's favourite releases of 2014: part 2


Which are the best djent releases of 2014?

On Monday, we announced positions 20 through 11 in the top 20 releases of 2014. Today, we're announcing positions 10 through 4.We will announce the top 3 on Friday, along with the top 10 of freely downloadable releases. top 20 releases of 2014

10. Stealing Axion - Aeons

'Aeons' is an album that really moves like a huge mysterious rock. It takes its time to get rolling but does it with a certain determination that never gives you room to doubt that it will end up exactly where it wants to end up, once it has started to move. And once it rolls, it rolls majestically, crushing and overpowering but with a steadiness and calm in its earthshaking rumble, that it just captivates your senses until it has reached its destination.

Stealing Axion might not be the only ones harnessing this art of meditative sonic force but 'Aeons' leaves little doubt that they have to be considered one of the best at creating monumental slowly crawling soundscapes; having honed their tempo variations, timing and distribution of spots of urgency and relaxation, weaving in hook melodies in just the right places, all culminates in an album that isn't just engaging despite its length and tempo, but is engaging exactly because of the masterfully fine-tuned composition that just happens to result in its length and tempo. - GeN2Mo

Stealing Axion - Aeons: a work of music that lives up to its title in atmosphere, epic breadth and the peculiar quality of never feeling like it's dragging on when you're right in the middle of its grand movements.

9. Volumes - No Sleep

What has always struck me about 'No Sleep' since its release is how fitting title and cover artwork are in regard to how the album feels. It is a bit like a night drive through a big city. Pulsating, glaring, hectic, eclectic, fast-lived, just as nasty as it is polished, sometimes unexpected; but no matter how the bright colors jump and smear across your view, it is, in all of its movements, always in some way engaging and enjoyable.

The almost kinetic rhythmicity built up through their two vocalists throwing their lines at each other over the dry purist riffs that carry the music, moving both emotionally and physically, contrasting with clean melodies (delivered by both vocals and instruments) that are distinctly poppy, but never feel cheap in virtue of their melancholic undertones and the sheer energy they emerge from. All presenting itself in a melting pot made out of rock solid pacing and flow that somehow manages to keep the elements from spinning out of control. - GeN2Mo

Volumes - No Sleep: like a storm of cold color sucking you in and spitting you out before you know it. But always driven and catchy enough to have you coming back to find out what happened.

8. Periphery - Clear

No matter what exactly Periphery are to you, it would be hard to reject the thought that in everything they do, they always come up with something interesting. And 'Clear' is not only no exception to that rule but also proves it vehemently. A band effectively splitting up into its individual members, letting everyone do their own thing for the duration of a record is a thing rarely to be seen; and it may even be singular in this controlled and explicit way. Letting everyone build their own song out of a basic theme is a true experiment and, as experiments often go, the results are one part exciting, one part expected, one part surprising.

Periphery don't become another band on this EP, but they manage to establish themselves as a collective of individuals. And just as their different approaches are made apparent by this unique setup, so are the overlaps that are Periphery. - GeN2Mo

Periphery - Clear: a truly unique experimental approach to a practical examination of the identity of Periphery as a creative whole of six creative parts.

7. Shokran - Supreme Truth

It may be easy to dismiss this as just another Born Of Osiris sound-alike after the first few bars. But even then, it somehow makes you stay. And for good reason, as you're bound to discover shortly after as it sends you on one of the most consciously crafted sonic journeys in recent time. Barely any song clocking in at above 3 minutes, it gives every hammering riff, every compositional idea and instance of dynamic interplay between the Egypt-themed synths and massive grooves, every hook and melody just enough time to shine but never draws it out to outstay its welcome. While the addition of vocals manages to add another layer of rhythmic dynamics, as well as an additional layer of melodic relief, working greatly to never let any element become overbearing. In effect, everything is allowed to lock in place and just click. - GeN2Mo

Shokran - Supreme Truth: makes a strong case for the realization that playing it short and right to the point does not prevent compositions from being epic. Quite the opposite, it might make them shine all the brighter.

6. Destiny Potato - Lun

A long time in the making, 'Lun' can surprise with how "in between" it turned out to be. Right between pleasantly inventive Pop Rock and highly melodic Progressive Metal without really showing a dominant leaning. And while one might rightfully say "it doesn't matter what it is as longs as it's good", the special thing about this release is that it never lets you doubt that it doesn't matter for even one second.

No matter if Micic and friends spice a hyper catchy poppy song like "Take A Picture" with growling Math Metal riffs or sprinkle "Lunatic" with folk elements, they always pull exactly the right card out of their sleeves at exactly the right time, with commendable charm and playfulness. Carried by the flexible expressive voice of Aleksandra Djelmas, whose passionate delivery adds a fundamental and highly memorable dimension to an already creative and unique record. - GeN2Mo

Destiny Potato - Lun: a plethora of ideas and influences melded into songs with just as much depth as unapologetic Pop-appeal makes for one of the most refreshing occurrences in 2014.

