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Nesseria - Fractures

Nesseria – Fractures

We’re only six weeks into it but 2015 already looks like a promising year for heavy music with excellent releases by Marduk (Frontschwein) and Napalm Death (Apex Predator – Easy Meat). “Fractures” is a new album by Nesseria, a band I had never heard of before but don’t let that stop you. This album grabs your attention like a wolf biting into your neck and it doesn’t let go. Placing themselves among giants like Converge and Deafheaven, Nesseria is definitely a band to look out for. Listen to their new album here or here and don’t miss this review in Slavestate Magazine.

/KEAL.

Mastodon's album "Once More 'Round The Sun" reached second place on The Black Dandelions' list of the greatest albums of 2014.

Mastodon’s album Once More ‘Round The Sun reached second place on The Black Dandelions’ list of the greatest albums of 2014.

With eight different versions of the best albums of the year, 2014 wasn’t a bad year for The Black Dandelions as a blog. It’s nice to see that we’re still alive and kicking five years after the start of this poor excuse for a blog.

Summing up a year’s worth of music isn’t easy, and summing up the opinions of eight amateur music connoisseurs can be even harder, especially when the opinions of each writer differ as much as they do in this case (compare Mac P and violent wold). Despite the ambitious title of this blog entry “The Best Of 2014” there will be no mathematic formula or divine intervention to shatter all doubts as to which musical composition of 2014 was The Best. Who would be interested in that anyway? Music isn’t about maths or formulas, unless you’re in charge of the drumming duties in Meshuggah or Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Rather than a summary, this is a commentary on some of the great music to have been released last year. (What else could I say when Enabler ends up topping the list???)

A few words on this year’s collaborators. Having extreme metal fundamentalist violent wold topping his list with Grand Morbid Funeral wouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. Likewise, Mac P stayed true to his roots, placing at least two Canadian acts on his list: Owen Pallet and Fucked Up (I’m sure there must be more Canadian bands on the list but I haven’t heard of any of the other ones so I couldn’t say). Filnef remains as the oddest and least expected collaborator, putting together a list of bands and radio shows (!) that no other contributor named. While always faithful to his native Seattle, 2014 saw Filnef explore other shores as well, topping his list with a duet of “two middle-aged lugs from Nottingham, England”. ROAR’s mega-contribution from 2013 (50 best albums!) was followed this year by a list of ten music videos featuring songs that he claims didn’t make it onto his real list, leaving the rest of us wondering if we will ever know what then he really liked?

With a shared first place on rado’s list and second place on the list presented by P-JvE, The Black Dandelions’ overall champion of 2014 may have to be La Fin Absolue Du Monde by metalcore dudes Enabler. Not a bad accomplishment for an album where the lyrics basically go:

There’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something, there’s gotta be something…

Seriously though, this album also received some appreciating comments from other sources:

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/19378-enabler-la-fin-absolute-du-monde/

http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/05/21/enabler-la-fin-absolue-du-stream/

Another contender for heavy weight champion would be Mastodon’s masterpiece Once more ‘round the sun which finished on a shared first place on rado’s list and an honourable third place on KEAL’s list, making this album The Black Dandelions’s second best of 2014!

Third place is harder to discern but may have to be awarded to Big Business for their album Battlefields Forever (please ignore anyone who’ll tell you the album was actually first released in 2013), a super-heavy, beautiful, sensitive and very welcome comeback from one of the heaviest acts in heavy metal. This album made it onto the lists signed by rado, Dr. Hezelbeef and KEAL.

Behemoth's album The Satanist is another one of The Black Dandelions' favourites of 2014.

Behemoth’s album The Satanist is another one of The Black Dandelions’ favourites of 2014.

Other albums that were mentioned more than once on this year’s lists were:

  1. Behemoth – The Satanist
  2. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
  3. Skogen – I döden
  4. YOB – Clearing the path to ascend
  5. Pallbearer – Foundations of burden
  6. Pig Eyes – Pig Eyes
  7. Fucked Up – Glass boys and Thurston Moore – The Best Day

There you go people, call it a summary, call it a commentary or whatever you like but above are the ten best albums of 2014 according to The Black Dandelions.

/KEAL.

Damn the Lion

Damn the Lion

Damn the Lion is a promising young QOTSA inspired heavy rock band from Stockholm who just released their debut album “One dance for everyone”. Those of you who understand Swedish may want to check out this album review in Slavestate Magazine and the rest of you can go straight to the band’s website to listen for free: www.damnthelion.com You can also like them on Facebook. The band already featured on this blog a while back but under a different name (see more here). /KEAL.

Mogwai - Rave Tapes

Mogwai – Rave Tapes

So I got my slow ass finally ready and got my list done. First place is a tie between:

Mastodon – Once more round the sun and Enabler – La fin absolue du monde

Very impressed with Mastodon’s direction and the overall sound just kicks ass. Enabler is a new band for me but the mix of the vocals and the energy just does it for me.

The rest of the albums are in no particular order:

Mogwai – Rave tapes

Rosetta – Flies to flame

Fu Manchu – Gigantoid (awesome album after so many years)

Earthless meets Heavy Blanket – In a Dutch haze

Dwellers – Pagan fruit

Big Business – Battlefields forever (discovered this only in the end of the year, but it sounds funky!)

