It’s taken me a while (mostly since I’ve been away) but after much procrastination I’ve finally come up with my Top 10 Albums for 2014. This year, I found I had trouble making a top 10, not because I hadn’t listened to much, but because I felt while there were many good albums, there weren’t that many that moved into the great “automatic top 10” selection category.
Still, in the time honored tradition of websites around the world, a top 10 must be created, so here we go. As usual, this is in no particular order…
The Austerity Program – Beyond Calculation
This is the first of the two math-rock type albums in my list, and this New York based two-piece have released a great beat heavy slab of rock, with some quite humorous lyrics if you’re into that kind of thing. It sounds somewhere between Big Black and Shellac.
Shellac – Dude Incredible
Speaking of Shellac, they finally released their latest album Dude Incredible. These guys take about as long as Tool to release put out records, though they have day jobs and therefore a better excuse. Like Tool, they also release what I consider to be consistently good albums and this one is no exception. It sounds exactly like you’d expect a Shellac album to, and despite petering out a little towards the end, is an easy inclusion for me in my top 10.
ACxDC – Antichrist Demoncore
There wasn’t much power-violence of grindcore in the readers top 10 sadly, but I’m here to address that balance by naming this great album in the top 10. High energy from beginning to end, with protest laden lyrics (if you can make them out). Just as a good grind album should be.
Lord Mantis – Death Mask
I know almost nothing about these guys. What I do know is that they put out a heavy as fuck metal album, which is definitely one of the best metal releases of 2014.
Yob – Clearing The Path To Ascend
Much hyped (here on Fourtheye anyway) doom metal act Yob released their latest Clearing The Path To Ascend this year, and for the most part they didn’t disappoint. The only criticisms I have of this album are inherent to the genre, but didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this bands progression.
Philm – Fire From The Evening Sun
The debut album by this band (who feature Dave Lombardo on drums) made my list a couple of years ago, and their followup album in my opinion is just as good. For the most part, it’s more of the same – heavy rock though this time around with a few less of the atmospheric interludes of the first album. I can’t quite nail what I really like about this band, but I keep coming back to them regardless.
Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun
Mastodon aren’t the same prog-metal band they were back in the day, and while many (myself included) lament this, I did think their latest was a fine album. It continues down the path laid by The Hunter, except the riffs a catchier, and the vocals easier to sing along with. Will their next album take them into Foo Fighters territory? Who knows, but I dug this one.
Opeth – Pale Communion
I’ve never been a fan of Opeth, I always found their style of prog-metal a little too cheesy for my liking. Funny then that they should release an album which many of their old fans dislike, but I think is actually pretty good. Sure, it’s largely unoriginal 70s sounding prog, but they seem to have done away with some of the wankery that put me off their early works.
Skinfather – None Will Mourn
Grimy fuzzy metal with a slightly old school death metal sound. Some fantastic riffs over the course of a unrelenting 30 minutes.
Update: It seems I forgot completely about the Lazer/Wulf album should actually be in my top 10. Sorry Killer Be Killed!
Lazer/Wulf – The Beast of Left and Right
Instrumental rock doesn’t usually do a whole lot for me, but these guys have released a ripper of an album this year. A concept album of sorts, it’s marketed as being somewhat palindromic. That’s not really the case, but the album is made up of a bunch of riffs played forwards, backwards and a range of other ways that clash together to make a great listen.
There were a bunch of other albums I considered for the top 10, but of course I couldn’t include them all. Ask me again in 10 months time, and there’s a decent chance I’d swap in one of the following into my list:
- Royal Blood – Royal Blood
- Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed
- Code Orange – I Am King
- The Contortionist – Language
- John Zorn – The Last Judgement