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2015 in Metal so far

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URL: http://www.MetalMusicArchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10517
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Topic: 2015 in Metal so far
Posted By: adg211288
Subject: 2015 in Metal so far
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2015 at 12:05pm
Half the year has gone already so you know what time it is. Share what's grabbed you so far from 2015.

I have not listened to half as much this year so far myself, the reason for that being in the later stages on 2014 I was getting pretty burned out on writing reviews, which lasted a bit into 2015 as well. I came to the realization that I was spending too much time shifting through promos and no enjoying the music I already own. So since then I've not been reviewing much, only writing when something really intrigues me. There are a lot of releases I'd like to catch up on of course, but I find I'm a happier listener for taking a slower approach to the year's new albums. I'm finiding more time for old favourites and older releases I've missed out on previously that way.

This is what I've heard and reviewed and/or rated for 2015.

  1. Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror
  2. Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still
  3. Wilderun - Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
  4. Pyramaze - Disciples of the Sun
  5. The Gentle Storm - The Diary
  6. Carach Angren - This is No Fairytale
  7. Dysrider - Bury the Omen
  8. Darkology - Fated to Burn
  9. Finsterforst - Mach Dich Frei
  10. Distant Sun - Dark Matter
  11. Vexillum - Unum
  12. Native Construct - Quiet World
  13. Lancer - Second Storm
  14. District 97 - In Vaults
  15. Wind Rose - Wardens of the West Wind
  16. Judicator - At the Expense of Humanity
  17. Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful
  18. Battle Beast - Unholy Savior
  19. Ilium - My Misanthropia
  20. Kamelot - Haven
  21. Masters of Disguise - The Savage and the Grace
  22. Helloween - My God-Given Right
  23. Hysterica - All In
  24. Kantation - Nephilim
  25. Ethernity - Obscure Illusions
  26. Dark Sarah - Behind the Black Veil
  27. Whyzdom - Symphony for a Hopeless God
  28. Ensiferum - One Man Army
  29. Virgin Steele - Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation


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Replies:
Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2015 at 12:45pm
You're right Adam, that's pathetic. Only 30 releases :-)
I'm not sure (aside from a pile of metalcore free downloads I feel obliged to download) how many 2015 releases I've got. Probably half a dozen at a stretch.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2015 at 12:47pm
I'm normally around the 50 mark by this point. Wink

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Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2015 at 12:52pm
This is what I've heard so far:

Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep
Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
Mercy Brown - Mercy Brown
10 Years - From Birth to Burial
Coal Chamber - Rivals
Acidrodent - Of Human Toxicity
Melechesh - Enki
Disturbed - Immortalized
Nile - What Should Not be Unearthed
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

And if Hard Rock counts:
Finger Eleven - Five Crooked Lines
Arena - The Unquiet Sky
Three Days Grace - Human (I wish I didn't hear this album though)



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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 7:07am
This is what I've heard so far this year:

Angra - Secret Garden
Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror
Cain's Offering - Stormcrow
Halestorm - Into The Wild Life
Kamelot - Haven
Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Sylosis - Dormant Heart
Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.


There's probably a couple of others I can't think of at the moment.

So far my favorite is the Kamelot. I really, really like that album. I think it's one of their best yet. Yes, I like it that much. But then again, my favorite album of theirs is Ghost Opera, an album most Kamelot fans say is one of the worst of the Roy Khan-era Kamelot albums.

the Cain's Offering is pretty good too. As good as classic-era Sonata Arctica? Maybe not, but it's better than anything Sonata Arctica has put out since Jani was kicked out of the band, and better than the first Cain's Offering album.

I like the Angra quite a bit, surprisingly, and the Steven Wilson album is growing on me. Fantastic musicianship, first-rate sound quality and lovingly crafted album, it bored me to tears when I first heard it (Just like 'Raven').


I've got some more 2015 coming this month when the get released, the Symphony X and the Borealis, along with a couple of others so I could get free shipping from amazon, the Pyramaze, Signum Regis, and a non-metal offering the new Jason Isbell (Americana/alt-country).


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 7:29am
Beardfish - + 4626 Comfort Zone (great album)
Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. (amazing, as usual)
Angra - Secret Garden (a very pleasant surprise, I admit I wasn't expecting much)
Cain's Offering - Stormcrow (a very enjoyable listen)
Sunset In The 12th House - Mozaic (a project of members of Dordeduh, very good album)
Ghost Ship Octavius - Ghost Ship Octavius (Van Williams' new band, for those who like Nevermore and miss them)
Klone - Here Comes the Sun (I've heard better from these guys but still a solid album I say)
Anekdoten - Until All The Ghosts Are Gone (loved it, great to see them back!)
Helloween - My god Given Right (catchy and enjoyable)
Lucifer - I (female fronted heavy/doom, rather unoriginal but still I enjoyed it)


on my "to listen to" list, the albums from the following bands:

Pyramaze
Demon Eye
Toto
Armored Saint
Darkology
Sylvan
God Is an Astronaut
Muse (just listened to half of it so far LOL)
Freedom Hawk (listened to a few songs, hard rock meets doom)

I won't mention the stuff I disliked or disappointed me. Embarrassed

I'll be back with some more soon.



Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 7:35am
I´ve listened to far less than what I usually do, but I´ve still managed to listen to and review these albums (some reviews are in backlog to be posted):
 
1. Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
2. Enslaved - In Times
3. Sickening Horror - Overflow
4. Gruesome - Savage Land
5. Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega
6. Morgoth - Ungod
7. Minsk - The Crash and the Draw
8. The Grotesquery - Curse of the Skinless Bride
9. Prong - Songs from the Black Hole
10. Shining - IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
11. Psycroptic - Psycroptic
12. Pyramaze - Disciples Of The Sun
13. Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine
14. Melechesh - Enki
15. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
16. Sigh - Graveward


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Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 9:09am
So if I was planning to do something about mt lack of exposure to 2015 releases, which two or three of these are most worth paying out cash for?


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 3:00pm
^My favorites so far this year have been Nile, 10 Years, Mercy Brown, Killing Joke, Clutch, Bliksem, and Chastain


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: 666sharon666
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2015 at 3:15pm
I've been slow this year so far as well. Been catching up on a few with Spotify this week but I still have quite a few albums I want to hear.

My favourite so far is Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still, following by the albums from Blind Guardian, Pyramaze and Carach Angren.


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2015 at 4:42am
My favourite album this year so far is prog (Anekdoten) but on the rock/metal front my top picks are the new albums from Melechesh, Morgoth, Unleashed, Royal Thunder, Europe, Enslaved and Angra. 

I suspect there's some great ones to come and have high expectations for Symphony X, lamb of God and Avatarium. I waiting for the Lucifer debut to arrive any day hopefully - think there's a hold-up on the vinyl pressing.


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2015 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:


Muse (just listened to half of it so far LOL)



That Muse album is really good, I find it to be their best album.


