Thumbs up: +5
My list of 2014 likes (to be expanded). Notes can and will change during the year, since I like listening to albums multiple times and have a really good view before the final note.

I'd say 3/5 is my default note, just an okay CD with nothing spectacular.

Created by: robpal | 31.03.2014



1. Opeth - Pale Communion
Progressive Metal/Rock [5/5] Album of the year.
2. Evergrey - Hymns For The Broken
Progressive Power Metal [4,5,5] So good. Easily their best effort since The Inner Circle. It's quite slow, sometimes even dark and needs a few spins to really sink in. However Englund is in great form, Danhage and Ekhdal's presence is again easy to feel. Just another Evergrey's trademark. Best songs? King Of Errors and The Great Collapse, simply amazing.
3. Threshold - For The Journey
Progressive Metal [4,5/5] Guys just DELIVER. Every single time. I think this album is, ovarall, a tiny bit weaker than March Of Progress. It's not that catchy and song-oriented and more atmospheric. The opening Watchtower On The Moon is classic, proggy and melodic Threshold, but later it gets darker. The Box and Siren Sky are two absolute masterpieces of modern prog. Damian Wilson just nails it.
4. Vanden Plas - Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1)
Progressive Power Metal [4,5/5] Long wait but definitely worth it. A bit softer than previous albums, but I love the melodic approach. I'd maybe change some parts (church-like choirs...), but overall it's a perfect mix of metal and melodic/symphonic elements. Power-prog doesn't get much better than "Godmaker".
5. Gazpacho - Demon
Progressive/Art Rock [4,5/5] This is epic. Will elaborate soon.
6. Anubis Gate - Horizons
Progressive Power Metal [4,5/5] It really grew up on me after a few spins, so I bump it to 4,5. Songs are melodic, catchy and progressive at the same time. Anubis Gate are currently top5 of melodic prog and they just proved again they belong there. My favorite song would be Breach Of Faith, just can't get enough of it. Soooo good.
7. Devin Townsend - Casualties Of Cool
Devin Townsend Space County Metal [4,5/5]
8. Ethersens - Your Wandering Ghost
Progressive Metal [4,5/5] I'm not gonna lie, I discovered Ethersens just this year. But this is fantastic! I really like this "darker", slower progressive metal. Great atmosphere here, maybe a bit depressive, but I feel some kind of space here behine the guitar barriers. This album has various reviews, from "terrible" to "amazing". Surely not for everyone, it took me at least three listens to get into this kind of music.
9. Xerath - III
Symphonic Groove Metal [4/5]
10. Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope
Progressive Rock [4/5] What can I say, I just love Neal Morse :)
11. Insomnium - Shadows Of The Dying Sun
Melodic Death Metal [4/5] I really like Insomnium, but this is so much better than I expected. I absolutely love "Above The Weeping World", but I think their last two albums (especially the last one) were a little bit repetitive. Great to see Insomnium trying out some new directions, maybe a bit softer, but new (clean vocals etc.). Evolution is the key! The guitarist from Omnium Gatherum does a great job and the production is just flawless. After a few months I have to admit that certain songs bore me a bit (Black Heart Rebellion, Lose To Night), but killers remained killers. Very good, recommended.
12. Septicflesh - Titan
Symphonic Death Metal [4/5] At first I wasn't too impressed and had a feeling "Titan" is a bit step backwards. However after few spins this album really grew on me. Orchestra is powerful, choirs fit perfectly and the metal part is quite varied. Only thing I don't like is the mastering -- such a complex music deserves much better dynamic range. My favorite songs: Prototype, Ground Zero, The First Immortal
13. A.C.T - Circus Pandemonium
Progressive Rock [4/5]
14. Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails
Progressive/Tech Death Metal [4/5]
15. Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism
Progressive Metal [4/5] "Anhedonia" was great, this is even better! Teramaze have changed throughout the years, starting as a thrash-prog band and ending as a 100% progressive band. The love for solid guitar work remained though, they're so dense here that you can actually sweat a bit. It's not an easy-listening album, songs are quite complicated with many layers. Guitars (already mentioned) are outstanding, same as keyboard work and vocals. Mixed perfectly, sounds amazing. This is top quality prog medal by a very underrated band. Just try it.
16. Voyager - V
Progressive Power Metal [4/5]
17. Catacombe - Quidam
