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Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

Last year's list was quite a success, so I figured I'd do it again! Here's some of my favorite heavy music from this year. This time, I'm abandoning the numbering because frankly, I can't decide. There was a lot of great releases this year - with a few surprises I didn't see coming. Let's go!

First, a few albums I enjoyed but don't have much to say:

Horrendous - Anareta - A fresh take on old school death metal. This is a young band making big moves in a short period of time.

Drudkh - A Furrow Cut Short- Epic-but-ambient black metal from Ukraine. These veterans still got it, I just didn't give this one enough time this year.

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Night Creeper - Not metal, but dark and groovy rock with big riffs. A competent album but I can't shake the fact that they may hit their high point with their sophomore, Blood Lust.

Lucifer -Lucifer I - Another non-metal band, this is more classical rock with a beautifully-voiced female lead. Check out her short-lived but amazing other band, The Oath, too.

Sivyj Yar - Burial Shrouds - A lone Russian crafts some excellent, heartache-inspiring music. This isn't in my top 10 only because his vocals have never really done it for me but man, the music is great.

Melechesh - Enki - Mesopotamian black metal. These guys wear their middle eastern heritage on their sleeves - producing a unique and fun sound in the genre.

And in no particular order, my 10 favorites:

Akhlys - The Dreaming I

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One of the surprises I mentioned - a band (single guy again) whose previous work I am unfamiliar with. This black metal album has an atmosphere that is disconcerting with a relentless pace full of blast beats and kick pedal. Don't let that turn you away, though, because the fast drumming is often paired with melodic guitars (in between the utterly blistering riffs). The Dreaming I drops the listener into a nightmare that twists and turns when you least expect it, with some great production quality that doesn't sound plastic. I love the album art, too.

Bandcamp, favorite track: The Dreaming Eye

Obsequiae - Aria of Vernal Tombs

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Another surprise: Obsequiae are the medieval black metal band I didn't know I wanted. I really dig the effect this band is using with their guitars - they use a weirdly buzzing grind that produces an almost old-sounding feel that maybe wouldn't sound out of place in the 15th century (if they had electric guitars). Aria of Vernal Tombs evokes the sound of traversing the landscape on horseback while the sun glistens off ruins (they nailed that album cover). The vocals are harsh, as one would expect, but aren't at the forefront. Instead they take a bit of a backseat, echoing off the guitars as a compliment. The metal outings are broken up by a few instrumental tracks featuring only a harp. These often reminded me of the ambient music in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which is never a bad thing.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Anlace and Heart

Ghost - Meliora

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I definitely thought it was over for Ghost in terms of my interest. Their debut was the catchiest satan worship I had ever heard - I listened to Opus Eponymous on repeat for months. Infestissumam, the follow-up, was...ok, but nowhere near Opus. After a few singles were released for Meliora, it seemed like the gimmick had run its course, leading me to think I'd skip this one. I was wrong. Once the full album was available, the previously-lackluster singles took new meaning, fitting perfectly into the band's most ambitious record yet. It feels like an apology for Lucifer - an earnest and heartfelt explanation for embracing the dark side. Maybe the fallen angel wasn't such a bad guy.

You probably know what Ghost sounds like, even if you don't like heavier music, but here's the official full album.

Krallice - Ygg Huur

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Krallice is a challenging group. Upon first listen, you may only hear noise. Admittedly, it took me almost a year to appreciate their debut, self titled album. This is a band that has a whole lot going on in their typically-lengthy songs, but you can almost always find some new aspect to appreciate on every listen. This year's stealthily released album, Ygg Huur, is actually a breath of fresh air, featuring much shorter songs. Compared to their past work, these songs are a little choppier, packing a broad range of sounds into a small amount of time. Krallice is hard to explain, just give them a shot.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Tyranny of Thought

