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The Top 10 of Metal (and Mosh!) 2014

I have real trouble defining the parameters of my 2014 list. Swinging low on my Digital Editor perch at Hysteria Mag, I’ve kinda sorta found myself not hating a lot of the stuff thrown across my table. Punk and hardcore. Metalcore and deathcore. Rockcore and Applecore. “Fuck it,” I said, downing another cup of coffee-flavoured battery acid, “I’ll add whatever bullshit I want to my list.”

A long pause. Heavy silence. I turn to a non-existent camera. Straight down the barrel, I intone:

“Cos it’s my fuckin’ list.”

Adhering to my own editorial advice of “omit needless words!” Here's year’s musical journey summed up in one DELUXE page. So here we go:



1. Sleepwave - Broken Compass 

Spencer Chamberlain saved rock n’ roll. He did it not only with great tunes, but courage.

2. Decapitated - Blood Mantra

Growing tired of death metal is easy. Decapitated settle for nothing less than perfection. Blood Mantra is that perfection.

3. Gazpacho - Demon

Classifying this one is like expressing frustrations in an arcane tongue. Prog rock that's simple, haunting, beautiful. Jan Henrik-Ohme's androgyne vocals transcend music as's a language of humanity.

4. Killer Be Killed - Killer Be Killed

Metal supergroup? Well that'll be shit. Wait, no. It's the polar opposite of shit.

5. A Breach of Silence - The Darkest Road

Metal and 'core will never find a more perfect chimera. Go home, Iron Maiden tee wearing fuckboys; your shit is OVER.

6. Amplifier - Mystoria

Pure rock delivered in a punch through your ear box. They trip on shrooms, they love big riffs, they kick total ass. Cat's Cradle is a rock masterpiece.

7. Goatwhore - Constricting Rage of the Merciless

Recorded on analogue, crushing as always. Goatwhore with Erik Rutan producing is unstoppable. It's hinted with real imitation crazy, feeling oh so frighteningly satisfying.

8. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

"Doom" has been hijacked by skinny-tee wearing SJWs set on finding life's answers in the back of a Foucault book. Fuck them. This is the real shit. No trust funds, no saviours.

9. Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen

A late entry, but adding psychedelic touches and stoner jammin' really bumped them up the list. Primordial are ALWAYS God tier. This proves it.

10. Voyager  - V

If Australia has one metal export you should be spruiking incessantly (apart from King Parrot) it's Voyager. Prog metal's been sucking its own dick since Scenes from a Memory. Voyager bravely fly free outta prog's masturbatory hugbox. Keep it up, boys and girl.

Honourable Mentions:

Gold Award: Soen - Tellurian

Remember when Tool and Opeth were the only "prog metal" masters back in the winter of 2000? Imagine if they combined. Perfectly.

Silver Award: KXM - KXM

Metal supergroups seem to be kickin' major ass, and KXM is no exception. Down home blues and rock sung with Dug Pinnick's "I been around some" heart and soul. Can't beat that.

Bronze Award: Audrey Horne – Get Heavy

Are we absolutely sure the ghosts of Phil Lynott and Gary Moore aren't cutting these?

The Near Misses:

  • Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
  • DZ Deathrays - Black Rat
  • Agalloch - The Serpent and the Sphere
  • Anathema - Distant Satellites
  • Aversions Crown - Tyrant
  • Desecration - Cemetary Sickness
  • St. Vincent - St. Vincent
  • The Amity Affliction - Let The Ocean Take Me
  • Darkest Era - Severance
  • Devin Townsend Project - Sky Blue
  • Crosses - +++
  • At the Gates - At War With Reality

Review: Rancid - ...Honor is All We Know (Beat)



In the early ‘90s, Rancid were fresh-faced punk rockers from Berkeley, California. Charged up on youth nitro, Rancid figured they could rattle cages forever. Partly true. On their eighth record, time hasn’t wearied Rancid so much as hardened them.


In the early ‘90s, Rancid were fresh-faced punk rockers from Berkeley, California. Charged up on youth nitro, Rancid figured they could rattle cages forever. Partly true. On their eighth record, time hasn’t wearied Rancid so much as hardened them. - See more at:

Hysteria #27 - Digitally Online for Top Speed Access


Embrace luxury. Indulge your senses. Only the best is right for you. You want the hardest of cores. The most anarchic of punx. The screamiest of metal. Embrace the Hysteria lifestyle. The Ghost Inside's Dear Youth fashion, emblematic of the romantic spirit. Devin Townsend's chic strings, boho meets casual. You Me At Six sensuously breading scalding wings for discerning tastes. If it's too loud, good. Experience Hysteria Style

I was also crowned Digital Editor of the place this month. I'd like to say it's more than a licence to mess with their Facebook. Oh well.

Download it for Apples

Download it for Androids


Hysteria #26 - Cover This, Spencer


It finally happened. I duped some poor schmoe to put my story on the cover of his mag. Hope you got insurance, PAL. But 4 srs - this is one of the best interviews I've had the pleasure to file. Spencer Chamberlain is a man who stands up bloodied, baying and broken to keep kicking against the industry pricks. If rock n' roll is dead, Sleepwave is its last flickering soul.

I also got intellectual with Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates, gushed over Decapitated's newie with Vogg and ate Gothenburgers with Peter Iwers of In Flames. There's a tofu scramble with Architects in the Hysteria Kitchen, a cheese n' beer guzzling with Neck Deep and we let our youngbloods run free forever with The Amity Affliction on tour. It's like downloading a mosh into your pocket. DO IT MAN


Interview: Ryan Wolfe of Windhand (Beat)

Courtesy Popmatters

Crushing, abrasive and drip-fed wild hooks, press and fans easily dub Windhand a doom band. The term doesn’t sit well with the band, though. Drummer Ryan Wolfe insists the Richmond, Virginia outfit’s rooted in a tradition far more pure: “it’s all just rock n’ roll,” he says. “In my head, when I think about what I’m doing? I’m playing rock n’ roll.”

Read more in Beat Mag #1442.

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