Here we are, dear readers, just one post away from the last in the series, the coveted top five. But don’t set your eyes on the prize too soon, as you might miss the brilliant offering that this part has as well. Each and every album on this list is definitely something to check out and if you only broaden your horizons, you’ll see that there are plenty of surprises in store. We think the diversity on this list, ranging from grind to death or even electronic, speaks volumes about the amazing year we’ve had so far. So let’s get to it, the end is in sight!
Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.
Albums that didn’t quite make it, but still ruled:
We’re going to phase out this part from now on. Only the top of the bunch remain!
Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion
Animals As Leaders are one of the most recognizable names in metal music today. Djent or not, this band has a knack for writing insanely catchy songs that are never in need of vocal hooks or super fun lyrics, because their music is filled with enough hooks to satisfy you for a lifetime. Their newest endeavor is no different. While it did take a couple of listens to get into, it was well worth it. This album is a major step up for the band musically. The songs are starting to get more complicated, and the addition of Matt Gartska to the writing process is shown through his varying time signatures and off-time beats, mixed in with Javier’s great sense of time and Tosin’s ability to shred tastefully and sometimes even whimsically. The album mixes both the heaviness from their debut and the more laid-back vibes from Weightless to give us a record that is well worth your time, and if you really have the energy, it will become one of your favorites, as it has for many of us here.
Pyrrhon- The Mother of Virtues
The Mother of Virtues is terror, apathy and resentment in audio form. It is pure aural hell, and every minute of it is excruciatingly wondrous and awful to behold. This isn’t an album that likes you very much, but if you appreciate avant-garde death metal, you’ll appreciate it. Pyrrhon have crafted a genius major label debut that transcends labels and genres as deftly as it transcends typical death metal song structures. Abrasive, filthy, but possessed of a strange, abstract beauty, The Mother of Virtues is difficult to describe. You just have to hear it yourself. Special attention should be payed to the lyrics, not often a focal point in death metal, as they’re wonderfully written and sweepingly evocative. You might not like it, but you should give this album a shot. It might just open you up to some new, wonderful, and terrifying things. Enjoy.
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Tides of Man – Young and Courageous
When lead singer Tilian Pearson left progressive-rock outfit Tides of Man in 2010, their future was thrown into limbo. They began auditioning vocalists to see if they could soldier on in the same format as before, but this endeavor proved to be fruitless. This led them down the path of becoming an instrumental outfit, which fostered the bands decision to adopt a brand new style: post-rock. There are few instances where things not working out turned out to be a great thing, but this is one of them. Tides of Man released Young and Courageous earlier this year, and blew listeners away with their incredibly well-crafted soundscapes. These sounds could range from light-hearted and playful to heavier, more introspective pieces. No matter the style they occupy, Tides of Man have no problem making quality music that is executed flawlessly, heavy with melody and drenched with emotionally charged musicianship.
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Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed
Greg Puciato, Max Cavalera, Troy Sanders and Dave Elitch formed a band. You wouldn’t believe what happens next! Well, unsurprisingly, good music happens. Killer Be Killed’s self titled debut album is a mixture of all their sounds, with maybe a bit more leaning towards Cavalera’s trademark grooves, as he is the brains behind the project. Regardless, everyone’s style is apparent in the soaring choruses, crushing riffs and great vocal lines. If anyone wanted to know what “metal” is about, KBK is the perfect album for that – it perfectly captures, with proficiency that can only be brought to the table by the legendary members, the core aspects of metal. The songs are all catchy and memorable yet they get one pumped immediately. This album should be required listening for anyone who enjoys any of the things mentioned, and it’s some of the best material any of the people involved in it have put out.
Intervals – A Voice Within
Getting a vocalist is pretty much the most controversial thing an instrumental djent band can do. However, if you do go for that move, there are few people better suited than Mike Semesky. A Voice Within is aptly titled, as the vocals of Semesky take what was once one of the most promising young acts in the genre and elevate it to the status of ground breaking classic. This album has everything: insanely happy and positive guitars, catchy verses performed by an amazing vocalist and superb drum work by the mighty Anup Sastry. The production rings true, giving all the sounds a brilliance at the edges that is so fitting it’s practically created a signature sound with a single album. This album can go heavy as well, as exemplified by its latter parts. Ever since release it has barely left our playing record, as it has this weird quality of staying as fresh as the first listen. You owe yourself this album and you should be glad you were around when it was released: it’s a modern day classic.
We hope you’ve got a bit more in you, readers! Tomorrow we bring you the absolute top five of the past six months, hand picked by our diligent staff. We know your playlists are tired by now but I’m sure they can hold a few more albums. See you then!