We know, it’s only the first week of November, but that means that it’s time to start thinking about your year end list. Sure, there are technically two more months left in the year, but nothing comes out in December, and if you haven’t heard everything else that’s coming out in the next few weeks by now, then it’s probably not a top ten contender anyway. At any rate, even though it’s not technically out yet, Revolver‘s year-end issue lists their 20 best albums of 2013. Deafheaven played spoiler by listing a picture of the magazine’s top pick and revealing that they’d named theirs, Sunbather, the second best album of 2013. The top album of 2013? Black Sabbath’s 13.
This is an unsurprising choice for a #1 album. First off, for historical purposes, the first Black Sabbath album with Ozzy Osbourne in decades is nothing less than an event. The album was their first #1 album in the United States ever, and has sold upwards of 300,000 copies since it was released. I get the feeling that Revolver looks more at the historical significance of an album than whether or not it’s a great album, hence their 2011 album of the year, Korn’s The Path of Totality. Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with the album, technically. The Rick Rubin-produced album is a pretty solid riff delivery system, goes back to the band’s glory days, and is being supplanted by a live DVD/CD of the tour around the album coming out later this month.
Instead of ragging on Revolver for playing its safe, it’s actually a hell of a lot more exciting that they picked Sunbather as the second-best album of the year. Black metal isn’t really a genre the magazine covers extensively, and while it’s not like they’re beholden to corporate interests, to pick an album on a small label (Deathwish) by a band that’s much better known to Decibel readers than their much more mainstream magazine is somewhat of a ballsy move. Kudos, Revolver. We’ll let you know when the rest of the list is released.