Friday, December 5, 2014

2014; My Year in Music!

While most people have their "Days of Christmas" which they celebrate with family and friends. I've my "20 Days of Music". Since you could pretty much replace any sort of present I'd get for Christmas with a new music album and I'd be happy.

2014 was a year of discovery. Debut albums, new bands I'd never heard before, it was all there. Of my final Top 20, 12 were bands I'd never listened to before this year. I've always looked for new music, but this year was a special year. Around the mid year point, I was disappointed, to say the least, in what I had found, but the second half of the year certainly made up for it. 

For this entry, I'll cover a couple notable albums that didn't make my final Top 20. Every day after this I'll post the Top 20, in reverse order, obviously, so the best album comes last.

First, I'd like to mention a couple albums that were close to making the Top 20, but didn't;

Arch Enemy - 'War Eternal'

Another band I'd never listened to before this year, I discovered this album while looking through a "Best of..." list at the halfway point of the year. I was honestly shocked to discover the lead singer of this band is a female! This is the first album with a new singer (the old one was a female as well), and it's a hell of a first effort. It has garnered raving reviews, but I'll forewarn you, it isn't for the faint of heart; there are no clean vocals here. What it does have is absolutely impeccable guitar, bass, and drum work. Barely missing my Top 20, it slotted at #21.

Devin Townsend - 'Z2'

Ever since hearing 'Ziltoid' I've been waiting for a sequel to the wonderful comedic metal album, and this was it. While this is actually a double album from Townsend (the first half being more melodic and spacey, called 'Sky Blue'), the second half is what I really wanted. It continues right on it's comedic roots (arguably it's funnier), and manages to stay just as heavy as it was on the original 'Ziltoid'. However, unlike the first, it isn't all just Townsend, and for me, it loses a little bit of it's luster; almost like it's too much of a comedic effort, and the extra production seems to bring it down from what it once was on the original 'Ziltoid'. 

Not many other albums truly met the pedigree to be named in my Top 20. However, there were certainly individual songs that I loved off of other albums that deserve mention, so let's get to that, shall we? Keep in mind, these are not in any particular order, and they're only coming off albums that didn't make the Top 20.

'We Were Just Kids' - Emmure

An incredible song on an otherwise lackluster album (it had some high points in 'Nemesis' and 'N.I.A' as well), I really can't describe how much I love this song. Pretty much the only song on the entire album that doesn't try to completely rip your face of with guitar shredding, it has actual melody and is an incredible way to cap off the album. 

I honestly did not expect a new BMTH song this year, but I will not argue with it! This song is along the same vein as 'Seen It All Before' off 'Sempiternal', and I'm definitely not going to argue with that sound. I love this song, and can't wait for a possible new album in 2015!

'So Others May Live' - Atreyu 

I've been waiting for new Atreyu music since 2009, and god dammit I was so happy when this song came out. What made me even happier? It's 2006 era Atreyu! No more radio friendly BS, just pure metal. I cannot wait for their release in 2015. 

I'm not a huge 'fan' of Celldweller per say; I've only 5 songs on my playlist from him, and I've never listened through an entire album of his. However, I can say this, every single one of those songs is incredible, and this song is no different. 'End of An Empire' perfectly blends rock, metal, and electronica into a 7 minute epic of a song; seriously, give it a listen.  

While I do, for the most part, enjoy this album, this is a standout song. Featuring vocals from Danny Worsnop (of Asking Alexandria fame), this song is a heavy chugging song with great screamed vocals to accentuate the melodic chorus. The screaming during the second verse, especially, is wonderfully placed. 

Lindsey Stirling is fantastic, and add in some vocals from Lzzy Hale? You've got me immediately. An incredible song that you've probably heard before. If you haven't, what's stopping you? Click the link! 

While I was overall disappointed with this effort from Skrillex, this song is actually my favorite song from his entire catalogue. I can't really explain why (seems to be my excuse everytime dubstep is involved), I just love it. The middle section of this song confuses me so much, because it doesn't seem to fit at all, but I love it.

Another singer I'd never heard of before this year, I was introduced to her through the song 'Our Demons' by The Glitch Mob, and discovered that I absolutely loved her voice. A very mellow, easy to listen to track, I highly recommend it. 

That concludes my first entry in my 2014 'Year in Review'!

Next up, the Top 20! Heaven Knows what could be #20!

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