Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Best of 2013: Introduction

So 2013 is almost over. Imagine that. I certainly haven't updated The Blackened Edge much more this year than I have any other year, despite my constant good intentions. I suppose there's only so much one man can do. That said, I haven't been idle in the world of metal in 2013. As a staff-writer for Last Rites, one of the premier metal websites in the world, I've written a great number of reviews and features. I've discovered music both great and terrible, and had first encounters with masterpieces recorded thirty years ago.

Before I started receiving music directly from metal labels, I had almost no idea of how big the metal scene truly was. You want an idea of scale? In my iTunes library, I have 335 heavy metal albums released between 1990 and 1999—from popular albums like Pantera's Cowboys From Hell to obscure releases like the Vlad Tepes/Belketre split March to the Black Holocaust.

From 2013, I have 481 heavy metal albums in my iTunes. So far, I've only listened to about 280 of those, however, I know that there are also other albums that I've heard streaming somewhere (usually Bandcamp or Spotify) that I don't even have accounted for. And that's not to even speak of the albums from 2012, 2011, or even the 1980s that I listened to for the first time this year. And in looking at other people's year-end lists, I could easily name 20 albums that are highly regarded that I haven't even heard of yet. And this is just in the realm of heavy metal.

So in the spirit of the end of the year, I've put together a Top 40 list to help put a bit of order to the music that I heard this year. Hopefully you will find it interesting and informative. I know that I always enjoy reading others' lists, and have found some of my favourite albums that way. I'm also going to list my Top 5 Disappointments, Top 5 EPs, Top 5 Reissues, and Top 5 Non-Metal Albums.

My Top 10 is actually already published on Last Rites, and you may have ended up here by following the link in that article. If so, I thank you for your interest. I won't be repeating that material here, but I will link it each day so you can be sure to check it out. And I highly encourage you to do so, as the albums on that list are some of the greatest that I have heard in any year, never mind 2013.

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