Edward’s Best Albums Of 2014

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A lot happened in music in 2014. In heavy metal, 2014 was dubbed the year of “hideous sludge” early on, but like 2013, death metal played a major role in the year’s best albums. Death Grips broke up. People were saddened, not many were surprised. In popular music, record sales were barely a blip, again, not many people were surprised. Personally, I listened to a metric shit ton of new albums this year, as well as a lot of new-to-me albums from past years, without hearing nearly everything I wanted to. I wrote my first-ever article about music for this very website; cries of POSER and LIFELOVER rang out across the Deep Web and into the Void. Electronic music, strangely, came back into my musical diet in a big way in the form of heavy and harsh noise.

Confession: I started this article in September. I incorrectly thought I had nearly picked my choices for my best albums of the year. I had about six or seven selections, but, I kept listening as album after album was released in what became a veritable onslaught of great music and a real struggle for survival. The list changed. It hurt, nay, anguished me to take some of my favorites off of the list to add new, better favorites. There were so many albums in the running for this thing; my list of honorable mentions likely triples this list. The Toilet Ov Hell’s selection process was rigorous, one writer, ten albums, three honorable mentions. We aren’t handing out Effort Ribbons to every kid on the field here.

Two of my honorable mentions that weren’t from 2014 (is that cheating, guys?) were Strife’s Witness A Rebirth (2012) and Prurient’s Palm Tree Corpse (2011); both nearly perfect albums in their own way and albums I dedicated an enormous amount of time to playing. Profound Lore Records dominated my favorite albums of this year. You should not surprised by that. Profound Lore picked up three of my top thirteen spots, Handshake, Inc. picked up two, no other label picked up more than one. This list covers most of heavy metal’s subgenres, death metal, “weirdo” metal, hideous sludge, black metal, grindcore, and is heavily influenced by noise. Okay, okay. Let’s get on with it, Edward. Included with each album is a link that will take you to the music. A note: the top ten albums are not ranked in order of favorites, except the last two, which are.


Honorable Mentions:

Herukrat I Bear Witness – [power electronics] – Total Black

Dead CongregationPromulgation of the Fall – [death metal] – Profound Lore Records

Couch SlutMy Life As A Woman – [noise rock] – Handshake, Inc.


 

labyrinthconstellation   Artificial Brain

Labyrinth Constellation

[technical death metal]

Profound Lore Records

Labyrinth Constellation was 2014’s Colored Sands for me. This one came out early, floored me immediately, and continued to grow on me as the year went on. Labyrinth Constellation features ultra-low end gutturals under a dissonant, heavy, and highly technical assault with only brief lapses to receive transmissions from another galaxy. This ruled the veritable mountain of death metal releases that came out in 2014. Artificial Brain brought a lot of street cred to the table for their debut album. Vocalist Will Smith spent many years fronting the Demilich inspired band Biolich and also did vocals for Buckshot Facelift. Dan Gargiulo also plays guitars and adds vocals for Revocation. I got a chance to see Artificial Brain live this year, and had the chance to chat with vocalist Will Smith, which only strengthened my opinion of these guys. In an even stranger turn of events, a song of theirs (“Absorbing Black Ignition”) was aired during prime time television. Is the world ready to be worm harvested?


gridlinklonghenaGridlink

Longhena

[grindcore]

Handshake, Inc.

Sadly, Gridlink left us as a grindcore unit in 2014. Jon Chang announced his retirement from music, and guitarist Takafumi Matsubara was forced into retirement from “serious infection / inflammation in his brain” which took away his ability to play guitar. Thankfully, they left us with their swansong, Longhena. This will be regarded as their best work together. At twenty one minutes, it is absurdly long for a Gridlink album, but still shorter than many doom tracks. Longhena features hyper technical grind playing, as well as successfully blending slower, softer interludes into the album, a feat few grind bands pull off as well, while still maintaining the respect of trve grind pvrists like Gridlink. This was an early, unshakeable lock for my Best Albums of 2014. Did you ever think a grindcore album could be this pretty? This one happens to be devastatingly beautiful.


 

thebodyishalldiehere

The Body & The Haxan Cloak

I Shall Die Here

[sludge metal / electronic music]

Rvng Intl.

On paper, combining The Body’s nihilistic, emergency siren sludge metal with The Haxan Cloak’s electronic subterfuge sounds promising. On record, the results are even better than anticipated. Like Prurient’s Bermuda Drain and Pharmakon’s Abandon, I Shall Die Here opens with a scream. The scream here is high pitched, shrill, and robotic, wailing in and out of a slow, malevolent drum beat until The Body’s signature brand of sludge enters the fray. At times this record feels like a project of The Body, at others it strongly feels like it belongs to The Haxan Cloak. At times I Shall Die Here will bludgeon you, at times it will creep you out, and at times it might make you want to tap your foot. Chip King’s tortured shrikes feel at home as much amidst the sludge as they do The Haxan Cloak’s programming. The Body and The Haxan Cloak are both bringing their best here and I Shall Die Here shines as a representative of all involved and as a collaboration. A serious contender for album highlight is when a vocal sample fades into maniacal drums during “Hail To Thee, Everlasting Pain”; the tension builds into something extraordinary. I Shall Die Here is one of the most underrated albums of 2014. This album also receives the award for “Best Album Title of 2014”; this is how you name an album of heavy music. The Body will keep that tradition alive with next year’s Thou collaboration, You, Whom I Have Always Hated. Expect to see that in the running for NegroD’s Edward’s Best Albums of 2015.


