awardsThroughout 2014 our dedicated team of reviewers have delivered the key verdicts first on the very best albums and gigs of the year.

So settle down and compare your annual favourites with our top team’s top choices from the last 12 months. 










Richard Holmes (Reviews Editor)



1. Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun 

Imaginative, technically astonishing, even a little bit groovy –  Once More ‘Round The Sun proved once again that Mastodon are true masters of their craft. There seems to be no stopping the four headed leviathan from Atlanta.

2. Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind 

3. Myrkur – Myrkur 

4. Electric Wizard – Time To Die 

5. Bast – Spectres 

6. Dread Sovereign – All Hell’s Martyrs 

7. Krieg – Transient 

8. At The Gates – At War With Reality 

9. Sick Of It All – Last Act Of Defiance 

10. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen 



1. Bolt Thrower – Damnation Festival, Leeds University, Leeds

A rare UK appearance from the extreme metal titans, many fans had been waiting their whole lives for this show… and they weren’t disappointed. Both Thrower delivered a set which marked Damnation’s tenth anniversary in some style.

2. Iron Maiden – Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth

3. Mastodon – O2 Academy, Newcastle

4. Winterfylleth – Damnation Festival, Leeds University, Leeds

5. Fucked Up – The Cluny, Newcastle



Self Made Man (Ian Murtagh)



1 Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill

Southern flavoured rock and rollers finally took the UK by storm with record that bested label mates Rival Sons.

2 Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland

3 Pink Floyd – The Endless River

4 Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie

5 Bob Seger – Ride Out

6 Blues Pills – Blues Pills

7 AC/DC – Rock Or Bust

8 Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades Of Blue

9 Augustines – Augustines

10 Black Keys – Turn Blue



1 Aerosmith/Joe Bonamassa – Clapham Calling, London

There was little to choose between the old stagers and the new kid on the blues block on a day when Clapham found its true calling.

2 Rival Sons/Blues Pills – O2 Academy, Newcastle

3 The Who – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

4 Counting Crows – O2 Academy, Newcastle

5 Temperance Movement – Newcastle University, Newcastle



Adam Keys



1. Royal Blood – Royal Blood 

Royal Blood urged us to believe the hype…and we did. Killer debut from the new darlings of heavy rock.

2. American Hi-Fi – Blood and Lemonade 

3. Band of Skulls – Himalayan 

4. Shadowclub – Goodbye Wild Child

5. Let it Happen – Cause and Effect 

6. Steel Panther – All You Can Eat

7. Issues – Issues

8. Villains – Villains 

9. The Xcerts – There Is Only You 

10. LostAlone – Shapes of Scream