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Headbangers India Staff Picks: Top 13 albums of ’14

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The year 2014 is clearly over, but it left in its wake several metallic gems that some of us writers just can’t get over. This year was especially eventful as it saw several top-tier titans returning with new albums, a lot of new promise emerging from different bands around the world and yet, disappointment also abounded as familiar faces quit bands and left legacies behind, tours got cancelled and some albums that just did not do justice to a band’s reputation were put out. While we would love to talk about the latter, we prefer instead to talk about those albums that we still can’t get over. Five of us have handpicked our top 13 albums (because 13 is so metal a number that its now considered lucky) each. You may agree with our lists, you may disagree or you may even find names that you had absolutely not heard of before this. We ourselves are quite surprised by how varied our lists are, and seldom have any common names. Tell us what your favourites were because we hope your year was as metal as ours.

 

Madhav Ravindranath:

2014 was a fine year for metal. Swedish metal legends At The Gates brought out their first album in 19 years and Exodus brought back Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza into the fold. Closer to home, Demonic Resurrection released their 4th full length The Demon King and followed it up with a UK tour, culiminating at Wacken Open Air, while Kryptos continued their love affair with Europe and toured 4 countries with Italian black metal giants Graveworm. As I mentioned, truly a fine year for metal. My Top 13 of 2014 was not easy to narrow down to; so many bands, so many great albums, not enough time to hear them all. In any case…

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  1. BehemothThe Satanist
  2. ExodusBlood In, Blood Out
  3. At The GatesAt War With Reality
  4. TriosphereThe Heart Of The Matter
  5. Arch EnemyWar Eternal
  6. FalconerBlack Moon Rising
  7. Holy Moses – Redefined Mayhem
  8. VaderTibi Et Igni
  9. Cannibal CorpseA Skeletal Domain
  10. AmoralFallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows
  11. AcceptBlind Rage
  12. Slough FegDigital Resistance
  13. Crimson ShadowsKings Among Men

Honourable Mentions:

  • TankardR.I.B
  • WolfDevil Seed
  • OverkillWhite Devil Armory
  • Job For A CowboySun Eater
  • Machine HeadBloodstones & Diamonds

 

Adarsh Rajagopal:

A year of a fair amount of fantastic releases. The year I dug deeper into stoner, sludge, and doom. Dead Congregation’s was easily the best death metal release of the year for me, although it hurts a tad bit to not have favorites Autopsy in my top 13. Legendary Judas Priest’s release was big let down, great to see Opeth doing some mad shit, while Mastodon just erupted like a volcano. And Over Kill still showing the world why they can literally “own” while a ton of thrash bands from the 80s seem to fade year after year.

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  1. Grand MagusTriumph and Power
  2. SanctuaryThe Year The Sun Died
  3. MastodonOnce More ‘Round The Sun
  4. OverkillWhite Devil Armory
  5. Dead CongregationPromulgation of the Fall
  6. Suicidal AngelsDivide And Conquer
  7. Skull FistChasing The Dream
  8. EyehategodEyehategod
  9. AgallochThe Serpent and The Sphere
  10. TriptykonMelana Chasmata
  11. Holy MosesRedefined Mayhem
  12. MonolordEmpress Rising
  13. CrowbarSymmetry In Black

 

Manaswi Gundi:

2014 was a year with too many highs, which is always a good thing. Truckfighters, Whitechapel, Exodus, Entombed AD. Whilst the albums were amazing, the live gigs I attended will have to be the highlight. Opeth, Red Fang, Hatebreed, Carcass and The Ocean were simply mind blowing live. Definitely a year worth remembering. My top 13 of 2014:

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  1. YobClearing the Path to Ascend
  2. OpethPale Communion
  3. ObituaryInked in Blood
  4. MastodonOnce More Round the Sun
  5. Killer be KilledKiller be Killed
  6. At the Gates At War With Reality
  7. Animals As LeadersJoy of Motion
  8. Anaal NathrakhDesideratum
  9. Devin Townsend ProjectZiltoid 2
  10. Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter
  11. BehemothThe Satanist
  12. Cannibal CorpseA Skeletal Domain
  13. Corrosion of ConformityIX

 

Anand Bhaskar:

I’d like to say that my proclivities for the heavy metal genre were invoked by bands that boasted of a classic metal soundscape. However, as I expanded my scope of listening to other sub genres in metal, I came to like a lot of the modern sounding bands who borrowed influences from electronica, pop and in some cases even reggae. 2014 for one, has been one year that brought forth bands and albums that are consistently redefining the heavy metal landscape and pushing the boundaries set by their erstwhile contemporaries. There are many albums that I heard, but here are my top 13:

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  1. Feed The Rhino – The Sorrow And The Sound
  2. Overkill – White Devil Armory
  3. Monuments – The Amanuensis
  4. Intervals – The Light Within
  5. Accept – Blind Rage
  6. Anathema – Distant Satellites
  7. Chaos – Violent Redemption
  8. Wolf – Devil Seed
  9. Slipknot – .5: The Grey Chapter
  10. Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed
  11. Insomnium – Shadows Of The Dying Sun
  12. Bhayanak Maut – Man
  13. Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King

 

Ishaan Kumar:

A year of several slumbering giants reawakening (At the Gates, Sanctuary, Bloodbath, Behemoth etc), new alliances being forged (Conquering Dystopia, Killer be Killed) and of course the year that Cannibal Corpse released an album that made it to my top 13! Also the year I attended Hellfest Open Air metal festival in France, the single most memorable event of my life till date.

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  1. Behemoth – The Satanist
  2. Septicflesh – Titan
  3. Mors Principium Est – Dawn of the 5th Era
  4. Evergrey – Hymns for the Broken
  5. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
  6. Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
  7. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum
  8. At the Gates – At War with Reality
  9. Sabaton – Heroes
  10. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
  11. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun
  12. Conquering Dystopia – Conquering Dystopia
  13. Wolf – Devil Seed

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