run-the-jewels-rtj2-coverRun The Jewels

RTJ2

[hip hop]

Mass Appeal

I am an unashamed El-P fanboy. I have seen him live three times, twice under his solo projects and once with Run The Jewels. His 2007 album I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is likely my favorite hip hop album of all time, and seeing him tour in support of that in 2008 is one of the best concerts I have ever attended. His music has been labeled “dystopian” by music journalists so often it became a running joke for him. His solo projects are among the most intelligent in hip hop and some of the most genuinely dark. What about Run The Jewels? I was surprised after El-P produced Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music that they had formed a group, and the music they made was actually fun. RTJ2 improved upon their self titled debut Run The Jewels. El-P and Killer Mike trade rhymes seamlessly, the production is excellent, and special guests compliment the record rather than overfill it. Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha stops by to drop one of my favorite verses on this album. El-P and Killer Mike cover politics, sex, hip hop, and getting high with a finesse not often seen at their level of popularity. Run The Jewels’ profile also raised tremendously this year, RTJ2 led to sold out shows for the first time on a national tour. Both artist have long paid their dues in underground rap, it is great to see them getting late career acclaim many have long felt both deserved.


Cloak-Of-Altering-Plague-Beasts-ArtworkCloak of Altering

Plague Beasts

[“Devestating [sic] Avantgarde Black Metal”]

Crucial Blast Records

Mories took a (very short) break from his frightening, nightmarish horror soundscapes in Gnaw Their Tongues to release Plague Beasts as Cloak of Altering. It’s black metal filtered through demented electronics with the skill of a classically trained pianist, although Toilet Ov Hell’s own esteemed W. also described it as cybergrind. It’s possible that what Plague Beasts defies in categorization, it makes up for in madness. Like the name of the artist that produced it, this album is constantly shifting, changing, becoming something else and then mutating to our ears and minds in ways we can not possibly predict. Mories as Cloak of Altering uses distant yet corporeal vocals as well as a shifting, unpredictable sonic landscape to pull us further and further “Into Celestial Hell”. Strange melodies surface and draw attention to themselves before they disappear into the murk and songs change all over again. On songs like “White Inverted Void”, Mories’ skills as a programmer and musician become very evident. The first time I heard this album, I was like “uh…”, I did not finish it. It’s a definite grower, it takes time to unlock even a fraction of its secrets. I spent the later part of this year playing Plague Beasts in my car and shouting, “YES, Altering Forever”. This album carved its own unique place into the landscape of heavy music in 2014.


leytmotif-luzifer_roughAbigor

Leytmotif Luzifer – The 7 Temptations of Man

[black metal]

Avantgarde Music

This one was tough for me. The obvious runner up for my black metal pick of the year is Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry, but I enjoyed Leytmotif Luzifer more. It also had a couple advantages apart from the music: it came out earlier, and it was shorter, both things matter when you work two jobs and aren’t a real metal “blogger”. Leytmotif Luzifer is compact, hopeless, and utterly brutish black metal. The album’s first track “Ego – Temptation 1” explodes with fast tremolo playing, but there is no shortage of riffs or solos here, either. The vocals are nasty, and tracks pause for vaguely anti-religious musical breaks before the violence resumes, and does it resume! The album’s second track, “Stasis – Temptation 2” slows to a catchy, foot tapping headbanger. The album continues to follow suit, holding your head beneath a murky, blackened pool of water. Leytmotif Luzifer… finds an excellent balance between second wave black metal orthodoxy and Deathspell Omega brand dissonance. There are elements similar to Behemoth’s The Satanist here as well, a record I enjoyed very much and would have likely competed for a spot on this list if not for Leytmotif Luzifer.


 

 eyehategodstEyehategod

Eyehategod [S/T]

sludge metal

Century Media / Housecore / Daymare

Eyehategod are one of the earliest sludge metal acts, and certainly progenitors of the hideous sludge style. I am surprised by a couple of things in hearing this record. Eyehategod is surprisingly accessible and tolerable for an Eyehategod album, and I can understand the majority of the lyrics. There’s no shortage of sludgy riffs, however, and they turn up the hardcore and punk influences in their sludge during a good portion of their playing. Eyehategod is undeniably catchy and memorable. This is Eyehategod’s first full length record since 2000, and the last to feature drummer Joey LaCaze, who passed away from respiratory failure in 2013. Eyehategod continue their tradition of true to life stories of hard drugs, prostitution, and life on the wrong side of the tracks. I hope we won’t suffer the long wait for their next new record.


