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Zantera's Top 100 Albums Of 2013

Just a list of my favorite albums and EPs from 2013. Been a fantastic year.
100Atoms For Peace

Some nice songs, but overall.. meh.
99How to Destroy Angels
Welcome Oblivion

Solid album for the most part, glad Trent got back to NiN though.
At Night This City Becomes the Sea

Enjoyable album.
Oblivion (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

This soundtrack has gotten some mixed reception, but I liked it.
96Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse
Wisdom of Crowds

Despite being a fan of both Pineapple Thief and Katatonia, it took me until December to check this out. I gotta say, "frustrating" is the best way to describe it. It's not bad, but the music kinda clashes with the singing for me. It's like the music says "life is great and you should enjoy it" and the vocals say "because you are gonna die tomorrow". I like Jonas in Katatonia, but his depressing singing doesn't really fit here imo.
A Careful Ecstasy

Nice little album.
94 The Flaming Lips

My first experience of The Flaming Lips. I feel like they make music I should appreciate, but this one wasn't particularly memorable. A solid album, but not more than that. Maybe I should check out Yoshimi?
93Everything Everything

I liked this album when I first heard it this year, but it kinda stopped there sadly. I do like their music, I just don't feel any urge to go back to this one very often.
92 The Dear Hunter
The Migrations Annex

A solid companion to Migrant, but nothing more than that.

An overall pretty enjoyable album despite the low ranking. I need to be in a mood for it though.
The Missing

I enjoyed this album, and I also enjoyed their debut. My biggest question is about the stayinpower, I don't see myself revisiting it a lot.
89Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2

After the first album, this was sadly a huge disappointment. It really does feel like songs that weren't good enough to be on the first album, so they made a B-sides album into a "main" album instead. There are some highlights though, "Take Back the Night" and "Drink You Away" are pretty darn catchy. I also like some of the more experimental songs, where Justin tries new things.
If You Leave

Despite the low ranking, I did enjoy this album. I found it to be a bit "samey" at parts, but the best songs were nice.
87The Mistys
Redemption Forest

This one was not bad, but will need some more spins.
86Shai Hulud
Reach Beyond the Sun

This will probably need more spins.
85 Captain, We're Sinking
The Future Is Cancelled

Solid release.

I liked this one quite a bit despite the low ranking, I just need to listen to it a bit more.
83Touche Amore/Pianos Become the Teeth

This was pretty solid.
82Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Descension

Better than the previous one imo. Enjoyable.
81 Pelican
Becoming Forever

Pretty solid release.
Wild Light

Sadly, a bit of a disappointment. Got into the band through "We Were Exploding Anyway", and sadly I find their recent releases to be a bit lacking in comparison.
79 Thomas Dybdahl
What's Left Is Forever

Pretty solid album from this guy.
78 Barrow
Though I'm Alone

Despite the low ranking, I did really like this. I feel like I need to give it more spins to rank it higher though.
77Cliff Martinez
Only God Forgives

Really nice soundtrack to a nice movie.
Grand Blood

Solid release from Deathwish.
75 Sumie

Neat little pop album.
Rival Dealer

73Cult of Luna

I really did like this despite the low ranking, Post-Metal is just a bit hit or miss for me.
72The Ocean

Same as with Cult of Luna basically.
Blackfield IV

Would have loved to place this higher since I really like Blackfield, but I can't give it more than 3.5. I do like the album, but overall it doesn't reach the highest highs. Some songs could have been longer, and while I don't necessarily miss Wilson, I think Aviv could do better. Maybe on BF5?
Endless Fantasy

Chiptune is a genre I find fascinating, and would love to find more music like this, even though it's not pure chiptune. Recs anyone?
69And So I Watch You From Afar
All Hail Bright Futures

I liked this.
68Jon Hopkins

Enjoyable album.
67So Hideous
Last Poem/First Light

I liked this.

Would have loved to like this more since I love Mike Patton, but this for me was a pretty solid release, but not much more. Not bad, not "omg awesome", a decent effort.

Really solid EP. Not really a weak song, and the title-track is incredible.

