Posted by Decapitated Dan |

Decapitated Dan's Best of 2014: Metal Albums #10 - #1

Well it’s the end of the year, and what better way to recap it than by making a list! So check out what Metal Albums I liked best in 2014!


Now I am by no means a music expert, I just love Metal. I'm not a music reviewer by any means, however in 2013 I started a little podcast called Monsters & Metal. On this monthly show I get a chance to play some amazing music from all over the globe. So continuing what I started last year I figured let's make a Top 10 Albums list, except this year... I have a Top 35!

Let's get this next group announced already! Here they are Ladies and Germs, #10 - #1.
Click here to see #20 - #11
Click here to see #35 - #21.

#10: Surroundings - Of Bane, Burden and Change (Highland Records)

Surroundings list themselves as Progressive/Melodic/Hardcore, and I can see that. Progressive is the term that always throws me off though. Taking a look at what albums I have listed here in the Top 35, I suppose I am a Progressive fan, just never knew it. Anyway, Of Bane, Burden and Change is a freaking masterpiece. Everything that is hard, is also soft, and everything that is soft, is also hard. There is this atmospheric sound in almost every song that lies under the soul crunching guitars and when it all comes together in my ears I just melt. I am beyond happy that I came across this album, and I can not wait to hear more.

#9: Exmortus - Slave to the Sword (Prosthetic Records)

Sadly I didn't know much about Exmortus when the year started, but that all changed when I seen them live back in September. Now I know who they are, and that I need more of them in my life. The stage presence they had on that tour was overpowering. Their music filled my ears with joy and I headbanged until my neck was sore. Slave to the Sword is an insane Tech Death/Thrash album that only gets better as it plays and plays on the stereo. Mix into that the classical sounds of a little "Moonlight Sonata" and you have a band on the verge of taking over the Metal World.

#8: Gormathon - Following the Beast (Napalm Records)

Sweden, the land of such amazing groups like Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, Meshuggah, At the Gates... and now Gormathon.  Nice heavy tracks, deep demanding vocals mixed with fantastic melodic parts and songs that you will remember, and HAVE to come back to again and again. Following the Beast sunk itself deep within my brain and I will not let it leave. These are some really catchy tracks, and honestly, it makes me want to pick up a sword and go slay some dragons. If these guys come to the Chicago area you better believe I will be front and center breaking my neck. This album was all I could want and more. Speaking of more... MORE PLEASE! 

#7: Shake Well Before - Woland (Redfield Digital)

Once again I have fallen in love with a European band, that just comes straight out of the gate to destroy my ears. Shake Well Before describes themselves as Metalcore/Hardcore, and I can pick that up pretty easily, but I would tend to lean more towards Metalcore. Again I am no music expert, so just my opinion. The first track, "The Game of Death", is the perfect introduction to the album. The song is brutal, intense and sets up the rest of the record perfectly. I actually enjoyed every single song here. I was highly engaged, and since I was on the treadmill, pumped up as fuck while running. I may be new to this band, but it won't be for long. This album is phenomenal from start to finish, a MUST listen to.

#6: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails (Unique Leader Records)

What's that, you want more Progressive Death Metal... well you got it! Holy shit on a cracker this album is something to behold. I don't even want to say one song is better than another because from front to back they are all just pure heaven on my ears. The Flesh Prevails is just one of those albums that you have to sit back and listen to in full. You just have to lay back, close your eyes and it will transfer you to a place where only a few Metal albums can take you.

#5: Bloodshot Dawn - Demons (Independent)

One thing that was great about 2014 was my exploration for something new to really get into. I think it's pretty apparent that I went outside of the "Record Label" box and found some bands that deserve some more recognition. Now I am sure a lot of you know about Bloodshot Dawn already, and Demons is one flawless Melodic Death Metal masterpiece. This was my first introduction to the band and it won't be my last. I just can not get over how they are not on a label. Hell I will sign them to Decapitated Records, but I have nothing to offer them except some hardcore fandom.

#4: Son of Aurelius - Under a Western Sun (Independent)
Hey alright look at that more independent music! Thanks to Allegaeon I stumbled across Son of Aurelius and instantly fell in love with them. As a matter of fact, I can not go to the gym these days without listening to "The Stoic Speaks" at least once. The band lists themselves as Tech Death, and it's easily heard, but I would add Progressive into that as well. The mixture of brutality, with clean vocals and some insane guitar playing make this band stand out from the rest of the pack. I also want to high suggest you check out their infomercial for Under a Western Sun by clicking right here.

#3: Spectres - Ghosts of Revolution (Independent)

OH MY GOD MORE INDEPENDENT MUSIC IS ON THE LIST! To make it even better... what if I told you the Spectres was only 2 people? WHOA MIND BLOWN RIGHT!? So I truly stumbled across Ghosts of Revolution and I could not believe my ears. I probably listened to the album straight through 4 times before playing anything else. Sure it's only two beyond amazing musicians. Sure it's music that just leaves me with a sore neck. Sure it's truly something beyond words to describe just how great this album truly is. But it is just that. . . a great fucking album. I can't even tell you the price of it without getting mad because it's so cheap to get your hands on. Why, oh why have you not heard of Spectres, and why oh why are you still reading this instead of going and buying this album. These guys came to the yard to play and instead of playing, they just flat out dominated everyone else off the field. Oh and I had a chance to interview them on Monsters & Metal.

#2: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars (eOne Music)

A lot of people were hyping up Black Crown Initiate online, and I was terrified when this album came out that I would be let down. I loved the Song of the Crippled Bull EP, but it could not prepare me for The Wreckage of Stars. Right out of the gate "A Great Mistake" comes on and it's just build up for what is to come. The music is insane, it flows and course and pounds in my head, and all I can say is I want more. I want to hear it again, and then I want to hear it again after that. BCI is a drug that I am addicted to, and I can turn to any track on this album to get my fix, but then I realize I will be back again and again for more. Truly a album that I will be playing for decades to come.

#1: Allegaeon - Elements of the Infinite (Metal Blade Records)

When I think about other possible lists I could make that relate to Metal for 2014, Allegaeon tops them all. Video of the year, hands down it is "1.618". Song of the year, it's a no brainer "Genocide for Praise - Vals for the Vitruvian Man". Ok, I only came up with 2 other lists I could make, but still... Allegaeon would be sitting at #1 on both of them, so is it a shock to me that they hold this top spot, hell no it ain't. This band deserves so much praise for Elements of the Infinite, and I can't just sit here and gush about how great it was over and over and over again... or can I? I had the fortune of seeing them twice this year, and both times they just blew me away. The stage presence of these guys is only a small portion of what they bring to the table musically. With songs that have meaning beyond meaning, to some of the best guitar playing on the planet, this is an album that you will listen to even if I have to make you. With three solid albums out now for your listening pleasure make sure that you give them a listen. Go see them live, and just enjoy what they do. Now... I will say they need some more kick ass merch cause I need more than 1 shirt, I need like 6 so I can wear one everyday of the week and then rotate another band in on the seventh day. I SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO ALLEGAEON!


So there you have it, my picks for Albums #10 - #1. I hope you like the list, and I HIGHLY encourage you to make and share your own. Who knows, maybe someone will come across it and find a new band that they have to listen to. It's all about sharing our love of music!
Click here to see #20 - #11
Click here to see #35 - #21.

I have to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to Century Media, Prosthetic Records and Metal Blade for joining me on my quest to bring my love of Horror Comic and Metal to people each month with Monsters & Metal.

• Note: It was not easy to make this list. There are so many great metal albums that come out each year, so I say to you, create your own list and let the world know what stood out to you.