Sumac - The Deal

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Here's a band completely outside of my typical style - and it's one of my most listened-to albums this year! Sumac is primarily a two-piece, featuring only one member I recognize, Aaron Turner (Isis), on guitars and vocals. This is seriously one of the heaviest albums I've heard this year. Sludge, post-metal, maybe some black or death metal - there's a lot here. The riffs are so thick you can chew on them, backed by a drumming whirlwind of technicality that leaves me dazed. The Deal is just absolutely crushing.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Blight's End Angel

Leviathan - Scar Sighted

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Leviathan is another one-man black metal band who has been in the game for quite some time. Fun fact: Wrest (as he's known) actually collaborated with Aaron Turner^ on a supergroup of sorts, Twilight. I've flirted with Leviathan's previous albums, never really sticking around long, because this is some dark stuff that really requires a specific mood to enjoy. However, Scar Sighted feels a little more ambitious and, dare I say, approachable at times. It's more experimental, but is still chock-full of Wrest's signature self-loathing. Its a great evolution in direction that I really hope he continues. Also, he's a talented artist that has done his own album artwork (and some others), with some really cool stuff done for Scar Sighted.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Wicked Fields of Calm

Abigail Williams - The Accuser

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Abigail Williams has seen many lineup changes and many style changes over the years. They started out weirdly as metalcore with a black tinge, got a little symphonic, went full on atmospheric a la Wolves in the Throne Room on their third album, until this - The Accuser. This album is a dirty and angry blast of speed full of raw emotion. Abigail Williams finally feels like they found their own thing instead of aping typical styles. (Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their previous stuff, too). I'm hoping they stick with this direction.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Godhead

Tribulation - The Children of the Night

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Tribulation is doing something special. Progressive black/death/(goth rock?) We can throw around a lot of genres with bands this year, it seems. But in reality that's a wonderful thing - that a lot of music in general is getting that much more difficult to define. The Children of the Night really is nailing it from the metal side of things. The vocals are still harsh, but the music is a bit poppy. There's still heaviness to be heard, there's some psychedelic trance inducing passages, there's glam metal solos. I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Watain once and they reproduce this quality production in the flesh.

Favorite track: The Whole Album

Enslaved - In Times

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Enslaved is one of the oldest black metal bands. They're partially responsible for making the genre what it is today. After 13 albums now they are still killing it. About half way through their career they transitioned to a more progressive sound, while holding on to their viking/folky roots, in one of my favorite albums Below the Lights. In Times very much reminds me of Below the Lights: crushing rhythms backed by airy, chanting vocals that devolve into guttural growls, 'big' soundscapes, the folk chants. It's all here, and never ceases to be compelling after multiple listens.

Favorite track: One Thousand Years of Rain

Panopticon - Autumn Eternal

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Panopticon is a band I've known of for years, but never really was hooked by the more southern-folky crusted take on black metal. Yet again a one-man band, and only a year between the past release Roads to the North, Austin Lunn finally delivers an album I can wholeheartedly say I really like. This feels like the culmination he has been working towards: still incorporating his folk and hardcore-riff roots, but expertly placing them to make the album more cohesive. A real gem.

Bandcamp, favorite track: Into the North Woods

Thanks for checking this out! What heavy stuff did you like this year? There's plenty of other things I didn't get around to hearing yet, but I'm sure I missed some gems.

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#1 Posted by Justin258 (15620 posts) -

Just out of curiosity - where do you find these bands? I like metal a lot but I haven't heard of most of this. I'll definitely give some of this a listen.

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#2 Edited by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@believer258: I have a few friends that are also dedicated fans, so I learn names from them a lot. I visit a music site called Invisible Oranges often. They're my main source typically - occasionally for the editorial but because they do weekly breakdowns of albums getting released. They compile year end lists from other sites that are usually pretty broad too. Following record labels, blogs and individual bands on facebook is usually a great source of info.

