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07.01.14 Jac's 1st Half 2014 06.16.14 Riff Hardness Scale
05.07.14 Everything Is Jams05.01.14 Baby Birds Rule
04.16.14 Jac's Favourite Countries04.03.14 Jac's 1st Quarter 2014
02.10.14 Jac's 10k Comment Milestone 01.16.14 My Parrots Had A Chick
12.24.13 Christmas Eve11.27.13 Jac's Top 25 Of 2013
10.14.13 Sun Burnt Digs09.26.13 Death Metal Of The 2010s
09.14.13 I Hate Kangaroos08.14.13 Guide To Metal Elitism
08.13.13 Thrashmania Lives!07.22.13 Recent Hard Digs
06.26.13 What Makes An Album Heavy05.14.13 5000 Comments
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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:
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
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
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
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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