Category Archives: Best of 2014

Artists’ Top Albums of 2014: Part 5/5


Behold the editorial staff of Metal State diligently writing articles and reviews. They are the best-trained hyperspace pigeons in space of any dimension. In this hypergraph they are all writing the same thing: “I am a figment of Mammal’s imagination.”

That makes complete sense since I am a figment of their imaginations. It’s not a figment, however, that we plane-intersecting creatures at Metal State are deeply grateful to Vince and Axl at Metal Sucks for giving us access to their lists of metal musician’s favourite albums of last year.

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Artists’ Top Albums of 2014: Part 4/5

StatueOur hyperspace pigeon is home and he’s back to his old game of tormenting statues. He hates them because they always get in the way in mosh pits. Not only that, but statues never take a bath or shower, not even after pigeons have done what pigeons usually do to them.

The pigeon visited the strange world of Metal Sucks to thank their prime aliens, Vince and Axl, for graciously sharing their lists of metal musicians’ favourite albums of 2014. He questioned whether it was acceptable to use “graciously” and “metal” in the same sentence. We told him to ask Dave Mustaine. We don’t know how Mr. Mustaine replied, but our pigeon has some ruffled hyperfeathers. Now we have to lubricate his wings with molten iridium, the heaviest naturally occurring metal on the Periodic Table.

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Artists’ Top Albums of 2014: Part 3/5

The coffee machine at Metal Sucks.

The coffee machine at Metal Sucks.

When the Metal State hyperspace pigeon arrived at the planet which is inhabited only by Metal Sucks, they welcomed him with two barrels of birdshot. That was such a kind gesture.

The barrels were more like 44-gallon drums. They contained birdshot in the form of plutonium pellets. It rains plutonium on the Metal Sucks planet but most of it washes away during the sulphuric acid floods. Vince and Axl at Metal Sucks spared our pigeon the effort of hunting for food. Hyperspace pigeons luuurve plutonium.

The pigeon delivered the note thanking Vince and Axl for sharing their huge lists of musicians’ favourite albums of 2014. He didn’t stay for coffee. Over there they drink it too strong even for him. They filter it though Cerenkov radiation, the blue glow that comes from the cooling water in nuclear reactors.

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Artists’ Top Albums of 2014: Part 2/5

HellPlanetOur trained hyperspace pigeon is approaching the otherwise uninhabited planet where Vince, Axl and the Metal Sucks team have their offices. It’s the only place that’ll have them. If you think the Metal Sucks writers are sometimes outspoken about metal, you should hear them talking about the weather. Even Thor covers his ears and hides.

Our faster-than-light pigeon is carrying a note to thank Vince and Axl for letting me lift from their comprehensive lists of metal musicians’ favourite albums of 2014.

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Artists’ Top Albums of 2014: Part 1/5

Messenger1One of Metal State’s trained hyperspace pigeons has already passed Andromeda on its way to deliver a note in the exotic galaxy inhabited by Metal Sucks. The note, composed entirely in ExoMetal, reads as follows: “Many thanks, Vince and Axl, for letting Mammal dig into your veritable directory of musician’s favourite albums of next year. It looks like 2014 will be a good year for metal.”

By the way, hyperspace pigeons fly faster that the speed of light, so they arrive there before they leave here.

Metal Sucks published the top album lists of 37 metal musicians who represent a good slice of the metal spectrum, from the sweetly lyrical to “Fug, that’s brutal.”

Of those lists, 35 rank albums in order of preference and two are in no particular order. We’re listing the top albums from each of the 35 ranked lists and posting a song from each of the Number 1 albums. We’ll do that in five batches of seven lists each. Have I lost you? Of course not. Metal is more complex than most main types of music. You have to be above average intelligence to play it and/or enjoy it (Mammal’s Book of Everything, 2015).

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4-Star+ Albums of 2014: Nameless One / Marmor / Slipknot / Destroying Divinity / Starbynary

SealAnd still they come, all those beautiful albums we simply didn’t have time to review properly in 2014. A music reviewer for a European site told me they received 2,700 requests for metal album reviews during the year. Even with a battalion of reviewers it would be difficult to keep up with everything, and which metal fan would have time to read all those reviews and listen to all those albums?

I have been picking out some of the very good albums I missed. Without going into detail about any of these five, I will confidently say they all would have been worthy inclusions on my Best of 2014 list. Accordingly they all receive the Elephant Seal of Approval. By the way, his stage name is Putrid Seal of the Apocalypse.


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Sonic Cathedral’s Top Female-Fronted Albums of 2014


Sonic Cathedral is the top website for news and reviews focused exclusively on female-fronted bands. That’s my honest opinion. Femme metal and associated modern FF genres have become hugely popular this century. No group of writers has better relations with the women of rock and metal than SC. No website publishes as much honest and deserved admiration for  the great female artists, their music and their gigantic crusade against gender prejudice in metal.

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4-Star+ Albums of 2014: Saille / Scapes / The Unguided / Resumed / All The Shelters


The noble mammal on the left, so much more dignified and graceful than the Mammal on Metal State, proudly confers its Elephant Seal of Approval on five more outstanding albums of 2014.

This unique seal confirms that all of the albums would have rated 4 or more out of 5 if the other Mammal had had enough time to review all of them in a year noteworthy for about three good metal releases every day, no kidding. On the Metal State scale, a score of 4 or higher puts an album in the top 3% of everything released in 2014.

In short, any of these albums would have been a more than worthy inclusion on any sensible Best of the Year list.


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Xerath’s pick of 2014


What do the guys in a progressive death/groove band listen to when they’re not making music? This one may surprise you. Or it probably won’t surprise you if you’re a musician.

Xerath’s “III” was my metal album of 2014. It figured I had to ask the band what their favourites were. They sent me a list of their top five albums. I hate to say this, but I’m going to post something from only one of those albums. Frankly, it would be pointless to post from the other four.

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4-Star+ Albums of 2014: To Be A King / Varathron / Kattah / Tantal / Engraved Disillusion


Following on from my post on More Goodies of 2014 on 29 December, meet five more outstanding albums that we didn’t have time to review or include in our Best of 2014 lists. These albums not only carry Mammal’s Elephant Seal of Approval, I’m damn sure they would all have rated at least 4 out of 5 if I’d been able to spend enough time with them to do them justice in full reviews.

On Metal State, any album that scores 4 or more is in the top 3% of albums we receive. That should be a clear indication of just how good this selection is.

And tomorrow we’ll meet five more excellent albums of 2014 that you’d do well to try. If 2015 produces the same volume of high-quality metal as 2014, we’re going to have excellence spilling out of the top-floor windows in the Metal State office tower.


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