Greetings fellow music lovers, another year has come and gone, and though we have all seen the usual ups and downs that life delivers, music is the constant up, the soundtrack that gets us through our day. 2014 was a stellar one to say the least, with some heavy hitters putting out new work, some bands coming off long hiatuses to remind us of why we love them so, and of course some obscure bands scoured from all over the world to blow our minds and eardrums.
As usual, the votes were collected from our beloved members of the Lady Obscure Fecebook group, and tallied by yours truly. So, without further ado, here are the top albums from 2014….
We start the countdown with a tie at fourth place….
It is way too early to talk about albums of the year when we are only in February but, after experiencing the aural splendour of Chronicles of the Immortals – Neverworld, it is going to take something that can provide a Eureka moment to replace it at number one in this reviewer’s list. Speechless, open-mouthed, slack jawed, call it what you like, it has been many a year since a new release has affected, influenced and impressed me as much as Vanden Plas’ latest offering and, do you know the best bit? Part 2 is yet to come! Vanden Plas- Chronicles of the Immortals- Netherworld
A stunning progressive metal concept album that shook the whole team from the first listen, check out Progradar’s review here.
Mikael’s vocals still make me close my eyes to praise his dexterity and Opeth have yet again showed the perfect example of being versatile. Have a listen for yourself, with an open mind, eulogize the music, and after listening to it multiple times, you will be hooked to this for the rest of the year I promise.
Opeth- Pale Communion
Prog metal heavyweights take a bit of the edge off to deliver a textured and brilliant ablum. Fanboy Arsalan gives his opinions here.
And now the top three albums….
Anubis Gate is one of those enigmatic bands that cannot really be categorized within a predictable formula, but rather they think outside of the box and are defined by their own standards. This, I feel, is one of their greatest strengths as a group. They have a very tight sound that fits many layers together masterfully.
Anubis Gate- Horizons
Denmark’s prog melodic metallers deliver a powerful punch in their sixth effort, well chronicled by Phoenix here.
For the diehard fans, The Road of Bones has all the goods that we would expect from the band, with a few surprise touches. The music is a bit tighter, a little darker, and intensely focused. For fans new to IQ, give it a taste, and another. IQ is a grower band, their nuances take time to dig in, but I warn you, once they do, you are in for life.
2- IQ- The Road of Bones
Neo-prog masters come back after five years with their tenth studio album, a veritable masterpiece that lives up to their legendary status. Review by lifelong IQ fan lonestar can be seen here. [separator][lightbox]
Hymns for the Broken is easily their strongest effort and indispensable cornerstone of their entire catalogue; I believe this album truly shows the heights they can reach and will pave the way for the band’s further success. It’s just great metal all the way through, with a terrific replay value. All in all, this is a brilliant record which put Evergrey back on the map and from this point onwards, with the current line up I can see them being unstoppable.
1– Evergrey- Hymns for the Broken
Long time prog metal legends give an effort worthy of the top spot on the countdown. See the Lady Herself’s review here.
We wish you a happy new year!