heavy metal

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.

Okay, let’s get going on what worked this year.

You probably know the rules by now, but for those catching up, all entries for consideration had to be original studio album releases.  No compilations, no re-releases, no live records.  Also, my top ten features eleven records, because first of all it’s my damn list and second of it all, “it goes to eleven.” Clear?  Good.  Moving on.

D.M: Before this gets hijacked and turns into a discussion of Taylor Swift, let me get a couple thoughts down before we move on.  I mostly agree with your sentiment.  I would wholly agree, but I haven't heard the whole record, only the parts that mass media have made unavoidable.  That said, here's my Taylor Swift rant.  I am in no way a Taylor Swift fan, and I recognize that as far as the population at large goes, that puts me in the minority and I accept that.  I don't get the infatuation with her, personally.  I don't care for her songs, I d

D.M: I guess I'll launch the first volley.

The anticipation was both palpable and unspoken.  The collective combination of hope and grief was evident on the faces on the gathered throng.  Still, it was undeniable that less human fodder had assembled to stand in front of GWAR.  Whether that was the product of a cold, snowy night when people are Christmas poor or whether it was the manifestation of doubt about GWAR’s ability to continue in the wake of their founder’s death was uncertain, but the brave masses rolled into the venue hoping for the best.

As we approach the end of another calendar year I find myself asking reflective questions... is it time to change my impossibly high standards and the inevitable disappointment that goes along with them to something more realistic? Do I expect too much from people? Should I just be happy with what I have or should I continue to strive for more? Is "good enough" really good enough? And what about all this new music I've been hearing?

2014 has summarily been both the year of the side project and the year of the industrial revolution (pardon my co-opting of the phrase,) so it seems remarkably apropos that the year should just about wrap up with Emigrate’s “Silent So Long,” the second side album from Rammstein’s Richard Kruspe.

 

It’s not all that often that I go deep-ending into prog records, and even less often that I’m interested in three-song re-mastered demos from seven years ago.  But it probably says something about Haken’s “Restoration” that we’re even here having this discussion.