|Fearthyevil's: Best Of 2014|
After Skyharbor?s already impressive debut, their sophomore album shows a more focused effort on creating an ambitious progressive metal effort. This time Skyharbor tones it down a bit for a much more melodic approach.
Favorite Track: Evolution
Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins
Progressive Death Metal
Baring Teeth have always been looked at as a Gorguts worshipping band and it?s a little hard to deny that. However, their second album shows even more technical skill with dizzying riffage and constantly challenging songwriting.
Favorite Track: Dripping Sun
Stolas?s debut is exactly how modern post-hardcore should sound. Intelligent songwriting and incredibly catchy choruses flood this album. Vocals might not be to everyone?s liking but this has a lot to endure then just vocals.
Perfect Hair is an eccentric hip-hop release with hilarious self-aware lyricism, interestingly sung choruses, and eclectic beats. Really enjoyed this even though it took some time to get used to.
Favorite Track: Ego Death
Well into their career Gazpacho release a beautiful artsy record that is sure to astonish many.
Favorite Track:Death Room
Everything Will Be Alright in the End
I began to wonder if these guys would ever release another good album again. Well, this is the answer to that and it was a good one. The band feels revitalized and the choruses and catchy songwriting has returned but at the expense of some unfortunately cringy lyrics. Still, a fine return to form for Weezer.
Favorite Track: Cleopatra
|74||As We Draw |
Heavy, dark, and foreboding post-hardcore mixed in with elements of sludge and post-metal.
Favorite Track: Losing Ground
Time to Die
It?s not surprise at this point to simply say this, it?s Electric Wizard being Electric Wizard. Down-tuning their instruments to deliver earth shattering riffs and distorted bass like usual. I?m perfectly fine with this.
Favorite Track: Funeral of the Mind
|72||The Contortionist |
The Contortionist up the prog in their newest release and show some obvious Cynic influences. While it bothered some, I genuinely liked the approach they went for and it feels like they?re finally making the music they want to.
Favorite Track-Ebb & Flow
The Fall of Therenia
Melodic Death Metal
It?s hard for me to like most melodeath these days because it?s a very stagnant genre at this point but Aspherium helped change that. Stellar production lays down the foundation for well-composed guitar riffs/solos and outstanding drumming.
Favorite Track: City of Stone
Opeth once again decide to drop the heaviness they were once known for and release an all out prog rock effort reminiscent of most 70?s prog.
Favorite Track: Moon Above, Sun Below
Hard Rock/Alternative Rock
Featuring only two members (bass and drummer) you?d think this was a four-piece group. Distorted bass and solid drumming tact on to some well-done mainstream rock
Favorite Track: Little Monster
Foundations of Burden
Everything about this release outshines the debut from the vocal delivery, groovy guitar aesthetics, thick bass, and bombastic drumming.
Favorite Track: Watcher in the Dark
The Next Four Years
It?s been six years since their debut but I couldn?t have been more excited at hearing the release for this. Nothing has really changed, as this is still Emo-violence from United Nations with slightly more added attention to elements to grind and more Orchid worship.
Favorite Track: Serious Business
Technical Death Metal
Band never struck me all too much with their over the top songwriting until this record. While it?s still a lot to comprehend considering the all around bombastic musicianship but this seems like a lot more focused and accomplished record than the band has put out before.
Favorite Track: Unattainable Zero
|65||Every Time I Die|
From Parts Unknown
I would go into detail on this one but I actually wrote a review for this one so check it out if you have the time. It?s basically same old ETID but with much better production and added badassery.
Favorite Track: Pelican of the Desert
Female fronted White Lung release Deep Fantasy an extremely catchy punk record with plenty of great choruses and brilliant guitar work.
Favorite Track: In Your Home
Eyehategod?s newest album is a great return for a band that has been out of the music scene for 10 plus years. It?s almost like they never left with them still staying true to their sludgy self but this time with much clearer production.
Favorite Track: Quitters Offensive
Symmetry in Black
It?s just Crowbar being themselves with heavy riffage creating a sludgy chaotic mess.
Favorite Track: Shaman of Belief
Decline & Fall
Since they also released an a studio album, I?ll go into detail about that
Favorite Track: Ringer
|60||Killer Be Killed|
Killer Be Killed
A good super group that actually uses each member to balance out the music instead of only one member getting the spotlight.
