2014 was filled with a lot of great music. Reflecting back on it for this list it became blatantly obvious that the majority of the music I enjoyed this past year was released by older artists. Be it my Rock or Metal list it was ruled by musicians that have been around for awhile and have established careers in the industry. The album title may be different but this could easily have been my list back in senor year of high school. Let us hope 1989 never ends.
1. Helix – Bastard Of The Blues
Helix has been a longtime favorite band of mine. This year they released their 13th studio album BASTARD OF THE BLUES. The band is now 3/5’s the classic 80’s line-up (Brian, Daryl and Fritz). This new album is the best release they’ve done since WILD IN THE STREETS and my most listened to disc of the year.
As expected, Accept continues on directly where they left off with their previous STALINGRAD album. The third album with Mark Tornillo is another masterpiece from these German legends and it’s full of catchy riffs and melodies. Songs like like “200 Years” and “Dark Side of My Heart” are already live favourites and future Accept classics. In my opinion Accept is the best heavy metal band at the moment.
I’m proud to say that Metal-Rules.com was one of the first online outlets to cover Evil United being provided with an advance copy of their debut self titled full-length prior to it’s release in mid September of 2011 by vocalist Jason McMaster himself. So I thought I knew pretty much what to expect when Jason handed me a copy of their new album “Honored By Fire” but I’ll have to admit that I was really and truly blown away by the latest Evil United material. Melody, Speed and Brutality duke it out in an epic battle for supreme metal dominance as the technical speed metal merchants fire off hit after hit with “Dead Can See” “Caesar” “Ripping Flesh” “Tombspawn” and “Viking Funeral” and that’s all before side two!
Over the years Primal Fear has just kept on doing their Judas Priest-inspired power metal thing, for better or worse. 17 years and 10 studio albums into their career, they’ve released what I consider their best album ever. DELIVERING THE BLACK is a crushing power metal tour de force that proves that Primal Fear are still at the top of their game and quite possibly, better than ever.
A perfect example of how to do female-fronted symphonic power metal. Strength, melody, speed and colour. A must have album for every lover of this genre.
Second year in a row my top pick is a female-front band. 2014 has been a good year for women in metal. It has been a year of metal feasting with so many of the ‘big’ names releasing albums, but I seem to have enjoyed listening to the newer bands this year.
1. Black Label Society – Catacombs of The Black Vatican
Black Label Society- Catacombs of The Black Vatican
This last BLS album continues the very remarkable comeback for Black Label Society. Probably among their best albums; but is compact, mature, energetic and looks perfectly focused. Along with its character, retains the element of freshness, implemented through small changes in their music. This is a perfect example of how to variate your music after almost 25 years.
ACCEPT have parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann.
Says ACCEPT in a statement: “ACCEPT would like to thank Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann for being with us these last four-plus years, for making themselves available whenever needed and for rocking their asses off!
“We and the fans all knew that they had their own careers and that eventually we would run into scheduling and other conflicts beyond our control.
“Herman and Stefan are now ready to take on the world, with their own band PANZER, a Nuclear Blast record deal under their belts and a new album!
“We are parting as friends and wish them nothing but success!
“We ourselves are getting ready for 2015 — another year of heavy touring!
“We would like to say thanks again to our fans around the world for their huge support and for the fantastic year 2014!
“The ‘Blind Rage’ world tour continues in 2015.”
Herman joined ACCEPT in 1982 shortly before the release of the band’s “Restless And Wild” album and exited the group for the first time after the arrival of 1983’s “Balls To The Wall” LP.
When ACCEPT reunited for festival appearances in 2005, Herman handled second-guitar duties alongside founding axeman Wolf Hoffmann, with Schwarzmann sitting behind the kit.
Frank and Schwarzmann were involved in ACCEPT’s comeback with new singer Mark Tornillo and have appeared on their last three studio albums: 2010’s “Blood of the Nations”, 2012’s “Stalingrad” and 2014’s “Blind Rage”.
Frank and Schwarzmann are currently involved in a new project called PANZER, also featuring vocalist and bassist Schmier, best known as frontman of DESTRUCTION.
PANZER’s debut album, “Send Them All To Hell”, was released on November 28 via Nuclear Blast.
The “Punk Rock But Kinda Not” tour featuring headliners Down stopped in Calgary Alta., to play at Flames Central on December 14, 2014. Main support for the tour was Orange Goblin from England. Bl’st was not able to make it so Australia’s King Parrot were the only other band on the bill this evening. The upper levels of the venue were closed off for a private function, but this tour probably could have sold a lot more tickets to pack the upper tiers. The party upstairs did come out to watch Orange Goblin and Down it didn’t look completely empty in the upper levels.
