Top 10 albums of 2014
by Colum Bell
2015 is here but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a look back at some of the finest albums put out in 2014. Site contributor Colum Bell gives us the lowdown on what he considers to be the finest releases of last year…
10. Orange Goblin – Back From the Abyss
Orange Goblin return with Back From the Abyss which up the ante and proves why they’re one the UK’s finest metal bands about.
9. Music Blues – Things Haven’t Gone Well
Written and recorded by Stephen Tanner of Harvey Milk, his solo release is full of some excellent cinematic doom, sludge and noise. It’s reminiscent of Thrones, Harvey Milk and even John Carpenter. “Things Haven’t Gone Well” is a sincere and excellent solo release by Tanner!
8. Funerary – Starless Aeon
Funerary provide bleak funeral doom with “Starless Aeon”. While fairly short considering others in the genre the tracks ooze atmosphere and are as heavy and as bleak as the darkness of deepest space.
7. Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
The anonymous Canadians Thantifaxath released a maelstrom of chaotic, brutal and technical black metal upon us. This is nightmare soundtrack is one of my favourite black metal releases of the year.
6. At The Gates – At War With Reality
At The Gates return to form with the much anticipated “At War With Reality” after a huge 9 year gap since their last studio album. The classic At The Gates sound remains proving they still hold the crown in this genre.
5. Godflesh – A World Lit only by Fire
Another band with a huge gap between albums, having also released the superb Decline and Fall EP earlier this year, Godflesh’s crushing latest ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ (after a 13 year wait) was worth the wait. With this unforgiving industrial juggernaut, Godflesh show they’re still relevant in 2014 and beyond.
4. Forn – The Departure of Consciousness
Boston’s Forn seemed to come from out of nowhere with combining blackened doom with elements of Neurosis. This is a truly accomplished first album full of some the finest and heaviest doom you’ll hear this year. Definitely a band to watch for 2015!
3. Gridlink – Longhena
Sadly due to the health issues of guitarist Takafumi Matsubara, the last release by one of the finest grind bands in the world. Longhena is an intense whirlwind with some fantastic production. Gridlink have taken grindcore on to new levels with this album.
2. Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend
Yob’s was sure to make it to many year end lists and it damn well deserves to be. Four tracks of epic and volcanic doom take you on a journey culminating in the haunting and moving finale ‘The Marrow’. One of the bands finest releases and it was a close call for my top album of the year.
1. Thou – Heathen
The fourth full length from one of the most prolific sludge bands around, having released 10 splits and EPs since Summit. Heathen ranges from being full of bile, misanthrope and the futility of humanity to glimmers of hope.