Favorite Track: Melting of my Marrow
Well thought out instrumental post-rock from an up and coming band that could easily rival bands like Jakob and Explosions in the Sky!
Favorite Track: Red Giant
Instrumental sludge metal band that pays heavy homage to bands like Pelican and Isis while using those type of influences to their own strengths.
Favorite Track: Sleepwalker
Putrid, vile, and disgusting summarize just how downright heavy and terrifying this record comes across.
Favorite Track: Negative Birth
Lantlos create a beautiful black metal shoegaze release that has great guitar melodies and quite harmonizing pieces of work.
Favorite Track: Cherry Quartz
Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
Not even a year later and Autopsy push out another brutal death metal release to please the fans and is a more solid release than the past record.
Favorite Track: Title Track
Shadows of the Dying Sun
Melodic Death Metal
This is my first Insomnium record and I was quite pleased with it.
Favorite Track: The River
|53||She Whispered Treason|
An underrated metalcore record that is abrasive as it is unique. This ep shows a bright future for this band if continuing along a similar path
Favorite Track: Water Under
Often stated to sound like Deafheaven if they were to play hardcore and throw in d-beats. I can?t say that description is wrong.
Favorite Track: Void
Nothing for Us Here
Featuring three members of the deformed band Gaza, Cult Leader had a lot of expectation to live up to with this ep. They released a solid release that feels like Gaza never left us and just became Cult Leader. I do however really miss Jon as a vocalist.
Favorite Track: Mongrel
Sacred White Noise
A very strange band releases quite a spectacle with Sacred White Noise. Great production, dueling guitars, and abrasive vocals lead this above most black metal this year.
Favorite Track: Where I End and the Hemlock Begins
Lies We Live
This is easily one of the most abrasive, angry, and unrelenting releases I?ve heard all year. Not a single moment has any resting period, as this is a straight kick to the ass.
Favorite Track: Draperies
Pulse pounding guitar riffs take center stage as does a great vocal performance from Thomas Fischer.
Favorite Track: In the Sleep of Death
A very heavy crust band with lots of sludge influence which is apparent giving the length of their songs.
Favorite Track: Reeling
Prayer for Terrene
If you ever needed to fill the Converge void without them being Converge, IDYLLS is a perfect fit. Just the opener alone with it?s endless chaos and downright disturbing vocal performance that gives a sense of dread should be enough for hardcore fans to love.
Favorite Track: Lied To
|45||Animals as Leaders|
The Joy of Motion
Animals as Leaders third release is a nice return from their rather lackluster 2nd album. Much more focused on better songwriting and some quite addictive guitar melodies help to make this worth your while.
Favorite Track: Physical Education
|44||Freddie Gibbs and Madlib|
A nice collaboration leads to an eventful hip-hop release with plenty of great features. It also helps that the beats are incredibly well produced and addicting.
Favorite Track: Shitsville
Absolutely filthy sludge metal that sounds as if it was being played from hell.
Favorite Track: Black Tears
Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
Our very own sputnik user Wacknizzle plays a part in this great metalcore release that has a nice amount of sludge packed on to it for it?s own little feel.
Favorite Track: Run and Hide
Are You Kidding Me? No.
Imagine if Protest the Hero had a child from Italy because this is pretty much exactly what these guys are but with even more electrifying guitar work and outstanding drumming.
Favorite Track: Where the Things Have No Colour
Home, like noplace is there
The Hoteliers new release is extremely emotional and depressing but connects to many listeners with it?s very close to home lyrics.
Favorite Track: Your Deep Rest
Holy fuck! Everything about this record is a brutal assault to the cranium as there?s no breathing room. Riff after riff after riff
Favorite Track: Island Sun
Progressive Death Metal
Outstanding death metal with a memorable atmosphere that helps to push boundaries and show that not all newer death metal sucks.
Favorite Track: Frozen Planet
After HARK, I was quite hopeful for this release. It?s an excellent follow-up with homage to classic hip-hop, great beats, and memorable lines. Only problem is it wasn?t as quite as good as HARK.
Favorite Track: Holla x2
A well pieced together black metal release from a newer band in the scene. You?d think they were here for years with how well done this is.
Favorite Track: We Sleep
Behemoth is no stranger to Death metal but it?s been awhile since they crafted something special. The Satanist is quite impressive featuring fantastic riffs and an equally impressive vocal performance from Nergal.
