Thumbs up: +19
It's 2014. So yeah. Top 10-20 is currently in flux as I re-listen more acutely to my favorite albums of the year to put the proverbial bow on 2014. Now is the time to toss me recommendations of what I may have missed this year. Thanks metal friends!

Created by: Neachy | 22.01.2014

1. The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li
(9) (Post-Black) TGOO have emerged to join the elite of French metal. What is created here is as haunting as it is magnificent.
2. Vanhelgd - Relics of Sulphur Salvation
(9) (Death) The riffs. Bow to the fucking riffs, pleb.
3. Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole
(9) (Blackened Death) The riffs on this album are fantastic but I think it's the mood conveyed that really won me over. The band doesn't seem overly concerned with being 'heavy' or showing off in a technical way. Excellent pacing, use of distortion and growled vocals.
4. Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith
(9) (Atmospheric Black) This album captures the essence of what I think of when I hear the term 'cosmic black metal'. Respect to Darkspace but they've never done it for me. Each track has a different sound to it, be it doom/black, death/black or straight up atmo black. The variation does not, however detract from the overall product.
5. Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend
(8.5) (Stoner/Psychedelic Doom) This album would be a solid 9 if I didn't dislike the first ten minutes of the track 'Marrow' so much. The rest of the album is satisfyingly heavy and hypnotizingly psychedelic.
6. Thaw - Earth Ground
(8.5) (Black/Post/Doom/Sludge/Noise) Just a heavy genre defying punch to the gut.
7. Schammasch - Contradiction
(8.5) (Avant-Garde Black) No DsO this year? No problem! These former Behemoth worshippers have seemingly taken the next logical step in DsO's discography for them. I say this mostly in jest, as Schammasch has put a new twist on the orthodox black metal formula, slowing down the tempo and nearly going progressive at times. As I've only very recently discovered this 90 minute masterpiece, trying to properly evaluate it and place it among these other albums I've been listening to for months is a most welcome challenge.
8. Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
(8.5) (Blackened Sludge/Doom) Coffinworm creates an ominous and vitriolic sound here. There's a good amount of variation in the songwriting so despite an often trudging pace, it never feels monotonous. The vocals vary between deep, chesty growls and ear-ripping, vein-bulging, throat destroying screams.
9. Slugdge - Gastronomicon
(8.5) (Blackened Death) Fantastic record. Thought it started off a bit slow with the first two or three tracks. "The Sound of Mucus" really caught my attention and I was hooked from there.
10. Infestus - The Reflecting Void
(8.5) (Atmospheric Black) An amazing, varied album. Emotional, progressive, almost jazzy passages meld seamlessly with some of the best black metal riffs I've heard.
11. Chaos Moon - Resurrection Extract
(8.5) (Atmospheric Black) The densely layered, heavily distorted guitar takes center stage on most of the tracks. The vocals are fantastic. The percussion is buried in the mix for the majority of the album.
12. ION - ION
(8) (Ambient Post-Black) This band out of San Francisco combines a psychedelic ambient atmosphere with post-black sounds to create something spacious and hard hitting.
13. Nidsang - Into The Womb of Dissolving Flames
(8) Black
14. Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare
(8) (Black) Mayhem always meets or exceeds expectations. This band is still at the top of their game after 25+ years. A rarity in extreme metal.
15. Epistasis - Light Through Dead Glass
(8) (Experimental Black) "Amy Mills's ghastly scream drifts vaporously behind those twisted, lurching grooves and blackened blasts, often trading off with the gorgeously ghostly sound of her trumpet bleating in the darkness, strains of spectral jazziness echoing through the depths beneath the band's complex, metallic assault." Though it clocks in at less than 30 minutes this album packs a dissonant punch.
