Thumbs up: +34
Only my absolute favourite stuff from 2014.

Resisting the urge to dump everything that sounds potentially good here so I can actually write about the stuff I'm sure I do like. However, all the potentials can be found here should you wish to sift through them.

No order (added as I find them).

Created by: !J.O.O.E.! | 05.04.2014



1. Morbus Chron - Sweven
These guys appear to want a piece of the action that Tribulation got last year with their phenomenal The Formulas of Death album. Like them, they see themselves merging an old-school aesthetic with a modern twist. Death, thrash and progressive metal is blended harmoniously with mature songwriting and superbly organic production to create superlative atmosphere - http://tiny.cc/2b1udx
2. Nasheim - Solens Vemod
If you've been missing the golden days of Drudkh, are pining for the emotionally charged atmospherics of Fen's debut, or feel like Walknut's sophomore will never arrive, then this is truly the album for you. And what a blinder it is; dense and foreboding with a subtle, folky darkness that harkens back to Negură Bunget's 'n Crugu Bradului' - http://tiny.cc/rc1udx
3. Dephosphorus - Ravenous Solemnity
Grecian, space-themed blackened grindcore. As good as it sounds. Far more song-based than your average grind outfit; this record displays an impressive amount of technical mastery and songwriting variation, not to mention a rich and satisfyingly juicy sound. - http://tiny.cc/id1udx
4. Azziard - Vésanie
Another band in the ever lengthening line of modern black metal from France. Not necessarily that original anymore but it certainly exemplifies the deathened black aesthetic of modernity that metal is capable of. Fiercly intense stuff that'll satisfy the Deathspell Omega fan within you - http://tiny.cc/ke1udx
5. Atlas Machine - Elysium
"Ambient black metal" is one of the bandied around terms you'll see these days, but Atlas Machine take it to the most literal level, chopping up segments of intensely thick metal in equal measures with spacious ambient and downtempo electronic music. Nothing of the "dark" variety you often see associated with black metal. For that reason alone this is a bit of an oddity, and a great sounding one at that - http://tiny.cc/ka1udx
6. Bong - Stoner Rock
Bong poke fun at the stoner rock genre by entitling their umpteenth record just that, despite sounding nothing like the sound associated with it. In reality though this is probably closer to "stoner rock" than anything that's fallen out the genre. If you know Bong you'll know what to expect: lengthy tripped out voyages through the vastness of space, your sitar being your faithful companion - http://tiny.cc/6f1udx
7. Coma Void - Coma Void
Still can't place exactly what it is about this I like so much. Something about the interplay of the massively trudging and groovy dirges with the warm melodies sliding over the top of it that really pleases my brain, along with an inherent electronic peculiarity to the affair. Warm and very fuzzy - http://tiny.cc/xg1udx
8. Slough Feg - Digital Resistance
Pretty much the flag bearers for interesting and highly personalised sounding heavy metal. Slough Feg lost a bit of their momentum with their previous album which often became lost within itself, lacking memorable character, but here they make a return to form and deliver, once again, songs that stay more readily in one's memory. Maybe a little thin on the production / guitar tone front but easily forgiveable when they write such good tunes - http://tiny.cc/xh1udx
9. Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds
There's a ton of old school death out at the moment, and you could throw a small Lithuanian child into a field and probably hit a guitarist from one of them, but Corpsessed probably stand a little above their peers in terms of delivering sheer cavernousness. Dark, dreary, dank and destructive. Just like your mother is - http://tiny.cc/ui1udx
10. Gnaw Their Tongues & Alkerdeel - Dyodyo Asema
What do you get when you combine two of the darkest, most delicious bile spewing musical entities that are Gnaw Their Tongues and Alkerdeel? Something sinister that's for sure. Subtle blends of insidious doom, drone, black metal and dark ambient create an aural landscape dripping with death and disease. Even some melancholic melody seeps through. Start 2014 the right way; listen to this - http://tiny.cc/0j1udx
11. Blut Aus Nord - Debemur MoRTi
Debemur Mortii's surprise 100th album release (I think). If you've stumbled onto pretty much any of BaN's recent work then you'll know what to expect here as it's very "standard" where his sound is concerned. Highly industrialised, dissonant black metal that doesn't sound like anything else you've ever heard before outside of the band - http://tiny.cc/tk1udx
12. Warforged - Essence Of The Land
Stunningly good extreme progressive metal EP that combines elements from black metal, hardcore and of a variety of technical metal outputs that ultimately winds up being far more atmospheric than one might expect it to be, owing partially to subtle use of ambient and intertwining melodic leads. Still ballsy as fuck though - http://tiny.cc/cl1udx
13. My Useless Life - Negative Memories
Far from being the biggest DSBM fan, the fact I love this should probably stand as a testament to how good it is. As a friend of mine once said about this: "They're not riffs, they're cadences of futility." Sounds about right to me - http://tiny.cc/em1udx
14. Hooded Menace - Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze
Two moderately lengthy tracks of rabid deathly doom. Not original, nor innovative, it is however wretched as sin and most satisfying to give oneself up to. Which of course you all really want to because being naughty is better than being nice - http://tiny.cc/fn1udx
15. Thy Flesh - Thymiama Mannan
You can pretty much replicate the description of Azziard for this one, except they're from Greece, not France, and not quite as death metally. Either way they belong to that fangled modern-wave of "orthodox" sounding black metal. It's difficult to tire of the sound sometimes, especially when it's so well done - http://tiny.cc/5n1udx
16. Sevendeaths - Concreté Misery
It's not metal, but I don't think many people would take issue with that considering how good it sounds. Quite beautiful retro-electronic, akin to Tangerine Dream, only progressing the sound further. Conjures up science fiction landscapes drenched in a 70s and 80s movie veneer. If that doesn't float your spacecraft then you ain't no friend of mine - http://tiny.cc/0o1udx
17. Nadja - Queller
It's amazing that after so many records Nadja can still deeply impress. This isn't to say they're reinventing the wheel here; this is still Nadja's trademark approach of taking dreampop and shoegaze to the extreme levels of ambient drone, but it's done with such aplomb that the floaty, fuzzed-out dreamscapes sound as good as they always have - http://tiny.cc/xp1udx