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2015 at 3:31pm
Originally posted by Bosh66 Bosh66 wrote:

So if I was planning to do something about mt lack of exposure to 2015 releases, which two or three of these are most worth paying out cash for?
 
From my list:
1. Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
2. Enslaved - In Times
3. Sickening Horror - Overflow
4. Gruesome - Savage Land
5. Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega
6. Morgoth - Ungod
7. Minsk - The Crash and the Draw
8. The Grotesquery - Curse of the Skinless Bride
9. Prong - Songs from the Black Hole
10. Shining - IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
11. Psycroptic - Psycroptic
12. Pyramaze - Disciples Of The Sun
13. Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine
14. Melechesh - Enki
15. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
16. Sigh - Graveward
 
I´d recommend:
1. Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
2. Enslaved - In Times
8. The Grotesquery - Curse of the Skinless Bride
11. Psycroptic - Psycroptic
13. Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine
14. Melechesh - Enki


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Posted By: bartosso
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2015 at 3:32pm
At this very moment the only album I recall, that I'm sure was released this year and that I listened to, is the new A Forest of Stars record. There may be more, I don't remember.

I like it, but not as much as I liked their two previous albums. Review incoming.

EDIT: Oh and Enslaved.


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Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2015 at 2:20am
three albums I should not have forgotten about

Arena - The Unquiet Sky
UFO - A Conspiracy of Stars
Europe - War of Kings


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2015 at 10:12am
^ haven't heard the Arena album. I quite liked the last one and bought it but haven't played it in ages so was tempted to get this one. I'll give it a listen though. The Europe albums excellent.


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2015 at 4:21pm
The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2015 at 5:18am
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.


haven't listened to it yet, but I will


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2015 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.


haven't listened to it yet, but I will

If you like Symphony X you wont be disappointed! 


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 01 Aug 2015 at 12:51pm
The debut album from Lucifer is well worth checking out for lovers of female fronted doom metal/hard rock.


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 02 Aug 2015 at 3:06am
I picked up a bunch of 2015 albums this weekend.


Symphony X - Underworld
Borealis - Purgatory
Signum Regis - Through the Storm
Lamb Of God - Sturm Und Drang
Ensiferum - One Man Army

….aaaannnd…. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free (not metal…actually it's the Billboard #1 Country album this week…with NO radio airplay)


I've only listened to the Symphony X & Borealis once,  and about 4 songs of the Jason Isbell so far.

The Symphony X sounds like a cross between their albums 'Paradise Lost' & ' Iconoclast'. I think if you put Underworld on it's own, with no reference or history to the earlier Symphony X, it's a great album.

As a long-time Symphony X fan though, it sounds (to me) like Michael Romeo is running out of riff ideas. A lot of the riffs, and indeed solos too, sound very similar to earlier Symphony X works. It just sounds rehashed. Very, very good rehash, but rehashed none the less.


The Borealis isn't as good as their album 'Fall From Grace'. Not bad, not bad….a lot of good riffing and you can hear the keyboard player much more clearly. I'm just not as impressed by the songs, decent though they are.


The Jason Isbell, so far… kinda 'meh' compared to his last album 'Southeastern', which was an excellent album.



I still think the Kamelot album 'Haven' is my favorite of 2015 so far. Killer album and one of my favorite Kamelot albums period.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 02 Aug 2015 at 3:21am
I've just finished listening to Armored Saint - Win Hands Down, I enjoyed it a lot.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2015 at 6:49am
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.


haven't listened to it yet, but I will

If you like Symphony X you wont be disappointed! 

I've listened to it today and it definitely did NOT disappoint.

Now I'm half way through Neal Morse's The Grand Experiment  - better than I expected. Big smile


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2015 at 7:02am
The new Lamb Of God is excellent, as good as 'Ashes' or 'As the Palaces Burn', imo. I'm usually not into that style, though LoG is one of the few bands in that genre that I do like, and the new album has some killer riffing going on. Even some singing in a couple of spots instead of screamo/cookie monster.


Posted By: Colt
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2015 at 4:47am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

I've just finished listening to Armored Saint - Win Hands Down, I enjoyed it a lot.


I found it to be excellent too!


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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2015 at 11:26am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.


haven't listened to it yet, but I will

If you like Symphony X you wont be disappointed! 

I've listened to it today and it definitely did NOT disappoint.

Now I'm half way through Neal Morse's The Grand Experiment  - better than I expected. Big smile

Glad you enjoyed it. Smile

Haven't bothered with Neal Morse for years now being put off by the religious preaching of his lyrics on some of his stuff. Not even sure if he's still doing that to be honest. I did like a lot of what he did in Spocks Beard though.


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2015 at 11:29am
Originally posted by Jbird Jbird wrote:

The new Lamb Of God is excellent, as good as 'Ashes' or 'As the Palaces Burn', imo. I'm usually not into that style, though LoG is one of the few bands in that genre that I do like, and the new album has some killer riffing going on. Even some singing in a couple of spots instead of screamo/cookie monster.

I'm enjoying the new Lamb of God album too. Haven't made up my mind yet how high it sits in the back catalogue but it's certainly pretty high up.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2015 at 2:29am
Year of the Goat released their second album The Unspeakable. I'll try listening to it today (I loved their debut album, they also have some EPs but I haven't heard those).


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2015 at 4:07am
Originally posted by Jbird Jbird wrote:

The new Lamb Of God is excellent, as good as 'Ashes' or 'As the Palaces Burn', imo. I'm usually not into that style, though LoG is one of the few bands in that genre that I do like, and the new album has some killer riffing going on. Even some singing in a couple of spots instead of screamo/cookie monster.
 
I really like the instrumental part of Lamb of God, but I just can´t seem to appreciate the vocals. They are actually fairly original sounding for the style (which doesn´t make them any better though). At least the low semi-growling vocals. The metalcore screams are more typical. I found it refreshing and a good idea that Blythe sings some clean vocals on the new one. It Works really well, and I hope that´s the direction they are heading in vocally.
 
Musically the material could be a Little more varied and definitely more catchy/hooky too. I still hear a band with great unfullfilled potential.


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Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2015 at 4:09am
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

The new Symphony X album has become my no 1 album of the year so far - going to take some shifting.
 
I think it´s another great quality album by Symphony X, but to my ears it´s not one of their best. It´s a pretty "safe" release, and lacks Development of the band´s sound. Still there are some really great tracks on the album like Nevermore, the title track, and the closer.


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Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2015 at 4:10am
The new Skinless was a very positive surprise for me. I usually don´t appreciate brutal technical death metal save for a few distinct sounding artists like Nile and Suffocation, but this album is different and stands out. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre.

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Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2015 at 4:21am
I've spent more time this year discovering older metal, especially from the 80's than I have new releases. I normally average at 100+ albums heard if not reviewed per year and this year so far I'm only at 32. I have a few releases upcoming still that will push that number a bit higher but this does look set to be a slow year for me, with not many promos even interesting me all that much. No 5 star albums for this year yet for me 

My top for this year so far remains Blind Guardian's latest. I've expecting fierce competition from a few still to come releases including Iron Maiden, Rebellion and Avatarium though. 

