You know it and we know it: Album Of The Year Lists are a reductive and lazy way to generate clicks and site hits under the naff concept that you can somehow rank subjective artforms in order of merit. Blah blah blah. So what? We’ve done it every year for over half a decade and we’re not going to stop now. We worked out our list via a complicated voting system whereby every single Thrash Hits contributor had their say, then Raz and Hugh carefully cooked the books to fudge the results how we wanted. Here it is: the Top 10 Albums of 2014 according to Thrash Hits. Why a Top 10? Because lists are terrible and you’re a terrible person if you want a longer one. These are the 10 records you need.
10) Black Moth – Condemned To Hope
This is how you do a second album. Black Moth made an album that’s less a melting pot of influences than it is a cauldron of doom witchcraft and riff sorcery, and made one with more wit and inventiveness than any of their contemporaries. Read our review
09) Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion
Tosin Abasi makes his guitar sing with more range and character than every bore-off melodic-shouty tedious vocalist in rock music today. The Joy of Motion is a fluid and emotional display of what instrumental heaviness can achieve. Read our review
08) YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend
YOB’s most recent record is perhaps their densest examination of modern doom to date. Given tat the genre that has been around for as long as metal itself, that’s no mean feat. Having hooked up with Neurot Recordings for Clearing the Path to Ascend, YOB have with just four tracks outshone their opposition of both sides of the Atlantic.
07) ††† – Crosses
Yes, yes, it’s not really metal. Or rock. Or anything that should really get featured on Thrash Hits based on sound alone. But Crosses was made by Deftones’ Chino Moreno and Shaun Lopez of Far, so we’re overlooking that fact. Also: because this record is dreamy, honest-to-God brilliant.
06) Obliterations – Poison Everything
If the steady stream of Entombedcore that the last few years have thrown up didn’t float your boat because they neglected the punkier side of things, then get hold of Poison Everything and your metaphorical sinking problems are over. As will your tolerance for shit poser hardcore.
05) Schammasch – Contradiction
Cheryl Carter, our in-house expert on everything trve, kvlt, and otherwise necro, once described Schammassh as being right on the heels of Behemoth as far as being the next big thing in black metal. After listening to Contradiction, it’s easy to see why.
04) ’68 – In Humor and Sadness
Josh Scogin would’ve been doomed if he’d tried to replicate the perfectly controlled chaos he helped craft in The Chariot with ’68. Instead, he threw song titles and conventional ideas about songwriting out the window to create one of the year’s most interesting – and ultimately human – experiments in improvisation. Read our review
03) Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again
“Weezer-sized hooks, jangly guitars and maudlin melodies that tug on the heartstrings” – that’s how our man Alex Andrew described Joyce Manor’s latest record. That’s exactly what we want from Californian punk rock. Read our review
02) Anathema – Distant Satellites
There is pretty much no-one in the modern British prog sphere to rival Anathema by this point. Distant Satellites sees the band stripping back their sound but maintaining the lush, powerful drama that’s always lain at he heart of the Cavanagh brothers’ best work. It’s yet another in Anathema’s peerless catalogue of classic albums. Read our review
01) Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden
We don’t like to give out full 6-out-of-6 reviews very often. The prevalence of over-marking sells the purpose of reviws short. If everything is great, then nothing truly is. Pallbearer’s Foundations of Burden though….well, we’d give it more than 6 if we could. It’s that good. Foundations of Burden succeeds on every level. It works as a follow-up to their equally tremendous debut, Sorrow and Extinction. It works as an example of how to straddle doom and post-metal without sacrificing the strengths of either to satiate the needs of the other. It works as another step in the (hopefully long) development of Pallbearer’s incredible collective gift for incredible songwriting. It works as an album of great majesty, intelligence and inspiration. And finally, you can bet your bottom goddamn dollar that it works as Thrash Hits’s #1 Album of 2014.
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