The Official Ghost Cult Writers Albums of the Year Top 50: 50-41

It’s hard to believe we’ve already reached the end of another year packed tighter than Joey de Maio’s loincloth with incredible genre-pushing, eardrum-violating, neckache-inducing metal. 

So we can begin to tell the story of a year which saw us give more top marks than any other year so far (and more 2’s and 3’s out of 10, too!), a year that left us inundated with so many great releases, we sought the opinions of our esteemed and respected writing team and we offer forth their albums of the year.  

The countdown to the Official Ghost Cult Magazine Album of the Year for 2014 has commenced. Please consume and enjoy the results of our 2014 Writers’ Poll. We hope it will introduce you to some of the incredible works of art you may have missed that we have had the immense pleasure of listening to and writing about this year.

In our first installment we bring you albums 50 through to 41.




50. HARK – Crystalline (Season of Mist) 

Genre-bending aggression with doses of Doom, Prog, Psychedelia and Hardcore. Heavy as a very heavy thing.





49. THE HAUNTED – Exit Wounds (Century Media)

“The album is filled with urgency and manages to be relentlessly heavy without compromising on those insanely catchy riffs. The Haunted have come back stronger than ever…  easily the band’s best effort a decade” DAN SWINHOE 9/10  Full review here




48. THE WOUNDED KINGS – Consolamentum (Candlelight)

“Favouring lengthy yet subtly evolving guitar workouts that never lapse into repetitive dirge territory,The Wounded Kings go about working their dark, smoky magic with grim elegance… Simply put, The Wounded Kings are the quintessential English doom band “ JAMES CONWAY 8.5/10 Full review here




47. SCHAMMASCH – Contradiction (Prosthetic)

“The quality of this album is obvious right from the beginning. Schammasch have created a record both challenging and endlessly refreshing, a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end.” CAITLIN SMITH 9/10 Full review here




46. AUTOPSY – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves (Peaceville)

Tourniquets… continues in gnarly, raw and near sludgy death metal vein, but maintains their run of high quality and in fact tops anything that has come from their return.” CHRIS TIPPELL 8/10 Full review here





45. KROKODIL – Nachash (Spinefarm)

“With a heavy dose of Mastodon in its veins, Krokodil are a groove juggernaut that pummels all in its path with its three guitarists of fury” DAN O’BRIEN 9/10 Full review here




44. INTER ARMA – The Cavern (Relapse)

“The sheer gravity and fulminating power of much of the music here is oppressive yet it carries the weight easily, this blend of raw animal force, aching melody and immeasurable creativity marks out this fantastic band” PAUL QUINN 10/10 Full review here





43. DEVIL YOU KNOW – The Beauty of Destruction (Nuclear Blast)

“(with) all the promise of a powerhouse, and it delivers on all fronts. The songs are well-crafted, nicely developed and excellently executed.” LYNN JORDAN 9.5/10 APRIL ALBUM OF THE MONTH Full review here




42.BLUES PILLS – Blues Pills (Nuclear Blast)

“…a record that understands and curates its heritage and lineage but is fresh, contemporary and massively memorable. This is the record that you’ll be recommending to your friends for months to come” MAT DAVIES 9/10 Full review here





41. ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation (Profound Lore)

“Technical death metal with sci-fi themes, brilliant, utterly amazing, breath-taking and challenging from the first to the last second.” TIAGO MOREIRA 9.5/10 Full review here






Compiled by Steve Tovey

Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation


Metal, in general, is as vital today as it has in the 80s. Sure, the impact of one record today is not as considerable, but nonetheless vital. Every year we see artists coming with music that makes our hair stand up on the back of our neck, and the impact of such grandiose pieces of art that don’t affect only the metal scene but other scenes as well. Lately it has been the black metal genre getting “all” the recognition, winning fans like Marissa Nadler, Chelsea Wolfe or even the legendary Thurston Moore (a member of the super-group Twilight for their final album). Metal as a whole is vital. Period. But there’s always the underdog thing when comes to metal. In this case death metal is the big underdog. Just like a bud of mine said a few years ago: “These are some of the most brilliant times for death metal. Unfortunately we will need 20 years to take proper notice”. Sonne Adam’s Transformation, Teitanblood’s Seven Chalices, Ævangelist’s De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, Portal’s Swarth, Mitochondrion’s Parasignosis, and many more. Brilliant records that were released just in the last five years. Impressive? Told ya.

Let’s add another name to our little list: Artificial Brain’s debut album, Labyrinth Constellation (Profound Lore). That’s right, the band formed by Revocation’s guitarist Dan Gargiulo and ex-Biolich vocalist Will Smith has released a monster of an album. Technical death metal with sci-fi themes, a description that doesn’t cover, not even for a moment, all the greatness of this album and the music contained in it. Well, technical death metal – let’s just say technical musical in general – tends to be a dangerous game where wankers are the kings and boredom is the only color of a shitty painting. Not this time. The most impressive thing is to hear and feel how well-thought this album is. How every detail is folded into a single unit making the album coherent and, at the same time, diversified. With an old-school approach the quintet from New York “reworks” death metal, offering dissonance through uncanny atmospheres, tremendous moments of abrasiveness and an album that breath with all the dynamics presented. The melody and weird atmosphere created by the guitar while the madness of death metal is on full mode is probably the biggest highlight of this album. Songs like ‘Absorbing Black Ignition’, where that contrast is for the first time evident, and ‘Worm Harvester’, where the band shifts gears without losing any sense of purpose or brilliance, are some of the moments that standout in an album that will make the year of any extreme metal fan. Brilliant, utterly amazing, breath-taking and challenging from the first to the last second.


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Tiago Moreira