Mammal’s Best of 2014: Day 9


There’s a healthy, deathly flavour to my penultimate metal favourites of 2014. Who would have thought death could bring such joy to anyone? My prog and jazz runners-up are both in conceptual counterpoint to the metal. I reckon that’s also healthy.

Have I mentioned how health-conscious I am? I exercise as little as possible. In that way I spare myself from exposure to injury or an accelerated pulse rate. Your heart can beat only so many times before it wears out, you know.


Engineering Triumph of 2014

Rosetta-Philae2Like the Apollo Moon landings and almost all of the extraordinary accomplishments in space since then, the Rosetta-Philae mission was first and foremost a gigantic victory for engineering. When the science has been formulated and tested under the most exacting conditions, it’s up to the mechanical, electronics, aerospace, materials and communications engineers to pump all that knowledge into practical space exploration.

The Rosetta spacecraft journeyed for ten years to rendezvous in August with its target, the snappily named Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta then deployed the Philae lander, which anchored itself to the surface of a comet measuring only 4km in diameter. Philae sent information about the comet back to Earth for three months before its batteries died.

An analogy may put this triumph into perspective.  Imagine you’re sitting in Perth, Australia, and you blow one seed and its parachute off a dandelion. You are 99.99% confident that the seed will ride the air currents three times around the world before gently settling in a pre-selected champagne glass in Perth, Scotland… and it does just that!

This is the sort of marvel our species is capable of when we aren’t trying to destroy each other.


Countdown: Metal Albums

6. Arch Enemy – War Eternal
(Sweden, Melodic Death Metal)


5. Sonus Mortis – Propaganda Dream Sequence
(Ireland, Symphonic Death/Black Metal)


4. Scar Symmetry – The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)
(Sweden, Melodic Death Metal)


Countdown: Progressive Rock Albums

2. FEM – Sulla Bolla di Sapone
(Italy, Rock Progressivo Italiano [RPI])


Countdown: Jazz & Jazz-Related Albums

2. Atomic Ape – Swarm
(USA, Experimental Jazz-Prog Fusion)


Posted on December 18, 2014, in Best of 2014 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Arch Enemy was a good album and though I rated it high it didn’t make my list. It will show up under honorable mentions though. I see we both enjoyed Scar Symmetry. Cool!

  2. ChristopherMammal

    It almost became a coin-toss to rank some of the albums. There were just so many good ones this year.

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