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#3 Posted by 71Ranchero (3419 posts) -

@nickhead: Interesting choices. I have only spent much time listening to a handful of those albums but the others I will check out later. Meliora is also one of my top albums of the year, man do I hope they somehow win the Grammy just because that would be ridiculous.

Tribulation's Children of the Night grew on me. I really didnt expect to like these guys at all after I saw them opening up for Aeon, Cannibal Corpse, and BEHEMOTH. The came out on stage and spent 10 minutes walking around looking awkward and duct taping incense sticks all over the amps and mic stands. The audience was laughing pretty hard. They did put on a decent show for the 4 songs they played but I wrote them off until I few months later when they released the new album. Its actually really good stuff and I was surprised. Wish I had talked to them like my buddy did after the show instead of rushing out to get in a smoke.

Just out of curiosity - where do you find these bands? I like metal a lot but I haven't heard of most of this. I'll definitely give some of this a listen.

Digging around in Spotifys related artists lists is probably one of the better ways of finding metal bands these days. You can also try Metal Injection or any other metal news blog site. I also subscribe to the youtube channels of the record labels of some of my favorite bands and that helps.

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#4 Edited by HH (934 posts) -

@believer258: bandcamp works great for me, once you get a small collection of things you like your homepage shows other users with similar collections, just browse through their pages listening to bits of whatever they have, it's a good way to narrow things down, but even being as choosy as i am i have to stop myself from buying new stuff all the time, there are that many bands out there.

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#5 Posted by Technician (780 posts) -

Autumn Eternal by Panopticon is probably my favorite metal album of the year, followed closely by A Northern Meadow by Pyramids and Bleeder by Mutoid Man (not sure if this album can be considered a true metal album but there are some strong metal elements).

I felt really out of the loop in terms of metal in 2015. I heard a bunch of albums but most of them didn't really stick with me, which is a shame since 2014 was a great year for metal in my opinion and got me further interested in the genre. I've listened to the Krallice and Sumac albums you listed and both were just ok to me, I listened to them a couple of times and just gave up on them, which is surprising since I really dug Isis and Krallice was on an upward trajectory with the releases up to the new album.

I think your list is well put together and I'll look into the picks that I haven't listened to yet; maybe I'll find a rock to cling to.

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#6 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@71ranchero: Yeah that sounds like an unfortunate scenario for Tribulation to be in haha. It took a few listens for me to really like Children of the Night, especially after their previous album (Formulas of Death), which was still a weird thing but much more definable as 'metal'.

@technician: Concerning Krallice, I forgot to mention, they also released an EP like a week ago on bandcamp that sounds more like their previous albums: Hyperion

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#7 Posted by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

@believer258 Encyclopedia Metallum is also pretty helpful. Go to an artists page you like and it has a "Similar Artists" tab. Not always spot on, but lists quite a few to check out.

@nickhead No Panopticon mention... sigh...

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#8 Edited by Bobby_The_Great (1139 posts) -

@nickhead This is a great list, though I can't quite find Leviathan's new album "enjoyable" listening. It makes me really uneasy, which I know that's what it's going for, but it's such a creepy thing to listen to.

For me, a couple not mentioned would be:

- Nile: What Should Not Be Unearthed

- Cattle Decapitation: The Anthropocene Extinction

- My Dying Bride: Feel the Misery

- Between the Buried and Me: Coma Ecliptic

- Blind Guardian: Beyond the Red Mirror

- Baroness: Purple

- The Black Dahlia Murder: Abysmal

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#9 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@grandpasimon: @technician: Panopticon was supposed to be on here, I just forgot to include it - there were actually only 9 top albums haha! Oops!

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#10 Posted by DeiNile (125 posts) -
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#12 Edited by hawk767 (27 posts) -

@bobby_the_great: I'd definitely put Baroness' late release Purple on my list as well.

Not familiar with a handful of the bands on the list but will definitely put them on my list of music to get through, I've been slowly rolling through the discography of a ton of metal bands lately, started with Mayhem and have moved through a handful of other bands in the vein and timeframe, currently working through some more prog metally stuff I guess like Mastodon and Baroness.

