Tis The Season: Part Two

BURIAL HEX_12 Jacket (Gatefold - One Pocket) [GDOB2-30CH-001]_02

Welcome back. In part two of Tis the Season we’re continuing on with the lists of top picks from 2014 that were graciously handed to Six Noises by a variety of writers, fans, musicians, and label owners. Again, my thanks go out to everyone who sent me their picks. This time, there are lists from Rich Loren Balling (owner/operator of label Handmade Birds); Black Mortum (a.k.a Raj Singarajah) and Scourge (a.k.a Mark Anthony Brooks) from New Zealand thrash titan Exordium Mors; and Canadian writers Kyle Harcott, Matt Hinch, and Rob Hughes.

Some of the following lists are ranked, others not. And I hope you’ll find some new discoveries in the following catalogues of great releases this year.

Upcoming here at Six Noises are lists with lengthy commentary from erstwhile metal pundit, Owain Smolović Jones. Regular Terrorizer contributor, Tom Saunders. Anger Management host, Witchfinder General. Subcide overlord and Dying of the Light and The Skull bassist, Chris Rigby. And Mosquito Control guitarist, bassist and vocalist, Fei Yun.

Rich Loren Balling (owner-operator of label Handmade Birds)

(1) Burial Hex – The Hierophant

I make it a point to keep my list Handmade Birds free to avoid bias and to avoid the list being taken up solely by my own releases. Though Burial Hex is hardly ‘metal’ on this release, it is a fair contender to crossover in that realm, and this album is a masterpiece, so I am shamelessly and confidently crowning it number one.

(I should point out, there’s nothing shameless or biased about Rich’s praising of The Hierophant here. It really is an utter masterpiece Ed.)

(2) Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

From the very first riff, this album is a series of undeniable and masterfully crafted hooks.

(3) Krieg – Transient

This is without question Krieg’s finest hour, and an exciting harbinger for what may be to come.

(4) Woods of Desolation – As the Stars

Woods of Desolation went largely ignored with their masterpiece Torn Beyond Reason, and As the Stars is equally as engaging, though the production took a significant step backwards.

(5) Atriarch – An Unending Pathway

Same goes for Atriarch regarding ‘metal’. The spectrum has become so wide that I will include them here, even though they are so much more. If I really wanted to take liberties, I would have included Alcest, since the production is flawless and the songs are an all-time best, but the project has drifted so far from metal it would be an impossible stretch to include it.

Kyle Harcott (metal writer, and guy who hits things for Device)

Year-end Top Ten lists are awesome ‘n all, but every dang year I find that with my lists that the albums 11 through 20 are where the real meat of the matter is. So here’s my top ten AFTER my Top Ten. Cheers to the benevolent Dr. Hayes for inviting me to be a part of Six Noises’ year-end shenanigans!

(20) GHOST BATH – Funeral
(19) DIOCLETIAN – Gesundrian
(18) ZOLDIER NOIZ – Regression Process
(17) HAIL SPIRIT NOIR – Oi Magoi
(16) EVILNIGHT – Stormhymns of Filth
(15) ÆVANGELIST – Writhes In the Murk
(14) CASTLE FREAK – Still Rotting
(13) ABIGOR – Leytmotif Luzifer
(12) HARASSOR – Into Unknown Depths
(11) BRANT BJORK & LOW DESERT PUNKS – Black Power Flower

Black Mortum (a.k.a Raj Singarajah, guitarist in Exordium Mors)

(1) Primordial – Where greater men have fallen
(2) Thy Darkened shade – Liber Lvcifer I- Khem Sedjet
(3) The Furor – Impending Revelation
(4) Kawir – 20 years of recordings compilation
(5) Infernal Execrator – Ad Infinitum Satanic Adherent
(6) Tankard – R.I.B
(7) Witchmaster – Antichrristus Ex Utero
(8) Bulletbelt – Rise of the Banshee
(9) Draconis Infernum – The Sacrilegious Eradication
(10) Accept – Blind Rage

Scourge (a.k.a Mark Anthony Brooks, vocalist in Exordium Mors)

New Zealand Metal

BulletBelt – Rise of the Banshee
Diocletian – Gesundrian
Fallen Order – The Age of Kings
Heresiarch – Waelwulf
Malevolence – Relentless Entropy
Methdrinker – Oil
Sabbatic Goat – Imprecations of Black Chaos
Sabbatic Goat/Trepanation Split
Sinistrous Diabolus/Vassafor Split
Slavedriver – Marauders
Spiteful Urinator – Work Crimes
Stormforge – Sea of Stone
Verberis – Vastitas
Vomit Storm – Mudge Or Be Mudged!

Overseas: Doom/Heavy Metal

Arms of the Abyss – The Great Dying
Dread Sovereign – All Hells Martyrs
Electric Wizard – Time To Die
Godflesh – A World Lit Only by Fire
Johnny Touch – Inner City Wolves
Mournful Congregation – Concrescence of the Sophia
The Oath – S/T
Occultation – Silence in the Ancestral House
Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen
Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
Various Artists – One and All, Together, For Home

Overseas: Black Metal

Burial Hordes – Incendium
Draconis Infernum – The Sacrilegious Eradication
Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole
Erebus Enthroned – Temple Under Hell
Funerary Pit – The Titan Sea
The Furor – Impending Revelation
Graveborne – Through the Window of the Night
Infernal Execrator – Ad Infinitum Satanic Adherent
Krigere Wolf – Sacrifice to Valaskjàlf
Panopticon – Roads to the North
Possession – Anneliese
Saor – Aura
Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise
Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet
Avichi – Catharsis Absolute

Overseas: Death Metal

At the Gates – At War With Reality
Behemoth – The Satanist
Belligerent Intent – Eternity of Hell & Torment
Bolzer – Soma
Domains – Sinister Ceremonies
Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
Horrendous – Ecdysis
Incantation – Dirges of Elysium
Innsmouth – Consumed by Elder Sign
Oath of Damnation – The Descent

Other:

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Pertubator – Dangerous Days
Purson- In The Meantime

Matt Hinch (writer at About Heavy Metal, Metal Bandcamp, and Hellbound)

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend
Primordial – Where Greater amen Have Fallen
Wizard Rifle – Here in the Deadlights
Thou – Heathen
Gridlink – Longhena
Culted – Oblique To All Paths
Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell -Check ’Em Before You Wreck ’Em
Bongripper – Miserable
The Shrine – Bless Off!
Monolord – Empress Rising
Blues Pills – Blues Pills
Apostle of Solitude – Of Woe and Wounds
Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity
Death Penalty – Death Penalty
Avichi – Catharsis Absolute
Eyehategod – Eyehategod
Bastard Sapling – Instinct is Forever
Cormorant – Earth Diver
Hoth – Oathbreaker

Rob Hughes (writer at Hellbound and Difficult Music)

1. Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend
2. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
3. Earth – Primitive and Deadly
4. The Wounded Kings – Consolomentum
5. Opeth – Pale Communion
6. Archspire – The Lucid Collective
7. Morbus Chron – Sweven
8. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Check ’Em Before You Wreck ’Em
9. Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
10. Death Penalty – S/T

Cheers, ya’ll. See you in a couple of days with more list madness. Man, I love this time of year.