Best of 2014- Hellias Papadopoulos
1. 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.
2. Vader – Tibi Et Igni
Vader belong in that category where every movement is guaranteed to result in a stable and reliable result, without feeling the need to differentiate themselves in relation to their past. Their style and their quality is unquestionable. So, after nine albums, the tenth one is another great, pure, authentic, and glorious, death metal album.
3. Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out
Although I did like Rob Dukes’ vocals and punk attitude, I really love Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza. He is an absolute thrash metal inspiration. If you have those vocals in your band, you cannot have a bad album. So, Exodus’ BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT is a bulky thrashology close enough to the past masterpieces.
4. Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon
I will not say that by listening to PLAGUES OF BABYLON someone discovers America for one more time or Iced Earth “reinvented the steel”. Iced Earth are not known for the vision and the desire for experimentation, but when they want to earn trays which make you want to listen to them again and again, this is one such work.
5. Mass Infection – For I Am Genocide
These Greek natives take you on a crushing death trip to a classic era of brutal Death, blowing American and central European death metal off the map! Enter the spectrum of the Greek Death Ripper! I am very proud that there are fellows that can stand next to the well-known death metal nobility!
6. Septicflesh – Titan
Septicflesh is one of the fewest bands of Greece that gained a great feedback to their albums. If you are into neo-classical symphonic death metal genre, then Septicflesh is what you need and ask for. If not, they will compel you! Challenge your favorite musical borders!
7. Misery Index – The Killing Gods
That was a good surprise for me as I didn’t expect such a very good death metal album in 2014 but Misery Index fooled me. If there was only one band that can make revive the death metal scene of early 90’s under a modern veil, Misery Index would be the band.
8. Overkill – White Devil Armory
Who can blame these thrash veterans for anything? Overkill still sound like teenagers full of heat and flaming youth! You cannot explain otherwise the result of their musicianship. I think that every metal band on this planet should have an attitude as Overkill do!
9. Riot – Unleash The Fire
Could any metalhead on this planet imagine a Riot album without Mark Reale? Not really. Even further, could anyone imagine a very good Riot album without Mark Reale? Absolutely not! BUT, yes, indeed! Riot made a perfect album in the vein and footsteps of Mark Reale. Maybe this is the swan song of a great, talented, and underrated band, or the new beginning with the blessing of Mark Reale who will orchestrate from Heaven!
10. Suicidal Angels – Divine And Conquer
This is another reason that I personally am very excited and proud of my homeland’s metal scene. Suicidal Angels’ 2014 album is a very great thrash metal statement from Greece. The metal giants of the thrash scene like Kreator and Overkill are amongst their fans.
11. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
Tom Gabriel ‘Warrior’ Fischer and his darkened tribe know exactly how to transform darkness, sorrow, and decay into music. The old and wise know better! They follow their own footsteps they dig for the whole extreme metal scene as Celtic Frost and now as Triptykon. Triptykon’s sophomore album was one of the most expected albums for 2014 for me and they got back with a blackened triumph.
12. Vampire – Vampire
This is probably the best death metal debut album of 2014. It’s roots are based on late 80’s and early 90’s death metal with N.W.O.B.H.M. infused elements. There are plenty death metal bands out there with the half of them being a joke. Vampire are very serious. Great job boys!
13. Accept – Blind Rage
Accept is one of the few veteran bands that are still going on very well with modern sound and producing and utilizing new material. As the furious bull of the album cover the band comes to astonish us for the third time after the last reunion the the coming of Mark Tornillo who is exactly the best person to replace UDO. It’s a honor to have this masterpiece in my album collection.
14. Behemoth – The Satanist
After recovering from leukemia, Nergal came back with Behemoth to create an album like his last day of his life. Finally, how nice and incomparable is the feeling that a man who went through a serious health issue, and has been found just before the end, finally returns to his body again and creates a divine album? Hopefully this is an example of human strength and capability to handle every manner and (health or not) problem that every one of us will possibly deal with in the future.
15. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls
As difficult is the last album of Judas Priest to divide the metal world, so difficult is to excite as the previous masterpieces. I think that this album is by far better than NOSTRADAMUS, but the scars of time are obvious on the band members (except Richie Faulkner, as he is only 34 years old). REDEEMER is a nice reminder of who Judas Priest is.
