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Albums made at Toyland Recording Studio receive Awards and Best Of 2014 Accolades

In the recording studio, one of the fun things about the transition from one year to the next, is music journalists compile their “Best Of” lists and media run fan voted “Best Of” polls for the outgoing year. It’s always awesome to see albums made at Toyland Recording Studio appear on these compendiums, and 2014 was certainly a strong year for albums for us.

Congratulations to all the bands who made it into these competitive “Best Of 2014″ lists in the media.


Sydonia‘s ‘Reality Kicks’ (mixed and mastered by Adam Calaitzis) was highly rated in the press.

Higgo from Triple M Distortion radio show rated Reality Kicks at # 3 on his Favourite Albums of 2014.

Andrew Haug of Andrew Haug Radio had Sydonia’s ‘Reality Kicks’ come in at #3 Australian Album for 2014 via his Listener Poll.

Sydonia Reality Kicks recorded at Toyland Recording Studio Melbourne

Veteran journalist Rod Whitfield of SF Media placed ‘Reality Kicks’ #4 in his mid-year Best Of 2014. Whitfield commented,

“A long wait for this long running Aussie band, and it was worth every second. Beauty and bone crushing heaviness side by side.”

The webzine AuReview.com published a contributor voted poll of their Best 40 Australian Albums of the Year for 2014; Sydonia‘s ‘Reality Kicks’ polled at #22. Dana Roskvist, in interview with the AU’s Larry Heath at BIGSOUND music conference, said of Reality Kicks.

“This is the most radio play we’ve ever had in all the time we’ve been playing music. The reception to the songs has been really great as well. There’s no one coming up and saying, ‘I like your old stuff better.'”



Australian metal Webzine Metal As Fuck also listed two Toyland Recording Studio albums in their Top 25 Australian Metal Releases of 2014, placing Divine Ascension‘s ‘Liberator’ (drums, acoustic guitars and vocals recorded at Toyland by Adam Calaitzis) at #21, and Sydonia’s ‘Reality Kicks’ at #15.



Friends of Alice Ivy recorded at Toyland Recording Studio Melbourne
Friends of Alice Ivy

Gothic ethereal duo Friends of Alice Ivy‘s resplendent full-length album ‘The Golden Cage and its Mirrored Maze’ (recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Recording Studios) garnered acclaim from iconic Gothic music journalist Mick Mercer. Mercer ranked the album #14 in his Top 30 of 2014, and gave ‘The Golden Cage and its Mirrored Maze‘ generous airplay on Mick Mercer Radio, describing it as “undoubtedly one of the most beautiful albums of 2014”.




UK-based webzine ninehertz placed Hotel Wrecking City Traders album ‘Ikiryo’ (recorded at Toyland) at number 10 on their Top Albums of 2014.

Journalist Jonathon Besanko of Australian webzine Metal Obsession had not one, but two, Toyland Recording Studio creations in his Best Australian Albums Of 2014 – placing Divine Ascension’s ‘Liberator’ at #4, and Adamus Exul‘s ‘Arsenic Idols’ (recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Recording Studio) at #8. Jonathan provided substantial commentary to his choices.


Of Adamus Exul’s ‘Arsenic Idols’ Besanko wrote:

Adamus-Exul recorded at Toyland Recording Studio Melbourne
Adamus Exul

“Some of the most devastating, melancholic black metal you could hope to find, Adamus Exul invite you to join them on a slowly decaying, misanthropic journey through lands where moonlight dares not leave lit. Channeling the anguish and nihilism of early Mayhem, Adamus Exul excel at establishing a claustrophobic and minute atmosphere where your mind feels entrapped and entranced all at once.”



Of Divine Ascension’s ‘Liberator’  Besanko wrote:

“There are only a handful of albums and bands that manage to truly reach the heights of inspired progressive-symphonic metal. Divine Ascension is one of those bands. This band has taken every cue and element within this subgenre, yet further taken it to depths and reaches that I’m certain would leave even the old greats such as Epica in awe. Beautifully melodic, ‘Liberator’ is a wonderful example of how this genre is never stale. In the gorgeous tempo changes, the impeccable combination of vocals and instrumentation, and a virtually flawless production, ‘Liberator’ is incredible.” 


King Parrot received an absolutely stunning shout-out from metal legend Max Cavalera (Killer Be Killed, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, ex-Nailbomb, ex-Sepultura) naming King Parrot’s ‘Bite Your Head Off’ in an interview with Greg Moskovitch titled ‘The 7 Albums That Changed Killer Be Killed’s Lives’, published at Australian webzine Tonedeaf.  Cavalera explained,

“I try to discover new music all the time, that’s one of my hobbies. A couple of new bands I discovered lately, actually from Australia – King Parrot, I really like them a lot, great band…”

King Parrot won an Age Music Victoria Genre Award (2013) for ‘Bite Your Head Off’ in the category of Best Heavy Album (presented by Wifire Music), and have yet again been nominated for an award for 2014, this time in the category of Best Live Band (presented by Rockwiz).


Damian-Howard Once in a While recorded at Toyland Recording Studio Melbourne
Damian Howard

In 2014 Damian Howard was accorded the ‘Rising Star Award‘ at the Mildura Country Music Festival Awards, where he was performing his 2014 release ‘Once In A While’ (recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Recording Studio).




Cancer Council NSW’s moving ‘I Touch Myself Project’ featuring the iconic songwriting of the late Chrissy Amphlett– which was described by creatives talking to B&T as ‘elegant’ and ‘beautiful’ – won a Silver Lion medal at Cannes in the Branded Content and Entertainment Category. Music production on the project was steered by Clive Young, and it was my honour to record the beautiful string section for this all star arrangement at Toyland Recording Studio.


I am always delighted to see projects made at Toyland Recording Studio (in entirety or in part) garner such deserved praise and recognition out in the world. If any of the artists who have made albums at Toyland Recording Studio have similar news or reviews they would like to share, send an email or drop a message over at the Toyland Recording Studio Facebook page. We would be more than happy to wave the flag for your successes!