Archive for the ‘List of Grievances’ Category

I tried so hard to whittle this down to ten, but I genuinely couldn’t remove anything from this list as they are all so essential. So here it is, the Killchain’s definite best black metal records of 2014, in no particular order:

1. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vestuta III: Saturnian Poetry

2. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare

3. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity

4. Behemoth – The Satanist

5. Kvlthammer – Kvlthammer

6. Tombs – Savage Gold

7. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum

8. The Great Old Ones – Tekeli Li

9. Diocletian – Gesundrian

10. Varathron – The Untrodden Corridors of Hades

11. Sinmara – Aphotic Womb

12. Old Wainds – Nordraum

13. Mortuary Drape – Spiritual Independence

14. Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless

15. Spectral Lore – III

16. Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith

17. Panopticon – Roads to the North

So there you have it, 17 black metal records you cannot afford to miss out on. There have been some other crackers too, and special mentions go to both Baalberith and Skiddaw for their respective releases this year too.


I plan to spend most of December catching up on as many records from 2014 that I’ve missed so that my end of year lists can be a bit more researched and accurate than they would be if I wrote them now. However, I know for a fact that this is a list I can put together now. There’s a definite number of records I keep coming back to from 2014, and many will feature again in lists in a month’s time. But for now, here are my most played records of 2014:

1. Mount Salem – Endless: A hauntingly brilliant doom record, and probably my favourite discovery of 2014. A full blown contender for my favourite record of this year, Mount Salem are something very special.

2. Killer Be Killed – S/T: A supergroup that matches the term in every way. ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’ is up there with my favourite songs of the year too

3. Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun: A storming comeback from the masters of prog doom

4. Behemoth – The Satanist: I see these guys in 10 days time for the first time, and the newest record has been one of 2014’s most astounding achievements

5. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata: Another harrowing trip into the darkness of Tom G Warrior. Bleak and beautiful

6. Edguy – Space Police: My girlfriend’s favourite record this year I believe, and ‘Love Tyger’ is the stupidest brilliant song of the year. It’s so FUCKING catchy. I love this record

7. Sabaton – Heroes: I see these guys in only 6 days’ time and I think their newest record has their strongest collection of anthems since The Art of War. ‘We saw crosses grow on Anzio!’

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.

Power metal is a totally guilty pleasure of mine. I guess it’s the genre that got me more into proper metal from being a nu-metal kid. Bands like Blind Guardian and Iced Earth really got my interest growing and are still two of my favourite bands. While reviewing the newest Sonata Arctica release for the Metal Legions magazine, soon to be released(!), I figured I would try and put together my top 10 power metal records that I would defend to the grave if required. Prepare your invisible oranges people, we’ve got battles to fight!

1. Blind Guardian – Nightfall in Middle Earth

2. Iced Earth – Something Wicked This Way Comes

3. Lost Horizon – Awakening the World

4. Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys

5. Edguy – Mandrake

6. Grave Digger – Tunes of War

7. Rhapsody – Symphony of Enchanted Lands II

8. Kiuas – The Spirit of Ukko

9. Stratovarius – Visions

10. Hammerfall – Crimson Thunder

These are probably my favourites. No doubt I’ll have missed out on something great, but there you go. Maybe I’ll go back to being grim again after this.