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).

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

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. #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

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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/

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

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