We are about halfway through the year of 2014 already and some astounding music has come out across all genres. Heavy metal is no exception with constant releases coming out from every side of its variety of subgenres from death metal to doom to experimental and everything in between. So what are the best metal releases so far in the year of 2014?
5. GridLink – “Longhena”
Longhena is the latest release from grindcore act GridLink. I stumbled upon this band with this release and wish I had known about them sooner. Gridlink has a slightly different approach to grindcore than your average group with a heavy emphasis on technicality. Along with the technical aspect, the artwork also is a different approach to your average grind band’s artwork. Longhena is an excellent step forward in GridLink’s material and continues to bring a more experimental approach to the grind world. Unfortunantly this seems to be GridLink’s last album (at least for now). Make sure you check out the first track “Constant Autumn” here.
4. Septicflesh – “Titan”
Septicflesh is a leading Greek act in symphonic death metal and has been putting out solid music since their debut in 1994. Here we are twenty years later and Septicflesh has not done anything except improve with each release. Titan is another relentless album full of death metal characteristics but also has its softer parts here and there with the constant symphonic elements to add to the overall depth of the music. Titan is definitely one of the better Septicflesh albums and seems to be helping them gain popularity very efficiently. Check out the first single released of this album entitled “Order of Dracul” right here.
3. Agalloch – “The Serpent & The Sphere”
Agalloch is one of my favorite acts and quite a few of their albums are some of my favorite albums of all-time. When Agalloch announced a new full-length follow up to their 2010 effort “Marrow of the Spirit”, I was ecstatic. Although I do feel “The Serpent & The Sphere” was not one of Agalloch’s best releases, it was still an amazing album with a fascinating atmosphere and memorable tracks. You can check out my full review of this album here and make sure you give the single “Celestial Effigy” a listen here because its Agalloch. Agalloch never dissapoints.
2. Triptykon – “Melana Chasmata”
Triptykon is the current project of metal legend Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost and Hellhammer). Melana Chasmata is the second full-length under this project and it took the best parts of debut “Eparistera Daimones” and made them even better. Melana Chasmata is an in incredible album filled with influences from countless genres such as doom, death, black, and many more. The atmosphere is crushing and grim and cannot be fully understood until the album has been given many listens. Melana Chasmata is an impressive release and needs to be heard by fans of ANY type of metal. Stream the album here.
1. Behemoth – “The Satanist”
I know “The Satanist” has already gotten an endless amount of appraisal but, this album is flawless. Not a single song on this album from start to end seems like “filler” and the album is neither too long or too short. The flow of “The Satanist” is well-thought out and although Behemoth is known as a blackened death metal act, influence can clearly be seen by other genres which helps push the boundaries and variations of extreme music as we know it today. Everything from the intelligent lyrics to the atmosphere and sheer power and strength of each song is an unforgettable experience and will leave listeners wanting to listen to “The Satanist” over and over again. I cannot put enough emphasis on how this behemoth of an album (pun intended) cannot be any better in any way possible. I highly doubt that another album released this year will be able to top this for me. I guess we will just have to wait and see what the rest of 2014 has in store for extreme music. Check out the music video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” here.
Releases you may have missed in 2013:
1. Deafheaven – “Sunbather”
“Sunbather” was by far my favorite release of 2013. Deafheaven’s sophomore effort was a unique approach to black metal and has been appreciated by a wide variety of fans. The group has toured endlessly in support of this album and is an incredible act to see and if you haven’t heard this album you need to right now. Go catch Deafheaven live as well for a great show (check out my recent show review of them here and stream “Sunbather” here.
2. Katalepsy – “Autopsychosis”
Katalepsy’s “Autopsychosis” was another favorite of mine during the 2013 year. Katalepsy is a newer brutal death metal act from Moscow, Russia and “Autopsychosis” was a crushing album. The guitar and bass tone were perfect and helped execute the fast riffs and demolishing slams held throughout this album. Drums were filled with complex blast beats and vocals only added to the brutality with stomach-lurching gutturals. Make sure you check out the video for “Evidence of Near Death (E.N.D.)” here.
Overall, 2014 is looking to be a great year for not only metal but all genres. We are only about halfway through so lets see what great albums will come out by the end of the year. I know I am personally highly anticipating the new Goatwhore record “Constricting Rage of the Merciless” and Volumes’ “No Sleep” both of which will be released in July. Make sure you check out these great releases and keep an eye out for whats in store for the second half of 2014. What are your favorite releases so far of the 2014 year? Let us know in the comments.