Well hey there everyone! Nick here, bringing you my top ten lists of 2015. Yes it says lists, you know its really hard when you are a fan of multiple genres to make just one top ten list. . . even harder at keeping those lists at just TEN!!! 2015 has been a great year for music and well lets face it 2016 is looking very promising as well. As you all know by now it is usually my list that has almost 100 albums on it. I am going to narrow it down this year for sure, I will try to keep it to 10-15 albums.
Favorite Metal albums:
Keep Of Kalessin – Epistemology (Extreme Metal act from Norway, do I really need to say more. . this album is a must have for all metal heads)
Ouroboros – Emanations (This is the second band from Australia on my list, first depending on order. I think its safe to say that the guys down under know how to rock!)
Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire (This debut album won me over from the first note to the last, completely mind blowing. It’s hard to keep Hannes Grossman and Christian Muenzner off this list as everything they do is done with perfection)
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (If this album isn’t on your list you either a.) don’t like the extreme metal bands like Cattle Decapitation or b.) you’re delusional. . so which is it?)
Thulcandra – Ascension Lost (well you can’t have two members of Obscura’s side projects on the list without using the another’s project. Thulcandra’s Ascension Lost is pretty well executed and just different enough from other Steffen Kummerer would do for Obscura)
Soilwork – The Ride Majestic (Following up on what just might be their best album to date “The Living Infinite” is a daunting task, but it had to be done sooner or later. Soilwork picked up just where they left off, with a mixture of sounds from their previous works blending in to make a really solid album. While this wasn’t the best album of the year, I can foresee this being on many lists this year.)
Black Fast – Terms of Surrender/Battlecross – Rise to Power (tie) It was really hard to choose between these two bands, they are both excellent in their own way, but when you see them live together their music and performances feed off each others. But also, Black Fast is going places. . if you haven’t listened to them they will be making their way to a town near you soon, so check em out.
Sanzu – Heavy Over the Home (There are two debut albums on my top 10 list. It wasn’t easy picking through all my albums, but when there is an album that wins you over upon first listen that goes a long way. Proud to have this album on my list also the other band from down under on my list.)
Enslaved – In Times (Enslaved has been one of my favorites for a while, I was happy I got to see them back in 2008, really hope for more opportunities. . which are pretty slim when living in St. Louis, maybe someone will smarten up and book them here?!?)
Melechesh – Enki/Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed (tie) Again two slightly different breeds, but it is hard to choose one over the other as they are both powerful albums.
Honorable Mentions: I love all these albums as well, but I had to mix it up a bit otherwise there would have been a shit ton of Tech Death on my list and it would have looked like Tech Death or none going on and well I like to keep things fresh. Needless to say these bands put forth their
best and really stood out among the rest of the albums that were released and didn’t make it to the list at all.
Napalm Death – Apex Predator
Vision of Disorder – Razed to the Ground
Silent Line – Shattered Shores
Entrails – Obliteration
Kronos – Arisen New Era/Gorod – A Maze of Recycled Creeds (tie) I wanted to leave it to five Honorable Mentions. . in the end these two albums hold a special place for me that to not have one of them on the list it would almost feel incomplete.
As if that weren’t hard enough, to be sneaky about it I had to make a whole other list for Progressive/Prog Metal albums. . . Some of the albums on here like Abigail Williams and Swallow the Sun could have fit on the first list. I had a couple spots to fill on this second list and well they seemed to be able to fit pretty well here, not that long songs make a band Progressive, but longer songs do allow the band to be a little more experimental and in that sense they might lean to a little more progressive sound. Plus, have you heard either of these two albums?? They both fucking rule!!
Favorite Progressive/Prog Metal Albums:
Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic BTBAM has been one of my favorite Prog Metal bands for a while now and this album showed them at their most eclectic.
Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase What can I say about Steven Wilson that hasn’t already been said before. His music is genius and with every release I am always blown away at how he always has some sort of tricks up his sleeves. Although not super heavy, definitely an excellent album.
The Gentle Storm – The Diary WOW, when I first heard this album was in the making I was ecstatic, the second I heard it I was hooked, this album is epic as hell and a must have for all.
Swallow the Sun – Songs from the North I, II & III Swallow the Sun has been one of those bands that can never do anything wrong. I hadn’t heard much from them recently so I knew they were up to no good. However, I never imagined a triple album of this quality! If you haven’t listened to this album yet you are doing yourself a disservice and you need to change that now!
Caligula’s Horse – Bloom I hadn’t really heard this band before we at Damnation received this album in our inbox. This was one of the few albums that got me from the get go. It is a good mix for all your Prog heads and there is a little bit of heaviness to it at times. Really well done, I look forward to more from these guys.
Lonely Robot – Please Come Home
Spock’s Beard – The Oblivion Particle
Abigail Williams – The Accuser Abigail Williams, though not traditionally Progressive Metal released one of the more important albums of their career this year with The Accuser. The album takes the band to where they need to be. If you were weary of listening to the new album. Trust me if you are in to long progressive songs with a more Black Metal influence than Symphonic Death Metal you will be extremely happy!
Riverside – Love, Fear and the Time Machine
Leprous – The Congregation Upon my first listen of anything Leprous wrote I knew there was something special there. When I heard they were Ihsahn’s backing band for a while on his solo stuff, is when I was convinced that they would not disappoint. Four albums and six years later (since I started listening to them) and I am still happy with everything they put out. In Fact The Congregation, to me is one of their strongest albums next to Bilateral. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future. . And please oh Please let them play in St. Louis or somewhere close next year!!
Tim Bowness – Stupid Things That Mean the World
Ne Obliviscaris – Hiraeth/Sarabande to Nihil – These two EPs were released strictly through the bands crowdfunding, which helped the band make enough money to tour the world. While they aren’t available if you didn’t purchase them in the funding, they are stream able on YouTube and are well worth the listen. If you are a fan of this band then you must give these albums a listen!
Native Construct – Quiet World
Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
Favorite Concerts of 2015:
Machine Head @ Fubar, St. Louis
SepticFlesh/Moonsorrow @ The Riot Room, Kansas City
Baroness @ The Demo, St. Louis
Ghost @ The Pageant, St. Louis
The Aristocrats @ The Old Rock House, St. Louis
Ken Mode @ The Demo, St. Louis
Marty Friedman/Exmortus @ Fubar, St. Louis
Between The Buried and Me @ Ready Room, St. Louis
The Sword/Royal Thunder @ Ready Room, St. Louis
Coal Chamber @ Pop’s Nightclub, Sauget
Intronaut @ The Demo, St. Louis
Wilderun/Aether Realm @ Ciceros, St. Louis
Tribulation @ Ready Room, St. Louis
Testament/Exodus @ Pop’s Nightclub, Sauget
Abigail Williams/Today is the Day @ Fubar, St. Louis
Anthrax/Volbeat @ Pop’s Nightclub, Sauget
John 5 @ Mad Magician, St. Louis