5. Intervals - A Voice Within

Having already released two quite popular EPs, Intervals quickly gained fame as an instrumental djent band. It was therefore very audacious of them to announce that their first full length album would feature their former bassist Mike Semesky (ex-The HAARP Machine) as a vocalist. Despite being a huge surprise for most fans, it is flagrant that their latest album 'A Voice Within' has surpassed the challenges it has had to live up to.

Against the adversity, Intervals' first LP exceeded expectations and its ranking in our top 20 favourite releases of 2014 speaks for itself. Even if it has an overall bright atmosphere, the instrumental work of 'A Voice Within' is nothing negligible. This album presents us the most refined music the band offered us to this date. To begin with, the amount of addictive guitar riffs on this album is outrageous. That is without mentioning the incredibly groovy ones accompanied by the perfectly calculated and often subtly crafted drums of Anup Sastry (Skyharbor) which 'Moment Marauder' or 'The Self Surrender' are perfect examples of. The latest also exhibits the ingenuity of a mix that was certainly not neglected.

For those scared by the clean-only vocals, worry not as the balance between the instrumental and the vocals sounds thoroughly calibrated. Furthermore, Semesky's vocal performance indicates a noteworthy voice mastery that explores different tones and ranges. With well-thought lyrics that make clever references, his role in the album easily reaches the level of the rest of the band. Climaxing with some of the most passionate guitar solos this scene offers, the album still gives a lot of room to breathe between its peaks. On the brink of progressive metal, the release blending many genres and instruments depicts a very mature evolution. A definitive turning point for the band not to be missed. - xCessivePressure

Intervals - A Voice Within: The soundtrack to the love story between the contemporary musician and its instrument.

4. Skyharbor - Guiding Lights

After their grandiose debut album 'Blinding White Noise' hit the scene like a bomb and gained a lot of recognition worldwide, it was the support from their excited fanbase that made the second work happen through crowdfunding and allowed them to produce it themselves. And even if the first single 'Evolution' reminded you most of the previous record, its title is indicative for what has happened with the band and their sound.

You're vainly looking for djent, except for the named track, and so the level of heaviness as well as the complexity has been drastically lowered. But all this has made room for simpler, still sophisticated song structures, that feel more harmonic and in which a vast amount of atmosphere and depth grows. It's noticeable that the former project has transformed into a band, where everyone enriches the sound picture with their individual part.

The uncountable melodic layers shine in a wide spectrum and with so much love for detail, allowing the listener to discover new nuances with every run. Daniel Tompkins' unbelievably multifaceted voice literally glows with emotion, providing several goosebump moments throughout the record. 'Guiding Lights' is a worthy sophomore album, through which Skyharbor are able to create their own sound and successfully set themselves apart from the other big names in this genre. - CroOZza

Skyharbor - Guiding Lights: A renewed display of progressive fireworks, flickers in front of your ears. It doesn't bang so hard anymore, but is all the more impressive.

To be continued!

Check back on Friday Monday for the top 3 and the top 10 of free downloads!

Check out yesterday's post to see positions 20 through 11.

Check out's favourite releases of 2013.
Check out's favourite releases of 2012.
Check out's favourite releases of 2011.
Check out's favourite releases of 2010.

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I have created a Spotify playlist with the albums from the TOP 2014:

Due to unforeseen circumstances we'll have to postpone the publication of the top 3 and the top 10 of free downloads to Monday. Sorry to keep you waiting guys!

Dang. Was hoping to see Beyond the Dust's "Khepri" album make this list. It was my #1 for the year. I doubt it'd be in the Top 3, though. Check it out if you haven't, yet!

Destiny pot. yeahhh! good job ppl.

Clear was kinda average for me.

A Voice Within is one of the best albums I've heard all year, hands down. I love Mike's vocals. And the guitar work is fantastic. I can't stop listening to it!

I hope "The Dali Thundering Concept" is in TOP 3...

Waaaahh, I didn't get my screenprint, waaaahh. Real world problems. This site needs to become got-prog anyway. seem upset.

Yes, I waited for this! The release with less than 5 min of djent is Top4 djent release of the year! Great job, fanboys. Why don't we rate Dream Theater, Ayreon or Riverside albums than? Well, I guess it's good that you don't call first album "frankenstein" as some other reviewrs.
...and I still didn't get my signed screenprint for pledge campaign (Hello, Keshav)

Hell yeah, my local boys in Stealing Axion cracked the top 10!