Not sure why I even bother doing this but these are my favourite metal albums from 2015.
Everyone loved Ecdysis except me. I listened to it over and over hoping to see something about it that really excited me. The songs weren't that bad but they felt unfocused, I wasn't sure what they were trying to do but I could respect their artistic effort, even if I didn't understand it. Anareta is a different story, I really enjoy this release and I am impressed that they managed to release it so quickly after their last one. This band is passionate about creating music and I can hear it in this release. The vocals threw me off a bit at first but I eventually got used to them, if you're looking for OSDM with a progressive edge, this is it.
9.) Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches
Yeah, I know, everyone hates this band. I haven't given a shit about this band since I was 15 (pretty much the age you would have to be to take this band seriously.) The songs here are catchy, epic, melodic and thrashy. If you have even a passing interest in this group, buy this album, you won't be disappointed.
Skepticism are a bunch of assholes, who do they think they are? Releasing nothing for seven years and coming back with a live album? Really? Luckily enough these are all new songs and the live recording is very good. Some fans have complained about the lack of low end on the recording but shit like that doesn't bother me. The album is excellent. Funeral doom requires a certain suspension of disbelief that is promptly shattered when a soul crushing funeral dirge ends with clapping and applause. Still a cool release. Make sure your version includes the DVD.
7.) Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
This album wasn't at all what I expected, I would imagine that many fans are disappointed but I haven't bothered reading any reviews. Sentenced To Life was a wicked Death/Thrash release without any frills, nuance or excess (I mean that in the best way possible.) This new release features mid paced songs, the average song length is double and they even included a seven minute instrumental. (Lolwut?) You might think that this is a bit of a letdown and it would be if the songs sucked. Fortunately the songs are great, buy this album.
6.) Drowning the Light - From the Abyss
Normally I don't listen to these type of bands. You know what I'm talking about. One man black metal bands that release eleven albums in six years. The dude behind DTL has been incredibly busy pumping out an impressive amount of releases, some of them might even be good! The only reason that I even bothered listening to this album is the cover. The songs are brilliant, I'm pleasantly reminded of bands like Vinterland, Bathory and early Immortal. This is traditional epic black metal that sounds like it just came out of the early nineties. There isn't anything particularly new or original on this release but there doesn't need to be. This is what the metal world needs, bands that are self-aware of the music they want to play and good at playing it. It's been a long time since I've been this excited about a new black metal release. Well done!
Revenge have sold out; never listen to them again.
4.) Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror
Blind Guardian's latest offering is very good and shows that BG are still a competent band and a long ways away from being washed up losers. The songs are all excellent but I feel like they were trying too hard to make the most bombastic, epic, over-the-top, symphonic metal album. While the songs are all good songs, I have always preferred the first five albums. The first five albums are also attempts at playing the most epic, over-the-top, metal albums ever but they didn't have the resources to make something this grandiose. In my opinion they more than made up for it with more infectious choruses, stronger riffing and songs that I feel held together better. Despite these criticisms I really love this album and will listen to it for years to come but when I get the urge to throw on a newer BG album I will almost always pick At the Edge of Time.
Symphony X have outdone themselves. This might be their best album since Twilight in Olympus. I don't really have much to say about the release but I love it and think you should buy it.
This is Crypt Sermon's first album and it is incredible. The band plays traditional doom metal in the same vein as Candlemass, Trouble and Solitude Aeturnus. Although they wear their influences on their sleeves they still manage to sound unique. Each song on this release is well written, well produced and well performed. My favourite tracks are Temple Doors and Master's Bouquet but every song is a good song on this album.
1.) Archgoat - Apocalyptic Triumphator
This is my favourite album this year, I probably love it way more than I should but I can't help it; every riff they play is gold. There is a real symmetry between Side A and Side B which really helps make the album feel complete. My favourite songs is Grand Luciferian Theophany, the slow riffs on this song absolutely crush! I love it. The dynamic between the speedy tremolo riffs and groovy mid-paced sections is absolutely flawless. The two intros that separate side A and B set the mood brilliantly and are just long enough that they don't overstay their welcome. To describe the sound I would have to say Darkthrone meets Incantation, the very best of black and death metal fused into one. This is how blackened death metal should sound.
Look forward to next year. Hopefully Hell release a new album... that'd be cool.