Another solid release from this band. They have a cool sound, even if I'm not head over heels in love with it.
63Death Grips
Government Plates

I would call this a disappointment, but it wasn't awful or anything. Not as good as Exmilitary or The Money Store, but a decent release. Some really cool songs, some not as much.
62Polkadot Cadaver
From Bethlehem to Oblivion

I would describe this EP as being "fun". It's great musically, but most importantly it's just a fun take on christmas-songs and themes, and I see myself spinning this at least once every christmas from this year and forward.
61Crash of Rhinos

An album that appealed to me in theory, but the execution of it could have been better. I enjoy the kind of music they are making, the songs just weren't strong enough overall to justify this being higher.
60Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City

I wanted to put this album higher, but it really dropped on my list during the year. It's a fine album, with no real weakpoints for me, the problem is that it lacks those really strong songs that keeps me coming back. Overall though, their best album without a doubt.
59Modern Life Is War
Fever Hunting

Yet another very solid release from Deathwish this year. I liked this, first time I heard the band.
58Glass Towers
Halcyon Days

Pleasant surprise. I like their "sound", even though only two songs on the album really grabbed my attention. The rest was sort of enjoyable, but didn't stick out as much. Jumanji and Halcyon are both really good songs though.
57Local Natives

A pleasant surprise this year, and an album I enjoyed. Saw them live at a festival and the show was nice. The album is maybe a bit too "samey" in places, but the 2-3 best songs are incredible.

A lot of people call this a disappointment, and while it doesn't reach the highs of The Valley or maybe Room Noises, this album still has some awesome songs. Overall maybe their weakest album, but Millstone might be my favorite Eisley song.
Shrine of New Generation Slaves

The stupidest title ever that spells out SoNGS. I like this album, but it's probably their weakest album so far for me.
54The Dear Hunter

A bit of a disappointment sadly. There's some great songs on this, but overall it leans more towards "decent album" than "amazing album".
53 Errata
L'Autre Hemisphere

Nice album.
Pure Heroine

I wanted to put this album higher, but I couldn't. There are some songs on here that I really like, but there is too few of them for me to place it higher up. Overall the album is mostly good, and this girl has talent. Can't wait for future albums by her, she has loads of potential.
51Ghost B.C.

I like this band. Consider myself a fairly casual fan of them, so I don't LOVE them, but I do like what they are doing. I do like this album more than the debut probably.
Colored Sands

You know it has been one hell of a year when an album like this is at nr50. I really did like this album, there was just stuff I liked more. A nice comeback for them.
49 Owen
L'Ami du Peuple

Hadn't heard Owen before, despite being a huge fan of both American Football and Cap'n Jazz. This was a pleasant surprise, and I really enjoyed this album. Not quite as good as what the other two bands I mentioned made, but still a great album.
Museum of Consciousness

Was pleasantly surprised to see Shpongle release a new album this year. I really liked it.
Boa Noite

I really would like to place this album higher, but to be honest, I recently discovered it, and with some more time and spins, this could probably have been top30 or so. I really enjoy this album. Overall it's a solid album, with some incredible songs on it.
46Submotion Orchestra

I would say this EP is about equally as good as their two albums, so another solid release. The title track is a work of art.
45Necro Deathmort

Another great release.
44James Blake

Saw him live this summer, and he put on a great show. Might like this album even more than his debut, another fine addition to his discography.
43Biffy Clyro

I really want to put this album higher, because the songs I love from this album are among my most loved songs from this year, but overall it doesn't quite hold up as a double album. There are some weaker songs, but overall I like this way more than their last album.

Another great release by this guy. Like it more than Fade.
41The National
Trouble Will Find Me

Another band I am a bit skeptical about, but I think this was a really great album. They have their sound, and it's that sound that I'm just not 100% sold on. This album I think has a lot of songs that works really well with their sound, and I think that's what makes it so good. They are playing to their strengths.
40Daft Punk
Random Access Memories

A bit of a mixed bag for me. Some of the songs work really nicely, and others aren't as good. Songs like Giorgio by Moroder and Contact stands out, and I think there's just not enough songs as good as those two, to justify the album being higher than this for me. Get Lucky was a song I really liked initially, but after hearing it so much and everywhere this year, I just can't stand it anymore.

Really nice black metal album, that was recommended to me by a friend. Could have been higher, but I think it needs some more listens. Still, really nice album.
Habitual Levitations

Another fine release by this band. I probably prefer Valley of Smoke, but this one was great too.

Overall I would call this a disappointment, but not a huge one. I had really high expectations, and mixing post-rock/post-metal with Chino's vocals was a brilliant idea in theory, but for me it was one of those things where the idea was better than the final result. I would say that the few problems I have with this album is mainly the songs themselves. While they are good (and a few are great), the overall quality on those songs could have been better. The album only fails in individual quality of the songs for me, the overall atmosphere and sound of the album is very appealing to me, and that's what's gonna keep me coming back to it.
36The Safety Fire
Mouth of Swords

I discovered this band when they released their debut, and I really enjoyed that album. Got to see the band open for Periphery and BTBAM, and they did a good job. This album, I would say is better than the first one. They take a step in the right direction with another great release, and I can't wait to see them open for Protest the Hero in January.

