When Sorrow and Extinction came out in 2012, the hype was unavoidable, and while it was a perfectly fine debut, I thought it didn’t quite live up to all the year-end lists it was on. I didn’t have particularly high expectations for Foundations of Burden, so I wasn’t just pleasantly surprised by what a tremendous leap from the first album it was, I was blown away. It’s bigger, more ambitious and more atmospheric by far than the first one. Brett Campbell’s vocals, which kind of killed my enthusiasm for the band initially, are better than ever, and he backs it up live too. It’s been an amazing year for doom, and this album is good enough to transcend the genre.
Key Track: “The Ghost I Used to Be”
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, “Runaway Girls” (Rise Above)
One song is just a tease, but it’s definitely one of the most fun stoner anthems of the year.
Toothgrinder, Schizophrenic Jubilee EP (Spinefarm)
This Jersey band’s EP is promising. If it wasn’t just an EP, it might’ve made the list proper.
Fallujah, The Flesh Prevails (Unique Leader)
The only reason this isn’t on my actual list is that I haven’t listened to it enough. It’s a fantastic album though.
Hark, Crystalline (Season of Mist)
This Welsh band’s album was criminally underlooked, and while the whole album is solid, the album’s last song, the epic Neal Fallon-assisted “Clear Light Of…” crushes.
Black Wail, EP (self)
Like I wouldn’t put my own band on here. 2014 found me joining a new band that I’m damn proud of. I wouldn’t necessarily call us ‘metal,’ but if you’ve made it this far and like doom, listen to “Dyed.”
Yob, Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot Recordings)
Electric Wizard, Time to Die (Spinefarm)
Two more awesome doom albums that came out this year.
Royal Blood, Royal Blood (Warner Bros)
Death From Above 1979, The Physical World (Warner Bros.)
68, In Humor and Sadness (Good Fight/eOne)
It was a good year for two-member bands, two of whom put out great debut albums and one of whom released a sophomore album ten years after the fact that was better than their debut in my opinion.
St. Vincent, St. Vincent (Loma Vista)
This album is weird, wonderful and amazing.
Phantogram, Voices (Republic)
Good solid female-fronted electronic music that I found myself listening to a lot more than I thought I would be this year.