16. Minthe - Bleakly, Providence
(8) (Atmospheric/Ambient/Post Black) Very slow paced as far as percussion is concerned (for black metal). Vocals are similar to Lurker of Chalice. An omnipresent wall of guitar distortion suffocates bleak melodies. The production gives the feeling of being immersed in the sound as if it were an ocean.
17. Saor - Aura
(8) (Atmospheric Blackened Celtic Folk) This album was amazing the first couple times I heard it. After a while, with all the tin whistle I began to feel like Celion Dion was going to start singing.
18. Spectral Lore - III
(8) (Ambient Black) This is very much a progressive metal album. I enjoyed it just as much, if not more than Sentinel. Not as avant-garde sounding but feels more like a single album rather than the way the 30 minute ambient track was tacked onto the end of Sentinel. III manages to be relaxing at points but even at over 80 minutes, is never boring.
19. Skáphe - Skáphe
(8) (Ambient Black) This release was revealed to be another project of Alex Poole of Chaos Moon, Esoterica and Krieg fame. He seems to be channeling Mories with the filthy sound and texture of this black metal.
20. Lethian Dreams - Red Silence Lodge
(8) (Atmospheric Doom) Quite a beautiful female-fronted doom album with post-metal tendencies.
21. Dirge - Hyperion
(8) (Post-Sludge) Dirge sits at the top of the modern post metal genre in my opinion. This album solidifies that. Heavy passages that hit you bluntly like a baseball bat compliment brooding industrial parts that let your mind wander.
22. Fluisteraars - Dromers
(8) (Atmospheric Black) Fans of Drudkh and Agalloch should enjoy this debut album out of The Netherlands. Very melodic with rock sensibilities.
23. Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers
(8) (Blackened Hardcore) Reminds me a bit of Castevet. More intense but less varied.
24. Horrendous - Ecdysis
(8) (Death) Leans toward the progressive realm of death metal. A bit too thrashy for my taste but still a fun record to listen to. Plus, that cover art...
25. Atomikylä - Erkale
(8) (Psychedelic Drone Doom) I read Dark Buddha Rising and Orannsi Pazuzu and was very intrigued to hear this. This might be better than anything done in either of those bands.
26. Phobocosm - Deprived
(8) Blackened Death
27. Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds
(8) (Death) Very strong, mid-paced album. Don't care much for the production but the performance is terrific.
28. Nero Di Marte - Derivae
(8) (Extreme Progressive) Wasn't expecting to like this. Definitely caught me off guard. Vocals can get pretty annoying but not to the point of ruining the overall vibe. Monotony of overall sound kept this album from being rated higher.
29. Dephosphorus - Ravenous Solemnity
(8) (Black/Grindcore) Lots of twists and turns throughout. Very full, crisp production. Vocals often remind me of early Burzum.
30. Grey Widow - I
(8) (Blackened Sludge/Stoner Doom) Their bandcamp page says it best: "Nihilistic putrid fuckin hatred". Just a fantastically ugly record.
31. Blut Aus Nord - Triunity [Split]
(8) Industrial Black/Doom
32. Terra Tenebrosa - V.I.T.R.I.O.L. - Purging The Tunnels
(8) Extreme Avant-Garde/Ambient
33. Gnaw Their Tongues - Dyodyo Asema [Collaboration]
(8) Experimental Blackened Sludge/Noise/Drone
34. Svartidauði - The Synthesis of Whore and Beast
(8) Black
35. Black Autumn - Losing The Sun
(7.5) Post-Black
36. Nasheim - Solens Vemod
(7.5) Atmospheric Black
37. Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere
(7.5) (Atmospheric Blackened Doom/Folk) I found the first 13 or so minutes of this album to be quite boring and unremarkable. However, starting with the track Dark Matter Gods, Agalloch managed to win me over yet again.
38. Blut aus Nord - Debemur Morti
(7.5) (Industrial Black) Nothing mind-blowing or unexpected here. Three very good tracks to add to Blut aus Nord's stellar discography.
39. Sun Worship - Elder Giants
(7.5) (Pagan Black) Heavy WITTR influence is immediately noticeable. I would say this album is slightly more riff oriented than most of WITTR's work though. Album is pay what you want on Bandcamp and is well worth a listen.