 

swallowingbilesecludedcoverSwallowing Bile

Secluded

[power electronics / harsh noise wall]

Die Song

Swallowing Bile’s catharsis is our weakness. On his most fully developed as a concept album yet, Secluded, Swallowing Bile takes us inside the mind of a deranged killer with a singular vision of revenge. Through his toxic brand of power electronics and harsh noise wall, Swallowing Bile seeks to narrate this tale of events while simultaneously pushing the listener to the limits of what is considered “extreme” music. I have said it before, and I will say it again, this is one of the only artists making music or noise today that causes me a physiological change by simply consuming his music. At the end of Secluded, we are unsure if Ethan Ebeling as Swallowing Bile is the narrator of events or if somehow we have been placed in the center of this revenge fantasy as the protagonist. Swallowing Bile is a very active artist; expect to see solo work from him as well as a number of features and splits in 2015. I will be checking for them as well, to my own horror.


 

psalm-zero-the-drainPsalm Zero

The Drain

[experimental metal / goth rock]

Profound Lore Records

Psalm Zero is a two piece experimental metal band composed of Andrew Hock (of the revered Castavet) and Charlie Looker (of Dirty Projectors, Zs, and Extra Life). Psalm Zero play heavy metal like I imagine Christian Death or The Cure would play heavy metal if that’s what they played (spoiler: I don’t know shit about those bands). This was an early favorite of mine this year, which got set aside amidst the monsoon of 2014 releases. I picked it back up closer to the end of the year, and could not stop listening to it. Over the past couple of months I listened to this more than any other album. If I had to pick a favorite (spoiler: I didn’t have to), this would likely come in second place. Charlie Looker handles the clean singing here, and Andrew Hock handles the screams and shouts. The vocalists work seamlessly together, as well as how the music transitions from catchy gothic playing into heavier music and back without missing a beat. The drums here are programmed, which you may find fault in, but I have next to no complaints about this album. It’s catchy, melodic, deep, and heavy, taking as much from outside influences like jazz as it does from heavy metal. This is forward thinking, outside the box music played by highly skilled musicians at the peak of their talents.


pyrrhonthemotherofvirtuesPyrrhon

The Mother of Virtues

[death metal / noise rock / “weirdo metal”]

Relapse Records

 Edward, would you please, for the love of God, stop talking about Pyrrhon?

It’s not personal, Toilet.

Stay weird death forever.

 

 

 




Photo via HBO; all album covers are the property of each respective artist or label.

 

 

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  • Edward #negrod4eva

    As a point of reference, I listened to twenty seven of the sixty albums on Steel For
    Brain’s Best Albums of the Year. It is worth repeating that six of those
    albums made my thirteen here. Infamous Toilet Ov Void musicologist “C”
    could take credit for introducing me to four (four!) albums on this list:
    Herukrat, Couch Slut, Cloak of Altering, and Swallowing Bile.

    Honorable mention to Pissgrave for releasing music I want but can’t have. How is
    it possible no one has ripped that whole cassette and uploaded it to the
    interwebs? I have been obsessively listening to the three available
    tracks online. TAKE MY MONEY, PISSGRAVE.

    • hack

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        *poser hvkk

        *flush*

    • Howard Dean

      Seeing Pissgrave’s 30 minute show live is the most I’ve heard from them. I’ve listened to the tracks online, of course. But I don’t want a cassette (they were sold out at the show anyway). When I talked to them at the merch table, they said they might release the demo on LP. I’m just hoping they release a full length sometime soon like normal people (i.e. on CD and digital).

      • Ugh, seriously? If they go full Recluse on us I’m out.

        • Howard Dean

          Yeah, it’s fucking ridiculous. I’ll never get the appeal of extremely limited releases, especially in inaccessible and frustrating formats. You would think they would be happy to have more than 50 people hear their music. It wouldn’t hurt to cater to your audience a little–if you know they would pay money to buy your music, why deny them that opportunity? Spite? It’s weird, and I’ll never understand that.

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        I wouldn’t mind at all if some adventurous go-getter decided to rip the whole cassette (exactly the same as the person who ripped those songs on Youtube) so I could have the damn thing. Those pitch-shifted vocals? <3

        • Howard Dean

          I was actually going to buy the cassette at the show I went to, just to support the band (I don’t even own a cassette player). But it was sold out. On the third show of the tour. I feel like they are trying to be the grimy death metal version of Moonblood, and it kind of pisses me off.

    • Xan

      I’ve wanted to listen to Pissgrave’s album so bad but, as you said, it isn’t online. I don’t own anything that can play a cassette or I’d buy it. Maybe I’ll hit up a flea market soon and see if I can get something for cheap.

    • Stockhausen

      I want to go on rekkid as saying that I discovered Mories and Cloak of Altering completely on my own, and didn’t need no Christian fo dat. Everything else in my life, yes, but I can hold on to that one thing.

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        That’s still a hell of a thing.

        • Stockhausen

          I got in through Gnaw Their Tongues, and didn’t blink for three days. Then I discovered Cloak of Altering, and was able to geek when the new album came out.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            Not blinking for three days is also a hell of a thing.

