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PiercingMetal.com’s “Best Of 2014” List

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The PiercingMetal.com Best of 2014 Lists

Hello my dear readers and welcome to the PiercingMetal “Best Of 2014” List. Once again it’s that time of the year where sites such as this sit back and opine and honor that which we felt was the cream of the crop across a number of different categories. Now before I get too far ahead of myself I need to stress that this years list is not as expansive as I would have liked it to be and that is not because there were only a few things which rocked my world but more based on the assembly time of such a feature thanks to the demands of the still ongoing redevelopment of the PiercingMetal.com website. That process is moving steadily along to its completion but it has sidelined a lot of the free time as well so what I did for this year was quickly mentalize the things that I found myself referring to again and again over the course of the year to get you something. Make sure you start thinking of your own favorites for the year because I am going to ask you something at the close of this narrative. Here we go with the favorites.

The Best Music of 2014:

There really was a lot of standout Metal released this past year and this crosses all genre quantifications for Metal from Black to Death to Power to Melodic to Thrash. Whew. Recently a friend asked me just how many different titles the Metal scene had since he felt it was hard to keep up with at this point. I chuckled, pretended to count a number and simply said “a lot”. If you are smiling you must agree.

Sanctuary “The Year The Sun Died” (Century Media Records): While we wait, wonder and watch for some new Nevermore, Warrell Dane and company have delivered a resounding return by Sanctuary and I cannot wait to see this stuff delivered live on the stage when they get to touring.

Behemoth “The Satanist” (Metal Blade Records): Crushing, powerful, blasphemous. Just what the world expected by the mighty Behemoth. Their sound is an aural assault on your senses and shall make you question beliefs long ingrained to your psyche. Make it be so. Own this music.

Insomnium “Shadows Of A Dying Sun” (Century Media Records): Clearly some serious melody and darkness being put out there and IMHO this is a Finnish band that more fans need to pay a little attention to. Fortunately the band is returning to our neck of the woods for a short run with Dark Tranquillity.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Music Part 1

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I don’t think anyone is going to argue about 2009 going by like a train without brakes and yet here we are at the part of the year where we line out what we viewed to be “The Best” of the year in terms of albums, videos, concerts, events and books. We’ve aimed at making this a yearly thing and while it’s a lot of fun to share with you it’s also quite a bit of work; This is especially the case when you go way over a small list and keep on writing. With this this installment I’ll be offering up the albums that I got to listen to and liked the most out of the rest of them during the year. Sure we probably missed some that you are expecting to see here but you don’t get your hands on everything in this line of work no matter how you try. So sit back and relax and lets get to onto the main event.

The Best Albums Of 2009:

Mastodon “Crack The Skye” (Sire Records): Mastodon continually push their own musical envelope and this release finds them more a Progressive Psychedelic Rock outfit than a Metal band and the band’s following didn’t mind a bit based on the incredible music that was to be found on this one.

Epica “The Classical Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records): Their 2nd effort for NB is this incredible concert experience that finds the band presenting mostly film score classics and then their greatest numbers with a full orchestra accompanying them. A wonderful experience and one that will impress the most difficult of fans – my hope is that this comes out on DVD sometime soon.

Heaven And Hell “The Devil You Know” (Rhino Entertainment): The most anticipated release for the first half of the year would be this new “Sabbath” album and it did not disappoint at all. Nice and heavy and loaded from beginning to end with solid Metal memories. Hoping this lineup hangs around a lot longer before pursuing other projects.

KISS “Sonic Boom” (KISS Records): Whether you support the fact that a couple of new faces wear familiar makeup or not, the band released a strong album and offered a great batch of extras with it to boot. The Wal-Mart exclusive nature of it made it a best seller that was actually a lot of fun.

The 69 Eyes “Back In Blood” (The End Records): Thanks to producer Matt Hyde The 69 Eyes were indeed back to raw Goth Hard Rock basics and moving on from the glitz they were steadily approaching. Lots of catchy stuff on this one and let’s hope this direction maintains course.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2008: The Music

If you have been observing the releases that came upon us during 2008 then you will agree that this was a tremendous year for Metal. We’ve noted in our editorial that it felt like the year of the comeback as much as it delivered new bands that we hope will shine far into the future. The multi-faceted genre that makes up our Metal not only delivered quality music releases but also DVD’s, Books and Concerts that left you sore and with that in mind we are lining out some of the best stuff that we felt was delivered. In this installment I will only be giving the tip of the hat to the best albums for 2008 since I liked a lot of them. Doing it like this lets us all keep a proper focus. Here we go.

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The Best Albums Of 2008:

Eluveitie “Slania” (Nuclear Blast Records): Pagan/Folk Metal of resounding proportions. I loved this one and played it quite a bit.

Meshuggah “Obzen” (Nuclear Blast Records) – Reminding us with every groove and spine crushing riff that they are one of the most powerful Metal bands on the planet. If this is news to you, then get with the program.

Journey “Revelation”(Columbia Records): New singer, new album, new versions of classic material & a DVD concert all in one package? Truly this is a standout release from the Rock legends.

Whitesnake “Good To Be Bad” (SPV Records): It’s as if no time had passed by and this CD came out after the juggernaut self-titled album from the eighties. Great work guys.

