Monday, November 17, 2014

Year End List: Part II

If you chose to release a new metal album in 2014, I admire your cojones.  I don't aim to turn music into a sport here, but the more your audience is occupied with other exceptional releases, the less likely they are to notice yours.  It was really hard to limit myself to just ten featured albums, and since this is my blog, I don't have to.  I certainly don't feel like only ten albums deserve mentioning in today's world where everyone's opinion matters.  So I've changed things up a bit this year.  What I want to do is list my top 30!  Today I'm going to list 16-30, and in a few weeks I will present the creme de la creme, 1-15 + more!

16) Ered Wethrin - Tides of War
At first I just wanted this to be more like Caladan Brood or Gallowbraid, but while some similarities pervade, this album has a decent set of feet to stand on.  A mighty debut!
17) Abigor - Leymotif Luzifer
Yet another cacophonous futuristic maelstrom from one of my favorite bands.  This is definitely a challenging listen but a rewarding one at that.
18) Swallowed - Lunarterial
I've been waiting for a debut from these guys for 5 years at least, and in that time they have gnarled into a differen beast entirely.  I was a little let down but this is still very original.
19) Drudkh - Eastern Frontier in Flames
So odd how this plays like an album, yet its mostly covers.  Phenomenal release nonetheless.  
20) Horned Almighty - World of Tombs
I will never get tired of this band, another rock solid fist banger of an album.  These guys just keep getting better.
21) Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith
Oh man, this totally hits the spot.  I liken this to a cross between Wolves in the Throne Room and Darkspace.  Definitely worth your attention!
22) Woman is the Earth - Depths
Its great to hear a new band hearken back to Weakling's "Dead as Dreams" without sounding contrived.  These guys are headed in the right direction.
23) Cauldron Black Ram - Stalagmire
I've always loved these guys but this album really clicked with me.  Everything fell into place here and this record is awesome.
24) Goatmoon - Voitto Tai Valhalla
Killer band with tons of great riffs, always a fun listen despite their questionable repute.
25) Paramnesia - s/t
I was really excited to have discovered these guys.  They take the Ash Borer formula and run with it to great effect!
26) Ahamkara - the Embers of the Stars
Holy hell, who pissed these dudes off?  This is an absolutely killer debut from the UK.
27) Alcest - Shelter
Yeah, I'm just not ready to give up on these guys yet.  This album has absolutely nothing to do with their former genre, but the signature blissful and longing melancholic melodicism is still strong with them.  I still haven't grown tired of it.
28) Falconer - Black Moon Rising
One of my most listened to albums of the year.  Its a monster power metal album with all sorts of catchy and memorable moments.  This album will never get old.
29) Fluisteraars - Dromers
Pretty interesting and solid effort.  I really like the monotonous and grinding repetition they     use.
30) Latitude Egress - To Take up the Cross
I was looking forward to this a great deal, and I'm still getting comfortable with it.  It doesn't help that the very similar Cross Vault album was in heavy rotation all year long.

When I present part 1 of this 2 part article, I will also include a list of honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut of top 30, but are still albums worth giving a listen if your are in search of more metal.  Thank you to all the talented, artistic and humble people that make this world of music more interesting, vital and expressive.  This is our language and this is how we speak.  2014 has been a huge year for metal.  Lets take it easy in 2015 so I can have some time to listen to all this great stuff even more haha!

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