18. Merkabah (Poland) - Moloch
Even in 2014, when metal is morphing and twisting, bringing something new and unique out on practically a daily basis, some things still remain more unique than others. Poland's Merkabah are one such example. Some kind of bizarre, avant-garde jazz post-metal. It's deliciously challenging and genre-crushing far beyond human comfort- http://tiny.cc/l442ex
19. The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li
More Frenchies. The sophomore of Lovecraft-inspired black metallers is a monolith of ultra intense walls of dissonance / harmony interplay. The result is a textured, sometimes epically melodic yet challenging, culmination of their potential that I was lucky enough to experience on a pre-release demo of their first album. They've evolved into a peerless entity - http://tiny.cc/at1udx
20. Psygnosis - Human Be[ing]
Something that you don't see together too often: ambient electronic and death metal. It shouldn't work, but somehow Psygnosis (yet more Frenchies) splice not only these two elements, but also numerous other influences including black metal, industrial metal, and a distinct amount of Gojirisms. Thankfully the overall sound is cohesive, rich and heavy. Unf - http://tiny.cc/2t1udx
21. Moloch - Verwüstung
I'm not altogether familiar with Moloch but from what I understand the band dwell a lot in dark ambient soundscapes. This album, however, is more like old-school black metal sandwiched between a dark ambient intro and outro. Normally something so tired and tested wouldn't make such a list but it's been a while since I was so impressed by old fashioned black metal. Extremely well made stuff - http://tiny.cc/aw1udx
22. Omnerod - Ivory Dune
Still not entirely sure what this is. Extreme progressive metal would come closest, but I think they outdo even Psygnosis in the experimental stakes. Every song quite literally offers something new, be it ambient, djent, death metal or some curious combination of all these things, or something else entirely. Definitely a testament to originality in its most purest form - http://tiny.cc/yw1udx
23. Deadly Carnage - Manthe
Coarse, scorched, post-black metal. I can't say this will win any originality competitions but there's a distinct strength in its songwriting and delivery that's kept me coming back. Could be those searing shrieks, or could be the hints of melancholy scattered throughout. Who knows. It's good though - http://tiny.cc/wy1udx
24. Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye
To think I very nearly let this one slip by. This is truly WEIRD stuff. In my head this is what !T.O.O.H.! would sound like if they played raw, blackened death metal. That might not be that accurate, but there's something about the queer, bendy riffs snaking off in random directions that make me think the mad Czechs would do something rather like it - http://tiny.cc/mz1udx
25. Conan - Blood Eagle
I won't pretend this is a perfect record; some of the tracks clearly aren't as strong as others, but the ones that do hit all the right notes hit them very hard indeed. It's difficult to deny the pleasures of the ultra-heaviness and sexual rhythms on offer here. Have to say Conan also managed something very difficult which was to impress me with a music video, which can be seen in the link. Could spawn a whole series from it I reckon - http://tiny.cc/107vdx
26. The Cosmic Dead - EasterFaust
An absolute monster of swirling psychedelic krautrock and a visual feast of kaleidoscopic colours, patterns, shapes and sounds. Any attempt at rational thought while listening to this will result in nothing less than a total short circuit of the mind. Naturally the only way to approach this is to let it take ahold of you as you tumble down the rabbit hole. Far out, man - http://tiny.cc/3wawdx
27. Epistasis - Light Through Dead Glass
What even is this? It's hard to say. Seemingly loosely based in black metal, but contorted toward the avant-garde, drawing upon sludge and doom's ability to bludgeon, atonal TKDE-like jazz inflections, the odd, classic OSDM riff (see: 'Witch'), amongst other things, all compacted into a sub-half hour experiment curated by a vocalist somewhat reminiscent of Lord Mantis. The whole thing should sound like a mess but really this is as organic and meticulously constructed as anything else I've heard. I don't know what it is but it's beautiful. - http://tinyurl.com/p89h7tt
28. Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes Vol​.​4
Another retro sort of electronic number. Lots of classic ambient techno synth going on, minimalistic in presence but with a variety of great, often groovy and filmic textures. Debatable when this was released (Bandcamp and RYM say 2013, official Facebook and Discogs say 2014) but I love this kind of thing though so it makes the list - http://tinyurl.com/n9eytks
29. David Andree and John Mason - Call, Response
I love ambient music, but it can be very boring. Creating something out of very little is a challenge and is really based on one's ability to manipulate on a very subtle level. 'Call, Response' might be the first album of its type this year that's attracted me. Feels like a soundtrack to an atmospheric, indie puzzle platformer like 'The Swapper'. Ethereal and painstakingly nuanced - http://tinyurl.com/pmjnoqh
30. Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
I've put this off for a while because the track they released deviated quite significantly from their debut and I wasn't expecting to like it. Once I got past that prejudice however I managed to accept this for what it is. That is a disgusting, dirty and depraved blackened sludge bastard of an album. Really dynamic, heavy as a ton of faeces with giant slabs of bludgeoning groove and generally nice pacing and variety throughout - http://tinyurl.com/l99vjdm
31. Triptykon - Melana Chasmata
I don't remember much about the debut, so can't really compare, but going on the merits of this album I can say it's a hugely impressive one. Extremely well crafted mixture of mechanical thrash, pounding, angular doom with a somewhat subtle gothic edge and a general tone and atmosphere I've only really known with Tom G. Warrior related material. Pretty astounding vocal performances too. Could do with having 15 minutes shaved off but on the whole I'm a big fan of this - http://tinyurl.com/pe3dxzj
32. Birds Of Passage - This Kindly Slumber
Drone-cum-ambient with a pop sensibility of the most delicate nature. Music that's little more than a mist floating above a woodland path, with a ghostly, gentle female whispering inhabiting it. Haunting ambiance, perfect music for when you awake before the sun comes up - http://tinyurl.com/oxql7rj
33. Ø - Konstellaatio