  • I’m now convinced I will never catch up on everything that was released this year, because next year looks to be just a crazy if not crazier. Great list though.

    • gojira… gojira…. GOJIRA!!!!! GOJIRA!!!!!!

      #gojira2015

      GL

      • SYLOSIS, CATTLE DECAPITATION. ZENITH PASSAGE, MORE STUFF THAT I CANT THINK OF ATM!

        • Listen to this riff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfYmEXEdtQc#t=885

          …from a video they posted the other day….

          SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          GL

          • DAYUM

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            While I like Gojira as much as the next guy, it sounds like Gojiras other riffs =P

          • So if Gojira played riffs that did not sound like their riffs you would then like their riffs? Plz expln.

            GL

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I didn’t say I didn’t like it to begin with, I just think it sounds like all of their other riffs (chug chug chug bend / pinch oliphaunt stomp)

          • Hubert, Goat ov Doom (and Void

            True, but it’s Gojira so it doesn’t matter to me at all.

          • OLIPHAUNTS ARE A THREATENED SPECIES, SPREAD AWARENESS. ALSO, FLYING WHALES.

            http://vimeo.com/61510123

            GL

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK
        • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Spooky To

          Add new albums from UFO, WASP, UDO and Dope and I’m going to be having quite a top 10 list next year which UFO has already topped. The reason for that is any year a UFO album comes out that album is at the top of my list.

          • lol dope. I like some of their songs but that single they released is a joke.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Spooky To

            It wasn’t good. I’ve heard that the album it was on has turned into a double album.

          • Are double albums the new standard for shitty bands? ffdp, dope, periphery,

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Good ones have unfortunately ceased making them mostly, so – as always, badones “innovate” and take it up.

          • Xan

            Mono had a pretty good one if you like depressing rock.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I blabbered about this before. So, yet again, Xan >>>>>>>>>>>>

          • I want to heart his

          • Xan

            That might be the cutest cat picture I’ve ever seen and I don’t really like cats.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            NOW WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS ANYMORE XAN

          • Elite Extremöphile

            :'(

          • Xan

            It isn’t that I don’t like cats, it is more due to the fact that every part of my body swells up to twice it’s original considerable size. I’m very allergic to cats.

          • Lifelover.

          • Xan

            I know 🙁

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            I call that Hulking up!

          • Mono – Life In Mono (1996)
            (trip-hop from the UK)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR3iWRq8ymI

          • CT-12

            I figure since we’re talking about double albums and this is the “best albums of 2014” article, I might as well bring up that this album by Kenn Nardi (Anacrusis) is probably my #1 or else in my top 3. Completely overlooked, anybody interested in alternative thrash or Anacrusis should check it out. https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dancing-with-the-past

          • Lacertilian

            Baroness had a pretty forgettable double last-up too.
            The only double albums I can think of that I enjoy are Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti’ & Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Forever’.

          • baroness, another band that fell off, not because they went soft, but because they decided to suck (i’m eyeing you Opeth and Mastodong!)

          • Lacertilian

            ‘Can I get a FLVSH YEAH?’

          • Xan

            For me, Blind Guardian, A Pale Horse Named Death, Ensiferum, Ghost Gruesome, Hate, Morbid Evils, Morgoth, Napalm Death, Powerwolf, and Venom are my most anticipated releases thus far.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Xan >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • Xan

            <3

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            There too damn many, already.

          • Xan

            My tracking list is become large. I still have to add about twenty bands to it. I didn’t even know Cattle Decapitation had a new album coming.

          • hey Xan, you’re welcome to come hide at my house for mentioning Ghost around these parts!

          • Death

            Death sees all.

          • Xan

            I unabashedly love Ghost. I agree that they aren’t particularly original or even play music that is worthy of praise, but I find the music they create to be pleasing to my ears.

          • i love them too. seeing them on Easter Sunday this year was a gift.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            i think Dawnbringer has become what Ghost should be

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            That new Dawnbringer was sweet. So is Into the Lair of the Sun God.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            It was real close to placing on my list.

          • Ferris Mueller

            I wouldn’t go that far and actually enjoyed Dawnbringer’s first album a bit more. Just couldn’t get into the new one.

          • Ferris Mueller

            Same here, Ghost makes good, chill rock and the wife/kids don’t have a meltdown when I play it in the car.

          • Xan

            Plus, the whole family can sing, “The chapel of ritual smells of dead human sacrifices from the altar bed!”

          • Ferris Mueller

            LOL I sing/hum that verse every time. Kids prefer Ghuleh/zombie queen, secular haze and year zero. Wife wants moar bruno mars fml

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            The rent is too damn high!

          • Ohhh, I’ll like to hear that new Blind Guardian. Also Napalm Death, Ensiferum and Armageddon

          • Xan

            Which Armageddon (I’m curious in checking them out)? The list on Metal Archives is expansive:

          • jajajajaja, wow, that’s like the José, Juan or Mohammed of the metal names!

            This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c02R3FsREE

          • Xan

            Thanks!

