Thumbs up: +11
As the year 2014 progresses on in its musical endeavors, it will have a lot to live up to. I will document any notable or exceptional albums I hear along the way.

NOTE

Regarding order, most of them happen to fall in numerical order of rating, although there is likely to be exceptions. For example, though I rate one album by band "X" as a 90% or higher, that may not be as good as an album by band "Y" that is 85%. Basically, a power metal album of 90% I might not enjoy as much as a death/doom album of 85%

Created by: LascaillesShroud | 04.02.2014



1. Behemoth - The Satanist
I firmly believe this to be their most concentrated album ever. Both primal and mature, brutal and beautiful, without concerning itself with either. A visceral momentum that belches forth with grandiose inspiration and prolific music. ( 100% )
2. Aenaon - Extance
The first time for me getting into this band, and it was a magnificent experience. The structuring and composition is brilliant, songwriting phenomenal and the production near-perfect. I really wish Tanya on "Funeral Blues" made more appearances, even doing all the songs would of been great, but you can't have everything. The album is still near-perfection ( 99% )
3. Opeth - Pale Communion
Perhaps I am incapable of being objective with Opeth, seeing as most do not enjoy these later records. I do know however, that I do not care. My thorough enjoyment of Opeth has lasted more than a decade and shows no signs of wavering with the new album. Phenomenal. ( 92% )
4. Noble Beast - Noble Beast
Heavily riff-fueled modern power metal. The singer has a great low register, instead of the more typical high register and his voice booms across the bombastic music-scape for one of the best spent hours of the year. (90%)
5. Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us
I really love the production on this album, the bass guitar is incredibly present without being too "rumbly". The guitar work is as you would expect, so effortlessly transcendental and beautiful. A polarizing change to Trace In Air which is a good thing, they showed the can make two completely different records and still retain an insanely high caliber of quality. ( 90% )
6. Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead
The masters return, with a triumphant "alright!", persevering over their torched studio they return with an aggressive album. Avalon is essentially Iron Maiden meets Gamma Ray and that is definitely ok with me. Power Metal is great this year for once ( 90% )
7. Mournful Congregation - Concrescence Of The Sophia
Two songs, the opener a 22 minute behemoth of funeral doom mastery. Morose melodies, heavy chords, somber growls that pang with agony, and followed by an 8 minute track of equal quality. Amazing release, every note carefully chose and placed. ( 89% )
8. Below - Across the Dark River
This is akin to Candlemass if they got the infamous Tyrant Harry Conklin to do vocals. Swedish Doom and it is really worth hearing. A nice clean sounding album that isn't too clean or digital, very pleasant to listen to start to finish. Highly recommended for the riffs ( 88% )
9. Insomnium - Shadows of the Dying Sun
A melancholic journey through morose musical landscapes, a beautiful album filled with very vocal musicianship and superb lyricism. Nary is there really a flaw with this album, other than it ending. ( 87% )
10. Defilementory - The Dismal Ascension
To put simply, excellently executed death metal with vicious performance from all instruments. Highly recommended and highly enjoyable ( 86% )
11. Ancient Bards - A New Dawn Ending
Admittedly a little unenthusiastic about their previous albums, this one is exceptional. A healthy balance of guitars dishing out riffs, and leads, and powerful orchestral elements. Doesn't hurt that Sara Squadrani sounds flawless either. ( 87% )
12. Iron Savior - Rise of the Hero
