Best Rock Album of 2014 – 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
We've got 20 solid efforts battling it out for Best Rock Album of 2014 in the 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards. Among the contenders are veteran acts showing they still have much to say in adding to their legacy, new bands ready to leave their mark on the music scene and several acts turning a corner in their career by stepping up their game and taking some chances.
But which of these discs deserves to be crowned the Best Rock Album of 2014 in the 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards? That's up to you. Take a look at the nominees below, then place your vote in the poll provided at the bottom of this post.
With AC/DC, you know what you're going to get, but that being said, 'Rock or Bust' still sounds fresh and shows the rock vets still have a knack for creating rock classics. With 'Play Ball' and the title track, the band is already off to a hot start with this late year offering.
In what may turn out to be the most important album of Against Me's career, transgendered frontwoman Laura Jane Grace addressed her transformation head on in song and delivered vulnerably honest tracks like 'True Trans Soul Rebel,' 'F--- My Life 666,' 'Black Me Out,' 'Two Coffins' and 'Drinking With the Jocks.'
Black Label Society are one of rock's most consistent bands, but still manage to keep things fresh. 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' gave us the bluesy magic of 'My Dying Time,' the ballad 'Angel of Mercy,' a twangy favorite in 'Scars' and the guitar rocker 'Heart of Darkness.'
Chevelle continue to evolve with each album and 'La Gargola' found the group truly dialed in with tracks like the aggressive 'Take Out the Gunman,' the sinister-sounding 'Hunter Eats Hunter' and the abrasively rocking 'An Island' leading the way.
Crobot are one 2014's true discoveries, with the band showing a knack for riding a groove into something truly great. The 'Something Supernatural' disc features the breakout single, 'Nowhere to Hide,' as well as the standouts 'Legend of the Spaceborne Killer' and Night of the Sacrifice.'
As a member of Rammstein, guitarist Richard Kruspe got very familiar with some big riffs and that's served him well with his band Emigrate. The heavy 'Eat You Alive' featuring Seeed's Frank Delle led off the disc, but the disc also offers standout collaborations with Lemmy Kilmister on 'Rock City' and Marilyn Manson on 'Hypothetical.' Emigrate's 'Silent So Long' is worthy of a listen from top to bottom.
Foo Fighters' ambitious 'Sonic Highways' album found the band recording in multiple U.S. cities, borrowing influence from their respective music scenes and teaming with such locals as Rick Nielsen, Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr. Zac Brown and Ben Gibbard. 'Something From Nothing' was the lead single, but tracks like 'The Feast and the Famine,' 'What Did I Do? / God As My Witness' and 'I Am a River' all show promise for future success.
Godsmack may have enjoyed an extended break, but they showed no rust with their '1000hp' album. Led by the in-your-face title track, the disc picked up right where they left off, but the aptly titled 'Something Different' showed some musical growth along the way. Add in 'Generation Day' and 'Locked and Loaded' and Godsmack have delivered another solid offering.
Hellyeah turned a corner in their career, refining their lineup and making some creative changes on the 'Blood for Blood' album. Tracks like 'Sangre Por Sangre (Blood for Blood" and 'Cross to Bier' got the disc off on the right foot with radio, but it was their ambitious single 'Moth' that really showed the band's growth was being embraced by listeners.
2014 was the year that America got familiar with Islander, an upstart band who connected with the infinitely catchy 'Coconut Dracula.' But the band's 'Violence and Destruction' disc offered much more, with the Deftones-esque 'New Wave' and hardcore 'Criminals' among the songs that catapult this disc to one of the year's best.
Linkin Park opened up the creative process in 2014 and found 'The Hunting Party' bolstered with some intriguing collaborations with the likes of rap icon Rakim ('Guilty All the Same'), System of a Down's Daron Malakian ('Rebellion') and more. But stand alone Linkin Park songs like 'Final Masquerade' and 'Until It's Gone' also struck a chord at radio.
Thank San Antonio for newcomers Nothing More. The band enjoyed a true breakout in 2014 with the hugely successful single 'This Is the Time (Ballast).' Meanwhile, tracks like 'Mr. MTV' and 'Christ Copyright' connected with new fans and cemented this self-titled effort as one of the year's best.
Though already established as one of rock's up-and-coming acts, the addition of bassist/co-vocalist Aaron Pauley took Of Mice & Men to new heights. His melodic vocals offered the perfect compliment to Austin Carlile's powerful belting and the band saw fans embrace the change. 'Restoring Force' was definitely a success with tracks like 'Feels Like Forever,' 'Would You Still Be There?,' 'Bones Exposed' and 'You're Not Alone' making it one of the band's deepest runs into a disc.
After generating buzz for a few years, the Taylor Momsen-led Pretty Reckless made good on that promise in 2014. 'Going to Hell' got rolling with the title track in 2013, but truly took off with the chart-topping 'Heaven Knows' in early 2014. 'F---ed Up World,' 'Follow Me Down' and 'House on a Hill' have also enjoyed some radio attention.
Punk vets Rancid returned revitalized with their '... Honor Is All We Know' album. Songs like 'Back Where I Belong,' 'Collision Course' and 'Already Dead' easily slip into what's already a pretty impressive musical legacy for the band and appear ready-made for the stage.
You might swear there's more than two guys on Royal Blood's self-titled disc, but you'd be wrong. The duo of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher ascended as probable heirs to the Black Keys / Jack White sound with tracks like 'Out of the Black,' 'Figure It Out' and 'Ten Tonne Skeleton' worming their ways into the ears and hearts of listeners.
Seether have some more tricks up their sleeve with the impactful single 'Words as Weapons' and the incredibly infectious follow-up 'Same Damn Life' leading their 'Isolate & Medicate' album. Songs like 'See You at the Bottom,' 'Suffer It All' and 'Save Today' offer promise for 2015 and help complete a solid all-around disc.
What do you do after a pair of book-inspired albums? Sixx: A.M.'s members pulled a page from their '70s rock heroes, putting their own stamp on some of those sounds with the 'Modern Vintage' disc. The glam-stomp single 'Gotta Get It Right,' the anthemic 'Stars' and an interesting take on The Cars' classic 'Drive' got this album off on the right foot, with 'Let's Go,' 'Give Me a Love' and 'Get Ya Some' among the standout album tracks.
'World on Fire' is an appropriate title for a band that really seems to be coming into their own. The combination of Slash's electrifying guitar work with Myles Kennedy's powerful vocals, not to mention some impressive work from "The Conspirators," and this group has quickly become one of rock's best bands. 'World on Fire' shows that with the blistering title track and such standouts as 'Bent to Fly,' '30 Years to Fly,' 'Wicked Stone' and more.
Starset, the mysterious rock outfit led by frontman Dustin Bates, offers the electronic heaviness of the breakout single 'My Demons' on their 'Transmissions' disc. But the album also features the ambitiously mesmerizing track 'Telescope,' the gritty single 'Carnivore' and a little bit of something for everyone.