THE HIGHWIRE DAZE BEST CD OF 2014 SURVEY

highwire_best2014Welcome to the Annual Highwire Daze Best CD of 2014 Survey. For the last month, we’ve been sending random emails to various bands and their publicists asking the crucial question of the hour, which is…

“What was your favorite CD of 2014 and why?”

A wide array of musicians answered.  An eclectic mix up – something we here at Highwire Daze have been most familiar with in the passing of time.

And so, Highwire Daze presents to you what band members had to say in regards to their Best Music of the year. Read on…

And The Bands Present Their Selections…

alterbeast1 Andrew Lamb of Alterbeast (guitar):
The Radial Covenant by Hannes Grossmann “Its organic, tech-death mastery at its finest. Everyone should give this gem a play.”

Rusty Cornell of Alterbeast (guitar):
Conquering Dystopia “I think it’s the most innovational and inspirational metal album to come out in a long time.”

Monte Barnard of Alterbeast (vocals):
FallujahThe Flesh Prevails – because it’s one of the first technical death metal records to successfully inject true resonate emotion without sacrificing anything crucial to the genre.”

amberiandawn1Tuomas of Amberian Dawn
Best release of 2014 in my opinion is Joe Satriani’sThe Complete Studio Recordings”. I’ve been a big fan of Satriani since I started to play guitar (somewhere in the end of 80’s). Joe has amazing technique on his playing and unlike most of his colleagues; he’s also a great composer. Too bad that you didn’t ask for the second best release of 2014 too, since the second best album of this year is naturally “Magic Forest” by Amberian Dawn ;). We’re not aiming too high, we don’t need to be the best…it’s good enough to be the second-best 🙂

AstralDomine3Luca Gagnoni of Astral Domine
“Our favorite 2014 CD is Epica’sThe Quantum Enigma‘. This album is absolutely amazing! It sounds great and it contains impressive chorals and orchestral part with aggressive metal riff! We love these mix! Wonderful job!”

Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation
Bethlehem, “Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia” – This is one of my favorite bands. The album title means “fear of 666”. They’ve gone through a few eras in their well over 20+ year existence, sometimes much to their fans’ chigrin, but every era, every change, still equals Bethlehem. I don’t know how they do it. There’s always new players practically on every album. But they maintain THEIR sound. Theres something very genuine in the way they approach their songwriting and I love that. Very underlooked and underappreciated band who yet have a rabid cult following. There’s much more to this band than a couple songs on the Gummo soundtrack, and this new album shows that.”

Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy
My favourite CD of 2014 is Obituary’sInked in Blood”. Because I have to pay tribute to these guys for influencing thousands of death metal musicians, including myself, for so long! It’s very difficult to be unique in music today and the best of the best always stand out! Unmistakably Obituary are still the Kings of groove death!

Rob Walden of Exotype
My favorite album of 2014 is Of Mice & Men’sRestoring Force“. They truly branched out from their usual sound and experimented with an active rock approach that feels nostalgic and timeless.

Chris Pervelis of Internal Bleeding
My favorite CD of 2014 is by far Mortal Decay’sBlueprint for Bloodspatter”. This band in my opinion, is one of the most underrated bands in death metal and deserves to be recognized for the masters of the genre that they are. They combine the technical wizardry, memorable hooks and eerie melodies that most bands could only dream of creating—and it’s all backed up with incredible drumming that is not only fast and precise, but tasty as well. “Blueprint..” brings all these great elements together in full force and leaves your jaw dropped in awe every time you listen to it. It’s a masterpiece.

OrionInDying1Orion Stephens of In Dying Arms
Volumes, No Sleep album. It’s great start to finish & I love their melodic aspect. I haven’t even gotten into too many record in 2014, but I always find myself going back to volumes.

Justin Symbol
My favorite album of 2014 is my own record, Justin SymbolV Ω I D H E A D‘, because I make the exact kind of music I want to hear.

Matt Young of King Parrot
Favourite album of 2014: Child Bite, “Strange Waste”. A band that have smashed down the boundaries of punk and metal and produced a brilliant album that is catchy, energetic and unique amongst a smorgasbord of awesome releases this year.
The band back this up with an incredible live show that translates extremely well from record. They just put out a great video for the song Ancestral Ooze too. You need to check this album out.

liekmonroe1Chris Deckard of Like Monroe
Our favorite cd of 2014 was definitely the ISSUES self titled album solely because it opened up a lot of doors and minds with their ability to fuse hip hop, R&B, EDM, and metal core which is in our opinion was iconic and groundbreaking for music I’m 2014 and beyond.

loernashore1Adam De Micco of Lorna Shore
FallujahThe Flesh Prevails
A great continuing progression from previous albums from one of the best technical metal bands out there.

