Dec 082014

(We are grateful to Austin Lunn for accepting our invitation to share his favorite releases from 2014.)

There are a lot of releases this year that I have really enjoyed….so in no particular order here goes:

 

Wheels Within WheelsThirty Five Thoughts to Nineteen Elements

Mesmerizing, horrifying… a blown-out, hypnotic soundscape forming beauty out of the ugliness that man has made. This record, as all WWW records, is not for the faint of heart, but if you like blackened, doomy, droned-out dirges, this is for you. Don’t miss out.

 

 

 

SkogenI döden

Skogen has always been Sweden’s answer to Drudkh for me.  They really picked up steam at Svitjod, but this new album takes it a step further. It echoes Ulver’s Bergtatt and has  a depth and soul to it that so many black metal records lack.  I love this record.

 

 

 

SaorAura

I feel like a jackass listing an album I contributed to, but my contribution was only putting a pulse behind Andy’s passionate, rallying, yet mournful battle cry to his home land. This album was a joy to be a part of and Saor is one of my favorite bands. They are the band I have been waiting to hear for years and years.  Like Scotland’s answer to Kroda… traditional instruments  blended effortlessly with emotional metal.

 

 

 

Falls of RaurosBelieve In No Coming Shore

My favorite band has released what is now my favorite album. This album will always be a legendary record to me. Something I will compare everything I hear in the genre to…. Emotional, well written and organized, well recorded without being overly produced… it is perfect.

 

 

 

WaldgeflüsterMeine Fesseln

Germany’s finest. This album evokes a similar emotion in me that Believe In No Coming Shore does. It is personal, emotional, nature-inspired, passionate, well-recorded…. the song writing is amazing…. It was an honor to be asked to add my vocals to one of the songs, and something I will never forget. Waldgeflüster is one of my favorite bands, and the creative mind behind it, Winterherz, is one of my favorite people.

 

 

 

StillaEnsamhetens andar

Stilla are incredible… this album brings back the ghosts of Kvist, early Ulver, and Ved Buens Ende… there is an eeriness  and progressiveness to this album. It’s truly an astounding album.

 

 

 

NasheimSolens Vemod

I have waited a long time for this album. When it finally came it was worth the wait. Drenched in atmosphere, vicious at times then soothing…. this is brilliant black metal…. somewhere between In the Nightside Eclipse and Hvis lyset tar oss.

 

 

 

Woman Is the EarthDepths

Raging, passionate, atmospheric. Reminds me a lot of Merkaba’s brilliant Bones of the Sacred Forest  and Fauna. Amazing American black metal.

 

 

 

WinterfyllethThe Divination of Antiquity

The album cover alone is worth owning this album. If the triumph of “Whisper of the Elements” doesn’t fill you with a sense of joy and wonder, check your pulse.

 

 

 

VaiyaRemnant Light

Vaiya is meditative, introspective, personal music. Somewhere between Blood of the Black Owl and Fauna… it’s deep, trance-inducing black metal drenched in humidity, deep forests, and spiritual exploration. This band never disappoints me. And Congratulations to Rob and Rams on the new addition to their family!!

 

 

 

KrigsgravThe Carrion Fields

This album is criminally overlooked. Reminds me of Hail Wind and Hewn Oak by Falls of Rauros, but with better recording. It has the unique sound that American folk/Black metal has become known for, but with some Brave Murder Day thrown in there for good measure. A fantastic release.

 

 

 

Blut Aus NordMemoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry

The Memoria Vetusta series is my favorite Blut Aus Nord stuff. This is by far my favorite of the series. The drumming is fucking amazing, the songs are so well written… the LP packaging is incredible and the Necrolord art is, as usual, stunning.

 

 

 

AgallochThe Serpent and the Sphere

This band has been one of my favorite bands for a decade and when I heard the album for the first time, I was really caught off guard. It wasn’t what I had expected it to be… it was shocking at times. The album is heavy… really heavy… with death metal parts, less driving dark metal… proggier passages, sparse acoustics… triumphant instrumentals. It grew on me and with every listen I understood it more and more.

They opened their tour in Minneapolis and I brewed a beer for them in their honor. They helped design the beer and contributed to the concept behind it…. Working with them and getting to know them has truly been a pleasure for me and their performance that night was unforgettable. Agalloch are among America’s finest bands, metal or not, and every bit of attention they get is deserved ten-fold.

 

 

 

PosthumBlack Northern Ritual

Ever wonder what Enslaved would have sounded like if they had kept recording Below the Lights over and over again? Here it is. Posthum are amazing. I couldn’t wait to get this record and I love it. Lights Out was amazing, so it’s only fitting that they came back with an equally strong album. Check it out.

 

 

 

At the GatesAt War With Reality

All of my friends are complaining about it. I don’t give a damn. This rules and At The Gates rule.

 

 

 

EternumThe Devouring Descent

This album has been played over and over at my house. It is stylistically similar to a lot of Polish black metal, but has these amazing, sparse acoustic passages. Perfect production and amazing artwork.  This album builds and takes its time to create atmosphere… the tempo and sound reminds me of Agalloch’s “I Am the Wooden Doors” sometimes… really an amazing record.

