Well, it was 2014, another year. Time to start pounding on those keys like you know and give a fuck what you’re elaborating about. And it was a year, that’s for sure. Oh, and there was music of course, music to be heard which could be a cause for celebration or an irritating discontent. This is a proclamation of the former and a denigration of the latter. And now that the stupid pretentious introductory paragraph I so drunkenly spat out is over, go fuck yourselves with your own scaly genitals until you bleed cum, you sick uncle fucking bastards.
2014 has continued what has already begun, a full fledged takeover of reuniting acts and returning artists of years past coming back to demonstrate value all over the place and on the faces of the young. Many of my favorites from 2013 weren’t from new artists but rather old artists making a return after a long break. And that is unsurprising, because the state of new music that the media would like you to be aware of these days is an abomination to Satan and all his imaginary godlike friends. Welcome to the list of 14 songs and 14 albums to listen to over and over and over and over and over and over and over and and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over from 2014. I apologize in advance.
14 SONGS TO LISTEN TO OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER
14. Ringer by Godflesh, from the EP “Decline and Fall”
When a legendary act returns, its call should be heard from high upon the mountain top and devastatingly so. Re-enter Godflesh, who single handedly brought industrial metal back from the dead with their on the record return in 2014 after a couple years of touring. Justin Broadrick and Ben Green are back to terrorize your eardrums with the heaviest minimalism on the planet while giving no fucks of the notion of going over 100 BPMs. That programmed weird crash at 1:48 and the warping at 3:28 make that drum machine prove why a duo is all Godflesh ever needed to pulverize the world, no offense to Ted Parsons or Brain. Crushing riffs and unrelenting distortion for eternity is the Godflesh way, and in 2014 they are back to show the followers how to do it proper.
13. Moon Above, Sun Below by Opeth from the album “Pale Communion”
One of the big developments in prog rock these days seems to be “bands that sound like Steven Wilson”, and Opeth have pulled off this transition pretty well at times. I suppose it isn’t surprising considering Mikael and Steven’s history together, but since dropping the metal aspects Opeth have had a mixed reception. It’s a long track, but they pull this style off much better than other imitators (I’m looking at you, Amplifier.) I still prefer the old Opeth who blended death metal and progressive metal to maximum technical effect, but they can pull off the 70’s tribute act genre of prog these days when they want to.
12. An Island by Chevelle from the album “La Gargola”
Hey look I’m praising one of those bands that gets played on the rock radio stations way too much, but this is easily the best song they’ve put out in a long time. Chevelle are amongst the few radio rock bands of the last 15 years who deserved to be forced unwillingly into peoples’ ear holes. This song has grooves, riffs and hooks while not resorting to the sing-songy, brain-dead retard vibe that shit bands like Seether and Three Days Grace pollute the airwaves with all day long. If this gets played on the radio 500 times a day, that’s a good thing. Also, if you were looking for a new Tool song in 2014, this is about as close as you’re gonna get.
11. We Knew Him Well by Down from the EP “Down IV Part II”
I enjoyed the second part of this ongoing fourth Down project a lot more than the first. Phil Anselmo, Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower and those other 2 new guys who aren’t Kirk Windstein or Rex Brown have really cranked out some awesome NOLA style stoner metal here, leaving one to wonder whether they should be firing up a blunt or beating the shit out of the person directly to the left of them. Maybe all at the same time while this track plays. Yeah, Phil Anselmo sounds rough, but it works when paired with that riff. Aside from his vocals though, Down pretty much always manage to sound like they’re stuck in a time warp from 1995. It might not be the best thing Jimmy Bower had going on this year but it’s more Down.
10. Ruckus In B Minor by Wu Tang Clan from the album “A Better Tomorrow”
Getting it out of the way early, this was from yet another disappointing Wu Tang album which like 8 Diagrams and Iron Flag before, is mostly shit. But it starts on a high note, the highest note to be exact. Brooding beat, ODB intro, it’s all there. Then Inspectah Deck starts rapping TV show titles with no context, U God shockingly kills it for a second there, Method Man tells kids to pull their pants up and insists he’s number one, Cappadona says a bunch of random fucking bullshit, it gets weird. Ghostface Killah pops up for a few lines before the beat completely switches up for GZA’s lecture on the construction of Saturn’s rings. The beat continues changing as Raekwon and Mastah Killah throw some verses in at the end, really the best thing about this song is how fucking awesome the beat is though. This was a really good track on yet another disappointing new Wu project. The tracks “Pioneer the Frontier” with it’s distorted “Protect Ya Neck” sampling beat and “40th Street Black (We Will Fight)” are also really good, but they can’t save this album from pedantic shit like “Keep Watch” or the “so fucking awful it might be the worst Wu Tang song ever” here with the embarrassing “Miracle”, that one reminding us of the horrible RnB hooks on 8 Diagrams about eating cheese sandwiches and shit. It’s beginning to seem like there will never be a better tomorrow where the Wu Tang puts out a great new group album. But until then it seems like there will always be better tomorrows where there’s a great new Wu solo project. That said, this was not the worst album of the year and you will read about that later.
