Writer Donnie reveals the albums that have shaped his 2014 beginning with numbers 20 down to 16

It’s been another belter of a year for those who get their music fix in Blues, Rock or Metal.  If the music industry is going down the swanee then the bands are going down kicking and screaming.

I’ve certainly been spoilt for choice this year.  I’ve heard some great albums from some of the big names as well as some absolute stormers from bands and artists I had never heard of before being sent their album to review.  Maximum Volume will be going from strength to strength next year and we are looking forward to being involved in some really exciting projects as well as keep you good folk up to date with the best in new music.

So then it’s time to reveal my Top 20 albums of the year.  First up is numbers 20 down to 16.

20 – MAYAN – Antagonise (Nuclear Blast)

One of the first albums I heard in 2014 and it’s stuck with me all year.  This Dutch symphonic supergroup followed up 2011’s excellent Quarterpast with a vengeance.  Standout track, for me, was “Burn Your Witches” but there isn’t really a duff track on the album.  A testament to a project equalling the sum of it’s parts.

19 – Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown (Epitaph)

ETID made a statement with this, their seventh studio release, given that some critics had decided that they had reached a plateau with 2012’s Ex Lives.  The band don’t need any kick up the arse from critics but this album certainly felt like them shifting up a gear with a raw and fiery intensity that keeps them at the top of a very large pile of Metalcore bands.

18 – Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves (Peaceville)

Of all the legendary Death Metal bands that are still keeping the darker side of music alive none are keeping pace with the rejuvenated Autopsy.  After a 16 year gap between albums the US titans have been on an stoppable roll since their reformation album Macabre Eternal three years ago.  This is their third album in as many years and arguably it’s the best.

17 – Devilment – The Great and Secret Show (Nuclear Blast)

As far as side-projects go Dani Filth appears to have avoided the trap door that many iconic vocalists and frontmen have fallen through.  Filth decided to surround himself with like-minded souls who like to dabble, musically-speaking, in the more gothic side of life.  In fact so suited are his cohorts that Filth views Devilment as a second band and not a side-project at all.  Time will tell if this is to be a one album affair but if it is then it’s a damn fine album.

Full of eerie but powerful guitar riffs and Filth’s unmistakable vocal talents it’s acts as a perfect accompaniment to his main concern, Cradle of Filth.

16 – Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

In mid-August of this year I had never heard of blues/punk/rock phenom Benjamin Booker.  By mid-September I had bought his awesome self-titled debut and seen him live in Nottingham.  The track that first caught my attention was “Violent Shiver”, a  soulful yet frenzied track, and it stayed throughout the course of the album.

He effortlessly moves from raw blues to fiery rock to New Orleans jazz affected soul during the 12 tracks and it has marked him out a somewhat of an original, albeit one who firmly sticks to his roots and influences.

Next up 15 -11…………