When ‘Heroes’ was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, it was obvious that Sabaton’s inevitable UK tour would be a mighty success. With arguably their best material since 2005’s ‘Primo Victoria’, it came as no surprise that Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms sold out months before Sabaton’s return to our shores. Read the rest of this entry »
Once again Thomas G. Fischer made and created amazing heavy and depressive riffs on the second album titled Melana Chasmata. The utter heavy and slow songs literally rip the heart apart and turn the mind insane. Amazing album in every aspect.
2. At The Gates – At War With Reality
At The Gates – At War With Reality
When At The Gates started working on their new album, it was kind of hard to expect the material to top the early stuff. But with this album, At The Gates proved themselves by being one hell of band with killer catchy and vicious riffs.
3. Accept – Blind Rage
Accept – Blind Rage
Holy crap, the third album with Mark Tornillo is bloody awesome old school heavy metal release.
4. Behemoth – The Satanist
5. Exodus – Blood In Blood Out
6. Judas Priest – Redeemer Of Souls
7. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds
8. Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
9. Primordial – Bloodstone & Diamonds
10. Bodycount – Manslaughter
11. Electric Wizard – Time to Die
12. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
13. Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died
14. Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
15. Vallynfyre – Splinters
16. Taake – Stridens hus
17. Hirax – Immortal Legacy
18. Obituary – Inked in Blood
19. The Skull – For Those Which Are Asleep
20. Master’s hammer – Vagus Vetus
Best Ep 2014
Bölzer – Soma (Ep)
Bölzer – Soma (Ep)
The Swiss two piece band has caused the relentless fuss in the extreme metal scene. The Some Ep is a real sonic pleasure of a mix death/black. Bölzer needs to be checked out by all these ones looking for the brutal and barbaric death/black metal.
Best new band
I had no clue of this band nor heard in advance. I happened to end up to the tent stage at the Summer Breeze festival and discovered this band fronted by the beautiful sounding lady. I had to follow the show as whole. This new retro-rock band will be on the next hype level for a while.
Isten Fanzine – Don’t Break The Ghost
Isten Fanzine – Don’t Break The Ghost
That magnificent package of the old school metal fanzine published in the last 30 years as one massive book is impressive as hell. Every goddamn metalhead must obtain this massive reading experience to learn how the underground was based on the DIY attitude.
Best concert of 2014
Dark Angel – Swedenrock 2014 and Jalometalli 2014:They made and came back and conquered all the way!!!!!
King Diamond – Jalometalli 2014: Fucking freaking awesome show.
Carcass – 70000tons of Metal 2014: Seeing Carcass under the Caribbean sky in the middle of the sea was magical.
Biohazard – Summer Breeze Festival 2014: Pits and crowd surfing and ultimate tight playing.
Album disappointments of 2014
Loudness – The Sung Will Rise Again: Well I’d rather listen to their 80’s stuff for sure.
We’re delighted to announce Jason Conde-Houston as our new singer and front man!!
As soon as Jason told us he was interested on being part of Split Heaven, we knew it was him. Of course, we have heard him with his band Skelator before, but when he sent the audition an we listened what he did with “Danger Zone”, immediately stopped hearing other vocalists.
We want to thank all singers who sent their demos, we got auditions from México, Spain and U.S.A and now, finally, we decided to have Jason as a part of the Split Heaven dynasty.
Jason says: “It is an honor to announce that I am joining Split Heaven as their new singer. I have been a fan since 2010 when I heard their first album “Psycho Samurai”. This does not mean the end of Skelator, I think this will make me a better musician and give both bands more connections around the globe.”
MANDRAGORA – the new sensation in Old-School Heavy-Metal from South-America & France based old-school Metal Label INFERNÖ Records are particularly happy to announce that both parts found an agreement which will result in a record deal.
Although no release-date has been yet defined, you can expect the first full-length album by MANDRAGORA somewhere in 2015 – more infos will come later on time as soon as new details have to be revealed. The Debut Album will be recorded at the Quarter Note Studios in Lima-Peru with Paul Pinto as Music Producer. It is also agreed that a limited cassette edition of the band including their demo, songs from the EP and two new songs could be shortly released early 2015 – you’re warned, stay tuned.
Four years since their last LP release “Godfather In Black”, Italian/British black metallers Abgott had finally returned to London as part of their European 2014 tour. Though not even half of the London scene were able to turn up, due to Winter being the most competitive season for big name gigs, it was ultimately their loss for missing not only the return of one of their own (due to frontman Agamoth’s part in the scene for more than a decade) but a show that wore the spirit of black metal on its sleeve. Read the rest of this entry »