Nov 282014

 

Happy Black Friday. We’re not selling anything and we have no discounts to offer. Instead, we want you to give us something.

We’ve reached a pivot-point in the year, with Thanksgiving now behind us here in the U.S. Now begins the countdown to the end of the year and the official commencement of the annual holiday season onslaught. In the world of metal, we’ll also start seeing more and more lists of the year’s best albums.

Back in 2009, when this site was just a few days old, I wrote a post about year-end lists and why people bother with them. The best reason still seems to be this: Reading someone else’s list of the albums they thought were best is a good way to discover music you missed and might like.

We don’t do an “official” NCS year-end “best albums” list. However, we publish the picks of each of our regular staff writers as well as a large group of guest writers (which we’ll start doing in December), and every year we also invite our readers to share their lists. If YOU have made your own list of the albums, EPs, or splits released in 2014 that you think are the best of what you’ve heard this year, we invite you to share it with us in the Comments section to this post. 

We don’t have any hard and fast rules about year-end lists. Your list doesn’t have to be a specific number — doesn’t have to be a “Top 10″ or “Top 20″ list, it could be a Top 2 list or a Top 15, or any other number.

And it doesn’t have to be a cross-genre list, i.e., the best of all metal you’ve heard this year.  It could be the best hardcore albums you heard, or the best death metal, or the best black metal, or the best grind, or the best folk metal, and on and on — pretty much whatever you want to do and feel comfortable doing, as long as it fits your definition of metal.

Don’t be shy, and don’t worry about being judged — if you haven’t figured it out already, it ain’t our style or the style of our commenters to ridicule what someone else thinks is great metal.

And if you don’t have a list ready yet, no sweat, because you can come back to this post whenever you like and add your list later — or comment on the lists others have posted. I’ll put a link to this post at the top right side of every page so people can find it quickly — look for the link to 2014 NCS READERS’ YEAR-END LISTS. That will make the comments to this post a collection point for “Best of” readers’ lists.

So start thinking and start commenting (please, and thank you).

73 Responses to “LISTMANIA 2014: READER LISTS OF THE YEAR’S BEST METAL”

  1. mjanes says:

    this was tough but so far its…

    1. behemoth: the satanist
    2. dead congregation: promulgation of the fall
    3. nightbringer: ego dominus tuus
    4. sinmara: aphotic womb
    5. primordial: where greater men have fallen
    6. tortorum: katabasis
    7. lvcifyre:svn eater
    8.vanhelgd: relecis of sulphur salvation
    9. Domains; sinister ceremonies
    10.akrotheism: behold the sons of plagues
    11.erebus enthroned: temple under hell
    * awaiting the new ascension in order to put it on the list.
    also enjoyed death vomit, soulburn, enthroned, the new sargeist and perdition winds, the new drowned, the new incantation, antropormorphia

    • Surgicalbrute says:

      Good list here overall…Enthroned dosnt do much for me, find them kind of boring and the Sargeist was a bit of a let down compared to their previous stuff, but Vanhelgd, Dead Congregation and Sinmara were all topnotch

      • mjanes says:

        i didnt like the new sargeist at all when i first heard it..the production they used sucked and diffently
        muffled all the new great riffs they put in the songs, but after a while it grew on me.

  2. these are no specific order and i’m sure there’s albums that i forgot, but here goes:

    Massacre – Back From Beyond

    Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto

    Mushroomhead – The Righteous & The Butterfly

    Vader – Tibi Et Igni

    Arch Enemy – War Eternal

    Wretched – Cannibal

    Origin – Omnipresent

    Entombed A.D. – Back To The Front

    Pathology – Throne Of Reign

    The Haunted – Exit Wounds

    Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain

    Decapitated – Blood Mantra

    The Acacia Strain – Coma Witch

    Revocation – Deathless

    Rings of Saturn – Lugal Ki En

    Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence

    Obituary – Inked In Blood

    Unearth – Watchers Of Rule

    Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater

    Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral

  3. Nique says:

    Too many great releases this year. In no particular order and no particular genre, these are the releases Im digging so far.

    Jute Gyte – Ressentiment
    Execration – Morbid Dimensions
    Dead Congregation – Promulgation Of The Fall
    Emptiness – Nothing But The Whole
    Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith
    Nero Di Marte – Derivae
    YOB – Clearong The Path To Ascend
    Vermin Womb – Permanence
    Today Is The Day – Animal Mother
    Thou – Heathen
    The Great Old Ones – Tekeli-li
    Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    Swarrrm – Flower
    Skaphe – S/T
    Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues
    Psalm Zero – The Drain
    Panopticon – Roads Of The North
    Orgone – The Joyless Parson
    Nux Vomica – S/T
    Nightfell – The Living Ever Mourn
    Nightbringer – Ego Dominus Tuus
    Merkabah – Moloch
    Kriegsmaschine – Enemy Of Man
    Kayo Dot – Coffins On Io
    Inter Arma – The Cavern
    Griefloss – Ruiner
    Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire
    Epitimia – (Un) Reality
    Epistasis – Light Through Dead Glass
    Dephosphorus – Ravenous Solemnity
    Darkspace – Dark Space III I
    Ævangelist – Writhes In The Murk
    Anatomy Of Habit – Ciphers + Axioms
    Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
    Bast – Spectres
    Bird Eater – Dead Mothers Make The Sun Set
    Black Monolith – Passenger
    Blood Farmers – Headless Eyes
    Couch Slut – My Life As A Woman
    Swans – To Be Kind
    Spectral Lore – III
    Secret Cutter – S/T
    Phobocosm – Deprived
    Nasheim – Solens Vemod
    Internal Rot – Mental Hygiene
    Sick/Tired – Dissolution
    IDYLLS – Prayer For Terrene
    Hateful Abandon – Liars/Bastards
    Piss Vortex – S/T
    Gas Chamber – Hemorrhaging Light

  4. eiterorm says:

    For me, there are three albums of 2014 (so far) that particularly stand out from the rest. There are, of course, a lot of other great albums of 2014, but these three are way above all the others.

    1. Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet
    2. Orange Goblin – Back from the Abyss
    3. Sólstafir – Ótta

  5. 365chaosriddendays says:

