Tristus' Big-Ass Album List For 2015
This list consists of the metal albums of 2015 that are definitely worthy of listening to. Yes, it is HUGE! There's two reasons for that: accusations by fans of trendy pop shit that I am picky are obviously bullshit. (Especially since metal isn't the only genre I listen to. It's just my favorite...my religion, really.) The second reason is because WHEW!!! What a year for metal.
If you have had any trouble finding metal this year...well, I dunno where you're looking, but I'm here to help. As for ranking - I wussed out. I'm way too schizo and my faves move around, as well as art being subjective. I hate implying that one thing is better than another. So, I've highlighted my faves, adding a short description after my picks of "top shelf elites". [If you've already gone through this monster of a list, Part 2 is HERE...fucking obscene, huh?!]
Symbols Key: √= I Have It In Some Format
!!!= Top shelf ?= Is it top shelf? (Damn Close!) BOLD= Top shelf elites
*Gnaw Their Tongues - Abyss Of Longing Throats √!!!
[The depravity and nightmarish art of Mories is unmatched.]
*Ecorche - Deep In The Ground√!!!
*Mythrias - Absolving The Treacherous [EP]√!!!
*Denner / Shermann - Satan's Tomb√!!!
*Hatchling - The Sleep Scriptures√!!!
*Brain Famine - Exploding Paranoid Universe√!!!
*Corrosive Carcass - Forsaken Lands√
*Dodsferd - Wastes Of Life√?
*Exterminas - Dichotomy√?
*Inferius Torment - Islam [ep] √?
*Avertia - Verdensveven [ep]√
*Folteraar - Vertellingen Van Een Donkere Eeuw√
*Sexorcist - Necromantic Confinement (EP)√!!!
*Corpse Molester Cult - Benedictus Perverticus [ep]√?
*Casket Soil - In the Garden of Vermin√?
*Tsjuder - Antliv!!!√
[These black metal warriors still seethe with venom, and it shows here!]
*Cloak Of Altering - Manifestation√!!!!!!!!!
*Shield Wall - Modir Vanadis√
*Satan's Host - Pre-Dating God - Parts 1 & 2√!!!
*Fluisteraars - Luwte !!!√
*Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls √!!!
[At their age, to deliver an album of this quality is nothing short of miraculous. It might not be "Powerslave" or "Seventh Son...", but as a standalone metal album, it's a masterpiece.]
*Nechochwen - Heart Of Akamon√
*Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues - N.V.√!!!!!!
*Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman √!!!
*Anomalie - Refugium √?
*Embellished with Blood √
*Mortalicum - Eyes Of The Demon√?
*Traurigkeit - Distressense√
*Temple Of Evil - The 7th Awakening√?
*Revenge - Behold. Total. Rejection.√!!!
*Evil - Studňa√
*Fleshless - Devoured Beyond Recognition√!!!
[It's so good to hear some real, putrid, and aggressive death metal these days that doesn't sound like it was made by soulless robots.]
*Lux Ferre - Excaecatio Lux Veritatis√
*Solid Inferno - Victory In Blood √?
*Taiga - Gaia √?
*Down Among The Dead Men - Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!√!!!
*Dicentress - Architects Of An Oblivious Ocean√
*Swallow The Sun - Songs From The North I, II & III√?
*Raventale - Dark Substance Of Dharma√?
*Locrian - Infinite Disollution√?
*Aryan Art - Хармония - Вечност - Вселена √?
*Grave - Out Of Respect For The Dead√?
*Alda - Passage √!!!
(As an Ozarkian natureboy, I have a soft-spot for this "forest metal", as I call bands of this style of black metal.)
*Genevieve - Escapism√!!!
(These experimental extreme-metallers have something special here, blending black metal, experimental, noise, and progressive elements that makes for a heavy and heady experience.)
*Wilt - Moving Monoliths √!!!
(Downtrodden and beautiful, this is an atmos-black aural portrait of beauty.)
*Horrendous - Anareta √!!!
(It's looking like Horrendous can do no wrong, with last year's "Ecdysis" being a definite masterwork. "Anareta" loses no momentum, and gives us another collection of artful old-school death metal to induce eargasms to the masses of true metallers.)
*Vastum - Hole Below√!!!
*Embassy Of Silence - Verisimilitude√!!!
*The Fateful Hour - All We Leave Behind√!!!
*One Machine - The Final Cull √?
*Ogotay - Dead God’s Prophet√!!!
*Putrevore - Tentacles Of Horror√!!!
(Dave Rotten and Rogga Johansson's doomy death metal beast thrives and wants to pull us down into the dank depths of a metal torture chamber; and they do a great job of it.)
*Temple of Baal - Mysterium√!!!
*Moonreich - Pillars Of Detest√?
*The Fateful Hour - All We Leave Behind√!!!
*One Machine - The Final Cull √?
*Ogotay - Dead God’s Prophet√!!!
*Malevolent Creation - Dead Man's Path√?
*Firespawn - Shadow Realms√!!!
[The same as I said about Fleshless applies here, too - but with a darker, almost blackened tinge. And L.G. Petrov hasn't sounded so monstrous since "Left Hand Path".]
*Amorphis - Under A Red Cloud √!!!
[This Finnish giant hasn't done a note of wrong since Tomi Joutsen came along and rejuvinated their already-excellent existence with majestic and powerful god-status. This one is no different.]
*W.A.S.P. - Golgotha √
*Black Fast - Terms Of Surrender√
*Ad Infinitum - Woven Within√!!!
*Blood Stronghold - The March Of Apparitions√
*Mamaleek - Via Dolorosa √!!!
*Satan - Atom By Atom√!!!
[Sounding as vital and pure as ever, NWOBHM lords, Satan, give us classic metal that helps heal the wounds of all the depressing releases calling themselves "metal" these days. Horn-raising hymns full of metal's true spirit.]
*Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss √!!! (Non-Metal For Metalheads, In My Eyes And Ears)
*Chaos Moon - Amissum√!!!
*Dhampyr - The Hostage Wind!!!
*Black Howling - O Sangue E a Terra √?
*Dhampyr - Oceanlots√!!!
*Tranquillizer - Des Endes Anfang√
*Fell Ruin - Devices (ep)√!!!
[Merely an EP, this woven tapestry of blackened extreme metal goodness will keep the listener's interest for the whole duration, as well as a yearning for more. Cannot wait 'till a full-length!]
*The 3rd Attempt - Born In Thorns√
*Ominous Gatekeeper - Lord of the Pyre √!!!
*Drang - Ars Moriendi √!!!
*The Heretic Order - All Hail The Order√!!!
*Secrets Of The Moon - Sun√
*Legion Of Andromeda - Iron Scorn√?
*Ash Of Cedars - S/T √!!!
*Goatzied - Hueste Encabrizada√
*The Body & Krieg - The Body & Krieg√?
*Repulsive Dissection - Church Of The Five Precious Wounds√?
*Sarlacc - The Rule Of Two√
*Kaiserreich - Cuore Nero√!!!
*Enthauptung - Adirondack √!!!
[These guys caught my ear last year...and then this release came upon us, its gorgeously shadowed blackness blissfully flowing from the speakers to much horn-raising on my part.]
*Rebellion - Wyrd bið ful aræd - The History of the Saxons√!!!
*Keeper - The Space Between Your Teeth√!!!
*De Profundis - Kingdom Of The Blind√!!!
*Bedowyn - Blood of the Fall√!!!
*Shrine Of Insanabilis - Disciples Of The Void√
*Bloody Lair - Behind the Gates of Terror√
*Borgne - Règne Des Morts√
*Hanging Garden - Blackout Whiteout√!!!
*Balmog - Svmma Fide √
*Heimdalls Wacht - Ut De Graute Olle Tied (Deel II) - Land Der Nebel√?
*Veilburner - Noumenon√!!!
[A sonic maelstrom of unrelenting brutal horror. Nightmare-inducing sickness with an artfulness usually absent in things this bleak.]
