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02.16.15 A Procrastinator's Guide To 2014 - Top 01.17.14 A Lurker's Guide To 2013 - Top 50 Album
01.16.13 Thann's 50 Of '1201.08.12 Thann's 50 Of '11
04.09.10 Best Drummers In Metal04.04.10 Doom From '09
04.03.10 Metal: Best Of '09 - Top 10 (no Order!)

A Procrastinator's Guide To 2014 - Top 50 Albums

I'm here to fuck up your 2015 by showing you all the kickass music you need to check out from 2014! Oops. Enjoy.
50Angels and Airwaves
The Dream Walker
49Marissa Nadler
Strange Journey Volume Three
Dark Arc Reason
46Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry
45Black Monolith
44The Great Old Ones
Roads to the North
42Emma Ruth Rundle
Some Heavy Ocean
41Ben Howard
I Forget Where We Were
40Kangding Ray
Solens Arc
39J Mascis
Tied to a Star
Carrion Skies
The Divination Of Antiquity
36Kishi Bashi
34Foxes in Fiction
Ontario Gothic
33Deaf Center
32Keaton Henson
Romantic Works
The Sleepover Series, Volume 2
29Woman Is The Earth
27Ne Obliviscaris
26Sun Kil Moon
25Musk Ox
II: Dawn
23The Tidal Sleep
22This Will Destroy You
Another Language
21The War on Drugs
Lost in the Dream
A Passage to Rhodesia
19Fabrizio Paterlini
The Art of the Piano
18Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2
Sway Reason
16Damien Rice
My Favourite Faded Fantasy
The Serpent and the Sphere
14The Jezabels
The Brink
Shelter Reason
12Downfall of Gaia
Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay
11The Hotelier
Home, Like NoPlace Is There
10A Winged Victory for the Sullen
9Otto A Totland
Bloom and Breathe
Temple of Plenty

Bleak, subtle, sinister, dark and vast are all perfect descriptions of Liz's work over her entire career of albums so far. Why stop with Ruins? Exactly. She doesn't. In fact, this may honestly be my favorite work of hers so far. Imo, Ruins picks up where Alien Observer left off. That is to say, it continues in the same vein as AO did. This album isn't as quiet and fuzy as AO was, but I like the way this albums comes across more. I can almost see her sitting in a dark room on a stormy day, just playing, thinking, singing, without worrying what it sounds like. From the heart. It is truly a wonder how she puts so much emotion and sadness into the music. Not many other albums this year put in the feelings, heart and honestly Liz seems to have put into this. The sad and distant vocals, the calming ambient and drone like sounds and the simplistic melancholic piano make this a perfect album to get lost in, and fall asleep to without a care in the world. On top of the roughly 40 minute album itself, the bonus disk of almost 50 minutes of stormy, rainy background music fits and compliments the main music perfectly. Perhaps that is what inspired her in the first place, and what ultimately made this album so beautifully haunting.
4Mare Cognitum
Phobos Monolith

Space metal!!!! Two words that may turn many off, but for me it grabs attention fully. While many bands have done this bag before, not many have pulled it off (aside from Midnight Odyssey - Funerals From the Astral Sphere back in 2011). Maybe the most recognizable 'space metal' band out there, Darkspace, I feel, even fell short this year of capturing an atmospheric vibe that would have me lost in the stars, streaming across the sky. Not only does this album evoke that kind of feeling, it also seems to dive into a path the likes of Coldworld have traveled down before with it's listeners. An enthralling, suffocating and sinister journey to the soul, crushing me into dust then rebuilding me anew. Over exaggeration aside, I cannot help but get lost in this music, as I do with most atmospheric black metal albums. The constantly churning and moving melodies combined with the relentless vocal delivery go gorgeously together. While not on the level of Aura by Saor in terms of emotion, the technicality is flawless and the structure perfect. Do not miss this journey into the cosmos.

Topshelf records have been on a tear these past few years, as one of, if not the best Emo/Punk labels ever. It's no wonder they have such an incredible and huge following, and why their more rare vinyl presses sell out in minutes. Having such success naturally comes from signing incredible bands. Prawn have been on my radar for some time now, but I never really gave their albums a proper listen. My lack of midwest-emo experience made this even more prevalent. However after hearing their split with 'Joie de vivre' earlier this year, I instantly fell in love. This is not just a clich? Emo album, but one driven my post-rock influence, making it really eat at my heart and fill the room with atmosphere and relaxing childhood nostalgia. Having upbeat, energetic, fun summery beats at times, while also knowing when to slow it down, take it easy and showcase the vocals above everything else makes this come across as a very mature and well produced and thought out album, and caught my attention from the start. A most perfect, beautifully crafted Emo album if I ever saw one.

"Grieve the loss of this, Grieve all I am, All I was, for you to forget." - |||
Finding some of the more obscure bands that make some of the greatest music you've ever heard is one of the absolute best things I can think about when it comes to music. The first time I hit play on a relatively unknown album and I'm blown away by how this could have been kept a secret, or be so under the radar makes my heart ache. But then here come the haters more than likely...?Oh look, another pink-covered faux black metal wanna-be band?...well put aside your per-conceived notions, just for once, and take the music and album for what it is. This beautifully constructed masterpiece lives right up at the top of that so called 'Blackgaze movement' that Deafheaven recently took upon itself to lead and influence. Just like 'Sunbather' last year, this album perfectly mixes the black metal, post-rock and shoegaze styles magnificently, dripping with feedback and painful screams, creating an atmospheric and terrifyingly depressing album, unlike any other this year. The lyrics tell a haunting story, and are delivered so powerfully, you can hear the pain and anger this album was made from. I think we may have a contender here for some of the best black metal shrieks in the genre, showcased amazingly on 'Void' from 3:40-4:25, not to mention the chilling cleans. If loving blackgaze is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Listening to this for the first time, it was hard to imagine any other album even coming close at the end of the year to the power, depth and atmosphere this music had. This massive, sprawling album continuously fed my insatiable appetite for grandiose, romantic, soaring and beautiful black metal that many folk albums fail to capture. Bands like Eluveitie and Equilibrium's releases pale in comparison to the brilliant technique and style Saor have obtained this year, and to say this is one of the best black folk/pagan albums to come out in the last 5-10 years wouldn't be a long shot. Not only does this album perfectly capture the mood and artistic style of the cover art, but it also brings in a wintery, cold, harsh feel as well, feeling quite distant at times, but never boring. The folk interludes are some of the best I've ever heard, and fits in to the direction and flow of the album just perfectly. If your looking for something to get your blood pumping full of viking fury, while also conjuring emotionally heart wrenching images, this is the perfect album to do so. Absolute #1 of the year.
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