40. Falls Of Rauros - Believe In No Coming Shore
(7.5) Atmospheric Black/Neofolk
41. Monolord - Empress Rising
(7.5) Stoner Doom
42. Darkspace - Dark Space III I
(7.5) Ambient Black
43. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
(7.5) Doom
44. Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
(7.5) (Progressive Stoner) Mastodon have regained my respect with this album. So much more effort in every aspect on this one as compared to The Hunter.
45. sleepmakeswaves - Love of Cartography
(7.5) Instrumental Post-Rock
46. Tombs - Savage Gold
(7.5) (Blackened Post-Sludge) I've more or less felt the same about every release by these guys: enjoyable album/sound and very well performed but not something that draws me back for repeat listens.
47. Bölzer - Soma
(7.5) Death
48. Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts
(7.5) Avant-Garde Black
49. Noctem - Exilium
(7.5) (Melodic Black/Death/Thrash) Many parts are too thrash for my taste but plenty of intense/heavy black metal sections make this thing well worth a few listens.
50. Doctor Livingstone - Contemptus Saeculi
(7.5) (Blackened Hardcore Punk) These Frenchmen use a mix of blackened and punk vocals. The bass is louder in the mix than the guitars most of the time. Almost dips into grindcore territory at times.
51. Jute Gyte - Vast Chains
(7.5) (Experimental Black/Doom) Insane. If you like De Magia Veterum there's a good chance this might interest you.
52. Petrychor - Makrokosmos
(7.5) Ambient Space Black with touches of Folk and Industrial
53. Indian - From All Purity
(7.5) (Blackened Sludge/Doom) Despite the absolutely filthy tone and production, the vocals are the stand-out here. To me, Indian is going for a very similar sound to Coffinworm but where the latter manages to keep things interesting by changing pace often enough, many parts of From All Purity lapse into boring chugga chugga riffing for too long. I enjoy the vocals just as much as (maybe even a little more than) Coffinworm. It seems the vocalist is putting everything he has into this recording, combining black metal and hardcore vocal techniques to let loose something truly bloodcurdling.
54. Morbus Chron - Sweven
(7.5) (Progressive Death) Think Death meets early King Crimson.
55. Thou - Heathen
(7.5) Sludge/Doom
56. Triptykon - Melana Chasmata
(7) (Blackened Thrash/Death) Try your hardest not to headbang throughout this. You won't be able to control yourself.
57. Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus
(7) Orthodox Black
58. Sinmara - Aphotic Womb
(7) (Orthodox Black) Pretty standard DsO worship. Considering how thoroughly I enjoy DsO, I can't hate on them too much.
59. Skogen - I Döden
(7) (Atmospheric Pagan Black) Well done with some folksy parts sprinkled in but not original enough to shine through the crowd of the genre.
60. Artificial Brain - Labyrinth Constellation
(7) Sci-Fi Tech Death
61. Alraune - The Process of Self-Immolation
(7) USBM
62. Lantlôs - Melting Sun
(7) Post-Rock/Shoegaze
63. Panopticon - Roads To The North
(7) USBM/Americana
64. Paramnesia - Paramnesia
(7) (Atmospheric Black) More or less typical wall-of-sound aesthetics with shrieked vocals buried in the mix. Good overall sound.
65. Taurus - No/Thing
(7) Avant-Garde/Psychedelic Sludge
66. Botanist - VI: Flora
(7) Experimental Black
67. Myrkur - Myrkur
(7) Post-Black
68. Taake - Stridens Hus
(7) Black
69. Fides Inversa - Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
(7) Orthodox Black
70. Hark - Crystalline
(7) Stoner Sludge
71. Monarch - Sabbracadaver
(7) Drone Doom
72. Blut aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry
(7) Atmospheric Black
73. Rintrah - Salt of the Earth
(7) Psychedelic Stoner
74. Woods of Desolation - As The Stars
(7) (Atmospheric/Depressive Black) Mid-paced drums, tremolo melodies and wretched vocals. As formulaic as an atmospheric black metal album can be. Well performed but nothing special.
75. Graveborne - Through The Window of The Night
(7) (Black) Good riffs and whatnot but entirely forgettable.
76. Tortorum - Katabasis
(7) Black
77. Abysmal Dawn - Obsolescence