          • Thank you too, I didn’t remember about that new Ensiferum.. Forgot about that lol

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan’s Spooky To

            I am anticipating Napalm Death and Venom but I am also anticipating the worst album of next year from Limp Bizkit. I want to hear it and see how bad it is.

          • Xan

            It sure will be nice to see all the jimmiez in a rustle over it.

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            Lord Dying!!!!! January!!!!!

        • Death

          Waiting for the new Archgoat album as well. It’ll make my nipples hard!

      • KingPagliacciOvFlushMountain

        More like NOjira, amirite?

        • #MOREPICKSCRAPES2015

          GL

          • KingPagliacciOvFlushMountain

            “World needs bad bands. They keep the other bad bands from the door.”

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      Next year I am already looking at:

      Cattle Decapitation

      The Body / Thou

      Swarrrm

      Psalm Zero

      a mess of PExxx

      others too… I am straining my noodle here.

      • Death

        So far I’m only excited for the new Napalm Death album.

        • THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          GL

        • Hubert, Goat ov Doom (and Void

          Really excited for Napalm Death. I hope they work on some of the more experimental ideas of Utilitarian.

          • VVorld Peace

            Those experimental flourishes are what made that album for me.

    • Xan

      There are close to 80 albums that came out and haven’t been listened to by me this year.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    This list is acceptable. Good show, Ed. Good show indeed.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      A passable list! Thanks MPSWN. These are more work than they ought to be. Lol. Next year I am going Harvey Keitel from Bad Lieutenant on the community for my list.

  • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

    A list widely divergent from my own, so 9/10 stars (-1 for no The Old Believer)

    #StayKnightsEdward

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      BB I hate to say it but that one escaped my reach so far. I can attempt to remedy that situation!

      • Your list only counts if you’ve heard every album from the year for comparison’s sake.

        • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

          I thought this went without saying?

          • Ed’s a loose cannon cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Remember his wallet says “bad mofo” on it with embroidered flames.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Well, we sure do have a lot of coppers around here.

        • Edward #negrod4eva

          Somebody call somebody to delete this mess off of the Toilet Ov Void forever.

  • Hubert, Goat ov Doom (and Void

    Agg there is some good stuff in this list. I give it 6 out of 10 ‘>”s.

    • #GoatApproved

    • Ferris Mueller

      Swallowing Bile and Pyrrhon are just beyond extreme. If anything I dig it just for that, but still can’t make it through a whole album like with Sign/Blackjazz

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        If you are willing to “risk” it, check out the song I linked above for Herukrat it is in the Honorable Mention category. Pure blasting PExxx. I have said this before, but it bears repeating, I legitimately think ‘My Hand Belongs To The Creator Of The World’ is one of the best songs released this year. So passionate and forceful. Cool concept behind that album, too. White dude who converts to Islam makes a PExxx album about his experiences. He actually used samples from his conversion ceremony.

        • Ferris Mueller

          That was pure insanity; might even be able to run to that one. Good for that extra rush going up a big hill.

        • Lacertilian

          Didn’t Brother Ali do a similar thing a while back too?

  • KingPagliacciOvFlushMountain

    *Checks list to see how many we have in common*

    *backs out of thread*

    http://replygif.net/i/1246.gif

    • Dental_Damnation

      The minute he said mostly Profound Lorde records dominated his list I backed out real quick too.

      • Howard Dean
        • It’s science.

          GL

          • Howard Dean

            Fuck yeah, George Lynch. Your calculus is like a sweet Dokken guitar solo for my eyes.

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        Only 3 / 13 DD!

        • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

          “Profound Lore” “No The Old Believer” “Atleastoneguycanhavehisjimmiesrustledbyedward’slist”

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            I’m surprised more people aren’t objecting to a hip hop album and two power electronics albums on a Best Of “Metal” list (yet, anyways). This group is awfully nice, lol.

          • Nah man, let the lifeloving course through your veins! (Plus this site has a category “That’s Not Metal”)

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            RTJ2 = pretty lifeloving.

            PExxx = the antithesis of lifeloving. Probably more kvlt than what people around here consider kvlt.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Its alright, I had to make a separate list just for hip-hop. The PExxx albums just aren’t my griff

          • Death

            Lifelover.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Guilty. White PS4 came today.

          • Add me, betch.
            GingeBinge

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            will do later on (though, admittedly I’ll still be on the PS3 til next year prolly unless I pick up another copy of Diablo III)

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            I need to get / start rocking a mic and headset.

          • Death

            Can I add you???

          • Yes pls.

          • Death

            Will tomorrow honey!

          • KJM

            It would seem I have to check out “Run The Jewels”. I’ve heard some of it, mostly the tune with Zack.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            I dig it a lot. The Your Old Droog EP was in the running for me this year, too.

          • Ehhh. I would hope no one cares that the list isn’t entirely metal. Lord know mine is not.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            I was kinda hoping for moar br00tal elitists in our fold, lol.

          • All-metal lists are way boring. Which is why my list is way boring.

          • Stockhausen

            When your list is constructed of bulletproof steel, boring doesn’t matter.