    1349: “Massive Cauldron of Chaos”
    TRIPTYKON: “Melana Chasmata”
    BEHEMOTH – “The Satanist”
    BLACK CROWN INITIATE : “The Wreckage of Stars”
    FALLUJAH: “The Flesh Prevails”
    ENTHRONED: “Sovereigns”
    EMPINESS: “Nothing but the Whole”
    LVCIFYRE: “Svn Eater”
    BLUT AUS NORD: “Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry”
    DARK FORTRESS: “Venereal Dawn”
    SCHAMMASCH: “Contradiction”
    DARKSPACE: “Dark Space III I”
    AGALLOCH: “The Serpent and the Sphere”
    FALLS OF RAUROS: “Believe in No Coming Shore”
    PANOPTICON: “Roads to the North”
    MARE COGNITUM: “Phobos Monolith”
    NIGHTBRINGER: “Ego Dominus Tuus”
    AEVANGELIST: “Writes In The Murk”
    PHOBOCOSM: “Deprived”
    INCANTATION: “Dirges of Elysium”
    TEITANBLOOD: “Death”
    DIOCLETIAN: “Gesundrian”
    DEAD CONGREGATION: Promulgation of the Fall”
    THANTIFAXATH: “Sacred White Noise”
    PRIMORDIAL: “Where Greater Men Have Fallen”
    SEPTICFLESH: “Titan”
    DECAPITATED: “Blood Mantra”
    AT THE GATES: “At War with Reality”
    HOUR OF PENANCE: “Regicide”
    BLOODTRUTH: “Obedience”
    MORBUS CHRON: “Sweven”
    VAMPIRE: “Vampire”
    AUTOPSY: “Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves”
    CANNIBAL CORPSE: “A Skeletal Domain”
    ABORTED: “The Necrotic Manifesto”
    JOB FOR A COWBOY: “Sun Eater”
    BLOODBATH: “Grand Morbid Funeral”
    ANAAL NATHRAKH: “Desideratum”
    SOLSTAFIR: “Ótta”
    BLOODSHOT DAWN: “Demons”
    FRAMEWORK: “A World Distorted”
    HIDEOUS DIVINITY: “Cobra Verde”
    SHORES OF NULL: “Quiescence”
    NERO DI MARTE: “Derivae”
    REVOCATION: “Deathless”
    HORRENDOUS: “Ecdysis”
    PALLBEARER: “Foundations of Burden”
    NACHTMYSTIUM: “The World We Left Behind”
    NIDSANG: “Into The Womb Of Dissolving Flames”
    INESTUS: “The Reflecting Void”
    AUROCH: “Taman Shud”
    ALLEGAEON: “Elements of The Infinite”
    ORIGIN: “Omnipresent”
    TRAP THEM: “Blissfucker”
    VALLENFYRE: “Splinters”
    MAYHEM: “Esoteric Warfare”
    PYRRHON: “The Mother of Virtues”
    SARGEIST: “Feeding The Crawling Shadows”
    THOU: “Heaten”
    TORTORUM: “Katabasis”
    APHONIC THRENODY: “When Deat Comes”
    INSOMNIUM: “Shadows of the Dying Sun”
    BURIAL HORDES: “Incendium”
    CORPSESSED: “Abysmal Thresholds”
    LIE IN RUINS: “Towards Divine Death”
    KAMPFAR: “Djevelmakt”
    CULTED: “Oblique to All Paths”
    SOEN: “Tellurian”
    NE OBLIVISCARIS: “Citadel”
    BASTARD FEAST: “Osculum Infame”
    GOATWHORE: “Constricting Rage of The Merciless”
    BENEATH: “The Barren Throne”
    NIGHTFELL: “The Living Ever Mourn”
    MISERY INDEX: “The Killing Gods”
    MASS INFECTION: “For I am Genocide”
    ARTIFICIAL BRAIN: “Labyrinth Constellation”
    WINTERFYLLETH: “The Divinations of Antiquity”
    WOODS OF DESOLATION: “As The Stars”

    • 365chaosriddendays says:

      I forgot these releases.

      BOLZER: “Soma”
      DEATHCULT: “Pleading For Death…Choking On Life”
      SINMARA: “Aphotic Womb”
      SVARTIDAUDI: “The Synthesis of Whore and Beast”
      MAVETH/EMBRACE OF THRONS: “A Plague Through the Heavens”
      EXODUS: “Blood In Blood Out”
      OVERKILL: “White Devil Armory”

      • ManOverboard says:

        So now that you’ve wowed us all with your encyclopedic-like knowledge of all the metal albums you’ve listened to, how about giving us your “best of” list??? Or is it all the best?

    • Kazz says:

      This is quite a long list but I can’t blame you for it. I’m having trouble paring mine down to a top 40; lots of quality this year. As it stands it’ll have some overlap with your list: Nightfell, Nachtmystium, Morbus Chron, Dead Congregation, Darkspace, Triptykon and maybe a handful of others. In conclusion, this is a good list.

      • 365chaosriddendays says:

        Thank you very much, eighty-five releases in my personal list this year because I think 2014 is a golden year for metal music, maybe we can we speak until two hundred and more, there is no limit, probably to what is good, instead of 2013 in which I left astounded about a thirty releases only but you know, tastes are different. The current list that I made is based on what left me a vivid memory and an emotive impact. Sincerely my list colud be longer, now the year is ending and I have “The great excluded album” that is “The Aftermath” by Just Before Dawn just because I’m listening to it since one week and I have to be honest, I need more time, bye mate!

  6. paymentplan says:

    Here are my favorite metal releases from 2014 in no particular order. These are the ones that pop up immediately, so I know they left an impression on me.

    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Inter Arma – The Cavern
    Gridlink – Longhena
    Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
    Spectral Lore – Spectral Lore III
    Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
    Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III
    Darkspace – Darkspace III I
    Blood of Kingu – Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon
    Botanist – VI: Flora
    Belphegor – Conjuring the Dead
    Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi
    The Body – I Shall Die Here
    Kriegsmaschine – Enemy of Man
    Indian – From All Purity
    Kampfar – Djevelmakt
    Woods of Desolation – As the Stars
    Sun Worship – Elder Giants
    Ghost Bath – Funeral
    Panopticon – Roads to the North

  7. Booker says:

    I’ve been so out of the loop this year I feel I can hardly comment. A combination of a whole bunch of factors has meant very little metal-listening time or money for poor wee Booker. So here’s the list of the only albums I’ve got my hands on this year… yes, sad I know, but here goes (on the plus side, there’s been lots of ‘misses’ – albums I’ve wanted to listen to but haven’t got to yet, so I know I’m in for some goodness when I get some more time to catch up):

    Allegaeon – Elements of the Infiinite. Quite a different take from Formshifter, and some unexpected choral elements. Solid album

    Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel. I need more time to absorb this, but it feels more mature than Portal of I. Not that I felt that album was ‘immature’, but somehow with Citadel you can see their approach to songwriting has evolved.

    Xerath – III. It took me a few spins to ‘get’ this album, but it’s been on heavy repeat ever since.

    Septic Flesh – Titan. It’s got a lot of flack, but feels like a natural progressor to The Great Mass in many ways. Not quite as furious or catchy as the former album, but still a great album.

    Lorelei – Lore of Lies. Horror-themed metal done right. It’s sad their vocalist left after the album came out, and the newer track they’ve put out since didn’t tickle my fancy at all. So this may turn out to be a once-off album from my point of view. My fix of Lovecraft-inspired tunes for this year.

    Signs – United in Tragedy. Black metal with some symphonic elements. Similar vein to Scorned Deity.

    Trepalium – Voodoo Moonshine EP. The first track ‘Moonshine Limbo’ nails it, but I didn’t feel like the remainder of the EP kept up the same standard. Still a great musical accompaniment to a fine whiskey 😉

    Machine Head – Bloodstone and Diamonds. More commercial than would normally feature on NCS. If someone told me in 2002 that these guys were about to start a decade of the best albums of their career I would have thought they should be committed. This album’s a taken slightly different direction to The Blackening and Unto The Locust, which were very similar-sounding in their approach. I’d rate B&D as good, but not great. The only real drawback for me is that it seems too long and drawn-out, like they could have chopped down the quantity and focused on the creme de la creme. The old ‘more killer, less filler’ approach.

    Aversions Crown – Tyrant. Do you like heavy tunes that assualt your senses and come bearing alien overlord lyrical themes? Of course you do….

    Siegewyrm – Harvest Begins. It’s like a trip down memory lane, but a parallel universe of someone else’s memories – familiar, yet novel.

    Babymetal – of course I don’t need to explain this one around here…

    Eye of Solitude – Dear Insanity. Is this music or a mood made into sound? And is there a difference?

    The Down Troddence – How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You. Debut album from an Indian metal band. A mix of modern metal similar to new wave of American metal styles, with ethnic interludes and overtones.

    Mechina – Xenon. Empyrean is still my favourite release from these guys, but Xenon still delivers – and the way I see it Mechina really are off in their own niche, far from the madding crowd.

    … and not metal, but Anika Nilles – EP. Some drumming tunes for any fans of sweet in-the-pocket grooves.

    And although not 2014 releases, these two albums I’ve had on high repeat this year, catching up from previous years:
    Shade Empire – Omega Arcane (2013). This is now on my desert island list. A post-apocalyptic masterpiece.
    Munruthel – CREEDamage (2012). One man metal from Ukraine. I hope this guys okay with all the shit going down there. A mix of equal parts black metal, classic metal, even some power metal, with symphonic elements, ambient interludes, and is that eastern European folk? I don’t even know, but it fills my ear holes with enjoyable compressions of air.

