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).


  1. 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

    • 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

      • 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. 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. 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. 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”

    • 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”

      • 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?

    • 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.

      • 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. 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. 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. 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”



    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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

    • (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. 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. 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. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

    • 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. 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. Best metal:
    Vader-Tibi Et Igni
    Insomnium-Shadows of a Dying Sun
    Delain-The Human Contradiction
    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

  24. 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….

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