          • Stockhausen

            u sukk olny metal is real get out lol u sukk

          • God

            I sure do know.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Knowing it wasn’t gonna be is why I am intrigued to peek at it more than many others

          • more beer

            It`s your list no one should object. It is a little more open minded here than most of the blogs.

  • Howard Dean

    Nice list, Edward/NegroD!

    You put a serious amount of work into this, and it shows. Great write-ups, links to labels, cross-references to other bands–well done!

    Abigor has been one of my favorites since it dropped. Had Sinmara’s Aphotic Womb been released a little earlier (so that I could have listened to it more before I made my list), it probably would’ve toppled Leytmotif Luzifer.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      Thanks HD! I had a very similar experience with Blood of Kingu’s newest album. Listened to it, thought it was fantastic, but I think I was already done writing this damn thing and didn’t delve into BoK as much as I would have liked, yet. It would likely compete with Abigor thouugh given more time. Burial Hex’s The Heirophant also could have probably earned a spot on this list.

      • Xan

        I’ve heard the name “Blood of Kingu” mentioned about 100 times on this site so I guess I’m going to have to check them out too.

      • Howard Dean

        List making is tough stuff. I think I benefited from having a narrower field of albums from which to choose–all the albums I considered for the list had to be owned by me (all on CD), and I had to have listened to them many times each.

        I generally refrain from checking out a lot of stuff digitally/electronically, so I didn’t have 50+ albums kicking around that I needed to go back and explore (I probably had closer to 30 that fit my above parameters). When I do check stuff out online, I will listen to a few tracks, and then order the CD if I’m interested. I honestly feel like that system allows me to get to know each album better, and also cuts down on the stress level of weeding through dozens upon dozens of albums I may have only heard 2 or 3 times.

        • Virgil the Ghost Poet

          I follow the exact peramiters.

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    This is has some great choices, but I find the lack of Enbilulugugal is disturbing

    • He did it to spite me, the bastard.

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        It’s actually starting to sound… enjoyable for these ole ears

  • I love Toilet’s list. Everytime someone post one I grab at least one pick to hear. My pick this time is Psalm Zero. Sounds awesome. Great listening this year, Ed!

  • Xan

    Solid list. I’ve only listened to 4/13 on here and this list differs vastly different from mine (I’m one of those posers who likes music that doesn’t take a PHD to comprehend).

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    +1 for I Shall Die Here and Plague Breasts, both were surprise hits for me.

    • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

      *juvenile snickering at Plague Breasts*

      • Xan

        I misread Beast Milk every time it is mentioned.

        • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

          On purpose..?

          • Xan

            …maybe…

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        Dammit. There goes the neighbourhood…

        • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

          Do they have neighborhoods in finland? I thought you all lived in floating temples in the sky, lifted by the backs of black winged wyverns and scoffed at mortals? What’s the property tax like up there?

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            You’re initial thoughts were correct. It’s just a figure of speech, I definitely scoff at mlrtals all the time.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I bet the home owners association is a hoot! huh, @metaphysicalanus:disqus ?

          • Death

            Actually, Karhu is lying. Only the wealthy ones have floating temples.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Floating trailers, then?

          • Death

            We normal people have nothing that floats.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Liar! Who knew Finland had so many BROS!
            http://i.imgur.com/Fy5T83p.jpg

          • Death

            That’s in Helsinki, which is not a part of Finland.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            lol

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Such things are unnecessary.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      I think I Shall Die Here is a record which is totally underrated in our crew / community, because, in theory it is a record people should love but hardly anyone has talked about it and I don’t think too many people even listened to it.

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        I wasn’t overtly familiar with either of the artiat and that album is pure gold. But it is a shame/surprise how little attention it has garnered.

      • CT-12

        I Shall Listen At Some Point

        • Edward #negrod4eva

          CT I’m about to read your article now, I didn’t get a chance to earlier at work today. I Shall Read Now.

  • Gvrp

    i read dis after class

    • Howard Dean

      Quit school. Quit life. Read Toilet.

  • Hubert, Goat ov Doom (and Void

    I kind of forgot about Gridlink. Will listen to again to see if it’s still as good as is was at release.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      Spoiler: it is.

      • Hubert, Goat ov Doom (and Void

        But is it as good as Periphery? IS IT EDWARD!? IS IT!?

        • Edward #negrod4eva

          I have never listened to a Periphery album from start to finish. Not intentionally. I dunno that I have even listened to many of their songs.

          • [insert “Lucky Man” by the banned band]

          • Death

            Their only good song

          • No love for Flarkus?

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            what i do in the bathroom is my own business

          • Death

            You do some beautiful business there sometimes.

          • KJM

            From The Beginning.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            Lucky Man?

    • Stockhausen

      If I were to use a simile, I would say that Longhena is like an album by a band that is really good in a lot of ways.

  • HessianHunter

    Is “hideous sludge” considered a subgenre the way “atmospheric black metal” is? Never heard the term before although I immediately understand what it describes.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      I first heard / read it coined by the guys at Stereogum’s The Black Market in the very beginning of the year, and have been using it since.

