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Last Active 01-19-15 5:39 am
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01.26.15 Straya Day12.24.14 Jac's Top 30 Of 2014
12.15.14 Death Metal In 201411.19.14 Sweet 2014 Eps
10.25.14 Today Was A Good Day10.11.14 Sputnik Power Levels
10.03.14 Users Who Should Be Contribs 08.09.14 Jac's Fav Metal Of Death
07.15.14 Fav Album First Impressions07.01.14 Jac's 1st Half 2014
06.16.14 Riff Hardness Scale 05.07.14 Everything Is Jams
05.01.14 Baby Birds Rule04.16.14 Jac's Favourite Countries
04.03.14 Jac's 1st Quarter 2014 03.11.14 Metal Hiatus
02.23.14 Criteria For Rating Albums 02.10.14 Jac's 10k Comment Milestone
More »

Jac's 1st Half 2014

So it's that time of year when every user and his dog decides to rank his rfavourite albums from rthe first half of the year and I want in, so here's rtwenty-five albums from the first half of 2014 rthat you should all listen to rbecause they're good and I like 'em very much.
25Impetuous Ritual
Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence

Besides Grave Upheaval (who share members with these guys), it would be difficult to think of a death metal band that sounds more cavernous than Impetuous Ritual. To many this album is gonna come across as a 50 minute blur of noise but if you're into this kinda stuff then there's little else out there that will give you a primal assault on your senses quite like this.
24The Doppelgangaz
Peace Kehd

Once again I've neglected Hip Hop this year but of the very few albums I've heard this is the one that stood out pretty easily.
23Oneohtrix Point Never
Commissions I

An interesting electronic EP that features some fairly accessible arrangements to start off with but eventually becomes a little more wayward as it continues, interesting stuff and I verily recommend you all listen to it.
Prayer for Terrene

Remember listening to a track from this in plug and thinking "holy hell I need this" and I'm glad I expended the energy to actually go and soulseek it because it really does rule and it what more -core bands in Australia should aspire to sound like.
21Innercity Ensemble

Avant-folk with a bit of jazz and free improv woven into the mix. Most of the time it's pretty grounded and rather easy to get into however.
20 Sk'p

Really really cool, well produced idm that continues to get no recognition despite my valiant efforts to rep it at any given opportunity.
The Satanist

18Keaton Henson
Romantic Works

This album's place on this list is probably more reflective of my weakness for simple string arrangements and piano work than any overt musical/song writing quality. But regardless if you enjoy stuff like Ludovico Einaudi and Olafur Arnalds then you'll likely enjoy this.
17Volcanic Queen
Faith in Desire

Absolutely adore this guy's gritty textures, ominous soundscapes, sparse little feedback tones and groovy beats it just transcends through sound forever more. Can easily see this in a lot of people's end of year lists.

Wrote a review on this little 3 song EP and you can catch it here: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/62939/Rippikoulu-Ulvaja/
Caverns Of Katabasis

Really cool death doom in the vein of (but obviously not as skull crushingly heavy as) diSEMBOWELMENT with a bit of Ataraxie here and there as well.

Feel this album is a little underrated despite getting two 4 reviews. Pretty sure I've said before that I like the darker, most atmosphere oriented tracks and that's still the case, though the gap between the beat-driven ones has narrowed pretty significantly.
13Kangding Ray
Solens Arc

Just some chilled out, down-tempo/idm/dark ambient/whatever that doesn't do anything particularly awe-inspiring but is a surprisingly peaceful listen with enough intricacies to keep you interested should you listen to it as more than background music.
Melana Chasmata

I haven't given this the listens it deserves considering how much I enjoy it whenever I do. Could obviously have something to with its length, regardless, Black Snow is one of my favourite songs of the year and this album is crushing and heavy and why the hell I keep neglecting it beats me.

The gods of death metal are pretty kind to New Zealand having given Ulcerate, Witchrist and these guys to them. Production's a little crisper than WoAAA but still has all that raw energy we came to expect

Not particularly complicated but not exactly straightforward, this album was a pleasant surprise in a year where a lot of lauded releases have been quite disappointing.
Shadows of the Dying Sun

This is basically just Insomnium refining the formula they've use for their last two albums but hey, it works. Definitely will not change the minds of detractors but for fans of the band it's basically everything they could've asked for.

A very recent listen that still has the opportunity to climb the ladder by the end of the year. A genre-bending album that is remarkably difficult to describe, and one of the most interesting I've heard from 2014 for that reason.
7Howls of Ebb
Vigils of The 3rd Eye

Deranged, Lovecraft/Poe inspired death metal that takes cues from Demilich, Mitochondrion and Flourishing but doesn't sound quite like any of them. If you're into spooky, occult, slightly cartoonish horror then this is the album for you.
6Gordon Ashworth

Ambient/musique concete that was featured on my digs list from the last two months even if it did slip under the radar after being released a fair bit earlier. This is an album with a lot of stuff going on at once but it's not demanding to listen to in any way, shape or form.
Abysmal Thresholds

Nothing revolutionary just crushing death metal from Finland with one of the most sinister atmospheres you'll hear from any metal album in 2014.
4Ben Frost

Noisy, dark, atmospheric and tonnes of thematic variety. Very instantly gratifying for something that places such an emphasis on the gradual development and overlapping of ideas. Quite unlike anything I've heard from this year.
3Morbus Chron

Supremely dynamic mix of death metal, progressive and psychedelic rock with maniacal vocals. The riffs, song writing and atmosphere were easily enough to warrant a place on this list but the vocal performance gives it that touch of insanity to make it one of my favourites of the year.

Instantly fell in love with this album when I heard it and it's done nothing but grow since then. Interesting mix of instrumental hip-hop and jazz fusion and just a really fun, infectious, and easy listen from front to back.
1Artificial Brain
Labyrinth Constellation

This topped my 1st quarter list as well and it doesn't look like it's gonna be displaced anytime soon. I've done nothing but sing this album's praises from the demented riffage and off kilter drumming to the absolutely superb production courtesy of Colin Marston (who every death metal band should commission to produce their stuff cause he's that good). Looking more and more likely to be AOTY by years' end.
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