Metal!

The 21 Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2013

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Dillinger Escape Plan, One Of Us Is The Killer Good ol' Dillinger Escape Plan. When I saw them perform at the Golden Gods Awards earlier this year, and vocalist Greg Puciato went so nuts that he ended up leaving the stage gushing blood from his head, it renewed my appreciation in the band as a metal act.

They're not only one of the most imaginative metal bands working today, they're aggressive, distorted and melodic in all the best ways. From its opening riff, One Of Us Is The Killer gets your adrenaline pumping with a mix of angular guitars, catchy hooks, and heavy breakdowns.

Carcass, Surgical Steel Carcass provides a wealth of aural violence, and they do it efficiently and with distinction. This is the Brit bands' first new album in 17 years, but you would never know it; the trio burns through the 11 tracks with precision and a renewed bloodlust.

The anthemic "The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills" is straight charismatic; "Noncompliance to ASTM F899-12 Standard" has some particularly impressive twin guitars. This is a band that's back with a vengeance.

Black Sabbath, 13 The well-worn architects of heavy metal came back with an album that managed to exceed many fans' expectations, despite the layoff. First off, the last time all of the members recorded an album in the studio together was 35 years ago, and we all know how much the members have been through since that time.

Maybe most importantly, you would never know that guitarist Tony Iommi was ever battling cancer, because he sounds as strong as ever--his riffs are as raw and monumental as they were the first time I heard them.

Soulfly, Savages Soulfly's ninth studio album is one of their best, with poignant songwriting and guitar-work and some addicting grooves. It's also heavy as hell; musically, Max Cavalera and the other members are truly on top of their game.

Sepultura fans will dig it, too, as some of the arrangements are reminiscent of the beloved metal band's style.

Anthrax, Anthems I thought about not including this album since it's a covers record, but the thrash-metal icons in Anthrax just set it up it so damn well. This eight-song EP by Anthrax includes songs that all influenced (or are just loved) by all the band members, which makes for some interesting interpretations. Think AC/DC, Rush, Journey, and more, all with a little signature Anthrax flair.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise