Jan 2015 28

As is customary – and perhaps inevitable – when each New Year begins, people often look back on the preceding 12 months, reflecting on the way we live our lives and on ways to improve ourselves as time progresses. Among the many ways people reminisce is in formulating lists of the best moments of the last year, and ReGen Magazine is no exception. Therefore, we are proud to present to our readers ReGen‘s Top 20 Albums of 2014, offering a helping of those albums that made a significant impact on music.
For ReGen‘s staff, it couldn’t get much better than these albums, the crème de la crème of creativity and artistic expression in industrial/goth/electro music.
We at ReGen Magazine truly hope that you enjoy our list of the Top 20 Albums of 2014.

 

  1. Mend: Vanishing Point
    AlphaBasic Records
    Released 2014-03-03
    Seldom does a band’s debut album impress so much, but the Chicago duo of Kassi Cork and Max Glascott – with their arresting and effective blend of experimental IDM structures, classically inspired melody and arrangements, and no small amount of celestial atmosphere – has done just that with an album that is surely a lush and lovely experience for all who hear it. This is a work of pure audio artistry that raises the bar not only for up-and-comers but also for veterans in need of some energy and direction. Hands down, Mend’s full-length debut is as great as it gets!
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
    Bandcamp
    AlphaBasic Records Shopify
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  3. Cocksure: TVMALSV
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2014-08-12
    Two of the scene’s most revered and inventive figures – Cracknation’s Jason Novak and Chris Connelly, whose extensive credits read like a who’s who of industrial music – pool their collective resources to create what has been hailed by many as the truest successor to the legacy of the late ’80s/early ’90s WaxTrax! era. Irreverently sardonic, dirtily groovy, and sleazy as hell, Cocksure lives up to its name and accomplishes the very difficult feat of taking listeners back to a bygone era while still forging its own path toward a future of endlessly belligerent possibilities. Heavy on the beat and the bass, Cocksure helped to create the sound and is now here to lead the way.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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  5. Peter Murphy: Lion
    Nettwerk Music Group
    Released 2014-06-02
    His voice virtually defined an entire genre and a generation, but this album finds the celebrated “Godfather of Goth” showcasing some of his most energetic and fiery material ever. Produced by Killing Joke’s Martin “Youth” Glover, Peter Murphy demonstrates the full range of his abilities and emotions, full of power and grandeur that he’s rarely had the courage to put forth to his audiences. This album is true to its name, like a wild creature that simply can’t be contained, and may yet be Murphy’s finest and most fervent album in his dynamic career.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  7. Swans: To be Kind
    Young God Records / Mute Records
    Released 2014-05-13
    More than three decades and still going strong, Michael Gira and co.’s latest opus continues to tap the well of creativity and audacity; full of monolithic song structures that take the listener on a journey through varying degrees of musical intensity. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes noisy, occasionally soothing, and always challenging, Swans has lost none of its inventive appeal and traverses the limits of sound and fury signifying… who knows what?
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  9. Prude: The Dark Age of Consent
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2014-09-23
    Chemlab is dead… long live Prude! Picking up where the influential coldwave act left off, this illustrious supergroup’s long awaited debut did not disappoint in its delivery of raucous and raunchy, simple and sleazy, loose and lascivious, glitchy and gritty industrialized rock & roll. Boisterously experimental and unapologetic in its glam underpinnings, this is an album that is sure to have you shaking your hips whether you like it or not.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
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  11. Godflesh: A World Lit Only by Fire
    Avalanche Recordings
    Released 2014-10-06
    Renowned for its intensity of both volume and atmosphere, one of industrial/metal’s most revered and influential acts, Godflesh makes a triumphant return with an album that delivers all of the hallmarks of the band’s raw, apocalyptic sound with the kind of maturity of craft and production that can only come from years of experience. Precision and excellence underscoring the bleak and brute force of the band’s music, Godflesh is back with a vengeance!
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
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  13. Einstürzende Neubauten: Lament
    Mute Records
    Released 2014-11-07
    Originally commissioned by the city of Diksmuide to commemorate the first hundred years since the start of World War I, this stands as one of the German noisemakers’ most conceptually complex and poignantly personal albums. Renowned for the use of non-standard instrumentation, staying true to the unorthodox aesthetics that first defined industrial music, Einstürzende Neubauten remains unparalleled in the avant-garde, and with this album offers new perspectives on the persistence of war and the cycles by which history continues to repeat itself; no small feat for any band, and one brilliantly executed by this eminent group.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  15. Die So Fluid: The Opposites of Light
    *Self-released*
    Released 2014-05-05
    The dark rock outfit succeeds marvelous in taking the initiative to make this, the band’s fourth album, one of its most ambitiously conceptual and musically accomplished efforts. Still heavy on the powerful riffs and melodies, but balanced with a more defined sense of atmosphere and lyrical expression, Die So Fluid moves into a new level of experimentation without losing any of the forceful energy that made it one of today’s most truly alternative and engaging acts.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
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  17. Everything Goes Cold: Black Out the Sun
