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Articles : Patrick Emmett’s Best Albums/EPs of 2014

By on December 8, 2014

Putting all of the amazing albums I’ve heard in 2014 into a “best of” list and ordering them is a lot more challenging than it’s been in previous years. That’s because this year has been amazing for music. So many great albums have been released, some of which have thrashed my speakers and others that I never got around to hearing. There are some albums I feel bad for putting so low on this list or not including at all, but there’s only room for so many albums.

So I don’t sound completely positive (it’s hard not to), I did hear only a couple of disappointing albums this year that I was expecting to like, and the worst album of the year was Whitechapel‘s ‘Our Endless War’.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here are my favourites of this year. I’ve decided to split this into two lists – Top 20 Albums and Top 10 EP’s. No separating the Australian bands from the internationals or any of that nonsense. So feel free to tell me about how bad this list is because a number of your favourite releases aren’t on it!

TOP 10 EP’s

10. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Runaway Girls [UK – Rise Above]
I’m already breaking the untold rules of this list, but Uncle Acid‘s new 7″ single is good enough to sneak its way onto this list. The acoustic B-side of their song “Devil’s Work” makes it even better. Fans of 70’s heavy metal and proto-rock, this is your new favourite band.
Listen: “Runaway Girls”

 

9. Legions – Apparition Songs [NSW – Broken Hive]
Hard-hitting, slam-friendly metallic hardcore with hints of thrash metal. Full of headbanger riffs and pounding mosh sections that will have the hardcore kids stomping holes through floors. Listen: “Radiation Poisoning”

 

 

8. Cross Examination – Dawn of the Dude [USA – Organized Crime]
When I was in primary school, Opposite Day was one of my favourite games to play. It’s cool to hear that the Awesome Party Squad approve of it on their first release in 6 years.
I can’t be bothered coming up with some insult to the band or anything as some opposite day joke, just listen to the song.

 

7. Extinction A.D. – Plague Prophecy [USA – Good Fight]
A side-project featuring members of This Is Hell, this menacing thrash/hardcore EP is great for a quick burst of aggression. As a debut EP, I’m very keen to hear what these guys release in the future. Listen: “Doomsday Clock”

 

 

6. Athenas Wake – Contemplation [VIC – Twin Peak]
I really wish these guys would do a full album already. The blackened death metal unit has shown how much they’ve improved at songwriting and performing with the EP’s they released this year and last year. Now it’s time to get a full-length happening! Unreal work from the Geelong group once again.
Listen: “The Messenger”

 

5. The Bennies – Heavy Disco [VIC – Poison City]
I apologise (I don’t give a shit) to the Metal Police for including this one, but the originators of #photobonging can’t go unnoticed on the front page of Reddit or on a metal website. Melbourne reggae/ska punks The Bennies have released 5 new party smashers for you to down the bottle or hit the bong to.
Listen: “What’s Your Fuckin’ Problem?!”

 

4. Dr. Colossus – IV [VIC – Independent]
I’ve always wanted to hear a Simpsons themed band, and I finally found one. This band blends the doomy side of Black Sabbath with lyrics based on episodes of The Simpsons, this EP focusing on Season IV. Excellent! Listen: “Mono”

 

 

3. Down – EP II of IV [USA – Roadrunner]
By the looks of things, Down ditched the colour themes/titles of this series of EP’s by going purple again (the first one was called/coloured The Purple EP). But what really matters here is that all 113 riffs on this EP are worthy of getting your head banging. The power of the riff compels you.
Listen: “Hogshead Dogshead”

 

2. MetalStorm – I: Saeculum Obscurum [VIC – Old School Cartel]
This sees a slight change of direction from their debut EP Fully Loaded Nightmare, heading slightly into the black metal territory, but still keeping that brutal thrash metal sound. MetalStorm have been high up on this list two years in a row now, and they have another EP in the works… make an album already!
Listen: “Kneel to the Beast”

 

1. Child Bite – Strange Waste [USA – Housecore]
In my books, whether they’re signed to Housecore or not, any band with the Philip H. Anselmo stamp of approval is worth listening to. Thanks to that belief, I discovered Michigan’s Child Bite and their latest 19 minutes of arty, sludgy, punk rock craziness. Packed with twisted guitar sections, over-the-top drums and yowling vocals, this self-proclaimed “music for losers” will make you proud to be a loser.
Listen: “Ancestral Ooze”

 

Special mentions to Atomic Death Squad, The Arbiter, Ghoul & Drawn In.

TOP 20 ALBUMS

20. Aversions Crown – Tyrant [QLD – Nuclear Blast]
If there’s an alien invasion coming anytime soon, this album is certainly the soundtrack for it. Regardless of my limited taste in deathcore, Aversions Crown have never failed to win me over. Great to see this band earn the recognition they deserve.
Listen: “The Glass Sentiment”

 

19. Iron Reagan – The Tyranny of Will [USA – Relapse]
Iron Reagan 
have cemented themselves as more than just a Municipal Waste “side-project”, recording two albums before the Waste can record their next. The almost 40 songs they’ve released this year (25 on this album) have all been superb, and short enough to keep your attention. Thrash and punk fans, dig your teeth into this!
Listen: “Miserable Failure”

 

18. Bateman – SMUT & Live SMUT [VIC – Independent]
Break out the champagne, break out the wine and dig your teeth into both versions of this album. Yes, this fun, abrasive, groovy album was recorded in the studio and again at a live gig, and you can download both of them for free!