  8. amaysingmetalgod says:

    Black Crown Initiate- “The Wreckage of Stars”

    Machine Head-“Bloodstone and Diamonds”

    Slipknot-“.5: The Gray Chapter (So sue me)

    Archspire-“The Lucid Collective”

    Abysmal Dawn-“Obsolescence”

    Dark Fortress-“Venereal Dawn”

    Darkest Hour

    Pallbearer-“Foundations of Burden”

    Singularity

    Revocation-“Deathless”

    Young and in the Way-“When Life Comes To Death”

    Aborted-“The Necrotic Manifesto”

    At The Gates-“At War With Reality”

    Behemoth-“The Satanist”

    A Hill To Die Upon-“Holy Despair”

    Bloody Hammers-“Under Satan’s Sun”

    Body Count-“Manslaughter (so sue me again)”

    Mastodon “Once More ‘Round The Sun”

  9. Pagliacci is Kvlt says:

    In no particular order:

    1 Tempel- “On the Steps of the Temple”
    2 Opeth- “Pale Communion”
    3 Mastodon- “Once More ‘Round the Sun”
    4 Panopticon- “Roads to the North”
    5 Falls of Rauros- “Believe In No Coming Shore”
    6 Ifing- “Against This Weald”
    7. Pallbearer- “Foundations of Burden”
    8. Atlas Moth- “The Old Believer”
    9. Inter Arma- “The Cavern”
    10. Blut Aus Nord- “Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry”

  10. byrd36 says:

    I’ve missed a lot this year, but these are my favorites from what I have.

    Ancestors Blood – A Moment of Clarity
    Ancient Ascendant – Echoes and Cinder
    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican
    Cara Neir – The Overwatch
    Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King
    Eternal Valley – Screams of Eternal Emptiness
    Funeral Chic – S/T
    Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless
    Killer Be Killed – S/T
    Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun
    Moab – Billow
    Norot – Nathrach
    Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
    Panopticon – Roads to the North
    Thou – Heathen
    Vampire Squid – Nautilus World
    Waldgeflüster – Meine Fesseln

  11. somedamnasshole says:

    Blut Aus Nord/P.H.O.B.O.S. – Triunity split
    Dead Congregation – Promulgation Of The Fall
    Diocletian – Gesundrian
    Impetuous Ritual – Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence
    Khthoniik Cerviiks – Heptaedrone
    Old Wainds – Nordraum
    Omnihility – Deathscapes of the Subconscious
    Panopticon – Roads to the North
    Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers
    Swallowed – Lunarterial

    I’m sticking to ten, but it still seems wrong that Teitanblood isn’t on this list, but that Swallowed album sneaked up and stole the spot.

  12. FRNK says:

    Swans – To Be Kind
    Emanation – The Emanation of Begotten Chaos From God
    Teitanblood – Death
    Black Magic – Wizard’s Spell
    Amulet – The First
    Gravmaskin – Volym 1
    Swallowed – Lunarterial
    Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
    Thou – Heathen
    Funereal Presence – The Archer Takes Aim

  13. Mik says:

    Something like this…

    1. Centiment – Streets of Rage
    2. Code Orange – I Am King
    3. Architects – Lost Forever Lost Together
    4. The Great Old Ones – Tekeli-li
    5. Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    6. Infestus – The Reflecting Void
    7. Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars
    8. Emptiness – Nothing But The Whole
    9. Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death
    10. The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer
    11. Siberian – Modern Age Masoleum

  14. Lord_Farin says:

    This year, my list is divided into a clear top-3 and an unordered ensemble of further releases. So without further ado:

    1. Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis

    Countless are the times I’ve spun this one during the year. It is an album without any real weak spots; each song on its own could’ve catapulted another release from mediocrity into greatness. So this

    • Lord_Farin says:

      (something went wrong there)… So this is basically a one-hour monolith of tech-death perfection. For me, The Path of Apotheosis takes the spot of best album of all time.

      2. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun

      Ever since I discovered them, Insomnium have taken a place in my heart with their exceptional songwriting. While this disc has had to grow on me, the shells have fallen from my eyes by now, and I can see its greatness. The most epic moment for me is still the conjunction between While We Sleep and Revelation.

      3. Bloodshot Dawn – Demons

      Although it arrived late in the year, this album has completely wormed itself into my brain. It was a close call with Shadows of the Dying Sun, but for me, the combination of Black Hole Infinity and Human Void constitutes a (relatively) weaker section of the album. The rest is absolutely killer and I’m sure I’ve annoyed (or rather, educated) a lot of people with my headphones in public transport on these tunes. The absolute pinnacles on this disc are, in order of appearance, Consequence Complex, Inadequacy, and The Image Faded.

      The other releases that impressed me this year, though not as much as the above, are:

      Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
      Tempel – On the Steps of the Temple
      Misery Index – The Killing Gods
      Origin – Omnipresent
      Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
      Archspire – The Lucid Collective
      Primordium – Aeonian Obsolescence
      Starkill – Virus of the Mind
      Crepuscle – Draconian Winter
      Giza Remains – The First Encounter
      Pantheon I – From the Abyss They Rise
      Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King
      Job for a Cowboy – Sun Eater
      Beyond Creation – Earthborn Evolution
      Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

  15. Johan says:

    Aevangelist – Writhes in the murk. Just pure darkness. Antimatter, blacko hole-kinda dark.

    Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum. These Brits never dissapoints. Reliable as fuck.

    At the gates – At war with reality. The comeback we’ve all been waiting for and it didn’t let me down one iota. Building on their legendary past but above all relying on The ALmighty Riff to prevail.

    Avatar – Hail the apocalypse. This years surprise for me. Avatar used to be the worst offender when it came to shameless theft of the Gothenburg sound but on Hail the apocalypse the Swedes have created something quite appealing wedged between groove metal, pop sensebilities and circus beats (yeah, don’t ask me how that works, it just does) and above all hella fun!

    Behemoth – The satanist. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. O father, o satan, o sun! is approaching Bathory and Primordial-ish levels of bombast, while still sounding like Behemoth.

    Bloodbath – Grand morbid funeral. Another band that worships The Riff, gleefully accompanied by filthy, rancid Ol’ Nick.

    Dark mirror ov tragedy – The lunatic chapters of heavenly creatures. A Korean band trying to bridge the gap between Dimmu borgir, Cradle of filth and classical music, and sometimes succeeding better than Dimmu borgir themselves.

    Dying out flame – Shiva rudrastakam. Ethno metal for the fucking win. Death metal with hindi influences, like being bitchslapped by Shiva.

    Håll det äkta – Sabotage. Swedish hardcore band that while not the angreist or heaviest, is one of the most interesting. Particularily ending song Billisteapmi that mixes HC with Swedish indigineous jojjk.

    Misantropic – Split EP. A Sacrilege (U.K.) for the new millenia.

    Nasheim – Solens vemod. Swedish depressive black metal with more layers than an ogre.

    Opeth – Pale communion. Barely metal at all anymore in sound, but definitely in spirit.

    Persuader – The fiction maze. Melodic power metal that avoids the usual trappings by injecting some thrash-vocals and aggression.

    Primordial – Where greater men have fallen. The Irish just can’t go wrong as of late.

    Slugdge – Gastronomicon. Thanks to NCS for tipping me off to this great (if gimmicky) death metal duo.

    Soreption – Engineering the void. Together with Spawn of possession Sorpetion is my favourite technical death metal band. Focusing on great songwriting while still teching (that’s a word, promise) it up like hell. Breaking the great narcissit is easily one of the most infectious songs of the year.

    The Great old ones – Tekeli-Li. French glacial doom metal that sings about Cthulhu and sneaks in some Moribd angel vibes here and there; what’s not to like?

    Thy darkened shrine – Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet. Another NCS discovery and really impressive in both execution and vision.

