Kurt Ballou w/ Converge at MHOW in 2012 (more by Jonathan McPhail)
Kurt Ballou

Converge already have a busy 2015 ahead of them, with a big tour with At the Gates and Vallenfyre -- that hits NYC on 12/12 at Webster Hall (tickets) -- lined up, but even when Converge aren't touring or working on an album, their members seem constantly busy. We recently talked about what bassist Nate Newton is up to, frontman Jacob Bannon is always busy with Deathwish, and guitarist Kurt Ballou is always behind the boards of some of the best heavy music coming out today.

Now that it's Best-Of List Season, Kurt has given us a list of his favorite 2014 releases that he recorded, produced, and/or mixed. Here's what he had to say about it:

I'm pretty terrible at writing these "10 best albums of 2000 whatever" things because, as a recording engineer, after concentrating on music for 10 hours a day, every day in my studio, listening to music isn't a priority when the day is through. I kind of hate it, because I really love music, but I also need some time to reset my ears and brain. So, when asked to contribute to these sorts of things, I'm always a bit embarrassed to respond with, "uhhh... I'm only really familiar with the stuff I recorded." But I recorded some killer records this year, so fuck it - here's some shameless self-promotion. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite 2014 releases that I recorded, produced, and/or mixed.

Self-promotion or not, it's a list of great records. Check it out, with his commentary, below...


Kurt Ballou's Favorite Albums of 2014 That He Recorded, Produced, And/Or Mixed

Old Man Gloom - Ape of God. The hijinks and shenanigans that took place during the release of this record hopefully provided their audience with a tiny glimpse into the misery I experience when working with these idiots.

Baptists - Bloodmines. These guys really stepped up the creativity and memorability on this album. Check out their skate videos, too!

Floor - Oblations. As a longtime fan of Floor and their related projects, I was honored to have the opportunity to contribute to their legacy.

Obliterations - Poison Everything. I only mixed this one, but what a fucking classic hardcore record! It was awesome to collaborate with a band and engineer with such great pedigrees.

Trap Them - Blissfucker. I'm so happy these guys are back making records again. Working with old friends making great music is the best part of my job.

Idylls - Prayer for Terrene. I hope these guys tour the states soon or I get to see them in Australia some time. If you have not heard this band, check them out right now. They are legends in the making.

Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown. What an incredible group of people and song writers. I loved just about every minute of working on this record.

Occultation - Silence in the Ancestral House. I don't know exactly what to say about this record. Does it sound old? Or futuristic? Classic? Unique? I don't really know, but these songs are still stuck in my head, many months after finishing the album.

Iron Reagan - Tyranny of Will. Tony, Phil, Ryan and I toured together back in 2005 and have kept in touch over the years. When Tony asked me to mix the new Iron Reagan I was fucking stoked. This record is such a ripper.

Hark - Crystalline. Fuck this record is good. Killer riffs and even more killer vocals from some dudes who know what they're doing.

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