Srishti’s 2014 Top 20 Album Countdown

As soon as December steps in, everyone gets ready to go about and think about everything the passing year was. The good, the bad and the ugly and it’s also the overwhelming time when everyone decides what to take forward into the next year. Like every year 2014 had some really great music and hell yes it’s a task to shortlist the best from from. Thousands of albums have hit me in thousand different ways and ranking them has been an even bigger task. There are many I don’t want to leave out, but that’s just how it is.

I have to thank all the bands for continuing to make music through thick and thin and sharing a part of their soul with us fans and followers. Without these band many people and me included would have suffered a huge void within. I would like to start with naming a few bands that made some great records and were very close to being on my list of 20. Erra, Abysmal Dawn, SOEN, Polyphia,Conquering Dystopia, Every Time I Die, St. Vincent, Thom Yorke, Thomas Giles, Black Crown Initiate, Goat Whore are a few on that list. Had I extended my list, it would probably never end, but without further ado I shall start my Top 20 Countdown. Hope you all get a chance to catch all the albums and artists I mention on my list.

20. ‘Sun Eater’ – Job For A Cowboy

Job-For-A-Cowboy-Sun-EaterTo be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the band, good music but not one that absolutely tickled me. So, after being recommended Sun Eater a million time, my curiosity rose and I gave it a listen. Man! Was I impressed. This record definitely made the bands best and the drums and bass is probably what made it this impressive.

chon-woohoo-300x30019. ‘Woohoo!‘ – CHON

WTF is that for an EP name right? I thought exactly the same. But then if 2014 has been a super ball for a band it’s CHON. Touring with Animals as Leaders and getting signed to major record label Sumerian Records if that’s not a big deal. I don’t know what is. Being around for a while, unsigned but keeping it going is one reason I really adore the band and not to forget Woohoo! was definitely a great listen.

51EkXZeahYL._SY300_18. ‘No Sleep‘ – Volumes

I had a lot of expectations from this album and yes they sure did deliver. The in-your-face aspect of the album was definitely orgasmic and I had a blast listening without doubt. Nothing gets me going more than an energetic and honest album. My only complaint is that the album seemed a bit incomplete for it just ended so quickly without me realizing. That could be a good thing, but sometimes the conclusion of the album makes a big deal. This is where I thought it did matter.

Destrage-Are-You-Kidding-Me-No

17. ‘Are You Kidding Me? No.’ – Destrage

I only heard this band and the album a few days ago. I curse myself for not being into them for longer. This album blew away every part of my mind since I heard it and is the main reason I had to turn my Top 15 to Top 20. I’m going to go out and say it, if you haven’t heard this one. Big Loss. Go now, right away! Energy, aggression and great composition this is perfect blend in an album. It’s 50 minutes of feeling absolutely alive. Another brilliant thing about the album is how they managed to attach an Italian element through the music and make it sound phenomenally cool. Also, one of the coolest album names ever.

61ZwGDiG4ML._SS28016. ‘Allomaternal‘ – Stolas

It’s a great feeling to come across a record that perfectly captures the kind of music you would like to hear. That’s whatAllomaternal was for me. I spent all of 2014 listening to a lot of music, not just to listen to different kinds and understand them but as a method to understand my own self. I think Stolas came in at the perfect time.Allomaternal definitely went up new heights compositionally and the vocals had the perfect punch to get me going. Since, the band has proved that they only want to get better at their craft, i’m going to let my expectations soar new heights.

40335715. ‘Shadows Of The Dying Sun‘ – Insomnium

Insomnium has a special place in my heart and since the launch of One For Sorrow and the news of the line up changes I was been eagerly waiting for a new album. The band released a short EP earlier which was has four acoustic tracks set with the trackEphemeral which would feature of Shadows Of The Dying Sun, The acoustic songs were exactly the reason I love Insomnium, they have the ability to create the kind of beauty in their music that nearly brings me to tears. Shadows Of The Dying Sun was nothing less than what I expected and boy, did it get me all teary and emotional, as always.

Devin_Townsend_Z2_cover14. ‘Z^2‘ – The Devin Townsend Project

Man it’s been 7 years since Ziltoid the Omniscent I remember very briefly being introduced to The Devin Townsend Projectabout 5 years ago and I remember being completely in love. Somehow, it just slipped off my playlist. However, when I saw people sharing the real cool album cover, I went through stalking the band and remembering it from school. The second I heard the album, it was magical and no wonder it’s right here on my list. I’m not going to leave the band out ever again. That’s a promise to the self.

Killer-Be-Killed-Killer-Be-Killed13. ‘Killer Be Killed‘ – Killer Be Killed

It’s important that I point out that I’m a major Greg Puciatofan girl. Anything he does, I follow. Before you judge me, look at him, he’s beautiful and when he screams on stage with the energy, the power and that fuck-all attitude, you cannot not be in love. That being said,  Killer Be Killed is the supergroup formed by the sensibilities of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Soulfly, Mastodon and Mars Volta could either lead to something weird or something fucking awesome and it was absolutely insane. The band took perfect elements from each member and turned into some very interesting heavy, punchy and fresh music. Although, it was supposed to simply be a project, they received so much appreciation that it’s now going to be a full-fledged project. Now that, makes me happy!

Decapitated-Blood-Mantra-01-300x30012. ‘Blood Mantra’ – Decapitated

I don’t know how they do it. Every time. I’d have to conclude they are absolute mad men. They’re music is ruthless and the compositions are always perfectly mind blowing. Maybe not the best byDecapitated ever produced, but still undoubtedly one of the best by them and one of the best of the year.