  16. Dre says:

    In no particular order:

    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Fen – Carrion Skies
    Blut Aus Nord – Memoria
    Bolzer – Soma
    The Contortionist – Language
    Dead Congregation – Promulgation
    Diocletian – Gesundriam
    Nightbringer – Ego
    Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Baphomet
    Rude – Soul Recall

  17. J. says:

    Like many others, I dislike precisely determining which albums are exactly my favorite. I guess “Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun” could go for the 1st spot, but others are in more or less random order:
    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Gridlink – Longhena
    Vinterbris – Solace
    Morowe – S
    Beneath – Barren Throne
    Decapitated – Blood Mantra
    Furia – Nocel
    Entartung – Peccata Mortalia
    Beyond Creation – Earthborn Revolution

    Still, there are so many albums from this year I haven’t digested yet… And every second a new album comes into my mind that could replace one from this list (e.g. the awesome Liber Lvcifer that NCS brought to my attention). Making lists of “best releases” is truly hard.

    • Daniel says:

      Glad you posted this. I checked out Vinterbris as I missed it when it came out. Really good.

      Agree with you on Furia – Nocel. One of the year’s best.

      • blend77 says:

        If you guys liked Furia, do check out Odraza. Members of Massemord split into those two bands and its hard to say which is better. Theyre both awesome and unique metal records. And theyre both on my list.

  18. ColoredSands94 says:

    Here’s just a small number of my favorites
    1. Behemoth – The Satanist
    2. Agalloch – The Serpent And The Sphere
    3. Vallenfyre – Splinters
    4. Insomnium – Shadows Of The Dying Sun
    5. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
    6. Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto
    7. Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues
    8. Vader – Tibi Et Igni
    9. Delain – The Human Contradiction
    10. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare
    11. Cannabis Corpse – From Wisdom To Baked
    12. Lord Mantis – Death Mask
    13. Dead Congregation – Promulgation Of The Fall
    14. Nightbringer – Ego Dominus Tuus
    15. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
    16. Mastodon – ‘Once More Round The Sun
    17. Beyond Creation – Earthborn Evolution
    18. Skinfather – None Will Mourn
    19. YOB – Clearing The Path To Ascend
    20. Septicflesh – Titan
    21. Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death
    22. Lazer/Wulf – The Beast Of Left And Right
    23. Cynic – Kindly Bent To Free Us
    24. Dark Fortress – Venereal Dawn
    25. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

    No particular order for these, they are all excellent albums in their own ways.

  19. Gaia says:

    Looking back, I didn’t listen to much metal this year, but, I do check in now and again, so here’s what I’ve found tickled my fancy (nb: my penis):

    Lantlos – Melting Sun
    Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us
    Morbus Chron – Sweven
    YOB – Clearing the Paths to Ascend – Shout outs to YOB, saw them live in October and they killed Bristol.
    Conan – Blood Eagle – Again, saw live and, again, killed Bristol.
    Swans – To Be Kind (Killed Bristol when it was trying to get back up).
    Crippled Black Phoenix – White Light Generator
    Brant Bjork & the Low Punk Desert Band – Black Flower Power
    King Buzzo – This Machine Kills Artists (great addition to these acoustic records hardened road warriors have put out in these last few years ala Scott Kelly, Wino, Nate Hall…)
    Opeth – Pale Communion
    Disemballerina – Undertaker
    Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestite
    Blaak Heat Shujaa – The Edge of an Era

  20. sleeper says:

    Objective #1:
    Slugdge – Gastronomicon

    Tie for 2nd:
    Alterbeast – Immortal
    Inferi – Path of Apotheosis
    Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
    Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
    Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum
    Bloodshot Dawn – Demons
    Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence
    Dark Fortress – Venereal Dawn
    Vampire Squid – Nautilus World

    This year was mostly me finding hidden gems in years gone by mostly, not much new stuff.

  21. RagE says:

    Hard choice, but so far, my list looks something like this
    The top ones are maybe in order, but the rest is not.

    Primordial – where greater men have fallen
    Triptykon – Melana chasmata
    Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel
    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Battleroar – Blood of legends
    Solstafir – Otta
    Vesania – Deus Ex Machina
    Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum
    Belphegor – COnjure the Dead
    Vintersorg – Naturbål
    Falconer – Black Moon Rising
    Noneiclid – Metatheosis
    Anubis Gate – Horizons
    Novembers Doom – Bled White
    The Deathrip – Deep drone master
    Elvenking – The pagan Manifesto
    Brainstorm – Firesoul
    Shores of Null – Quiescence
    Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon
    Voyager – V
    A hill to die upon – Holy despair

    Need to spin more to decide:
    Fallujah – the flesh prevails
    Origin – Omnipresent
    Darkest era – Severance
    Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity
    As Light Dies – The Love Album – Volume I
    Myrkur – Myrkur
    Wayfarer – Children Of The Iron Age
    Fides Inversa – Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
    Gormathon – Following the Beast
    Nader Sadek – The Malefic: Chapter III
    Triosphere – The heart of the matter
    Taake – Stridens hus
    Voices – London
    Revocation – Deathless
    Abazagorath – The satanic verses
    Varathron – Untrodden Corridors of Hades
    Sinmara – aphotic womb
    JFAC – Sun eater

    • RagE says:

      Forgot a contender for the very first place! thought it came out last year not this.

      We all die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning
      Odins Eye this is a good one! 33 minutes of pure bliss.

  22. blend77 says:

    In a general sort of order. Its likely that given my mood the top 5 could be reshuffled endlessly, and the same goes for the other sections of the list. Overall, it was a painful list to make as I left off a number of things that I really enjoyed and will continue to do so for years. But… as weve all experienced, this is a high water mark sort of year.

    1. Panopticon – Roads to the North
    2. Falls of Rauros – Believe In No Coming Shore
    3. Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith
    4. Fen – Carrion Skies
    5. Sinmara – Aphotic Womb
    6. Nightbringer – Ego Dominus Tuus
    7. Spectral Lore – III
    8. Floor – Oblation
    9. Slugdge – Gastronomicon
    10. Vanhelgd – Relics of Sulphur Salvation
    11. Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer
    12. Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole
    13. Barbelith – Mirror Unveiled
    14. Nuklear Frost – Subjugation
    15. Vinterbris – Solace
    16. Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath
    17. Furia – Nocel
    18. Oubliette – Apparitions
    19. Odraza – Esperalem Tkane
    20. Schammasch – Contradiction

    ALSO NOTABLE (ie. How could I not include at least these):
    Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    Abigor – Leytmotif Lucife
    Mutilation Rites – Harbinger
    Auroch – Taman Shud
    Bastard Sapling – Instinct is Forever

  23. Killa B says:

    Best metal:
    Vader-Tibi Et Igni
    Septicflesh-Titan
    Insomnium-Shadows of a Dying Sun
    Delain-The Human Contradiction
    Mechina-Xenon
    Infestus-The Reflecting Void

    Best other stuff:
    Devin Townsend & Che Aimee Dorval-Casualties of Cool
    Nothing-Guilty of Everything
    Anathema-Distant Satellites
    Keep Shelly in Athens-At Home
    Spc-Eco-The Art of Pop
    SiJ-Brink of Time
    Ligea-Illusiions

  24. Pietro says:

    Alas, for this old man 2014 will be known as The Year This Old Sucker Mellowed Out, because for the first time in years my favourite music wasn’t metal. I myself don’t know how it happened.

    Anyway, the first half of the year was dominated by Swans’ “To Be Kind”, an album so primal and powerful that makes the most blackened black metal band out of the northern forest look like nerds on a school trip.

    Honourable mention to The Oath, though not extreme metal, still the best band to revive the spirit of early Black Sabbath, and we all know A LOT of people tried to do just that, this year.

    Tryptikon was surely strong, but I just couldn’t enter their world, just look at it from the window. Maybe with time.

    The best band I discovered through this beloved blog of mine was Mysery Index, their “Summoning the Cull” remains the best extreme metal song of the year for me.

    Iron Regan made the best metal video of the year with “Miserable Failure”, a true epic win there.

    And that, more or less, is it. I listened to a lot of other stuff but dropped it along the way and into oblivion.

