Editors note: This Top 5 Albums of 2014 list is from Steve Smith of Megaton. You can listen to their EP “Cybernetic Devine” here. The band is releasing their first full-length “I Am Become Death” in early 2015.
2014 was a really good year for metal and rock. Narrowing down this list to 5 was impossible, so I had to go one step above and pick 6. Even coming up for this list I keep stumbling upon albums I forgot came out this year. Before I start the main body here are some honorable mentions from bands that release albums: Opeth, Conquering Dystopia, Cynic and Corrosion of Conformity. 2015 is shaping up to be awesome as well!
Killer Be Killed – Self-titled
As a huge Max Cavalera and huge Mastodon fan, I was very interested in this release. Featuring Cavalera on guitar, bassist Troy Sanders from Mastodon, Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan on vocals and guitar and Dave Elitch from The Mars Volta on drums. This album really sounds like their bands Frankenstein-ed together. Sometimes super-groups like this don’t work, but in this case it created a roller-coaster of madness and on the first couple of listens you don’t know where it’s going to take you.
Crowbar – Symmetry in Black
Everyone’s favorite heavy as f*ck doom band has returned, and god-dammit we needed it. Crowbar has a sound that is theirs and sounds as if you’ve been slammed across the face with bricks in slow motion. Brutal and doomy, if you’re a fan of their older material, you will not be disappointed.
Eyehategod – Self-titled
Heavy, abrasive, noisy, intense; these are just a few adjectives that come to mind when I listened to this album. That southern sludgy New Orleans sound that sounds like a bunch of Black Sabbath worshippers on speed. This album was a major player in my car for weeks! Easily stands up there with their best material.
Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died
This is an album I’ve been waiting for awhile. I’ve seen many accusations that this album is Nevermore-lite, but I just don’t feel this is the case. Take that classic Seattle power metal sound of Metal Church and Queensryche, throw in some dirge and depression and some progressive styling and you might have something that comes close to resembling this album. Very epic sounding with a cool storyline. We may not have Nevermore anymore, but with an alternative this good, I can’t complain.
Mastodon – Once More Round The Sun
Mastodon have been a band that never stays in one place. You can make a case that each album has a different style, yet sounds like Mastodon. They are getting less heavy with each release, but the progressive stylings are something that I have to admit I’m also a huge fan of. The soundscapes are huge and the music twists and turns into a near psychedelic journey.
Take the early chaos of the first few Sepultura releases, add better musicianship and production and you have something close. This album has to be the heaviest and most evil sounding thing Max and Iggor have put our since Schizophrenia.