Listening to Vampire is a blast... from the past. The speed and intensity that the Swedes bring is impressive, and it makes you think back to the good old days, where the speed death metal music was new and scary.
There is a reason to why Emmure rimes with manure. Dear god, "Eternal Enemies" just stinks badly with its awful mix of death core and edginess. Pure ear cancer.
In Flames is not the biggest disappointment of the year because they still stays away from their death metal roots, but for making something they should not be anywhere close to be doing. "Siren Charms" is just awful, sounding like a boring indie record. Let us hope that this was a one time thing and that they get back on track with some real metal.
AC/DC... nah, I am just kidding. I was surprised over the sudden shift of regime in Arch Enemy that came suddenly. But I am even more surprised over that it worked this well. Alissa White-Gluz did a good, strong start with the band and the new album "War Eternal" is the best album the band has done in a long time.
The progressive metal scene has had quite a year. Fine releases from Opeth, IQ, Threshold, Vanden Plas and many, many more.
Best album cover
There is so much going on in the Mastodon album "Once More 'round The Sun" that I still find new things almost every time I look at it. A great, psychedelic masterpiece that is worthy of fronting this amazing album.
Worst Album cover 1
What super hero is that on the cover of Van Canto's "Dawn of The Brave"? Metal dude? A Capella Man? Ben Affleck as Batman? I don't know, all I know is that he does not scare any super villains.
Worst album cover 2
The swag on this cover is too much for me. The Prophecy²³ tries to act cool and funny, when in reality they are just stupid. And just like the cover, the music on "Untrue Like A Boss" is bad.
Best instrumental album
Not only is the self titled debut album of Conquering Dystopia a great instrumental record, it is the first of its kind, bringing death metal elements to the scene. There is no doubt that there were experienced professionals who worked on this album.
After 19 long years, Swedish death metal legends At The Gates released new material, and it was some good shit they brought us with "At War With Reality". Who would have thought that they would follow up their legendary album "Slaughter of The Soul" with such an amazing effort.
Mindfuck of the year 1
I still cannot comprehend BABYMETAL. All that brutality mixed with small, sugar sweet, Japanese girls in doll dresses that dances on stage. Japan, not even once.
Mindfuck of the year 2
The video to the Mastodon song "The Motherload" (taken from "Once More 'round The Sun") looks more like a Nicki Minaj video. I still cannot believe that the band is performing in the background while some big assed chicks battle it out in the ultimate twerk-off. It is both horrific and mesmerizing at the same time.
That is it for this year's special awards, next up is the best songs of 2014
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson