2013 was a miserable year for anyone burdened with making a Top 10 list of the top metal and hardcore releases, as the genres both offered a surfeit of riches.
With both long-standing venerable bands and groups of hungry young upstarts releasing risky, ruinous, triumphant material, the connections between the old and the new — the influences of the established and the innovations of the iconoclastic — were writ large. Burgeoning hardcore warriors paid homage to the giants whose shoulders they stand upon, and venerated but still active bands proved their influence is keenly felt in the younger generation.
To see more of our coverage of the year in music, head over to our 2013 in Lists section.
By: Bradley Zorgdrager
If You Loved: Infest – Slave
Then Listen To: Weekend Nachos – Still
As arguably the first powerviolence band, Infest pushed hardcore punk to new levels, which Weekend Nachos are in turn doing for powerviolence. The newly improved vocals on Still finally match the ferocity of the music. Driven by a relentless touring schedule and vicious live show, Weekend Nachos are bringing powerviolence to places it's never been before – the public eye.
If You Loved: Discordance Axis – Jouhou
Then Listen To: Full of Hell – Rudiments of Mutilation
Full of Hell's sound isn't that far off from Discordance Axis' disorienting bastardization of sonic ferocity, but it's still distinctly their own. With a hardcore base, Full Of Hell threw extreme music's most cacophonic sounds — grindcore, noise, death and black metal — into a blender. Rudiments of Mutilation serves as an aural summary of its name, through augmenting each influence and sharpening their amalgamation to a deadly point.
If You Loved: Shai Hulud – That Within Blood Ill-Tempered
Then Listen To: Counterparts – The Difference Between Hell and Home
Counterparts' take on Shai Hulud's metalcore — replete with meandering, winding leads — is far from redundant. By again embracing their more breakdown-laden side (as exhibited on debut, Prophets), and allowing them to break-up the melodies, The Difference Between Hell and Home sets Counterparts apart — and set them up for a more promising future.
If You Loved: Disembodied – Heretic
Then Listen To: Old Wounds – From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest & Split with Trenchfoot
Old Wounds took Disembodied's aural dichotomy — juxtaposing crushing, down-tuned riffs with high-pitched, dissonant chords — and pushed it further. The young trio galloped ahead on their two(!!) excellent 2013 releases, extending tempos to energetic new levels. With drastic improvements made in the six months between From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest and their split with Trenchfoot, Old Wounds are set to continue their trajectory to legendary status.
If You Loved: Alcest – Le Secret
Then Listen To: Deafheaven – Sunbather
Deafheaven take disparate sounds and bring them together in an unorthodox mashup. Similar to Alcest, Deathwish's duo contrast lush shoegaze soundscapes, shrieking black metal and shimmering post-rock, resulting in an oddly screamo-esque sound. For visual proof of their success, look no further than the Apple iPhone 5c unveiling, which Deafheaven were featured in. For auditory proof, listen to Sunbather, their magnum opus — so far.
Find the Year of Old Metal on the next page.