9. Chimes at Midnight by Mastodon from the album “Once More ‘Round the Sun
If somebody would have told me Mastodon would be making the catchiest radio ready stoner rock in the year 2004 I’d say you were smoking crack. But now I see it is I who was the one smoking the crack. I know I already bitched about the media and the rock radio in 2 separate parts so far but fuck, people think Imagine Dragons and Pretty Reckless are acceptable mainstream rock music in 2014. Why the fuck isn’t this or the equally excellent, and also catchy and pop ready “The Motherload” being forced into your ear like an unwanted sex organ? Play this all over the place, it’s safe and mellow enough without sucking and not making me hate Mastodon like I hate In Flames for trying a more accessible sound. This song is a bit more on the trippy and droning side, at least for this style of Mastodon. New Mastodon’s never going to be another Leviathan but I think I can be okay with that.
8. Virgins by Death from Above 1979 from the album “The Physical World
See, genres like dance punk and indie pop don’t have to suck. They just have to be made by good musicians. Like Death From Above 1979, whose long absence and small discography always left one looking for more. And in 2014, here it fucking is. It’s something feel good, something insanely catchy beyond the usual radio methadone and something that seems unlikely that I’d be a fan of. Again, it has to be good to be worth it in the first place. And Death from Above 1979’s “Virgins” delivers like 72 virgins on September 12, 2001 to a fucking moron. Other songs that were close picks for this were “Right on Frankenstein” and “Government Trash”, and of course “Trainwreck 1979” but I have to go with the unlikely one which lets me make a tasteless offensive joke and prove a good example of a genre overwhelmed with bad music in 2014.
7. The Clarity by Sleep from The Adult Swim 2014 Singles Collection
Well now, before I go on about goddamn motherfucking Sleep, I’m gonna go on about how much I fucking love adult swim, the only TV channel worth watching sometimes. Their shows are awesome and their music compilations are awesome, that’s about it. Also, this is dildos, dancing is forbidden, what doth life?, too many cooks, the moon rules #1, and finally I AINT WON JAK A LOT FROM THE SQUATTERY THE LOTTERYS SHOULD BE THE JACK SQUATTERY CAUSE I AINT JACK SQUATTING A LOT Y THEY SHOULD RENAME THE LOTTERY TO THE JACK SQUATTERY CAUSE THAT’S ALL I EVER WIN IN IT!!!!!
But fucking Sleep is back, goddammit what a good time to be alive. This is a new Sleep song and if you like stoner metal you probably already know. If not, go listen to this for that riff filled land full of smoke that you drop out of life with a bong in your hand to get to. It’s fucking fantastic. I’m going to go smoke another bong now.
6. Close your eyes and count to fuck by Killer Mike and EL P featuring Zack De La Rocha from the album “Run the Jewels 2
For the second year in a row, good hip hop makes Zack De La Rocha come out of his apocalypse bunker in the desert to make the list at #6. And for the second year in a row and third year if I actually bothered to write about music way back in 2012, Killer Mike and El P are pumping out quality raps at a record rate. Run the Jewels was my favorite album from last year, it was a no filler half hour of nonstop murder. Run The Jewels 2 isn’t much different. But just to stave off going stale, I won’t put this in the top 5. That’s my only criticism here. Zack makes a decent sample for El P to build a beat off of, and then the 3 go in with sort of nonstop verses you can expect from these guys at this point. This recent streak started back with C4C and RAP Music in 2012 and it never stopped for El P and Killer Mike. And if you can get Zack out of his undisclosed hiding place that’s so great it’s apparently broken Rage Against the Machine back up for good again, you get even more bang.
5. Bomb by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib featuring Raekwon from the album “Cocaine Pinata”
More great hip hop in a desolate ass year for it over here. I really liked this whole collaboration, and this track throws Raekwon in the mix. Madlib does the beats, and there are these over the top spacey synths mixed with this goofy ass line of notes in the hook which just work perfectly here. I’m not very familiar with Freddie Gibbs, but he really nails the over the top gangsta schtick here too, especially when I start laughing my ass off when he talks about opening a restaurant where he chefs up weed, crack and heroin. Oh, and Raekwon being better than most of his verses on the new Wu Tang album, but where’s the news in that?
