album review

Many, many years ago when I was just a budding metal-head, my band of choice was Iron Maiden. I had not yet developed an ear or a liking for metal other than Iron Maiden with the possible exception of Black Sabbath but, even then, it was Paranoid and not much else. Then, one day, my buddy Rod introduced me to Venom's "Welcome To Hell" album and, frankly, it scared the crap out of me.

Never before had I been exposed to something so brutal, so heavy, so demonic. I had no interest in it. I was content to listen to the first four Iron Maiden records and go about my business.

Finally, some professionals.  The end of each musical year is normally crammed with last minute releases and also-rans that labels clean out of their closet before they take a holiday break and begin anew.  2014 was no different, trailing off with an unremarkable pile of sludge that careened through the New Year holiday.


There are certain concepts of art that cannot be appreciated by youth. I don't say that as a way of denigrating the tastes of young listeners, implying that those with more years under their belts have superior opinions, but merely as a realization that some wisdom does come with experience. I know this from my own, where certain musical ideas seemed utterly incomprehensible when I was still finding my way. One of those was the concept of the avant-garde, a devil-may-care attitude that does not exactly mesh with the concepts of youth.

Happy new year, friends. I hope you had a chance to check out the list of my top 10 favorite metal albums from 2014. If not, I recommend you find it and read it. If you already have then you may recall that one of the bands at the top was a group called Calabrese.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  Whenever there’s a gap of empty space, the universe will seemingly conspire to make sure that atoms of some kind or another rush to fill the void.  Hell, I once saw a term paper were a kid tried to argue that the tide swells at night because there’s no water on the moon and the ocean is attempting to reach the moon and fill the void.  Nonsense, but you had to admire the effort.

One of the saddest things that can happen, as a music fan, is to discover a band after their run has finished.  Knowing that, as you fall in love with a band, they will never make another record is a crushing experience, the sort of thing that does make it difficult to delve into the past for hidden gems.  Despite that, I do make an effort to see what I have missed out on over the years, which led me to Nightingale.  I only discovered the band after the release of "White Darkness", which over the years has become one of my go-to melodic rock albums.  It is a brilliant pi

As the resident prog guy here, there are certain things I am remiss to admit. One of them, germane to this review, is that I have never given much attention to Pain Of Salvation, despite their status as one of the bigger names in modern progressive metal. I can't say why that is, because I don't have a good answer. I have known about them for quite some time, but the most connection I have had with them is the fact that band leader Daniel Gildenlow is the (sometimes) uncredited fifth member of my favorite prog band, Transatlantic.

I hate to use the term 'supergroup'. Most of the time, the bands that get stuck with that label are pieced together from parts of other bands that are not quite so super. We've lowered our standards, and now anyone whose name you might have heard before qualifies to be a member of one. When Cream formed, they were three of the very best in the world at what they did. Today's supergroups don't come anywhere near that level of fame or acclaim, which makes it impossible for the next real supergroup to get the respect they deserve.

Of all the metal bands that have impressed me in the last decade, the vast majority of them have only managed to do so with a single album. Maintaining that level has proven difficult for many bands, but Orden Ogan is not one of them. My history with them goes back to the early days of independent bands putting their music online, where I stumbled across their song “Angels War”. I was hooked, and tracked down their album “Testimonium AD”, which was still rough, but a great starting point.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of top ten lists but my pals here at Bloody Good Horror have been doing them around this time of year for a while so I figured, "what the hell". There are rules, though. All albums must be original studio releases from the year that was 2014. No live albums, no cover albums and no re-releases. And, to streamline things, I will limit my list to those metal albums I've reviewed this year. Lastly, this list is comprised of the ten best albums as I see them. Your list may be (and probably is) different.