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2014-07-08
    Toning down the humor only slightly and moving into a new level of production and musicianship, Eric Gottessman gives listeners what is perhaps the best album Everything Goes Cold has yet recorded. Still cold on atmosphere and emphasizing substance alongside style, the songs on this album showcase a more serious side to the band without losing any of the smarminess or the enjoyment that defined past releases; this is modern coldwave for a modern audience.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
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  19. Cyanotic: Worst Case Scenario Vol. 1
    Glitch Mode Recordings
    Released 2014-09-09
    Stepping out of the shade of past influences, Cyanotic hones and refines itself to present us with a now finely tuned and well oiled machine rock monster. Full of some of the band’s strongest and most musically accomplished material to date, this first volume presents a precision of production and song craft that finally enables Cyanotic to stand on its own two feet without losing any of the aggressive fervor that first brought the Glitch Mode Squad to prominence almost a decade ago.
    Purchase at:
    Bandcamp
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  21. Pharmakon: Bestial Burden
    Sacred Bones Records
    Released 2014-10-14
    Written during a period of bodily recovery, Margaret Chardiet takes listeners through a primal and unpleasant industrial experience that hearkens back to the genre’s experimental beginnings. Deathly in its atmosphere and harrowing in its earnestness, this is the sound of body and mind at complete war with each other, nature’s most perfect machine breaking down and the frustration at one’s inability to escape the inevitable. A confrontational and unabashedly noisy release that simply must be heard due to – and perhaps despite – its purity of artistic expression.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Sacred Bones Records
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  23. KMFDM: Our Time Will Come
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2014-10-14
    Celebrating its 30th birthday, the Ultra-Heavy Beat makes clear that the best days are yet to come with this album presenting some of the band’s most varied work yet. All the while, the album is full of all of the signatures that made KMFDM the archetype for virtually all of industrial rock. Bringing in a few fresh faces, from Tritoxin’s Tom Stanzel to CHANT’s Bradley Bills, while also staying true to the core of the band’s aesthetic to please the fiercely loyal and ever growing fan base, KMFDM makes good on its promise to never stop.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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  25. Laibach: Spectre
    Mute Records
    Released 2014-03-11
    The art/music collective of Laibach continues to challenge audiences with its ability to re-contextualize familiar themes and music, maintaining a satirical and sardonic mindset while still delivering music that is as freshly jubilant as it is darkly militant. The band’s latest album continues this three-and-a-half decade long trend with the incorporation of modern elements alongside its traditionally classical pomp flairs, all the while lyrically pointing the finger at all sides of the sociopolitical spectrum.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Storming the Base CD
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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  27. Phil Western: Longform
    Rustblade
    Released 2014-04-15
    Taking the double vinyl format to its utmost, one of electronic music’s most revered and experimental artists delivers a veritable buffet of chilled out techno rhythms and spaced out ambient, an album of absolute artist freedom reigned in only by the wisdom of his decades of experience. With each side delivering a full helping of jazzy improvisational electronic melodies and infectious rhythms that are just as likely to send you to the dance floor as they are to lull you into a psychedelic trance, Phil Western knows how to groove and proves it in spades with this magnificent double album.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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  29. Defrag: Drown
    Hymen Records
    Released 2014-04-22
    Having spent five years honing his musical skills, Jeff Dodson invites his listeners to plunge with him into the depths of his psyche. Less cosmic than his previous outings and looking inward to the murky depths of one’s own mind, the simultaneously frantic and measured pace of this album evokes all of the dissonant energy of the most rambunctious IDM while remaining grounded in mood and thoughtful melody to keep one from doing as the album title suggests.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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  31. Pink Floyd: The Endless River
    Parlophone / Columbia Records
    Released 2014-11-10
    Waving the final farewell is never an easy affair, but Pink Floyd does so with no small amount of fanfare with an album composed of recordings made by the late keyboardist and founding member Richard Wright. Perhaps less the swansong than many would have wished, this last album from one of rock’s most influential and experimental entities takes listeners on an ambient adventure with echoes of the band’s history sprinkled throughout; like a love letter or sharing a quiet drink with a long lost friend.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  33. Monte Pittman: The Power of Three
    Metal Blade Records
    Released 2014-01-21
    Showcasing his musical versatility and proficiency on his third solo outing, Monte Pittman pulls all the stops for an album full of all the hard rock power one could ask for. With an explosive mix of unrelenting aggression by way of pummeling riffs and raging percussion with emotional melodies and poignant songwriting, Pittman’s skills that have made him one of modern music’s most prolific and sought after session musicians – one that has landed him now as part of the new MINISTRY live lineup – come to the fore on one of the year’s heaviest albums in both volume and substance.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  35. Angelspit: The Product
    Black Pill Red Pill
    Released 2014-03-18