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#13 Edited by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

My personal ten:

  1. Uncle Acid - The Night Creeper
  2. Ghost - Meliora
  3. Abigail Williams - The Accuser
  4. Visigoth - The Revenant King
  5. With The Dead - Self Titled
  6. Lucifer - Lucifer I
  7. Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
  8. Alda - Passage
  9. Panopticon - Autumn Eternal
  10. Obsequiae - Aria of Vernal Tombs

*Not really metal but two other nods (don't judge, both great albums):

Foreign Objects - Galactic Prey

CiG (Chad Ginsburg) - Rock N Roll Alibis

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#14 Edited by rolento (278 posts) -

Some good lists in here. Great to see Cattle Decapitation mentioned. The Anthropocene Extinction is one of the best albums of all time, as far as I'm concerned.

I see a disturbing lack of mentions of Arcturus, though. Their 2015 album Arcturian is absolutely fantastic. I can't stop listening. ICS Vortex and Hellhammer at the top of their game here.

The Arcturian Sign:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uWIg5hI7hE

Game Over:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQmtcaI3VEs

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#15 Posted by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

Remember that band Children of Bodom? Well, they released an album this year too. Fun to see no one even mentioned it yet...

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#16 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@subwayd: @rolento: I sort of forgot Arcturus existed (I'm sorry) and haven't checked in on them in awhile. I'll have to listen. Also, never got into much of the technical death metal over the years - I've probably heard Cattle Decapitation once or twice. I'll try again!

Glad to see there's stuff I missed already though, as I expected!

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#17 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

Gruesome - Savage Land

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2fJXTs_-Vc

Visigoth - revenant king

http://www.metalblade.com/us/releases/visigoth-the-revenant-king/

Paradise lost - the plague within

High on fire - luminiferous

A bunch more great albums

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#18 Edited by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

@garris: Hell yeah on the Visigoth mention. Jake Rogers is one of my favorite musicians, so damn talented. Check out his other band, Gallowbraid. Vastly different from Visigoth but amazing nonetheless. He also recorded with a band called Winterlore. Much more of the old school, raw black metal. If you're into that.

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#19 Edited by KillEm_Dafoe (2628 posts) -

I don't listen to that much black metal, so it would make sense that I've never heard of nearly all of these bands. Obsesquiae sounds neat, though. I'll try and give some of the others a listen later.

As for Ghost, I seriously do not understand the hype around this band. They have an interesting gimmick, sure, but I just don't think the songs are there. Yet everyone seems to be going apeshit for them. They just don't strike me as the kind of band that would blow up to mainstream success like they have.

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#20 Posted by JayPB08 (418 posts) -

I think Disturbed's Immortalized was their best album yet. Has an excellent cover of "The Sound of Silence" and the bonus track "Tyrant" may be their best song yet.

Also, Symphony X's Underworld album was great, specifically "Kiss of Fire" and "Legend", even though it still doesn't match up to their 90s/early 2000s output.

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#21 Posted by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

@onekillwonder_: Totally caught me off guard too. Over the past year that is. I've been listening to them since Opus Eponymous, their freshman record in 2010 (yeah, they've been around for a long while). They really didnt pick up much steam until later Infestissumam if I recall correctly, then Dave Grohl came out and spoke about drumming for them which I totally think was the catalyst to their radio days. Totally ok by me though, their stuff has stayed fairly consistent throughout the years.

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#22 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

@grandpasimon: I have a bunch of COB but I just couldn't get psyched for their new one

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#23 Posted by rolento (278 posts) -

@nickhead: Fair enough, we can't possibly listen to everything!

If you haven't heard or been in to Cattle Decapitation, definitely check this out.

