We asked the members of Team TINAS to compile their own individual Top 15 lists, which were then collated to produce ThisIsNotAScene’s Top 20 Releases Of 2013. From all the cast votes there was a clear winner that scored more than double the points of the second place release. So without further ado here is ThisIsNotAScene’s Top 20 Releases Of 2013:

  1. Carcass – Surgical SteelCarcass – Surgical Steel

    Had this album come out back in 1995 then things may have turned out differently for Carcass because, for all intents and purposes, ‘Surgical Steel’ is the proper follow-up to ‘Heartwork’ that we should have had back then. But at the same time this is also an album that feels a part of the 21st century metal scene, a statement from a band not content with trading off their past glories and who are forging ahead with fresh enthusiasm and a set of killer songs that easily equal anything from their back catalogue.
  2. Cult of Luna – VertikalCult of Luna – Vertikal

    The usual Luna arsenal is on show. Brutal, crushing guitar, bass and drums pummel the listener into near-submission. Shouted post-hardcore vocals finish the job. Synths and samples lend a sophistication not found in their post-metal peers. With this album Cult of Luna have managed to create a new sound, aligned to the concept, while keeping the post-metal aesthetic for which they are renowned and revered. To manage this takes a level of creativity and confidence that only great bands can achieve.
  3. Clutch – Earth RockerClutch – Earth Rocker

    This album doesn’t really need the hard sell as Clutch have furrowed their own path throughout their career and will do just want they want to anyway, and any true music fan who can appreciate good music with a genuine soul will get on just fine with “Earth Rocker”. It may be a little too early to say whether it’s Clutch’s best album but it’s certainly up there with their best work, and releasing an album as consistently outstanding and exciting as this after twenty-three years says a lot about Clutch’s uniqueness.
  4. Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and InjuryAltar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury

    Following an extensive tour across Europe, a performance to a packed room at Damnation Festival, where evidence that their ferocious, energetic live sets were finding an audience and with the release of their third, and greatest work ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’, Altar of Plagues have cemented themselves as one of the essential heavy bands of 2013.
  5. Ghost - InfestissumamGhost – Infestissumam

    Following on from the haunting and hugely successful “Opus Eponymous,” Ghost returned with their latest masterpiece, entitled “Infestissumam,” delivering more of the beautiful combination of satanic rock music with an almost unthinkable pop sensibility but with a more honed and polished style.
  6. The Ocean – PelagialThe Ocean – Pelagial

    “Pelagial” might get described elsewhere as a masterpiece. It isn’t that: but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of some sublime music that you will come back to time and again. Like I said earlier, you need to give this record time, just as the band have given you, their humble listener. In the case of “Pelagial,” patience is an unequivocal virtue.
  7. Darkthrone – The Underground ResistanceDarkthrone – The Underground Resistance

    The phrase “speed metal punk” comes to mind when you listen to “The Underground Resistance” record and it is definitely my favourite sound of their entire discography. Like I said, it’s fucking Darkthrone man! This will be the most rad-est record of 2013, mark my words. So do yourself a favour and get this record, it’s fucking sweet! Even if that means groceries and other “necessities” need to be sacrificed! It is an absolute phenomenal record!
  8. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To SingSteven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing

    As a long-time follower of Steven Wilson’s work I believe this may be his best, most complete work to date in any incarnation. It would be impishly perverse of me to bury Porcupine Tree prematurely but “The Raven That Refused To Sing” seems to usher in a new chapter in his career. Quoth the raven, ‘Fucking essential.’
  9. Nails – Abandon All LifeNails – Abandon All Life

    You’re thinking grindcore is supposed to have a “play fast or don’t” approach, I tend to disagree and thankfully Nails showcase this in their new record. Some of the tracks are so crushing and heavy at like half the tempo of the rest of the tracks and then there is the combination of both worlds that make for an immaculate culmination of playing styles. If you like grindcore/hardcore, the 4-piece fiendish aggression and brutality of Nails and their latest record “Abandon All Life” will not disappoint. So add this to your shopping list and prepare to be annihilated.
  10. Killswitch Engage – Disarm the Descent Killswitch Engage – Disarm the Descent

