Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 15 Albums of 2014



In looking at the list 2014 was an odd year. Some of the greats didn't release what I would consider their best work, but even when the likes of Morrissey dials it in, the result is still better than what most do. Some younger bands stepped up their game and grew in ways that shifted them from one genre to the next. All of these albums either scored a ten or grew on me and proved their perfection down the road.

15- Kall -s/t

Lifelover is back, but not as black.This has a more droning black n roll feel. It just falls shy of being black metal, but an excellent melancholy affair .

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/12/kall-st.html



14-Emptiness -"Nothing But the Whole"

A stunningly desperate soundtrack. This album oozes both atmosphere and emotion defying sub genres.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/11/catching-up-with-2014-emptiness-nothing.html

13- Mayhem-"Esoteric Warfare"

If Mayhem had tried to make another "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" it would have bored the bullet belt right off me. Instead they release an album with pristine production, that takes chances and takes no prisoners. Attila has never sounded better and Hellhammer makes his case for being the best drummer in black metal. As Spinal Tap once asked "How much blacker can you get ? the answer was none then and it is none now.

12-Youth Code- A Place to Stand

One of the best industrial bands I have heard in some time. This duo is dark, mean and confrontational, even if their singer is a little blond girl.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/10/youth-code-place-to-stand.html



11- Atriarch- " An Unending Pathway"

They graduated from the metal chart to goth, as the death rock vibe is stronger. The metal elements are now more of a sonic Neurosis thing and they have left doom and black metal at home.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/10/atriarch-unending-pathway.html

10-Swans - To Be Kind

My favorite band this side of the Smiths takes the number ten, because "To Be Kind" is more like a  series of live jams they translated to the studio, but even when Gira is just playing around he is still better than most.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/05/swans-to-be-kind.html

9- Ice Age -"Plowing into the Field of Love"

These guys have grown in leaps and bounds, so much so the rock swagger injected on this album now makes them much more qualified for this list than being called post-punk.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/09/iceage-plowing-fields-of-love.html


8- Nasheim - "Solens Vemod"

The Swedish act is another one man show. The master mind behind this is Erik Grahn. Grahn  came out  of the gate on his first full length and killed it. This album sweeps you away. Combining the lush romanticism of Emperor, atmosphere and incredible arrangements, my only regret it not finding this masterpiece when it came out under the radar back in February.




7- Morrissey- "World Peace is None of Your Business"

Stiff competition for sure if Moz didn't take home the number one spot, it came down to two albums that I listened to more and were a tad more focused.



6-Merchandise-"After the End"

They really edged out Moz by the sheer fact I listened to this album much more than "World Peace is ..." . These guys matured as songwriters, the melodies are very memorable, even if this album is oddly upbeat and almost sounds like 70's rock in places.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/07/merchandiseafter-end.html


5-Pallbearer This one is the rare album that lives up to the hype. The haunting  melodies stick with you and riffs challenge you not to bang your head. They are no longer funereal doom, but are great classic metal.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/08/pallbearer-foundations-of-burden.html



4- Mortuary Drape -"Spiritual Independence"

Everything in this album is placed perfectly. This is classic death metal. I can not get enough of this album. Creepy, heavy, melodic, everything I want from music.


3-Zola Jesus - Taiga

 She lightened up a bit while the number one band got darker. Still for edm pop, she's better than anything on the radio.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/08/zola-jesus-taiga.html



2- Lower- "Seek Warmer Climes"

Iceage went an "Exile on Main Street" direction while these guys held tight to the 80's. This album is almost more new wave than post-punk. Whatever you want to call it , this album is filled with the kinda desperate longing that goths can relate too, while also rocking.
http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/06/lower-seek-warmer-climes.html



1-Wovenhand -"Refractory Obdurate"
This album kept drawing me in for more. It's amazing in all most every way.  Edwards really out did himself . This might be his heaviest album yet.

http://abysmalhymns.blogspot.com/2014/04/wovenhand-refractory-obdurate.html


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