Anthony Maisano’s top 10 of 2014

Posted by on December 10, 2014

helstarthiswickednestcd4) Helstar – This Wicked Nest

Helstar is a band that I feel never got the attention that they really deserve. For 30 years now, they’ve been putting out very technically sound and very energetic music. For a band that isn’t a household name in the world of metal, they have some of the most consistently great riffs there is. Their 2014 release was no exception to any of that. It’s the same Helstar that has been around since 1984, but with a modernized sound. This is probably the album of the year that I think really slipped under the radar of most people, like most of their work.

Key Track: “Cursed”

ningenisucover3) Ningen Isu – 無頼豊饒 (Luxury of Freedom)

Ningen Isu is my favorite Japanese band, and the band that gets my award for ‘most underrated music act of all time.’ I think the fact that they sing in Japanese has prevented them from getting a level of notoriety that they really should have. They have 18 studio albums from 1990 until present, and I am not exaggerating when I say that even the worst of the 18 is still outstanding. This album was slightly less heavy, more experimental, and more cultural than their previous releases, but it’s still incredible in a different way. I challenge anyone to Youtube most ANY Ningen Isu track, and I think you’ll find a new band to add to your collection.

Key Track: なまはげ (English: Namahage. For the curious mind, a Namahage is a traditional Japanese demon that is now portrayed as part of their New Year’s activities.)


isole2) Isole – The Calm Hunter

Isole is, in my opinion, THE band that was able to take the greatness of 80’s doom metal, and modernize it into something truly special. Isole still uses mostly clean vocals like classic doom, with Daniel Bryntse at the helm. His vocals are the perfect blend of somber and unique. However, they have some growls in their tracks which really shows the modern direction they took with it. Isole is another band that has yet to put out a bad album, and The Calm Hunter is, again, no different. There are few modern doom metal bands that have truly perfected their craft in a way that Isole has.

Key Track: “Dead to Me (The Destroyer Part I)”

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Categorised in: Best of 2014, Lists, Metal on Metal, News, Top 10