16. Crowbar – Symmetry In Black
Even SYMMETRY IN BLACK is not their best album, Crowbar managed to create a wonderful sludge, stoner heavy album as only they can do. Now a wish for 2015; wish for every sludge, stoner, doom metal band out there to take a close look at this band and record and learn how to impress.
17. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds
Machine Head is not my favorite band and I am not very much into their music, but acclaim their new album, as it is a very strong comeback and probably the best album after THE BLACKENING. This is the way the modern metal should sound and be played.
18. At the Gates – At War with Reality
19. Wolf – Devil Seed
Wolf is a very good heavy metal band that keeps the old-school heavy metal flag up! I hope people will pay attention to this new album because it simply deserves it. Except the sound, there is no modern-ity here. Only pure heavy metal. I am very happy that I can listen to albums of this kind of metal in 2014.
20. Primal Fear – Delivering the Black
Best Rock / Non-Metal
1. AC/DC –Rock or Bust
Even the album did not grow in me, as it has only few weeks that was released, AC/DC is a musical guarantee, they do know how to write a good album, although it will never become an all-time classic. As for that, let time will tells its own opinion on that. I’m sorry; don’t give a damn about time, ROCK OR BUST rocks anyway!
2. Slipknot – .5 The Gray Chapter
Even I am not a regular fan of Slipknot (I do like only couple of songs), THE GRAY CHAPTER impressed me a lot for two reasons: 1) it is a perfect way to tribute and honor a departed band member and friend and 2) this is less nu-metal by this band and close enough to straight modern extreme metal with several nostalgic and lovely sensitive moments.
Best Live Album
Behemoth: Live Barbarossa
After their new masterpiece, THE SATANIST, the polish battering rim unleashed its venomous and blasphemous satanic fire!
Sodom: Sacred Warpath
The teutonic thrash metal machine is marching on celebrating the domination of thrash metal kingdom! This band is still going on with great releases.
Best Remake album
Flotsam and Jetsam: No Place For Disgrace
When I heard that Flotsam and Jetsam were about to re-record this classic album, I was afraid of dealing with the retake’s result…BUT it is extremely good. This is a re-recording that won’t feed your nostalgia for the original recording. We all are thankful that the band did not rape the original version. Far from it, they added a fresh and modern edition of the 1988 album even though the songs are a bit slower than the original recording.”
Best Covers album
Tribute to Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life
This is the best Dio cover album to date…by far. There is a musical parade of established musicians such as Metallica, Anthrax, Rob Halford and Lemmy that contribute to this tribute album.
The box set “1994 – 2014” includes Empyrium’s entire recordings on nine vinyl discs, starting with the demo “…der wie ein Blitz vom Himmel fiel…” right through to the latest album “The Turn Of The Tides”, meaning also the four regular studio efforts, the exclusive tracks from the compilation “A Retrospective…” and the “Into The Pantheon”-concert. In addition, the box contains seven Empyrium-posters as well as a large-sized booklet with all lyrics.
Dream Theater: Breaking The Fourth Wall
Death Metal Angola
Even this music biographical film was released in 2012 , the theatrical release took place in November 2014. You must see this perfectly pleasing musical and social point of view.
Best local band
Although Suicidal Angels has become a global thrash metal spreading disease, these guys will be my neighbors and always the guys of the next door for me! They got together since over a decade and they played their first songs in a garage near my home door!
Best Debut Album/Best New Band
Do you like doom metal in the veins of Candlemass with Michael Kiske-esque vocals! Try it!
This is the greatest new thrash metal band for 2014. After the big names of the genres, after the passing of thrash metal revival in 00’s, behind the second thrash metal revival in 2010, after so many new thrash metal acts, Shrapnel is the only one candidate that fit the requirements of the next big thing in thrash!
Jae Hadley – Vocals
Nathan Sadd – Lead Guitar
Chris Martin – Guitar
Shaun Mcelhinney – Bass
Simon Jackson – Drums
Hopes for 2015
Dear Santa Claus,
1)Make Ozzy to record a new solo album or record with Black Sabbath and be the last masterpiece and better than MASTER OF REALITY (I know that you gonna say that I am dreaming. Of course I am!).
2)Make Metallica decide for retirement as they cannot do anything more in the section of musical evolution.
3)Give Rob Halford back his great screaming.
4)Make Slayer release their new album today! Cannot wait any further!
Hope these things aren’t too much for you!
Best kisses to Rudolf!!!!!!