    What am I listening to, you may ask? Well, I know I’m risking my life saying this, but it’s mostly quiet stuff.
    Sun Kil Moon’s Benji (although Kozelek is something of a metalhead himself)
    Smiling Dogs and Rebellion Hymns by Man’s Gin (side-project of Cobalt), they are not new but I’m finally beginning to “get” them
    And yell what you will, Gaga and Bennet’s classic jazz album “Cheek to cheek”. Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but this album is a pearl.
    Off into the bunker now….

  25. Mr Poturdlehead says:

    For me, the top 3 albums really stood out this year, and after that it got tough to narrow it down. So many good releases that deserve mention, but here is more or less my top 10, based on how much I listened to them. However, the new Nihill and Taake might creep up once they’re released.

    1. Blood of Kingu – Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon
    2. Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    3. Philm – Fire from the Evening Sun
    4. Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole
    5. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity
    6. Coffinworm – IV.I.VIII
    7. Godflesh – World Lit Only by Fire
    8. Morbus Chron – Sweven
    9. Taurus – No/Thing
    10. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare

    Honorable Mention goes to: Artificial Brain, Rage Nucleaire, Secret Cutter, Tyrant of Death

    Best EP’s: Bolzer – Soma, Deafest – Alpine Expanse, Godflesh – Decline & Fall

    Non-Metal albums: Run the Jewels II, OFF! – Wasted Years, Casualties of Cool, and Temples – Sun Structures

    Thanks to those above for helping me discover some more gems. That Emanation album is a beast!

  26. zak says:

    Alruane – The Process of Self Immolation
    Coffinworm – IV I VIII
    Barghest – The Virtuous Purge
    Heathen – Thou
    Teitanblood – Death

  27. Manteegwa says:

    I definitely didn’t check out enough new music this year, but there were certainly a few albums that really clicked for me.

    #1: CORMORANT – Earth Diver. I cannot get enough of this album. They took the smorgasbord of genres I loved in Dwellings, left it in a dank cavern to blacken, and it crawled out VERY upset. The doom-y finisher “A Sovereign Act” is probably my favorite song of the year.

    In No Particular Order:

    BLACK ANVIL – Hail Death. A delicious mixture of black, death and traditional metal (Check out “Seven Stars Unseen” for some Painkiller-era Judas Priest riffing), with a sprinkle of hardcore on top.

    PALLBEARER – Foundations of Burden. I bought this just the other day, and it’s already proven to be a melodic doom masterwork. From the choral vocal layering in “Worlds Apart” to the soothing keys of “Ashes” (with vocals oddly reminiscent of Alan Parsons Project!), there is enough variation to keep things fresh for the long haul.

    DARKEST ERA – Severance. Folk/Thrash/Traditional metal with outstanding vocal melodies. Good mixture of aggressive (“Trapped in the Hourglass”) and melancholic (“Beyond the Grey Veil”) tracks.

    EXECRATION – Morbid Dimensions. OSDM enveloped in mummy dust and Deathspellian dissonance. The crisp production works well for this album, with the bass popping through nicely. Spooky stuff!

    ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation. Guttural vocals, a strange metallic production (which does wonders for the spacey, alien atmosphere) and melodies that would make a Xenomorph blush. It’s difficult to assign a genre tag here. Dissonance takes center stage, with blackened tremolo runs and death metal blasts forming a solid backbone.

    TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata. Absolutely crushing doom/sludge/thrash. The inclusion of Simone Vollenweider’s haunting voice adds texture to songs like “Boleskin House” and “Waiting.” “Black Snow” splinters my fragile human body every time!

    PANOPTICON – Roads to the North. I was blown away by the mixture of orchestral, bluegrass, black, and death metal styles found on this record (I know, I’m late to the party, this is the first album of his I’ve listened to).

  28. Sal B says:

    1. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
    2. Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis
    3. Babymetal – Babymetal
    4. Whispered – Shogunate Macabre
    5. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun
    6. Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel
    7. Words of Farewell – The Wild Black Yonder
    8. Monuments – The Amanuensis
    9. Hour of Penance – Regicide
    10. Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite

  29. Javier says:

    This year’s top ten in my opinion:

    Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel
    Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    Harakiri For The Sky – Aokigahara
    Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun
    Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
    Hoth – Oathbreaker
    Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
    Doom-VS – Earthless
    Vader-Tibi Et Igni
    The Great Old Ones – Tekeli-Li

  30. Black Shuck says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment here forever but kept forgetting. Better late than never, I suppose.

    I feel like I didn’t really listen to much new metal this year. Of the handful of stuff I did listen to, “Ego Dominus Tuus” by Nightbringer and “Grand Morbid Funeral” by Bloodbath were the two that really stood out to me as just stellar all-around albums. Both of those definitely belong on any “Best Of 2014” list.

    Honorable mentions for albums that I thought were really good but, for one reason or another, fell short of being truly stupendous: “Conjuring the Dead” by Belphegor, “A Skeletal Domain” by Cannibal Corpse, and “When Life Comes to Death” by Young and In the Way

  31. Ian Swenson says:

    Barely kept up with any new releases at all this year, but here are the ones I liked the most.
    (no particular order):
    Bolzer – Soma
    Bastard Feast – Osculum Infame
    Eyehategod – s/t
    Black Anvil – Hail Death
    Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves
    Death Penalty – s/t
    Vallenfyre – Splinters
    Hooded Menace – Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze

    Top 3:
    1. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
    2. Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend
    3. Secret Cutter – s/t

  32. Rob Liz says:

    This year was weird. Quite a few anticipated releases ended up leaving me dissatisfied or disappointed. But there were quite a few that held up to expectations and even a few new surprises popped up even though I have been increasingly less interested in discovering new music(damn you age). So in alphabetical order here is my list for 2014 with notes for albums I rarely see get recognized elsewhere.

    Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence: I liked the previous release more but this was still solid.

    Accept – Blind Rage: I was a detractor when Tornillo was announced as the new guy but after this solid third installment in his era it’s definitely Udo who?

    Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere

    Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite

    Cripper – Hyena: I enjoy this band more than Arch Enemy. No frills just good death/thrash. They actually experimented some on this album too.

    Bloody Hammers – Under Satans Sun: Riffs and occult rock/metal? Yes please.

    Exodus – Blood in Blood Out: Welcome back Zetro, don’t screw it up this time.

    Illdisposed – With the Lost Souls on Our Side: Criminally underrated death metal from Denmark.

    Legion of the Damned – Ravenous Plague: These Dutchmen always bring the fun to death/thrash. Those riffs.

    Mayan – Antagonise: Of late this side project has become better than Mark Jansens main gig in Epica. More of the death growls and less of the pretty side of metal. This sophomore effort distances itself even more from the other gig and thats a good thing.

    Misery Index – The Killing Gods

    Necrophagia – Whiteworm Cathedral: This was just a fun listen from beginning to end.

    Rise of Avernus – L’Appel Du Vide: Australian death/doom that reminded me of one of my favorite bands in the genre, Draconian. This is one of those rare gems out of Oz that needs a wider audience.

    Sabaton – Heroes: Another solid slab of classic metal. I wish more bands would keep that genre alive because it’s a dying form and what I grew up on.

    Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died: Let’s be real, this is Nevermore Mark II. It’s really good though and actually better than Nevermores swan song (for now).

    Septicflesh – Titan: My favorite death metal band. After listening to Titan other death metal just sounds one dimensional and half assed.

    Vader – Tibi Et Igni

    Vallenfyre – Splinters: This album is nothing like the first but I still dug it. I hope these guys can keep up the quality for years to come.

    Xerath – III: This one is DGRs fault. Film Score level orchestration overlapped over technical prog death? Twist my arm.

