My top 10 of 2014 albums

Making lists has never been my cup of tea but let’s try. (Including EPs)

1. Morbus Chron – Sweven
At first the Swedish Morbus Chron’s second album didn’t convince me but I can’t describe how much the record grew on me a few months after the first listening – I got to the point where I consider it to be no doubt one of the most unique death metal stuff existing out there. Completely dissimilar to their first one yet just as excellent in a different way.
Morbus Chron – Towards a Dark Sky

bölz-s2. Bölzer – Soma
The black/death Bölzer set the standards high with their first EP ‘Aura’ [read my review of the record here] and even though ‘Soma’ needed more listenings to reach up to its level, the two-piece Swiss band did not disappoint. Very much looking forward to the album!
Bölzer – Labyrinthian Graves

midnn3. Midnight – No Mercy for Mayhem
Similarly to Bölzer, if Midnight’s Athenar wants to reach up to the level of his early works and first album Satanic Royalty, he probably has to put plenty of effort in it. ‘No Mercy for Mayhem’ is a little bit slower as a whole than any of his earlier works but is still really intense and among the very best of 2014.
Midnight – Woman of Flame

vampp4. Vampire – Vampire
The evergreen Swedish death metal scene shows once again what the Swedes are capable of. One of nowadays’ best old school-styled death metal album for sure!
Vampire – The Fen

rangg5. Ranger – Shock Skull
Finnish old school speed metallers with crushing live performances. If you don’t understand the hype around them, listen to Shock Skull and afterwards you most likely will.
Ranger – Shock Skull

acc6. Accept – Blind Rage
Nice to see the German heavy metal veterans being still as strong and enthusiastic as ever. It really is a delight listening to Blind Rage!
Accept – Final Journey

nocwi7. Nocturnal Witch – Summoning Hell
Bestial German black/thrashers rising with their first album. I’d say it is worth buying.
Nocturnal Witch – Black Star

riot-unl8. Riot – Unleash the Fire
Awesome to hear the old guys still in such a good condition. Aand… Johnny the seal is back in one of his funniest forms ever.
Riot – Metal Warrior

port-cross9. Portrait – Crossroads
With their third album in 2014, the Swedish heavy group well-known among quite a few Mercyful Fate-follower bands in the country came up with a record fulfilling every expectation and beating out many other competitors.
Portrait – In Time

noct-storm10. Nocturnal – Storming Evil
Even though I personally liked both of Nocturnal’s earlier albums better, ‘Storming Evil’ was still a great album worth mentioning amongst the top ones from 2014. One of my favorite female vocalists, all hail Hell Tyrannizer!
Nocturnal – Rising Demons

BÖLZER. Grandiose bolt from the blue


BÖLZER – Aura (2013)

Review by Estelle on the 8th of October 2014


  1. Coronal Mass Ejaculation
  2. Entranced by the Wolfshook
  3. The Great Unifier

Genre: Black/Death Metal

Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Country: Switzerland
Date: May 13th, 2013

KzR (Okoi Thierry Jones) – Vocals, Guitars

HzR (Fabian Wyrsch) – Drums

bölzzzYou won’t find yourself to be the only speechless person after spinning the devastating debut EP of the Swiss black/death metal duo Bölzer.
These two guys managed to obtain such a unique, deliberate, complex sound and create an outstanding cosmic style at the same time that no one has been able to accomplish before – their naturally rotten death metal-based sound is saturated with louring black metal elements; generating an eerie, tremendous atmosphere which is even strenghtened by the matching obscure cover art.

Aura starts with the heavy beast ‘Coronal Mass Ejaculation’ that immediately gives the speed and defines the atmosphere of the whole EP with its muddy, dark sound; leading the listener to the magical world of mesmerizing, drawling riffs expanded with haunting, twisted melodies.
The following ‘Entranced by the Wolfshook’ is probably the strongest track among the three with its massive main riff that keeps pouring the darkness on the listener. The guys couldn’t have found any better voice than KzR’s: his tone fits and at the same time defines the harmonized different parts in the songs that vary between speedy and drawling, gloomy way of playing.
The closing ‘The Great Unifier’ is the lenghtiest and most monumental piece with its 11 minutes, giving us an entire experience of professional music playing in the spirit of cruel yet extremely passionate old school sounding black/death metal, and giving us the chance to feel in complete trance for a few minutes after the last notes of the song.

One probably rarely hears any record which would be as coordinated as Bölzer’s EP ‘Aura’: the harmony of the tempo, riffs, melodies, the vocalist’s tone, the cover art and the whole feeling we get while listening or simply looking at the record is unexplainable. I would say ‘Aura’ truly is a release which proves the existence of something special and something of high-quality even in our days, and which requires the old-school feeling of listening on vinyl or cassette tape – so in case you like the EP, you won’t regret buying it in one of the classic formats!