mk’s 2014 Metal Top 10

10. In Flames – Siren Charms.

I feel like I’ll need to justify such an entry. I have not taken a great deal of interest in these guys until their previous ‘playground’ effort where they seemed to make a deliberate attempt to change their sound to a more ‘acceptable’ (no that doesn’t mean radio friendly by any means) level. In any case, this follows on from that catchy effort which for some reason appeals to me. Think a Deftones like sound.

9. Eyehategod – Eyehategod

Do you enjoy some nasty steel filings in your wheatbix and milk each morning? If not, go sit with your poser friends in a corner while they eat some ‘smashed’ avocado (seriously??). Listen up to this NOLA fans and tell me you don’t like what the EHG guys are slaughtering your ears with? The first track is my only criticism in terms of sound. After that they return to what I’d expect. A brilliant record.

8. Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of The Mercilesss

My innards always look forward to a good blackened death/thrash release. It has been a while between drinks on this front and thankfully Goatwhore have put their hand up to abuse my ears with their straight-up, no-messing-around release. I have to acknowledge the relief provided midway through where we encounter a slow-dirge, which while allowing you to take a breath for a brief moment, quickly pushes your head against a brick wall again to consume the remainder of the record (and a little bit of grit and cement between your teeth).

7. Bodycount – Manslaughter

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have these guys nudging the right bones in my body to stand up and listen to their work. Granted, we will never return to their debut effort, and I now accept that. This record sounds like a new band that has finally gelled after that terrible sophomore effort many moons ago. Ice-T is the same old with his vocals, and the music is tight, however this time, they haven’t tipped over to the cheesy with their lyrics for the most part. I can appreciate that’s a hard thing to understand when we go from songs like ‘Evil Dick’ on their debut to ‘99 problems and the bitch aint one’. In any case, it’s a thin tightrope to walk along. Thankfully they haven’t tripped over. “Bodycount’s (still) in Da Howse!!”

6. Khold – Til Enders

I’m a big Khold fan so not surprising that you will see this in my top10. It has that typical vocal sound, however I must acknowledge that it has a more fast-paced, upbeat sound to this record than what you may expect. Look no further than the title track. While previous efforts have had a lot of that black-metal tarnished slow dirge to it, this one has an up-tempo for the most part which does take a bit of getting used to. Hey, it’s been 6 years between drinks for them so I’m just glad that they are continuing on.

5. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

Yet again, the master that is Tom. G. Warrior, in all his leather jacket and beanie wearing glory continuing to show that there is life in this old dawg still. I was sad the day Celtic Frost ended, however the clouds parted with the announcement that the man wasn’t finished. Tryptikon is the outgoing fountain of moody, delicate yet brutal brilliance we have come to know him for. I have to note that I think the debut was a better effort, yet don’t let this distract your attention away from this release. It still carries that level of simplicity to a great extent with the sound, yet the delivery and production are crushingly brilliant all the same.

4. Cannibal Corpse – A skeletal Domain

FIRE UP THE CHAINSAW FUCKERS!! Corpsegrinder in the best form he has ever been in on the vox side. An intelligent, yet forever brutal musical assault and these guys are seriously close to their best form ever right now. THE standout Death Metal release by a long way (and there are plenty of them posing as a DM band these days).

3. Amputated – Dissect, Molest, Ingest

Listen to this splatter-fans and do your best to tell me you don’t like it. Be warned if you don’t like it, there will be the need to spill your entrails over a sewer pipe and allow a bevy of insects to feast upon them. Brilliant!!

2. Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves

Dear God – how are these guys managing to pummel my face into a meat grinder after all these years!?!?! A meaty slab of death metal you might assume, however this has much more to it than that. Sure it’s heavy, brutal and delivered at a frenetic pace that would see you crushing the likes of Usain Bolt over the finish line. But take a listen to the likes of ‘After the Cutting’. Your body hurts – you’re calling out to your mum and they oblige with an interlude of melody to give you time to catch your breath, and then it’s on again.

1. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare

Sometimes when a record ends up being your favourite record of the year, there can be very little to say about it. This is one case where I’m speechless to a great extent. I don’t need to tell you it’s is Mayhem at its best. I don’t need to tell you that Attila has produced his best recording ever. I don’t need to tell you that the Mayhem sound is everything you’d expect and more. I don’t need to tell you that a horse head will arrive at your door if you don’t agree. Finally, I don’t need to tell you to buy this record as anyone with an ounce of sense would have it in their collection already. Enough said (actually, that turned out to be more than I expected for having very little to say about the record).

Metal – Honourable Mentions

Austrian Death Machine – Triple Brutal

Let’s be honest at this point about this ‘concept’. While it is humorous to have the Arnie impersonations and commentary, for me there has always been a challenge to agree on the comedy and music mix. It’s easy to side with the former and call it a great record. In the end however this is a metalcore band mixing their music with a comic idea. Too deep for you that analysis? Yes, well you can drop dead. If ever I was to like this music, it needs some comedy and this brings it. Pity this will be the last effort for quite some time (that’s what happens when you get put in jail for murdering your wife). Mind you it isn’t as good as other records (the comedy, so gets an honourable mention only.

Crowbar – Symmetry In Black

I have to put these guys in my list somewhere. Unfortunately they don’t make my 10 this time around. Not to say it is a disappointing release. If you are a Crowbar fan you will be more than satisfied. It just doesn’t have anything standout on the record. Unlike NOLA brothers Eyehategod.

Fu Manchu – Gigantoid

I was about to say this is a typical release you’d expect from these veterans of the sludge/stoner type sound. However listening further the tempo is much more upbeat. The sound of the buzzing guitars is there front and centre still with Hill providing his unique vocal style. You could do much worse that give this record a good listen.

Slipknot – .5, The Gray Chapter

I did buy this unlistened as I thought it deserved it. Overall it doesn’t have that cutting edge across the board so doesn’t quite make my 10. I still can’t help but feel that the band has been a little ‘dumbed-down’ with each band members side-projects. It seems forced in places to be aggressive and that mostly comes down to Corey’s vox with some heavy hitting from Joey. Apart from that the samples stuff is mostly non-existent and the guitar work sounds like a aggressive Stonesour. I think in some ways their side projects have killed this band.

Metal – Dis-Honourable Mentions

Cavalera Conspiracy – Pandemonium

Am I now listening to Napalm Death rip off? Seems a lot like it. After such a brilliant debut record, turning back the clock in some ways to the old Sep days, this record has the band chugging along at break-neck speed and Max doing his best Barney impersonation. Not happy Jan!!!

Opeth – Pale Communion

Hey Frederik – when you signed up to this band did you think that you would progress to pumping out licks on your guitar that your 10 year old could handle? Nah, thought not. So why the hell would you hang around? Martin and his bass are the same as they always have been – we just get to hear more of him. Ax has nothing else on since Witchery aren’t paying his bills. Don’t get me started on the self-important nut on the ivory – at least the other one had a cool moustache. Now, I think there is someone else in this band, umm I think he is from Sweden. Maybe it’s Bjorn or could be Benny. In any case I place this person solely responsible for two things. Firstly he is responsible for getting me interested with a passion again in heavy metal music through Blackwater Park in early 2000’s. For that I am forever grateful. He is now unfortunately responsible for turning the band I would die for previously into a pompous pile of wank. I’m all for following your dreams and I can’t deny him that want, however it’s just a major disappointment for me unfortunately. I need to go listen to some new Blink 182 or something – only that shit would make me cry more that I currently am.

One thought on “mk’s 2014 Metal Top 10

  1. TheBigBlack

    You put Mayhem at number 1 and get us all excited, then you slap us with a wet fish shit-talking Opeth. You are cruel cruel man.

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