It's pretty incredible what artists can do, can make us visualise, by utilising minor components of music and sound. The most very minimal ambient and techno here creates surprisingly huge soundscapes which emphasise the gaps of silence in between as elements of the compositions themselves. That sounds pretty pretentious but then I suppose this is pretty pretentious music - http://tinyurl.com/q46e8v3
34. Suffering Quota - Suffering Quota
Holy walls of grinding noise. Deathy, hardcore-ish grind that really holds nothing back in terms of sheer intensity. Not exactly rewriting the book on ingenuity but sometimes you just want things short, sharp and impactful, qualities which this has in absolute droves. Extra points for its sexy album artwork too - http://tiny.cc/2731dx
35. Terra Tenebrosa - V.I.T.R.I.O.L. - Purging The Tunnels
In typical fashion, Terra Tenebrosa scoff at the idea of genre conventions. This 20 minute EP is an inscrutable journey of industrialised, avant-garde primitivism, an unsettling ambient aura encircling it at every juncture. Not really a band one can describe with any ease, they're probably best experienced first hand. Not an easy task, but then it never is - http://tiny.cc/3ag2dx
36. Krusseldorf - Fractal World
Soft, geometrical shapes in pastel colours bouncing gently off your grey matter. This is uncomplicated ambient IDM with a pleasing emphasis on subtle melodies, without being especially abstract. Pretty ideal for relaxing to, I can't imagine how anyone could ever dislike this style of music really - http://tiny.cc/86r2dx
37. Motoi Sakuraba - Dark Souls II OST
More than likely to be my favourite game this year, its soundtrack is definitely an integral part of its immense quality. While regular travel and exploration is reliant on ambient, atmospheric background sound, the bosses themselves orient on foreboding orchestral and jarring choral theatrical scores. Motoi Sakuraba has created some of the best soundtracks to games, and Dark Souls II is definitely no exception - http://tiny.cc/mgx2dx
38. Peter Christopherson - Time Machines II
Legendary English experimental band Coil released an album back in the late 90s called 'Time Machines' which consisted of 4 songs composed supposedly under the influence and / or inspired by 4 experimental psychedelic drugs that the band were sent by "international chemists," whatever that means. This album appears to be some kind of follow up by Coil member Peter Christopherson who passed away during its production. I'm unsure of any details surrounding this record beyond that, apart from the fact it's been released in an expensive USB, pewter / leather pack, but what I do know is that it's an incredible experimental drone record. Quite immense array of compositional techniques, textures and intensity - http://tiny.cc/apr3dx
39. Necro Deathmort - Martian Cartography
Moving away from his usual droning dark ambient soundscapes, this around Necro Deathmort offers up a moody, pounding techno album. It's really nice to hear something so conventionally rhythm-based also have such a large emphasis on atmosphere and ambience and it doesn't surprise me that it sounds so damn good considering who's doing it. Definitely the kind of thing that would be played in scummy, alien nightclubs. I could definitely see Commander Shepard dancing to this - http://tiny.cc/7mo5dx
40. Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence
Arguably the best thing from both Impetuous Ritual and Portal since Outre'. Whilst Portal takes death metal to a place of pure nightmare, Impetuous Ritual keep it more secular whilst taking old school death metal to the absolute extreme, just before before falling off the precipice into almost pure ambient noise. The riffs really shine through the walls of sound and positively reek of morbid ominousness, but there are also frequent notes of doomy melancholy seeping through from time to time. It's really quite an immense thing - http://tiny.cc/vmwaex
41. Mannveira - Von Er Eitur
Between Wormlust and Carpe Noctem, Iceland pretty much had 2013's black metal market cornered, and it looks like 2014 isn't going to let up. It's only a 15 minute demo, but Von Er Eitur is a stonkingly good dissonant and dense black metal number with blindingly tight percussion. Reminding me somewhat of Walknut only far more caustic with some delightfully tortured vocals, it's also pretty atmospheric. If this kind of thing evokes an atmosphere for you, anyway - http://tiny.cc/4npeex
42. Oat Oaks - OSBRIV
I don't even know what this is. Released on cassette by some Russians. Crappy name, AWFUL artwork (that's paradoxically pretty rad), but damn, the music is something else. Some kind of ambient, droning black metal that almost seems to have an 80s synthwave vibe to it, ambient electronic oriented instrumental tracks that wouldn't look out of place on Boards of Canada's 'The Campfire Headphase', psychedelic noise rock soundscapes and who knows what else. It's very weird but works together in unity very well, and speaks to me in a big, big way - http://tiny.cc/9iqeex
43. Krieg - Isolation / Transmission
A few years ago I couldn't have envisioned Krieg making a best-of list of mine, but since I randomly decided to check out their 'The Isolationist' album I've had one eye on them ever since. They seem to experimenting away from their typical raw and hate-filled black metal toward something else. This really nice (but far too short) EP sees them playing with melancholic rock with aching, winding background leads contrasted with raspy vocals. The result is really quite pleasant - http://tiny.cc/bojfex
44. Grey Widow - I
Boy randomly discovers super-ultra heavy sludge doom band with black metal and drone doom elements. Boy falls in love. Boy then discovers that said band is playing in town he's living in in 2 weeks. Boy then discovers band is actually partly from the town he lives in. Boy is happy. This shit is fucking heavy and nasty and oh-so good. What Electric Wizard would sound like if they played blackened sludge - http://tiny.cc/zskfex
45. Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers
Deathspell Omecore. That's pretty much how I would describe this. There's quite a bizarre amount of cognitive dissonance going on here. At almost every point here it feels like I'm listening to a brilliant new Deathspell Omega record, but at the same time it's clearly not. Ravaged hardcore rasps permeate, just about, the flailing, blackened discordant riffs to create an instantly recognisable but ultimately different approach to the Ved Buens Ende riff. Great band name too - http://tiny.cc/syfgex
46. Lord Mantis - Death Mask
