It has been a huge year in metal, making the task of choosing my top 10 albums released this year particularly daunting. If you haven’t heard these album, make it a point to seek them out. Reflecting on this past year makes me incredibly excited about what 2014 holds. Bring it on!
10. INTRONAUT : HABITUAL LEVITATIONS (INSTILLING WORDS WITH TONES)
Intronaut have a record for delivering technical, progressive masterpieces, and Habitual Levitations is no different.
9. WINDHAND : SOMA
Full of warm tones and rich textures, Soma is complex and it keeps listeners guessing. Windhand have outdone themselves with this one.
8. YOUR CHANCE TO DIE : THE AMERICAN DREAM
Embarrassingly, Your Chance to Die‘s The American Dream slipped beneath our radar this year when it came to an album review, but once I finally pushed play, I couldn’t quit listening. Vocalist Missi Avila growls deeper than most men in the death metal trenches, and her technically adept band have created a signature sound.
7. BEASTMILK: CLIMAX
Climax prowls the corners of new wave and goth, and it does so with a spider-web of sound. This Beastmilk is fresh and ready for consumption.
6. BURNT BOOKS : SELF-TITLED
From grind to no-wave, South Carolina’s Burnt Books are brash and brilliant on their eponymous debut.
5. AGRIMONIA : RITES OF SEPARATION
Rites of Separation is a stunning display of momentous doom, and Agrimonia maintains a vigorous pace when their peers plod and crawl.
4. DARK TRANQUILLITY : CONSTRUCT
These Gothenburg vets return with a a diverse death metal album brimming with twists and turns.
3. KYLESA : ULTRAVIOLET
Psychedelic and sludgy, the Savannah, Georgia, quintet continue to evolve under the prowess of Laura Pleasants and Phillip Cope.
2. IN SOLITUDE : SISTER
In Solitude find their voice with the sinister, goth-tinged Sister. It is their album best yet.
1. CARCASS : SURGICAL STEEL
Seventeen years since the release of their less-than-stellar Swansong, Carcass return with a scalpel-sharp set of death metal compositions that prove that time has made this band grow stronger