    As fervently acerbic as ever and full of all the punk rock energy that has defined the band for over a decade, Angelspit unveiled what was perhaps its most belligerent and most collaborative release to date. Creating its own microcosm of a corporatized world, resulting in an individual model for business and artistic expression, Angelspit is in a class all its own. Never afraid to infuse accessible pop melodies into a caustic blend of industrialized rock and acidic mechanical noise, ZooG Von Rock and his cohorts continue to confront and confound, even taking Angelspit into darker and more disquieting territory with no signs of softening up.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Angelspit Shopify CD
    Angelspit Shopify MP3
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  37. My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult: Spooky Tricks
    Sleazebox Records
    Released 2014-05-06
    After several years of missteps and lukewarm releases, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult releases one of the band’s most cohesive releases; full of the band’s signature funky bass lines and sexually charged lyrics, but achieving a tighter balance between the harder edge of earlier albums with the more flippant disco flavorings of the band’s later era. This is Thrill Kill Kult sounding the best it has since the band first impressed itself into our hearts and our libidos 25 years ago.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
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  39. 3TEETH: 3TEETH
    Artoffact Records
    Released 2014-06-03
    Taking listeners on a journey through time to the more unforgiving and belligerent days of industrial, reminding audiences what many of them loved about the scene in the first place, 3TEETH is the success story of the year. Full of raw fury, the band’s self-titled debut is a nostalgic but powerful display of scathing industrial/metal the likes of which haven’t been delivered so simply and straightforwardly in years. Nothing new; just an aggressive and enticing package of dark audio/visual stimuli.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
    Storming the Base CD
    Storming the Base Vinyl
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Naturally, these 20 albums can’t possibly represent the whole of all that was musically worthwhile in 2014; there are always those few not on the Top 20… that are still deserving of praise and attention. As such, ReGen is proud to include these honorable mentions.
From the blunt force trauma of such industrial/rock and metal heavy hitters as Prong’s Ruining Lives, an album that bears all the hallmarks of the band’s vicious style, and Emigrate’s Silent So Long, on which Rammstein’s Richard Kruspe allows his musical and songwriting skills to shine with the help of some notable guests like Peaches, Lemmy Kilmister, and Marilyn Manson, 2014 left audiences in no shortage of rock & roll power. And while a punk/rock icon like Lydia Lunch hooked up with Cypress Grove for a stripped down, darkly bluesy and desolate outing like A Fistful of Desert Blues, glam/goth rock hero Daniel Ash went the opposite direction and called on his fans to successfully fund a more electronic and adventurous reimagining of some of his best known hits for his Stripped album.
2014 also gave us new excursions into sonic exploration like Antigen Shift’s Brotherhood and Autoclav1.1’s Ten.One.Point.One, both continuing to explore the boundaries between synthetic and organic instrumentation to create newer and more exciting forms of rhythmic ambient and IDM music. Similarly, the recently unearthed remixes by Coil and Danny Hyde of Nine Inch Nails on Recoiled was a dynamic and furiously disturbing journey back in time.
Also returning from an extended period of quiet was the German EBM outfit Steril, stripping away the guitars for a blistering and vicious onslaught of dance floor frenzy on Misanthrop, while the Society 1 finally gave the album A Journey from Exile a proper release, complete with some new material and the return of Sin Quirin to the fold, in the form of A Collection of Lies to solidify the band’s place in the delightfully uncomfortable region between hard rock and industrial/metal, with plenty of blasphemous and sensual energy to boot. Baal made its American label debut with Shurado, testing audiences’ tolerance for noisy in-your-face sonic force, and while the collaboration of SUNN O))) and Ulver may not be for all tastes, Terrestrials stood as one of the year’s most singularly exploratory outings. Other albums took the more accessible but no less intense approach, with The Birthday Massacre and Bella Morte both producing some of their most engaging set of songs for those with a taste for the darkly lush and gothic, the vocal collective of Mirabilis enchanting listeners with the mystical »Here and the Hereafter«, and The Gothsicles’ Squid Icarus reminding audiences that it’s okay to laugh and revel in being nerdy and odd.
Noteworthy also was the self-titled album from St. Vincent, presenting a decidedly electronic and subtly new wave twist of indie rock that was perhaps too strange for even the underground let alone the mainstream. The same can be said of The Neuromancer by William Control, for while his energetic brand of darkly sensual and romantic synthpop may send And One on a run for its money, his lusciously acerbic and erotic lyrics keep him on the periphery of widespread acceptance, making his latest album one of 2014’s more intriguing releases.
Finally, as a final tribute to the late Mike Scaccia, Rigor Mortis’ Slaves to the Grave unleashed a ravenous onslaught of thrash metal that serves as a fitting reminder of the guitarist’s legacy in both this band and MINISTRY. As the latter band embarks on what Al Jourgensen claims will be its last tour, Slaves to the Grave along with MINISTRY’s Last Tangle in Paris served as appropriate musical sendoffs for Scaccia.
With albums by Alter Der Ruine and Aesthetic Perfection to please the hardcore electro crowds, the Dune-centered Stoneburner from Steve Archer of Ego Likeness and Hopeful Machines, and the first new album from mindFluxFuneral in seven years, 2014 brought forth a remarkable plethora of music for all tastes in the realms of and dark alternative music. Furthermore, festivals like Terminus and InFest, along with the Chicago ColdWaves tribute to the late Jamie Duffy continue to herald large audiences, full of fans both old and new, and proving that the scene is very far from dying. May 2015 prove equally, if not even more so, adventurous as we all raise our glasses and crank the speakers!