4. Ben Sahar by Behemoth from the album “The Satanist”
After 5 long, ungodly years, Behemoth has returned with an iron fist. I first saw this band in 2009 at the Mayhem Festival with very little knowledge beforehand. My review of that concert is here if anyone wants to read about the first time I pretty much found out about Behemoth.
So 5 years later, this band put out this album right here, The Satanist. Pretty much every goddamn song on the thing was in contention but my above and all selections for his satanic majesty’s request would be this track, the title track, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” which was also a great one. This band had a fucking story for that gap between me seeing them play in a parking lot in 2009 and their triumphant return which I’ll save for the album list, but their break has led to a fucking awesome show of form. I will see them play live again in February of 2015 with Cannibal Corpse, their show with 1349 and Goatwhore scared all of my friends in real life from attending their 2014 tour date nearby, apparently this music still scares people in 2014, holy shit humanity.
3. Smile by Deftones from the still unreleased album Eros
Two things most people don’t know: 1, Chi Cheng is dead, and 2, this came out this year in memorium. Eros was a Deftones album recorded back in 2008 after Saturday Night Wrist, and was put into purgatory due to what was basically the death of Chi Cheng back in 2008. He actually died in 2013 after being in a vegetative state for years, and in 2014 on the day he died, Chino Moreno from Deftones put this song out. And holy shit, we’ve got a Deftones classic right here. Eros would have been great if this and the song “Tempest” from Koi No Yokan are any indication. I’d be surprised if anyone remembered this even came out this year, it’s release was very low key and the record label actually banned Chino Moreno’s original posting from Youtube. Pathetic. Why stifle a clearly genius work?
2. Boleskine House by Triptykon from the album “Melana Chasmata”
The subject of old legends and genres being bankrupt on sounding worthwhile has come up a hell of a lot only into the songs list so far. So lets talk about how Thomas Gabriel Fischer G. Warrior whatever has come up with another winner here. Goth metal? When the fuck has goth metal been any good lately? With Melana Chasmata, that’s when it’s been fucking good lately, bringing it back from the dead pretty much. Trippy, miserable, doom laden, sludgy, ethereal even. Who says I hate ethereal female vocals? Not when they’re done well, and Triptykon brings the airy female vocals better than any fucking lame house rave soundtrack or top 40 spank material, especially when it contrasts with Tom’s harshest vocals. I suppose Devin Townsend’s new one had a nice blend of male and female vocals too, but that’s another album I’ll get to later. Eventually we get some awesome guitar theatrics over the slow brooding pound. This track fucking rules, as do most of those found on this album.
1. Motherfucker by Faith No More from some album in 2015
Hell motherfucking yeah motherfuckers how motherfucking good does it motherfucking feel to be motherfucking living in a motherfucking age where there is new motherfucking Faith motherfucking No motherfucking More motherfucking music motherfucking coming motherfucking out? Feels motherfucking good motherfucker I motherfucking tell motherfucking ya motherfucking what.
Faith No More will save mankind in the year 2015. Until then, this has been another installment of lame troll #1. Now for real this time
1. Shut Me Down by Godflesh from the album “A World Lit Only By Fire”
Who says history can’t repeat itself in a 14 slot list span? Fuck it, Godflesh it is once again, with a track from their absolutely crushing returning album. “Shut Me Down” is the comeback of straight up industrial metal. It’s strange being a throwback to the Godflesh era that isn’t Streetcleaner/Pure, but more like the Selfless or Songs of Love and Hate style. This song’s verses are what the “fuck you like an animal” Nine Inch Nails song should have been coming off Broken, rapid fire hi hats to absolutely crushing riffs while that addicting annoying machine screw sample repeats in the background. Justin Broadrick has to scream everything, the hallmark of prime Godflesh. The bass and guitar tuning is so low it makes entire previous genres like nu metal or whatever the fuck “Djent” qualifies as sound like pant shitting. Your head feels like it was shoved into a car crusher, and as you regain consciousness and control of your body, you wonder what just pummeled the ever living fuck out of you. It was “Shut Me Down”, the song of the year for all intents and purposes. Let it contort you past your original shape and into a hole-filled wad of broken dreams and empty promises.