 

 

17. Hadal Maw – Senium [VIC – Independent]
If this album doesn’t get Hadal Maw any label attention in the next year I’ll be surprised and disappointed. This monster death metal album is world class, but don’t expect your usual technical guitar wankery and blast beat assault. There’s a chockful of haunting, groovy riffs and memorable hooks. Listen: “Corridors”

 

16. Eyehategod – S/T [USA – Housecore]
NOLA’s kings of sludge and blues are back with their first album in 14 years, and sounding uglier than ever. This is one hell of a comeback, being everything an Eyehategod fan would want and expect. Listen: “Medicine Noose”

 

 

15. Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start A War [USA – Century Media]
As a Jerichoholic, I’ve always been a Fozzy fan since I discovered one of their songs on a WWE PPV. But this album is by miles, their best work to date. None of the songs sound the same, leaving it hard to put into a sub-genre and keeping it very interesting.
Listen: “Do You Wanna Start A War”

 

14. Overkill – White Devil Armory [USA – Nuclear Blast]
Even though they’re an almost 30 year old band, Overkill‘s best work has come out in the past few years. As good as albums like Feel the Fire and The Years of Decay are, Ironbound and The Electric Age were incredible albums, and this one is no different.
Listen: “Where There’s Smoke”

 

13. Colossvs – Unholy [VIC – Monolith]
Brutal, metallic hardcore with black metal undertones. Everything about this album sounds dark, haunting and right in your face.
Listen: “Christburner”

 

 

12. Ringworm – Hammer of the Witch [USA – Relapse]
I can’t think of anything released this year that sounds more aggressive than this. There are some metalcore bands that try their best to sound pissed off, but that’s adorable compared to these guys. Ringworm‘s latest effort is nothing short of raw and savage. Their best work to date.
Listen: “One Of Us Is Going To Have To Die”

 

11. Code Orange – I Am King [USA – Deathwish]
If Sonic Youth was a hardcore band from this decade, I can imagine them sounding like the new Code Orange album. These guys are a unique breath of fresh of air in today’s often repetitive hardcore scene. Listen: “I Am King”

 

 

10. The Shrine – Bless Off [USA – Tee Pee]
Bands like The Shrine and albums like this remind me of when I was a kid playing Tony Hawk games on PS2 almost everyday, gaming to a sound track of punk rock. This band is often described as a combination of Black Sabbath and Black Flag, and that is absolutely right. Pick up your deck and skate to this.
Listen: “Nothing Forever”

 

9. Revocation – Deathless [USA – Metal Blade]
Just when you think they can’t get any better, Revocation once again release an album that tops their last one. Infact, this tech-thrash/death epic is the best of Revocation’s career. It will be the biggest mistake of your life if you miss these guys on Thy Art Is Murder‘s Australian tour that kicks off next week.
Listen: “Deathless”

 

8. Body Count – Manslaughter [USA – Sumerian]
Disillusioned with the current state of hip-hop, Ice-T and co brings back the heavy for the first time since the disastrous Murder 4 Hire in 2006. This is one brutal return to form, with songs equally hilarious and violent. And if you talk shit about it…

 

 

7. Dead City Ruins – S/T [VIC – Metalville]
52 minute onslaught of exciting, no-bullshit rock’n’roll with a vocalist that channels Ozzy Osbourne at his prime better than Ozzy himself. Fans of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy will drool over this. Listen: “Til Death”

 

 

6. The Kremlings – Whole Earth Cleansing [VIC – Desperate]
Sludge-infused punk rock that sounds like the love child of Black Flag and The Stooges. This album is chaos from start to finish.
Listen: “Eye For A Skull (Cruelty Is A Given)”

 

 

5. Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel [VIC – Season of Mist]
Ne Obliviscaris
prove once again that they are too good at music. I’m so happy that this band is getting the international recognition that they deserve. I feel as if this extreme/progressive metal epic is not only one step towards being one of the “big name” metal bands in the future, but will also open up opportunities and a fanbase for them outside the metal genre. Well done, lads. Listen: “Pyrrhic”

 

4. Toehider – What Kind of Creature Am I [VIC – Independent]
Mike Mills is an incredibly and criminally underrated musician, and his latest Toehider album is hard proof of that statement. It’s hard to lump this adventurous album into one genre, but it’s not for the closed-minded or the Fun Police. For everyone else, you will be listening to this with a magical imagination and a giant smile on your face. Listen: “What Kind Of Creature Am I”

 

3. Shrapnel – The Virus Conspires [UK – Candlelight]
Shrapnel deliver where a lot of straight up thrash bands of today don’t, and that’s with their intricate song arrangements, exceptional musicianship and solid production that brings out the bands live energy in the studio. This Euro-influenced thrash attack is worthy of attention.
Listen: “Titan”

 

2. Devin Townsend – Z² [Canada – HevyDevy]
No one has impacted heavy music like Devin Townsend has, and highly I doubt anyone ever will. This double album is a lot to take in, but it you don’t have to memorise it front-to-back to appreciate the epic listening experience that it is, one that will take your mind into a completely different world if you focus on it.
Listen: “Rejoice” (Sky Blue disc) & “Deathray” (ZILTOID: Dark Matters disc)

 

1. Blues Pills – S/T [USA/France/Sweden – Nuclear Blast]
I really didn’t think this would end up being my favourite at the end of the year, but I’ve been hooked on this since I first listened to it. There’s something special about this band. Their take on 60’s and 70’s hard rock/blues (think CreamBlack Sabbath and Led Zeppelin) is incredibly catchy and highly addictive, not to forget the beautiful artwork. Nuclear Blast have picked a winner by signing this band.
Listen: “Black Smoke”

Special mentions to Teramaze, Exodus, Order of Chaos, Envenomed & Wu-Tang Clan

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Patrick has been a dedicated contributor to Metal Obsession since 2011. He believes that you can put Lars Ulrich's face on just about anything. Add Patrick on Facebook.