 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
ReGen Magazine Staff
Happy 2015!

 

4 Comments

  1. […] At the beginning of every year, when the time for reflection on the past 12 months is still very much in the minds of many, ReGen Magazine offers its readers a list of 20 Albums voted on by the staff to be the best of the year. However, over the course of the last decade (if not longer), as the means for artists to distribute their music more directly to a wider audience, coupled with the growing demands of that audience for more music to enjoy and consume, the album as a format has taken something of a backseat to the shorter, less cumbersome EP. While not necessarily less substantive in terms of the content presented by the musicians and producers, although certainly offering less material in a shorter time for lower prices… or if not necessarily less material, as evidenced by the abundance of the still popular supplement of remixes, then less original or “new” material. Some use the EP format in lieu of the album in order to maintain a consistent and healthy outflow of material to sate the demands of the audience, releasing as many as three or four EPs in the span of a year, while others take the approach that EPs are a perfect medium to build interest – hype, if you will – in a larger and fuller presentation currently in progress. Both directions offer pragmatic alternatives to the album format to still provide the fans with more bang for their bucks, and 2014 was in no shortage of EP releases from many a prominent act. So in a marginal change of pace, ReGen Magazine is proud to offer the Top 10 EPs of 2014 – our own shorter companion to the article celebrating the year’s best albums. […]

  2. […] by the WaxTrax! era. The debut full-length album TVMALSV reached the #2 position on ReGen‘s Top 20 Albums of 2014, while the TKO Mindfuck vinyl/digital EP, the first new release from the resurrected WaxTrax! […]

  3. […] ReGen Magazine published its listing of the Top 20 Albums of 2014, featuring Cocksure’s much revered TVMALSV debut in the #2 position, Jason Novak referred to […]

  4. Alexyoung says:

    Actually every music lover loves a bunch of music in a single place because the different genres albums can be listen in a single page.that why i like this post and it is nice.

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