Tag Archives: pallbearer

Top 10 Metal Albums of 2014

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Over the holidays, a good friend of mine suggested I create a “Top Metal Albums” list to go along with my plethora of other year-end lists. I at first scoffed at the idea. I’m far from an expert in metal, and when I do listen to it, my interests almost exclusively lie within the genre of doom. I completely ignored some of the most lauded metal albums of the year (Thou, Old Man Gloom, Godflesh) due simply to my inability to get past the grating vocals. Calling me a metal aficionado is like calling a guy who orders ShockTop a beer snob. Despite my limited metal knowledge, I do take pride in the fact that there were five metal albums on my “Top 40 Albums of 2014” list. In fact, my year end list featured more metal albums than all of the following publications’ year-end lists combined: All Music Guide, Alternative Press, A.V. Club, CMJ, Consequence of Sound, Drowned in Sound, Entertainment Weekly, Magnet Magazine, MOJO, NME, NPR, Paste, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin, and Under the Radar (Rolling Stone put YOB at #50, NPR featured Pallbearer, and Spin had Earth – yes, I spent time scouring every single list). Now, more than any other genre, metal is mutating and evolving in fascinating ways, yet major music media outlets don’t give these innovative musicians the credit they deserve. I stand by the following “Top 10 Metal Albums” list, but please keep in mind this small caveat: I’m still just a metal-neophyte. However, if you have also found yourself intrigued by the allure of the dangerous world of heavy metal, follow me as I introduce you to some of the fiercer beasts of 2014.

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The Top 40 Albums of 2014 (40-21)

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For me, this list is the most important thing I write all year. While I enjoy all the various writing avenues I take, the “Top Albums” list is really the end-all-be-all. I’m not blind to the list of other music websites, and as I peruse them, I always find myself scoffing or shaking my head in frustration. Sometimes it’s because of the thinly veiled politics behind picks; other times it’s the unwarranted hype given to an artist who still needs time to grow. I like to believe that I’m so outside the industry and that I can give you a list that is based solely on my passion for music that lurks outside the mainstream. Once again, I’ve compiled a list of some incredible albums that hail from a wide range of genres. Give the first 20 a read through and a listen, and I’m sure you’ll find something that strayed beyond your listening peripheral in 2014.

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BDWPS Podcast #29

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In this episode we take a look at some of the best metal albums to come out in the past few months. You’ll hear new tracks from Mastodon, Pallbearer, Yob, Soft Pink Truth, and Eyehategod. I also discuss the documentary “Last Days Here” and check out classic songs from Pentagram and Judas Priest. Check it out HERE or subscribe on iTunes (search: BDWPS).

Track List:

Mastodon “Ember City”
Pallbearer “Foundations of Burden”
Pentagram “Walk in the Blue Light”
Yob “Nothing to Win”
Soft Pink Truth “Black Metal”
Eyehategod “Worthless Rescue”
Judas Priest “Diamonds and Rust”

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Top 40 Albums of 2012 (20-1)

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A few days ago I posted the first 20 in my Top 40 Albums of 2012 (check it out here).  The first half of the list is always easier to compile than the final 20.  With this, the top half of the list, I find myself swapping albums from one spot to the next, trying to refine my list to the perfect order. Of course, this “perfect order” is never truly found. On one day I’d much rather listen to my number 17 than my number 5 and vice versa. I can promise you, all of these albums are fantastic.  In order to come up with a definitive order, I took into account the overall significance of an album, not just which has the best collection of songs, but which is the perfect album – the themes, the order of the songs, the cultural significance. Within those parameters, I had no doubt what would be the number one album of 2012. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

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Top Albums of 2012 (So Far…)

This year in music reminds me of the 2011 NBA Draft.  There hasn’t been any stand out stars in the releases thus far, but there are a lot of quality albums on the cusp of greatness. Last year, I had no doubt about what albums would make my top five for the mid-year list, but this time around, I moved albums up and down the list indecisively for days, finally settling on the order below.  My point: there could be a lot of shuffling when the real list comes out in December.  Before getting into 20 albums that you shouldn’t miss out on, here are six honorable mentions that could easily end up being this year’s Jeremy Lin.

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Pilgrim “Misery Wizard”

 

When I was eight years old, I tried to be a wrestler.  For several weeks, my dad took me to the local high school gym to take part in what was known as “Little Guy Wrestling” clinics.  I had no prior knowledge of the sport, and really didn’t have much interest in rolling around on a mat with another boy.  The only reason I joined was to hang out with a couple of my best friends at the time, Burrell and Moorman.  To no avail, I hated it.  It was too hot, too frantic, and I was miserable at it.  I just didn’t enjoy getting man-(boy?)-handled for two hours when I’d rather be at home playing “Contra.”  I finally had to give up on the sport, and as a result, would feel a tinge of guilt whenever around my two friends at school.  It would be the first and last time I ever quit something.

That is, until black metal came along.

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