Really love this one from the new Blind Guardian. Feels like a real throwback to the Somewhere far Beyond/Imaginations from the Other Side era. 



The latest from Unleash the Archers really impressed me too. Especially the singer. She's got some real power in her voice but unfortunately shares the vocals with growlers, which really feels unnecessary for their classic guitar driven power metal style. This might have been my top album otherwise.



My third top pick for this year so far has to be the second Wilderun album. Not as good as their first one for me but still quite excellent stuff. Put Turisas, Ensiferum and (pre-Heritage) Opeth into a blender and you'd get something like this.




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Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 19 Aug 2015 at 8:20pm
ooh!

I like that Wilderun. Never heard of them before.


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 20 Aug 2015 at 2:19am
Listening to the new Fear Factory which to my ears is an improvement over The Industrialist, but still slightly dissapointing as it sounds a lot like a rehash of ideas they already used on "Demanufacture", "Obsolete", and even "Digimortal". It´s still pretty good though, and of course very well produced and executed.

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Posted By: 666sharon666
Date Posted: 20 Aug 2015 at 9:24am
Wilderun are great, though I too enjoyed their debut a little more. Both very worthwhile albums though.


Posted By: Vic
Date Posted: 21 Aug 2015 at 7:38am
I just opened my 2015 txt where I keep notes of what I want to listen to and what I really liked. This is the list of bands I really liked:

Kenn Nardi (again)
Enforcer (always liked em, never was blown away. This time I REALLY liked them, I think this is their best one)
Napalm Death - shockingly good.
Sacral Rage - fantastic old school US metal. Annihilator, Watchtower, Helstar, Crimson Glory fans dig in.
Armored Saint - excellent comeback, very solid, inspired. John Bush is awesome as always.
Black Fast - Fans of Vektor, here is a band following in their footsteps, a bit tamer on the technical side perhaps and with less black metal overtones. 
Deathhammer - Sargent Salsten has the best extreme vocals in the history of metal. Yes, I know what I just said. SCREAMING METAL FILTH. 1985 <3
Encyrcle - very pleasant surprise from these newcomers. Definitely give them a try!
Evil Invaders - speed metal from Belgium. Their EP was very enjoyable but the album is even better!
Scanner - great comeback II.
Crypt Sermon - doom metal for Candlemass fans. VERY good stuff.
Dr. Living Dead - Suicidal Tendencies worship.
Negative Self - ex- Dr. Living Dead singer's new band. Suicidal Tendencies worship times two.
Sorcerer - Wow. Just wow.
Ranger - Again, old school stuff well worth checking out.
Chainsaw - filthy old school thrash, the one that is clad in bullets and spikes.
Exarsis - change of singer to something more to my tastes, this greek thrash band is one of the very good examples of NWOTM.





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42


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 21 Aug 2015 at 7:43am
^Nice with some more unknown recommendations. I´ll check out some of those.

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Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2015 at 4:15am
more 2015 goodies Wink

Thundermother - Road Fever - all female band, traditional hard'n' heavy, I hear some Girlschool & AC/DC in there. Great vocalist!

Hair of the Dog - The Siren's Song - for those that enjoy the 70s sound, great vocalist and quite competent players!

Slayer - Repentless - decent effort.

God Is an Astronaut - Helios Erebus - ok album, nothing spectacular though. Still enjoyable when in the right mood.

Iron Maiden - Book of Souls - uneven, half of the album bored me terribly.

Black Trip - Shadowline - Thin Lizzy inspired band, very catchy, very enjoyable.

Riverside - Love, Fear and the Time Machine - loved it, one of my favorite of 2015!


Posted By: bonnek
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2015 at 2:39am

I'm always slow picking up releases from the current year.

1. So far, Enslaved has hit me the most, not a surprise but still incredible how they keep going at such consistent quality.
2. Second a very nice Goth metal release from Kontinuum: http://candlelightrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/kyrr" rel="nofollow - Kyrr .
3. Still on the goth scene and getting better again with each new release: Paradise Lost
4. Also digesting now: Tribulation, Alkaloid, The Great Discord.
5. And not bad but (way) past their prime: Iron Maiden, Leprous and Faith No More

Turn offs: Wilson, Riverside (sorry guys I hate ballad pop)



Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2015 at 3:17am
Originally posted by bonnek bonnek wrote:


I'm always slow picking up releases from the current year.

1. So far, Enslaved has hit me the most, not a surprise but still incredible how they keep going at such consistent quality.
2. Second a very nice Goth metal release from Kontinuum: http://candlelightrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/kyrr" rel="nofollow - Kyrr .
3. Still on the goth scene and getting better again with each new release: Paradise Lost
4. Also digesting now: Tribulation, Alkaloid, The Great Discord.
5. And not bad but (way) past their prime: Iron Maiden, Leprous and Faith No More

Turn offs: Wilson, Riverside (sorry guys I hate ballad pop)

 
Tribulation is definitely worth a listen. I really enjoy their new album.


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Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2015 at 3:57am
I've got the Nile and Enslaved albums on my list still to buy.

Really enjoyed the Paradise Lost album. I did also enjoy the Maiden one. While some here felt it wasn't as iimediate as some previous albums, my concern was that it felt too immediate - but then again getting what you're expecting shouldn't be an issue. It's just a surprise or two is always nice. Need to play it some more to get a settled view on this.

The Between The Buried And Me was really good. Coma Ecliptic further relegates any residual metalcore influences. They're still here but this is very much a progressive metal album. More metalcore / mathcore and my favourite release so far this year is the Rolo Tomassi release Grievancies. Still very progressive and still very aggressive.

Also enjoyed the seventh Lamb Of God album, more so than some of their earlier releases. A call out too for Kekal.

Latest Fight Amp was solid and Acturus was okay.



Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2015 at 11:51am
Slayer - Repentless just arrived so giving that a listen. 

Iron Maiden - still only played once but sounds great.
Nile on order and looking forward to the new Avatarium next month.
Best of the rest...
Angra, Enslaved, Europe, Royal Thunder, Unleashed, Lucifer, Lamb of God, Melechesh, Nocturnalia, Morgoth, Symphony X, Sorcerer, Sulphur Aeon and Carach Angren.


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2015 at 7:12am
Saturday I picked up the new Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud

Album. Of. The. Year.

Yes, it's that good.

I've loved them since Tomi Jousten became their singer, never got into their earlier stuff. I know some people complain though that since Tomi came on board, the clean vocals have been about 80-90%, growls only 10% or so.

Not so on UTRC though, I'd say the cookie monster comes out at least 50%, if not more on this album. And the melodies are fantastic, more flute and such in it. Production is fantastic too, I couldn't believe how good it sounded on my car's stereo (2014 Chevy Cruze LTZ) which because it's a very treble heavy stereo, many discs sound a bit 'thin' on it, even with the bass cranked.

