Dead Rhetoric.com Top 5 Albums of 2014

Monday, 5th January 2015

First off, thanks to our dedicated readers, PR partners, and staff for a tremendous 2014. With over 200 features and close to 900 reviews, there was a ton of content delivered in our second year of existence (not to mention the volumes of news updates). To celebrate the end of 2014, all of us here at DR posted our “Best-of” lists, which can be found below:

David E. Gehlke
Kyle McGinn
Matt Coe
Matthew Bowling
Daniel Keating
Joshua Overbey
Bridget Erickson
Best-of Sifting Through Bandcamp

In addition, the votes have been tallied from the individual best-of lists to create an overall top 5 albums for DR. The conditions were set up as follows: to be included in this list, the album must have appeared on at least two staffers “best-of” lists and get a score of at least 11 points. An album ranked at #1 received 10 points, an album ranked at #10 received 1 point. So consider these the absolute best of 2014. Attached with each album is a brief blurb from one of our staffers to sweeten the pot a bit.

behemoth






1. Behemoth – The Satanist (Metal Blade)
This release, perhaps moreso than any other this year, is the exquisite result of context and history. All of the artistic-leanings of Nergal and the band that had been espoused on previous releases came full bore here with the weight of a life experience few come away from. The mixture of old black metal stylings with the band’s particular approach to death metal found capped off with melodicism on a level they’ve never attempted before. There was never a chance of looking back. – Matthew Bowling

Shores-Of-Null-Quiescence






2. Shores of Null – Quiescence (Candlelight)
The only debut to crack this list, Italy’s Shores of Null created a wondrous blend of melodic and progressive death metal on Quiescence. Of particular note should be the clean vocals of Davide Straccione, who might be the band’s best function, which is saying a lot. There’s not many weaknesses to be found across this album. – David E. Gehlke

insomnium_shadowsofadyingsuncover






3. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun (Century Media)
In a career already littered with triumphant albums, Shadows of the Dying Sun is Insomnium’s finest hour. The near-perfect collection of mournful melodies and brazen Finnish melodic death metal, the album blows through one dynamic cut to the next, all the while maintaining the band’s marvelous atmospheric ebb and flow. – David E. Gehlke

Ghost Brigade - IV - One With The Storm (2014)






4. Ghost Brigade – IV: One with the Storm (Season of Mist)
Ghost Brigade continues their streak of consistency with their fourth album. A lengthy three year drought without new material only served to up the anticipation and One with the Storm delivers some of the band’s strongest moments to date. It’s hard to pick favorites, but the post-rock inclined “Elämä on Tulta” and synth-driven “Electra Complex” highlight the band’s ability to evolve their sound. – Kyle McGinn

primordial_wheregreatercover






5. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade)
Combining Celtic Folk and Black Metal to make it their own, Irish quintet Primordial answer to no one but themselves. Where Greater Men Have Fallen is another textbook offering to keep your heart firmly on the underground – the riffs bludgeoning, the bass echoing, the drums signaling a tribal quest of eminent domination. Add in Alan Averill’s piercing voice and if the end were near, I wouldn’t be afraid. – Matt Coe

Honorable Mentions (read: were on multiple lists but didn’t score a total at least 11 points)
Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out (Nuclear Blast)
The Haunted – Exit Wounds (Century Media)
Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel (Season of Mist)
Septicflesh – Titan (Prosthetic)