Manufactured Extinct:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8t8g8lU4ms

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#24 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

@believer258:

Metalsucks.com

Metalinjection.net

Are my 2 mains

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#25 Posted by AlmightyGnat (3 posts) -

What a fantastic year for metal. Started off a little slow, but a bunch of great stuff was released toward the end of the year. It seems I have a more brutal stance than most others listed here, though Arcturus, Horrendous, Krallice, and Enslaved all had solid albums. Figure I'll drop my list in here so that maybe anybody looking to explore further into the technical/brutal side is able!

10: Lost Soul - Atlantis: The New Beginning
9: Rivers of Nihil - Monarchy
8: Native Construct - Quiet World
7: Putridity - Ignominious Atonement
6: Terminal Function - Clockwork Sky
5: Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire
4: Abhorrent - Intransigence
3: Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
2: Gorod - A Maze of Recycled Creeds
1: Iniquitous Deeds - Incessant Hallucinations

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#26 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@onekillwonder_: It's a good time to give the genre another shot - there's still plenty of bands sticking to the traditional form but lately black metal has morphed into something pretty different. It's a broad term anymore. Ghost is a weird thing for sure. I don't care how they dress or whatever, the music is just damn catchy. I'd have never guessed they'd blow up as much as they did, though.

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#27 Posted by Pezen (2372 posts) -

Here's a random bunch of albums from this year that I enjoyed. I'm probably missing something.

  • Månegarm - Månegarm
  • Myrkur - M
  • Ancient Rites - Laguz
  • Children of Bodom - I Worship Chaos
  • Marduk - Frontschwein
  • Ensiferum - One Man Army
  • Parkway Drive - Ire
  • Svartsot - Vældet
  • Hate Eternal - Infernus
  • Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches
  • Gorgoroth - Instinctus Bestialis
  • Shining - IX Everyone, Everything, Everywhere Dies
  • Kampfar - Profan
  • Vreid - Sólverv
  • Grimner - Eldhjärta
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#28 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2628 posts) -

@nickhead: There are a lot of fundamental aspects of black metal that I simply do not like, mostly the vocals and almost-always low production values, if not the entire nature of the songs. At least in the bands I've heard. I never really delved that deep into the genre because of that, even though I know there many great exceptions. The reason I like Agalloch so much, for instance, is because of how much variety there is to their music. Their melodies are incredible, and while a good compliment to them, the "metal" parts of their songs tend to be my least favorite. Anyway, I never really know what to look for, not in the same way I know what to look for with thrash and death/melo-death.

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#29 Edited by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

@onekillwonder_: The Serpent and the Sphere was a phenomenal record. Check out a band called Alcest, if you havent already heard of them.

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#30 Posted by nasp (652 posts) -

Thanks for this list.I had never heard of sumac until now and its REALLY good.

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#31 Posted by Akeldama (4367 posts) -
Avatar image for nickhead
#32 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@pezen: Vreid's new one is pretty great, I only have a single listen with it so far though. Also, Gorgoroth kind of felt weird with the new vocalist? Again, another single listen for me, but after their good return with Pest in Quantos Possunt... I was a little disappointed he was gone again already.

@nasp: no problem, glad to hear you found something valuable!

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#34 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2628 posts) -

@grandpasimon: Haven't heard of Alcest before, but I just checked them out and I can safely say I will own all of what they have at some point this year. THANK YOU so much. They're fucking awesome.

Ashamed to say I still haven't heard The Serpent and the Sphere. I'm still really behind on a lot of records, despite having bought around 30 or 40 last year.

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#35 Edited by GrandpaSimon (12 posts) -

@civilizedworm: Totally forgot Graveyard had a release this year. I'll have to check it out.

@onekillwonder_ No problem! Always glad to share bands I enjoy. I will say though, their early early stuff was far more on the black metal scale as opposed to their last few releases. You may want to check out Neiges other bands too at some point, specifically Peste Noire and Amesoeurs.