Just a killer album, pick it up unless you just don't care for Amorphis.


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2015 at 8:09am
I´ll take a listen to the new Amorphis when I get the chance. I haven´t really been a fan post- Elegy, but I´ve still followed them and have given most of their albums a chance. It´s just not my type of music, in the sense that I would never listen to it at home, if it wasn´t for review purposes.

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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2015 at 8:36am
Originally posted by Jbird Jbird wrote:

Saturday I picked up the new Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud

Album. Of. The. Year.

Yes, it's that good.

I've loved them since Tomi Jousten became their singer, never got into their earlier stuff. I know some people complain though that since Tomi came on board, the clean vocals have been about 80-90%, growls only 10% or so.

Not so on UTRC though, I'd say the cookie monster comes out at least 50%, if not more on this album. And the melodies are fantastic, more flute and such in it. Production is fantastic too, I couldn't believe how good it sounded on my car's stereo (2014 Chevy Cruze LTZ) which because it's a very treble heavy stereo, many discs sound a bit 'thin' on it, even with the bass cranked.

Just a killer album, pick it up unless you just don't care for Amorphis.

Had a quick listen on Spotify and it sounded pretty good - the Cd's on its way to me so looking forward to a good blast on my Hi-fi in a few days.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 26 Sep 2015 at 10:57am
I have to listen to some new albums, hope I find some time for that.

New albums from My Dying Bride, Kingcrow and Cfristian Mistress.

I love the new Riverside album. The more I listen, the more I love it.

There are some other  prog releases as well but I'll get back to that.  


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 6:53am
New albums from WASP, Queensryche and Trivium.

New Trivium does not have the metalcore influences/sound anymore so I will try it out (I also like their 2006 thrashy album).


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 11:20am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

New albums from WASP, Queensryche and Trivium.

New Trivium does not have the metalcore influences/sound anymore so I will try it out (I also like their 2006 thrashy album).

My main issue with Trivium is how much the singer sounds like Hetfield. It's just difficult for me to get past that. Confused


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 12:05pm
^ He never used to on the first two albums, but on The Crusade he really changed. I haven't actually heard any Trivium album since that one. 

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Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 12:55pm
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

^ He never used to on the first two albums, but on The Crusade he really changed. I haven't actually heard any Trivium album since that one. 

Yeah, I love Ascendancy. I haven't heard anything from them past Shogun. 


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 1:20pm
After Shogan the band went back to a more metalcore sound. Not heard much bar snippets of the latest but metalcore seems to be little more than a secondary again. Seems to be being tagged everywhere as a trad / heavy metal album this time.



Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2015 at 2:47pm
I´ve listened to a couple of Trivium albums over the years, and I´ve seen them live twice. I have enjoyed very Little of what I´ve heard so far. Definitely not my thing...

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Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2015 at 7:31pm
The new Queensryche is very good. Let's face it, they are never going to go back to sounding like the classic QR era, the EP thru OM:MC, but the new album is very good. Their best album since Empire, imo.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2015 at 9:50pm
Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

I´ve listened to a couple of Trivium albums over the years, and I´ve seen them live twice. I have enjoyed very Little of what I´ve heard so far. Definitely not my thing...
Way back before I listened to anything remotely heavy, I discovered the ambient artist Eluvium. Months later, on iTunes, I saw Shogun, clicked it and thought, "huh, he's got a new album out. Let's see what relaxing sounds await me."


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2015 at 10:08pm
Did not expect to like the new Deafheaven. Was not a fan of the singles until I heard them in context.

Krallice's Ygg Huur tops my list as far as metal albums. Dissonant, technical, blazing hot. 


Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2015 at 4:59am
Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

I´ve listened to a couple of Trivium albums over the years, and I´ve seen them live twice. I have enjoyed very Little of what I´ve heard so far. Definitely not my thing...
Way back before I listened to anything remotely heavy, I discovered the ambient artist Eluvium. Months later, on iTunes, I saw Shogun, clicked it and thought, "huh, he's got a new album out. Let's see what relaxing sounds await me."

LOL


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2015 at 8:12am
Originally posted by Bosh66 Bosh66 wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

I´ve listened to a couple of Trivium albums over the years, and I´ve seen them live twice. I have enjoyed very Little of what I´ve heard so far. Definitely not my thing...
Way back before I listened to anything remotely heavy, I discovered the ambient artist Eluvium. Months later, on iTunes, I saw Shogun, clicked it and thought, "huh, he's got a new album out. Let's see what relaxing sounds await me."

LOL
 
Oh well we all make mistakes LOL


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Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2015 at 10:17pm
Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

Originally posted by Bosh66 Bosh66 wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

I´ve listened to a couple of Trivium albums over the years, and I´ve seen them live twice. I have enjoyed very Little of what I´ve heard so far. Definitely not my thing...
Way back before I listened to anything remotely heavy, I discovered the ambient artist Eluvium. Months later, on iTunes, I saw Shogun, clicked it and thought, "huh, he's got a new album out. Let's see what relaxing sounds await me."

LOL
 
Oh well we all make mistakes LOL
tbh I still feel like clicking play on a Trivium album is a mistake. Wink














Sorry, couldn't pass up that potshot. I have no disrespect towards those that like them.


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2015 at 1:11am
^Not as much of a mistake as it is clicking play on a Limp Bizkit album.

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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2015 at 4:25pm
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

^Not as much of a mistake as it is clicking play on a Limp Bizkit album.
This is true.

On the subject of the thread, Four Phantoms by Bell Witch is quite good. Sprawling, expansive funeral doom. 


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2015 at 9:23pm
While not metal exactly, the new Clutch album is easily my favorite of the year so far. Each track has stayed stuck in my head since I bought it.

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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2015 at 1:29am
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

While not metal exactly, the new Clutch album is easily my favorite of the year so far. Each track has stayed stuck in my head since I bought it.
I´m pretty sure it´ll end up being my favorite non-metal album of the year too. I´m really liking this one.

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Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 21 Oct 2015 at 7:43pm
Just woke up and went out to the mailbox, the new Circle II Circle & Stryper cd's arrived but I haven't had the chance to listen to them yet.