The Ian Watkins Award for Song Most Likely To Rape Your Infant
Oh boy, do I really need to explain this one? Back in the early 2000s, there was a fucking awful nu metal band called Lostprophets from a shitty country called England who made terrible songs about Sega games for middle school children. As time went on, this band became popular in America with their style change to emo music for prepubescent bullied kids. But more offensive than their music was the meth fueled sex singer Ian Watkins was having with children. And not just any children, but a rare time that you can use “literally fucking babies” in a sentence and be 100% accurate. After he was convicted for his heinous crimes, he said he did it for the “LOLZ”, but when his trolling extends to actual pedophilia, the only “LOLZ” will be had by his cell block’s local serial rapist for the next 50 years until this sick fucking bastard dies alone and anally violated like the babies he put his penis inside of. And that is how I wrote something even more offensive than the Adam Lanza Award for “Song Most Likely To Kill Your Children”.
So just how bad does a song have to be in order to receive a reward named after a baby molester? Unlike last year’s list I’ve managed to be pretty quiet about who sucked, but not anymore. Yes, Taylor Swift fucking sucks but that’s too easy. What Nicki Minaj made was pornography and not music. That piece of shit “Take Me To Church” song should qualify anyone who likes it for an immediate execution date. Iggy Azalea manages to be worse at porno and awful music than Nicki Minaj. Who the fuck is making Bobby Shmurda a rapper with a career? Chris Brown is still a thing, he probably has sex with Ian Watkins. Garth Brooks is a thing again, thanks Alabama and people fucking their sister-cousins. All the other shit mongoloids that pass as country “musicians” should be sent to a camp where they can concentrate and warm at a brisk 2000 degrees in an oven at too. Linkin Park and Slipknot are still shitting it out in 2014, who would have thought. Smashing Pumpkins are still shitting it out in 2014, who would have thought. None of them are as bad as what was sadly introduced to me on Christmas day via the worst hip hop station in history on an FM radio in my friend’s truck. I nearly made it a whole fucking year without hearing something this fucking awful. This is as bad as being a pedophile:
For those of you who don’t want to watch child pornography, that was a song by some asshole named ILOVEMAKONNEN featuring none other than bitch face baby dick Drake. Which is the only reason anyone heard this fucking piece of trash and now it’s nominated for a Grammy award. Bankrupt on selling, bankrupt on content, bankrupt on anything good about hip hop, just fucking terrible.
Purge this shit out of your already elapsing attention with “Do Dope Fuck Hoes” by El P and Killer Mike from the first Run The Jewels album for this style of “I’m a fucking badass and I get all the bitches and run the shit” hip hop done a fuck of a lot better back in 2013:
Until next year, here’s to the easily offended.
…And All That Could Have Been: Honorable Mentions Who Nearly Made It
Before discussing the albums I really really liked listening to over and over, here’s a list of the close contenders who were worth the hard drive space in 2014:
The Serpent And The Sphere by Agalloch
The Joy Of Motion by Animals as Leaders
Noise by Boris
A Skeletal Domain by Cannibal Corpse
La Gargola by Chevelle
Strange Journey Volume 3 by CunninLynguists
Ziltoid 2 by Devin Townsend
Z 2: Sky Blue by Devin Townsend
– Devin’s Ziltoid 2 was amongst my most anticipated releases going into the year and it was somewhat underwhelming at being a triple album. The original Ziltoid was a little over 45 minutes, this is 2 hours. Ambitious is great, but this was spread a little thin to hit the top 14.
Down IV, Part II EP by Down
You’re Dead by Flying Lotus
Decline and Fall EP by Godflesh
Killer Be Killed by Killer Be Killed
Milking The Stars (A Reimagining of The Last Patrol) by Monster Magnet
Pale Communion by Opeth
To Be Kind by Swans
Terrestrials by Ulver and Sunn O)))
14 ALBUMS IN ’14 WHICH BORE REPEATING INFINITELY
14. Time to Die by Electric Wizard
357 mm/420 mm
Metal of the slow, sludgy and doused in booze and loaded with drugs variety was flourishing in 2014, so what better time for another Electric Wizard album. This album is just another installment of the Electric Wizard catalog pretty much, it has Jus Oborn’s distorted yelling about bong hits and wizards shooting lightning or whatever the hell he’s on about while the riffs go on like 40 year old Sabbath. 2014 has been good to drugged out careerists, so Electric Wizard clock in with another winner here. There’s even a few songs that aren’t 12 minutes long for those with an amphetamine addled attention span. “I Am Nothing” suffocates you with gas mask bong strength levels of smoke for 12 before “Destroy Those Who Love God” only pummels you like butane hash oil for a quick 3 minutes, that’s a rarity for Electric Wizard.