Saw this band co-headline a show with Riverside, and hadn't heard them before. Was impressed with what I heard, so checked them out. The album is slightly frustrating, because a few songs go on for way longer than they should, but there's also a lot of really good stuff. Contaminate Me in particular is just amazing, the way it ends the album is brilliant.
34Russian Circles

Russian Circles has for a few years been one of those Post-Rock bands that I have enjoyed, but the music never really got stuck. I could listen to their albums and enjoy them, yet 20 minutes after, remember nothing about their music. This album really impressed me, and I would probably say it's their best. The title-track with Chelsea Wolfe on it is dope too.
The Unraveling

New versions of old songs. Interesting idea, and they pulled it off well. The 16 minute version of Macabre is just mindblowingly awesome for example.
The Bones Of What You Believe

Another album on my list that is frustrating. The songs I love are really amazing, but the album also has songs I just don't care for. Not bad songs, just not nearly as good as the best ones. Overall I do like this album, and I think there is room for improvement on a future follow-up, since I think the band will get better as well. Lauren Mayberry is a cute muffin
White Lighter

Really nice indie/folk album.
30Steven Wilson
The Raven That Refused to Sing

One of the hardest albums on this list to wrap my head around. It's almost baffling. One one hand I find the album to be just as good as anything I expect from Steven Wilson, but on the other hand I find it pretty boring. It's a FINE album, and I think the place on the list confirms that, and while I don't really have anything to complain about in terms of songs (the 6 songs on it are great), I just don't care much for this King Crimson/Yes revival thing he has going on. Grace For Drowning is my favorite album he has done, this to me is just a weaker album doing the same thing. Please, leave the 70's prog rock behind for the next album. PLEASE.
29Olafur Arnalds
For Now I am Winter

I really liked this album when it came out. Since then it has fallen down a bit on my list, but I still revisit the album, and it's a nice album to put on when it's late, you're getting tired and you just want something easy listenable.
More Constant Than The Gods

This kind of music (I would say a mix of Stoner, Sludge and Doom?) is something I've seen several bands do these last years, and it's often a mixed bag for me. While I've liked some of it, there has also been bands and albums that just didn't click with me. Subrosa is one of the good examples though, this album is just stellar, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is into any of the genres I just mentioned.
Messe I.X-VI.X

A more ambient/quiet/experimental album than some of their last releases, and I really liked this one. Parts of the atmosphere reminded me of Godspeed, not so much the music itself (since this is not post-rock), but just the way the atmosphere was created, and the feeling it gave me.
26Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Push The Sky Away

Another musical discovery from this year, Push the Sky Away got me into Nick Cave, a great musician. And what a nice album this was. Very minimalistic compared to some of his other albums, and a very laid back atmosphere. Songs like Jubilee Street, Higgs Boson Blues and We Know Who U R will continue getting regular spins from me, heck, the whole album will.
Silence Yourself

Post-punk, and doin' it justice.
24Tim Hecker

Another strong release from this man. Some people have it even higher, and I can only agree about the quality of this album. I don't think the 24th spot says anything negative about it, this year was just really strong overall.
23The World is a Beautiful Place...
Whenever, If Ever

Really good indie/emo release from this year. Started out casually liking it, since then it has grown even more, and I think in the future it has the potential to grow even more on me. Will probably see these guys live with Empire! Empire! in April, will be sweet.
22Nine Inch Nails
Hesitation Marks

Despite ranking in at nr22, I feel like there's not really anything negative I could say about this. It's a really good album for NiN, and a return to form. A really good album.
21Polkadot Cadaver
Last Call In Jonestown

This album for me was the definition of a grower. Started out decent, but grew with each listen after that. It has maybe 1 or 2 songs that feel like "leftover" B-sides, but for the most part this album is really good. A lot of strong songs on here.
Echo Street

Wasn't expecting to like this one so much, but it was an early favorite of the year, that still holds up fairly well. It's a different album for the band, but I love it in contrast to an album like The Octopus.
Time Is A Machine

One of my favorite shorter albums of the year. The instrumentation is great, and the "spoken word"-approach to the singing is also something I appreciate.
18The Dillinger Escape Plan
One of Us Is The Killer

I loved Option Paralysis, and this one is just as good. Heavy and technical riffing, with great vocals on top. Stunning album.
17Laura Stevenson

A pretty nice folk/indie album. For the most part this album is really good, there's maybe 1 or 2 songs I don't care for as much as their rest, but I can see why some have it as their favorite.
16Chelsea Wolfe
Pain is Beauty