Updated 2015 purchase list, in alphabetical order:

Amorphis -- Under The Red Cloud
Angra -- Secret Garden
Beyond The Black -- Songs Of Love And Death
Blind Guardian -- Beyond The Red Mirror
Borealis -- Purgatory
Cain's Offering -- Stormcrow
Circle II Circle -- Reign Of Darkness
Ensiferum -- One Man Army
Halestorm -- Into The Wild Life
Iron Maiden -- The Book Of Souls
Isbell, Jason -- Something More Than Free
Kamelot -- Haven
Lamb Of God -- VII: Sturm Und Drang
Native Construct - Quiet World
Nightwish -- Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Pyramaze -- Disciples Of The Sun
Queensryche -- Condition Human
Riverside -- Love, Fear And The Time Machine
Signum Regis -- Through The Storm
Stratovarius -- Eternal
Stryper -- Fallen
Sylosis -- Dormant Heart
Symphony X -- Underworld
Teramaze -- Her Halo
Vanden Plas - Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II
Waken Eyes -- Exodus
Wilson, Steven -- Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Xandria -- Fire & Ashes



So far the Amorphis is my album of the year. It just clicks all the right buttons for me, and I truly think it's the best album they've done. I love Skyforger (2009), which might be a 5-star album for me, but I think that Under The Red Cloud is even better.

As a long time fan of Kamelot, I think Haven is as good as anything they put out with Roy Khan (Epica is still my fav, though). 2nd place

Symphony X -- Underworld takes my 3rd place so far. Great album even if it sounds as if Michael Romeo is copying older Symphony X themes for this new album. 


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2015 at 11:21am
The new Avatarium album is almost certain to make my top 10 albums of the year even though I prefer their debut - so high is the quality of this great band.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2015 at 1:33am
New WASP - Golgotha is surprisingly good, I haven't enjoyed an album of theirs like that since... well. long time.
Vintage Caravan - Arrival was very enjoyable.
Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle is excellent, I warmly recommend it.
Widek - Journey To The Stars - mostly instrumental album (last song has vocals only), djenty and post-rock-ish, very good, one of the best albums I've heard this year.
Sylvan - Home - did not expect to be so good, a very pleasant surprise

I still have quite a few albums to listen to from:
Caligula's Horse
Subsignal
Motorhead
Circle II Circle
Saxon
The Tangent
We Lost the Sea
Magic Pie
Nemo

I just need some time Big smile


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2015 at 9:51am
^ Waiting for the new Spock's Beard to arrive - was let down by dodax who kept me waiting over a month before informing me they couldn't supply it so looking forward to that one.


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 13 Nov 2015 at 7:50pm
Today I picked up:

Vanden Plas - Chronicles Of the Immortals: Netherworld pt.2

Native Construct - Quiet World



I've listened to the Vanden Plas so far. It's pretty good, imo, better than pt.1 I'll have to listen to it a few more times to absorb it into my brain, but I still don't think it matches Christ O or The Seraphic Clockwork.


That Native Construct album was recommended to me by some fellow concert-goers last week at the Blind Guardian show. I listened to it a bit on youtube the other day. Experimental metal, not really all that heavy, with reminiscence of Dream Theater, Porcupine tree, etc with some wackiness thrown in.


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2015 at 1:58am
there are more 2015 albums to listen to (I'm in an oldies mood now so those 2015 will have to wait - LOL)

Girlschool - Guilty as Sin
Vanden Plas - Chronicles of the Immortals Netherworld II
Mystery - Delusion Rain
The Tangent - A Spark in the Aether
Magic Pie - King for a Day


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2015 at 2:03am
It looks like near the end of the year is when the best releases of this year have been coming. Not only is the new Clutch album amazing, but the new Killing Joke and Chastain albums blew me away as well! I really need to catch up on my reviewing of new albums. I'm too much on a punk kick lately though, with some White Zombie, Dark Angel, and Bjork in-between. LOL

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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2015 at 11:10pm
Metal:
Krallice– Ygg Huur (dissonant, blazing hot black metal from the brain child of Colin Marston and Mick Barr)
Deafheaven– New Bermuda (for those who disliked Deafheaven for their lack of variety, this album addresses that problem head on, with an incredibly paced album that feels like one piece without even having segues)
Sannhet– Revisionist (instrumental post-metal)
Bell Witch– Four Phantoms (sprawling, expansive, slowwww doom)
Liturgy– The Ark Work (weird ass rap metal (?) feature bagpipes, glockenspiel, drum machine, electronic stutters, and synth horns and strings)
Kroda– GinnungaGap– GinnungaGaldr– GinnungaKaos (emotive pagan black metal; simple and to the point songwriting)

Non-metal:
Viet Cong– S/t (lo-fi yet inventive post-punk)
Kendrick Lamar– To Pimp A Butterfly (rap genius with a host of first call LA jazz musicians)
Protomartyr– The Agent Intellect (lyrically brilliant, emotive post-punk)
Stern– Bone Turquoise (mathy slowcore)
Father John Misty– I Love You, Honeybear (also lyrically brilliant, but more singer-songwriter stuff with big arrangements)
Girl Band– Holding Hands with Jamie (noise rock inspired by and reminiscent of a psychotic breakdown)
Ought– Sun Coming Down (uplifting post-punk)
Julia Holter– Have You in My Wilderness (like Pet Sounds/Smile-era Beach Boys with smatterings of Spirit of Eden/Laughing Stock era Talk Talk)
Conduct– Fear and Desire (more post-punk, harsher and louder)
Wilco– Star Wars (a lot of fun with beautiful fuzzy tones)
Chelsea Wolfe– Abyss (Goth goes R&B goes electronic goes sludge)
Zs– Xe (minimalist electroacoustic thingamajig)
Kamasi Washington– The Epic (huge, long post-bop album)
Christian Scott– Stretch Music (inventive and exciting jazz album, not sure where to place it)
Panda Bear– Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (glitchy, psychy, synthy, poppy)

I have high expectations for Sunn O))'s new record.

I have a few metal releases I need to listen to on backlog because I listen to a ton of stuff, but are there any other metal albums from this year you guys think I would like?


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 2:32am
Here´s the 2015 albums I´ve reviewed so far (A few reviews still pending to be posted):
 
1. Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
2. Enslaved - In Times
3. Sickening Horror - Overflow
4. Gruesome - Savage Land
5. Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega
6. Morgoth - Ungod
7. Minsk - The Crash and the Draw
8. The Grotesquery - Curse of the Skinless Bride
9. Prong - Songs from the Black Hole
10. Shining - IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
11. Psycroptic - Psycroptic
12. Pyramaze - Disciples Of The Sun
13. Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine
14. Melechesh - Enki
15. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
16. Sigh - Graveward
17. Wooden Stake - A Feast of Virgin Souls
18. Sinister - Dark Memorials
19. George Kollias - Invictus
19. Seigmen - Enola
20. Skinless - Only the Ruthless Remain
21. Symphony X - Underworld
22. Obscure Infinity - Perpetual Descending into Nothingness
23. Lamb of God - VII: Sturm und Drang
24. Viking - No Child Left Behind
25. Fear Factory - Genexus 
26. Tribulation - The Children of the Night   
27. Act of Defiance - Birth and the Burial
28. Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire
29. The Black Dahlia Murder - Abysmal
30. Nile - What Should Not be Unearthed
31. Negative Self - Negative Self
32. Soilwork - The Ride Majestic
33. Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls
34. Slayer - Repentless
35. High on Fire - Luminiferous
36. Stoned Jesus - The Harvest
37. Defaced - Forging the Sanctuary
38. Ghost Ship Octavius - Ghost Ship Octavius
39. Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
40. Bone Gnawer - Cannibal Crematorium
41. Encyrcle - Encyrcle
42. Faith No More - Sol Invictus
43. E-Force - Demonikhol
44. My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery
45. Motörhead - Bad Magic
46. Halshug - Blodets Bånd
47. Clutch - Psychic Warfare
48. Supuration - Reveries...
 
