1. Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides
This is by far the best Black Veil Brides album to date. After straying from their signature sound on Wretched and Divine, they finally rediscovered themselves on the self-titled album. It’s packed with catchy rock anthems from beginning to end.
Standout track: Crown of Thorns
2. Disgusting – Beartooth
This is the heaviest album on my list, both lyrically and sonically. It is brutally honest and hard-hitting. Despite the roller coaster of emotions, you’ll find yourself singing along to every catchy chorus after just one listen. The most impressive part: Beartooth’s frontman Caleb Shomo did everything on this album himself.
Standout track: In Between
3. Lost Forever // Lost Together – Architects
You want to know why I adore this album? It is intelligent. Architects is a band that is bigger than themselves. They are making political statements and bringing awareness to critical issues that need to be discussed. That is something I crave more of in our music scene.
Standout track: Colony Collapse
4. La Gargola – Chevelle
I know what you’re thinking: Chevelle seems out of place on my list. Although they aren’t in the same “scene” as the other artists, they are one of my favorite rock bands. They have been around for 15 years but don’t let that misguide you – their music still sounds modern and fresh. La Gargola is intense, dark, aggressive, and mesmerizing all at the same time. Every time I listen to it, it’s like falling in love for the first time (I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true).
Standout track: An Island
5. Restoring Force – Of Mice & Men
I am pretty sure this album is on everyone’s 2014 favorites list and rightfully so. Aaron Pauley made his big debut as an official member of the band and he truly shined on the album. It is a perfect balance of heavy and melodic. Restoring Force has proven to be a pivotal milestone in Of Mice & Men’s career.
Standout track: Bones Exposed
6. The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways – Crown The Empire
This album features an incredibly intricate storyline, which is a continuation of the band’s previous release, The Fallout. Crown The Empire is one of the few bands that can pull off a concept album without being cheesy or disingenuous. I’m impressed that they were able to incorporate this intense plot in the midst of their equally grandiose songs. That is what CTE does best.
Standout track: Millenia
7. Devil – Chiodos
This is the first Chiodos album is seven years – no big deal right? Well, the band is back with a bang. There was a lot of suspense leading up to this release and they fulfilled my highest hopes. They delivered a great record for both new and old Chiodos fans alike!
Standout track: Expensive Conversations In Cheap Motels
8. Rooms Of The House – La Dispute
The fact that the storytelling on this album is fictional baffles me. The imagery and narration is so meticulous that it all seems tangible. I listen to La Dispute when I want to escape because I can visualize all of their stories down to the smallest details. Aside from their flawless lyrics, their music sounds amazing too. So it’s a win-win situation.
Standout track: HUDSONVILLE, MI 1956
9. Issues – Issues
This is the only album I’ve listened to that incorporates gospel, electronic, metal, and pop elements while still sounding cohesive. It’s brilliant! The lyrics also tackle a wide range of topics from relationships to personal hardships. There's something for everyone. Issues is changing the game in the Metalcore scene.
Standout track: Mad At Myself
10. White Noise – PVRIS
I have seen so much hype about this album and for a while, I ignored it (which was a huge mistake). When I finally gave it a listen, I was instantly head over heels. These songs are painfully catchy – they’ll have you dancing in no time. If you haven’t already, join the bandwagon and fall in love with PVRIS just like everyone else. You won’t want to miss out on what they have to offer.
Standout track: Ghosts