Friday, 13 December 2013


Illustration by Chris Simpson / Witch Ghetto

I think I listened to more metal this year than any year previously ... a given considering the name of the blog, obviously, but I've always had a pretty broad taste in music. My focus seemed to narrow a bit this year round. I don't know, perhaps I'm feeling a tad more misanthropic, or maybe the fact I got to worship at the Iommic altar when I saw Black Sabbath in April, or possibly I've just found myself listening repeatedly to some of what I consider to be some damn fine albums released in 2013, that also happen to be by made metal bands! 

I was asked to do a top 5 for a NZ music site that I occasionally write for so I turned to the "most played" function in Itunes to determine this list ... I did cheat slightly as I don't have the Agents of Abhorrence album in a digital format but I spin it all the time, and I still need to get the Mammoth Grinder and Altar of Plagues albums on LP (yeah, yeah I know... only vinyl is real, rockers!), but here is a largely statistics-based list:

Agents Of Abhorrence - Relief

Mammoth Grinder - Underworlds
Nails - Abandon All Life
Altar Of Plagues - Teethed Glory And Injury
Power Trip - Manifest Decimation 

Other honourable mentions include great albums by Obliteration, Agrimonia, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Beastwars, Darkthrone and Baptists. 

On the live front in 2013, there's been some off-the-chain shows here in Melbourne. A brief chronological list:

Old Man Gloom/Converge
Black Breath
Midnight/Sadistic Intent
Boris performing Flood
Municipal Waste
St Vitus
Lightning Bolt
Church of Misery

Anyway, a good way to end the year on the blog is to compile a mixtape of some of - in my humble opinion, of course - the best metal released this year. There's a couple of classic Slayer tracks in there too, in honour of the gone but not forgotten Jeff Hanneman. Thanks also to Chris Simpson at Witch Ghetto for letting me use his absolutely great illustration for this piece. So without further ado, the inaugural Heavy Metal Friday The 13th: 666mas Mix! (Apologies for the lack of Agents Of Abhorrence on the playlist! Get the record!


1. Obliteration - Goat Skull Crown (Black Death Horizon)
2. Altar Of Plagues - God Alone (Teethed Injury And Glory)
3. Agrimonia - The Battle Fought (Rites Of Separation)
4. Baptists - Soiled Roots (Bushcraft)
5. Darkthrone - Valkyrie (The Underground Resistance)
6. Power Trip - Manifest Decimation (Manifest Decimation)
7. Mammoth Grinder - Paragon Pusher (Underworlds)
8. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mt. Abraxas (Mind Control)
9. Slayer - Die By The Sword (Show No Mercy)
10. Beastwars - Realms (Blood Becomes Fire)
11. Nails - Abandon All Life (Abandon All Life)
12. Moss - Horrible Night (Moss' Horrible Nights)
13. Slayer - Angel Of Death (Reign In Blood)