Favorite Track: The Satanist
|34||The Smith Street Band|
Throw Me in the River
Quite a harmonizing and rewarding folk punk album that has lyrics that can resonate with plenty. This also reminds me plenty of Frank Turner.
Favorite Track: Calgary Girls
From All Purity
This album is filled with ear-piercing screeches, riffs that create earthquakes, and seismic wave drumming. Absolutely petrifying! Favorite Track: Rhetoric of No
|32|| ||The Syters|
We've not recognized Danny in his grey magic coat
Another underrated Metalcore release from this Russian band that reminds me a lot of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge.
Favorite Track: Stagnation
Pale Blue Light
The first release of 2014 I heard and it still stuck with me. Angry, distorted, and abrasive in every way but easily relatable in the songs they write.
Favorite Track: Rent
Into the Mouth of Hell
Another underrated metalcore release with a lot of similarities to the one and only Integrity.
Favorite Track: Progress to Extinction
|29||Dir En Grey |
Dir En Grey release yet another fantastic album with one of there most focused releases when it comes to guitar work. Kyo is astonishing again and the drumming spectacular.
Favorite Track: Rinkaku
Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth
After coming back from a hiatus, Rishloo release their best album to date. No longer are they living in Tool?s shadow and now completely sound like themselves and create an impeccable release.
Favorite Track: Dark Charade
|27||Run the Jewels|
Run the Jewels 2
El-p and Killer Mike second collaboration is a better follow-up to their debut with even better features, much more addictive beats, and perverse lyricism.
Favorite Track: All Due Respect
Coffins on Io
I?m not one for too much experimental music but this really blew me away. The beautiful atmospheres, eccentric vocal performance from Toby, and it?s overall gothic sound pulled me in from the start.
Favorite Track: Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22
A World Lit Only by Fire
13 years gone and Godflesh return with their best album in years. Straight up heavy groove driven album with fantastic production.
Favorite Track: Shut Me Down
A Skeletal Domain
I was never really a big fan of Cannibal Corpse until this release. The production is fantastic and is littered with bone crushing riffs and demonic vocals from Corpse grinder. This album has changed my perception on this band.
Favorite Track: Icepick Lobotomy
Digital Dream Sequence
Instrumental jazz super group?s second album that is pretty much the same as the first but much more aggressive.
Favorite Track: Stab Wounds
Love of Cartography
Love of Cartography is a unique post-rock effort filled with electronic samples and memorable atmosphere.
Favorite Track: Emergent
Boris?s nineteenth studio album is an excellent release for Drone Metal and their most comprised work in awhile. There are plenty of different influences thrown in and with a lot of chunky riffs.
Favorite Track: Quicksilver
The Powers That B - Part I: Niggas on the Moon
Death Grips newest release is easily one of their most focused and glitchiest albums to date. It?s riddled with MC Ride?s insane vocal delivery, Zach Hill?s pulse-pounding drumming, and creatively used Bjork samples. Love it!
Favorite Track: Fuck Me Out
Frank Turner returns to his hardcore roots after abstaining for a while with folk. This is easily the catchier hardcore affair but I think it was really well done. Certainly not for all hardcore fans as it could sound pretentious to some.
Favorite Track: Blistering Blue Barnacles
|18||Casualties of Cool|
Casualties of Cool
Devin Townsends newest project maybe one of the most beautifully dark releases I?ve heard all year. Add on Che Almee?s outstanding vocals and you have yourself a winner.
Favorite Track: Mountaintop
A Canadion trio that plays a nice mix of instrumental jazz fused hip-hop and create a catchy and well thought out affair.
Favorite Track: Can?t Leave the Night
Promulgation of the Fall
Dead Congregations newest release is a great homage to osdm with razor sharp riffs and its own dosage of added on doom.
Favorite Track: Immaculate Poison
Marching Through the Borderlines
A seriously must-hear post metal behemoth. This album is incredible and the music itself is tremendous. Vocals are monstrous and the instrumentals immediately pulled me in. A lot of influence from Cult of luna and Isis. Do not sleep on this.
Favorite Track: Borderlines
Hard Rock/Alt metal
After two disappointing albums in the past few years Chevelle release their best album in over a decade. Chevelle feels completely rejuvenated and are finally bringing their classic heavy sound back.