    With “Disarm the Descent” Killswitch Engage have not recreated their sound, but in fact evolved it, adding a new level of aggression to the guitar tone and backing rhythm sections, yet keeping those signature melodic choruses that Howard Jones was so famous for. Although Howard may be gone, Jesse Leach’s vocal ability has progressed so much since “Alive or Just Breathing,” and even the Times of Grace album he did with Adam D in 2011, showing him to be a worthy replacement as he adds his own personal touch to amazing songs like ‘A Tribute To The Fallen’, ‘You Don’t Bleed For Me’ and ‘The Call’.
  11. Ihsahn – Das SeelenbrechenIhsahn – Das Seelenbrechen

    To sum it up in a few paragraphs doesn’t do it justice; there are shades of ‘Mekanik Zain’ seeping into frenetic black metal; pomp and circumstance duelling with ugly scything guitar; themes of love and hope shattered by bile and betrayal. A lesser artist would not be able to blend all these elements with such aplomb, but this works spectacularly well. When all is said and done, my efforts to put into words what Ihsahn has put into music are futile. This is something you need to hear, so – before I run out of superlatives, similes, metaphors and cliches – may I commend to you my album of the year.
  12. Alter Bridge – FortressAlter Bridge – Fortress

    This album will be devoured by the legion of existing AB fans, and will no doubt scoop up many more in its wake. Quite simply it is superb, a must have, and with the forthcoming UK tour with Shinedown and Halestorm kicking off in October, the end of the year belongs to Alter Bridge…
  13. Gorguts – Colored SandsGorguts – Colored Sands

    Every song on this album tests the limitations of death metal. You are going to hear devastating technical riffs, resounding death growls, complex arrangements, thunderous drumming, and a unpredictable whirlwind pace of tempo variations. All the pieces of this puzzle fit together perfectly. At the end of the day I am ranking “Colored Sands” as my favorite album of 2013 so far. In my opinion, it is another beautifully constructed Gorguts masterpiece. I could keep going on and on about how much I am impressed with this album, so I strongly advise you to pick it up.
  14. The Temperance Movement – The Temperance MovementThe Temperance Movement – The Temperance Movement

    I could go on about every track, but I’ll try to summarize for brevity’s sake as, rest assured, there is not a song here that won’t be playing on your stereo for many, many years to come. This is the work of what is currently the best rock band in Britain, bar none. Join the movement.
  15. Watain – The Wild HuntWatain – The Wild Hunt

    The songwriting is stellar, improving on the near-flawless yet slightly over-long “Lawless Darkness” and while there may not be an instant crowd-pleaser to thrill the hordes, “The Wild Hunt”, like its title is a journey through peril and adventure with a thoroughly bloody outcome as the psychedelia-tinged grimoire that is closing track ‘Holocaust Dawn’ so defiantly proves. If black metal really is the Devil’s Law as it has so often been described, then Watain are Judge, Jury and Executioner. On your knees, for you are not worthy.
  16. Shining – One One OneShining – One One One

    Combining genres can occasionally result in a confused and disorientated sound, or one that uses one genre as a novelty diversion from the first, but not so for Shining, who appear to have the acumen to travel with both concurrently. “One One One” has actual songs with beginnings, choruses, verses and endings with very few meanderings into the avant garde.
  17. Windhand – SomaWindhand – Soma

    Windhand‘s mournful, super heavy wah-wah drenched guitar sound reminds me of the early playing of Kim Thayil in Soundgarden circa ‘Screaming Life’. The whole album shares a sound with the Black Sabbath worship of early grunge bands. This is timeless stuff, and if there’s been a better doom album released this year I’d like to hear it.
  18. Deafheaven - SunbatherDeafheaven – Sunbather

    Deafheaven took 2013 by storm with their “Sunbather” release, via the Sargent House label. Their difficult to pigeon-hole blend of post-rock, shoegaze and atmospheric black metal struck a chord with a lot of people propelling them to dizzying heights in, and one of the best albums of 2013.
  19. The National - Trouble Will Find MeThe National – Trouble Will Find Me

    The National returned with their long awaited new album, entitled “Trouble Will Find Me,” in 2013. Building on their trademark melancholic sound and songwriting, The National once again raise the bar and swell the ranks of their followers. Perhaps this will be the album that opens them up to the masses.
  20. The Defiled – DaggersThe Defiled – Daggers

    With “Daggers”, The Defiled let loose anthem after anthem, mixing elements of metalcore, thrash goth to form an insane hybrid sound – going above and beyond anything that a UK based underground metal band are doing at the moment. The Defiled are slowly but surely being recognised for the amazing band they are, and hopefully “Daggers” is the record that will elevate them into the big league in which they rightfully deserve to be a part of!

2013 honourable mentions should also go out to: