These are the best of the best in my opinion. In no numerical order (I’ll save that for December’s final list). Keep in mind my 2014 year starts in December 2013 and will end in November 2014. Each band and album is a link that will direct you to their music in some way or another. Enjoy.
Okay. Here is something magical that hit my inbox and proceeded to keep me enthralled the entire listen and had me wanting to replay the album constantly. I even took a break from it just to revisit it and make sure I wasn’t insane. Meadows End, a symphonic/melodic death metal band from Sweden gives us the most astonishing sounding music since I heard Caladan Brood’s “Echoes of Battle”. I’m not comparing the two albums based on sound nor genre, I am comparing the feeling I got while listening to each for the first time. This is something magical, something brilliant and something I can listen to on a daily basis.
I Declare War started off as just ‘one of those deathcore bands’ but with the replacement of a vocalist and changing their tone slightly, they just continue to unleash hellish and incredibly violent music. Yes, it’s still semi deathcore in nature and the riffing may not be the most ‘technical’ or a wank fest of leads and solos, but their ability to churn out brutal rhythmic catchy music just calls to me each and every time they release a new album. Their last self titled album was released 3 long years ago and and I loved that album from beginning to end and I get that same feeling now when I listen to the new album, We Are Violent People By Nature.
The evil sounds from the swamp have returned! Blackened thrash group Goatwhore make their way back with more riffs, ominous vocals and brutal drum work. The warriors come back, kick the doors down and just play as loud as possible. Evil music has never been this catchy nor this enchanting. Get your neck ready because Goatwhore brings forth the most headbang inducing riffing ever!
Enabler are a mix of raunchy hardcore, grindcore and metal. The blend definitely gives them their own sound and it’s appealing to those fans of each of those genres. Hell, even at times they will incorporate some southern groove and rock and roll into their riffs to add more to the mix. Does Enabler give us a properly heavy and entertaining album?
When it comes to bands that friends are in, I typically support them whether or not I am 100% truly in to them. That’s what friends are for, right? In this case, it’s a musicians music that caused a friendship, that and our love for a classic PC video game. This young man just came from a highly successful round from his main band, Eternium, and now he is ready to launch a couple of side projects in the down time from this band. One of these projects is the funeral doom soundtrack to your demise in the endless ocean, also known as Slow. Welcome to ‘Unsleep’.
Sabbatory – “Endless Asphyxiating Gloom”. Sabbatory gives us a basic yet thrilling headbanger of a death metal album. The band promotes heavy moshing and drinking with their riffing and the result is an annihilation of your ears as well as your neck. 3 out of 5
When it comes to ‘epic metal’ or ‘power metal’, people usually think of Dragonforce or maybe even Iced Earth. Yet, when I think of Battleroar, I think of something more than just pre-existing music endeavors. No, Battleroar is something of itself and something great. Yes, the band may spark debates of “They sound like this band and that band”, but I truly believe Battleroar is something rather new and exciting.
I was just browsing this internet for any bands with the name “Grimnir” and low and behold I find one called Grimner. Grimnir is one of Odin’s many names and if you know me, I love Norse mythology and the entire universe within. To find a brand new band with this name with a new release is just dumb luck and I definitely put it on my review list. What is Grimner though? How about some of the best melodic death pagan/viking metal I’ve heard in a long time! From Sweden too, so I knew it was going to be authentic and true.
Wizard Castle – “White Breath”. Sonic rock group providing us solid sounds, thick riffs and chunky groove. Keeping things going with a constant bounce, these guys give us something rather different when it comes to rock or post-rock. They have a sound that touches many genres and the result is an entertaining and enjoyable listen. 3.5 out of 5