Rock Sins Staff End Of Year Awards 2014 – James Halstead

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Another day and another entry in the 2014 Rock Sins End of Year Awards. This time it’s one of our longest serving writers Mr James Halstead picking his highs and lows from last year. Let the awards commence…

Album of the year? Suicide Silence – You Can’t Stop Me

Returning from tragic circumstances with their best album yet ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ is a tour de force from one of metal’s most consistent names. Backed up by a relentlessly crushing live show Suicide Silence are back and better than ever.

Song of the year? – Gravedigger – Architects

The rabble-rousing opening track of Architects‘ latest album; ‘Lost Forever, Lost Together,’ ‘Gravedigger’ contains so many of the elements that have made Architect’s such an influential band to so many modern bands. It helps that there are a few timely BLEURGHS in there too…

Video of the year? – Suicide Silence – You Can’t Stop Me

The best song from the best metal album of the year also has the best video. Although it’s probably fair to say that it’s the last thirty seconds that really make it so good.

Gig of the Year? – A Day to Remember – Alexandra Palace

They may have faced some stiff opposition in the last month and I came very close to giving it to Bring Me The Horizon’s monumental Wembley show from earlier this month but eventually I stuck with the gig I knew wouldn’t be topped this year.

An inventive production, fantastic setlist and the genuine sense you were watching something special all contributed to making A Day To Remember’s step-up into even bigger venues that little bit more special than the average gig.

Festival performance of the year? – Anthrax – Sonisphere Knebworth

Anthrax performing Among the Living in full at Sonisphere was one of the best shows I’ve attended in living memory let alone festivals this year

Most disappointing album of the year? – Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

It’s not a bad album by any stretch but, really, after the magnificent darkness of debut ‘Eparistera Daimones’ I just expected more.

Band of the year? – Feed The Rhino

Feed the Rhino. Having missed out very, very narrowly on several other categories already it strikes me that Feed the Rhino have had a stonking year. From releasing their best album yet in ‘The Sorrow and the Sound,’ devastating audiences up and down the country; with those shows which I’ve been fortunate enough to attend each being ‘gig of the year’ contenders I think it’s fair to say Feed the Rhino have had a fantastic year.

Best opening band? – Bleed From Within

When Bleed From Within supported Devildriver they were far and away the best band of the night. A difficult feat to accomplish when you’re playing to a half empty room at 7 in the evening, but Bleed did it anyway with a characteristically tight and fiery performance.

James is the latest member of the Rock Sins staff to complete their 2014 end of year awards choices. If you’d like to debate his selections with him you can find him on Twitter at @BlackLabel666.