*Worship The Infinite - Multiverse√
*Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals, Part 1√
*Grimoir - Ingressvs Malorvm√
*Nostalgie Depression - Ahora que la luz se ha ido...√!!!
*Bukavac - All That Is of the Earth √?
*Autokrator - S/T√!!!
[I've called this "The heaviest album of 2015" - and I fucking meant it. Dark, experimental, even giving off the cold aura of the harshest of industrial...but remaining ALL metal at the same time.]
*Howls Of Ebb - The Marrow Veil√!!!
[Insanity. And I don't mean lightning-fast, incomprehensible, tech-slop disguised as talent like lots of today's processed drivel. This is well-written, methodical fever-dreams in musical form.]
*Phlegein - From The Land Of Death√!!!
*Zimorog - Winter Horns√
*Ritual Killer - Exterminance!!!
*Dalla Nebbia - Felix Culpa√?
*The Dagger - S/T√?
*Forgotten Horror - Aeon of the Shadow Goddess √!!!
*Ashes Of Nowhere - Emptiness√
*Morgoth - Ungod √!!!
[Well, I didn't see this coming. This return is so well-done, it's like they never left. A big part as to why was their PERFECT choice of vocalist, Karsten Jager, causing some to not even realize there was a new man behind the mic at all.]
*Trapped Within Burning Machinery - The Fifth Element√
*Satanizer - Larvae et Perditio√!!!
*Maïeutiste - Maïeutiste√!!!
*In Twilight's Embrace - The Grim Muse√!!!
*Infy - A Mortal's Tear√!!!
[There's a new lovely fair maiden beginning her rule in symphonic, goth-tinged metal, surrounding herself with top-notch musicians, and giving us songs that don't invoke that "same ol' shit" feeling the style has been overflowing with in recent years. Beautiful all-around.]
*Leaves' Eyes - King of Kings √?
*Year Of The Goat - The Unspeakable√!!!
*Apparatus - S/T√?!!!
*Axis Of Light - L'Appel Du Vide √!!!
*Seltar - Aŕe teike √
*VI - De Praestigiis Angelorum√
*Remmirath - Shambhala Vril Saucers√
*Sterbefall - Plattensee√
*Outre - Ghost Chants√
*Byfrost - Of Death√
*Sabbath Assembly - S/T√!!!
(Nobody could deny the abundance of retro occult rock/roots metal popping up everywhere nowadays. Sabbath Assembly aren't new, but because of this, are getting a bit more credit as of late. I say they deserve more than just "a bit", since this album not only gives fans of the style much to love, they do it in a way to remind us all where the hippy-esque occult material led to - evil-as-fuck METAL. There's lots of nods to Maiden, Satan, Hell, etc. here, yet done with their own bewitching touch.)
*Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower√
*Clandestine Blaze - New Golgotha Rising √?
*South Of Hell - Rising Of Hate√?
*Drawn Into Descent - Drawn Into Descent√
*Hellgoat - Infernal Zeal√
*Isolated - The Enemy Of Reason√
*Darkat Yuuyamihn - Melancolia√
*Cryptic Hymn - Gateways [ep] √!!!
*Manegarm - S/T√!!!
*Evig Hat - More or Less Human√?
*Malepeste - Deliquescent Exaltation√
*Phlegein - From The Land Of Death√!!!
*Arathgoth - Memories Of Torment√
*Shit - Scavengers Of A Dying Sun√!!!
*MORD'A'STIGMATA - Our Hearts Slow Down
*MRTVI - Perpetual Consciousness Nightmare√!!!
*Goat Torment - Sermons To Death√!!!
[Blackened death, deathened black, darker-than-thrash stuff...you know, the kind from back in the days when it was all just metal that's heavier and darker than Slayer. That's the style you'll find on this album, done with a putrid and hellish flare that's hard to resist for fans of pure evil.]
*Ghostblood - Blood from Beyond the Grave √
*Betrayal - Black Magic Whore√
*Mgła - Exercises in Futility√!!!
