Frank's Top 20 Albums of 2014
The Top 5 Things You'll Want To Know Before Reading My List
5. I love heavy metal
4. I like to share the heavy metal I love with you
3. It took nearly 6 months for me to narrow this list down to 20 albums
2. If you think an unnumbered list is a cop out, I don't care. Music is art, not competition.
1. I didn’t wear pants while writing this. Here we go…
At The Gates – At War with Reality
Like you didn’t see this coming. I gave a gushing review of this album in October, and I still stand by every word. It’s truly amazing to watch one of my favorite bands in the world still blow me away.
Listen to "The Head Of The Hydra"
I think once you get the crucifix out of your ass and realize Behemoth never intended to make Evangelion part two, you’ll accept this as the beautiful satanic masterpiece that it is. From the throw back influence of bands like Rotting Christ and Samael, to the theatrical edge of new-age Behemoth, this album packs it all. In order to fully realize the album you should watch them perform "O Father O Satan O Sun" live, it’ll send chills down your spine.
Listen to Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Straight up, this band has never made a bad album. When you have that kind of track record, it’s hard to imagine what direction a band will go. Blood Mantra might be less death metal than their previous efforts, but I’m totally OK with that. As long as they pack their specialty groove punch, I’ll remain a fan for life.
Listen to The Blasphemous Psalm To The Dummy God Creation
Watching these young talented monsters on stage only fortifies why they are the trash band you should be paying attention to right now. I love this band, including some of their earlier work, but Slave To The Sword is a total game changer for these guys. How often do I say a band’s 3rd album is their best, right!?
Listen to Immortality Made Flesh
If there was ever a soundtrack to removing flesh from a human being, I’d like to think this would be it. Now bring me a scalpel.
Listen to The Extirpation Agenda
There’s just something about their nostalgically raw and groovy approach to death metal that made me a fan as a kid, and they continue to kill it today. Inked in Blood is one of the best albums from Obituary in years, and that says a lot for a band with a track record like theirs.
Listen to Violence
It took exactly one listen for The Joy Of Motion to get me hooked, and realize this band still has the writing chops we all fell in love with in the first place.
Listen to Tooth And Claw
Riffs, Riffs, and more Riffs! Sure, it sucks that Alex Hellid isn’t in the band anymore. It sucks that Petrov, the last original member left, was forced to rename his band Entombed A.D., but you know what? Entombed just made their catchiest album since Wolverine Blues as far as I’m concerned. Go back and listen to this one again, and I dare you not to notice all the juicy riffs!
Listen to Bedlam Attack
This band made my 10 Awesome Underground Bands list, but then they went ahead and put out a killer album I fell in love with. What jerks! Seriously, I back these guys for a reason, and it’s because they’re an incredible young band the world deserves to know about.
Listen to Population Control
Destrage is the answer to the question “Where’s the party at!?”. Sure they sound like Sikth and PTH had babies, but who would want to imagine dudes giving birth? Go listen to to their insane album Are You Kidding Me? No. and take some notes about why rules don’t matter.
Listen to Purania
My buddy Axl over at Metal Sucks turned me onto this album earlier in the year, and I’m glad he did because it’s been a regular listen for me. It has an old school Opeth/Enslaved vibe to it, but with all kinds of other layers to it. If you haven’t heard this album yet, do yourself a favor.
Listen to Patterns of Bane
If there was ever a band that conjured thoughts of hope, life, nature and humanity with every listen, it would be Insomnium. The band already has a seriously impressive discography of amazing albums, but Shadows Of The Dying Sun might be their best effort yet!
Listen to Revelation
Beyond all the laughs I’ve shared with my friends in Revocation, I never forgot how much of a fan I been since their debut album. Watching them grow as song writers has been amazing, and Deathless is the masterpiece that shows off their years of hardwork and dedication.
Listen to The Fix
I love how this band brings wrestling style heel action to metal. Their entire purpose is to stir up shit, and rock and roll, and they do an excellent job of both. Beyond the hilarity of their antics and lyrics, Groovehammer is as advertised, incredibly groovy and heavy. They make it damn near impossible not to head bang while laughing.
Listen to BANGERS & MOSH
I love that you’ll never know what you’re going to get with a new Enabler album. La Fin Absolue Du Monde had very limited funds for production making it super crusty, but the writing shines through with a strong mix of math, grind, and horn raising parts I can only describe as arena rock wrapped in grime.
Listen to Balance Of Terror
Whether it’s the fast tempo drum fills of fury, guitar battering the deaf can hear, or how clear Mr. Tone Wizard Kurt Ballou can capture grossness, you have more than a few reasons to fall in love with Baptists, again.
Listen to Calling
Bastard Sapling is producing beautifully dark tunes even the most kvlt of listeners can enjoy. So cold you’ll need a hoodie to listen to it properly.
Listen to Subterranean Rivers of Blood
Hour of Penance’s latest album is as brutal as it is majestic, as technical as it is fun, and gross as it is melodic. It’s basically the Tech-Death album you’ve been looking for this year.
Listen to Reforging the Crowns
Of course a German 2 piece band would make some of the best jams of the year! If you’re into the likes of Doomriders, Big Business, and Kvelertak I suggest you get in on this highly captivating duo before you’re late to the party.
Listen to White Nights
Wovenhand has been my favorite non-metal band for years, and I make that differentiation because no metal band in the world can touch what they do. It goes beyond instruments, music, or performance. Simply put, Wovenhand is an experience of spiritual conviction unlike anything I’ve seen in our genre. So after playing festivals like Roadburn, seeing more metal heads at their shows, and announcing their signing to Deathwish Records this year I was a bit frightened it would drastically change things. Luckily the genius behind David Eugene Edwards & Co is they don’t make music for you or me, we’re merely just witnesses to their art.
Listen to The Refractory