ALARM's 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

ALARM’s 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

Saving the best for last, we’ve chosen our 51 favorite albums of 2013, pulled from the acclaimed and the unsung — some of the best as well as most boundary-pushing releases from rock and beyond.

Rotting Christ

Interview: Rotting Christ’s quest for ancient knowledge

Rotting Christ: Kata Ton Daimona EaytoyRotting Christ: Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy (Season of Mist, 3/5/13)

“In Yumen / Xibalba”

Rotting Christ: “In Yumen / Xibalba”

Of the 11 songs on the latest Rotting Christ release, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy, it’s the one that opens with a fluttering piano and the spellbinding voice of Souzana Vougioukli that band leader Sakis Tolis “want(s) to believe is the darkest.” Vougioukli and her sister Eleni — a globetrotting world-music duo — hold the reins on “Cine iubeşte şi lasă” for more than two tense minutes before the Grecian black-metal veterans swarm for an ominous march through Romanian folklore. By the end of the song — a reworked traditional piece based on a Transylvanian curse — the collaborators have come together like a fiery black mass.


The Metal Examiner: Septicflesh’s The Great Mass

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Septicflesh: The Great MassSepticflesh: The Great Mass (Season of Mist, 4/18/11)

Septicflesh: “The Vampire from Nazareth”

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Metal bands have long employed classical composition techniques. Celtic Frost introduced To Mega Therion in 1985 with a Strauss-ian melody played by a French horn. Morbid Angel cited Mozart as the greatest composer of all time on its sophomore album. Ritchie Blackmore laced his leads for proto-metal band Deep Purple with classical arpeggios.

Continuing in this tradition, Septicflesh‘s guitarist Christos Antoniou recently completed studies in classical composition. As such, the band’s seventh full-length, The Great Mass, is rich in orchestration, handled by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.