To paraphrase Aerosmith, “half the year is in books written pages,” so the time has come to look back on the Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs for the first half of 2014.
2013 was a stellar year for hard rock music, and 2014 is shaping up to be just as good, if not better. While a number of the top Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown songs for the first half of 2014 were actually released in 2013, in recent weeks, songs released this year are starting to make a real impact, and should have a big presence in the year-end recap.
Each week, Hard Rock Daddy features a recap of the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown. Since its launch in March of 2013, HRD has become the go-to destination for Octane fans to track both current and archived recaps of the countdown, in addition to each week’s playlist, which is also featured on the Hard Rock Daddy Network.
Tracking the Big ‘Uns Countdown from the first week of January of this year to the last week of June, HardRockDaddy.com has created a unique formula to rank the songs heard on the countdown.
The following 15 songs have made the biggest impact in the first half of 2014. Click on any hyperlink to read Hard Rock Daddy reviews of the song/band.
 “Stardust” – Gemini Syndrome
The top song of the year has had a somewhat puzzling run on the Big ‘Uns Countdown. It was featured on the countdown for the first 20 weeks of the year, spending several weeks at #1, and never dropping below #4, before inexplicably dropping off the countdown entirely and never returning.
 “My Demons” – Starset
In recent weeks, Starset’s song “Carnivore” has started to make an impact, however “My Demons” is the song that put them on the Octane map, having spent the first 22 weeks of the year on the countdown. Aside from the first few weeks of the year, the song was a mainstay in the top 5, peaking at #1, before also having an inexplicable drop off of the countdown entirely.
 “Love The Way You Hate Me” – Like A Storm
It’s safe to say that Like A Storm is the only band on the list with a song that features a didgeridoo. Then again, they are also the only band from New Zealand making an impact on the countdown. “Love The Way You Hate Me” has been a mainstay on the countdown. Before dropping off this week, the song had spent 24 consecutive weeks on the Big ‘Uns Countdown, peaking for several weeks in the #1 position.
 “Torn To Pieces” – Pop Evil
Onyx has been a huge album for Pop Evil when it comes to being represented on the countdown. Following in the footsteps of “Trenches” and “Deal With The Devil,” “Torn To Pieces” is the latest song to become a Big ‘Uns Countdown fixture. The song has spent the past 14 weeks on the countdown, peaking at #1 and spending several weeks in the top 5.
 “Shepherd Of Fire” – Avenged Sevenfold
Saying that Avenged Sevenfold is revered on Octane would be a tremendous understatement. The title track off of Hail To The King basically owned the Big ‘Uns Countdown in 2013, and the two follow-up singles have spent significant time on the countdown in 2014. During the first 14 weeks of the year, “Shepherd Of Fire” took over for “Hail To The King,” peaking at #1 before yielding to “This Means War” in the 15th week of 2014.
 “Strife” – Trivium
“Strife” has had perhaps the most puzzling run on the countdown. After its initial 4-week run, it dropped off for a week then returned for a five-week run before dropping off for two weeks. Making a striking re-entry, the first week back on the countdown (after a two-week hiatus), “Strife” reached its peak position at #1. It spent three more weeks on the countdown before dropping off permanently.
 “Would You Still Be There” – Of Mice & Men
The first song in the Top 15 from a 2014 album release, “Would You Still Be There” has been a juggernaut in recent weeks. With the exception of one week, the song has been featured on the Big ‘Uns Countdown for the past 18 weeks, reaching its peak position this week at #3.
Anyone who has listened to Octane in the past week or so has definitely heard the push that they are making for Nothing More (an Octane Accelerator band). In addition to replaying their fascinating interview throughout the week, the station has also been playing several songs off of the band’s self-titled label release, which just came out last week. “This Is The Time (Ballast)” has come on like gangbusters, spending the past six weeks in the top 5, and the past three weeks in the #1 position. Unless the song gets replaced on the countdown by a follow-up single, this may end up being the song of the year on the Big ‘Uns Countdown by the time December rolls around.
 “This Means War” – Avenged Sevenfold
As was previously mentioned, “This Means War” took over where “Shepherd Of Fire” left off. After an 11-week run, the last six of which were spent in the top 5, A7X finally dropped off of the countdown. The song spent two weeks in the #1 position during its run. As the only band with two songs in the Top 15, A7X and Big ‘Uns Countdown have become synonymous. This week is the first week in a long time that they weren’t represented on the countdown at all.
 “House Of The Rising Sun” – Five Finger Death Punch
Like a handful of other bands, Five Finger Death Punch has been well-represented on the Big ‘Uns Countdown over the past year or so. “House Of The Rising Sun” enjoyed a 13-week run over the course of 14 weeks on the countdown. While it didn’t dominate the countdown the way that “Lift Me Up” (featuring Rob Halford) did, the song peaked at #5, a similar path to the one taken by the second single (“Battle Born”) off of FFDP’s epic double album – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell (volumes 1&2).
 “Immortal” – Eve To Adam
“Immortal” finished 2013 strong and carried the momentum into 2014 with a 13-week run on the countdown, peaking in the #3 position.
 “Dead But Rising” – Volbeat
Volbeat is another band that always seems to be represented on the Big ‘Uns Countdown. While not as impactful as the previous singles off of Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (“Hangman’s Body Count” and “Lola Montez”), “Dead But Rising” enjoyed a 14-week run over the course of 17 weeks, peaking in the #2 position.
 “Weak” – Seether
In a somewhat unorthodox move, Seether featured “Weak” (from their new release Isolate and Medicate) on their “best of” album 2002-2013 in the fall of last year. The first “official” single from the new album, “Words As Weapons” has been making a big impact on the countdown as of late, but before it entered the Big ‘Uns Countdown, “Weak” had a 14-week run and peaked in the #4 position. “Words As Weapons” looks to have an even stronger run, and will likely be one of the top songs of the year when all is said and done.
 “Always” – Killswitch Engage
Like Eve To Adam’s “Immortal,” Killswitch Engage’s “Always” carried its 2013 momentum into a 12-week run at the beginning of 2014. The follow-up song to “In Due Time” peaked in the #4 position.
 “Painkiller” – Three Days Grace
In one of the most surprising band departures in recent memory, Adam Gontier (Three Days Grace’s former frontman), parted ways with the band just as they were about to embark upon a tour in support of their hit album, Transit Of Venus. With the tour already booked, Three Days Grace turned to My Darkest Days frontman, Matt Walst (TDG bassist Brad Walst’s brother) to front the band. Shortly after the tour, Matt was named the permanent replacement for Gontier. The band will be releasing a new album later this year. The first single off of the album, “Painkiller,” has spent 9 of the past 11 weeks on the Big ‘Uns Countdown (peaking in the #3 position).
Check out 6 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs to Watch as we move into the second half of the year (below the Top 15 Playlist – January 2014 – June 2014)…
- “Pittsburgh” – The Amity Affliction (8 consecutive weeks, peaked in the #8 position)
- “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” – Hellyeah (6 out of 7 weeks, peaked in the #7 position)
- “All Rise” – Wovenwar (3 consecutive weeks, peaked in the #11 position)
- “Room To Breathe” – You Me At Six (3 weeks total, peaked in the #4 position)
- “1000hp” – Godsmack (past 2 weeks, peaked in the #6 position)
- “Bloody Angel” – Avatar (past 2 weeks, peaked in the #13 position)