Out of those there are two 5 star releases:
Clutch - Psychic Warfare (absolutely fantastic album by Clutch. Their best yet IMO).
Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death (It´s not everyday I´m blown away by an old school sounding death metal release. I listen to tons of releases in that genre each year and few make a lasting impression, but this one is a Winner).

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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 4:38pm
 ^ Need to check out that Black Breath album if it's as good as you say.

You've been a busy guy Jonas with all those reviews. Thumbs Up


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

 ^ Need to check out that Black Breath album if it's as good as you say.


That Black Breath album is great, I highly recommend it as well.

To make an update to my list:

These are my favorites of the year so far, still haven't reviewed them all:
Clutch - Psychic Warfare
Disturbed - Immortalized
Chastain - We Bleed Metal
Killing Joke - Pylon
Bliksem - Gruesome Masterpiece
Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
Nile - What Should Not be Unearthed
Mercy Brown - Mercy Brown
10 Years - From Birth to Burial
Vanlade - Rage of the Gods
Myrkur - M
Slayer - Repentless

Reviewed some of these, but some of them will require more listens before reviewing:
Annalynn - Stare Down the Undefeated
Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep
Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
Coal Chamber - Rivals
Acidrodent - Of Human Toxicity
Melechesh - Enki
Sevendust - Kill the Flaw
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls
Finger Eleven - Five Crooked Lines
Arena - The Unquiet Sky
Three Days Grace - Human (I wish I didn't hear this album though)

Still need to hear:
The new Helloween, Royal Thunder, Symphony X, Kamelot, and Motorhead albums


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 21 Nov 2015 at 7:55am
Wow, that new Black Breath albums is brilliant! Ordered it straight away! Thumbs Up


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2015 at 10:59am
 I've only listened to Misthyrming's Songvar elds og oreidu once, but it's pretty nice, straightforward black metal with a few surprising turns. Plus the album cover is great.



Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2015 at 11:09am
^That is some nice album art, nice combination of a muted and bright red. Thumbs Up

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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 01 Dec 2015 at 2:58am
The new albums of Girlschool, Circle II Circle and Mystery are quite good, very enjoyable. Big smile


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 01 Dec 2015 at 7:18pm
Yes, I really like that new Circle II Circle.

It's heavier like what their last album 'Seasons Will Fall' hinted at, but at the same time has more of a Savatage flavor to it, maybe because the keyboards/piano can be heard more clearly, and in some cases is the driving melody of the song.


I just picked up a few more 2015 releases, Beyond The Black -- Songs Of Love And Death, Teramaze -- Her Halo, and Waken Eyes -- Exodus


I've only had the chance to listen to the Teramaze album. It's very good, proggy metal with a good dose of 2010's-era clean vocal style metal (a-la Tesseract, Karnivool, etc.)

Beyond The Black is a German metal act with a female singer, very nice voice reminiscent of Evanescence (singer is hella-cute, too).


Waken Eyes; new prog/power metal band with Marco Minneman on drums (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, Paul Gilbert), Michael Lepond on bass (Symphony X), and Henrik Bath (Darkwater, ex-Harmony) on vocals. I think it's the guitarists project, though.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 04 Dec 2015 at 1:31am
The new Sunn O))) was pretty good. Nothing new for them, but probably their most melodic album insofar as melody is possible with them.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: 07 Dec 2015 at 1:43pm
The new Panopticon record is Grade A stuff. 


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 11 Dec 2015 at 1:53pm
Baroness have a new album out 18th Dec and the new Jess And The Ancient Ones album is supposedly out today but I can't find it for sale anywhere yet.


Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2015 at 8:06am
That Teramaze - Her Halo is fantastic!

It's less heavy and slightly more proggy than their previous releases, but it is an outstanding album.




Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 27 Dec 2015 at 4:02pm
Have any of you guys heard of Enshine?

Their new album Singularity came out back in October and I'm really liking what I'm hearing on youtube.

Kind of a mix of Insomnium, Katanonia, and death metal. I might have to pick this up.





the website Angry Metal Guy turned me on to them.


Posted By: Vic
Date Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 10:12am
http://vics-dungeon.blogspot.gr/2016/01/best-of-2015.html" rel="nofollow - Original blog post with pictures and links to the music (youtubes)

20 (+1 EP), in alphabetical order.

Armored Saint - Win Hands Down
The old-timers show how it's done. Bush is timeless, the music is 100% heavy metal with that characteristic Armored Saint finesse. Most of all: GREAT songs. Could be the album of the year.

Bio-Cancer - Tormenting the Innocent
Very likeable Greeks, have definitely taken a step forward since their debut, they have the same rabod vocals where it's impossible to decipher the lyrics even when you have the booklet in front of you and they have enriched their songwriting, taking to a more death or deathrash direction. Which is a good thing!

Black Fast - Terms of Surrender
After a recommendation by a friend, Black Fast won me over in an instant. It seems that Vektor have already started influencing the new thrash scene (makes perfect sense) and none could be more happier about that than me. Of course, this is not a glaringly obvious influence. Black Fast is considerably more straight forward, the black influences are more discreet and the vocals are notably more typical. I would say that the latter is also their weak point, at least for me the vocals sound like Warbringer's, who in turn sound like half the NWOTM scene. But the music is so awesome that they make the list easily.

Crypt Sermon - Out of the Garden 
This year's doom metal album that worhips the right idols (see Candlemass / Solitude Aeturnus) with excellent guitar work, great riffs and the appropriate atmosphere. The vocals are not as glorious as those of the aforementioned idols but even so, this goes high in the list.

Deathhammer - Evil Power
The nightingale, Sargent Salsten is back. We're talking about one of the best extreme metal voices ever and of course Deathhammer is stuck in 1985 and play like there's no tomorrow. You won't find an epic like Fullmoon Sorcery on this album and overall I would rate this lower than 2012's Onward to the Pits but it still delivers the pain and their unique flavour, thanks to the Sargent. Those gits that "listen to everything" once more will be hiding in their holes. Thankfully.

Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb
The EP of the list. This is the collaboration of the guitar duo of the titans Mercyful with Sean Peck (Cage) and Snowy Shaw (KD/MF/Memento Mori - above all else!) and a bassist that I personally (did not) remember from Demonica (collab. of Shermann with Locicero of Forbidden-it's not bad!). I confess I would have much preferred that they saved all the good ideas for the Mercyful Fate reunion (feat. Snowy on drums of course), which I can't see how it will not become a reality after King's obligations with KD the band are done. 
In any case, guitar-wise this is brilliant, Denner shines from afar in the solos. The riffs, while not what we would say "classic MF", they just drip METAL. Sean Peck is his usual self. Not bad at all of course but naturally I keep fantasizing how the songs would sound with King. Snowy is AWESOME as usual. It seems that money has been put on the table (Snowy doesn't usually play for the sake of it...) and Metal Blade is the label behind it. Which is the most puzzling thing about it (Metal Blade has KD and MF in its roster), so my main question is about the existence of this release in the first place. What are they trying to achieve? Independence? Something to keep us in shape until...? Presenting credentials to the audience so there is more eagerness for the future? Who knows? In any case, the Mercyful Fate legacy is present throughout the promotion of this, including the cover and the themes, Peck utilizes a lot of falsettos, you get the idea. As a release it's pretty fucking sweet, I just hope the guitar players did not spend their juice here.

Dr. Living Dead - Crush the Sublime Gods
New album for the Suicidal Tendencies clones without the Mike Muir mime on vocals, since he left the band to form Negative Self. This time the new singer also refers to Nuclear Assault and John Connely (OK, not that godly), and it suits them fine. Very enjoyable and essential to those who miss the Join Army/How Will I Laugh... era of Suicidal Tendencies, along with a pinch of Nuclear Assault and the crossover bands of the era (bit of DRI, bit of SOD, bit of Anthrax), which inevitably should remind people of the more contemporary Municipal Waste. So, the usual Dr. Living Dead then.

Encyrcle - Encyrcle
Heavy/speed trio from Denmark boasting AMAZING riffs, old-school, rather special vocals and generally the vibe is  80s metal but it stands out from the crowd for the songs and the guitar work. Not from a shredding point of view (although Klem is a great player) but because of the riffology and the songwriting, which doesn't go by with the bare essential and classics (or the commonplace if I want to be exact). Evoke the Night was my hook, the album totally lived up to my expectations and at the end of the day this would be in my top 10, probably top 5.


Enforcer - From Beyond
I was never the huge Enforcer fan, always found them very likeable with some very good songs but not something to lose your mind over. Of course, I have never seen them live and from what I've gathered their gigs are so fun and energy-filled that they make up for it, for a part of their audience at least. From Beyond changes things. The album is filled with very good songs and some AMAZING ones, like the s/t one that I literally played the shit out of it. They rightfully earn a place in the list and I hope this increase in quality continues.

Exarsis - The Human Project
Very likeable Greeks, case two. Exarsis has made a significant change in their line-up, bringing nick on vocals. Those are no longer the love/hate variety like those of his predecessor Alex, although they continue the legacy of high pitched screaming. Personally, I definitely like them better. More importantly though, there is a definite improvement in the songwriting, which was good in the previous album too but sounded rather generic to me. This time they can boast some fine songs, with character and hooks, which as a result made me listen to the album again and again. I'm curious to see how they will go on, since another guitarist has left the band (a cursed post it seems...)

Faith No More - Sol Invictus
This is not a comeback of Black Gives Way to Blue caliber, nor of Surgical Steel for example. But it is an album with a unique flavor and unique moments and that alone is enough for it to make the list. The truth is that it took me a few spins (definitely a grower album) and my first reaction was lukewarm. Only because it was FNM and for the sake of the dear Mr. Patton I came back to it but in the end it was worth it. Separation Anxiety is awesome. And I still discover new things, or rather, to be precise, I find songs that sounded indifferent at first to be very enjoyable, in a Mr. Bungle sense (Disco Volante era too, see Cone of Shame for example). By next year I'll have a more solid opinion but the fact that I'm still very interested makes me suspect that in the future we will be saying "when this came out we thought it was mediocre...imagine that".

Malevolent Creation - Dead Man's Path
Listening to Blood of the Fallen, it is evident that when Malevolent Creation focus they have no opposition (* for as long as it is playing). They don't fall in the trap of brutality and blast-beats with no restraint, they write riffs that will grab you and stick to your brain, you know without a doubt that this is Malevolent Creation (recognizable from miles away), Hoffmann is Hoffman and to cut a long story shirt, this is definitely one of the best death metal albums this year.

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
Huge obsession. From the beginning I was FLOORED. Grind with atmosphere, with meaning. Some talk about a Swans influence on this album, I never managed to get into them so I don't know what to tell you about that, but I do know there is a sonic variety to be found here that will lure even the unitiated, there are some dynamite tracks, breaks for exceptional raging and (I will say it again), a very special atmosphere. This is due to the aura of Napalm Death, which is not your typical grind/death band with the same couple of tricks in their music but also in the industrial kind of things (or things that a metalhead such as I don't know about) and effects they utilize in intros that mesh perfectly with the concept of the album (what a cover). I surprised myself at how many times I put this sonic violence on and how exciting it sounded each and every time. I daresay that this is one of their best albums.

Negative Self - Negative Self
The debut of the band of the departed Dr. Mime of Dr. Living Dead. And I'd say they did an even better job than Dr. Living Dead themselves! Very catchy, total Suicidal Tendencies worship of the How Will I Laugh... era (who would have known that one day we'd had two Suicidal Tendencies clones), whoever likes the idea, dig in. Andreas Sandberg or Dr. Ape as he was known in Dr. Living Dead (self-sarcasm, always scores points that!), still imitates Mike Muir (complete with bandana) but the result sounds neither amateurish or sad. On the contrary I'd say that academically speaking, this fucking rules and well done to them. Naturally, I'm speaking as a bereft ST fan, your mileage may vary. I should listen to Ouijabeard at some point, where Sandberg sings as well and they play heavy metal apparently, I'm curious to hear how he handles that.

Powermad - Infinite
Remember them? Nice Dreams is one of the best songs by lesser known bands (how do we say Another Return to Church Hill?) and 1989's Absolute Power is a fantastic album that you should own if you like the idea of original power/thrash me great vocals (come on, do check Nice Dreams!).
This is the return of the original lineup with the help of Soilwork's drummer. Right from the start it is obvious that this is not an Absolute Power II, the album sounds way more modern, more from a sound production point than musical. I'm talking about ultra-heavy guitars that point to Nevermore (By a Thread is a direct reference to the latter's songwriting as well) and the music is not power/thrash anymore, they hit MUCH harder this time around. On the other hand, this is not your usual band that saw the reunion-train and hopped on. They are still absolutely interesting and overlooking the classic reflex of "but this is not like Absolute Power!" and paying attention to the music, a great album is revealed, which is based on thrash with a modern look that focuses on Nevermore and I'd say Devin Townsend as well, whom Joel Dubay (guitarist/singer) reminded me of at various moments. Unfortunately, his singing is a lot more "restrained" and his wonderful screams are absent (listened to Nice Dreams yet?) but on the other hand maybe those wouldn't suit this material.
I'm almost certain that this album will basically tank because old fans will be disappointed with the modern elements, young fans won't pay attention (powerwho?) and most people probably didn't even realize that the band has resurfaced. In any case, this is a very good album and it's worth a lot of listens as there is a lot of juice here.

