2013 was a year full of exciting releases in the Metal scene. Black Sabbath dropped their last full-length album to date, “13”, re-uniting the classic lineup of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler (sans Bill Ward due to health reasons) after some 35-odd years. Ghost continued to raise eyebrows with their sophomore effort “Infestissumam,” which featured some now-classics such as “Year Zero,” and Dream Theater released their eponymous twelfth studio album.
But aside from these sometimes more, sometimes less established acts – who were the newcomers to keep an eye on one decade ago? Who were the acts that people considered the next big thing back in 2013, and could they live up to the expectations? We will shed some light on that question with this list of the top 7 debut albums of 2013.
07) Lycus, Tempest
Based out of Oakland, CA, this Funeral Doom four-piece released its debut album “Tempest” receiving good reviews, even being listed in several Top-Albums-Of-The-Year lists in 2013, including those of Pitchfork.com, Popmatters.com, and Glidemagazine.com. Critics noted the three-layered vocals and the addition of keyboards and violins on several tracks, making this debut album stand out from its peers. The band followed up with its sophomore “Chasms” effort in 2016. However, seems to be inactive since 2019 as of this writing.
06) Noisem, Agony Defined
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, this Death/Grindcore trio also released their debut album “Agony Defined” in 2013. Only teenagers back then, their short-but-sweet debut of high-speed death metal mixed with some grind and punk clocked in at only 26 minutes running time for a whopping nine songs and marked a strong starting point for the band, which was able to follow up with two albums, “Blossoming Decay” in 2015 and “Cease to Exist” in 2019. It is questionable whether the band survived the Covid-19 pandemic, as their last social media activity dates back to early 2021.
05) Power Trip, Manifest Decimation
Although initially already founded in 2008, it would be the year 2013 that saw the debut album of Dallas Crossover-Thrashers Power Trip, after releasing two EPs in 2009 and 2011, respectively. On “Manifest Decimation,” the band was praised for its versatile and high-energy sound, packaged in a large-sounding production. Particular praise was showered on vocalist Riley Gale, who unfortunately passed away in 2020. The band, however, was able to continue on strong, releasing a further full-length album, “Nightmare Logic,” in 2017, as well as two live albums in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
04) Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Walk Through Exits Only
While no stranger to the metal scene as a whole, former (and now again) Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo would release his debut solo album featuring his backing band “The Illegals” on 16 July 2013 via his own label Housecore Records, which at the time was praised for its heavy riffs and Anselmo’s signature extreme vocals and, naturally, many reviewers would draw similarities to his earlier work with Pantera, citing the song “Bedroom Destroyer” as a reference.
03) Device, Device
Here is the odd one out: Device was formed in 2012 by none other than Disturbed frontman David Draiman, after his aforementioned main band went on hiatus in late 2011. The band featured Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo, and its self-titled debut album, released in April 2013, managed to chart in several countries, including at #11 in the US and Canada, #26 in Australia, and #64 in the UK, and also won the “Best New Talent” award at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards, as well as the “Best New Artist” award at that year’s Loudwire Music Awards. However, after a few shows throughout 2013 and 2014, the group disbanded in 2014, paving the way for Disturbed’s resurgence in 2015, with singer David Draiman stating at the time that there were no intentions of continuing with Device.
02) Butcher Babies, Goliath
Certainly a controversial act at the time, and to a degree still so today, are Butcher Babies, the groove metal act surrounding vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, which released its debut album “Goliath” in 2013. Somewhat disparagingly regarded in the beginning by some in the metal scene, the dynamic duo and their impressive backing band have long since proven their naysayers wrong. They can be considered one of the most successful acts to debut in 2013, as the band is still going strong in 2023, continuously booking tour and festival slots, such as their recent tour as support for Amaranthe and Beyond The Black in Europe.
01) Scar the Martyr, Scar the Martyr
Another self-titled debut album to make this list, this was the first and only album of the short-lived side project of the late, great Joey Jordison, formed at the time shortly before his ousting from Slipknot in late 2013. The band featured Henry Derek Bonner, singer of Blood Promise, on vocals, as well as Chris Vrenna on keys and Kris Norris and Jed Simon on guitars. Released on 1 October 2013 and clocking it at an impressive 74 minutes in the standard and almost 92 minutes in the deluxe edition, the band’s debut was met with generally positive reviews, if not exactly stellar ones. It would remain the only release by this project before Jordison moved on to other endeavors, such as Sinsaenum, his last focal band before his untimely passing in 2021.
Tags: Butcher Babies, Device, Disturbed, Joey Jordison, Lycus, Noisem, Pantera, Phil Anselmo & The illegals, Power Trip, Riley Gale, Scar the Martyr
Categorised in: Lists