Ian Chainey's Top 10 of 2013

The Only Cure Is More Obscure

posted on 12/2013   By: Ian Chainey

We've created quite a racket with our bracket. You've seen our Top 25 coronation. Now, it's time for our charming scribes to chime in.

As you know, Last Rites prides itself on its choir of singular voices, all hollering the smartest metal coverage anyone could possibly provide. You may have also uncovered that we adore the underground. We don't have time for top-soil here, we always go as deep in the dirt as possible. We dig holes like moles with a secret. We find the stuff you won't see anywhere else.

So, over the next couple weeks, make sure to keep an eye peeled for your favorite writers' wrap-up. Yes, we'll hand out daps to those deserving. But, in every list, feel confident there will be a glittering gem that hasn't yet felt your touch. And, that's truly the best part of these lists, right? Discovery! Diamonds! Savings account depletion!

We'll begin our solo flow by burning off my cop-out first. For someone not planning to create any year-end coverage, I've certainly done a lot of these. I'm already on record with my darling small fries, so let's use this space to give a high-five to artists and albums that, for whatever reason, never really resonated in the States. People just flat out didn't chat about 'em.* In the interest of maximum newness, we'll forgo the picks from our mid-year roundup and Four to Scores (go jam that damn Mourning Beloveth already!) and focus instead on these largely unmentioned crack fallers. They missed the first time so here's their mulligan. Let's make it right.

*Hey, uh, Avatarium. Guys? I know they'll catch on soon, so skipping it in this context. But...what's the deal? Though, I am heartened to see everyone is in on Sorcery. Nice work.

• • • • •

10. Taberah – Necromancer

These powerful Tasmanian terrors can shred like devils.

• • • • •

9. Tengger Cavalry – The Expedition

Everyone's favorite Mongolian folk-metal band. Granted, the overall genre has been blah for a bit, but I double-bear dare you to swat away these hooks.

• • • • •

8. Ataraxie – L'Être Et La Nausée

Doom of the death slash and funeral varieties had a booming year. Ataraxie's taxing, slowmo blarghs allowed them to crawl near the top.

• • • • •

7. Chastain – Surrender to No One

Egads, America! This one is in your own backyard! Cincinnati's Chastain reigned, bumping past pretenders with true heavy metal muscle.

• • • • •

6. Johansson & Speckmann – Sulphur Skies

Yep, that Johansson. Yep, that Speckmann. Tailor-made for death metal dominance, though too few have been sewed in.

• • • • •

5. Catuvolcus – Voyageurs De L'Aube

Our friends to the North know the name of this fancy folk metal collective featuring flawless string widdlers. Now it's our turn. Gaul for all!

• • • • •

4. Fleshpress – Tearing Skyholes

Another Finnish mind-effing at your service. Jangly, spacey, foreboding, repulsively gorgeous.

• • • • •

3. Rorcal – Világvége

Core so heavy you'd think it was the center of the Earth. Moves like magma. Winner of the Rightful Successor to Abandon Award.

• • • • •

2. Ocean Chief – Sten

A sludge stun gun ensnaring you in beams of fuzz. Like running underwater without the drowning.

• • • • •

1. Satan's Host – Virgin Sails

Conklin's been back for two releases now. What's your excuse? Blackened power metal honoring both styles without shaming the other. Stellar.

• • • • •

Know some others everyone whiffed on? Here's where to leave 'em. And, stay tuned for the best best-ofs to come.