    • Xan

      I’ve always referred to it as blackened sludge but I think hideous sludge fits quite nicely. I think there’s enough of it out there now that it can be considered a sub genre.

    • Howard Dean

      I think it’s just a black/death/sludge crossbreed, no?

    • Anything’s a genre if you want to be an asshole (read: music blogger).

  • KJM

    I’m a nerd so I have a Top 10 list

    1) Occultation – Silence In The Ancestral House
    2) The Wounded Kings – Consolamentum
    3) Wo Fat – The Conjuring
    4) Throne – Where Tharsis Sleeps
    5) Sinoia Caves – ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ Soundtrack
    6) Orange Goblin – Back From The Abyss
    7) Triptykon – Melena Chasmata
    8) Witch Mountain – Mobile Of Angels
    9) Purple Hill Witch – Purple Hill Witch
    10) Electric Wizard – Time To Die

    • Death

      0/10

      • waht!?™

        GL™

        • Death

          That’s not an official trademark you bastard!

          • MURMAIDER™ MURMAIDER™ MURMAIDER™ MURMAIDER™ !!!!!!!!!!

            GL™

          • Death

            You can’t just trademark everything, George!

          • “In the United States we can do what we damn well please”™
            -GL™

        • KJM

          Color me shocked.

    • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

      Urfff, while this is a very smokable list we only have 0 in common.

    • KJM! How many of those are stoner bands?!?!

      • KJM

        At least 5

      • HessianHunter

        I’m unfamiliar with most of these, but I’m gonna take a stab in the dark that AT MINIMUM the 3 bands named after magic users are gonna be smoke-worthy, along with any band with “Orange” in their name.

      • KJM

        Actually, now that I think about it for a minute more, only The Wounded Kings and Triptykon really escape being classified as Stoner.

    • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

      I feel we should jam some doom together over a fat blunt instrument.

    • HessianHunter

      I take it your favorite subgenre is thrash-grind?

      • KJM

        How’d ya guess? ^_^

    • Xan

      As it just so happens, so do I!
      1. Dead Congregation – Promulgation to the Fall
      2. Novembers Doom – Bled White
      3. Twilight Force – Tales of Ancient Prophecies
      4. Ceremonial Castings – Cthulhu
      5. Eluveitie – Origins
      6. Vanhelgd – Relics of Sulphur Salvation
      7. Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us
      8. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
      9. Pripjat – Sons of Tschernobyl
      10. Gormathon – Following the Beasts

      Honorable mentions: Rigor Mortis – Slaves to the Grave, Archspire – The Lucid Collective, and Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestite

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        Pallbearer got a lot of hate this year, and I dunno that they produced an album that was deserving of hate. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a good followup to their debut.

        • Xan

          A lot of criticism I saw was that it was “boring”. As a person who can sit and listen to relaxation music for enjoyment, I don’t find much to be boring as long as it relates some kind of feeling. For me, I thought that the songs, though blending together somewhat, had a lot of diversity as far as tempo changes, shifts from minor to major, and solid vocal patterns.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            It’s possible, and I’m not one to put words into other people’s mouths but, a lot of the backlash it received may have been because of all the love it got / they get from “hipster” metal publications.

          • Xan

            It definitely wasn’t a life changing album, but it definitely was good. It certainly was better than some of this other life loving peasant music that was hailed by hipster metal publications this year.

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            chortled at “life loving peasant music”.

      • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

        We have 1/10 in common.

      • Death

        0/10 in common.

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        Promugaytion of the fall was gööd. Also Celestitw, being the best WITTR album, was a borefest.

        • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

          Celestite being the best WITTR album? Wut? Confused/void

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            WITTR is BAD!!1! Celestite is the least wittr-like, therefore best. Still a snoozefest mostly.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            WANNA FIGHT!?

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            All the time.

          • I’m backing the beard on this.

          • Death

            Dude!

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Dude! Waht?

          • Death

            I will be waiting for you with Beardman when you leave your house. Pesäpallomailalla!

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            I’ll never leave it. Ananas ja Pesismaila ftw.

          • Death

            Then we’ll simply break in. Ovi auki tai tapahtuu hirveitä!

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            *YELLS LOUDLY*

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            En ikuna. Ikkuna!

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            En ikuna! Ikkuna, pakenen siitä

        • Xan

          I’ve never listened to another Wolves in the Throne Room album so I can’t attest to the quality compare to their other releases. Judging from their Metal Archives page, I take they played black metal up until this point? At any rate, I enjoyed this album based upon my love for ambient, particularly ambient that sounds otherworldly. WITTR’s new album whisked me off to a frozen planet in a far distant galaxy that is completely desolate and uninhabited by any life. It created a perfect icy mood for my brain to think in. With this in mind, I can see why many people disliked it as ambient is not exactly a popular genre.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Celestite is the companion album to Celestial Lineage.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            I love synth ambient too. Wittr just isn’t that good at the whole otherwordly synth sweeps for fourteen fricken minutes thing. I can’t name a bad song from Celestite but I can never listen to two songs in a row either. Before this they were exactly the same but with guitars.