Well this certainly isn't as immense as Pervertor, but then I believe that particular album set a precedent for absurdly filth-drenched blackened sludge which is not likely to be topped any time soon. That being said this is far from a disappointment. Everything that makes Lord Mantis such a masochistic experience is still here, only perhaps in a more "mature" form. It's still hard hitting, varied and disgusting, and it's going to offend your grandmother - http://tiny.cc/f3qgex
47. Yellow Eyes - The Desert Mourns
Running out of adjectives to describe all the great black metal being released this year. This is another short EP, clocking in at 15 minutes, and consists of relentless, uncompromising and dissonant modern black metal that's thicker and more dense than Paris Hilton. If you like your wall-of-sound black metal that pulls it off with intelligence, subtle melody and furious bravado then this is for you - http://tiny.cc/j88gex
48. Ghoul - Hang Ten
I swear the last time I listened to Ghoul they were little more than Carcass wannabes, but on this great little EP they seem to draw on Misfits even more than before. The result is a seriously fun thrashy and punky upbeat number. Lots of bodalicious and infectious groovy hooks whilst retaining their meaty sound. Top notch surfin' - http://tiny.cc/jxciex
49. Infestus - The Reflecting Void
Everything Infestus do they do better than everyone else in their field of so-called "atmospheric" black metal. Their production and sound is the most rich, punchy and intense without being remotely overproduced, they balance epic melodies with moody, foreboding rhythms and riffs better than anyone else does, the drums have more personality, the vocalist is more confident and annunciates better, as well as sounding like a throaty Mikael Stanne (never a bad thing), and they just write better and more dynamic songs. Pretty safe to say this is the best black metal record I've heard this year so far - http://tiny.cc/vwhkex
50. Taurus - No/Thing
Female-fronted duo of highly experimental droning psychedelic sludge and doom. That's about as well as I can describe this collaboration between a member of each Dark Castle and Purple Rhinestone Eagle. I particularly love the Blut aus Nord-ian bendy riffs which sit exceptionally well within the absolute mire of screeching and wailing vocal feedback, free-form percussion and a curious Eastern and meditational vibe amidst the swirling ambience. Also has Wrest doing vocals in the last track in typical monstrous fashion. Incredible stuff but not for the uninitiated - http://tiny.cc/unjoex
51. Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly
To me Mekong Delta have always been somewhat of a beacon in a barren thrash landscape and one of those bands I often wonder as to why they aren't many times more popular than they are, especially considering how long they've been going, made as many records as they have and been as consistent good as they are. I suppose though calling this thrash isn't quite right, more like technical / progressive speed metal with classical and heavy metal leanings at times, to my ears anyway. Aside from sounding a little too cleanly produced everything about this is right, the songs are diverse and interesting and somewhat Voivod-ian, the clean vocals are absolutely spot on. Also a contender for the worst cover art of all time - http://tiny.cc/871yex
52. Dead Congregation - Promulgation Of The Fall
I find it very difficult to imagine anyone eagerly awaiting for a follow up to the immense 'Graves of the Archangels' will be disappointed with this. Everything that made that record so great is here in droves, along with even darker nuancing and depth. Songs are all brutally punishing as well as murkily toxic with clear influences ranging from Morbid Angel to Incantation. Naturally it's treated to a fantastic production job too, which is something the latest Incantation cannot attest to... - http://tiny.cc/eoqhfx
53. Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere
Agalloch dun gud. They managed to make an album I can finally say I enjoy. I'm not sure what it is about it that I like, and admittedly I do find two of the tracks to be wildly better than the others, but on the whole they seem to justify the length of album with quality, mature songwriting, varied and dynamic sound and generally being very listenable without taxing the grey matter too much. You can't really ask more than that from a band when they sound as good as they do here - http://tiny.cc/s8shfx
54. Major Parkinson - Twilight Cinema
The circus has come to down! Oh no wait, it's just Major Parkinson. Very wacky, weird and peculiar prog rock with cabaret tendencies and a ton of other influence. Somehow it's all very catchy, bouncy and fun from the get go despite the constant influx of sounds and shapes. Haven't really enjoyed something like this since the last Diablo Swing Orchestra album. The last thing you've expect to come out of Norway - http://tiny.cc/95kpfx
55. Ravcan - Chernobyl Disaster
Jackpot. I'm not gonna lie: of all the themes and subject matters available in music the nuclear power plant disaster of Chernobyl is just about the coolest one (who hasn't dreamed of visiting Pripyat's abandoned theme park?). Ravcan, on the bleakly entitled 'Chernobyl Disaster', perfectly depict exactly that. Radiation soaked, industrialised dark ambient, drone and noise soundscapes conjure up ominous and tangible visual imagery of the abandoned and desolate nature of Ukraine's doomed city. It even features Merzbow on one of the tracks. Ironically glorious - http://tiny.cc/4mwyfx
56. Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here
Searing, blistering and caustic blackened hardcore with pronounced sludge elements. You can't really say fairer than that. Have heard quite a few bands of this ilk in recent times but I think these guys take the proverbial cake in sounding as vicious as possible. Sexual album artwork too - http://tiny.cc/j5z1fx
57. Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus - Spirit Knife
Jeremy Irons has a band! Actually no, he doesn't. This bunch of hippies decided it would be cool to use his name in their band. Fortunately their band is pretty fucking good. Summery-y, jamming, psychedelic rock that keeps it very fun and accessible, due in large part to the fantastatique vocals and memorable melodies - http://tiny.cc/5d01fx
58. Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare
How many originators / bands inhabiting the very earliest of specific genres, still define the genres they began nearly 30 years later, and even more effectively so than their modern equivalents? Sweet fuck all, that's how many. Mayhem are a rare exception. God these guys are good. This album is seriously noteworthy. Extraordinary technical skill, attention to detail, clever and unique songs, immense sense of dynamic structuring and of course a vocal performance only Attila could deliver. A perfect progression from Ordo's sound whist maintaining enough of it to please. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's an Ordo topper, but given the amount of anticipation levelled at this the fact it's not disappointing in any way is an achievement in itself - http://tiny.cc/j0rjgx
59. Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole
It's not often I'm convinced something is AotY material after only a couple of songs but Emptiness make that an easy proposition with 'Nothing But The Whole'. I'm pretty sure I knew them from their previous album 'Error' which was some very good blackened death metal. Here, to say they've "matured" in song writing would be an immense understatement. There are flecks of that blackened death feel here and there, but they've progressed their sound into far more polymorphous territories, and the result is a meticulously detailed, highly varied tapestry of songs and structures, all tightly bound together by a singular dark atmosphere. It's quite something - http://tiny.cc/9yjmgx
60. The Oath - The Oath
Well even though female fronted occult rock / doom is becoming pretty old hat these days The Oath somehow manage to dominate pretty much everything I've heard from the sub-genre. Vocals are absolutely spot on but what makes this better than anything else is the total focus is stupidly ass-kicking riffs. Tons of classic doom hooks and relentless heavy rocking pacing. Ballsy as fuck if you ask me, and quite frankly two of the hottest band members I've ever seen. Just a shame they split after this, but they're got themselves a pretty flawless discography because of it - http://tiny.cc/gw4ogx
61. Skáphe - Skáphe
Suffocatingly dense, wall-of-sound ambient black metal with embedded murky dissonance. Lots of bands seem to want to play this contorted, Portal-esque form of black metal these days and few manage to pull it off without sounding like amateurish noise. Skáphe, whoever they are, balance sounds marvellously, making their plane of hellish fuzz transparent to a world of complex sounding freeform instrumentation below, and even conjure a few Gnaw Their Tongues-esque moment while doing it - http://tiny.cc/4d44gx
62. Dweller In The Valley - Younger Dryas
Pretty nice, vitriolic punk-fuelled deathy black metal. If you like it rough, dirty, hard and fast, and also like your music the same way, then this should sort you out for 20 minutes. Short, sharp and not subtle. They also seem to have a bit of a thing for ram's skulls, which is a perfectly natural and healthy obsession - http://tiny.cc/ul74gx
63. Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestite
A fantastic record that Wolves alluded to with their also excellent previous album Celestial Lineage. Here we see them floating away from their metal roots and conjuring a peaceful and ethereal haze of droning ambient and mature electronic fuzz with subtle hints of Sunn O))) in the background. Reminds me of the works of Tangerine Dream and even the utterly magnanimous Murmuüre at points with an almost free-form beauty. It's Wolves, Jim, but only vaguely as we know it - http://tiny.cc/3vqsix
64. Ψυονξηε - Multicolored Libricide
Barely 6 minutes long, more addictive than crack and displaying more creative chops than most full lengths. This utterly compelling Japanese marvel combines black metal, punk, grind, death and a zest for truly organic production which culminates in something that begs to be put on repeat and left so for a long time. The bouncy song dynamics, melody that you want to engorge yourself on and a deliciously raw mixing job has already earned this a place in my favourite numbers this year - http://tiny.cc/64qsix
65. Whisper Room - The Cruelest Month
Headphones + maximum volume. It's the only way to listen to music such as this. The second album of Aidan Baker-related ambient is just that. Shimmering, gently percussion driven soundwaves expanding omni-directionally, coating you like a skin of calm contemplation. Surprisingly detailed through instrumentation and effects, this is music to be enjoyed by all - http://tiny.cc/s4rsix
66. Doctor Livingstone - Contemptus Saeculi
Goosebump-inducing blackened hardcore. Like their French contemporaries, Plebeian Grandstand, they dwell in the modernised fusion of these two extremely complementary areas of music, but unlike them they meld their inescapably abrasiveness sound with lashings of groove, effusive and moody melodies and deliberately dynamic and playful songmanship and generally keeping it more punky. It's bouncy, and grindy, and lovely and you need this - http://tiny.cc/2zytix
67. Wyrdforge - Her Wings Unfold War
A group of friends of mine who have rocked the Brighton circuit for a number of years now and never really got the recognition they deserved. A tumultuous mix of punk-driven death, grind and black metal with production as organic and real as you like. Their shows are nothing short of a whirling dervish but on record there's a sense of seriousness about them which is reflected in their songwriting (and which is definitely not reflected in them in real life!). These guys deserve your love because they're actually really fucking good - http://tiny.cc/zc2tix
68. Funereal Presence - The Archer Takes Aim
A one-man project of the drummer of Negative Plane who goes under the guise of "Bestial Devotion" (hmm....) and funnily enough this really couldn't sound more like Negative Plane if it tried. Clearly he's been taking some lessons from Mr. Nameless Void. It's really not a bad thing though; frantic, old-school feeling black metal with a heavy occult and psychedelic aura. Perhaps a bit less ostentatious than Negative Plane but all the flourishes are there in some degree. Check it out if out you like Negative Plane. The clean vocals are particularly nice and there's a new-era Darkthrone urgency about the whole thing - http://tiny.cc/w74tix
69. Slugdge - Gastronomicon
So that band that sings about slugs went and made another great record that even tops their debut. I'll say it again: no other band I know has the ability to inject as much fun into a serious business genre like blackened death / sludge as they do. They effortlessly seague from bounding blasts of energy, catchy, cavernous grooves to memorable melodies and hooks. They're a tower of unstoppable riffs that places interesting, varied songwriting at the forefront of their music and not just relying on a novelty theme - http://tiny.cc/96guix
70. Bölzer - Soma
The inordinately well-known now (relatively speaking) Bölzer carry on their extremely high quality and rather unique forays into old-school death metal with a modern twist. It's hard to pin down what make them so special. The riffs are thunderous and have an almost sludge quality about them whilst keeping that OSDM tone, but there's also a black metal vein running through it as well. All done in a vaguely unconventional but extremely satisfying way. - http://tiny.cc/sxhuix



