Best of 2014
The top 10 metal albums that blew me away
- Execration — Morbid Dimensions
Execration, along with Obliteration and maybe Diskord, are leading a new wave of death metal out of Norway. The album is a brilliant follow up to ‘Odes of the Occult’, bringing in old school death metal influences while keeping things experimental too.
- Horrendous — Ecdysis
Ever since the single ‘The Stranger’ dropped mid-year, this has been one of my most anticipated releases. The songs are catchy as hell even though the band has slightly mellowed out since their previous album. It isn't the crushing Swedeath you’d expect as on The Chills, but it is varied and for lack of a better word ‘mature’ (inb4cringe).
- Swallowed — Lunarterial
Hailing from Finland, Swallowed plays doom/death metal. This album would definitely get appreciative nods from the guys in dISEMBOWELMENT. This is a torturous, mournful and angry record.
- ZOM — Flesh Assimilation
You’ll be surprised how many top notch releases Dark Descent Records have made this year. This is yet another stellar album. ZOM play a thrash-y blend of black/death. Extremely hard-hitting and satisfying.
- Slugdge — Gastronomicon
This album popped out of the blue. What piqued my curiosity about them was that they sang about intergalactic slugs and Mollusca who is supposedly the ‘Great Father of the Cosmos.’ I don’t know about you, but that reeks of awesome! Slugdge play progressive death metal with a modern aesthetic.
- Fórn — The Departure of Consciousness
This is the second doom metal album to make my list. These fine Boston lads have released a killer debut. It is essentially doom/death while also being borderline funeral doom. Oh and I can hear some Winter in their songs. That’s saying something.
- Mausoleum Gate — Mausoleum Gate
This release caught my ears only earlier this month but its impact has been nothing short of stupendous. Mausoleum Gate (if this isn't a killer band name then I don’t know what is) are a Finnish heavy metal band. The debut while being a staple NWOBHM album, some of the tunes also borrow from a sound which harks back to the 70s prog/hard rock era.
- Sühnopfer — Offertoire
This is the only straight up black metal album to feature on my list. Mayhaps, I did not check out too many such releases but that shouldn't take away anything from this album. Sühnopfer is a one man band from France. To keep things short, this is a blast-y, tremolo pick-y, melodic black metal album with some neat tempo changes.
- Diocletian — Gesundrian
While I've been familiar with their brothers in arms, Witchrist, this was honestly my first introduction to Diocletian. It was pretty much what I was expecting — some crushing black/death metal, sometimes termed ‘war metal’. I was surprised with the production though, fairly accessible as opposed to having a layer of rawness to it.
- Riot V — Unleash the Fire
Riot have released an exemplary tribute to their fallen band members. This is an all round good power metal album. The songs are catchy, emotive and consistent in quality.
Thus, that brings me to the end of the list. There are a couple of albums that need further listening such as new releases by Primordial, Morbus Chron, Gridlink, Rocka Rollas, Cormorant, Howls of Ebb and Stargazer to name a few. Dead Congregation (one of my favorite bands) didn't make the cut because while the Promulgation of the Fall is a “good” death metal album, it was a let down compared to Graves of the Archangels. I’d probably rank it at #11 though.
Onward to G̶o̶l̶g̶a̶t̶h̶a 2015!