Another year. Another year of great metal, comebacks, surprises, letdowns, and everything in between. For Teethofthedivine, it was a transitional year as staff turnover was balanced by amazing output that resulted in new content virtually every day of the year. Former Internal Bleeding vocalist Frank Rini joined our ranks, and a number of fresh-faced, bright-eyed writers entered the fray, allured by free metal and a chance to have their voices heard. A few of the regular, grizzled denizens remained.

However, it was business as usual getting both old and new staff to get their year-end lists submitted. It took weeks of Liam Neeson-like emails and gravelly-voiced threats (“I have particular set of skills, skills that make me a nightmare for writers like you. Get me your list and I’ll think nothing of it. But if you don’t get your list submitted, I will find you and I will send you an everso slightly peeved Facebook message”) to get the lists all submitted in time.

So without further ado, here are the Staff Picks for 2014. Please feel free to share, comment and add your own list.  Here’s to 2015!

by Staff

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Jerry Hauppa

Top ten in no particular order:

SeparatistClosure:   This is a record I didn’t really hear anyone talk about and its presence on this list is based entirely on theatrics alone.  Make no mistake, this is a bad record full of bad songs that all sound the same, but aside from Pillory, no other tech-death-core-whatever album is remotely as batshit insane.  This should tide people over until the next decade when we get another Necrophagist record, especially since a majority of the fans of that band nowadays are prone to breakdown-heavy “tech” anyway, and the blatant mosh parts of this one might be a strength to some but a detriment to my ears.  But listen to one song and toss it after, and your head will be spinning from the band’s sheer abilities alone.

Pillory-Evolutionary Miscarriage:  See the Separatist review but imagine it written by metal guys instead of deathcore guys.  This was one I was actually really looking forward to since the band reformed recently, and I do believe it’s a good record but it definitely overstays its welcome and maybe can only be appreciated by a musician’s ear.  Far more memorable riffs among the chaos than Separatist and a better focus on structure, but still marred by the genre’s many pitfalls.

Cannibal Corpse-A Skeletal Domain:  A sadly Side-A heavy record that to hardcore fans sees the band branching out ever so slightly but still left a bit to be desired.  Paul Mazurkiewicz finally at album 13 learned how to play a blast beat and that earns it a place on this list, as does the first track being maybe their best and most innovative track  to date.

Devin Townsend-Z2:  Another release that is mainly here for the sheer theatrics alone, as listening to it, whether you can handle Townsend’s schtick or not, comparatively makes pretty much every other metal album sound pedestrian in presentation.  It’s a 2 disc musical that’s silly as fuck and still emotive when it wants to be, and there isn’t a ride quite like it.

An Autumn For Crippled Children- Try Not To Love Everything You Destroy:  Another entry in the shoegazey black metal subgenre that is as hip to hate as it is to love, but genre classifications be damned, the melodies are hard to ignore.

BotanistVI:  Flora:  See above, but with hammered dulcimers instead of guitars.  As a player of the instrument it gets easy points from me, and the vision is so unique and well-presented that it should definitely be heard.

Gorgasm- Destined to Violate:  Real death metal when I need to close the door on the PC nerds ruining metal for me.

At the GatesAt War With Reality:  An inspired yet comfortable melodic death metal album in a year where that concept no longer exists.  Don’t call it a comeback.

Anathema-Distant Satellites:  Sure it may be the same record as the last one, but they still can tug heartstrings better than most.  And having an eponymous song title this far into your career is a ballsy way to get me to pay attention to a band that shouldn’t have any tricks left up their sleeve.

The Cold View-Wires of Woe, Ways of Waste:  A great funeral doom release to tide me over until I can finally see Skepticism at MDF this year!

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  1. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Hey Adam-

    Where did you find the numbers for your piece about total metal albums being released by year? I’d like to take a gander at that, I was floored to hear there were more metal albums released in 2013 than in all of the 80’s combined!

  2. Commented by: Adam Palm

    Check out the Metal Archives advanced search page. Under the “search albums” tab you can specify a date range and it will spit out everything released during that time with the total number of entries. You can also specify the release type if you want, which is how I figured out that there were 5,905 full-lengths released in 2013 but only 2,939 from the beginning of 1980 to the end of 1989.

  3. Commented by: SRK

    A lot of love for Dark Descent in the staff picks, but to my mind the best thing they released this year wasn’t mentioned: Swallowed – Lunarterial. Totally unhinged.

  4. Commented by: Luke_22

    Really cool reading these lists. As much good shit as I listened to this yesr there’s still tons of stuff to check out. Looking foraard to delving jnto Saor, Archspire and Stargazer especially.

  5. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Thanks Adam!

  6. Commented by: xrefused

    Great lists there is plenty I need to catch up on. Just wanna say that An autumn for crippled children rules, they have been pumping out some seriously bleAK shit every year since 2010, and are basically what the cure would be like if they were a BM band.

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