Bryce Lucien of Seeker Shares His Top 10 Of 2013

seekerSeeker is a relative newcomer to the death metal scene.  Formed in Texas in 2011, they went through various lineup changes until they cemented themselves in 2012 as a four-piece ready to knock the earth off its axis.  The Texas-based band is about to embark on a U.S. tour in January that will weave its way mostly through the central and eastern half of the U.S. including a quick spell in Canada.  Vocalist Bryce Lucien was kind enough to share his Top 10 of the year (including commentary) with A Metal State of Mind.  But, before we get to his year-end list, here is a video from Seeker called When Hope Fails off their debut album Unloved.

10. “YPLL” by Retox

Justin Pearson is one of my all-time heroes. I grew up worshipping every band in the 3oneG scene and spent a huge chunk of my high school experience in run down DIY spaces watching bands like The Locust, Some Girls, The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Ex Models, and The Chinese Stars. So of course I’m in love with Retox. Their beyond bratty, noisy, ridiculously dissonant style of punk rock will always have a special place in my heart. “YPLL” is everything good about the underground music scene, and a defiant middle finger to everyone that would rather play the game. Justin Pearson has been making art in exactly the way that he wants to for years now and Retox is another brilliant piece in his huge and relentlessly unique body of work.

9. “Illumination Ritual” by The Appleseed Cast

I have loved The Appleseed Cast for years, but just kind of fell out of touch with what they were doing over the last couple of albums. I still listen to “Two Conversations” regularly but that’s been it for a while, so it was an incredibly pleasant surprise when I stumbled across “Illumination Ritual” earlier this year. This is hands down their best album in ten years. Every song is perfectly arranged, unbelievably emotional, and sounds HUGE.

8. “Vertikal” by Cult of Luna

“Vertikal” is Cult Of Luna’s most monolithic, extreme album yet and also their most interesting. The seamless transitions between electronics heavy atmospherics and soul shaking heaviness are incredibly awesome and the emotion is palpable on every second of every track. Above all, to me, this is the album where Cult of Luna truly found their voice. They’ve been getting closer and closer since they released “Somewhere Along The Highway” and now they finally sound like no one but themselves.

7. “In Love There Is No Law” by Twitching Tongues

Ok, so I admittedly have a weird relationship with Twitching Tongues. On one hand their Typo Negative playing Pantera covers while fronting as a hardcore band image is completely ridiculous, but when you look past the silliness of it all and get down to what the band is actually doing you find a group that is not only doing EXACTLY what they want to do, they are fearlessly doing something that goes 100% against the grain of everything that is popular right now. And besides… “In Love There Is No Law” is an absolute blast to listen to. Uninhibited and fucking awesome.

6. “Abandon All Life” by Nails

Nail’s new album is just pure, unadulterated, sonic vitriol. The constant, unending blasts, the grating, jagged guitar tone, and the most brutally out of control yells imaginable claw their way out of your speakers to spit in your face. “Abandon All Life” is what it sounds like when a band gives zero fucks, and genuinely hates you.

5. “Pain Is Beauty” by Chelsea Wolfe

I have been extremely vocal about my love for Chelsea Wolfe over the past couple of years. Like annoyingly, grossly, fan girl vocal so needless to say, “Pain Is Beauty” was one of my most anticipated releases to come out this year would be a huge understatement. This is a dense, moody,  and unbelievably heavy listen. It’s like if Zola Jesus, Bjork, Jarboe, and Jesu came together to create something more melancholy than Godspeed You! Black Emperor and about 1000 times more terrifying. I have truly never heard an album this beautiful also be this intense. Chelsea Wolfe has created one of the most quietly extreme albums of the year.

4. “Circumambulation” by True Widow

“Circumambulation” is a heavy fucking ultra-bummer of an album by a heavy fucking ultra-bummer of a band. And I mean that in the best possible way. True Widow is dark and brooding, but still possess a great ear for catchy, 60s tinged melodies, and excellent guitar work. There is something slightly hip and retro about them, but they would be just as at home on tour with Neurosis as they would with Grizzly Bear. This is definitely one of the best and most interesting bands that I came across this year.

3. “13” by This Town Needs Guns

This Town Needs Guns may in fact be the most talented band ever. The guitar parts are ridiculously intricate, the drum beats are angular and complex, the singer’s voice and melodies are always amazingly interesting, and oh yeah…he’s also playing their ridiculously difficult bass parts while he’s doing it. To make this all more impressive, I saw them live recently and they pull everything off perfectly. “13” is so fun, catchy, and beautiful that I can’t seem to ever get these songs out of my head. This has become a very regular “go to” album in the van.

2. “Teethed Glory And Injury” by Altar Of Plagues

Meticulously layered, suffocatingly dense, and relentlessly depressing, this is the album that made Altar of Plagues a truly great band. Everything, and I mean absolutely fucking everything, adds to the overwhelmingly bleak atmosphere. There isn’t a part that is performed with anything other than heartbreaking musical intensity. There isn’t anything that conforms to ANYONE’S notion of what black metal should be. This is a fearless fucking album and one of the best black metal records to come out in the last couple of years.

1.  “One Of Us Is The Killer” by The Dillinger Escape Plan

Dillinger Escape Plan is my favorite band. Plain and simple. Not that it isn’t glaringly obvious by the shameless riff stealing and decade long hero worship that becomes all too obvious on my band’s new album. “One Of Us Is The Killer” shows Dillinger at their most incredibly diverse, but also concise and the effective. The melodic parts are way more melodic, the chaotic parts are mind shatteringly intricate, the experimental parts are even more bizarre, and all of it is executed better than ever. This album continues to make me unbelievably insecure by reminding me that I will never write anything this good.

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on December 16, 2013, in Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. ChristopherMammal

    This type of list provides a beautiful way to find new bands. If you like a musician or a band, who better to recommend bands or albums you may never have heard of? Guys like Bryce Lucien are doing their fans a huge favour.

  2. Such a great list! Lots of bands I’ve never listened to, and one of my favourite albums of the year at #2 😀 God damn that one is good.

    Nice choice for the top spot too. Thanks Bryce, great fun to read your motivations! (now I’ll have to check out your band too)

  1. Pingback: My Top Ten Albums of 2013. | maxcussons

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