Plenty of metal acts had a tremendous 2014, and in this category of the 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards, we present 10 contenders who made incredible impacts during the course of the year.

All of these bands released new albums in 2014, some of which can be considered the best of the various acts' careers. They also toured the world and captured the imagination of fans around the globe with fresh music. From legendary and well-known acts to brilliant bands from further underground, these are your nominees for Best Metal Band of 2014. Cast your vote in the poll below!

 

  • 10

    At the Gates

    Nineteen years after At the Gates released their banner work, 'Slaughter of the Soul,' and took two separate hiatuses, the Swedish melodic death metal / metalcore band unleashed 'At War With Reality' in 2014. Fans went nuts for this album, and At the Gates further brutalized metalheads while playing a health handful of gigs around the world.

    Century Media
  • 2

    Behemoth

    Behemoth topped our Best Metal Albums of 2014 and Best Metal Videos of 2014 lists this year. Frontman Nergal, newly in remission from cancer, created 'The Satanist' with his bandmates, while the group also headlined the 2014 Metal Alliance Tour, toured the European festival scene and played a Russia tour that ended prematurely when they were kicked out of the country following a night in jail after facing governmental opposition.

    Metal Blade / Nuclear Blast
  • 9

    Exodus

    Exodus' inclusion in this poll comes with the return of singer Steve 'Zetro' Souza. Though previous singer Rob Dukes was admired by many, Zetro committed some of his most ferocious vocals to date on 'Blood In, Blood Out.' Exodus also influenced pits to appear around the world, including throughout U.S. gigs with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies.

    Nuclear Blast
  • 8

    Insomnium

    Insomnium captivated a tremendous amount of fans in 2014 with 'Shadows of the Dying Sun.' The vocals of Ville Friman demands praise as the singer floats seamlessly through gorgeous, soaring clean singing next to Niilo Sevänen's demonic gutturals. 'Shadows of the Dying Sun' is death metal's answer to a warm bath; so palatable in its heaviness and beauty that complete immersion is the sole effect.

    Century Media
  • 7

    Judas Priest

    2014 saw a reinvigorated Judas Priest as the band released the stellar 'Redeemer of Souls' album. This was guitarist Richie Faulkner's debut disc with the band, and the shredder's style mixed with Glenn Tipton's made for an extremely exciting listen. Rob Halford also treated fans to his best live vocals in years during the 'Redeemer of Souls' tour, which was undoubtedly one of 2014's best live outings.

    Epic
  • 3

    Mastodon

    With 'Once More 'Round the Sun,' Mastodon kept their streak going of never releasing a disappointing album. Bassist Troy Sanders, drummer Brann Dailor and guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher all give some of their career's best performances on the album, while the band also spent 2014 headlining two legs of tour dates with Gojira and Kvelertak.

    Warner
  • 6

    Opeth

    Opeth released 'Pale Communion' in 2014. This was the first time Opeth released two back-to-back albums without death metal gutturals, but 'Pale Communion' succeeded in creating beauty with heavy atmosphere. Opeth also toured massive venues with In Flames in late 2014, with the new cut 'Cusp of Eternity' gaining a particularly warm response from fans.

    Roadrunner
  • 5

    Septicflesh

    The Greek symphonic metallers of Septicflesh brought their career to a new level in 2014, thanks in part to the release of 'Titan.' The phenomenal album showed Septicflesh teaming with the Prague Philharmonic once again and the band did a huge amount of international touring in 2014, headlining the 'Conquerers of the World' tour. Septicflesh also hit the U.S. with Deicide and Inquisition later in the year.

    Prosthetic
  • 1

    Slipknot

    Following the death of bassist Paul Gray and the departure of drummer Joey Jordison, the future of Slipknot was in question. However, not only did Slipknot continue on, they created '.5: The Gray Chapter,' which fans loved and percussionist Shawn 'Clown' Crahan called a beautiful epiphany. Slipknot also embarked on the massive 'Prepare for Hell' tour and rocked their Knotfest extravaganzas in both the U.S. and Japan.

    Roadrunner
  • 4

    Triptykon

    2014 was a banner year from Triptykon. The album 'Melana Chasmata' boasts unique spoken-word vocals, huge production, crushing guitars and ripping solos. Triptykon toured the world, mostly in the later half of 2014, in support of one of the year's most acclaimed metal releases.

    Century Media