2015 has brought us a ton of great music and experiences, and asking someone to compile all of that into a favorites list is never an easy task. Countless hours were spent debating and shuffling these lists, and we think we got it right in the end…maybe? So without further ado, here are
- #1: Disarmonia Mundi – Cold Inferno: 2015 was not the most diverse year for European Melodic Death Metal with bands like The Haunted, In Flames and At The Gates all putting releases out in 2014, which is GREAT for Disarmonia Mundi, a band that time and time again releases albums that are melodic, heavy, groovy, and thrashy, but fresh and exciting! Easily the most under-rated band in the genre and deserving of every accolade they should get and don’t.
- #2: Black Fast – Terms of Surrender: Don’t look now, America has caught up with Europe finally, bands like Black Fast and Skeletonwitch are clearly leading the Thrash/Melodic Death Metal army in the states, and not with ease, but with power, aggression, and melody that grabs you by the throat and never let’s go. The only reason this isn’t my #1 is because Disarmonia Mundi released a new album. Whatever you do, don’t overlook Black Fast, they’re here to destroy your eardrums and hopefully go nowhere and continue the good fight!
- #3: Enforcer – From Beyond: Simply put, WOW. What a find! I put this one on and instantly think this must have been what it was like when Megadeth’s Peace Sells came out. It’s relentlessly fast, bruising, and there’s a mondo SHRED ALERT with this one. If you’re a fan of thrash but want something with a fresh take on it, turn this one up to ten and throw your jean jacket vest on with an ice-cold brew.
- #4: Soilwork – The Ride Majestic: Soilwork continues to evolve their sound from album to album and separate themselves in this incredibly crowded genre, but in the vein of In Flames we hear them evolving towards something wonderful. Opposite from bands such as Disarmonia Mundi and Black Fast we hear more of a Classic Power Metal influence. Fantastic return to form for Soilwork melding that melody and thrash that we’ve come to love so much from the Gothenburg, Sweden sound. Fly that flag high brothers!
- #5: August Burns Red – Found in Far Away Places: Talk about a band that has grown up, no longer known as “that” Christian Metalcore band, but a band that is standing on their own and have clearly separated themselves as a massive act that appeals to many genre fans. I have a hard time genre-placing this band, but I can see how this new album may scare off some of the old school fans, it’s A LOT more aggressive and A LOT more melodic than past albums and excites me when I think of the direction they are headed in.
- #1: Ice Nine Kills – Every Trick in the Book: It’s very rare to find an album that will hit on every part of the emotion scale, but this album has it all. The idea behind the album was to take 10 pieces of famous literature and translate them into pieces of music. Its gotta be hard to take hundreds of pages of emotion and story and make a 4 minute piece of music out of it, right? Ice Nine Kills shattered any doubt and put out the most complete and dynamic album this year!
- #2: Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor: Mr. Manson proved throughout 2015 that he was still a force to be reckoned with, by putting out his best offering since his Holywood album. The album has a stripped down almost bluesy feel at times and paired with Manson’s voice it works perfectly. This album came out at the very beginning of 2015 and to this day is still in my rotation.
- #3: Butcher Babies – Take It Like a Man: Talk about an album that came out of nowhere and knocked me on my ass! This album rips from start to finish and shows off a more mature and cohesive Butcher Babies sound. The band really looked at what fans wanted to hear and what got the crowds going at their shows when crafting this album and it shines through!
- #4: Wage War – Blueprints: My first taste of this band came just a few months ago when they came to town on Fearless Records Fresh Faces Tour. Their live performance hooked me instantly with their brutal heaviness, and then they dropped this debut album on us, rarely does a band drop on the scene and have such an immediate noticeable impact. This album is a true rager!
- #5: Orgy – Talk Sick: Not to date myself here but Orgy was HUGE during my high school years with their industrial rock and goth image, so when i heard earlier this year that they would be making a comeback and dropping new music i was instantly intrigued. This album took the band in a new direction, bringing in some EDM and synth elements. Those new elements merged perfectly with the classic Orgy sound and helped craft a fine piece of music!
- #1: Slayer – Repentless: This is easily my favorite album of the year. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to learn Slayer planned to make more music after the passing of Jeff Hanneman. The album did not disappoint. Start to finish, Slayer does what they do best; kick the shit out of you with heavy, fast, and aggressive songs!
- #2: Motörhead – Bad Magic: Lemmy and the gang keep making gold. I can sum up my love for this album with one song off Bad Magic: Victory or DIE!!!! Track after track of rock and roll, topped off with an awesome cover of Sympathy for the Devil. Bad Magic is absolute magic.
- #3: Ghost – Meliora: Ghost has blown up in popularity, and their latest album, Meliora, is adding fuel to their inferno of success! The haunting sounds and funky rock grooves lift the spirit and charge you up.
- #4: Anfinnsaas – Anfinnsaas: This is an odd album to have on a top five list, but it is one of the coolest and unique pieces of music I have heard in a while. Anfinnsaas is an album I can listen to start to finish and get lost in the heavy rhythmic drums and down tuned guitar. I dig their work and would recommend the album to anyone who likes dark, heavy music.
