First off, no numbering. I don’t feel any of these albums are comparable, they each stand out on their own merits at what they do. And also, I don’t want to start this by saying what a great year this has been for music.
2015 was in my opinion just as good as the year before that and the year before that and so on…
There´s never been a golden age of music, the majority of music put out every year is mostly shit, but if you look hard enough you can find some gold here and there. And indeed I found some really good stuff this last year as well.
Chaos Echoes – Transient (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
I wrote a review of this earlier this year, so look that up for further analysis. This is the kind of album where you keep discovering new things the more you listen to it. They approach death metal with the aesthetics of avant-garde improvisational techniques and the result is the most groundbreaking metal album of the year. Truly astounding!
Sumac – The Deal (Profound Lore)
Moving away from the compositional structures and frameworks most common with bands of what is commonly known as post-metal, ‘The Deal’ is asking more to the sounds of Khanate than Isis. Dark, ferocious, naked and vulnerable, this is a different kind of heavy which makes it all the more enjoyable. Sumac is Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom) and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) with help from bassist Brian Cook (Botch, Russian Circles).
Retox – Beneath California (Epitaph, ThreeOneG)
Third album from this In-your-face hardcore punk band featuring members of The Locust, Kill the Capulets and more. At their most aggressive they sound like they are out to get you, and if they do they’re going to kick your dick into your ass. Cynical, intelligent lyrics shouted upon the experimental punk sound of rapid rhythms and surf-inspired guitars, makes Retox one of the most exciting hardcore punk bands of today.
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Metal Blade)
If you like to read lists of favorite albums then you’ve probably seen this one pop up a lot. And its simply because its a really good album. Cattle Decapitation is one of those bands I’ve always liked but still they just keep getting better. Innovative, forward-thinking, refreshing death metal? Look no further.
Kollwitz – Dissonance (Fysisk Format)
Five years after making their mark with their debut ‘Like Iron I Rust’, Norwegian post-metallers Kollwitz makes a triumphant return with ‘Dissonance’. Though I liked their debut, on this follow-up I feel they have found their own sound, taking a wide range of influences and translating them into their very own language. The album title is quite fitting as the album is full of contrasts and interesting turns. From dark sludgy grooves to haunting melodies and a touch of hardcore menace, accompanied by small portions of synth and a noisy vocal assault that fits their dark atmosphere perfectly.
Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega (Peaceville Records)
Originally a pretty standard black metal band, but on the 1999 release ‘666 International’ Dødheimsgard took a radical shift towards a more experimental/avant-garde sound. Throughout line-up changes and long intervals between releases (its been eight years since 2007’s ‘Supervillain Outcast’), they just keep getting weirder and weirder by every release and I like them more and more just for that. ‘A Umbra Omega’ (translated roughly as ‘The Overwhelming Darkness’) is in my opinion their best work so far, its lyrical themes of mental darkness goes hand in hand with the madness of the music. Blastbeats, experimental jazz, acoustic and even some electronic elements, the words sonic schizophrenia comes to mind. Top all this with some of the most utterly insane theatrical vocal performances you’ve heard, at least in terms of extreme metal. If you are into any kind of experimental heavy music then this album is a must-have.
Cult Leader – Lightless Walk (Deathwish Inc)
‘Lightless Walk’ is a fitting title as this a truly dark landscape of sounds. A nihilistic blend of grindcore, blackened crust punk, frantic hardcore and even a more folky but definitely dark closer at the end, they leave no room to breathe on this juggernaut of an album. A black tar of negativity, this album is not for the faint of heart, and the lyrical themes of everything wrong with humanity makes this album the perfect soundtrack for when (Quote unquote american poet F.Durst) “its just one of those days”.
Fuck The Facts – Desire Will Rot (Noise Salvation)
Amazing Canadian grindcore act you should know about by now. Always pushing the envelope, Fuck The Facts blend a lot of nice details from powerviolence, weird time signatures and Entombed-like grooves, and they even throw in a couple of nice guitar solos. A hardworking band that keep getting bigger and better by every release, just as they should.
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – S/T (Neurot Recordings)
Back in the 90’s Tad Doyle was the leader of TAD; the absolutely heaviest band to be lumped into the grunge scene. They never broke out into mainstream success, and maybe thats why they still don’t seem outdated like a lot of bands that did “make it” for lack of better words. Fast forward to 2008 and Tad Doyle is back with his new three-piece Brothers of The Sonic Cloth and in 2015, Neurot Recordings released their self-titled debut. Sludge, doom, call it what you want. This is slow, dirty and heavy. A pounding apocalyptic rhythm section accompanied by Tad’s majestic voice and gritty guitar sound, and those riffs…Those fucking riffs! Highly recommended for fans of everything from the Melvins to Neurosis and YOB.
Other albums from 2015 that I highly recommend that you check out:
- Beaten To Death – Unplugged (Raw grindcore with melodic elements)
- Kowloon Walled City – Grievances (Delicious sludge)
- Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss of Longing Throats (Blackened experimental noise)
- Cloud Rat – Qliphoth (Grindcore/Hardcore/Powerviolence)
- Soulfly – Archangel (Best Soulfly album in many years)
- The 135 – Lumen Per Lumen (Experimental Black Metal)
- Goatsnake – Black Age Blues (Stoner/Doom. The title itself is a good description)
- Callisto – Secret Youth (Dark melodic Post-Metal)