Now, strangely enough I realised while researching this, that I’ve probably not heard anywhere near as many demos this year as I’d like to think. So I’m going with the ones I’ve reviewed and enjoyed. I suck at this top 10 nonsense because I invariably forget something that’s magic and remember almost straight afterwards. But here we go anyway!
1. Slaughterthrone – Wrath of An Ancient Darkness: Almost definitely my favourite discovery of 2014, these guys kick so much ass they should come with a health warning. I called them the UK’s answer to Behemoth… Hopefully I’ll turn out to be right
2. Skiddaw – Skiddaw: Some nasty raw black metal from the darkest depths of the Lake District, Skiddaw are named well, as bleak and raw as the mountain itself
3. Suppressive Fire – Hellwraith: Holy shit do I love this demo. Only heard it for the first time in the past few weeks, but man does it thrash like the work of a much more mature band. I cannot wait for more from them.
4. Chiral – Abisso: My first taste of the ethereal and haunting atmospheric black metal from this one man band from Italy. Also, the dude behind is sound as fuck. Ghostly and magnificent
5. Live Burial – Live Burial: Their debut EP this year matches last year’s demo for sheer unholy death metal. It’s horrible, primal filth, steeped in the rawest of Swedish death. Brilliant
6. Vacivus – Rehearsal Demo: A dense, savage death metal attack that is drowning in ancient murk. Immolation fucking Autopsy in a swamp while Hooded Menace watches in glee
7. Nordenglander – Treading the Water: Soaring, ghostly black metal that doesn’t let up on the savagery even when it’s clouded by atmospheric mist.
8. Unfolded – Demo (2014): Unfolded are a wondrous thing. A Swedish melodic death metal band who not only don’t suck, they do it better than a lot of their contemporaries. Keep an eye on this
9. Sentience – Beyond the Curse of Death: Pure, tasty Swedeath, chainsawing its way through all who oppose it. Simply no nonsense brilliance.
10. Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta – Death by the Venomhammer: Probably one of the finer things I’ve heard this year, NNGNN’s demo is just horribly essential stuff, for fans of Possessed or early Bathory
Honourable mentions go to Blackened Ritual, Torver and Eyes of the Martyr. Thank you one and all for letting me hear your shit. It has always been an honour.