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#36 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

I'm waiting for a package Metal Blad had a sale over the holidays,

As well as a n Amazon order with Pilgrim - void worship

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#37 Edited by Ravelle (3298 posts) -

Thanks for the list guys, I've been a bit out of touch with the metal releases. I'll be sure to check these out.

I did know about Ghost though which are excellent.

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#38 Posted by FinalDasa (3176 posts) -

I completely skipped out on any new metal last year which kinda bums me out. Mainly I've been dabbling in older albums here and there and not venturing out into new stuff.

Doesn't help that Spotify focuses a lot of pop and rap mainly.

Thanks for these lists, I'll hopefully get around to checking some of them out soon.

Moderator
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#39 Posted by Moth_Pope (521 posts) -

I always appreciate threads like this. Although I grew up with metal and still consider it a great genre, I've ended up sticking to what I know as I've gotten older and I don't tend to find many new bands these days. Also I'm listening to a lot more "stoner" rock (Fu Manchu, Ten Foot Wizard, Blues Pills). So having topics like this gives new life to the genre. Sumac really stood out to me and are on Spotify. Huge fan of Aaron Turner so will be checking them out. Thanks, @nickhead !

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#40 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

@moth_pope: @moth_pope: I'll see your 10 foot wizard and raise you a 12 foot ninja

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-v9Aeb7Pr0

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#41 Posted by Pezen (2372 posts) -

@finaldasa: I actually find a lot of new metal on Spotify, either through their "New Metal Tracks" playlist or simply doing a similar band to similar band jumping. It's the main way I've acquired a lot of folk metal bands to follow. But, it might vary region to region what Spotify choses to highlight I suppose (and one's willingness to commit to jumping through hoops to find it all).

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#42 Posted by CivilizedWorm (103 posts) -
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#43 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1139 posts) -

@garris: God, I can't wait for 12 Foot Ninja's new album, but they look "too busy" to finish it.

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#44 Edited by 71Ranchero (3419 posts) -

My list for 2015(In no order, links are videos)

  • Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz (We Are The Ones To Fall) I am old so I really love hair-band revival bands.
  • Unleash The Archers - Time Stands Still (Tonight We Ride) Damn can this chick sing. These guys were a huge surprise for me this year. I hope they do a cover album some day of classic British Metal songs.
  • Ghost - Meliora (He Is) I dont care if it makes me "one of those guys", Ghost is awesome.
  • Paradise Lost - The Plague Within (Beneath Broken Earth) I expected doom and gloom and they gave me what I wanted.
  • Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud (Death Of A King) A fellow GB member introduced me to these guys, great album.
  • Kamelot - Haven (Liar Liar) They finally unleashed Thomas. No longer just filling Roy's shoes, Thomas is one of the BEST singers in the genre FULL.STOP.
  • The Night Flight Orchestra - Skyline Whispers (Sail On) Rock super group fronted by Soilworks Bjorn Strid. Not metal but this is my fucking list so shut up, nod your head, and tap your feet.
  • Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror (Twilight Of The Gods) Its been a long time since I really loved a BG album(Nightfall to be exact). This one blew me away.
  • Symphony X - Underworld (Kiss Of Fire) I didnt like this album at first but it grew on me. Glad they went back to the more power-prog-ish sound.

My album of the year:

  • Soilwork - The Ride Majestic (Death In General) This entire album is no joke. They have elevated themselves and thier music to a higher level yet again.

Disappointment of the year:

  • Carach Angren - This Is No Fairytale (Theres No Place Like Home) This album isnt bad, but man is it a bummer. I had super high expectations after the last 2 albums these guys did. This is No Fairytale feels like its missing something but I cant put my finger on it. The albums theme is also way less interesting. If anyone has never heard of these guys, I would thoroughly suggest "Where The Corpses Sink Forever" And "Death Came Through A Phantom Ship".
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#45 Posted by nickhead (1257 posts) -

@moth_pope: No problem!

