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Too Soon? Sammy O’Hagar’s Best Albums of 2014… So Far

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Best of 2014 So FarIn the interest of full disclosure, I’m not really sure where the mainstream is with metal right now. The Rock Literati usually get fascinated with it every few years, then abandon it to focus on whatever Kanye West is doing (NOTE: I love Kanye West). I bring this up because it has been a phenomenal few years for metal: well-known names have come out of hiatus to deliver some of their best work, dependable bands like Revocation and Krallice put out dependably good stuff, and lesser-known names put out an embarrassment of riches for us to comb through up until we get called out for not getting into those bands earlier. 2014 has been just as good, and barring a second half of the year focused solely on a Union Underground reunion record, it’ll be another stressful/wonderful process of whittling down the year’s great releases into one definitive best-of list. Behemoth’s The Satanist floored me; I heard it in January. I’ve heard stuff since that’s given me a proverbial kick to the chest (or in the case of Lord Mantis, probably a literal one).

If metal’s still in its usual “Ugh, That Music?” place with normals, it’s a shame. I’d like to say we’re in the middle of a new metal Renaissance (not a nu-metal Renaissance, as that would be an oxymoron to end all oxymorons), but you run the risk of not seeing the forest for the trees when making declarations like that. It could also be that metal’s always this good, but doesn’t come up to the surface as often as it has in the recent past. Or you could cast all the meta shit aside–which would probably be best– and bask in the excellent metal of the last six months. There’s already been a lot of it.

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere (Profound Lore)
Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation (Profound Lore)
Behemoth – The Satanist (Nuclear Blast)
Coffinworm – IV.I.VIII (Profound Lore)
Crowbar – Symmetry in Black (E1 Entertainment)
Down – Down IV: Part II (Down Records)
Eyehategod – Eyehategod (Housecore)
Gridlink – Longhena (Selfmadegod)
Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed (Nuclear Blast)
Killgasm – A Stab in the Heart of Christ (Moribund)
Lord Mantis – Death Mask (Profound Lore)
Misery Index – The Killing Gods (Season of Mist)
Triptykon – Melana Chasmata (Century Media)
Wo Fat- The Conjuring (Small Stone)
Woods of Desolation – As the Stars (Northern Silence)

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