Friday, 8 January 2016

Best Albums of 2015

* = album reviewed, click the link

Top 10

1) Leeches of Lore – Motel of Infinityreview

Another magical album by the New Mexico trio, it's totally bonkers in the best way possible.

2) Cave of Swimmers – Reflectionreview
Super epic heavy/doom/hard rock/prog metal with some latin beats and superb vocals, a great surprise for 2015.

3) Acolytes of Moros – Herald of the Imminent* review
Swedish trad doom of the highest caliber, I don't understand how these guys aren't signed yet.

4) Baroness – Purplereview
I liked Yellow & Green but this new album is much better, it's the bridge between Blue and Y&G and sees the band as its most condensed and feelsy incarnation yet. Marvelous record.

5) Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
Superb pop with really great lyrics, Josh Tillman is a genius

6) Thy Catafalque - Sgùrr
Everything that this band has released so far has been groundbreaking and this album is no exception. Perhaps not as good as Róka Hasa Rádió, this new album is still superb

7) Magister Templi – Into Duatreview
Masterful heavy/doom from Norway about Egyptian mythology, it's epic as hell but contained within solid, catchy relatively short tracks.

8) High Inquisitor Woe – Liquid Times
Super great belgian trad doom with psychedelic touches, impressive for a first release. 3 songs = 40 minutes!

9) Enslaved – In Times
Another great album from the Norwegian legends, more cohesive and better overall than RITTIR.

10) Mgla – Exercises in Futility
Just the best black metal band nowadays, top notch riffs and atmosphere. EIF is less catchy than WHTN but it's more cohesive and it's better overall if this is even possible.

Almost in the top 10

Tau Cross
A super group with Amebix and Voivod members, this is an intricate piece of proggy metal with a lot of different influences.

Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War
Outstanding Bathory-esque Greek black metal, can't get more epic than these guys.

Magic Circle – Journey's Blind
Their debut album was certainly on my best of list of 2013 and this one almost made the top 10 this year due mostly to the the title track. The rest of the album is good but I prefer when they're slower and doomier and this album is quite fast and the NWOBHM influence is bigger. Still a solid record though.

Night Viper
Truly outstanding debut album from these Swedes, it's fun NWOBHMish heavy metal with powerful female vocals and awesome riffs. Might be top 10

Starlight Ritualreview
For a debut album, these Quebecois really managed to release very cool epic heavy/doom with some slight prog tendencies. The vocals are similar to Dio and the guys really dig their Rainbow. I can't wait to see them again with Cauchemar and Magic Circle.

Remmirath - Shambhala Vril Saucersreview
Super original and twisted avant garde black metal with Tibetan, psychedelic and even video game music influences.

Batushka - Litourgiya
Only beaten by Mgla for black metal in 2015, this Polish band's debut album is so epic it hurts.

Some other outstanding albums *no particular order*

Pohjoinen* review
Ares Kingdom – The Unburiable Dead
Garden of Worm – Idle Stones* reviewMarie-Pierre Arthur – Si l'aurore
Beach House – Depression Cherry
Corridor – Le voyage éternel
Deafheaven – New Bermuda* review
Jean Leloup – À Paradis City
Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
Iron Void – Doomsday
Crypt Sermon - Out of the Gardens* review
Pendulous - A Palpable Sense of Love & Loss* review
Abyss - Heretical Anatomy* review
The Sword - High Country* review
Wolfshead - Caput Lupinum*
Wreckmeister – Night of your ascension
Sarpanitum – Blessed be my Brothers
Gold – No Image
Reverie - Bliss* review
Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours

Disappointments of the year:

Iron Maiden - The Book of Soulsreview

Tribulation - The Children of the Night 
While a good album, it's not as rich as Formulas and it's a more streamlined and accessible release.


Alternative and underground music said...

Wow, I don't recognise most of those names.

That Tau Cross album is fantastic. For once the record label blurb was correct when it referred to "huge booming vocals".

Bell Witch's Four Phantoms is also massive. Not first date material, one might say, but unbelievable material for the right state of mind.

I'm sad to hear you didn't dig the new Maiden though. I'm probably biased in that I love Maiden unconditionally, I'm a paying Maiden Fan Club member, and *gasp* I even love the Blaze-era stuff. Book Of Souls takes a long time to get into I admit, but like the gigantic Four Phantoms album, it's something that can be appreciated in one's stride in that it's not necessarily going to stick on first listen.

Antoine Richard said...

Well, I didn't hate The Book of Souls, I still gave it a 77% (?) but it could had been so much better if it had less filler, that's why it's a disappointment to me. I do like The X Factor too!

I've been recently listening to the new Magic Circle a lot and I'm sure it would be in my top 10 now.