Def Leppard “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge” (Universal Music): I haven’t liked a Def Leppard album in years and was set on giving them up entirely until this one came out and showed us that they still had it in them.

In This Moment “The Dream” (Century Media Records): I knew I was seeing something special when I first caught them as an opener for Kittie, and this release shows musical and compositional growth from their killer debut that raises the bar. A must have album that offers much for wider scopes of fans. Trust me.

Origin “Antithesis” (Relapse Records): Clearly one of the most powerful Extreme Death Metal records released this year. This is smoldering stuff that moves at break neck speeds.

Keep Of Kalessin “Colossus” (Nuclear Blast Records): A band that has chosen to walk in the path of Dimmu and see what storms they can cause themselves is a worthy addition to the Metal collection. Killer stuff here.

Fish “13th Star” (Chocolate Frog UK): A return to form for the singer who once fronted Marillion. His strongest release in years and a must have.

Black Sabbath “The Rules Of Hell” (Rhino Entertainment): Collecting the four albums that Sabbath recorded with Dio and remastering them after many years of waiting, this was a must have release. Nicely packaged and eventually released individually for those fans who didn’t want the complete set.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2007: Music, Video and Concerts

Well it’s that time of the year again and that means it’s time to share with you all what I felt were my very favorites from all of the stuff that was reviewed here on PiercingMetal for the musical year of 2007. I will keep this introduction short and instead let these highlights shine a little brighter. Here we go.

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Best CD’s of 2007:

Let’s just consider this a sampling of some of the music that we found ourselves listening to on more than one occasion be it on the stereo loud enough to wake the neighbors or on our music players. We review hundreds of discs each year and this batch are among the best and most enjoyed by our editorial offices.

Epica “The Divine Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records) – So the singer you have heard on some Kamelot stuff and her band have delivered their third release, a magnum opus that is meatier than beef stew when it comes to satisfying content.

Kamelot “Ghost Opera” (SPV Records) – If you wondered how the guys could top “The Black Halo”, then pick up a copy of this one.

After Forever “After Forever” (Nuclear Blast Records) – You’ve heard her in Ayreon stuff for years now the larger populace can enjoy

Daath “The Hinderers” (Roadrunner Records) – Crushing, thunderous, topical. Interesting lyrical premise as well.

Nightwish “Dark Passion Play” (Roadrunner Records) – Tarja who? The band is back and on fire with new singer Annette Olzon, “Bye Bye Beautiful” indeed, “Hello Beautiful” as well…..

Dream Theater “Systematic Chaos” (Roadrunner Records) – New DT was quite satisfying. I’ve been a fan for years and this album reminded me of why that is the case.

Opeth “The Roundhouse Tapes” – An Opeth live concert recording that finds them on tour supporting their newest album and yet making time to fit in their classics. Stunning.

Within Temptation “The Heart Of Everything” (Roadrunner Records) – a long awaited US debut from Dutch Gothic Metal superstars is loaded with catchy numbers and sure to make them more of a household name.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Videos and Concerts

As I’ve already noted, it was a very exciting year in the Metal music world and as we draw to the close of 2006 its time to continue with what we felt was the “Best” of the year. In a previous post, I lined out all of the albums that I felt were the most awesome and now its time to line out the videos and concerts that were the same. I’ve also mentioned a few of the letdowns.

The Best Videos Of 2006:

Arch Enemy “Live Apocalypse” (Century Media Records): Do you love Angela Gossow? If not, I don’t want to be the one to tell one of the most imposing of female singers today. This is a band that has done serious damage since her arrival and shows no signs of stopping.

KISS “KISSology” (VH1 Classic) : You wanted the best and you got the best the hottest band in the world KISS!!!!! Disagree with me? Shut up and get out of my way or wise up and enjoy this incredible archive of video footage from a band that started more trends than you can count..

Rush “Replay X3” (Universal): 3 classic Rush out of print VHS films in a neato little package with mini-tourbooks, oh snap this was wonderful to see released.

Children Of Bodom “Stockholm Knockout Live” (Spinefarm Records): Are you doubtful that COB is one of the more exciting bands of today, then buy this DVD and come talk to me again.

Therion “Celebrators Of Becoming” (Nuclear Blast Records): Behind on your Therion, well this comprehensive and extensive boxed set will surely win you over and get you up to speed.

Stream Of Passion “Live In The Real World” (InsideOut Music): Arjen Lucassens project with the beautiful Marcela Bovio will take you to new musical realms. There was a companion CD released for this as well.

Whitesnake “Live in the Still of the Night” (Universal Music): Here they go again on their own, and guess what it all still kicks some serious bootie.

Sonata Arctica “For The Sake Of Revenge” (Nuclear Blast Records): One of the best live bands for Metal today. They hold the banner high for the genre.

Black Label Society “The European Invasion” (Eagle Vision): Doom Troopin’ Live: so much better on this DVD than the last one. A tight set of crunching Hard Rock and Metal.

Kamelot “One Cold Winters Night” (SPV Records): This is a concert film that will make you a fan for life. Dramatic, energetic, and passionate. Melodic Power Metal at its best.
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