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Pazdzioch - 06.04.2014 at 00:18  
Image from Brazil
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 00:19  
Written by Pazdzioch on 06.04.2014 at 00:18

Image from Brazil

Haha, yep. Not sure I went for that image in particular. It's an awesome film, probably a good enough reason.
MechanisT - 06.04.2014 at 00:39  
I've always liked your lists because of all the quality non-metal recommendations. I hope you won't be leaving them out and making this an exclusively metal-only list.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 00:41  
Written by MechanisT on 06.04.2014 at 00:39

I've always liked your lists because of all the quality non-metal recommendations. I hope you won't be leaving them out and make this an exclusively metal-only list.

I'll definitely be including a few of those. Haven't been as attentive to the non-metal side of things lately but I'm sure I'll get an urge for it very soon.
mz - 06.04.2014 at 00:48  
I got the impression that you are not going to make list this year becasue of your obscure metal list on YT, which fortunately turned out to be false.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 00:50  
Written by mz on 06.04.2014 at 00:48

I got the impression that you are not going to make list this year becasue of your obscure metal list on YT, which fortunately turned out to be false.

Well videos on youtube have a habit of disappearing, and even though I do have a word doc that I update every time I add a new track it's still convenient to have a list here so I can actually record things I want to remember, instead of having a big list of stuff that ranges from decent to great.
moonflash - 06.04.2014 at 01:05  
Nice list of recommendations for me! I haven't even heard of half the bands so it'll keep me busy for a long time Speaking of non-metal, I discovered Swans the other day and their album "The Seer" totally blew me away. Amazing mix of genres. Their new album is worth checking out too, very noisy and jazzy.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 01:06  
Written by moonflash on 06.04.2014 at 01:05

Nice list of recommendations for me! I haven't even heard of half the bands so it'll keep me busy for a long time Speaking of non-metal, I discovered Swans the other day and their album "The Seer" totally blew me away. Amazing mix of genres. Their new album is worth checking out too, very noisy and jazzy.