German Power Metallers return with one hell of an album. Power Metal that's not a parody of itself, great riffs, big expansive and colorful sounds, and fat layered vocals. One of the best in the Power Metal scene in recent memory. ( 85% )
13. Sinbreed - Shadows
Speed-Metal infused amazingness. The joy this album brought me was immense, the power of the riff is immeasurable with this one. The Lande/Deris esque lower register vocals with Marcus' driving riffs are perfection. ( 85% )
14. Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds
I love the production, the vocals are kind of buried in the mix, but they're spread out so well I like how it fits and sounds. Old school sound, with old school energy. Amazing Death Metal ( 85% )
15. Hannes Grossmann - The Radial Covenant
So it turns out Hanness Grossmann, quite possibly my favorite drummer apart from Nicko McBrain, is also stupidly and offensively good at playing guitar. So much in fact he wrote the best Tech-Death record since...Well since the last Obscura ironically. Guest musicians are also all musicians from other planets, breathtaking record. ( 85%)
16. MaYan - Antagonise
I loved their debut "Quarterpast", and this is a big step up for them. A more concise production with better riffs, and Henning Basse belting out his iconic voice. It's energetic Death Metal with symphonic touches, smoother guitar and key solos and of course, Mark Jansen's signature demonic growls. ( 83% )
17. Morbus Chron - Sweven
This album is like if Progressive Death/ Thrash were made in the 1970's, so basically - it's really fucking good. Like, seriously something wicked, go listen now, why are you reading this go away. (83%)
18. Benevolent - The Covenant
I get a lot of Scar Symmetry vibes here, but nothing "clone-worthy". Destructive low-tuned riffs, exquisite leads, and demonic vocals, and a generally better than average level of lyricism. A diverse and dynamic album worthy of your time. ( 80% )
19. Diabulus in Musica - Argia
Another great album from them, my favorite since "Secrets". Great production, great orchestral elements, soaring vocals, all that you would expect from DiM done just a bit better. ( 80% )
20. Whispered - Shogunate Macabre
Perhaps because I lack the contextual reference for their debut, I enjoyed this album more than others on here seemed to. I thought it was great Finnish Melodeath, and the addition of traditional Japanese instrumentation is excellent. ( 80% )
21. A Sense of Gravity - Travail
Get them on Metal Storm! ( http://www.metalstorm.net/bands/band_suggestions.php?suggested_search=A+Sense+of+Gravity ) - A very eclectic album, jumping from Proggy Death rhythms to bouts of pure Fusion/ Jazz frenzy. The guitarists are exceptionally notable to me, influences from Howe, Hackett, Vai, and Becker abound to create some of the best modern lead playing in recent memory. ( 80% )
22. Slough Feg - Digital Resistance
A post-apocalyptic sounding album, with it's barren tones and dusty vibes. It admittedly took me quite awhile to really enjoy this whole album, but I honestly like it considerably more now than on my first listen. Very cool, just edging itself in the high-ranking category ( 80% )
23. Persuader - The Fiction Maze
The beginning of the album moved a little slow for me, the opening three tracks didn't catch me but by the time Heathen (track 08) had arrived I was sold. A very solid album with great riffs and an incredible vocal performance. ( 80% )
24. Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon
While nothing new from Iced Earth, I still find it to be a great album. Lot's of good riffs, even if the energy is slightly subdued compared to some IE. Stu Block delivers a great performance as well, monstrous vocals as always. ( 77% )
25. Inferi - The Path of Apotheosis
Feels like a slightly less progressive version of Gorod, and not quite as good. A still solid album painted with moments of sheer brilliance and amazing displays of musicianship throughout. ( 77% )



