Album Year List (2014)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

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. 

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[Live Review] Angel Olsen, EKKO Utrecht

AngelOlsen_LIVEWhat do Stockholm, Paris, Los Angeles, Glasgow and Utrecht have in common? Well, all cities were recently visited by the graceful singer-songwriter Angel Olsen. Olsen released her sophomore LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, this February and has been on tour ever since, playing night, after night, after night. The EKKO stage in Utrecht (The Netherlands) was the next in line for Olsen. And since the album made it to our ‘not to be missed in 2014’ section, a visit to this gig just couldn’t be resisted.
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Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2014 (until now)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

Hey y’all, summer solstice lies behind us so it’s time to saw the year in half. These are our top albums of 2014 until now and in no apparent order. Metal, Latin, Hip Hop-Jazz, Western funeral march music… we’ve got it all!

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Uriah Heep - OutsiderUriah Heep – Outsider

Britain’s most resilient hard rock underdog returns with a new album, building on 2011’s Into the Wild’s strengths to deliver a well-rounded album that fits well in Heep’s ever expanding oeuvre (RP).
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angel-olsen-burn-your-fire-for-no-witness_FRONTAngel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Burn Your Fire For No Witness is richly produced and gives way to Olsen’s strong voice. Oh, its also full of bone breaking honestness too. All spotlights on Angel Olsen please! (WRM – SftDS review).
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Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead_Gamma Ray – Empire of the Undead

A remarkably strong album by Germany’s power metal institute, Empire of the Undead takes Gamma Ray to heavier, darker places than before, and it’s a better album because of that (RP- SftDS review).
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Meridian Brothers - Salvadora Robot_COVERMeridian Brothers – Salvadora Robot

Tropical madness in its full glory is probably the best way to describe Salvadora Robot. All forms of Latin just tumble over each other creating a madcap carnival for those who have a few screws loose (WRM – SftDS review).
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Epica - The Quantum EnigmaEpica – The Quantum Enigma

Although the album bursts at the seams with sonic bells and whistles, choirs and orchestration, The Quantum Enigma is arguably the strongest album the Dutch female fronted band has released since The Divine Conspiracy in 2007 (RP).
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BADBADNOTGOOD - III_FRONT

BADBADNOTGOOD – III

If you’re into instrumental hip hop and don’t mind a whiff of fusion, these Canadian youngsters have something special to offer: a krauty hip hop-acid-jazz crossover record that is. And indeed, it’s awesome (WRM – SftDS review).

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Sonata Arctica - Pariahs ChildSonata Arctica – Pariah’s Child

Something of a return to form for the Finnish melodic metal band, after years of alienating friend and foe with faux art rock (RP –SftDS review).
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Timber-Timbre-Hot-DreamsTimber Timbre – Hot Dreams

Although the title suggest otherwise, the new Timber Timbre is in fact a pretty haunting listing experience. Over the top somber guitar play, frightening violin sections and tolling funeral bells will certainly turn a sultry dream into an endless nightmare. Delightful album, if you ask us (WRM – SftDS review).
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Triptykon - Melana ChasmataTriptykon – Melana Chasmata

With Triptykon’s sophomore album, Tom Gabriel Fischer cements his status as a death metal legend. Melana Chasmata oozes dark, metallic brilliance from all pores (RP).
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ELYSIAN-FIELDS-For-House-Cats-And-Sea-FansElysian Fields – For House Cats And Sea Fans

Mix up some smooth late night jazz with a touch of gloominess and you’ll have your perfect dayender right here. Also we’ve only recently discovered cats truly love Jennifer Charles’ sensual voice. Can’t ague with that (WRM – SftDS review).
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So, eyes front, and on to the horizon, because 2014 still has a lot in store, and things might even get more diverse as we head into the year’s second half.

Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 300614

Further surfing:
W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

 

Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

angel-olsen-burn-your-fire-for-no-witness_FRONTOnce in a while I try to listen through the proceedings of everyday hoping to discovering some new music. Alas, the daily bustle heavily distorts such a process so I’ve come to accept that discovering new music for me is all about trusting my subconscious to preselect the average from the great, simply by neglecting what’s playing at the background. About a week ago, after an unknown number of background plays of Burn Your Fire For No Witness, my subconscious finally shook me up, telling me it was time for a proper listen to Angel Olsen. And then it hit me: Olsen’s second full release is probably my first true highlight of the year. Continue reading