I've known Swans for a while but am only very slowly getting into them. They didn't instantly click with me like they seem to do most people but I can tell there's a lot to appreciate after I sat down and went through the whole of The Seer (a difficult journey for sure!).
Alex Fenger - 06.04.2014 at 02:22  
Fantastic list. I'm so glad to see you writing minireviews. Helps decide which ones to check out rather than just going by a random score. Unfortunately I've already heard all of these, but I'll check out any you add that I haven't instantly. also...if you don't fucking listen to Indian I'll rip out your heart and light it on fire you bitch. K thanks luvya

edit: also add the other Nadja release...........or not...it's up to you
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 02:24  
Written by Alex Fenger on 06.04.2014 at 02:22

also...if you don't fucking listen to Indian I'll rip out your heart and light it on fire you bitch. K thanks luvya

Sounds like a pretty brutal way to go. I suppose I should listen to Indian though, really...
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 06:24  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 02:24

I suppose I should listen to Indian though, really...

Well, you like Lord Mantis...
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 06:26  
Also, Lux Occulta if you liked the "avant garde jazz post metal" of Merkabah
Cynic Metalhead - 06.04.2014 at 10:22  
Great stuff. Half of 'em I covered and rest is in my waiting list. Here Internet is very low and however I cover up albums every year.

But, hey Joe why can't you go table top position with me so that we'll create oneness of having good internet connection?!
PocketMetal - 06.04.2014 at 13:40  
Thanks for the list, I'm randomly listening to these albums.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 14:33  
Written by Apothecary on 06.04.2014 at 06:24

Well, you like Lord Mantis...

Yeah I'm pretty familiar with Indian's first album; it's heavy as fuck. Just haven't got round to the new one, for some reason or another. And Lux Occulta will be listened to today I thinks.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 14:34  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.04.2014 at 10:22

But, hey Joe why can't you go table top position with me so that we'll create oneness of having good internet connection?!

That sounds kinda gay, though.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 14:35  
Written by PocketMetal on 06.04.2014 at 13:40

Thanks for the list, I'm randomly listening to these albums.

My pleasure =3 Looking at this list again I'm not entirely sure some of them will remain on there, I could probably trim a few off (might remove the Dhampyr record; just not as good as some of his other ones).
MechanisT - 06.04.2014 at 15:04  


Pretty nice dissonance-y/avantgarde-ish post-black that warrants a listen or two.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 15:12  
Written by MechanisT on 06.04.2014 at 15:04


Pretty nice dissonance-y/avantgarde-ish post-black that warrants a listen or two.

Sounds excellent indeed. I was pretty much sold on that first riff, though. I need to have a sift through Crucial Blast's bandcamp. They always do nice and noisy things.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 15:54  
Written by MechanisT on 06.04.2014 at 00:39

I've always liked your lists because of all the quality non-metal recommendations. I hope you won't be leaving them out and making this an exclusively metal-only list.


For more of this, check out IronAngel's lists. Half the stuff on his lists are non-metal.
MechanisT - 06.04.2014 at 15:58  
Written by tea[m]ster on 06.04.2014 at 15:54

For more of this, check out IronAngel's lists. Half the stuff on his lists are non-metal.


I like his lists as well but there's just too much of dream pop/folksy/indie stuff over there that I'm not too keen on. Having said that, yeah I keep a tab on both to siphon the good electronic, jazz & ambient outputs, and the odd ones from here and there.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 16:03  
Written by MechanisT on 06.04.2014 at 15:58

I like his lists as well but there's just too much of dream pop/folksy/indie stuff over there that I'm not too keen on. Having said that, yeah I keep a tab on both to siphon the good electronic, jazz & ambient outputs, and the odd ones from here and there.


It's almost overwhelming at times - too much to check out. Hope you find something you dig.
Cynic Metalhead - 06.04.2014 at 18:18  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 14:34

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.04.2014 at 10:22

But, hey Joe why can't you go table top position with me so that we'll create oneness of having good internet connection?!

That sounds kinda gay, though.


I'm kinda internet-depressive bloke who struggling to listen new albums, man.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 19:41  
Written by MechanisT on 06.04.2014 at 15:04

Pretty nice dissonance-y/avantgarde-ish post-black that warrants a listen or two.

I've been waiting for a true, killer black metal album this year, and I think this is most definitely it. The whole thing was built for my tastes. Finally something that can join the Wormlust and co of last year.
Lit. - 06.04.2014 at 20:15  
Only thing I found myself truly liking so far in 2014 is Ringworm. Try their newest. Not sure how you are on hardcore, though.

And damn, I didn't know Hooded Menace was released already. Gots to check that.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 20:21  
Written by Lit. on 06.04.2014 at 20:15

Only thing I found myself truly liking so far in 2014 is Ringworm. Try their newest. Not sure how you are on hardcore, though.

And damn, I didn't know Hooded Menace was released already. Gots to check that.

I like hardcore actually, and the album art from that is familiar. I'll give it a go, this list could do with some -core.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 20:59  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 20:21
I like hardcore actually, and the album art from that is familiar.

It might be familiar to you because a review was published some time ago (and therefore showing up on the home page).
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:02  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 20:59

It might be familiar to you because a review was published some time ago (and therefore showing up on the home page).

That's probably it. I enjoy things I remember.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 21:02
That's probably it. I enjoy things I remember.

