUCK from Kick Ass University.

Buy their music here.


I really love getting album recommendations from readers, so share your favorites in the comments!

  • Robert

    NAILS – Abandon All Life and Power Trip – Manifest Decimation are two really great records that came out on Southern Lord. NAILS stays more dm while Power Trip is straight up crossover thrash. xRepentancex released the best demo of the year probably. The new Hatred Surge and Dead in the Dirt LPs fucking slayed it on the grind front. Lastly, the Axis/Self Defense Family split from Harm Reduction records is tight, especially if you’re into late 90s metalcore a la Harvest and Turmoil (Axis side) and mid 90s emo (SDF side).

    • Julio Saenz

      YO, that new Harms Way ep destroyed everything in it’s path. Power Trip shit was dope too, stay trippy mane.

  • schue113

    Check out Young and In The Way. Any of it really.

  • Jack Stewart-Castner

    What type of turntable are you using these days? Looks like a SL-1200? I’m looking to upgrade but not sure I want to drop too much on a new deck.

    • Technics 1200 mkii – best bang for your buck. Hands down. Got mine for $200 locally off Craigslist

  • stickone

    carai fih tu curte altas parada boa !

  • Chris Mattix

    Here’s a link to my top 40 metal albums of the year…

  • Tony Cesa

    Sean Ragon of Cult of Youth has a label called Blind Prophet records. Awesome releases of everything from Martial/Industrial to Synth Punk to neo folk……

  • UrbanCyclist666

    This is a fairly comprehensive list, including some largely overlooked, yet great, releases from Aksumite, Anagnorosis, Beastwars, Blodsgard, Call of the Void, Cara Neir, Celeste, Clandestine Blaze, Cosmic Church, Cultes des Ghoules, Death Karma, Denouncement Pyre, Fir Bolg, The Freeks, Fir Bolg, Fuzz, Goatess, Grave Upheaval, Horna, Kongh, Lake of Blood, Lightning Sword of Death, Lotharian, Lychgate, Nekrofilth, Orchid, Palm Desert, Peste Noire, Prosanctus Inferi, Pyres, Red Fang, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Sorcery, Suffocation, Take Over And Destroy, Terra Tenebrous, Thrall, Torture Chain, Void of Sleep, and Woe.

    Check them all out if you have time. There is definitely a lot of great music on this list:

    Ævangelist – Omen Ex Simulacra
    Agrimonia – Rites of Separation
    Aksumite – Return
    Anagnorisis – Beyond All Light
    All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature
    Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory & Injury
    Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
    Aosoth – IV : An Arrow In Heart
    Årabrot – Årabrot
    ASG – Blood Drive
    Ash Borer – Bloodlands
    Batillus – Concrete Sustain
    Beastmilk – Climax
    Beastwars – Blood Becomes Fire
    Blodsgard – Monument
    Bölzer – Aura
    Bone Sickness – Alone in the Grave
    Call of the Void – Dragged Down a Dead End Path
    Cara Neir – Portals to a Better, Dead World
    Carcass – Surgical Steel
    Castevet – Obsian
    Celeste – Animale(s)
    Clandestine Blaze – Harmony of Struggle
    Cloud Rat – Moksha
    Clutch – Earth Rocker
    Corrections House – Last City Zero
    Cosmic Church – Ylistys
    Cultes des Ghoules – Henbane
    Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance
    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    Death Karma – A Life Not Worth Living
    Denouncement Pyre – Almighty Arcanum
    Dillinger Escape Plan, The – One of Us Is the Killer
    Enabler – Flies
    Enabler – Shift of Redemption
    Exhumed – Necrocracy
    Fir Bolg – Towards Ancestral Lands
    Fister – Gemini
    Freeks, The – Full On
    Fuzz – Fuzz
    Fyrnask – Eldir Nótt
    Ghost B.C. – Infestissumam
    Goatess – Goatess
    Gorguts – Colored Sands
    Grave Miasma – Odori Sepulcrorum
    Grave Upheval – Untitled
    Hexer – Hexer
    Horisont – Time Warriors
    Horna – Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa
    Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen
    Immolation – Kingdom of Conspiracy
    Imperium Dekadenz – Meadows of Nostalgia
    Inquisition – Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
    Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    Jess and the Ancient Ones – Astral Sabbat
    Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rise
    Kadavar – Abra Kadavar
    Kongh – Shadows of the Shapeless
    Krypts – Unending Degradation
    Kvelertak – Meir
    Kylesa – Ultraviolet
    Lake of Blood – Omnipotens Tyrannus
    Lantern – Below
    Light Bearer – Silver Tongue
    Lightning Swords of Death – Baphometic Chaosium
    Locrian – Return to Annihilation
    Lotharian – Welldweller
    Lychgate – Lychgate
    Magic Circle – Magic Circle
    Motörhead – Aftershock
    Nails – Abandon All Life
    Nekrofilth – Devil’s Breath
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Velonielu
    Orchid – The Mouths of Madness
    Palm Desert – Adayoff
    Peste Noire – Peste Noire
    Portal – Vexovoid
    Prosanctus Inferi – Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night
    Pyres – Year of Sleep
    Purson – The Circle and the Blue Door
    Raspberry Bulbs – Deformed Worship
    Red Fang – Whales and Leeches
    Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Regarde Les Hommes Tomber
    Rotting Christ – Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
    Ruins of Beverast, The – Blood Vaults: The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer
    Sacriphyx – The Western Front
    Seven Sisters of Sleep – Opium Morals
    Shining – One One One
    Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed
    Sorcery – Arrival at Six
    SubRosa – More Constant Than the Gods
    Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam
    Take Over And Destroy – Endless Night
    Terra Tenebrosa – The Purging
    Thou Art Lord – The Regal Pulse of Lucifer
    Thrall – Aokigahara Jukai
    Torture Chain – Mutilating Astral Entities
    Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry of Consciousness
    Tribulation – The Formulas of Death
    Ulcerate – Vermis
    Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control
    Unkind – Pelon Juuret
    Usnea – Usnea
    Vattnet Viskar – Sky Swallower
    Void of Sleep – Tales Between Reality and Madness
    Voivod – Target Earth
    Vuyvr – Eiskalt
    Whores. – Clean
    Woe – Withdrawal
    Wooden Shjips – Back to Land
    Wormlust – The Feral Wisdom
    Yellow Eyes – Hammer of Night