Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. In this edition, we have a list from Nate Garrett of Spirit Adrift! Their excellent new album Enlightened in Eternity is out now!
Here are the “Top 25″ albums I heard this year that didn’t quite make my Top 25. Maybe there’s something in this for you to check out?
As is always the way I’m discovering more great albums from this year now from everyone else’s lists, so, looking forward to checking out Code Orange, Indian, Krokodil, Hark all amongst others!
ANAAL NATHRAKH – Desideratum
Relentless anarchic vitriolic mix of black metal and intense industrial. Reviewed this one – you can read the review here: https://ghostcultmag.com/anaal-nathrakh-desideratum/
ANTROPOMORPHIA – Rites ov Perversion
Old school influenced Death Metal. Good vibe. Nowt new, but bloody well done. Reviewed this one n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/
ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal
Best one they’ve done since Burning Bridges. New vocalist is better than Gossow too. Ha, another I reviewed if you’re interested. https://ghostcultmag.com/arch-enemy-war-eternal/
ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation
Mental Death Metal.
AUTOPSY – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
More great Autopsy, innit
COFFINWORM – IV.I.VIII
Hateful, with big, skull crushing riffs. Heavy, weighty. Bit of sludge, bit of doom.
CONAN – Blood Eagle
Epic, heavy doom, innit. Reviewed n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/conan-blood-eagle/
DARKEST ERA – Severance
Bit of trad, bit Celtic, good riffs, strong vocals. Promising. Good band, good album. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/darkest-era-severance/ (Not necessarily the song I’d have chosen for a vid, but decent enough)
DELAIN – The Human Contradiction
Poppy, bit more symphonic than I was expecting. Went down a storm at Wembley with Within Temptation too.
DEVIN – Dark Matters
Aka Ziltoid 2. The heavier, more symphonic, more metally of the two parts of the double album. I like it, just a bit too much monkeying around at the expense of the songs, for me.
DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload
Not quite as good as ‘The Power Within’ but still proving they write better songs since changing vocalists. Some belters on here, tbf.
ENGEL – Raven Kings
Like In Flames, but heavier guitars and catchier choruses. I like this one (well, I like them all on here, or they wouldn’t be on here, but this surprised me). Wrote about it, too. https://ghostcultmag.com/engel-raven-kings/
EPICA – The Quantum Enigma
Took a few listens, but once it clicked, there’s a lot going on but it’s bloody massive. Symphonic to the max. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/epica-the-quantum-enigma/
GRAND MAGUS – Triumph & Power
Ronseal Metal. Doesn’t quite compare to Hammer of the North or Iron Will to me, but big Valhalla filling songs. Very enjoyable, if no surprises. Another of mine. https://ghostcultmag.com/grand-magus-triumph-and-power/
I AM HERESY – Thy Will
Haven’t listened to it for a while, but appealed a lot at the start of the year, and a good combo of metal and hardcore that mixes it up a bit. https://ghostcultmag.com/i-am-heresy-thy-will/
JOB FOR A COWBOY – Sun Eater
Took me by surprise this one. Adding a large dose of Ulcerate to their sound, but all the better for it. Rather than rattle clattering through a load of sterile overly tight DM/core, they wrote some (very) heavy songs, too.
KING 810 – Memoirs Of A Murderer
The marmite album of 2014! Ha, I liked it. Big angsty anthems. Not perfect, but some quality tunes. Korn meets Slipknot fo’ sho’, but some different stuff going on too. Another one off the review list! https://ghostcultmag.com/king-810-memoirs-of-a-murderer/
LORDI – Scare Force One
I like Alice Cooper. I love King Diamond. This mixes the two with aplomb, delivering a monster munch bunch of good fun tracks. https://ghostcultmag.com/lordi-scare-force-one/
MORBUS CHRON – Sweven
Interesting album, this one. Don’t think I’ve quite given it all the time it deserves, but another I’ve liked this year that doesn’t just sit in a box. It starts from Death Metal but doesn’t stay there.
OBITUARY – Inked In Blood
Really good comeback album. Big grooves. Big riffs. Great tunes. Well done. Best Obi’s album since ‘Cause of Death’ , for me.
ORIGIN – Omnipresent
This is a relentless fucker, this one. Love the aggression, love the riffing, love the technicality, love how much it just wants to punch you in the ear drums.
SLEEP OF MONSTERS – Produces Reason
Babylon Whores are one of my “hidden treasures”, probably the most underrated band of all time, always loved Ike’s vocals, too. He doesn’t quite hit it with his new outfit, but some cool gothy, dark/death rock going on. Grabbed this one for review as soon as it appeared in the inbox. https://ghostcultmag.com/sleep-of-monsters-produces-reason/
SLUGDGE – Gastronomicon
Only heard this once so far, but really impressed me on first go, will be getting a fair few listens going forward. Interesting modern melodic death metal.
TOMBS – Savage Gold
Black metal meets post-metal. Really good shit.
WITHIN TEMPTATION – Hydra
Started the year with this one. Massive pop-metal. Preferred the last one and Silent Force, but it’s got some big old songs, mofos. https://ghostcultmag.com/within-temptation-hydra/
In their relatively short existence, Morbus Chron have been a shining example of the limitless horizons that metal music is capable of reaching. Initially a very formidable addition to the Swedish death metal scene, their follow-up album took on additional psychedelic traits alongside its rawness and ferocity. Latest opus Sweven (Century Media) has gone to even more off the beaten track, and is almost unrecognisable to what they have done previous.
The primal feel of Sleepers In The Rift is virtually stripped away and is replaced with a much bigger prog rock influence. Opener ‘Bercuese’ in to the opening bars of ‘Chains’ give the atmosphere of floating in suspension as the tempo heightens before it erupts into black metal territory.
The sheer diversity of Sweven is quite remarkable, especially considering it’s quite linear predecessor. As well as its prog meets black metal core, there are even slower grooves, hints of pyschedlia and harmonious ambience. It flits from such a range of styles and tones yet it does so with such cohesion and ease. The only real criticism at Sweven is in its more aggressive passages where it sometimes feels like it needs more bite, but even this is minor.
Such a huge evolution between albums is an unprecedented feat, but one that Morbus Chron have managed with effortlessness, and in the process becoming an unrecognisable beast. In doing so however they are beginning to form their own true identity and place.