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The Intern’s Top Ten 2014
The Intern’s Top 10
What’s up folks? The boss has requested that I share my top 10 releases of 2014 with the world. It’s not often a measly intern like me is given freedom to write whatever they want, so here goes nothing!
10. The Word Alive – Real
Never really gave this band much attention until their drummer Luke Holland joined. The kid is a rising star from YouTube, and definitely makes his mark on this record. The Word Alive prove with this album that they are a band worth noticing, with catchy hooks throughout the album and tough breakdowns and complex guitar work keeping things interesting. Vocalist Tyler Smith is a machine, with a powerful scream, incredible singing voice, and even sing-scream abilities that he demonstrates on ‘Terminal’. With 14 tracks, the album is a little long and does start to drag after a few listens, however there is enough quality material to justify its position on this list.
Favourite tracks: Terminal and Collapsing
9. Tides of Man – Young and Courageous
As a uni student, I am always on the lookout for some ambient post-rock to listen to whilst crunching out some essays. This album is one of the finest examples of emotive, blissful, and epic post-rock/ambient music I’ve heard in long time. Not being too familiar with this band previously, I can’t compare it to anything else they’ve done, but as an introduction to the band, this album was a hit for me.
Favourite track: Mountain House
8. Architects – Lost Together, Lost Forever
This album was a bit of a grower for me. When it was first released I wasn’t overly stoked on the heavier, ‘djentier’ vibe than their previous album Daybreaker. However subsequent listens, and overwhelming hype from the global heavy scene, has resulted in this late bloomer earning its place on my top 10. Vocalist Sam Carter’s ‘sing-scream’ vocals on this album are some of the best examples of this technique I’ve ever heard, as is the drumming, which shines particularly on ‘Naysayer’.
Favourite tracks: C.A.N.C.E.R and The Distant Blue
7. Down Royale – Sway
Down Royale are a Brisbane metal band that have been chugging along for a while now. First introduced to them through their drummer Mitchell, who slipped me an advanced leak of the album, I was blown away at the first listen. This band is TIGHT. While there isn’t a whole lot of variance in the riffs (not a bad thing, they do what they do well), the real hero of this album is the vocals. Some of the patterns that vocalist Clint comes out with are truly inspired. Ever changing (or at least seeming to change) time signatures could have resulted in some confusing and clumsy vocal structuring; however Clint storms through like a beast on a mission.
Favourite track: Revile
6. Hans Zimmer – Interstellar OST
Bit of an odd-ball entry, but anyone who has seen Interstellar would know that half of the reason that movie is perfection (in my opinion anyway) is the soundtrack. Ambience, epicness, emotion… this soundtrack has it all. While some of the tracks do fade into the background, some of them are absolutely STELLAR (pun intended), such as my pick of the album ‘S.T.A.Y’… I had the melody stuck in my head for days after. See this movie, get this soundtrack.
Favourite track: S.T.A.Y
5. Make Them Suffer – Let Me In (single)
Cheating a little on this one as it is only a single, however in my opinion this is one of the best songs to come out of Australia in recent years. The only reason it isn’t number 1 on this list is because it is just a single, not a full release. While this song polarized fans as it does not contain any of their classic ‘bleugh’ vocals or blast beats that were prevalent on ‘Neverbloom’, this song builds upon the emotional side they displayed on ‘Elegies’ and becomes an absolute power house of a track that has everything you would want in a lead single for an upcoming release.
4. The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth
The Ghost Inside are one of my favourite bands. They keep it simple, and they do it well. Dear Youth accentuates the sing-along elements the band introduced on Get What You Give, with tracks like ‘Engine 45’ and ‘Dark Horse’, which some fans may not agree with, but personally I think this has lifted TGI’s game. They haven’t compromised on heaviness either, in my opinion, with their classic breakdown sound being prevalent throughout the record. A few sneaky riffs made in on there as well, which is always a winner in my books.
Favourite track: Move Me
3. Darkest Hour – Self-Titled
Where did this band come from!? I know they have been around for 10 or so years and are considered one of the best examples of the European metal sound, but for some reason I’ve never given them a thought. However, this album changes the game. Opening with one of the toughest and tightest tracks released this year and then dancing its way through 12 more of the most diverse tracks you’ll hear from a metal band, this album is flawless. Substituting clean vocals for screams for a majority of the record, vocalist John Henry proves that he is one of the strongest voices in modern metal. Riffs that will melt your face and production that slams you right in the chest, this album is a MUST LISTEN for 2014.
Favourite tracks: Rapture in Exile and Departure
2. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
I am not typically a death metal fan. Death metal has to be REALLY good (and honestly, not really death metal) for me to enjoy it. I don’t know if you would call Fallujah ‘death metal’, but that’s the way I had them described to me so I’m going to roll with it. This album is an experience. Put it on, turn the lights off, and lie down. Let this album take you on a journey. Sounding more like a soundtrack than a collection of songs, ‘The Flesh Prevails’ recycles its own musical codas throughout the album, which reminds you that you are listening to an ALBUM. The vocals provide texture to this album rather than context or style, sitting softly in the mix and allowing the guitars and drums to tell the story. I cannot froth this album harder, definitely one of the top releases of 2014.
Favourite tracks: Sapphire and Alone with You
1. I Killed the Prom Queen – Beloved
Say what you will about IKTPQ, I think this album is one of the best metalcore releases to come out of Australia. EVER. Yes, the vocals leave something to be desired, but does that mean the album automatically sucks? Hell no. The instrumentation on this album is absolutely world class, with guitarists Jona and Kevin reminding us that they are the kings of harmony by relentlessly assaulting our ears with riffs. The breakdowns are punchy and tough, but the real shining star is the drums. Shane (ex-Confession/Buried in Verona) is one of the best drummers this country has to offer, and effortlessly thunders through the album with a grace and fluidity that few can match. Jona has massively stepped up his vocals on this album, singing the cleans whenever they appear, and essentially taking lead vocal position on track ‘Kjærlighet’. I fell in love with this album as soon as they posted the teaser of ‘Beginning of the End’, and still 10 months later this CD is in heavy rotation.
Favourite tracks: Kjærlighet and Brevity
• Hand of Mercy – Resolve
• Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown
• Unearth – Watchers of Rule
• Whitechapel – Our Endless War
• Crosses – Crosses