          • It’s a cool album if you’ve never heard of Tangerine Dream

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            *recently inherited an extensive TD collection*

      • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

        Are we all just blurting ours out, too? Here’s mine (tentative)

        The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer
        Fen – Carrion Skies
        Panopticon – Roads to the North
        Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry
        Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown
        Falls of Rauros – Belief In No Coming Shore
        Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith
        Thou – Heathen
        Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
        Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere

        Honorable Mention – Twilight
        Force – Tales of Ancient Prophecies, Anaal Nathrakh –
        Desideratum, Ghost Brigade – IV. One with the Storm

        • Xan

          Fuck me! I forgot about Panopticon somehow! That definitely is in my top ten.

        • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

          This looks good wholeheartedly, though not too much the same.

        • This list. It’s a good list.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I didn’t mean what i said about blondes earlier, you beautiful blonde bitch

  • KJM

    In 2015 Saturnalia Temple will own all Metal, right after they smoke this bowl.

  • No power metal? We can do this two ways. One, you update your list to include glorious power metal music. Two, I come to your house in the middle of the night to pay a visit. http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view7/20140116/4954273/braveheart-revenge-in-the-night-o.gif

    • Xan

      There was a ton of awesome power metal this year. I’m pumped for the Blind Guardian album next year. I still need to listen to Grave Digger, Hammerfall, Iron Savior, and Gamma Ray’s newest albums.

      • January is STACKED with power metal

        • Xan

          What are some of the releases? I’m still attempting to grow my power metal catalog as I only recently become passionate about the genre. I only know of Blind Guardian at this point in time.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Check out Divine Ascension, Axenstar, Epica, and Hammerfall albums from this year.

          • Xan

            Got the Axenstar album on Tuesday. Hammerfall is going to be listened to tomorrow. I’ll have to check out Divine Ascension. I never was able to get into Epica.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            Then you might as well give up on life Xan. Simone Simons = #1 potential kidnap victim besides Aubrey Plaza

            Also: go get all of Dragonland. Probably my fav power/prog band.

          • I strongly dislike Epica

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I never said I was going to share her when I completed my plan.

          • Xan

            I don’t deny that. I’ve never been able to listen to music just because of a pretty face though (see Arch Enemy, The Agonist, Huntress, In This Moment, Within Temptation).

          • Blind Guardian counts as 10 releases

          • I already have my Top Ten for 2015.
            1. B
            2. L
            3. I
            4. N
            5. D
            6. G
            7. U
            8. A
            9. R
            10. D

            Honorable mentions:
            1. I
            2. A
            3. N

          • Xan

            Good point.

      • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

        i’m a huge Hammerfall fan. Did you like (r)Evolution? Oh, I read your sentence wrong. Its amazing

        • Xan

          It’s queued up in my list. I typically have a “Power Metal Tuesday” because it helps me to decompress after a fucking six hour biology session. I’m pretty excited to listen to it.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      Randall I have been meaning to check out power metal because of you and the Masterlord. JB likes a band that I might start with. So many subgenres, so little time.

      • Xan

        Twilight Force is an awesome band to start with. Easily my favorite power metal from this year.

        • Starting with TF is like starting with heroine.

          • Yeah but JB is still chasing the dragon. He still thinks he can catch it

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            Heroin is as good of a place to start as any! Except maybe PCP.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            *Krokodil

          • Death

            Pssst. You interested? I can provide from Russia.

          • KJM

            Let’s just say the side effects aren’t worth it, to say the least.

          • BLVKKBEVRD DVRKWORK

            I’m honestly way too vain.

          • KJM

            Hehehehehe

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            Face melting shit.

          • Yeah well I can make you a short playlist on spotify sometime. It’ll be just like making an old mixtape! I’ll try to get various different styles in there for you

          • Edward #negrod4eva

            I would check out that playlist!

      • JB likes Twilight Force, that band I’ve been fapping since June

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Stockhausen

    Excellent kickoff to listmania Edward. You have brought honor to your house.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      It was pretty exciting to lead off the team and get my very own post for this behemoth.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      This is tits, KSOFM!! Fuckin’ fantastic!! BYAH!! m/

      • Rob M

        Thats Hellbutcher from Nifelheim on vocals, so yeah that was going to rock

  • WEIRDO METAL >>>>>>>

    • Stockhausen

      DEATH TO NOT WEIRD DEATH

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      I’d like to think I took credit in coining that for the crew, lol. I even made it a subgenre.

      • Uh, you DO get credit. I remember when you used that term the first time. I’ve said this already, but I even named one of my playlists after it.

        • Edward #negrod4eva

          YES

    • The Satan Ov Hell

      Speaking of weirdo metal I’m shamelessly plugging my work again! https://irrakur.bandcamp.com/track/chaos-of-freedom

  • Tyree

    Well done Edward, you made it through!

  • Not new at all, but found this bad boy on accident earlier. Not sure though if it’s from North or South Korea though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgaNAME4T-c