13. Primus and the Chocolate Factory by Primus and The Fungi Ensemble
12.04/14 Golden Tickets
“Primus and The Chocolate Factory” is more weird goofiness from Les Claypool and his army of Oompa Loompa musicians with proficient talent. This is what Frank Zappa doing the OG Willy Wonka movie soundtrack in 1970 would have probably sounded like. I saw Primus again this year with this lineup, they didn’t play any of this, then Tim Alexander suffered a heart attack. So this was surprising even coming out, and it was even better that it was so bizarre, weird and unexpected. For a goofy concept album, they picked a pretty motherfucking good source material to accommodate the Primus sound. All we needed was a 90’s Primus style music video to go with the whole damn thing and it would have been the best thing since a GWAR movie came out, RIP Dave Brockie.
12. Morning Phase by Beck
1.74/2 turntables and a microphone
Hey I finally got a link to a full album. Anyway, Beck decided to throw his hat into the comeback game this year, and with a throwback to 2002’s mellow and folk inspired Sea Change album at that. Morning Phase is pretty much Sea Change Part 2 without “Paper Tiger”. Beck actually doesn’t suck at this, something we all know by now, and Beck doesn’t suck at it now either. And there’s a fuck ton of awful bands these days that want to mix electronic beats, synths, indie and folk the way Beck has tastefully managed to for a very long time now. Beck might as well show them how to do it all over again, fuck knows no one’s thought of him in a long time. He’s just one of those guys that overcomes adversity whether it’s musical genre or affiliation with creepy cults.
11. 36 Seasons by Ghostface Killah
It’s really never surprising when Ghostface Killah releases a better solo album the same week that a new Wu Tang Clan album comes out at this point. He did it in 2007 with The Big Doe Rehab coming out 6 days after the shit-tastic 8 Diagrams, and he did it again now. I liked that Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge album 12 Reasons to Die from last year a lot, more than this actually, but this album is still another solid put in. These 2 are much better than any Ghostface album going back to the one which whomped on 8 Diagrams back in ’07 actually, and they both are also albums that work a lot more in the context of a full album rather than just a collection of songs which tends to be the matter in a lot of hip hop albums lately. 36 Seasons was awesome. A Better Tomorrow was not.
10. Once More ‘Round the Sun by Mastodon
82,770,000/93,000,000 miles from the Sun
I have come to peace with that fact that Mastodon will never be Leviathan era Mastodon again. Just because the new stuff isn’t constantly heavy, has tons of randomly catchy hooks thrown in and generally sounds ready to play to a bunch of football recaps and shaving cream commercials doesn’t make it automatically fucking awful. For radio ready stoner rock music this shit is still technical and engaging as all hell. No one’s dumbing it down here other than not reaching the guttural growl level of vocals. I happen to think this isn’t so much a change further toward a land of no return for Mastodon rather than a better accomplishment of what they set out to do with The Hunter. The Hunter was good, saw them play it first to last song live, but Once More ‘Round The Sun is a better execution of the deliberate change of style. I’d really like to see tracks like “Asleep in the Deep”, “Diamond In The Witch House”, “The Motherload” and “Tread Lightly” in concert after seeing them live twice in 2006 and 2012. I think they can pull of this change of style with much success, not everyone sucks when they go for a broader appeal and Mastodon have tastefully transitioned.
9. At War With Reality by At the Gates
8.1/9 degrees of reality
While we’re on the topic of transitions, let’s talk about a band who came back with no compromise at all and transitioned back to nothing but classic 90’s Gothenberg style death metal. At The Gates, thank fuck they’re back to show all the melo-death bands how to do this shit right. This album was fucking awesome and fits right in after the classic Slaughter Of The Soul for sure, At The Gates lost nothing in this long span just like Gorguts and Carcass showed it off last year. These old Euro extreme metal bands are just on another plane of reality entirely, they don’t lose a fucking beat after 20 years yet a band like Morbid Angel does in America and they come back to Chernobyl proportions. I don’t get it. Europe has won the war in reality of metal bands coming back from long hiatuses without a fucking beat, that’s for sure. As some furthers will confirm harder.
8. The Physical World by Death from Above 1979
Every year the reunions take over more and more, I swear to fuck. Death From Above 1979 is back and here they are in full fucking fledged form again. All I’m saying is it shouldn’t have taken a decade for these guys to come back. Grainger and Keeler are one of the greatest duos around, and they prove that this style of music can be rambunctious, manic and awkward while still pummeling and infectiously hooky. I’m sure I speak for every DFA 1979 fan from the past when I say we all wanted more after hearing their whole one album back in the day. We finally got what we asked for, and anyone let down was an ungrateful fucking asshole. The new DFA 1979 was as great as the old stuff. Which I still can’t believe is over 10 years old.
