It’s December, which means that, for the most part, the year in music is over. Almost everything that’s going to come out has already, as the music industry focuses on the holiday shopping rush by pushing everything that’s come out in the first 11 months of the year. It’s also a good time to take stock of what has come out so far this year, and while you’ll be getting our picks next week, we wanted to first turn things over to some of the people making that music. Here are Matt Brunson of Crowbar, Mitja Harvilahti of Moonsorrow, Shaun Glass of The Bloodline and Broken Hope and Shawn Knight of Child Bite sharing their favorite music and/or shows of 2014.
Matt Brunson of Crowbar
1) Accept, Blind Rage
2) Obituary, Inked in Blood
3) Overkill, White Devil Armory
4) Prong, Ruining Lives
5) Exodus, Blood in Blood Out
6) Sanctuary, The Year the Sun Died
7) Unearth, Watchers of Rule
8) Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain
9) Revocation, Deathless
10) Massacre, Back From Beyond
Mitja Harvilahti of Moonsorrow
1) Judas Priest, Redeemer Of Souls
2) Bölzer, Soma
3) Forced Kill, “Hard Death” 7″
4) Anathema. Distant Satellites
5) Mysticum, Planet Satan
6) Pepe Willberg. Pepe & Saimaa
7) Agalloch, The Serpent & The Sphere
8) Pink Floyd, Endless River
9) Die Antwoord, Donker Mag
10) Behemoth, The Satanist
Shaun Glass of The Bloodline/Broken Hope
1) Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds
2) Demon Hunter, Extremist
3) Arch Enemy, War Eternal
4) Wovenwar, Self-Titled
5) Raunchy, Vices.Virtues.Visions
6) Slipknot, .5:The Gray Chapter
7) At The Gates, At War With Reality
8) King810, Memoirs Of A Murderer
9) Exodus, Blood In Blood Out
10) Skindred, Kill The Power
Shawn Knight of Child Bite, Top 12 Concerts of 2014
I went to a shit-ton of rad shows this year. To narrow it down a bit, I’m gonna go through 2014 month-by-month, picking the twelve most outstanding concerts that I attended in 2014.
JANUARY (1/15/14) – LIKE RATS @ Comet Bar (Detroit, MI)
I had never heard of these dudes before, but a buddy told me they had “Celtic Frost-ish riffs” so I figured it was a safe bet. A rad band from Chicago, featuring members of Weekend Nachos. They are sorta like Black Breath in the sense that their music embodies everything I like about heavy music; they sound classic while not ripping anybody off.
FEBRUARY (2/8/14) – RINGWORM @ The Loving Touch (Ferndale, MI)
I put on the inaugural Berserker Fest just outside of Detroit this year; 50 punk & metal bands over the span of a few days. We had Ringworm come up from Cleveland to headline the final night, packing the house after a long weekend of shows. Their singer, Human Furnace, made fun of the kids doing their “ninja dancing.” Of course I’m biased ’cause it was my event, but if you put on a rad fest I bet it would be your favorite show of the month too.
MARCH (3/15/14) – KING PARROT @ Red Eyed Fly (Austin, TX)
My wife and I were in Austin for Flatstock; a poster event that I participate in, connected with SXSW. Flatstock is done by 6pm, so it frees up your night to see bands. We found out where Iron Reagan was playing & were more than pleased to witness the power of King Parrot as well. Seeing their singer Youngy drop his shorts & tea bag some jerk’s smart phone is an image that I will take to my grave.
APRIL (4/10/14) – RETOX @ The Crofoot Ballroom (Pontiac, MI)
Retox is one of those bands that, although they are incredible, usually play to relatively small crowds. At least when I see them. That’s why I was especially excited to see them opening up for The Dillinger Escape Plan & Trash talk this time around. A big room full of kids to drive nuts/confuse. Justin Pearson (ex-The Locust) and crew are legendary & true masters of their craft.
MAY (5/3/14) – BLADERUNNER (Zorn/Lombardo) @ Reggies (Chicago, IL)
This was most likely my one-and-only chance to see John fucking Zorn in concert. He’s 61 years old & hardly ever tours. This project also features Dave fucking Lombardo, so it was obviously a no brainer. Their set was what you would think with these players; noisy, gnarly, improvy. $60 for a 45 minute set (no openers) seemed a bit steep, but all things considered it was rad as hell & one for the books.
JUNE (6/10/14) – EYEHATEGOD @ The Loving Touch (Ferndale, MI)
It has been fun starting to throw crazy metal shows at a local venue that is mostly known for hosting indie rock. Everybody is like, “EHG at The Loving Touch?!?’ – Ha! It started with Berserker, and then this show, which was packed and awesome. I’m not sure what there is to say about EHG that hasn’t been said before – NOLA sludge masters delivering suffocating brutality night after night.
JULY (7/12/14) – QUEEN (w/ Adam Lambert) @ The Palace (Auburn Hills, MI)
I never saw Queen as a child, and hadn’t even been to this arena for a concert since 1992 (Megadeth/Suicidal Tendencies). I was obviously skeptical of the Adam Lambert, but kinda thought, “Fuck it – I want to see this band once in my life. Plus, that dude can sing the songs like a motherfucker.” The crowd was mostly parents that love Queen & their American Idol-loving kids, so I guess it was the perfect combo. They ruled.
AUGUST (8/16/14) – GWAR @ Hadad’s Lake (Richmond, VA)
Dave Brockie is one of my top 5 musical influences, so I was obviously shocked & saddened by his recent passing. I felt that it was my duty to make the pilgrimage to GWAR-B-Q and attend his viking funeral. Alas, my 12 hour drive was extended to 15 hours due to midday D.C. traffic and I fucking missed it. Bummed beyond bummed, I went straight to sleep & didn’t get up until GWAR-B-Q. Mike Bishop did a great job at their first post-Oderus show.
SEPTEMBER (9/5/14) – GHOUL @ The Double Door (Chicago, IL)
Ghoul is my favorite band discovery this year. I’ll always have a soft spot for heavy stuff that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I also love surf music, which these guys incorporate in a really cool way. It’s like the aliens in GWAR and the aliens in Man Or Astro Man forgot to use a condom & accidentally squirted these guys out. They were equally tight & hilarious live… definitely worth the whirlwind Greyhound trip I took to see ’em.
OCTOBER (10/26/14) – SAMHAIN @ Emo’s (Austin, TX)
In the middle of the fall Child Bite tour we spent 3 days in Austin for the Housecore Horror Film Fest. There were tons of bands that I was excited to see, but none more-so than Samhain. Danzig is one of my favorite musicians, and though I love all three of his bands, I have a special appreciation for the underdog of the bunch. The Samhain set found Glenn constantly wiping fake blood from his eyes while disciplining bassist London May and the sound guy. It was awesome.
NOVEMBER (11/10/14) – CARCASS @ The Crofoot Ballroom (Pontiac, MI)
The day after the Child Bite tour wrapped up, I was treated to a wonderful birthday gift… The gift of Carcass. It was a flawless package, featuring openers Noisem, Exhumed, and Macabre. It’s incredible to see a band come back from the dead after nearly 20 years with one of their best records. Fingers crossed for this upcoming FNM album…
DECEMBER (12/5/14) – SLAYER @ The Fillmore (Detroit, MI)
OK, this show hasn’t happened yet but it’s safe to say it will be the best of December. I think of Kerry King much like I do Lars or Danzig; I don’t love all of his later output and he seems like a dickhead, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of me going to the show & enjoying the classics. I’ve been playing small punk shows for so long that I find large theater shows to be super nostalgic, especially when it’s a band that wrote the songs of my youth.