Instrumental Post-Rock [4/5] I'm not a big fan of instrumental music, but this VERY good. Short album (36 minutes), perfect to listen in the evening. I like the progressive elements blending in with classical post-rock sound. Very atmospheric recording from this little known project. And the sound is very clean, production definitely a pro here.
18. Words Of Farewell - The Black Wild Yonder
Melodic Death Metal [4/5] Probably gonna rate it higher after a few spins. Reminds me a bit of last year's Persefone, but without clean vocals. Music here is great, varied with nice build-ups and some progressive inspiration. As for now, the second-best MDM album of 2014
19. Descend - Wither
Progressive Death Metal [4/5] I more or less agree with MS review of this album. Nothing too original, however it's well-crafted, sounds great and powerful, based on groovy riffs (no blasts here). I think some clean vocals would add value to this recording and bump it to 4,5-5 star territory. I really liked In Vain's "Aenigma" last year, and this is a similar style. Good hour of solid progressive death metal.
20. Cullooden - Silent Scream
Progressive Power Metal [4/5] Energetic melodic prog from this Swedish band. Pretty good variety, so it doesn't get boring. Some nice solos, both keyboard and guitar and I really liked the vocals here. If you like bands like Circus Maximus, Anubis Gate or Seventh Wonder, give it a go. It's not as complex as usual prog albums, but songs are really catchy. And it's a debut!
21. Aenaon - Extance
Avantgarde Metal [4/5] Damn, this is crazy! As avant-garde as it could possibly be. There's EVERYTHING here: some powerful growls, clean vocals, acoustic passages and even a saxophone. Funeral Blues is hell of a song. Great album overall, strongly recommended.
22. Stamina - Perseverance
Progressive Power Metal [4/5]
23. Anathema - Distant Satellites
Some kind of rock [3,5/5] One of major disappointments of the year for me. I'm a big fan of their old stuff, but at the same time I really like their new albums (and I LOVED Weather Systems). I found this one quite boring (and this comes from a prog-10+minutes long songs-metal lover). There are some good songs here, reminding me of their last two albums, but the romance with electronics left me unconvinced.
24. Psycrence - A Frail Deception
Progressive Metal [3,5/5]
25. Lost Insen - Here After
Progressive Metal [3,5/5] An interesting progressive band from Tunisia. They started playing Dream Theater covers, now finally got their own material. Nothing revolutionary here, but it's an enjoyable experience.
26. Mayan - Antagonise
Symphonic Death Metal [3/5] An OK album but nothing more. Orchestral parts sound really good, growles parts are good too, but everything apart from that is just standard, well-produced stuff. Not bad by any means, but nothing particularly outstanding either.
27. Thoughts Factory - Lost
Progressive Metal [3/5] This is a very interesting debut from Germany. Melodic progressive metal, strongly influenced by our usual suspects, but definitely with its own identity. The sound is very good and clean plus lyrics are great and the story interesting (it's a concept album). Initially I gave 4/5, but after a few listens I somehow got bored.
28. Collibus - The False Awakening
Progressive Power Metal [3/5] Sound is quite good for a low-profile band and songs are varied. Female vocalist is actually a highlight here and you can definitely see some potential in this band. However I couldn't shake off the "I have already heard it somewhere" feeling. Not a bad effort overall, solid album, but kind of forgettable.
29. 4th Dimension - Dispelling The Veil Of Illusions
Symphonic Power Metal [2,5/5] Poor man's symphonic power. As cheesy as it gets, I didn't like it.
30. Waiting list (to listen, review or both)
31. Hemina - Nebulae
32. Vader - Tibi Et Igni
33. Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
34. Distorted Harmony - Chain Reaction
35. Vallenfyre - Splinters
36. Novembers Doom - Bled White
37. Decembre Noir - A Discouraged Believer
38. Serdce - Timelessness
39. Tungsten - The Reservoir
40. Coda - Mechanism
41. Adrenaline Mob - Men Of Honor
42. A Sense Of Gravity - Travail
43. Dynazty - Renatus
44. Appearance Of Nothing - A New Beginning
45. Leviathan (USA) - Beholden to Nothing, Braver Since Then
46. Abstraction - End Of Hope
47. Triptykon - Melana Chasmata
48. Vital Science - Imaginations On The Subject Of Infinity
49. Delain - The Human Contradiction
50. Major Parkinson - Twilight Cinema
51. Skyliner - Outsiders
52. Neverdream - The Circle
53. Vanishing Point - Distant Is The Sun



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



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Pelagial - 20.09.2014 at 20:15  
Nice pick go to see mine

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