7. Eyehategod by Eyehategod
Fuck everything else, here is the most unlikeliest album of the whole year for all things taken into consideration. I never thought Eyehategod would put something new out. This was a blindside especially considering their drummer died last year after a full 12 of not putting a damn thing out and getting wrecked by hurricane Katrina. When I said Bower’s best input wasn’t in Down earlier this is the album I was referring to. Eyehategod’s new album is fucking killer hardcore sludge straight from the Bayou invoking the feeling of bleeding veins, forcefully. This has that debilitating, decrepit vibe of misery you just can’t help but experience unless you’re laying there at 5 PM on a Monday hungover and begging for the cure in the form of further intoxication. The same thing that made albums like Dopesick and Confederacy of Ruined Lives so great. Welcome back Eyehategod. May you be as offensive and off putting as you were back in the 90s.
6. Cocaine Pinata by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
920/1000 grams of those pure Colombian snowflakes
Hip hop collaboration projects have been establishing themselves as pretty above and beyond the usual solo projects of their constituents, El P and Killer Mike aside. Freddie Gibbs is a rapper who has put out a metric shit-ton of mixtapes, EPs and projects for a while now, who I haven’t been very familiar with but have heard a few songs from over the years. Madlib has been an established underground producer and rapper for even longer who I’m more familiar with. It’s not surprising that when these two collided, it would be to great effect. Madlib produced the whole thing front to back, a commendable and solid effort with some fucking banging beats in there while also handling some verses. The guest list here is impressive as all hell, it’s got Raekwon, Danny Brown, Scarface (oddly not on the track “Scarface”), Ab Soul, and 2 of the only reasons to still give a damn about Odd Future, Earl and Domo Genesis amongst some others to mix in with the never tired and always on the grind Freddie and Madlib. Tracks like “Broken”, “Bomb”, “Thuggin”, “Lakers” and “Knicks” (I see what you did there…) and the also bumping “Shitsville” are great fucking hip hop. Also that last song with like 9 random people from Odd Future and Flatbush Zombies and goddamn Mac Miller is going for the title of “King Crimson of Hip Hop”. Yet it’s viscous slimy yellow discharge like that Ian Watkins Award winning Drake/ILOVEWHOEVERTHEFUCK song that gets all the attention for collaborative hip hop effort of the year from any promotional outlet, what the fucking fuck people. I know 2 other people who’ve actually heard this in real life and they fucking love it too, if anyone else I actually know personally reads this go fucking listen to it right now.
5. Syro by Aphex Twin
And the legends keep coming right back where they left off. Ol’ Richard D. James decided to wake up one day in 2014 and fly a fucking blimp over England announcing a new album would come out in a couple of weeks. We got Syro, it’s Aphex doing his thing under that name with weird samples of his family and an entire electronic music festival’s worth of equipment used to make his brand of weird, off putting reality distorting digital nightmare. I’m known to not really care for electronic music, Aphex was an artist who definitely had a back catalog full of it that was deliciously demented and enjoyable to me. And his visual stuff was always cool as hell too even if that’s just a flying blimp these days. This is an album where I don’t really listen to the tracks separately, it works as a soundtrack to whatever the activity may be to maximum effect every time: driving, walking around town in my headphones, playing video games, writing reviews while drinking at 1 in the morning, masturbating to Aphex Twin’s “Rubber Johnny” video, listening to Syro by Aphex Twin, basically this is like when Peter Griffin got his wish for theme music in that old Family Guy viewer mail thing, only it’s theme music for the condemned.
4. Run the Jewels 2 by Killer Mike and EL P
94% of the way there
Did anyone think these two were going to bitch out or fuck this up somehow? Nah. And for good reasons. The debate has been on since it dropped whether 1 or 2 was the best Run The Jewels, I may fall in the 1 camp but goddammit this is just about as great for all that matters. El P and Killer Mike just can’t stop fucking killing it every time they work together. They have really cemented themselves in not only the underground but the whole goddamn hip hop pantheon, not to say Company Flow or Mike and Outkast’s old tracks together or even the rarely known El P and Justin Broadrick collaboration that absolutely exists already did that all the way back in, fuck, the late 90s? All I’m saying is that these 2 have long been forces and Run The Jewels 2 is another quick run of nonstop hard hitters. Guests this time are Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia whose inclusion people had the audacity to bitch about online, fuck you, Zack De La Rocha coming out of much maligned retirement, fuck you dude make something with Tom Morello again, and “am I living in Bizarro world where Travis Barker appears on an album of the year?”. Which tracks are the best tracks? “Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck”, “Angel Duster”, “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”, especially worth mentioning that awesome Killer Mike hype at the intro of “Jeopardy”, reminds me of when he invited the whole crowd (I included) onstage after some dumb white rave bitch jumped up and started dancing on the edge of it, fuck I’m getting off topic. “Blockbuster Night Part 1”, “All My Life”, “Love Again” with it’s tribute to bitches with dicks in their mouths all day, uh yeah every other song too while I’m at it. Run The Jewels, greatest hip hop collaboration project around. I’d really like to see them live someday.