*Corrections House - Know How to Carry a Whip √?
*Wyrgher - Kosmokrater√?
*Kalmen - Course Hex√?
*Mirror - S/T√!!!
[Sooo damn classic! And us real metal fanatics know where it all comes from, which is rock and fuckin' roll! Also, there's lots of Priest-clones, Sabbath-worship, Maiden-imitators...but hearing such blatant love for early-Scorpions is a very welcome treat, indeed. This album is killer!]
*Timeworn - Luminescent Wake √?
*Necro Forest - Slavic Invasion√
*Ostots - Hil Argi√?
*Goatzied - Hueste Encabrizada (EP)√!!!
*Dys Indunden - One With Morbidity√
*Pagan Throne - Swords of Blood√
*A.M.S.G. - The Forbidden Transformation √!!!
[The vibes these black metal wizards invoke could turn the pope into a murderer. This is so sickeningly infectious and coated in malice it begs to be played again as soon as it ends.]
*Ragnell - Consumed By The Eternal Darkness√
*Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom√!!!
*Lectern - Fratricidal Concelebration!!!
*Necroblaspheme - Belleville √?
*Fuck The Facts - Desire Will Rot √!!!
* Inquinamentum - Void √!!!
*Crescent Days - Pathway To Inexistence √?
*Lychgate - An Antidote for the Glass Pill√?
*Eris Somnium - Discorde√
*Mourning Mist - S/T√!!!
*Arkuum - Trostlos√
*Elurra - Alles was kommt ist Schnee√
*Phantasma - The Deviant Hearts√?
*Order Of The Death's Head - Soldat Inconnu√
*ELAGABALUS - Damnatio Memoriae√!!!
*Wailing Of Relief - Penumbras Oscilantes √!!!
*Wildeornes - (–) Erosion Of The Self √!!!
*Servi Diaboli - Wrath√
*Ur Draugr - With Hunger Undying√?
*The Negation - Memento Mori√
*Akoman - Devouring The Divine Light√?
*Inferitvm - The Warlock√
*Ahab - The Boats Of The Glen Carrig√
*Zmora - Wieczna Ciemność I Wieczne Zimno√
*Ancient Necropsy - Sepulchral Profanation√?
*Pissgrave - Suicide Euphoria√!!!
[Sounds like the disgusting cover art. And to a fan of legit death and goregrind, that's a very, very good thing. Feeling like you need to puke never felt so good.]
*Nekro Drunkz - Absolute Filth√
*Cyclopean - Book I: The Hound of Tindalos√
*Absolu - カタルシス√!!!
[I don't know what this dude's been ingesting, but it sure makes his maniacal and somehow sweet-as-fuck [to a metalhead's ears] experi-metal unique and damn near perfect. Check out this oddity of musical drunkenness!]
*Hate Eternal - Infernus√?
*Festering - From The Grave√!!!
*Heavylution - Children Of Hate√
*RAM - Svbversvm !!!√
[When I toyed with the idea of ranking these albums, I was pretty damn sure this was going to be #1. And saying that does imply a reverence, in itself. This is bullet-belts, battle-jackets, whirlwind headbanging, gauntlets...this is true, real, undiluted METAL - in all its classic glory, banshee wails and shredding abound. If you don't hear badassery here, you might not be metal at all.]
*Orkan - Livlaus√!!!
*Kaptivity - Across The Abyss Of Death√
*The Clearing Path - Watershed between Earth and Firmament√?
*Midnight Odyssey - Shards Of Silver Fade√?
*Serpentimus - The Black Sea Of Infinity√
*Non Opus Dei - Diabeł √?
*Gloam- Hex Of Nine Heads√
*Necropsy - Buried In The Woods√
*Fallakr - LVC√!!!
*Sewer - Skvllfvcked Forever√
*Girra - S/T√
*Psychonaut 4 - Dipsomania√!!!
[This is the one album on this list as a top-shelf elite that had to grow on me a bit. As a sufferer of depression something fierce, I couldn't get past how bad I was feeling when this was on to assess the material with my know-how in tact. A few more listens, some while in a more acceptable state of mind, and I realized this requiem for happiness was a DSBM masterwork.]
