(Last month we posted Wil Cifer’s list of 2014’s best black metal albums. Today we post his personal list of the year’s best metal, regardless of genre.)
Here are the top 10 metal albums. None of these are black metal, even though some of these bands might have once leaned that way. Of course, it’s partial to doom, but death metal fared pretty well this year with some old favorites coming back to kick ass.
10- Wormwood – S/T
These sludge merchants were crushing enough to keep the album in rotation.
9- Triptykon – “Melana Chasmata”
It’s Tom Warrior so it has to be good right? Well remember Cold Lake? Tom redeemed that slip into hair metal with this dazzling display of despair.
8- Nightfell -“The Living Ever Mourn”
This album came out of nowhere and possessed a ton of staying power. Not really doom or black metal, just solid straight-up metal, with excellent execution.
7- Godflesh – “A World Only Lit By Fire”
Once upon a time these guys might have been on the goth/industrial list, but this comeback album is metal with little doubts. Justin is back in fine form after the uncertain EP.
6- Incantation – “Dirges of Elysium”
Often imitated, these guys almost had the best death metal album of the year. Brutal as hell, but still song-oriented.
5- Agalloch – “The Serpent and the Sphere”
One of my favorite black metal bands that is no longer black metal, but sill had an impressive showing with an album that got a ton of play this year. Even without the clean vocals this album holds up against their classic material.
4- Kall – S/T
Lifelover is back, but not as black. This has a more droning black ‘n’ roll feel. It just falls shy of being black metal, but an excellent melancholy affair.
3- Emptiness – “Nothing But the Whole”
A stunningly desperate soundtrack. This album oozes both atmosphere and emotion, defying sub-genres.
2- Pallbearer -“Foundations of Burden”
This one is the rare album that lives up to the hype. The haunting melodies stick with you, and riffs challenge you not to bang your head. They are no longer funereal doom, but are great classic metal.
1- Mortuary Drape – “Spiritual Independence”
Everything in this album is placed perfectly. This is classic death metal. I cannot get enough of this album. Creepy, heavy, melodic, everything I want from music.