  33. Wanhope says:

    Alcest – Shelter
    Audrey Fall – Mitau
    Coffin Dust – This Cemetery…
    Dying out Flame – Shiva Rudrastakam
    Hyperion – Black Lore
    King of Asgard – Karg
    Lathspell – Impious Incantations
    Nautilus-Nautilus
    Portal- Far all that is…
    Scumpulse – By design
    Sorcier des Glaces – Ritual of the end
    Svartt Jern – Ultimatum Necrophilia
    The White Tomb – Theorectical thanatology
    Theogony-Theogony
    Tides of Man – Young and Courageous
    Toxoid – Aurora Satanic
    Vampire – Vampire
    Young and in the Way – When life comes…

  34. Sami Koskinen says:

    Best of 2014 from my view (not in any particular order).
    Necrophagia – Whiteworm Cathedral
    Trepaneringsritualen ‎– Perfection & Permanence
    Entombed AD – Back to the Front
    At The Gates – At War with reality
    Sargeist ‎– Feeding The Crawling Shadows
    Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare
    Desaster ‎– Live In Bamberg
    Swans – To Be Kind
    Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire
    Origin – Omnipresent

  35. Bill Flo says:

    In no particular order, my favorite metal albums of the year:

    Panopticon–Roads to the North
    Impetuous Ritual–Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivilence
    Mournful Congregation–Concrescence of the Sophia
    Nux Vomica–Nux Vomica
    Woods of Desolation–As the Stars
    Lindskold/Fantome de Sang–Where the Shadows Lie
    Saor–Aura
    Blut Aus Nord–Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
    Swans–To Be Kind (metal? anyway, intense and heavy as shit)
    Jute Gyte–Ressentiment
    YOB–Clearing the Path to Ascend

    Awesome year, really, and this is of course just the stuff I listened to most happily. Ton of other goodness out there.

  36. Cedric says:

    My metal list kinda looks like that: [really surprised nobody yet listed Tombs]

    1. Nux Vomica – Nux Vomica
    2. Behemoth – The Satanist
    3. Panopticon – Roads to the North
    4. Tombs – Savage Gold
    5. Thou – Heathen
    6. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
    7. YOB – Clearing The Path To Ascend
    8. Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
    9. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
    10. Agalloch – The Serpent And The Sphere
    11. A Pregnant Light – My Game Doesn’t Have A Name
    11. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare
    12. Murmur – Murmur
    13. Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
    14. Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi
    15. Winterfylleth – Divination of Antiquity

    The rest:
    1. Run the Jewels – RTJ2
    2. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
    3. Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
    4. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
    5. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
    6. Swans – To Be Kind
    7. Warpaint – Warpaint
    8. BadBadNotGood – III
    9. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Pinata
    10. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness

  37. Arjan says:

    It’s been another grand year for metal and music in general. I wish I had more time to allow for more recent releases to settle in, but alas, if I don’t write this up now I am afraid I won’t get to it before somewhere next year.. And I always enjoy the hell out of making these kinds of lists, so here goes!

    WARNING: this list also contains musical works from the realm of unmetal. I personally enjoy making a comprehensive list containing all genres the most, so I didn’t go through the trouble of making unmetal honorable mentions. Besides, some of the excellent ‘metal’ releases from this year (Anathema, Solstafir, Opeth and Alcest) aren’t exactly metal either.

    1/ The Haunted – Exit Wounds: I had more trouble picking the # 1 than other years, but I award the Haunted this position solely because it took me completely off guard. I have been a great fan of Dolving-era the Haunted, so I was more than skeptical when I heard the Haunted were working on a release without him and another band member. I have never been so wrong to be skeptical… Exit Wounds rips open your throat at the beginning of Cutting Teeth and leaves nothing but a bloody mess after the final moments of Ghost in the Machine. Best album of the Haunted thus far. Period.

    2/ Anathema – Distant Satellites: Another excellent release with some of modern-Anathema’s finest moments thus far. I had the privilege to see these guys live recently on their newest album-tour and this only strengthened my positive opinion of this album.

    3/ Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun: Hardly a surprising release, but it has everything I want in a new Insomnium release. And since I am quite the fanboy, this one ends up high on my list.

    4/ Doom:VS – Earthless: One of the best doom/death records I’ve heard in quite a while, with six beautiful tracks dripping with despair. Especially Oceans of Despair and The Slow Ascent – in combination with the clean singing – are downright gorgeous.

    5/ Septicflesh – Titan: I am glad these Greeks decided to continue exactly where they left off with The Great Mass, because this is another beast of an album. Though not as epic as its predecessor, Titan slays much harder when it tries to (on Order of Dracul for example).

    6/ Solstafír – Ótta: I was familiar with Svartar Sandir, but this record is amazing on a whole new level. There are few albums dripping with pure emotion as much as Otta does; and I can’t even understand the words.

    7/ Lord Mantis – Death Mask: A disgusting album, in a very good way. I am really pleased with the high number of excellent sludge releases this year, of which this one was the best IMO.

    8/ Opeth – Pale Communion: I was quite unimpressed by Heritage and at the time mourned the fact that Mikael turned his back to metal influences, but if he keeps making albums such as this one I am more than satisfied.

    9/ Ghost Brigade – IV: One With the Storm: Did not make quite the overwhelming impact Until Fear No Longer Divides Us did on me, but that’s mostly because that album introduced a new take on Ghost Brigade’s sound which they merely continue on One With the Storm. Regardless another fine album, dripping with melancholic atmosphere in a way only Ghost Brigade can deliver it.

    10/ Alcest – Shelter: I hate the fact that Alcest ‘quit black metal’, but I love this album. It’s catchy and faerie-like uplifting. Initially I didn’t want to like this album, but in the end I couldn’t help myself.

    11/ Stealing Axion – Aeons: I am still getting familiar to this album, but I think in the end I might end up liking it as much as I liked Moments. Aeons brings more of the grandiose combination of modern, djent and progressive metal. Especially Final Moments of a Dying Sun cause some serious goosebumps.

    12/ Behemoth – the Satanist: A modern and rather catchy take on furious, old-school death metal. This album sounds fucking evil and I love it.

    13/ Indian – From All Purity: I liked 2011’s Guiltless a bit better, but From All Purity still positively sounds like a decaying corpse (I’m not sure how that can be positive, but somehow it can).

    14/ Vallenfyre – Splinters: More old-school death metal! This ‘supergroup’ once more delivers an amazing album, that IMO is an improvement on their debut in every way.

    15/ Damien Rice – My Favorite Faded Fantasy: The most unmetal album on this list, but this album is of such quality I can’t leave it out. Somehow this album is much more depressing than many good doom albums I’ve listened to this year, so that’s saying something.

    16/ Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails: Though it suffers a bit from a loud, monotonous brick-walled production, the high-level songwriting of this album cannot be denied. The Flesh Prevails sound to me a bit like a more dynamic Fleshgod Apocalypse, which is excellent.

    17/ Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi: A bastard child of unrelated genres, this album manages to be weird in many good ways. Especially the opening track is killer.

    18/ Fen – Carrion Skies: An excellent atmospheric black metal release that I have recently discovered by already left a lasting impression on me. There’s so much good shit going on here that I’m sure this’ll be stuck in my playlist for quite some time.

    19/ Panopticon – Roads to the North: I’m not the biggest folk fan, but this album made me a believer. Partially because of the excellent black metal going on here, partially because the album is just damn good.

    20/ Pink Floyd – The Endless River: The last swansong of a band from a previous musical era. Not their best release by a grand margin, but hearing something new from Pink Floyd one more time makes super nostalgic, so end-year list it is.

    21/ Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum: Vanitas was easily one of my favorite albums of 2012, but unfortunalely Desideratum doesn’t impress me half as much. Still, less than half as good as Vanitas is still pretty damn good.

    22/ Mors Principium Est – Dawn of the 5th Era: Only just released, but I can already tell this is an excellent release in a classic style of melodic death metal that’s getting rare these days.

    23/ Kaunis Kuolematon – Kylmä Kaunis Maailma: After hearing some individual tracks in 2012/13 I thought this was one of the most anticipated albums for me this year. Managing to combine the best elements of Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon in a relentless way, I was sure this was an album to look out for. Unfortunately, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is far more average on half of its tracks than it should be, but when it shines it shines very, very brightly (Itsestään Kuollut, Kivisydän, En Ole Mitään, Aamu).

