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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Dan Wrathburn BEST OF 2014


2014 was a strange year in metal to me.  There were lots of good releases.  Tons of them actually, but there weren’t that many that really stood out.  Whether that’s due to me getting old, expectations that being too high, or the quality of competition, It seemed there was a lack of “something” in a lot of records I was hoping for.  That said, here’s the crop that stood out for me.


1. Sargeist Feeding the Crawling Shadows

This album is a masterpiece of negativity.  Returning to their lo-fi roots, it didn’t catch me at first, but eventually the nuances rose out of the darkness to making this my record of the year.

2. FuriaNocel

As much as Sargeist got me by being true to the bone, this record is a close second by being anything but what you’ve ever heard before.  An absolutely stunning record taking the genre in places it’s never been before.

3. PrimordialWhere Greater Men Have Fallen

Another fantastic release from Allen and company.  If you loved them before, nothing is going to change.  Where there may not being a huge standout track like “Bloody Yet Unbowed” on this one, it’s great from start to finish.

4. PallbearerFoundations of Burden

I can’t think of another band recently under so much pressure to release a second album that compares to the hype of their debut.  They rose to the occasion though and delivered another great record solidifying themselves as one of the great young bands on the scene.

5. EnthronedSoveriegns

Completely the opposite of Pallbearer, Enthroned have always kind been around it seems.  To think that they would do something that really stands out on record number 10 seems unfathomable, but by mixing a few new elements into their standard black metal formula, made a record that stands out.  It feels urgent and mean and don’t let the digital cover art fool you.  It’s dirty.

6. WinterfyllethThe Divination of Antiquity

Another beautiful fall season record from these guys.  I’m surprised they aren’t far more popular than they are.

7. Blut Aus NordMemoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry

An absolutely mesmerizing record.  This record is dense with brilliance.  Almost too dense at times.  To get the most out of this one requires repeated listens.  It almost requires you to give it your full attention.

8. TriptykonMelana Chasmata

I hope no one give Tom Warrior a hug.  Ever.  How he keeps making records this pitch black and miserable is beyond me.  He keeps getting more pissed off with age.

9. Spectral LoreIII

Hope you’ve got more than a few hours to digest this one repeatedly.  There’s so much here I don’t know where to start.  A sprawling mess?  An hour and a half of brilliance?  Both?  I’m still digesting this one, but my initial thought is that this album is this decades Tentacles of Whorror in terms of it being one man’s expansive, hallucinatory vision.

Biggest Disappointment: MayhemEsoteric Warfare. I really wanted to love this record, and I just don’t.  It feels like you’ve heard all this before, and it sounds… dated.  That’s never been the case with Mayhem.  I really don’t know where they go next.

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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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