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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J.D Anderson

As always, there is too much metal and too little time, and ranking often seems like an exercise in futility given the variety and quality of releases as well as my own constantly changing tastes from moment to moment and year to year. So this list comes with the same disclaimer as last year: that it isn’t really a “best of” since I didn’t have time to listen to all the metal, but rather these are things that for some reason or other grabbed my attention.

Hypothetically-Held-at-Gunpoint Top Ten, about which I will change my mind five minutes later:

1. FluisteraarsDromers (Eisenwald). Beautiful and creative black metal of the highest order. Words can’t convey my love for this album. Hoping for a CD release in the future.
2. Bastard FeastOsculum Infame (Season of Mist). The leader of the pack in filth. Unrelentingly violent and abrasive.
3. Spectral LoreIII (I, Voidhanger). Stunning, progressive, and beautiful. An amazingly multifaceted album that I’m sure still harbors secrets I have yet to discover.
4. Mutilation RitesHarbinger (Prosthetic). Misanthropic, bleak, and aggressive.
5. The MireGlass Cathedrals (Independent). These unsigned wonders had already staked a claim in sludge, but this debut full-length seals the deal. Beautiful clean vocals, heavy and vaguely mathy hardcore, and palpable emotion.
6. PyrrhonThe Mother of Virtues (Relapse). The future sound of death metal – near unlistenable in its dissonance and chaos.
7. Ageless OblivionPenthos (Siege of Amida). A formidable slab of modern death metal, progressive in the same sense as Ulcerate.
8. ThantifaxathSacred White Noise (Dark Descent). Brilliant, twisted black metal – a Krallice that doesn’t suck.
9. Shores of NullQuiescence (Candlelight). Melodic death metal and clean vocals done right.
10. Young and in the WayWhen Life Comes to Death (Deathwish Inc.). The leader of the pack (for now) in blackened crust.

Honorable mentions:

Generation of VipersCoffin Wisdom
Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials
Old Man GloomApe of God
Giant SquidMinoans
SoreptionEngineering the Void
Northern PlagueManifesto
Woods of DesolationAs the Stars
Deep In Hate Chronicles of Oblivion
Church of DisgustUnworldly Summoning

Non metal shout-outs:

Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere Else (Carpark). Captures that sweaty, desperate angst that is sorely lacking from the indie/alternative music scene at large. Conjures the ghost of Kurt Cobain  – circa In Utero. This is the sound of restless summer.
Have a Nice LifeThe Unnatural World (Flenser). Goth is alive and well.
Pet Slimmers of the YearFragments of Uniforms (Candlelight). This band has the potential to breathe new life into post-rock/sludge.


Wolves in the Throne RoomCelestite (Artemisia). As one of the few fans of this band disappointed with Celestial Lineage, I did not have high hopes for this, but even my low expectations were too high for this release. Just utter pretentious nonsense.
Trap ThemBlissfucker (Prosthetic). With such strong releases from other bands like Bastard Feast, this one really didn’t do what it needed to pull out ahead of the competition. Disappointing, especially in the wake of Darker Handcraft.
MayhemEsoteric Warfare (Season of Mist). Not as progressive as Ordo ad Chao, essentially a step backward.

Looking forward to 2015 releases from:

Leviathan,Desolate Shrine, Hope Drone, Nails, Harm’s Way, Hate Eternal

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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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