Favorite Track: Hunter Eats Hunter
Straight up terrifying sludgy doom metal from Thou who are not new to this at all. Heathen brings in outstanding atmosphere that leads into buildups that into furious rage. Closing track is also one of the best songs I?ve heard all year.
Favorite Track: Ode to Physical Pain
One of the more eccentric death metal releases this year but certainly my favorite. Mysteriously eerie and a spacey feel coupled with the very rapid instrumentals make this a completely amazing album.
Favorite Track: Tribulation Shackles
I would describe this considering it?s also another one of my favorite death metal releases but Hyperions release describes this perfectly. Definitely read that
Favorite Track: Ripening Life
The Mire?s new albums is a much more accessible post-metal album despite its dark undertones. The album benefits from crystal clear production, an amazing vocal performance, and memorable choruses.
Favorite Track: Dark Sun
|9||The Great Old Ones|
The Great Old Ones sophomore album is a great take on blackened post-metal filled with fantastic riffs, drumming, and vocals. Unlike most blackened post-metal efforts, this doesn?t lose it?s sense of ability when adding in atmosphere like others do.
Favorite Track: The Elder Things
|8||Full of Hell and Merzbow|
Full of Hell and Merzbow
Easily this years best hardcore/powerviolence release this year. This is disturbingly catastrophic, gruesome, violent, and unnerving. This album pummels you left and right only to slow down and add in the noisy contribution that Merzbow has to offer and it works brilliantly. A must-have for this year!
Favorite Track: Thrum in the Deep
|7||Trophy Scars |
I used to really despise this band, well at least their past few releases due to the vocals. However, this album blew me away with repeated listens. The vocals are actually quite great, the compelling concept of the album is well thought out, and the bluesy guitar riffs and instrumentals are extremely beautiful. Add in some great guest vocals and this thing is a massive success.
Favorite Track: Burning Mirror
Our Science is Golden
Exit International is a trio consisting of two bassists and one drummer and right there I was already intrigued. The duel bass with their down tuned assault make for a great noise rock effort. Constantly memorable grooves, impressive drum fills, and pulse pounding screams fill this album in perfectly.
Favorite Track: Our Science is Golden
|5||Self Defense Family|
Probably this year?s most underrated post-hardcore release. I?m not sure if this is a concept album or not but it wouldn?t surprise me considering the two interview tracks with a pornstar named Angelique Bernstein. I believe this album focuses on the horrors and overall problems with the porn industry. Regardless, this album features some of the most beautifully composed music I?ve heard all year with impressive lyricism and vocal delivery to boot.
Favorite Track: Turn the Fan On
Watchers of Rule
After two disappointing releases Unearth return with their best album to date. Some of the best riffs this band has written are thrown throughout here, amazing solos, and a new drummer that really works to this bands overall sound. This band hasn?t lost a single step and this really shows how older metalcore bands know how the genre should be played.
Favorite Track: Lifetime in Ruins
|3||Downfall of Gaia|
Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay
After their impressive 2012 release, I was expecting a lot out of this and boy did it deliver. This is astounding and has fantastic production for this genre. Riffs are thrown at a frenzying pace with blast beats a-plenty only for a slower piece to take center stage for an atmospheric slowdown only to bring it all to a buildup of chaotic proportions. This could soon grow into a 5 for me.
Favorite track: Whispers of Aeon
The Flesh Prevails
Technical Death Metal
I?ll admit I probably overrated this but this album blew me away at first listen. I absolutely love the atmospheric delivery only to be thrown into the more bludgeoning tracks with fast dizzying riffs and drumming. Certainly the production was way overdone but I?m still really impressed with this album.
Favorite Track: Sapphire
To Be Kind
I can?t begin to express how much this album has changed my overall impression of Swans. I went from finding this band to be one of the most overrated bands to believing they deserve every piece of recognition they get. To Be Kind is brilliant minimalism at its absolute finest. The buildups here are unmatched and Gira's vocal delivery is one of the most memorable I've heard in recent years. Production is outstanding, the noise elements are pretty much perfect, and each song is composed flawlessly. The concept is rich and Gira?s lyrics combined with his delivery makes this all the more memorable then it already was. Lastly, the transitions in these very long tracks are done without error and still leave me speechless with each listen. This isn't only my favorite album this year; this might be the best album I?ve heard in over a decade. I went from disliking this band a lot to them now becoming one of my favorites. This is what music is about to me.
Favorite track: She Loves Us! (Extremely hard to pick)