3. Melana Chasmata by Triptykon
Tom G. Warrior just keeps clocking out these absolute masterpieces that throw goth, doom, black and sludge flavors of the metal variety to churn out a work from the bleak, despair ridden tar pit of the dark arts. I heard that first Triptykon album once when it came out. This is right up there with Celtic’s final effort Monotheist, which is a lot like this, a sonic wave of pahoehoe lava comprised of metal guitar and drums. One of the more oddball aspects of Melana Chasmata is those airy female vocals that show up every so often to shockingly great effect. Triptykon doesn’t make this shit embarassing like half of the goth metal genre did while killing that shit deader than Robin Williams in the early 2000s (Hi Cradle Of Filth). Again, every song is a goddamn knockout, but I have to especially give some shout outs to “Tree of Suffocating Souls” which is metal as it fucking gets, “Aurorae” has a sinister droning brood going on, “Altar of Deceit”, “Black Snow” and “In The Sleep of Death” have this encapsulating trance like effect of absolute pitch black desolation, and finally there’s “Boleskine House” which was one of my favorite things I heard all year. It’s not for everyone but if it is you are lucky.
2. A World Lit Only By Fire by Godflesh
41 lives, universes and everythings/42 lives, universes and everythings
Godflesh is one of those bands I randomly heard on those 900 something channels that play genres of music on extended cable when I was a very young teenager and never really heard of anywhere else. The metal channel played “Frail” and “Wake” from Songs of Love and Hate one day and when I finally got a computer one of the first albums I ever pirated was Songs of Love and Hate because no used CD store around ever had it. I’m in the minority of Godflesh fans who only thought they got better after Streetcleaner and I still keep Selfless and Songs of Love and Hate in high rotation, those two being my favorites. When Godflesh reunited and never toured within thousands of miles from me I was disappointed but glad they were back, always being one of industrial metal’s cornerstones and sadly under recognized. Decline and Fall, the EP from this year, was a very nice setup, “Ringer” is a goddamn classic. A World Lit Only By Fire can only be described as industrial metal’s last stand as a world of diverging NIN, sadly regurgitating Ministry and phoned in KMFDM struggle to keep up with good old Justin Broadrick and the long awaited return of Ben Green to bring back the fire of Godflesh. Godflesh really are illuminating their own world in this fire album at this point. At the end of the 2013 list I made the claim that humanity’s faith in music was at the hands of Godflesh’s return. They lived up to it. There’s not a dull moment to be had here, unless you’re one of those scatterbrained fucks who can’t take their heavy, drum machine driven metal in slower and more droning speeds. But it picks up in a few places like the fucking stellar “Shut Me Down”. Every song is a fucking smasher which will send, you as a listener, through a literal grinder and into an easily spreadable pulp. Godflesh were influential on a lot of places metal went during their prime and since their disbandment but never really got the attention other than the odd shout out from bands like Korn and Metallica. Godflesh are fucking godder than god, who we are just about to learn ain’t really got shit on his arch nemisis buddy, but all that you need to know is that a world with Godflesh is a world with a fire burning as bright as 1989 or 1992 or 1996 Godflesh. All those 2 member “bands” have shit on Godflesh at creating a devastating wall of suffocating sound. Godflesh, be here to stay again for both the greater good and the literal life of industrial metal music.
1. The Satanist by Behemoth
666/666: The Antichrist Has Won The Fate Of Mankind
Earlier I told you of the story of how I first heard and saw Behemoth, easily the show stealer of the 2009 Mayhem Festival bands that played on the stage with a dumb name in the parking lot. Behemoth became MIA in the metal scene for quite some time for a number of reasons which threatened to end this band’s livelihood: First Nergal suffered from leukemia and then the band was prosecuted for hate crimes in the country of Poland for destroying bibles on stage in various ways, burning, ripping up, you know, the proper way to treat your bibles. It hasn’t stopped, since then the band was banned from performance in both Russia and Poland again in 2014. This band is from fucking Poland. This band also scared my friends away when I wanted to see them live again in 2014, and in 2015 I am seeing them again (with Cannibal Corpse, who they also played with on that same stage back in 2009 when I was a youngin).
If the year was an apocalyptic-like battle between God(flesh) and (The) Satan(ist), we have reached judgement day and let it be cast down upon us heretics.