 

 

 

Owl’s BloodCold Night of Meditation

Raw black metal drenched in moonlight and atmosphere. Awesome.

 

 

 

BhlegDraumr ást

Somewhere better Nattens madrigal and Filosofem, but with clearer production.

This record evokes the 90’s Scandinavian black metal sound, with sparse ritualistic parts  and droning atmospheres, varying tempos and mid-paced sections. It is a great album.

 

 

 

FenCarrion Skies

Fen’s last album Dustwalker was fantastic. But this is a totally different animal… it’s more brutal, more complex. Heavier… this may be their finest album. It is hard to tell… as their discography is so full of amazing records.

 

 

EP’S:

 

VukariEn To Pan

Amazing  EP. Heavy and atmospheric… spectacular performances by every member. These guys kick ass live.

 

 

 

EndlichkeitEndlichkeit III-V

Perfect winter-worshiping black metal. I’m looking forward to their next tape that will be released shortly.

 

 

 

IfingAgainst This Weald

Perfect for fans of Ulver, Windir, and Bak de Syv Fjell. These guys have taken the Michigan woods and mixed them with 90’s Norwegian forest-worshiping black metal. Brilliant.

 

 

 

CD and Vinyl Reissues:

 

Steve Earle –  Townes: The Basics LP

A great man paying tribute to a great man. This was a 2014 Record Store Day release of the solo acoustic tracks from Mr. Earle’s brilliant 2009 tribute to his friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt.  I love Texas songwriter stuff, and Steve Earle been a favorite of mine for the past couple years.

 

 

 

UlverTrollsk sortmetall 1993-1997 BOX 

The trilogy is crucial. The remasters sound fucking amazing. Who cares about the hype with the mail order fiasco… listen to this stuff. In my mind, Bergtatt is one of the  best black metal records of all time.

 

 

 

DødsengelMirium Occultum DLP

Dark, atmospheric, and grim. Dødsengel are awesome.

 

 

 

VemodVenter på stormene CD

Finally got my hands on the CD version of this once it got reissued. This album is absolutely amazing and I listen to it a couple times a week, easily. Perfect atmosphere.

 

 

 

MerkabaBones of the Sacred Forest LP

Kentucky’s finest. These guys were an experience to behold live, and this version of the album has improved sound by Colin Marston. This record is the best black metal record to come out of Kentucky and I highly recommend you get it while you can.

 

 

19 Responses to “LISTMANIA 2014: A YEAR-END LIST FROM AUSTIN LUNN (PANOPTICON, SEIDR)”

  1. Andy Synn says:

    This list makes me feel sad, because a LOT of those albums are ones I simply still haven’t got around to listening to. There’s simply too much music, and too little time!

  2. Justin C says:

    The new Endlichkeit Austin mentions sneakily snuck out on Saturday night:

    http://bandcamp.fallenempirerecords.com/album/endlichkeit-vi-viii

    It was an insta-buy for me.

  3. Kazz says:

    I’m a big fan of the Skogen, Waldgeflüster and Stilla albums and they all seem a bit under-the-radar so it’s good to see them get some attention. Also, I say you have no reason to feel like a jackass for listing the Saor album because it’s deserving and incredible.

  4. SurgicalBrute says:

    Theres some in here I know, a few I dont particularly care for, and more than a couple Im looking forward to going through and checking out for the first time..great list!

  5. robertpaulson says:

    For those looking for another solid recommendation:

    http://eredwethrin.bandcamp.com/

  6. this is a great list, i’ll definitely check out Bones of the Sacred Forest : )

  7. Leperkahn says:

    This list is chock full of things I was already kicking myself for not getting to yet.

  8. David J says:

    That Woman Is the Earth album is indeed special.

  9. Vamsi_K says:

    Respect for the man for bifurcating the lists as full length’s, EP’s and reissues. I think it’s the first comprehensive list I’ve seen for 2014 with this much effort being put in.

  10. Booker says:

    I didn’t know there was a new Saor album… I get the feeling I’m going to be spending some time with this.

  11. Pagliacci is Kvlt says:

    Really happy to see Ifing made your list. They haven’t gotten nearly the attention they deserve, despite my best efforts to champion them. My bromantic crush on you has gotten even deeper.

  12. Crafty Beard says:

    This is a ridiculous list, time to re-look at my best of 2014 list!

  13. deckard cain says:

    Tons to look into.Great list! I dismissed the Winterfylleth album rather easily. Will need to give it a second try.

  14. Zrinko says:

    Every year the same thing. I thought I heard best stuff of the year, and then someone makes a list and I find out that there’s so much more thats amazing and I havent event heard about it. Ah well… Lets get on with it.

  15. Head Ov Metal says:

    Roads To The North is #1 for me this year. Amazing list here. Thank you!

  16. I’ve had Stilla and Skogen sitting on my iPod waiting for me to review them forever. I think I need to take another listen.

  17. Angel says:

    That Nasheim album. Sweet fuck.

    A lot of these albums I haven’t checked out either.

    Will remedy now.

    Lunn should also check out this weird hick band – Panopto-something or other. Great music.

  18. […] music until Panopticon’s Austin Lunn included The Carrion Fields on his 2014 year-end list at our site, praising it as “a fantastic release” with “the unique sound that American […]

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