Why does this seem more like a resignation statement than an introduction to a list?!
What I was intending to say there was: Very shortly Eddie will start the ball rolling on the Top 20 albums reviewed on this blog, as voted for by the team here. I’m looking forward both to voting and to seeing how it goes. Before that though, like last year, I would like to offer up my own list,
This then, is my personal top 20 albums released in 2014. There are several of them that haven’t been reviewed on this blog mainly because I never got around to it and neither did anyone else. Maybe I will at some point but probably not. 2014 has been an incredible year for music and compiling this list was really hard. I had the rough draft done over a month ago but have tinkered with it several times since then. The last few places, 17-20, have been back and forth, swapped about and generally fucked with umpteen times, most of it tonight. I’m still not 100% about them.
There’s been so many great albums that ones I thought would have been quite high in this list 8 months ago haven’t even made it. Just in the last couple of months there’s been some absolute corkers. Okay, I’m gonna have to post my list before I change my mind again.
Once more I’ll have a bash at making a playlist on Spotify of all 20 bands mentioned so you can listen if you so wish. HERE it is.
20. Allegaeon – Elements Of The Infinite
A great Technical Death Metal band from the US. There are LOTS of widdly solos and Progressive elements alongside the brutality. I stumbled across them on youtube via the amusing video for their song 1.618, which you can see for yourselves look
19. Eels – The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett
The 11th album of love, misery and heartbreak is a great return to form for E after a couple of so-so albums.
18 .Rancid – Honor Is All We Know
The first album from them in years and it’s a welcome return. A really great Punk album.
17. Marmozets – The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets
A young band from Yorkshire like myself (though I’m neither young nor a band). They play vibrant Alternative Rock with some Mathcore and Punk energy thrown in. Good stuff.
16. KXM – KXM
A supergroup of sorts comprising: Doug Pinnick from King’s X, George Lynch from Dokken and Lynch Mob and Korn drummer Ray Luzier. It sounds like pretty much everything else Doug has sung on but that’s no bad thing.
15. Eden Brent – Jigsaw Heart
I only listened to this because I thought the cover was interesting. I’m glad I did. She has a fantastic voice and plays Country influenced Blues Boogie. She sounds like Aretha Franklin singing Chas n’ Dave songs. It's bizarre but enjoyable
14. Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence
More Technical Death Metal from America. I’ve been listening to this a lot lately. Lots of riffs and memorable songs.
13. Shihad – FVEY
A harsher, more aggressive sounding album from the Kiwi Alternative Rock band.
12. Dog Fashion Disco – Sweet Nothings
DFD split in 2007 but reformed in 2013 and released this album with the help of Kickstarter. It’s great to have them back. It’s Avant-Garde Metal but with a healthy dose of fun and a very warped sense of humour.
11. CJ Wildheart – Mable
The first proper solo album from The Wildhearts’ guitarist. This is harder than the Pop Punk he’s offered up in the past but still feels joyous and uplifting. His voice has improved over the years too.Reviewed HERE
10. The Skull – For Those Which Are Asleep
Doom Metal band featuring ex-members of the seminal band Trouble who, unsurprisingly, sound a lot like Trouble. It’s heavy but full of melody too.Reviewed HERE
9. Destiny Potato – LUN
Interesting Djent band from Serbia. They’re a lot more accessible and poppy than most bands of this ilk. Plus, having a female vocalist helps them stand out. She’s got a nice voice too.
8. Septicflesh – Titan
Symphonic Death Metal band that incorporate a full orchestra into their sound. It works incredibly well. Unsettling, creepy and very heavy,Reviewed HERE
7. The Dowling Poole – Bleak Strategies
A collaboration between Willie Dowling (Jackdaw4) and Jon Poole (Cardiacs/The Wldhearts) . Progressive Pop with sunny harmonies. It's infuriatingly catchy and endearing. I wish I’d managed to get this reviewed but never seemed to get around to it. I should.
6. Lyriel – Skin And Bones
A Gothic Folk Metal from Germany. Skin And Bones sees less of the Folk and more of the Metal. And a longboat full of memorable tunes.
5. Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter
I wasn’t sure what to expect from ths album, the last couple were okay but nothing special. This was a cracking return to form though. I really enjoyed it.
4. Möngöl Hörde - Möngöl Hörde
A hardcore side project from Frank Turner. Again, I was surprised at how good this was. It’s way different from his usual stuff.
3. Deathmøle – Permanence
Instrumental Post Metal from Questionable Content’s Jeph Jaques. Crushingly heavy and very enjoyable.Reviewed HERE
2. Toehider – What Kind Of Creature Am I?
I love this band. They’re an Australian Prog Metal band at their core but dabble in a wide variety of styles and genres. Equal parts Devin Townsend and Frank Zappa. No two songs are alike on What Kind Of Creature Am I? but they’re all great.Reviewed HERE
1. Ginger Wildheart – Albion
Technically this was released in 2013 but as it was the tail end of December it’s close enough not to matter. This is a fantastic album, marred slightly by an unsatisfactory mix and a couple of below par tracks. The rest FAR make up for that though, there’s an abundance of quality tunes like Grow A Pair, Creepers, The Order Of The Dog, Body Parts, Cambria and Burn This City Down.
Ginger is also responsible for ther musical highlight of the year with his GASS project but as that’s a series of singles it’s not eligible for inclusion. The compilation of tracks from it that will be released next year will be though and I imagine it’ll be placed quite highly in my Best of 2015.
As I said there have been so many great albums this year and compiling this list was hard. Therefore I wanted to add a few honourable mentions. In no particular order:
The Dollyrots – Barefoot and Pregnant
Machine Head - Bloodstone & Diamonds
Devin Townsend – Z2
Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez
Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business
Aurelio Voltaire – Raised By Bats
The Dirty Panties – I Am A Robot
Opus Of A Machine – Simulacra
Within Temptation – Hydra
Half Man Half Biscuit – Urge For Offal
Senser – To The Capsules (Again, technically last year but at the tail end)
Behemoth – The Satanist
K.Flay – Life As A Dog
Prong – Ruining Lives
The Pretty Reckless – Going To Hell
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Opeth – Pale Communion
Thundermother – Rock n’ Roll Disaster
Psychostick – Revenge Of The Vengeance