The 100 Best Metal Albums of 2014

I know I titled this “The 100 Best Metal Albums of 2014”, but I did that mostly so the search engines might pick up on it more and then more people may see this list. What this list really is, though, are my personal favorite 100 albums of 2014. The distinction there being that “Best” implies I think the albums on this list have trounced all others upon the field of battle and emerged the victors, while favorite acknowledges that all lists of this type are a matter of personal taste and so really do not hold any weight with anyone other than the person that compiled said list. It has always seemed a bit silly to me to try bludgeoning other people over the head with my list of favorite albums when the only opinion that really matters is their own.

Then why am I even bothering to compile a list? While we can spend all day debating who had the best album of the year, and never come to a decisive answer, I like year end lists for one simple reason: it lets people know about music they might not have heard during the past year that they really probably should hear at least once. Because as much as I may think I am completely on top of all the albums that came out in a particular year there are always a few on someone else’s list that I never heard, and often end up liking once I give them a listen. While these lists tend to focus on how albums are ranked, for me, it is all about filling in the gaps that I missed during the year. These lists, for me, are like a grocery store checklist of the things I should have in my collection.

I hope you will use this list of 100 albums in the same fashion. While I have ranked the albums on my list, most everything from 50-100 is very fluid and could easily change drastically from day to day depending on my mood. My Metal Heads podcasting partner Buke asked me why I would bother making such a long list if I was not going to be rock solid in my ranking decisions, and I explained it to him like this: would you rather Santa brought you 25 presents, or 100? I would much rather have 100 albums to check out, regardless of the ordering, than to have 25 that are precisely ranked based on someone else’s opinion. I think 100 albums gives me a lot more potential for finding music I will enjoy. The fact that I compiled a list of 100 albums, and had to leave things off the list, tells me that 2014 was indeed a great year for metal.

So why don’t we get this list rolling. Here are my 100 favorite metal albums of 2014. I hope you find some new music on there that you hadn’t heard yet. If you’ve been listening to the Metal Heads podcast you may have heard our year-end episode where we discuss our top 20 albums of the year. In case you haven’t heard the episode, I am including the top 20 lists from Buke and our guest Will so you can enjoy those as well. May 2015 provide us with just as much great metal music as 2014. Cheers!