Alright, so we're all big Amon Amarth fans. But I know we are all Metal fans first and foremost. 2014 has been another great year for Metal, even without an AA album, and there have been a few surprises, at least for me, along the way. So, what band and/or album has surprised you, so far, this year? Was it a good surprise or did it unexpectedly disappoint? Here's mine: Falconer - Black Moon Rising I've always tried to like Falconer but just could never fully embrace their music. I'm not an overly big fan of "traditional" clean heavy metal vocals. Maybe listening to bands like Grand Magus has changed my ear slightly. Black Moon Rising far exceeded any of my expectations for the album. Definitely worth a listen. Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls I'll be happy to be alive in my 60s. These guys are still making decent metal albums. I am picking this mainly for the song Halls of Valhalla. Another pleasant surprise as I originally had no interest at all in this album. Equilibrium - Erdentempel Unfortunately I think my expectations were too high for this album. I keep hoping this band will better Sagas but, at least to me, it didn't happen this time. Now that most of the original members are gone I do not have high hopes that they will ever equal the awesomeness of Sagas.