Let me tell you that satan himself commands that The Satanist is the album of the year 2014, the year of our dark lord and master. His satanic majesty requests that this album be heard loudly from far and wide and all across the land, in every church, synagogue and mosque where idol worship is practiced. And in every ear which can enjoy this sort of music without complaining of weak mental and appreciative fortitude. It is truly a work of black sorcery outsourced to satan himself. Oh dark lord and master, the greatest one, please save mankind from utter damnation and an eternal residence of fire and brimstone of horrible music in 2015, so help us satan.
The Flights 17, 370 and 8501 Award for Album Most Likely to Down an Airliner of 2014
A lot of planes sure fell out of the sky or vanished under mysterious circumstances and killed a lot of people this year, it’s like a less effective 9/11 all over again minus the whole extremist Islam and still ongoing muddled war knee-jerk reactions. The falling planes epidemic was almost as fucking ridiculous as the reactions thrown at that old scamp Ebola this year. So which albums were so bad they spread Ebola and downed commercial airliner jets this year? Like my last list I’m only going to pick from things I actually heard, and not easy targets from the pile of vomit of best sellers of the year. I did listen to the new Linkin Park and Slipknot albums one time and they sucked, I listened to that J Cole and Riff Raff album and those were fucking terrible too. I listened to “Monuments To An Elegy” by The Smashing Pumpkins, and let me tell you that the only reason Billy Corgan isn’t getting this reward is because that had “One And All (We Are)” and “Drum + Fife”, his recent interviews alone are reason to throw him on one of those death flights this award is named for let alone the other 7 pieces of flaming dogshit on that album. But, with reunion mania at it’s all time greatest outputs, there’s only one fallen pariah to single out for worst album of the year guys, and it’s one of the legends at that.
Everybody else was doing so fucking good. And yet you, Frank Black, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and whatever bitch who isn’t Kim Deal you got in there this month are fucking stinking up the room with a bunch of steaming diarrhea bullshit that you’re trying to pass off as a Pixies reunion album. Holy fucking goddamn shit you motherfuckers fucked it up spectacularly. You’re like 3 flaming plane wrecks covered in Ebola shooting up a French magazine office with an “I Love the Westboro Baptist Church” shirt and “Darren Wilson #1 cop in Missorui” hat on, you awful assholes.
The Grammy Award for “Best Album of 2014”
So maybe this year it isn’t all people who peaked in 1973 nominated, but it’s still mostly terrible or lackluster shit at best, so here’s the award for best album released this year that’s not actually from this year. I have to mention the elephant in the room which is “The Endless River” by Pink Floyd. Yes, on merit alone it should have rocketed it to the top of one of my lists, but there’s only one actual song here and it sucks compared to the old “last Pink Floyd song ever” which was the song “High Hopes”. “Louder Than Words” is good but it’s not even a top 14 qualifier of the year for me, and the rest is background soundtrack instrumental stuff with only Stephen motherfucking Hawking on sampled vocals. It was cool but it wasn’t even as good as Aphex Twin’s “Syro” for being theme music stuff. This was the “Ghosts I – IV” by NIN of Pink Floyd albums. Richard Wright was great though, RIP you master of the keyboards. Led Zeppelin also put out a lot of cool reissues this year, there were some reissues of Modest Mouse’s “The Lonesome Crowded West” , David Bowie’s newest greatest hits album , Slint’s “Spiderland”, Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous” and another unreleased Aphex Twin album “Caustic Window” which was bought for a ridiculous price online and widely sourced.
This year though we’re splitting the award between two excellent releases, reissue and compilation box sets from Soundgarden. 2014 celebrated 20 years since the release of the all time classic “Superunknown” with a remastered re-release box set, and later followed up with another 3 disc box set of B-sides, rarities and unreleased tracks called “Echo For Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path”. If you could go for more peak period Soundgarden tracks, these are the sets to look into.
This list is dedicated to Dave Brockie, Ikey Owens, Scott Asheton, Wayne Static, Bobby Womack and Tommy Ramone, talents who were lost to the mortal coil in 2014.
So now that satan has won the war of nonexistent deities over the control of the fate of humanity, what is there to look forward to in 2015? Faith No More, Failure, Sleep, Refused, these are just some more of the old guys willing to throw their necks in the guillotine for another round in the coming year. May the results please all of us under the everlasting gaze of our dark lord and savior in the year 2015.
“Music of 2015, make tomorrow a better place worth existing in an eternal loop of divine comedy for” – Vin. I probably will write about music again in the distant future and apologize in advance for preemptive coverage.