The nominees for the Best Metal Album of 2013 in the 3rd Annual Loudwire Music Awards are a diverse group of acts. Whether it be younger groups delivering breakthrough discs or veteran bands offering up some of the best efforts of their careers, there's no doubt that 2013 was a stellar year for metal.

These albums span from the mainstream to deep underground, and the passion of the fans will decide which record will be named the best of the year. Check out the nominated albums and cast your votes in the poll below!

  • Vertigo / Universal
    Vertigo / Universal


    Black Sabbath

    Despite various setbacks, Black Sabbath released a monster with '13.' Tony Iommi's huge riffs and mind-bending solos are interwoven into '13' beautifully, while tracks such as 'God Is Dead?' and 'Damaged Soul' are powerfully driven by the vocals of Ozzy Osbourne and massive bass tone of Geezer Butler.

  • Epitaph


    Bring Me the Horizon

    Bring Me the Horizon took metalcore to new heights in 2013 with the stellar album 'Sempiternal.' The British act delivered a work that is both refreshing and revitalizing with songs like 'Shadow Moses' and 'Go to Hell, For Heaven's Sake,' receiving critical acclaim in the process.

  • Nuclear Blast
    Nuclear Blast

    'Surgical Steel'


    Welcome back Carcass! The extreme metal legends released their first album in 17 years with 'Surgical Steel.' After Carcass delivered this fresh cut, fans went absolutely insane for the record like a group of sadists crowding around the viewing window of an operating room.

  • Nuclear Blast
    Nuclear Blast

    'Halo of Blood'

    Children of Bodom

    Children of Bodom arguably created their greatest effort in a decade with 'Halo of Blood.' The riff-heavy and genre-melding disc is an addictive metal album. Bodom fans are somewhat polarized between the neoclassical and modern styles perpetuated by the Finnish maters, but 'Halo of Blood' delivers on both ends.

  • Deathwish



    Mixing post-rock, shoegaze and black metal, 'Sunbather' is an unlikely success stylistically, but the balance created by Deafheaven is truly stunning. Whether trudging through comforting or extreme territory, the album allows the listener to become submissive to a sonically imposed atmospheric paralysis.

  • Roadrunner

    'Dream Theater'

    Dream Theater

    'Dream Theater' provides yet another epic listen, culminating with the 22-minute opus 'Illumination Theory.' The balance and focus of the album remains unwavering, with each member of Dream Theater shining through both as pure musicians and members of an elite unit.

  • Loma Vista
    Loma Vista


    Ghost B.C.

    Ghost B.C were able to capture and distort childlike innocence, juxtaposed refuge and the same sweet, hypnotic cadence of church music to lure potential listeners in towards a greater truth. 'Infestissumam' is yet another opus -- perhaps even a magnum opus.

  • Season of Mist
    Season of Mist

    'Colored Sands'


    While the album is not as over-the-top as the previous two albums, Gorguts makes up for it with their rhythmic focus of dissonance and atonal madness. Rather than make a similar album, they went for broke with a new sound that has been critically well-received.

  • Candlelight

    'Das Seelenbrechen'


    Blending progressive and black metal sensibilities, Ihsahn creates a stunning soundscape, creating the feel of an album rather than a collection of tracks. This gem is a front-to-back listen, so carve out some time and submerge yourselves within 'Das Seelenbrechen.'

  • Roadrunner

    'Disarm the Descent'

    Killswitch Engage

    Killswitch Engage's 'Disarm the Descent' saw the return of the band's original vocalist Jesse Leach. Former singer Howard Jones helped bring the band to massive success, which makes Leach's triumphant return even more impressive. Songs range from the infectiously heavy 'In Due Time' to the heartfelt ballad 'Always.'

  • Season of Mist
    Season of Mist



    The entirety of Kylesa's 'Ultraviolet' is a march through the desert, filled with delirious dehydration and bizarre mirages. The pure strength and atmosphere created through 'Unspoken,' 'Vulture's Landing' or the riff-heavy 'Grounded' proves once again that the South is ripe with phenomenal metal.

  • UDR Music
    UDR Music



    Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey give fans exactly what they want throughout 'Aftershock,' balancing pure rock 'n' roll, heavy metal and even some soulful blues within Motorhead's 14-track punisher. It's truly remarkable that at this stage in their career, Motorhead put out one of their best albums ever.

  • Metal Blade
    Metal Blade


    The Ocean

    The Ocean are absolutely unpredictable, which is what puts the German group on year-end lists every time they release a new album, or two like in 2010. 'Pelagial' lets the waves of atmosphere wash over the listener before violently wresting him or her from the trance.

  • Century Media Records
    Century Media Records



    After a messy split with long time singer Geoff Tate, the remaining original members of Queensrÿche vowed to return to their roots and make a metal album again. Backed by new powerhouse singer Todd La Torre, the band made good on their promise.

  • Century Media
    Century Media

    'The Wild Hunt'

    Think you know Watain? 'The Wild Hunt' changed the perception of the Swedish black metal act. Instead of a more straight-forward approach, Watain experimented with dark themes with a little more subtlety, creating a multi-layered and somewhat bi-polar listen.

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