(7) Death
78. Bastard Sapling - Instinct Is Forever
(7) USBM
79. Winterfylleth - The Divination of Antiquity
(7) Pagan Black
80. Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind
(7) USBM
81. Dead Congregation - Promulgation of the Fall
(7) Death
82. Redwood Hill - Collider
(7) Post-Black/Sludge/Alternative
83. Hoth - Oathbreaker
(7) (Epic Melodic Black) This band out of Seattle is to Star Wars what Summoning is to LOTR. This album seems to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. I don't really care for the vocals.
84. Hexis - Abalam
(7) (Blackened Hardcore) Hexis pulls no punches in the vein of Nails. A little more substance to grab onto here though.
85. Aenaon - Extance
(7) (Blackened Progressive/Avant-Garde) The incorporation of unorthodox instruments such as the saxophone and harmonica was not needed. Vocals are average. Other than that, pretty good album.
86. Fäulnis - Snuff // Hiroshima
(7) (Black) Sounds more akin to Swedish black metal than their German origin. Also has a depressive vibe to it. Lyrics are in German.
87. Hail Spirit Noir - Oi Magoi
(7) (Blackened Prog/Psychedelia) As much as I loved HSN's first album this one missed the mark for me. They dipped too far into the nostalgic sound of old psychedelia the way Opeth did on Heritage and Oranssi Pazuzu did on Valonieu. I may listen to it again later in the year to see if it hits me differently but for now it sits firmly in the 'disappointment' category.
88. Mutilation Rites - Harbinger
(6.5) USBM/Crust
89. Krieg - Transient
(6.5) USBM
90. Usnea - Random Cosmic Violence
(6.5) Doom/Sludge
91. Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails
(6.5) Tech Death/Shoegaze
92. Cold Body Radiation - A Clear Path
(6.5) Post-Rock/Shoegaze
93. Belphegor - Conjuring The Dead
(6.5) Blackened Death
94. Wolvhammer - Clawing Into Black Sun
(6.5) Blackened Sludge
95. Lord Mantis - Death Mask
(6.5) Blackened Sludge
96. The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer
(6.5) Psychedelic Stoner
97. Abigor - Leytmotif Luzifer - The 7 Temptations Of Man
(6.5) Black
98. Auroch - Taman Shud
(6.5) (Blackened Brutal Death) Absolutely love the artwork. The music kinda sucks though. Unfortunate.
99. Black Anvil - Hail Death
(6.5) Blackened Thrash
100. Dol Kruug - Eat Me
(6.5) Electronic Tech Death
101. Mars Red Sky - Stranded In Arcadia
(6.5) (Stoner) Falsetto vocals and overly simplistic heavy, fuzzed out riffs.
102. Woland - Hyperion
(6.5) (Technical/Groove/Post-Black/Djent) Blackened vocals, groove thrash guitars, djenty bass and lots of double bass drums. Comes together very well at points. Falls flat at others.
103. A Dying God - Anthems To Ascension
(6.5) (Black/Grindcore) Pretty standard sound despite the intriguing lyrical themes.
104. Voices - London
(6) Experimental Black/Death
105. Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestite
(6) (Ambient) Uhhh no.
106. Bongripper - Miserable
(6) (Instrumental Stoner Doom) Boring as fuck. Almost as if they simply wanted to troll their fans.
107. Thantifaxath - Sacred White Noise
(6) Ambient Black
108. 1349 - Massive Cauldron of Chaos
(6) Black
109. Behemoth - The Satanist
(6) Death
110. Crib45 - Marching Through The Borderlines
(6) Atmospheric Sludge
111. Stigmhate - Zodacare Od Zodameranu
(6) Black
112. Ceremonial Castings - Cthulhu
(6) Black
113. Twilight - III: Beneath Trident's Tomb
(6) USBM
114. Conan - Blood Eagle
(6) Stoner Doom
115. Ill Omen - Enthroning The Bonds of Abhorrence
(6) (Occult Black) Trudging and bland.
116. Oruga - Blackened Souls
(6) Stoner Sludge
117. Avichi - Catharsis Absolute
(6) (Black) Bland and mediocre. Nothing really stands out.
118. Harakiri For The Sky - Aokigahara
(6) (Blackgaze) Black metal meets emo slathered in shoegaze. I guess this trend isn't going away.
119. Opeth - Pale Communion
(5) Prog
120. Benighted - Carnivore Sublime
(5) Deathgrind
121. Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io
(5) Avant-Garde
122. Akroma - La Cène
(5) Symphonic Black
123. Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence
(4) Avant-Garde Death
124. Alcest - Shelter
(4) Shoegaze