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11. ‘Meridian‘ – The Helix Nebula

This is probably the most magical EP of the year, with 6 tracks each unique its in own way, The Helix Nebula definitely won me over. For a new and young band to come up with such a beautiful EP filled with such progressive elements only highlights the talent that the band carries and gives us a hint of what they capable of. I hope to listen to a lot more by them in the near future.

867-620x62010.’ At War With Reality‘ – At The Gates

Again a band I heard a few years ago and loved but never came back to. I think it’s a common trend for me to keep doing that. Strangely, they also happen to be some of the best bands that make really unbelievable albums. The album is an experience, from start to end you don’t realize going through a smooth journey, a very enjoyable one there. Here’s i’d like to compare it with Volumes. I felt a sense of incompletetion at the end of No Sleep, but At War With Reality was complete with perfection and I just sail through it every time I listen.

05355ca29.  ‘A World Lit Only By Fire‘ – Godflesh

I was fortunate enough to have a long chat with Justin Broadrick whenGodflesh came out with out with their EP Decline and Fall earlier in June. At the time Justin told me that A World Lit Only By Fire would be the heaviest and angriest thing the fans ofGodflesh ever heard. At that exact moment it was something I knew I would love and I was not wrong. Considering the previous album came out when I was 8 years old, this was my first experience at listening to an album as soon as the launch. One of the main reasons I love Godflesh is because the darkness in the music gets to me and the fact that it’s described as defensive music instead of attacking aggression always helped me relate to it more. It’s not safe to say, but it’s true that i’d be ready to pick up a few murder weapons in the duo go on a 13-year break again.

1754838. ‘Citadel‘ – Ne Obliviscaris

It’s impossible to not love this album the violins, the clean, the melodies and the elegance with the heaviness blended in perfectly. This is a must have on any list. If you haven’t heard it yet, you must give it one listen and I promise that you’re going to love it. I will still give in and say that Portals Of I is still the bands  best album, but Citadeldefinitely has something about it that makes it such a beautiful listen.

Bloodstone_&_Diamonds_album_cover7. ‘Bloodstone And Diamonds‘ – Machinehead

Machinehead. Must I describe further? Rob Flynn has undoubtedly been the badass of a vocalist that he is and has turned their 2014 release into no less than an absolute mater piece. How do they always nail it? I really have no idea. This band is just so true to themselves and make the music that absolutely satisfies them and I’m sure I talk for a millions when I say that I always wait for that chunk of their soul and they never ever fail to deliver and they didn’t leave out on an opportunity to make me happy fan.

Mastodon_-_once_more_'round_the_sun6. ‘Once More Round The Sun‘ – Mastodon

This band knows how to turn music into a true art form. They may not create the heaviest music in the world but definitely have one of the most unique song writing processes around. Once More Round The Sun to me, is absolutely a master piece and a piece of sound art as I may call it. Again, another band that never fails to deliver.

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5. ‘Flesh Prevails‘ – Fallujah

I’m going to take this opportunity to say that I was at The Summer Slaughter Tour in the Sunshine Theater at Albuquerque the day the album was launched interviewing Alex Hoffman at the venue bar. I wasn’t even a fan till I saw them on stage and man, I could not believe what I saw or what I heard and that’s where my Fallujah love story did begin. Flesh Prevails is a uniquely written album, with energy and freshness that deserves to be noticed and appreciated. I’m really glad the guys are doing fabulously for themselves, but it’s not surprising. They really are that great.

Monuments4. ‘Amanuensis‘ – Monuments

Maybe not their best album so far, but who care? Yes they have taken a short detour from their usual music, but every year I wait for the what I call ‘Oh Shit’ albums.Amanuensis was undoubtedly one of them. The song writing on the album was absolutely impossible and yeah listening toChris Barretto, just blows me away to a different level of ecstasy. How bands manage to create such beautiful levels of music is something I can never figure but hell yeah! I enjoy it a lot. Time, effort and the large amount of planning and thought that went into this album was crystal clear. Everyone likes a hard working band that pulls of insane music. Well at least I do.

The_Contortionist_-_Language3. ‘Language’ – The Contortionist

This band has a special place for me, having drooled over their discography over the year. It’s safe to say I’m in love and thatLanguage only made it a more passionate kind of love. This album is definitely a gift to all the lovers of modern progressive music, even more for the “Djent” geeks. I really don’t know how to describe my love for this album. It’s just pure love for the music.

The_Joy_Of_Motion20142. ‘Joy Of Motion‘ – Animals As Leaders

It’s Animals As Leaders. Must I explain further? Who knows what goes on in their minds, how they create such complex, intense, highly progressive music. My love forMatt Garstkacontinues to rise exponentially, my love for the bands ability to seem like aliens when they make music continues to astonish me. Still, it’s Animals As Leaders. What were you expecting?

1. ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together‘ – Architects UK

Yeah, those who know me know how much I can fall deep into a  band if the music and the lyrics touch my heart. I loved Daybreaker, I really did. But what Lost Forever // Lost Together was for me was so much more than just an album by a band I loved. Tom Searle has been one of my favorite guitarists and composers and knowing about him having suffered cancer had a major impact on me. Cancer for is and will forever be the biggest fear inducer in my life.  That being said, the song C.A.N.C.E.R got to me so bad, it definitely fit in as my most impactful song for the year. But that’s not all, every song o the album had a greater meaning, but music almost always does so whats the big deal right? Architects just managed to create something that I could relate to very intensely on a personal level. Apart from that the punchy riffs, the ambient elements, blast beats, Sam‘s passionate screamy vocals that adds to the intense brilliance on that record, this album had everything one could expect. Brilliant riffing, insane drumming, controversy (Broken Cross), emotion (C.A.N.C.E.R), anger, aggression, literally everything. It’s a LP full of surprises. Not just that, this album also gave Architects the push that they deserved and I’m glad they are going places.

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