@finaldasa: Last year was a pretty great year for metal too! A lot of metal bands do put their stuff on Spotify, but yeah I can't really speak for how it gets advertised - anytime I'm looking if it's on Spotify, it's because I already know the band's name/album.

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#46 Posted by FinalDasa (3176 posts) -

@nickhead: @pezen: I know I'm doing a poor job at exploring Sportify, I usually just put it on so I don't have to curate my music.

I'll try exploring it some more for sure.

Moderator
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#47 Posted by forkboy (1650 posts) -

2015 was a pretty solid year for new musics. I haven't actually sat down & curated my tops of 2015 (I usually wait until the Terrorizer Album of the Year issue comes out in January & go from there) but I can definitely name a few that I've listened to intensively in 2015 when I've not been listening to Jawbreaker, Alkaline Trio & The Donnas albums from years ago.

I'm right there with the Panopticon love, I really loved Kentucky & Autumn Eternal just continues that whole bluegrass meets black metal vibe, it can be stunningly beautiful at times & is a stark reminder that black metal is perhaps the most interesting sub-genre in all of metal as far as pushing boundaries & doing intriguing experimental shit. Continuing in the black metal kick, Deafheaven are awful either lauded or criticised for being "the hipster's black metal band" but fuck that noise, they write some great tunes, & New Bermuda is a much more interesting release than fellow hipster BM group Liturgy's 2015 output. Leviathan's Scar Sighted is probably a career peak, which is saying something as Massive Conspiracy Against All Life was a real cracker. Drudkh, Arcturus & Enslaved all put out interesting BM records too which are worth time with. And Iskra put out Ruins which is a tremendous mashing of crust punk influences with black metal (a couple of members used to be in the '90s crust band Black Kronstadt (& for a pleasant change they are a left wing group rather than the slightly unpleasant stain of fascism & racism that lurks around the periphery of my favourite sort of music)

Outside black metal, Goatsnake's return is a belter if you like stoner rock & doom, Forgotten Tomb put out Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love which is another great blackened doom record for an incredibly consistent group, Torche's new album was great in their vein of sludge which manages to sound remarkably hooky & catchy, Baroness's Purple was exactly what you'd hope for, Ahab dropped The Boats of Glen Carrig, which is funeral doom. The new Clutch album isn't exactly ground breaking for them but I'd say it's the best thing they've put out since From Beale Street To Oblivion, & X-Ray Visions in particular is a real banger.

There's a couple other good things that are escaping me right now, but one that I do remember is an EP of 2 covers rather than an album, Monarch's Sacrifice Your Parents, Satan Wants You To. You get versions of both Cherry Bomb by The Runaways (linked here because it's fucking brilliant) & The Misfit's Die Die My Darling.

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#48 Posted by Heartagram (1345 posts) -

This is a great post with some great responses. For me I really dug Slayer's new album as well as Lamb of God's latest effort.

Ghost continues to be one of my favorite bands as I'm really big into the theatricality of it and enjoy the silliness.

I don't always need my metal to be angry. Hope to check out some more of everyone's recommendations and learn about some new bands.

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#49 Posted by Garris (305 posts) -

@heartagram: shit I totally forgot I picked up slayers new one opened it, ripped it and haven't listened yet.

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#50 Posted by Flexo (21 posts) -

I haven't listened to a lot of metal in 2015, but i will say that Ghost - "Meliora", Symphony X - "Underworld", and Gloryhammer - "Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards" are all great, with Meliora probably being my favorite. Both Symphony X and Gloryhammer didn't deliver their best work, but there is still a lot of great stuff on those albums, with a few standout tracks (Symphony X "Kiss of Fire", and Gloryhammer's "Rise of the Chaos Wizards" and "Apocalypse 1992" are pretty goddamn amazing).

Sadly a few of my go-to bands fumbled this year. Slayer - "Repentless", Trivium - "Silence in the Snow", and Annihilator - "Suicide Society" were all dissapointing and mediocre at best.