Congratulations folks! You made it to the end of another year, all these lists come popping out of nowhere. I’ll add mine to the ranks; here’s the top ten records of the year 2015. I’ll also note that to keep my list interesting and not-repetitive I won’t be mentioning the likes of Slayer or Iron Maiden, although there’s some honorable mentions to be had there.
Advent Sorrow – As All Light Leaves Her
When despair and emotion intertwine with copious levels of doom, “As All Light Leaves Her” fills the void with more eternal bleakness. This is not a happy album, not even slightly – but it’s full, forward thinking and regretful in its emotive nuances. Think, but be warned, Advent Sorrow have nailed a spot in any worthwhile end of year list.
Wearing Scars – A Thousand Words
From the ashes of Mutiny Within comes Wearing Scars, a melodious effort full of hooks and soaring leads. With a talented line up there’s no real way to tell just how far these guys can go. The album’s lead single “Butterfly” dictates the level of melody that an album in this genre can possess and allows for the Wearing Scars crew to build an album, brick by brick.
Trapped Within Burning Machinery – The Fifth Element
Those who know me know I’m a huge doom fan. Enough Said…. Okay a little more then: “The Fifth Element” brings an industrial element to the far reaches of doom. Trapped Within Burning Machinery’s stylistic choices work for a band unknown to the general metal loving population. Blending sludge in a minimalistic setting, the music here is simple, expansive and then complex, ruining the sensual mood it creates only to replace it with another. Be persistent, for this album is definitely worth it.
Sunn O))) – Kannon
Drone legends are returned. Sunn O))) stick to the standards they set for themselves and continue their legacy with “Kannon”.
Space Bong – Deadwood To Worms
Ah.. Space Bong. I love supporting Australian music. There’s nothing quite like knowing you have some weird far reaching connection to a band or album (even if you really don’t). “Deadwood To Worms” showcases a subtle doom that still manages to hit you in the face like a boulder falling off a cliff. It’s the little nuances that set this band above others in the genre and ultimately leave you wanting more.
Serious Beak – Ankaa
By now you’re probably thinking I have a thing for Art As Catharsis and underground Aussie music… well I do. This is more instrumental goodness wrapped in some awesome album art. Thanks Serious Beak.
Secrets Of The Moon – Sun
I’ve waited years for a new Secrets Of The Moon album and in the ashes of 2015 we were all gifted a new album, “Sun”. This is modern black metal done right, built on some not so modern soundscapes. If you haven’t heard of this band, now’s the perfect time to start. “Sun” is accessible, enjoyable and right for whatever metal mood you find yourself in.
We Lost The Sea – Departure Songs
It was a hard choice to file this in at number 3. We Lost The Sea’s “Departure Songs” is a truly magnificent album. Instrumental from top to bottom, the album is a testament to actually “writing” music. We Lost The Sea is one of the more uplifting records to be released from the underground Australian scene. There’s an interesting story, full of emotion and growth. ‘Departure Songs’ isn’t a “happy” album per-se, rather it defines a period in the life of the musicians who crafted an album out of the darker moments as a band. As for ‘Departure Songs’ it’s more about an emotive listening experience than simply ticking all the right boxes. We Lost The Sea are the masters of bringing sound and intelligent song-writing together, the album is a ‘left of field beauty’ interacting directly with the listener, giving life to the music through personal context.
Riverside – Love, Fear and The Time Machine
Yep that’s right, Riverside in the number 2 spot. Even with all the metal I listen to all day it’s nice to take things down a notch with this progressive take on Polish rock. The album is smooth, sensual and on point from start to finish. The song-writing here is phenomenal and the croon just make sense where-ever they land. It’s effortless and way too easy to enjoy.
6:33 – Deadly Scenes
My “album of the year”. Most wouldn’t expect this album to be mentioned here, let alone take out the top spot. “Deadly Scenes” is magnificent, catchy and unbelievably great from start to finish. A mix of black metal, art rock and something indescribable to someone who hasn’t heard the album grace the ears of the listener. You can read my full review here:
Read the interview here:
Single Of The Year
Now I don’t normally do these (and this is the first time I’m including this feature in my lists) but I feel it’s a needed section of my end of year features. Now I’ve written “single” of the year, not “song” of the year. This means that this track was actually released before the entire album, teasing listeners on what they are to be hearing in the future. Now this only applies to bands that are releasing a full-length in 2015, so if you dropped a single at the end of the year but the album comes out next year, it unfortunately doesn’t qualify.
Earthside – Mob Mentality (Feat. Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust))
This came out early in the year, that goes to show how good this track actually is. It has the lasting value rarely seen in modern music across the board and the multi-facet of elements that all draw together and combine are truly second to none. The saying “they don’t make music like that anymore” is dead. Earthside have crafted a masterpiece of song-writing aided by Sevendust’s crooning Lajon Witherspoon.
I’d like to thank each and every artist who released a record this year. Whether it’s on this list or not it’s a credit to the industry that it keeps releasing music no matter the state of the industry. I’d like to also give praise to those who do what we do (review, promote, interview) and to those who organise the PR and touring for those bands/albums. It’s not an easy job and I love you all.