Gary Herrera of Lorna Shore
RevocationDeathless
One of the most aggressive metal records I’ve heard in a while. The whole album gives me a non-stop adrenaline rush!

Pier Gonella of Mastercastle
Within Temptation, ‘Hydra‘, because we like so much melodies and vocal lines”

missmay1Levi Benton of Miss May I
My favorite record of 2014 was Darkest HourDarkest Hour. I have always been a big fan of the band and when John Henry learned how to sing on this record it really blew my mind and the fact they did it so well and kept their sound really made this record one for the books!

Nim Vind
Steel PantherAll You Can Eat“. I’m a big fan of Jay Ruston’s mixing and I love the Panther’s songs. Even though the lyrics are crazy they still manage to make you believe in them. There’s soul hidden in there. To me that’s the best part of making rock n’ roll – when you can transcend the literal and make people feel it you got something special. My favorite song is still “Asian Hooker” but “Glory Hole” and “F*cking My Heart In The Ass” are right there too.

Oceans Ate Alaska
Our favourite album of 2014 has to be Lost Together / / Lost Forever by Architects! The guitars are crushing, and Sam Carter’s vocals stretch to unbelievable limits. They really set the bar high with this one!

requiem1Steven Juliano, singer of REQUIEM
Babymetal– “Self Titled” Album
Before you judge, lets just say this album changed my life. It’s probably the most ridiculous, over the top, confusing album I have ever heard. But I simply love it. I have always been a huge fan of JPOP, and metal, and some genius combined the two. Can I meet this man and shake his damn hand? –

Jacklyn Paulette, guitarist/singer of REQUIEM
Motionless in White– “Reincarnate” Album
Motionless in White’sReincarnate” because it’s super heavy with some industrial overtones while maintaining catchiness.

Ryan Heggum, guitarist of REQUIEM
Beartooth – “Disgusting” Album
It is a much needed reminder of the punk rock roots that the modern metalcore movement sprouted from. No gimmicks, overproduction or cliches to be found on this album. Just a raw, heavy hitting, anthem filled rock n’ roll album to take my top pick of 2014.-

Rick Siegfried, drummer of REQUIEM
Devin Townsend – “Z2” Album
Devin Townsend again brings together incredible musicianship and hilarious storytelling in this epic double-album!

Finn Stobbe, bass player of REQUIEM
Flying Lotus – “You’re Dead” Album
This album is very deep musically and represents a very modern approach, while echoing the past. Jazz, Rock, Funk, and Electronic music all combine for a lush landscape. Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dog, Thundercat, and Kendrick Lamar all make appearances. There is a very disturbing video for the song “Ready err Not”. Start there. This is an album about dying. We can all understand the motivation, and subject matter represented in this beautiful art. We will all die someday. We all think about it, and we all deny it somewhat. Thinking about dying motivates me to live to the fullest, and to do what I want with this life.

Straight Jacket Legends
In answer to the question our favourite CD of 2014, has to be New Found GloryResurrection.
Take It Easy!
https://www.facebook.com/straightjacketlegends

Jon Howard, Threat Signal
I personally can’t get enough of the self-titled Killer Be Killed album. Members from Mastodon, Soulfly, Dillinger, and Mars Volta?! Amazing mix of musicians. Super catchy and melodic yet very heavy at the same time, I couldn’t ask for more. Sick debut.

Mike Hill of Tombs
My favorite CD of 2014 is “An Unending Pathway” by Atriarch. I’ve been a fan of theirs for several years, own all of their records, and stalk them on the internet. They are one of the most unique bands making extreme music these days, very emotional and expressive, creating this sort of dark, contemplative mood that resonates with me.

Nick Didkovsky of Vomit Fist
Labyrinth Constellation by ARTIFICIAL BRAIN, released 18 February 2014
This is music I can return to again and again, and every time I can listen deeper and deeper. The structures and forms are very dense and complex, and straddle abstract texture and melody in a perfect balance; high level composition pushing virtuosic performers to their limits, weaponized with brutally high energy.

(Articles and answers compiled by Ken Morton – Best CD Graphic by  Yannick d’Assignies – Miss May I and In Dying Arms photos by Jack Lue)

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