This Will Destroy You – Another language (very very enjoyable post-rock)

Foo Fighters – Sonic highways (I include it here more because I enjoyed the documentary they made rather than the actual music. The stories were interesting, even if Dave Grohl’s ego is massively expanding in the background)

Those are the ones that stick out to me this year.

I have to give a mention to the album ‘Dawn in Space’ by Pyramidal which was released back in 2011 but I only found it now, but I’ve been listening to it over and over again ever since the summer. Psychedelic stoner rock … with even awesome drum solos. I ask for no more.

One major disappointment of the year is the ‘Get Hurt’ album by The Gaslight Anthem. Just nowhere as good as the previous albums.

Tack! rado

See also:

rado’s list from 2012 here

rado’s list from 2011 here

Pallbearer - Foundations of burden

Pallbearer – Foundations of burden

In no particular order:

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

Feels like this huge sounding Little Rock band is carrying my heroic body in a coffin celebrating my great doings in life as they take me to my final resting spot. His singing is beautiful and uplifting with that dark, thick, heavy wall of sound behind him giving it the perfect balance of brute beauty. Definite favorite of the year.
Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend

Damnation is near and this album is the soundtrack. These guys are all about feeling.

Marrow is the definite highlight; Mournful metal from clouded skies. His yearning wails hit me right in the ticker. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful is all I can say.

Pig Eyes – s/t

This album is a lunatic fighting with himself out on a cold rainy night. Its a hard music to describe taking you through a pleasantly confused and dizzying trip into familiar sounds made unfamiliar. Cant wait to see where these guys will go next.

Wreck and Reference – Want

Nausea hits you like an atomic bomb from late night taco bell from the first beat of this experimental drone duos album. Screams of despair on top of drums and a korg sampler, and eye catching minimalist art is the cherry on top of the rotten taco bell meat cake. These guys are definitely pioneering new frontiers in metal.

Indian – From All Purity

If Wreck and References’ Want made me sick to my stomach this album made me puke all over my shit drenched shorts. A cacophonous ode to all that is unholy and horrible in life. Hard one to swallow but once you do you wont want to let it go. Like any good drug. You know you shouldn’t but you just cant help yourself even though you know it will leave you with an emotional hangover for hours.
Big Business – Battlefields Forever
This album just rocks your socks…and feet right off. Great riffs and even better hooks, the singing is great heavy, raspy almost forced but yet not, which will have you singing along after one listen.
Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Just music that brings a smile to my face. I love the direction this guy took with electronic music, exactly as a friend described it feels like music from from a man living in the fifties trying to make music that would fit the 2000s. Listened to this one on repeat for a few weeks.

Morbus Chron – Sweven

Classic death metal with a twist of tasty modern. Felt like a dark spirit enveloped me as I listen to this one, everything felt a bit darker after that. Riffs that keep coming back and telling you how dark the hellish experience they are giving you is going to be. The evil and progressive riffs and driving percussion beat your head to a pulp, as if your head was a grapefruit, and over your juiced head the angry and frustrated screams of a demon in heat….only to be picked up and healed by their beautiful demonic bonfire passages …. I love it!

Inter Arma – The Cavern

Welcome to the cavern I hear them tell me with that almost soothing beautiful ceremonial instrumental introduction to the 45 min song/album…..just to be squashed by the hammering of giants stomping the ground that you stand on minutes in. On the shoulder of these giants stands a man belching orders at them to squash the living shit out of you…… and just as your’re getting use to getting stomped to smithereens, slowly and smoothly you’re shoved into a deep cavern of introspection which you will never get out of. A definite masterpiece.

Arca – Xen

An album that could have been written by a robot trying to express itself emotionally. Almost psychedelic in a sense, taking you to sporadically to unexpected places you didn’t know existed and you never know what is coming next. This is what a person from the present might think the music from the future might sound like. Great experimental electronic album.

Honorable mentions:

 

Old man Gloom – The Ape of God

Gridlink – Longhena

Run the Jewels 2

Flying Lotus – You’re dead

Electric Wizard – Time to Die

Gas Chamber – Hemorrhaging Light

   This is Dr. Hezelbeef’s first contribution to this blog. He has a PHD in idiocy.

Owen Pallet - In conflict

Owen Pallet – In conflict

1. Owen Pallett – In Conflict
2. Hey Rosetta – Second Sight
3. Nehruviandoom – Nehruviandoom
4. Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold
5. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
6. Blueprint – Respect the Architect
7. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
8. The Barr Brothers – Sleeping Operator
9. Fucked Up – Glass Boys
10. Bike for Three – So Much Forever

See also Mac P’s best of 2013: https://blackdandelions.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/best-of-2013-mac-p/

I’m still working on my best-of list for 2014, but as a taster here’s a list of my favourite tracks from albums/eps that didn’t make the cut.

angel olsen – forgiven/forgotten

baths – ocean death

boris – vanilla

the bug feat death grips – fuck a bitch

conan – total conquest

crowbar – walk with knowledge wisely

death grips – voila

down – the conjure

decapitated – nest

deerhoof – paradise girls

floor – find away

fucked up – sun glass

godflesh – ringer

hail mary mallon – jonathan

j mascis – every morning

le1f – boom

martyn – empty mind

opeth – cusp of eternity

saor – aura

sleep – the clarity

thurston moore – forevermore

tim heckler – amps, drugs, mellotron

tricky – keep me in your shake

triptykon – tree of suffocating souls

tune-yards – water fountain

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