    24/ Downfall of Gaia – Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay: An album quite reminiscent of Altar of Plagues’ older albums, and it’s quite excellent.

    25/ Darkest Horizon – Continuum: Especially Interdimension slays so very hard. For the rest a really nice space-concept progressive death album.

    26/ Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral: Bloodbath surprised everyone with their new line-up, but their album does not surprise much at all IMO. But it doesn’t have to; it reeks of rot and dead things and it’s awesome.

    27/ Kuolemanlaakso – Tulijoutsen: Kuolemanlaakso make some significant steps since their debut, making Tulijoutsen a great album with some very fine moments that are musically somewhere between Barren Earth and Swallow the Sun.

    28/ Junius – Days of the Fallen Sun: Albeit only a handful of songs, this EP got me really stoked for Junius’ upcoming 2015 release. Forgiving the Cleansing Meteor is simply fabulous.

    29/ Bloodshot Dawn – Demons: Fast-paced thrashy melodic death metal at its finest.

    30/ Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere: Even though this album pales in comparison to older epics such as the Mantle and Ashes Against the Grain, this album still is enjoyable in many ways.

  38. Lenny says:

    #1 Young and in the Way – When Life Comes to Death
    #2 Tombs – Savage Gold
    #3 Black Anvil – Hail Death
    #4 Behemoth – The Satanist
    #5 Nidsang – Into the Womb of Dissolving Flames
    #6 Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind
    #7 Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless
    #8 Lord Mantis – Death Mask
    #9 Pallbearer – Foundations Of Burden
    #10 Ahluna – Awakening the Forest
    #11 Enabler – La Fin Absolue Du Monde
    #12 Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare
    #13 Wolvhammer – Clawing Into Black Sun
    #14 Contempt – Skinwalker
    #15 Black Monolith – Passenger
    #16 Rigor Mortis – Slaves to the Grave
    #17 Entombed AD – Back to the Front
    #18 YOB – Clearing The Path To Ascend
    #19 Obliterations – Poison Everything
    #20 Generation of Vipers – Coffin Wisdom

  39. obZen says:

    No particular order

    * Ghost Brigade – IV: One With the Storm
    * Unearth – Watchers of Rule
    * Raunchy – Vices.Virtues.Visions
    * Soilwork – Beyond the Infinite [EP]
    * Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
    * I Killed the Prom Queen – Beloved
    * At the Gates – At War with Reality
    * Darkest Hour – Darkest Hour
    * Decapitated – Blood Mantra
    * Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
    * Illdisposed – With the Lost Souls on Our Side
    * Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun
    * Unearth – Watchers of Rule
    * Within the Ruins – Phenomena

    Not enough time to digest:
    Mors Principium Est – Dawn of the 5th Era

    Song of the Year:
    Whitechapel – Diggs Road

  40. HIghzoolander says:

    So when I started making my list I found a large number of albums I enjoyed over the year, despite real life preventing me from enjoying much music for long stretches at a time. My initial list was about 23 or so, then went up to 25, and then I divided it into a top 7 and the rest, but ultimately I wasn’t satisfied with that. I wanted the great albums to stand out from the merely very good. So finally I just to take a stand and be decisive and do a top 10 list. Here are my 12 favorites in roughly the order I added them to the list:

    StarGazer – A Merging to the Boundless Overall just a phenomenal listening experience. I love the noodly bass.

    Nightbringer – Ego Dominus Tuus Sorry Greeks, you came very close, but this is the best black metal of the year.

    Swallowed – Lunarterial After waiting fucking forever to hear this, I am too scared to be disappointed.

    Occultation – Silence in the Ancestral House Finest doom-tinged occult rock you’ll hear this year, and an improvement on their previous album, though I wasn’t sure that was possible.

    Necros Christos – Nine Graves This is only an EP, but at 40 minutes long it’s long enough for me to tack it onto a list of full albums, and I wouldn’t have minded if it went on even longer, as it’s easily one of my favorites this year.

    Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain Where the hell did this come from? I didn’t know they had it left in them, but this is killer.

    Teitanblood – Death This just rips your guts out and laughs at you as you moan and bleed. Beg for mercy elsewhere.

    Diocletian – Gesundrian Evil, vicious music. I love it.

    Varathron – Untrodden Corridors of Hades While I’m listening to this I can’t imagine how anyone put out a better album this year. Thanks to Decibel for the early stream.

    Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet Maybe even better than Varathron.

    Morbus Chron – Sweven Their newly progressive direction doesn’t detract from their stellar songwriting.

    Incantation – Dirges of Elysium This just feels right, like a zombie scratching an itch deep down inside for you.

    Vestal Claret – Cult of Vestal Claret Something about Phil Swanson’s voice just resonates with me, and since Briton Rites couldn’t be arsed to put out their new album this year, this will have to do. Also, it’s a great album.

    Impetuous Ritual – Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence Holy fuck I think I just broke my auditory cortex.

    Lvcifyre – Svn Eater This just demands recognition. I was a bit disappointed with their debut album, after the excellence of their demo work, but this is exceptional.

    Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall Power, ferocity, texture. Greece strikes again. This is just too good to omit mention of.

    Behemoth – The Satanist I can’t quit you Nergal!

    (band/album names link to youtube samples)

  41. corbeaux says:

    I was trying to take the time to go through all the stuff I’ve heard this year and really do 2014 justice but that’s just not happening. Between working at work, working at home, and holidays with the family I can’t find enough time to clean the brain matter off the floor from the first time I listened to Teitanblood let alone make a decent stab at this but, fuck it whatever…

    Been a real death metal year for me…in particular:
    Auroch-Taman Shud
    Dead Congregation-Promulgation of the Fall
    Deathcult-Pleading for Death… Choking on Life
    Diocletian-Gesundrian
    Impetuous Ritual-Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence
    Lvcifyre-Svn Eater
    Phobocosm-Deprived
    Teitanblood-Death
    Unaussprechlichen Kulten-Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath
    Vainaja-Kadotetut
    Vanhelgd-Relics of Sulphur Salvation

    I could keep going but here’s some other stuff I really enjoyed:
    Bastard Sapling-Instinct Is Forever
    Chaos Moon-Resurrection Extract
    Coffinworm-IV.I.VIII
    Falls of Rauros-Believe In No Coming Shore
    Indian-From All Purity
    Nashiem-Solens Vemod
    Nux Vomica-Nux Vomica
    Panopticon-Roads To The North
    Winterfylleth-The Divination Of Antiquity
    Wolvhammer-Clawing Into Black Sun
    Young And In The Way-When Life Comes To Death

    A few notable splits:
    Falls of Rauros/Panopticon
    Vassafor/Sinistrous Diabolus
    Majestic Downfall/The Slow Death

    If I could list all the stuff I listened to I would. I can honestly say I enjoyed something out of everything I heard this year. But there it is…some kind of list anyway.

  42. Desmondius says:

    Keeping it short and trying to think of just 20 rather than every single good release of the year.

    20. Azooma – A Hymn of the Vicious Monster EP
    19. Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi
    18. Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars
    17. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum
    16. Revocation – Deathless
    15. Dark Fortress – Venereal Dawn
    14. Septicflesh – Titan
    13. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
    12. Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet
    11. Horrendous – Eclysis
    10. Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
    9. Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater
    8. Misery Index – The Killing Gods
    7. Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis
    6. Volturyon – Human Demolition EP
    5. Vallenfyre – Splinters
    4. Earth Rot – Follow the Black Smoke (Really surprised no one seems to have heard of the band)
    3. Hate Storm Annihilation – Storm of Flames
    2. Sludgde – Gastronomicon
    1. Bloodshot Dawn – Demons

    Honorable mentions go out to Holocausto Canibal for their Larvas EP. Some mindblowingly good tracks on that one. Also worth mentioning is Cult of Fire’s Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně, which features possibly my favorite track of the year – their interpretation of the classical masterpiece Vltava.

