MKH Top Ten Of 2014:

I will begin with saying that 2014 was an incredible year for new music. As you can see, my top 3 are all #1 – they are all tied for first place. It was quite difficult to not put 20-30 albums in this year’s top releases, it is also a feat to put things “in order” – but I shall attempt to!

-MKH

1. Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter

Slipknot’s “(sic)” was the first song Trivium ever played live. We performed it in 2000 at The Lake Brantley High School’s Battle Of The Bands when I was 12/13 years old. Needless to say, Slipknot has been a favorite band of mine for ages. Having rotating favorites between the first and third albums, I had no idea what was to come of their fifth.

“.5″ for me, is the greatest Slipknot album yet. “Override” and “Custer” are my two new favorite Slipknot songs. The dimensions and depths and layers to this album are staggering. The brutality is as harsh as ever on the record, the melody is more passionate and infectious as ever. This album is the pinnacle of all things Slipknot. Mind-blowing.

Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter (Special Edition)

1. Behemoth – The Satanist

“The Satanist” without question is the best in Death Metal, Black Metal, Extreme Metal, and Metal of the year. Having always been a massive Behemoth fan, I feel with their newest opus, they have ventured into a darkness unlike anything previous. “O Father O Satan O Sun” and “The Satanist” explore new tempos and territories uncharted before by Behemoth. These slower, more melodic, more menacing tracks are equally as heavy and destructive as anything they’ve done previously. “The Satanist” has so many layers and worlds within the music – it’s more like Mozart’s Requiem than simply Black Metal; although – this is the most Black Metal thing Behemoth has done yet – in the sense it’s revolutionized Black Metal all over again.

Behemoth – The Satanist

1. マキシマムザホルモン (Makishimamu Za Horumon/ Maximum The Hormone) – 予襲復讐 (Yoshū Fukushū)

Outside of Japan, Maximum The Hormone isn’t quite a household name just yet. But to put in in perspective, I had the privilege to see MTH play in front of 20,000 people in Osaka a few years back and I easily put it in one of the greatest shows I’ve seen in my life time. The entire crowd knew every word, hand motion; it was as if the crowd was part of the performance.

“Yoshū” captures everything I love about Maximum The Hormone. It’s melodic, spastic, heavy, insane, indescribable, bizarre, hilarious, passionate, manic, beautiful, serious… It’s all things Japan defined by a band. If I absolutely must compare MTH to bands or genres, think: Pantera, Faith No More, The Misfits, Rage Against The Machine, Black Flag and all the insanity that is Japanimation. Although… that still doesn’t quite define them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdwT5JlH8gM

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I was recently asked to ghost-write a song for a contemporary band. The song ended up not being used, so I decided you guys may enjoy it. Here it is, “The Wretchedness Inside.”

 

music, lyrics, engineering, production, mixing, and mastering by Matthew Kiichi Heafy

(downloadable link; click on the title below)

 

The Wretchedness Inside

 

You think you’ve won but you don’t stand a chance

Determination is a flame that lives right inside of my bones

You think you buried me but I’ve come back from the dead

You better aim for my head

 

Submerged in dirt: it was never enough

This weightless earth never could hold me down

I’ve had my eyes on my target since birth

Those who oppose? I dismember my rivals

 

I must emancipate my pain

To ensure an unrivaled reign

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

I’m begging for the

Strength to kill the wretchedness inside

 

The wretchedness inside

 

My nemesis is one inherent in me

My devastation is the bane of existence and I just can’t kill this beast

Without the fight of a lifetime

For it’s the struggle in me

 

Submerged in dirt: it was never enough

This weightless earth never could hold me down

I’ve had my eyes on my target since birth

Those who oppose? I dismember my rivals

 

I must emancipate my pain

To ensure an unrivaled reign

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

I’m begging for the

Strength to kill the wretchedness inside

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

I’m begging for the

Strength to kill the wretchedness inside

 

This blood I bleed, I bleed only for me

This blood I bleed, I bleed only for me

 

Solo

 

This blood I bleed, I bleed only for me

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

I’m begging for the

Strength to kill the wretchedness inside

 

I’m tearing at the seams

I’ve fallen to my knees

I’m begging for the

Strength to kill the wretchedness inside

 

The wretchedness inside

 

This blood I bleed, I bleed only for me

This blood I bleed, I bleed only for me

 

The wretchedness inside

Dawn Of A Golden Age (click to download)

This track was written and produced by myself; it features Dani Filth (Cradle Of Filth) on lead vocals, Mike Smith (Suffocation) on drums, Sean Malone (Cynic) on bass, Justin (3 Inches Of Blood) on guitar, me on guitars, Jason Suecof on piano.

I’m not sure who missed this album or this track (or the other 4 tracks I appeared on (3 I wrote, 1 I sang on that Dino (FF) wrote)), but this is certainly one of my favorites from the whole session. Black Metal has always held a very special place in my heart – and it was a terrific experience to be able to create my interpretation of the genre with some of the best musicians from the Extreme-music field.

Enjoy.