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


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tea[m]ster - 09.02.2014 at 18:50  
Lol. we almost have the same summary for WoD...I swear i didn't copy ! Too funny!!
Neachy - 13.02.2014 at 23:54  
Written by tea[m]ster on 09.02.2014 at 18:50

Lol. we almost have the same summary for WoD...I swear i didn't copy ! Too funny!!

You seem to have enjoyed it a lot more than I did though. Your comparison to Fen is pretty fitting as well... Are you looking forward to the new Dirge album as much as I am?
Alex Fenger - 25.02.2014 at 05:41  
As usual your list will probably be the only "year list" I keep track of, so I'm interested in what you think of the new; Shattered Hope, Nadja, Alkerdeel/Gnaw Their Tongues, Blut Aus Nord, and Slough Feg.
Neachy - 26.02.2014 at 00:09  
Written by Alex Fenger on 25.02.2014 at 05:41

As usual your list will probably be the only "year list" I keep track of, so I'm interested in what you think of the new; Shattered Hope, Nadja, Alkerdeel/Gnaw Their Tongues, Blut Aus Nord, and Slough Feg.

I've been really busy the past few months with work and school so my ability to keep up with new releases has suffered a bit. But I'll be back at full capacity in a couple months.I will be sure to check the three of those I've yet to hear (Shattered Hope, Nadja and Slough Feg) and re-listen to the other two for the list. I enjoyed them the first time I heard them but I kind of pushed them aside because they aren't full-lengths.
Diverge - 09.03.2014 at 02:28  
I really need to check out Coffinworm. Thanks for the reminder.
mz - 09.03.2014 at 02:35  
Written by Diverge on 09.03.2014 at 02:28

I really need to check out Coffinworm. Thanks for the reminder.

Just listened to it tonight for a couple of times. It's even better than their debut. I think you'll like their new record.
Alex Fenger - 11.08.2014 at 22:36  
The new Epistasis is up there in my "AsOTY" list. Phenomenal. Thanks for inadvertently reminding me to listen to it
Alex Fenger - 15.08.2014 at 20:11  
Two things you need to throw on this list would be Merkabah and Profetus
mz - 16.08.2014 at 00:27  
I wonder what you think about Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence, Mortals- Cursed To See The Future , Skáphe - Skáphe , Los Random - Pidanoma , Howls Of Ebb - Vigils Of The 3rd Eye , Domains - Sinister Ceremonies, Bast - Spectres.
Lit. - 16.08.2014 at 03:21  
You also need some Goatwhore, brother.
tea[m]ster - 22.08.2014 at 03:47  
Thanks to you, I checked out Chaos Moon...and I am glad I did. Wow, huge surprise...and thanks for the rec.
Alex Fenger - 08.10.2014 at 16:26  
This is one of the few lists on MS I actually check up on rather than just looking at once. I still need to check out Fluisteraars and Jute Gyte
Alex Fenger - 10.11.2014 at 20:49  
You should definitely get around to listening to Ecdysis by Horrendous. That album is absolutely fantastic, and easily my favorite death metal album of the year
Neachy - 10.11.2014 at 21:12  
Written by Alex Fenger on 10.11.2014 at 20:49

You should definitely get around to listening to Ecdysis by Horrendous. That album is absolutely fantastic, and easily my favorite death metal album of the year

I will definitely do that. Been listening to the Ape of God albums today and have been pretty impressed. Have you checked this out?:
Alex Fenger - 10.11.2014 at 22:39  
Written by Neachy on 10.11.2014 at 21:12

I will definitely do that. Been listening to the Ape of God albums today and have been pretty impressed. Have you checked this out?:

I've been meaning to check out tAoG albums, but now I'm listening to that Mispyrming you linked and it sounds fucking AWESOME! More Icelandic BM showing the modern bands how it's done. Thanks for the rec.

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