2013 seems to have worked in reverse of how my years have gone in the past. Usually, I start a new year off feeling pretty energized and stoked about life, and then progressively throughout the year my mood just deteriorates into a blackened gelatinous goo of depression and self-loathing. But this year, things started off ultrafuckingshitty, and then only gotten better with each passing month. So I'm actually pretty psyched right now, woo!
I think this is due to a combination of a few very important things. First of all, for the first time since I moved to Kansas City a couple years ago, I've actually started to like this place. I moved to a different part of town, and it's really quite shocking just how much better I feel about life now that I'm simply in a nicer area (you should have seen where I was before...fucking urban wasteland).
I've also had the pleasure of meeting tons of great new people. Not since I was in college have I had such a consistent run of meeting, interacting with and even collaborating with so many great folks - not just online, but in the flesh as well! You all know who you are :)
Lastly, I think one thing that has helped my overall well-being is that I've made a conscious effort to spend less time in front of the god damned computer. So rather than focusing on digital art, I've tried to spend as much of my free time as possible just drawing with good old pen and ink. I had a few of my drawings printed as shirts that surprisingly sold really well, and even applied my efforts to doing commissioned pen and ink illustrations for the short film Corvus, two new logos for Lb. Brewing Co., a poster for a giant Halloween party in Kansas City, and a sticker for Skull Toaster. I've also got a few new pen and ink commissions lined up that I need to complete through January. Feels good!
So enough with the personal year in review, let's get down to the list of albums that really struck a chord with me this year and kept my blood pumping! I tell you what, 2013 was a fucking banner year for music in my book. But before the year end shenanigans begin, I'd like to give special thanks to...
Mom and Dad, Ryker, Erk, The Metalverse, Spencer Walker, Philip Tyson, Travis K, T-Schlit, Roger Strunk, Mandy, Brian S, my fellow Backlit overlord and partner in crime Josh Haun, Kyle Harcott, Jordan Campbell and everyone at Last Rites, Dan Lawrence, Dean Brown, Craig Hayes, Jaci Raia, Zareen Price, Abbie Stutzer, Taka, Seth Werkheiser & Skull Toaster, Darcy Van Poelgeest, John Pata & Head Trauma Productions, Adam Bartlett & Gilead Media, Luke Franz, Ryan Stephenson, Ian Chainey, Adam Palm, Nick Schmidt, Dominic Flask, Chad McClure, JC Klecko Chris Redar, Josh Decker, Mary D, A Buritsch, S McKeon, Dart, Ethan, J Bazata, N Balda, everyone that purchased one of my shirts and everyone that digs what Backlit is all about. Cheers!
So let's get this party started, bitches...
---/ Top 20 Albums of 2013 /---
(In No Particular Order)
---/ ENFORCER : DEATH BY FIRE / ---
This album should come with the following disclaimer:
DO NOT PLAY WHILE DRIVING.
---/ HELL : CURSE & CHAPTER /---
Grab a cup of hot cocoa and gather 'round the fire. It's heavy metal story time.
---/ NEKROFILTH : DEVIL'S BREATH /---
This is one of the most offensive, lively and energetic albums I've heard in ages. It's obvious these dudes are having a fucking blast and it's absolutely magical.
---/ CULTES DES GHOULES : HENBANE /---
Legend has it, if you listen to Henbane alone in the dark while looking into a mirror during the winter solstice, you can communicate with the dead...
---/ CEREKLOTH : IN THE MIDST OF LIFE WE ARE IN DEATH /---
The thickest, juiciest slab of no-fucking-bullshit-death-metal all year. These riffs are elite
---/ VHÖL /---
A uniquely abrasive blast to the earholes. If you think metal has reached its sonic boundaries, think again. Vhöl is boldly going where no metal band has gone before.
---/INQUISITION : OBSCURE VERSES FOR THE MULTIVERSE /---
Inquisition dialed back the frog factor and dialed up the songwriting factor to unleash this masterpiece upon the world. Yeah, that's right, I just dropped the "masterpiece" label on this bitch.
---/AOSOTH : IV: AN ARROW IN HEART /---
This isn't heavy metal. This is tyranny.
(Also: Best album cover of the year.)
---/ WORMED : EXODROMOS /---
The most inhuman album ever. Seriously, I think this is actually a SETI transmission the government didn't want us to hear. I'll probably have black helicopters circling my apartment once I post this.
---/ NOCTURNAL GRAVES : ...FROM THE BLOODLINE OF CAIN /---
Take a look at that album cover. That pretty much sums it up.
---/ SATAN'S HOST : VIRGIN SAILS /---
Blackened Power Metal. Yes. You read that right.
BANG YOUR HEAD FOR SATAN.
---/ OTARGOS : APEX TERROR /---
Some say Deafheaven and the likes are the next generation/future of black metal... I say FVCK DFHVN. This is the future. AAAA-PEX TERRORRRRRR!
---/ ENSHADOWED : MAGIC CHAOS PSYCHEDELIA /---
The sharpest black metal blade in 2013's drawer.
---/ BEASTMILK : CLIMAX /---
I want to grab whoever is next to me and start making out with them when I hear this.
---/ THOU ART LORD : THE REGAL PULSE OF LUCIFER /---
A black/death/thrash album that's actually full of memorable songs. Whowouldathunkit?
---/ CRYSTAL VIPER : POSSESSION /---
You hear that? That's the sound of
True Heavy Metal.
---/ MAGISTER TEMPLI : LUCIFER LEVIATHAN LOGOS /---
Finally a newer doom band that's willing to take a god damned risk and try out some unique vocals. And it works...IT WORKS!
---/TRIBULATION : THE FORMULAS OF DEATH /---
I don't need to do drugs because Tribulation apparently did all of them for me and recorded this.
---/ IN SOLITUDE : SISTER /---
You may have escaped the make-out session to Beastmilk earlier, but you're not getting away this time. Let's get it on.
---/ DARKTHRONE : THE UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE /---
And in 2013, the Gods from below arose once again to grace us with their majesty.
And that's it for the top 20. Here's a slew of more albums released this year that deserve to be heard!
---/ MORE MORE MORE /---
---/Older Bands & Albums I Discovered /---
A few of my favorite albums of the year that weren't released this year!
---/ WHITE SKULL : UNDER THIS FLAG /---
I'm so glad I discovered White Skull this year. Under This Flag is one of my most played album of 2013. Catchy riffs, memorable songs, powerful vocals, and blistering solos abound. It's not for everyone that's for sure, but to me this album is absolutely incredible.
---/ SKULL FIST : HEAD ÖF THE PACK /---
This band fucking shreds! So glad I ran across these guys. It's ridiculous how many times I've sang along to this while cruising around Kansas City. Really looking forward to their new album early next year!
---/ Movies I Enjoyed /---
And this concludes our broadcast day.
Onward ho to 2014!