Even in February, I don't feel fully comfortable writing this list, because there is still so much from 2014 that's on my backlog, and this was such an incredible year that I feel like any of the ones listed could be usurped at any moment. However, it's time to put 2014 in the past and list a bunch of albums that most people aren't going to give a shit about anyway.
This has been by far the most metal year of my life. For whatever reason, I didn't really steer too far outside the metallic path this year, and found myself continually impressed with how deep this rabbit hole goes. I've had a really amazing time exploring the depths of my favorite genre, and I feel like I've barely even gotten below the mantle yet.
I'd normally go for a top 10, but this year I have to do 20, and all 20 are fantastic records in their own right. My absolute favorites of these are the top five, which you'll see at the end of this list, but the rest are more or less interchangeable. Most of these albums can be found on Bandcamp, and I highly encourage everyone interested in any of these to support the artists and buy from them directly.
Finally, because of this large list, I'm going to do the write-up a bit differently, and I'm only going to write 14 words for each album of 2014. It was a fun experiment. Enjoy!