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 music...it'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.
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