Welcome back to the Rock Sins 2014 End Of Year Awards. The fourth instalment of this years’ Rock Sins awards is provided courtesy of one of our main live reviewers and interviewers, Mr Sam Dignon. Take it away Sam….
1) Album Of The Year: The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth
I feel the best way to sum up how much I like Dear Youth is that it was only released in the middle of November and I’ve still listened to it more than any other album from this year. Packed from start to finish with nothing but huge hardcore anthems, Dear Youth is an outstanding example of a modern hardcore album. Without out sounding cliche it is more melodic than anything The Ghost Inside have done before but has not lost any of it’s heaviness, just listen to the breakdown in Mercy. There were lots of albums I loved this year but none of them compared to Dear Youth.
Feed The Rhino – The Sorrow And The Sound
Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together
Against Me – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown
2) Song Of The Year: Polar – Black Days
Polar’s second album Shadowed By Vultures was the best thing they have put out and while it wasn’t quite a contender for album of the year the high point of the album is still the best song I’ve heard this year. Black Days is a song that hasn’t got anywhere near the recognition it deserves. A slice of melodic hardcore with a huge and emotional chorus, Black Days is the best song of Polar’s career.
While She Sleeps – Four Walls
Architects – Gravedigger
Comeback Kid – Should Know Better
The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth (Day 52)
3) Gig Of The Year: Against Me at the Electric Ballroom, November 18th
This was another very hard category for me to choose as the two best gigs I went to this year were on following days: Against Me at the Electric Ballroom and Crossfaith at the Koko. As amazing as Crossfaith were I had to go with Against Me in the end. Against Me’s live show contained no fancy stage show or gimmicks, just four musicians putting everything they have into their performance playing amazing songs. Having already seen them play an amazing set at Download it was even more impressive seeing them at their own headline show playing to a sold out crowd. From the very first note of opener Fuckmylife666 the crowd didn’t stop jumping around and singing, leading to one of the best atmosphere’s at a show I’ve been part of. And I have to mention what an incredible front woman Laura Jane Grace is, the passion in her performance is unmatched and she seems to be having the time of her life on stage.
Crossfaith @ The Koko
Parkway Drive @ The Roundhouse
Your Demise @ The Underworld
Architects @ Manchester Academy 2
4) Festival Performance Of The Year: SikTh at Download Festival
Whilst we lost a lot of amazing bands in 2014 there as one reunion that near enough made up for all of the bands that split. SikTh headlining the Redbull stage at Download felt like a genuinely special moment. Coming on to chants of “best band at Download” before opening with Bland Street Bloom lead to the tent erupting into chaos and it didn’t stop for the 45 minute SikTh were onstage. Unfortunately it was all over too quickly but that didn’t stop SikTh putting on the best festival set of the year and one of the best festival sets I’ve ever seen.
Architects @ Reading Festival
Anti-Flag @ Hevy Festival
letlive. @ Slam Dunk North
Despised Icon @ Impericon Festival Manchester
5) Video Of The Year: Baby Godzilla – The Great Hardcore Swindle
Baby Godzilla are a ridiculous band, whether it’s their music, live show or videos the band are just ridiculous. The video for The Great Hardcore Swindle begins with the message “On Thursday 19th of June 2014 Baby Godzilla were given £25 each to construct a battle suit so they could die with honour”. What follows is the band building their battle suits out of whatever they can get their hands on and then going to war with each other. As I said they are a ridiculous band but one I find it impossible not to love.
Crossfaith – Madness
Pup – Mabu
Feed The Rhino – The Sorrow And The Sound
6) Most Disappointing album of the year: Lower Than Atlantis – Lower Than Atlantis
Let me begin this by saying I understand that from a career perspective this probably will be the most important album Lower Than Atlantis have released so far, it’s certainly their most commercially successful. Now that I’ve got that out of the way I can honestly say that Lower Than Atlantis is the most boring album I’ve heard this year. Lead single and album opener Here We Go was a promising start but the album spirals downwards from there. It’s not a terrible album but I’ve been a huge fan of Lower Than Atlantis in the past and I found this album to be nothing more than a collection of boring pop-rock songs.
Emmure – Eternal Enemies
Pvris – White Noise
7) EP of the Year: Devil Sold His Soul – Belong ? Betray
Every year people talk about their albums of the year so I’ve decided I’d like to show some love for the more bite-sized releases from this year. Melodic hardcore band Hundredth released their amazing Resist EP while Periphery’s Clear EP was the most creative thing that band have done. But if I had to pick one EP that really stood out it would be Devil Sold His Soul’s Belong ? Betray. I’ve gone on about how Devil Sold His Soul are one of the most underrated bands in the UK a lot in the past and will continue to until they finally get the credit they deserve. Belong ? Betray is 25 minutes of stunning progressive metalcore and as their first official release with new vocalist Paul Green I can definitely say that changing vocalists has not had a negative effect on this band at all.
Hundredth – Resist
Periphery – Clear
Bleed From Within – Death Walk
The One Hundred – Subculture
8) Band Of The Year: Architects
For some reason people had written off Architects over the last few years, 2012’s Daybreaker was a fantastic album but people just didn’t seem to care much anymore. As a huge fan this was upsetting to see, fortunately Architects have come back in 2014 with an album that finally tops Hollow Crown, something that a lot of fans said they’d never do. Alongside this they destroyed venues across the country on a fantastic headline tour but the crowning moment for Architects this year would have to be their appearance at Reading Festival. There really hasn’t been another band this year who have made as much of an impact for me as Architects. For a band who people had near enough given up on this has been amazing to witness. And it looks like it’s going to continue into 2015 as they play their biggest headline shows ever next year. Whilst they’ll never be as big as some of the other British Metalcore bands, I genuinely believe 2015 has proven that Architects are the best there is.
So there we have Sam’s choices for Rock Sins 2014 end of year awards! If you’d like to debate or discuss Sam’s choices with him you can look him up on Twitter at @moshxlord.
Please also take the time to check out the choices by our other writers, so far we’ve got Sam’s sister Fran (read her Rock Sins 2014 end of year awards choices here), James W (read his here) and Katie (read hers here). Please stay tuned for lots more awards features from the rest of the team too!