- #5: Gorgoroth – Instinctus Bestialis: Pest and Gaahl added vocals to some of my favorite Gorgoroth albums, when I learned there was a new vocalist named Atterigner singing on the upcoming album, I was eager to hear his sound. Instinctus Bestialis is a solid album full of blast beats and great guitar work. Burn in His Light is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite Gorgoroth songs. Great album!
- #1 : Motörhead – Bad Magic: When we gave this album an 8/10 I wanted to beat somebody to death with a Jack Daniels bottle. Bad Magic is pure rock and roll and rock and roll’s avatar is Lemmy Kilmister. This album is some of Motörhead’s greatest work in years and deservedly demands our respect. 10/10 Robert is wrong.
- #2 : Ghost – Meliora: Ghost is a new band to me, somehow they have been avoiding my attention, but now they have it – my uninterrupted and undivided attention. Ghost is haunting, the lyrics are dark and the music is catchy and the clerical parody is entertaining.
- #3 : Gloryhammer – Space 1992 Rise of the Chaos Wizards: Gloryhammer is a divisive band, some people think that they are over the top and ridiculous. Those people are correct. Some people think they suck, those people need to die in a fire. Gloryhammer is power-metal; they are the unabashed embodiment of this musical subgenera and this album has well-earned its place on my list.
- #4 : Horisont – Odyssey: Most music released is nothing but an attempt at a few singles with some filler in-between – the album is dead. But it’s not; Horisont brought it back, this album begs to be enjoyed from start to finish and hearkens back to the old days of rock and roll.
- #5 : Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor: I have been a fan of Manson from his very beginnings, every album has brought something new and he always seems to have great forward momentum keeping his music relevant. Pale Emperor is among his best work.
Josh: Darkest Hour
On their 20th anniversary tour of Undoing Ruin, it definitely made me feel old, but this band hasn’t skipped a beat live, and brought it hard on what felt like a greatest hits tour, wow.
Mark: Upon A Burning Body
Upon A Burning Body is my top choice for a few reasons, first and foremost they absolutely CRUSH live. Danny Leal has the ability to get a crowd full engaged and raging from the get go. Their set was packed with hits from all 3 albums and was pedal to the metal from start to finish. The second reason I am selecting UABB was for our experience with them off stage. They were fully engaging with everyone and even took time to meet with my 5-year-old son who was present for his first concert ever. All in all a phenomenal experience from top to bottom. Definitely check these dudes out any chance you get!
Watch our interview with Upon A Burning Body: HERE
The 30 Years of Total World Domination tour was outrageous! Battlecross shreds live! They love what they do and pump up the crowd with their energy. GWAR is not dead! The set list included songs from almost every album. The stage show, creatures, killings, blood and spew, and humor of the band blew the doors off the venue. Go see GWAR any time they are near!
Read our full review of GWAR in concert: HERE
Josh: Clutch – X Ray Vision
Mark: Ice Nine Kills – Communion of the Cursed
Robert: Ghost – Cirice
Top New Band : My Enemies & I
Earlier this year My Enemies & I, a metalcore band from Richmond, VA, signed to Fearless records and re-released their debut EP Sick World. Shortly after they were packaged with the Fresh Faces Tour and unleashed on audiences around the US. This is where I got my first-hand experience and was blown away by heavy groove the band captures perfectly. Their EP was solid from start to finish and their live performance took that over the edge. The album has been in a near constant rotation on my playlist since its been released and I’m eager to get another dose of their live show. My Enemies & I have a sound and image that is ready to take them to the next levels! More about My enemies & I courtesy of Fearless Records:
Finding their sound in an explosive outpour of ominous and unapologetic lyrical aggression, My Enemies & I – have everything it takes to beat your senses with music as heavy as it is catchy. Channeling their love for horror and finding solace in the ominous imagery, the ferocious five-piece deliver a brash mixture of monster choruses, rapid fire riffs, and pummeling percussion. Building an underground legion of dark devotees, the band embraces the unsettling truth that evil lives within every human. Guitarist Zach Jones explains, “Stephen King once said ‘Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.’ We are the physical manifestation of that evil that lives inside of each and every one of us. We are the worthless, we are the hated, we are the ones that you created.”
Watch our interview with My Enemies & I: HERE
Comeback Artist: Orgy
2015 saw the rock band Orgy return in a big way with a new big sound. After not having a major release since Punk Static Paranoia in 2004, this was a welcomed return. Adding new elements from the EDM genre they were able to bring their sound to another level. We had the opportunity to interview and watch the band earlier this year and you could see how excited they were to be back!
Listen to our recent interview with Orgy front-man, Jay Gordon : HERE
Editor In Chief
Expertise: Thrash Metal
Twitter: @wyldedaze / IG: @jp_burnbabyburnfilms
Twitter: @MrVonDudenstein / IG: @mark_loudandheavy
Robert “The Beast” GrossInterviewer Dude / Music Reviewer
Expertise: Black Metal
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Expertise: Prog Rock
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