And I remember things I enjoy.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:03  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:03

And I remember things I enjoy.

Unless you're totally hammered, in which case I often forget things I probably enjoyed (and forgot things I probably didn't, too).
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:05  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 21:03

Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:03

And I remember things I enjoy.

Unless you're totally hammered, in which case I often forget things I probably enjoyed (and forgot things I probably didn't, too).

That is a problem with me. I usually remember everything... There are many things and people I wish to forget. D:
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:06  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:05

That is a problem with me. I usually remember everything... There are many things and people I wish to forget. D:

Wait a few years when alcohol stops being fun for your body and the memory impairment will begin.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:08  
Fair enough... Unfortunately that shit stored in my short-term memory will get into my long-term memory by the time I get that old. So I guess some cunts are here to stay! D:

EDIT: And to not make this completely offtopic. Make sure to remember that new Cloak Of Altering and Seirom full lengths are on the way.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:09  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:08

Fair enough... Unfortunately that shit stored in my short-term memory will get into my long-term memory by the time I get that old. So I guess some cunts are here to stay! D:

EDIT: And to not make this completely offtopic. Make sure to remember that new Cloak Of Altering and Seirom full lengths are on the way.

That sucks. Time does heal all though so what seems like total shit now will seem far less worse in the future.

And yeah, getting itchy for those releases.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:14  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 21:09
And yeah, getting itchy for those releases.

Have you heard the Seirom debut from 2012? I've been listening to it constantly and I'm working on a review for fun (I'm on my way to include them on MS). A long double-cd release. It's has quite a blackgaze sound but... Mories makes it sound original again (gasp!). Also, I'm totally hearing some The Angelic Process moments here and there.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:17  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:14

Have you heard the Seirom debut from 2012? I've been listening to it constantly and I'm working on a review for fun (I'm on my way to include them on MS). A long double-cd release. It's has quite a blackgaze sound but... Mories makes it sound original again (gasp!). Also, I'm totally hearing some The Angelic Process moments here and there.

I'm aware of it (I remember the odd album name) but I don't think I've properly listened to it. I shall look forward to your review of it will be interesting to see Seirom on MS (hell, might as well get Aderlating on here as well and complete the set).
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:23  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 21:17
(hell, might as well get Aderlating on here as well and complete the set).

We discussed it and the higher powers told me "make reviews. We'll make the profiles"... So expect an Aderlating review as well. xD The drafts for the Seirom review are done, I just need to make them into actual sentences so to speak...
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 21:24  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 21:23

We discussed it and the higher powers told me "make reviews. We'll make the profiles"... So expect an Aderlating review as well. xD

Well Jerry used to review lots of industrial and other non-metal stuff so good to see MS is still bending to wills of their elites and staff
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 21:25  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 21:24
Well Jerry used to review lots of industrial and other non-metal stuff so good to see MS is still bending to wills of their elites and staff

Aye. I'll make them... bend to my commands.
MechanisT - 06.04.2014 at 21:31  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 19:41

I've been waiting for a true, killer black metal album this year, and I think this is most definitely it. The whole thing was built for my tastes. Finally something that can join the Wormlust and co of last year.


Amen to that. I don't consider myself even remotely a fan of black metal but I must admit, when done right, with just the right amount of variety to spice it up a notch, the end product is almost always outstanding, as is the case with this EP. Brilliant.
TrollandDie - 06.04.2014 at 23:03  
Nice list. I'm familiar with most of the stuff, but now added a lot to my ''to listen to'' queue.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 23:17  
Written by TrollandDie on 06.04.2014 at 23:03

Nice list. I'm familiar with most of the stuff, but now added a lot to my ''to listen to'' queue.

Whoop! Hopefully this list will continue to have mostly non-MS stuff so with any luck you'll get a few more.
InnerSelf - 07.04.2014 at 08:25  
I like that it's not a million albums list
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2014 at 10:01  
Written by InnerSelf on 07.04.2014 at 08:25

I like that it's not a million albums list

Not yet anyway (I'll trim it down if it gets too big though)
Rulatore - 07.04.2014 at 15:03  
Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye is TOO low. The album is just awesome
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2014 at 15:09  
Written by Rulatore on 07.04.2014 at 15:03

Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye is TOO low. The album is just awesome

It's not in order of preference, I'm just adding them as I discover them =P

It is a great record though, it's going to get many more hours of play from me.
Rulatore - 07.04.2014 at 15:15  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.04.2014 at 15:09

Written by Rulatore on 07.04.2014 at 15:03

Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye is TOO low. The album is just awesome

It's not in order of preference, I'm just adding them as I discover them =P

It is a great record though, it's going to get many more hours of play from me.

Oh sorry, I didn't note the last line it was a really great surprise
Erik M. - 07.04.2014 at 18:21  
Brazil... love that movie.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2014 at 18:21  
Written by Erik M. on 07.04.2014 at 18:21

Brazil... love that movie.

I don't trust people who don't
Erik M. - 07.04.2014 at 18:27  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.04.2014 at 18:21

I don't trust people who don't


Hehe, I still know people who dislike it, but movie-wise their taste sucks anyway (as they prove by disliking Brazil). Definitely the best non-Monty Python Gilliam movie for me (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is awesome as well though... and 12 Monkeys is extremely overrated, never understood the hype around that movie).

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