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by LascaillesShroud ]



Comments

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Zaphod - 07.02.2014 at 17:35  
I'm confused, I thought Persuader was a 2014 album and I had it on my list, but here on MS it says it was released 25 December 2013, so I removed it, thinking I'd made a mistake. But now I see it on your 2014 list and I'm thinking it wasn't a mistake...
Troy Killjoy - 07.02.2014 at 20:23  
Written by Zaphod on 07.02.2014 at 17:35
I'm confused, I thought Persuader was a 2014 album and I had it on my list, but here on MS it says it was released 25 December 2013, so I removed it, thinking I'd made a mistake. But now I see it on your 2014 list and I'm thinking it wasn't a mistake...

It was released in Japan last December (the initial date) but I think the band and label consider it a 2014 release. I think Heathen had a similar issue with both 2009 (Japanese) and 2010 release dates.
Zaphod - 07.02.2014 at 22:44  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.02.2014 at 20:23

It was released in Japan last December (the initial date) but I think the band and label consider it a 2014 release. I think Heathen had a similar issue with both 2009 (Japanese) and 2010 release dates.

Ah, thanks, that clarifies things.
And since I always considered that Heathen album a 2010 release I'll consider Persuader's a 2014 release.
LascaillesShroud - 08.02.2014 at 03:16  
The release date was January 31, 2014 in the sates I think. My birthday actually lol
tea[m]ster - 08.02.2014 at 04:52  
Nice job on the little summaries. I am trying the same this year, for the first time.
LascaillesShroud - 08.02.2014 at 07:26  
Written by tea[m]ster on 08.02.2014 at 04:52

Nice job on the little summaries. I am trying the same this year, for the first time.


Thanks much!
Coolingsrock - 09.02.2014 at 22:30  
Listening to Behemoth now. I'll see if it can beat Aenaon on my list. nice list !
LascaillesShroud - 10.02.2014 at 00:18  
Written by Coolingsrock on 09.02.2014 at 22:30

Listening to Behemoth now. I'll see if it can beat Aenaon on my list. nice list !


Aenaon was a big surprise for me, a worthy holder of any number 1 spot.
Hex_Omega - 16.02.2014 at 20:42  
What about new Transatlantic?
LascaillesShroud - 17.02.2014 at 02:05  
Written by Hex_Omega on 16.02.2014 at 20:42

What about new Transatlantic?


Haven't heard it yet
Hex_Omega - 17.02.2014 at 11:14  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 17.02.2014 at 02:05

Written by Hex_Omega on 16.02.2014 at 20:42

What about new Transatlantic?


Haven't heard it yet

It's quite good, check it out
R Lewis - 18.02.2014 at 19:41  
Hey! Where's Interval 02?
LascaillesShroud - 18.02.2014 at 23:23  
Written by R Lewis on 18.02.2014 at 19:41

Hey! Where's Interval 02?


Never heard of it, must be a terrible album
R Lewis - 18.02.2014 at 23:29  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 18.02.2014 at 23:23

Never heard of it, must be a terrible album

Agree. Still can't figure out how that still isn't winning the "Biggest Letdown" category
LascaillesShroud - 19.02.2014 at 00:12  
Written by R Lewis on 18.02.2014 at 23:29

Written by LascaillesShroud on 18.02.2014 at 23:23

Never heard of it, must be a terrible album

Agree. Still can't figure out how that still isn't winning the "Biggest Letdown" category


I bet the douchebag behind is bribing Metal Storm lol
R Lewis - 19.02.2014 at 00:15  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 19.02.2014 at 00:12

Top Secret

Shhhht. Users must think the Awards are regular.
I'm just now reveiving a Ferrari from Clutch in exchange for 100 votes for Earth Rocker made with fake accounts.
The Galactican - 23.03.2014 at 01:45  
Excellent list! I enjoyed both the ranking and the writing. Also, thanks for turning me onto Morbus Chron; your description is very apt. I'm more of a Clive Burr guy than a Nikko McBrain guy, but I think we're going to get on famously either way.

I'll be checking back on this one through the year. Keep up the good work.

EDIT: And I should say too that I got here through that Hannes Grossmann record. WTF with that guy's talent? It is epic to say the very least.
LascaillesShroud - 23.03.2014 at 05:24  
Written by The Galactican on 23.03.2014 at 01:45

Excellent list! I enjoyed both the ranking and the writing. Also, thanks for turning me onto Morbus Chron; your description is very apt. I'm more of a Clive Burr guy than a Nikko McBrain guy, but I think we're going to get on famously either way.

I'll be checking back on this one through the year. Keep up the good work.

EDIT: And I should say too that I got here through that Hannes Grossmann record. WTF with that guy's talent? It is epic to say the very least.


Well Clive Burr was fantastic! I just have more material from Nicko available

Also yeah, Hannes Grossmann is stupidly talented. The scope of his abilities is awe-inspiring.

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