Sean’s Top Albums of 2014

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

It is that time of year again where no matter how much I exercise I cannot stop from putting on the holiday weight. It is also that time of the year again where too much music is flowing through my earholes and they make notes come out of my vocal chords so often I develop a sinus infection which turns into laryngitis. And that is why I love these upcoming albums. All in all, thanks for the sickness that music has given me this year. Anyways…

1. Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown

Anyone who knows me knew this was coming. It is not that big of a secret that I adore this band. Well if by adore I mean ripping my face off and having my insides shoot out of my ass when I start moshing. And then Moor comes on and I feel like the asshole Keith needs to take revenge on. His howls and screams scare the shit out of me again and the way his knocks out that nine second scream on ‘Idiot’ floors me until I stop my heartbeat and realize everything was in my head. 

2. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2 

The question is what’s poppin?

3. The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There

Absolutely no one expected this album to rock so much. Just the introductory song pulls you in and smashes you at the perfect moment. It is captivating. Except for that one song about the dog and metaphors. This band is taking people for the best kind of emotionally distraught roller coaster ride ever. 

4. Brian Gaar – Never Gonna Be Famous

Well, it happened. A guy I knew from twitter asked if anyone wanted to review his album and me being the internet wannabe friend I am said I will and I laughed so hard I almost was kicked out of a library. This comedy album is full of well thought jokes from a well timed dude out of Austin. Thanks Brian, we’ll play super smash bros. soon.

5. Manners – Pale Blue Light

This album’s destructive presence combined with the emotionally disturbed lyrics make it memorable. Add on that I was able to interview the band and tell them that made me even more giddy. This has secretly been one of my favorite albums of the year, all year, and I treasure it enough to tell everyone to please go listen to it. 

6. Black Monolith – Passenger

Three words: the last song.

7. Emma Ruth Rundle – Some Heavy Ocean

The amount of emotion in this album plus the stellar atmosphere it creates leaves me wishing I was Ishmael on the revenge plight to take down that damn whale. Instead of listening to Mastodon I would choose this. Something about revenge and ambient indie music sounds better as a soundtrack. Maybe they should make a silent movie but with this playing over?

8. Botanist – VI: Flora

In a year full of black metal releases, this one struck me the hardest. The hammered dulcimers really are bright and make the melodies that much more organic. Also the fact that the album is about plants taking over the world and narrating about my body being dead kind of turns me on.

9. Two Knights – Shut Up

Dear Two Knights, do not ever tell me to shut up again because I love screaming along to your 20 minute album. Thanks, a fan.

10. Nero Di Marte – Derivae

Another album I have an issue spelling right away. This progressive metal band from Italy really surprised me with their no post studio additions to their mix/sound. Everything you hear is what was recorded. Explosions happen so naturally.

11. Pianos Become The Teeth – Keep You

The one factor keeping this album away from my top ten is it’s lifespan. When it first was released this album sparked a deep and emotional part of me. As the time has faded on it is not a prevalent anymore. Nothing against this album but it seemed to be released when I needed it, and that is why I have still kept it relevant in my life. Thank you guys. 

12. Behemoth – The Satanist

Black metal took hold of my tastes again this year and it all began with this album. Hell, it began with this band circa 2007-2008 too. I used to listen to this as a way to show my friends how scary and mysterious I was. Now I listen to it because life is beautiful and because Behemoth made a classic metal album with a goat head on the cover. (Note to self: this still scares a lot of my friends and they now see me as insane).

13. Kurt Travis – Everything Is Beautiful

Never did I expect to have this album take over as much of my life as it did. Smooth, calm and tranquil you will forever be Mr. Travis. 

14. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

For a guitar player this album is absolutely mesmerizing. The luscious walls of distortion coupled with frantic and all of a sudden timid drumming. The atmosphere might be a little muddy at times but everyone likes playing with mud every now and then, right?

15. Elder Brother – Heavy Head

The first time I ever listened to this album was a sunday and I was extremely hungover from the saturday night boozin’. I cleaned my whole room and swept the floor of the living room that morning. I am an adult.

16. Sun Kil Moon – Benji 

Easily the most depressing album I have listened to all year, death and the way it hands around people’s lives has always been interesting to me. I am at the age where a bunch of my friends are losing elderly relatives and me not knowing/never knowing what that feels like haunts me. This helps me catch a glimpse at the horror yet romanticization of the most iconic asshole in life (death).

17. Prawn – Kingfisher

This album took me by surprise immediately. I remember playing it one morning before the sun was even programmed to wake up a rooster and I was enthralled by how delicately it touched my soul. The dynamics in this are insane.

18. Circa Survive – Descencus 

The thing I worried most about good ol’ Anthony Green lately was would I be able to spell the album title without having to double check. Circa Survive is back and sounding as great as ever. Also I had to double check because I was nervous I misspelled a word that does not exist in our English language. Shit.

19. From Indian Lakes – Absent Sounds

The title of this album makes no sense to me because nothing is missing from this albums sound.

20. Expire – Pretty Low

Alright alright let me explain. Nothing is more fun than having nothing else to be pissed off at during the day and blasting an album with lines such as “refuse to let my life be reduced to rubble, when the shit keeps piling up, get a shovel.” Something as simple and as cheesy as that combined with great breakdowns makes me forget what I am currently doing. Am I supposed to be digging a grave?