  43. Heretic in the Sun says:

    Damn, I’m really late this year. I feel like I’m leaving out so much great stuff, but it’s supposed to be a list of the best/favorites, not an encyclopedia of everything I listened to this year,right? Besides, 2015 is coming up fast-, Alkaloid, Mephistopheles, Black Fast and so on and so on... I've had a lot of trouble paring it down-so much great music came out in 2014. The albums/EPs that made the list are the ones I keep coming back to. In no particular order,these were my favorites:

    God Disease- Abyss Cathedral (EP)
    Aenaon- Extance
    Behemoth- The Satanist
    Epitemia- (Un)Reality
    Stam1na- SLK
    Lord Mantis- Death Mask
    Noneuclid- Metatheosis
    Benighted- Carnivore Sublime
    Inconcessus Lux Lucis- Crux Lupus Corona (EP)
    Black Crown Initiate- The Wreckage of Stars
    Anopheli- a hunger rarely sated (EP)
    Nero di Marte- Derivae
    Kvlthammer- s/t
    Varathron- Untrodden Corridors of Hades
    Arctic Sleep- Passage of Gaia
    Daggers- It's Not Jazz, It's Blues
    Fides Inversa- Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
    Schammasch-Contradiction

    My personal Album of the Year, metal:

    Ne Obliviscaris- Citadel

    Non-metal/ Metal adjacent:

    Rishloo- Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth

    Also enjoyed: Cormorant, Nux Vomica, Emblazoned, Deus Otiosus, Solstafir, Slugdge, Gloson, Job For A Cowboy, Cemetery Filth, Schizoid Lloyd, Vinterbris, Disemballerina, Emptiness, Serdce, Coffinworm, Thantifaxath, Vyrion, Wolvhammer, Xerath, Execration, Hvile I Kaos.

    2013 release that I found late,so it's a 2014 to me:

    Empyrean Throne- Demonseed

  44. Daniel says:

    1. Shores of Null – Quiescence
    2. Taake – Stridens Hus
    3. Saor – Aura
    4. As Light Dies – The Love Album Volume I
    5. Oubliette – Apparations
    6. Empyrium – The Turn of the Tides
    7. Furia – Nocel
    8. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity
    9. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry
    10. Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith
    my full list can be seen here http://deadrhetoric.com/features/daniel-keating-best-of-2014/

  45. Behold says:

    10 releases that I love:

    Bagarre general: YONL Split
    Orchestral post-metal. So good

    Abigor: Leytmotif Luzifer
    Pushing the boundaries of BM without losing melody or heaviness.

    Stargazer: Merging
    Menacing, dissonant and beautiful all at once.

    Fallujah: Flesh Prevails
    The kings of progressive TechDeath

    Beneath: Barren Throne
    My favorite DM of the year. Works on so many levels.

    Execration – Morbid dimensions
    Dense, intricate DM

    Goatwhore: Constricting rage
    A million years together and still nobody quite sounds like them.

    Owl: Into the Absolute
    Love all the stuff on Zeitgeister and this is no exception

    Slugdge: Gastonomicon
    Maybe not as strong as the debut but still worth seeking out

    Woccon: Solace in Decay
    For those of you missing Daylight Dies, Slumber, etc.

  46. shoggoth0331 says:

    BEST OF 2014 in no order

    Woods of Desolation
    Lvcifyre
    Nasheim
    Phobonoid
    Conan
    Coffinworm
    Kampfar
    Tortorum
    Entaurtung
    Bast
    The Great Old Ones
    Enthroned
    Black Monolith
    Svffer
    Lantlos
    Sun Worship
    Agalloch
    Dead Congregation
    Vallenfyre
    Bastard Sapling
    YOB
    Schammasch
    Alcest
    Dirge
    Grey Widow
    Coltsblood
    Tombs
    Young and in the way
    Diocletian
    Direwolves
    ACxDC
    GURT
    Crib45
    Ad Infinitum
    Mutilation Rites
    Wrought Iron
    Forn
    American
    Code Orange
    Darkspace
    Megaton Levithan
    Nightbringer
    Blut Aus Nord
    Winterfylleth
    Cult Leader
    Usnea
    Fides Inversa
    Mare Cognitum
    Vaiya
    Jig Ai
    Mantar
    Nuklear Frost

    Best e.p.
    Possession-Anneliese e.p.
    Blut Aus Nord split e.p.
    Ornamental Headpiece e.p.
    Dead Instrument e.p.
    IMPOSER CONTRA OMNIA e.p.
    Deathwinds-Endless Wastelands e.p.
    Hetroertzen/Dodsengel
    Void Ritual
    Svartidaudi
    Mammoth Grinder
    Vuyvr
    Gnosis of the Witch
    Ascension
    Moss
    Gateway

  47. cjmfa says:

    Well, I suppose I’m a little late to the party, but here it is anyways:)
    1. Noctem – Exilium
    2. Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater
    3. Darkest Hour – Darkest Hour
    4. Texas In July – Bloodwork
    5. Woccon – Solace In Decay
    6. Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
    7. Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence
    8. Behemoth – The Satanist
    9. Lord Mantis – Death Mask
    10. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun
    11. Cormorant – Earth Diver
    12. Agalloch – The Serpent & The Sphere
    13. At The Gates – At War With Reality
    14. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
    15. Belphegor – Conjuring the Dead
    16. Backtrack – Lost In Life
    17. Inanimate Existence – A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement
    18. Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter
    19. Killer Be Killed – S/T
    20. Korn – The Paradigm Shift

  48. Kazz says:

    This seems to get harder every year. At least I decided on an order before February this time:

    40. Inanimate Existence – A Never-Ending Cycle of Atonement
    39. Xandria – Sacrificium
    38. Torrential Downpour – Truth Knowledge Vision
    37. Sawhill Sacrifice – Weri loca Waluo
    36. Phobocosm – Deprived
    35. Falconer – Black Moon Rising
    34. Execration – Morbid Dimensions
    33. Zombiefication – Procession Through Infestation
    32. Vampire Squid – Nautilus World
    31. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
    30. Doom’s Day – The Devil’s Eyes
    29. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen
    28. Derdian – Human Reset
    27. Doctor Livingstone – Contemptus Saeculi
    26. Darkspace – Dark Space III I
    25. Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
    24. Machinae Supremacy – Phantom Shadow
    23. Vestal Claret – The Cult of Vestal Claret
    22. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
    21. Whispered – Shogunate Macabre
    20. Divine Ascension – Liberator
    19. Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind
    18. Arcana Coelestia – Nomas
    17. Giant Squid – Minoans
    16. Funereal Presence – The Archer Takes Aim
    15. Cloak of Altering – Plague Beasts
    14. Profetus – As All Seasons Die
    13. Morbus Chron – Sweven
    12. Sons of Crom – Riddle of Steel
    11. Nightfell – The Living Ever Mourn
    10. The Wolves of Avalon – Boudicca’s Last Stand
    09. Anubis Gate – Horizons
    08. Ceremonial Castings – Cthulhu
    07. Aenaon – Extance
    06. Voyager – V
    05. Saor – Aura
    04. Shroud of Despondency – Tied to a Dying Animal
    03. Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi
    02. Howls of Ebb – Vigils of the 3rd Eye
    01. Abigor – Leytmotif Luzifer (The 7 Temptations of Man)

    Best not quite metal:
    Empyrium – The Turn of the Tides
    Mars Red Sky – Stranded in Arcadia
    Boris – Noise
    Solstafir – Otta
    The Order of the Solar Temple – s/t
    Greenleaf – Trails & Passes

  49. hibberd says:

    Behemoth – The Satanist
    Carnifex – Die Without Hope
    Disentomb – Misery
    Winterfylleth – The Divination Of Antiquity
    Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis
    Alterbeast – Immortal
    Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto
    Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
    JFAC – Sun Eater
    (not 10, but hey-ho)

  50. Caspian Rehbinder says:

    1. Behemoth – “The Satanist”
    2. The Project Hate MCMXCIX – “There Is No Earth I Will Leave Unscorched”
    3. At the Gates – “At War With Reality”
    4. The Haunted – “Exit Wounds”

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