Archive for the ‘Insomnium’ Category

Scott Williams’ Top 10 Albums of 2014

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Scott Williams of RTRFM’s Critical Mass breaks down the best 10 albums of the year.

Honourable mentions:
Entombed A.D. — Back to the Front
Exodus — Blood In, Blood Out
Opeth — Pale Communion
Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence
Anaal Nathrakh — Desideratum

10. REVOCATION – Deathless
Deathless is another fine example of Revocation’s impressive talents, blending tech death, thrash and the occasional progressive interlude. Doesn’t quite top previous releases, but still a stupidly good album.

9. BEHEMOTH — The Satanist
After kind of losing their way since Demigod, the band has found a new focus and hit the nail on the head with this release. Crushing.

8. TOMBS — Savage Gold
Post-metal with more than a dash of black, Savage Gold is dissonant, haunting, extreme – and one of the surprise releases of the year. See also their excellent cover of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.

7. VADER — Tibi Et Igni
Polish death metal veterans continue on the winning path with their brand of extreme thrash – consistently brutal with bangover-inducing riffs and beats.

6. INSOMNIUM — Shadows of the Dying Sun
Greater than or equal to 2011’s One For Sorrow, Shadows blends the melo-doom-death formula for a perfect result. The best band of this genre on the planet right now.

5. WOLF — Devil Seed
Heavy metal from Sweden in the vein of Iced Earth/Judas Priest/King Diamond etc. Razor sharp riffs, bombastic drums and one of the best vocalists of the genre. If they could drop a couple of the filler tracks, they could easily knock Iced Earth off their perch. Repeat after me: “SHAAAARK… ATTAAAAAAAAAACK!!”

4. ALCEST – Shelter
Taking listeners further into melodic, dreamy, atmospheric territory and leaving the black/post-metal to the past, this album is still on high rotation despite being one of the first releases of 2014. Neige has created yet another album full of beautiful sounds to add to his already impressive back catalogue.

3. TRAP THEM – Blissfucker
Holy SHIT. This album knocks you to the ground right from the get-go, leaving you breathless from start to finish. Skull-crushing riffs over pounding D-beats reminiscent of Converge/Napalm Death, yet mixing it up enough to stand on their own and deliver an album with enough variety for repeat listens.

Townsend has to be admired, not just for the great music on this album but for the projects he takes on in general, the majority of which are born from his bizarre and brilliant mind. Z2 is a double album (condensed down from 50 songs originally), the first part being a typical DTP “pop metal” album taking elements from Epicloud and Addicted, though it feels more mature. The second half is a War Of the Worlds-style rock opera featuring the return of Ziltoid (Devin’s alter ego, a coffee-loving alien hellbent on world domination) similar in musical style to the first Ziltoid album but with a bigger scope/budget. The Ziltoid tale will also be taken to the musical theatre stage next year at the Royal Albert Hall for a show that sold out within weeks.

Extreme progressive metal at its finest, Ne Obliviscaris have been impressing metal audiences for a few years now, and have delivered another fine feather in their cap with Citadel. Epic in terms of song length and musicianship, and a perfect blend of the light and dark sides of metal.

Scott Williams joins fellow Life is Noise contributors Scott Bishop and Deryk Thomas in hosting RTRFM’s Critical Mass on Wednesdays at 9PM Perth time (+8 GMT.)

Check back next week as we continue to count down our top records of the year.