Ranger - Where Evil Dwells
Another traditional speed metal band, this time from Finland, that won a place in the list at the nick of time from the Belgians Evil Invaders, who also released a very enjoyable album. I don't have something profound to say about the guys, if you like speed metal adorned with screams-tributes to Cyriis, that did not notice the 90s at all and has many pleasant songs and some dynamites, go for it.

Sacral Rage - Illusions in Infinite Void
Personally, I find this album to be the best album to have come from Greece. All its influences are personal favorites, that is Annihilator of the good old days, Helstar of the middle wonderful days, Watchtower, US Metal in general and tons of screaming throughout. I was also won over by its sound and every individual member who have something to offer in every track. Marios and his wondrful solos stands out but it's a really an exceptional team that is gathered here and I hope they take it further. As a budding fanboy I'd like to express my wish that Dimitris with the elastic throat will work on his middle range as well. On the high register he is top-notch, on the middle he needs an extra something. But I'm just nitpicking now. I think Lost Chapter E: Sutratma is one of my most played songs this year, top song and fantastic solo. Top 5 album.

Satan - Atom by Atom
Just a couple of words because my hand is tired (writing this in one breath). Satan remain just as monumental as on Life Sentence, I'd say Life Sentence perhaps wins on the details but that basically means we are talking about a full 8.5/10 album and anyone who flirts with the retro scene should check it out to see how the truly experienced do it.

Satan's Host - Pre-dating God Part I και ΙΙ
The return of the Tyrant to Satan's Host has paid off handsomely. Every album is essential and that is all I'm going to say about that. This year they show great productivity by releasing two albums simultaneously (one day apart). While I confess I haven't listened to it much as I looked into them very recently, I can guarantee that if you liked the previous two, you should invest here as well. The tyrant is obviously guaranteed quality but the songwriting is just as strong. I'm not in the position at the moment to say if there is anything as epic as the groundshaking Before the Flame of 2011 but hold the line and we'll get back to you on that (yeah right!)

Vhöl - Deeper than Sky
The most recent addition to the list. Normally, this shouldn't even concern me, it says black metal/crust (in the archives) with heavy/power influences. Members of Hammer of Misfortune (which never clicked with me and never got the fuss), Agalloch and YOB (not me at all). On paper, this should bore me to death. Not only I was not bored but I was actually really hooked. I should say that I think the metal-archives description is completely off the mark, at least as far as this album is concerned, the basis here is heavy metal and there are just many different things to be found on it (yes, including crust and black), without ever sounding like a mess. The music is extremely interesting and soon addictive, the s/t song is awesome and if I have one complaint it's the rather indifferent vocals, which are still adequate and do the job. Definitely check it out.


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42


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2016 at 12:14pm
Any new bands/hidden gems this year?  I'm looking for some more stoner/sludge/doom to round out my list.  You guys mostly know what kind of stuff I like.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2016 at 12:22pm
You and I have quite different taste Colin but if sludge influenced black metal does anything for you, try Vattnet Viskar's Settler. 

http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/vattnet-viskar/settler


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Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2016 at 12:32pm
Sounds up my alley, I'll check it out


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2016 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

Any new bands/hidden gems this year?  I'm looking for some more stoner/sludge/doom to round out my list.  You guys mostly know what kind of stuff I like.

Kylesa's new album is really good, if you like sludgy doom mixed with some psychedelic.


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2016 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

Any new bands/hidden gems this year?  I'm looking for some more stoner/sludge/doom to round out my list.  You guys mostly know what kind of stuff I like.

Not sure which ones you've already checked out but you could try the new ones from Baroness, Avatarium, Paradise Lost, Ahab, Lucifer and With The Dead


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2016 at 12:38pm
Ahab is already on my top albums list, I haven't listened to Baroness since I didn't like their last one (but if it's more like their older material I'll check it out).  Those others are unknown to me, I'll listen to em.  Thanks.


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2016 at 1:50pm
Mgla - Exercises in Futility is a great album I just found from J-Man's collab list


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2016 at 2:05pm
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

Mgla - Exercises in Futility is a great album I just found from J-Man's collab list

I've been meaning to check this one out myself. Heard nothing but good things about it (top metal album on RYM for 2015 too). 


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Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2016 at 2:09pm
Oh yeah, I should check RYM

http://rateyourmusic.com/customchart?page=1&chart_type=top&type=album&year=2015&genre_include=1&include_child_genres=1&genres=Metal&include_child_genres_chk=1&include=both&origin_countries=&limit=none&countries=" rel="nofollow - http://rateyourmusic.com/customchart?page=1&chart_type=top&type=album&year=2015&genre_include=1&include_child_genres=1&genres=Metal&include_child_genres_chk=1&include=both&origin_countries=&limit=none&countries=

hm, heard less than half of these so far


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2016 at 2:16pm
still the catchiest song of 2015:




Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2016 at 10:36am
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

Mgla - Exercises in Futility is a great album I just found from J-Man's collab list

I've been meaning to check this one out myself. Heard nothing but good things about it (top metal album on RYM for 2015 too). 

It is a good album based on my listen on youtube. I never really fully get to grips with how great an album is until I buy it and play it on my hi-fi and this ones been on my to buy list for a while. Hopefully get it before the deadline for album of the year lists to give it a proper chance.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2016 at 10:58am
I streamed it via bandcamp this morning and it gave a good first impression. Stylistically it's not as out there as some of the black metal I've heard from last year but it's definitely straight up BM done right. 

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Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2016 at 5:19pm
so far 10/15 of my top albums are black metal, this is unprecedented LOL

2014: 1/5
2013: 1/16
2012: 4/15
2011: 3/20
2010: 3/10


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2016 at 2:22am
It was a good year for black metal, especially atmospheric black metal. Most of my recent additions to my list are in that style. 

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Posted By: Jbird
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2016 at 7:42am
I didn't realize that Andy James had another band, that released an album in 2015.

Wearing Scars - Chris Clancy (vocals, ex-Mutiny Within), Andy James (guitar, youtube star, ex-Sacred Mother Tongue), Daniel Woodyer (guitar, 2013 Toontracks 'Metal God' winner), Craig Daws (bass, ex-Sacred Mother Tongue), Lee Newell (drums, ex-Sacred Mother Tongue)



I just got it in the post, will listen to it later. The song in the video isn't quite my type of metal, but it is at least listenable to me, and Andy james is a beast of a guitar player, so I figured what the heck…

If you don't know who Andy James is…






Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2016 at 1:26pm
Another 2015 black metal release I stumbled on today that I've enjoyed a lot off the bat.


http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/mesarthim/isolate

A bit like Midnight Odyssey without the equally dominant non-metal parts. 


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