Top Albums of 2014

My 15 favourite records from 2014 and a handy wee video from each to give you a wee taster of said records. Sweet deal right? 

2014 has been a great year for music. I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent, or stumbled across, a whole lot of amazing music in 2014. For heavy music its been the best year I can remember for a while and I guess my own top 15 reflects that.

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but these are the records my iPod tells me I’ve played the most this year, so presumably these must be the ones I like the most. Seems as good a way to come up with this list as any.
Code Orange "I Am King" // Deathwish 2014

#15. Code Orange “I Am King”

Angular and snotty hardcore meets gritty experimentalism. A superb record to lose yourself in.

Opeth "Pale Communion" // Roadrunner Records 2014

#14. Opeth “Pale Communion”

Progressive rock dripping in tasteful jazz flourishes. A worthy addition to an already stunning back catalogue.

Revocation "Deathless" // Metal Blade 2014

 #13. Revocation “Deathless”

All da riffs. All da drums. All the best bits about metal in a single neck breaking package.

Feed The Rhino "The Sorrow & The Sound" // Siege of Ameida 2014

#12. Feed the Rhino ” The Sorrow & The Sound”

A fight between left field melody and vein popping aggression that ends in some huge tunes. A band who deserve more than they get.

Bernhoft "Islander" // Kikitepe Cassette 2014

#11. Bernhoft “Islander”

The best modern singer-songwriter who has the perfect balance of musical endeavour and pop sensibility.

Devin Townsend "Casualties of Cool" // Self-release 2014

#10. Devin Townsend “Casualties of Cool”

A beautiful record that’s totally absorbing and utterly compelling even after endless listens. Another stunning record to a back catalogue that’s already bursting with them.

St Vincent "St Vincent" // Loma Vista 2014

#9.  St Vincent “St Vincent”

Superb song-writing, textured production and the sweetest sense of melancholy. Party music for the slightly depressed.

Every Time I Die "From Parts Unknown" // Epitaph 2014

#8. Every Time I Die “From Parts Unknown”

Every Time I Die harness their groove and aggressive technicality into a concise pummelling which doesn’t let up for a second. Old dogs still have the best tricks.

Aphex Twin "Syro" // Warp Records

#7. Aphex Twin “Syro”

A throw back to the ambient brilliance of his debut LP with all the modern flourishes. Couldn’t have asked for anything better from Richard D. James in 2014.

Bloodbath "Grand Morbid Funeral" // Peaceville Records 2014

#6. Bloodbath “Grand Morbid Funeral”

Old school death metal dripping with a hammy theatricality that reminds how much fun extreme music can be.

Marmozets "The Weird & Wonderful Marmozets" // Roadrunner Records 2014

#5. Marmozets “The Weird & Wonderful Marmozets”

Best rock début for an age. Hardcore ferocity, left field melody and rock ‘n’ roll combined in a thrilling fashion and the forced kicking and screaming into great tunes. The beginnings of something really special.

Trophy Scars "Holy Vacants" // Monotreme Records

#4. Trophy Scars “Holy Vacants”

Post-Hardcore channelled through Tom Waits, blues, psychedelia and widescreen vision. A stunning full length return from one of the great unsung bands of the 21st century.

Behemoth "The Satanist" // Nuclear Blast 2014

#3. Behemoth “The Satanist”

The winning argument for the relevance and artistic value of extreme music. An absolutely stunning statement of artistic intent in every way imaginable.

Architects "Lost Forever // Lost Together" // Epitaph 2014

#2. Architects “Lost Forever // Lost Together”

Chart bothering, totally uncompromising and totally inspiring. Architects have raised the bar impossibly high for contemporary heavy music.

Skyharbor "Guiding Lights" // Basick Records 2014

#1.Skyharbor “Guiding Lights” 

A beautiful, intricate, lush and expansive record. A stunning second album from the cross-continental band which proves that sharing the same jam room is in no way essential to creating wonderful music. A cutting edge band in every sense.

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