Although it’s always difficult to pin down a musical year in a few words a lot of critics do it anyway. Thus, we can’t stay behind on that, can we? However, before we end 2014 in style, let us loosely say we enjoyed working in the dark to serve you the reviews of the music we like and that nothing is true and yes, … everything is permitted.
Ralph’s Collection of Noisy Things 2014:
2014 started off with a slew of great melodic metal releases, before the well went almost completely dry about halfway through. I can’t remember the last year I have had this much trouble raking in ten excellent records. It’s also, funnily enough, the year my concert list plummeted dangerously close to a null-point. Still, we’ve managed to salvage what there was to salvage, and here’s my list:
10. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls (SftDS review)
9. Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes (SftDS review)
8. Unisonic – Light of Dawn (SftDS review)
7. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
6. Sonata Arctica – Pariah’s Child (SftDS review)
5. Gamma Ray – Empire of the Undead (SftDS review)
4. Pink Floyd – The Endless River (SftDS review)
3. Blues Pills – Blues Pills (SftDS review)
The long awaited debut album of the international retro blues rock ensemble does not disappoint at all. As debut albums go, they don’t get any better than this one.
2. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen (SftDS review)
Primordial has a hard time disappointing its fans, and this album shows the Irish pagan metal band in top form once again.
1. Accept – Blind Rage (SftDS review)
For the third time since its resurrection, and the third time in succession, Accept release a near perfect collection of heavy metal anthems. One for the ages.
Concerts of 2014:
Marillion – TivoliVredenburg Utrecht, 15-12-2014 (SftDS review)
Ghost – Melkweg Amsterdam, 30-6-2014 (SftDS review)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam, 18-01-2014
Anticipated for 2015:
Katzenjammer – Rockland – Expected 19-01-2015
Ensiferum – One Man Army – Expected 20-02-2015
Blind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror – Expected 30-01-2015
Wander’s High Fidelic Top Ten List of 2014
If I had one word to summarize the musical year 2014 in one word, I would say it was mediocre. A number of discussed releases ended up letting me down with a total display of plainness (Mogwai, Warpaint) or a lack of originality (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard). Especially the first months of the year were devastating. Hereafter releases qualitatively recovered. For example, Beck’s gentleness, Mac DeMarco’s forwardness and BADBADNOTGOOD’s playfulness were nice yet kind of meh at the same time. Apart from that, another bunch of artists did what they do best by dropping well-constructed albums that are definitely great. However they also never truly surprised. A number of the latter are listed below, barring a few beautiful gems that are still on there of course. Here you go:
10. Elysian Fields – For House Cats And Sea Fans (SftDS review)
9. C.W. Stoneking – Gon’ Boogaloo (SftDS review)
8. Aphex Twin – Syro
7. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness (SftDS review)
6. Chad VanGaalen – Shrink Dust (SftDS review)
5. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
4. Ambrose Akinmusire – The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint
3. Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love (SftDS review)
Few albums were just as exhausting as Iceage’s, Plowing Into the Field of Love. Positively I mean, Rønnenfelt lingering vocals combined with some sharp edged punk music never has a dull moment in it. Outstanding job lads!
2. Peter Matthew Bauer – Liberation! (SftDS review)
Goodness gracious, Peter Matthew Bauer offers perspective in life, in a catchy manner that is. Liberation! is full of songs that best fits a summer’s road trip towards a distant horizon. So let’s buckle up and get ourselves ready for some religious self-realization.
1. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams (SftDS review)
It’s scary, it’s spooky and it’s… warm…. Alright, thats a bit off huh. Timber Timbre paints us a extravagant picture of the Old West in which bloody violence and lone romanticism go together like wine and roses. The spacious production makes you feel like you’re traveling the American frontier for yourself. Hot Dreams is therefore a top class high fidelic experience coming from a top class band.
Concerts of 2014:
Gorki – Tivoi De Helling Utrecht 27-3-2014
Autechre – Le Guess Who? TivoliVredenburg Utrecht 22-11-2014 (SftDS review)
Marillion – TivoliVredenburg Utrecht 15-12-2014 (SftDS review)
Anticipated for 2015:
Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves – Expected 01-03-2015
Matthew E. White – Fresh Blood – Expected 10-03-2015
Tool – TBA
Enough lists for now, it’s time for us to enjoy a few cold ones. So, we bid you farewell for 2014 and wish you all the best for 2015.
Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 291214
W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify
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