I don't know how to classify her music, but it's a mix that just works for me. Her vocals combined with the dark nature of the music is fascinating, and this album just stood out right away. Would love to check out more of her stuff.
Abandon All Life

The heaviest album this year? Kurt Ballou delivers as a producer one again, and the albums he has produced always sound so rich. This album is like being hit in the face over and over again with a brick, but in a good way.
14The Drones
I See Seaweed

Was recommended this album by a friend, and I really liked it from the start. The vocalist has a very passionate and emotional delivery, and the lyrics on the album are really strong, especially in the closing-track. My only complaint would be the song "A Moat You Can Stand In" which just doesn't do anything for me at all. I don't hate it, but I don't really like it. Still, sweet album.
13Altar of Plagues
Teethed Glory And Injury

Love the combination of Black Metal and Industrial that this album has going for it. Really dark, and has that "end of the world"-atmosphere. Amazing metal-album.
12Touche Amore
Is Survived By

Another fine addition to this band's discography. I have a really hard time ranking their albums, but I do know that I love all three.
11Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience

Arguably the biggest surprise for me this year. I just did not care for Justin Timberlake at all before 2013, but this album won me over. There's a lot of really good songs on this album, and the only shame for me is that Jay-Z almost manages to completely ruin "Suit and Tie", an otherwise really good song. Overall I still love this album.
10 Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

A very surprising album when it was announced, but I really liked this one. BoC delivered again.
9My Bloody Valentine
m b v

The album that would never see the light of day, was finally released. After the initial hype calmed down, I still hold this as a strong album. Not as good as Loveless, and it has maybe one or two songs towards the end, that I feel could have been improved. But I don't think they could have made a better follow-up to Loveless than this.
8Sigur Ros

Really strong album. Valtari was a disappointment for me when it came out, and I think the reason was the fact that I expected an album like Kveikur, and that wasn't what we got. Kveikur really impressed me, and even gave me a whole new appreciation for Valtari, since I could reflect back on that album a bit differently. Saw these guys live last month, not only one of the best shows I've seen, but the Kveikur-songs also came to life nicely in a live setting.
7Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork

I got into this band through this album. Had only heard the song "3's & 7's" before, but I checked this album out when it was released, and got into a huge QotSA-phase after that. The band went from 0 to almost 1600 plays on lastfm during this year, and it speaks for itself. The album that started it all, Like Clockwork still holds a very special place in my heart. Might not be one of my favorite QotSA albums overall, but had maybe one or two songs been slightly better (just slightly), this could have ended even higher up.
6Protest the Hero

This was an album I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did, but it really blew me away. The music is tight with some amazing riffs, there's lots of catchy melodies, and overall strong songs. I might still hold Fortress as their best, but this is not far behind in terms of quality. Seeing them live in January, should be sweet.
5The Knife
Shaking the Habitual

This was a favorite early on during the year, but it has fallen down a bit on the ranks. Was very disappointed when I saw the band live a couple of months ago, and didn't even make it until the end of the show, which was disappointing. However, I revisited the album recently after a few months on the shelf, and it still holds up nicely. Apart from "Fracking Fluid Injection", I don't have any complaints, and this album is only one jarring song away from being a 5.

It seems whenever I check out a band from Deathwish, I get blown away. I don't necessarily love all of it, but I haven't been disappointed yet, and even the bands I've liked the least, have still been great bands. Oathbreaker was a pleasant surprise, and while Sunbather is the Deathwish-album from 2013 bound to get the most attention and praise, this one is not far behind it, and I highly recommend it. A nice mix of hardcore and black metal.
3Julia Holter
Loud City Song

Late addition to my list, this is an album I have listened to a lot these last weeks, after seeing people say good things about it, and also the album being nr1 on the Sputnik-list. The album feels very minimalistic, but the atmosphere is stunning, and it's just a fantastic journey to listen to this album.

What is there to say about this album that hasn't already been said? Just an incredible album, and I love the mixture of Post-Rock and Black Metal, with some Shoegaze in the mix as well. Parts of the album reminded me of Godspeed, in a good way. This for me will be a classic.
1Kayo Dot

I liked Gamma Knife, but it didn't really stick with me. I was excited for this album, but had no idea of how much it would blow me away. Despite the first 4-5 minutes of the first song being very jarring the first few times I heard it, the album just grew from there, and I love it. The last three songs in particular are some of the best the band has ever done, and this is an album that is good enough to challenge Choirs of the Eye. Was a tight race between the top3 albums, but this one for me impressed me the most, and it's the one I have revisited the most.
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