*Vreid - Sólverv √!!!
[Ah, it's so nice when Norwegian black metallers known for being outstanding don't lose one shred of what makes them great. Put this one up there with the greats.]
*Hypoxia - Despondent Death√
*Tranquillizer - Des Endes Anfang √
*Diabolicum - Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss Of The Shadows)√
*Iron Void - Doomsday√?
*THURM - S/T√
*Gravesite - Horrifying Nightmares...√
*Lubbert Das - Deluge√
*Ergotism - Notre Terre, Nos Aieux, Notre Fils Et Nos Morts… √?
*Stratovarius - Eternal √
*Ambush - Desecrator√
*Horn - Feldpost√!!!
*Vore (MEX) - Nisz'or karr Naguum √
*Awe - Providentia√
*Ende - The Rebirth Of I√?
*Tome Of The Unreplenished - Innerstanding √!!!
*Idolatria - Breviarium Daemonicus Idolatrorum√
*Magister Templi - Into Duat√
*Apanthropia - Back To The End Of Days √
*Moonknight - Valinor√!!!
*Chapel of Disease - The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art√
*Funerary Bell - Graveyard Seance EP√
*HIVELORDS-Tapered Limbs Of A Human Star √!!!
*Sacrospell - S/T√
*Shibboleth - Language Of The Night√!!!
*Eternal Wisdom - Pathei Mathos √?
*Johansson & Speckmann - Mask Of The Treacherous√?
*Spectral Wound - Terra Nullius√!!!
*Striborg - This Suffocating Existence √?
*Spirit Of Rebellion - The Enslavement Process√?
*Epäihminen - Epäihminen IV√
*Dood - Liberating Self-Destruction√!!!
*Witchsorrow - No Light, Only Fire√
*Område – Edari√
*Ritual Possession - Solitude√?
*Xaos Oblivion - Rituals from the Cold Grave √!!!
[I won't lie. One reason I began listening to Demonic Slaughter and frontman Xaos Oblivion's work is due to his vocal resemblance to one of [if not THE] favorite black metal vocalists - Attila Csihar. But, after much fanatical study, XO didn't turn out to be a mere clone, but a man producing some great, horridly dark and nightmarish, doomy black metal.]
*Umbah - Cyborgial Schizms√
*Bloodway - Mapping The Moment With The Logic Of Dreams√!!!
*Umbah - Chaoss In The Skies√
*Grethor - Cloaked In Decay√
*Pale Chalice - Negate The Infinite And Miraculous√!!!
[Riffs and structures and hooks galore in a modern USBM-style that doesn't make you think you're listening to a bunch of wannabes. This is really high-quality metal here.]
*Krallice - Ygg Huur√?
*Evig Hat - Borderline Grotesque√
*Heavydeath - Eternal Sleepwalker√!!!
*GEØRGG - Throne Of Plague [ep] √
*Evig Hat - Den Siste Smerte√
*Dizziness - Bound By Strength√
*Luctus - Ryšys√
*Pathologic Noise - Gore Aberration√
*Gorgoroth - Instinctus Bestialis√?
*Never To Arise - Gore Whores on the Killing Floor √!!!
*The Revenge Project - Figment Paradise√
*Jordablod - S/T [ep]√!!!
*Hiraeth - Eventide√?
*Tad Morose - St. Demonius√
*Belkètre - Ryan Èvn-a√?
*Hope Drone – Cloak Of Ash√
*Wülfhook - The Impaler√
*Daughters of Sophia - (2.0°) Sœurs de Sagesse√
*Detruktor - Opprobrium√
*With The Dead - S/T√!!!
[The demise of Cathedral was met with groans all across the doom metal community. But, in losing that monolith, we gained a lumbering, thunderous, and black magic-dripping new doom lord in With The Dead. Lee Dorrian is doing his signature vocals as we love them, and his mates from Electric Wizard show why they have been renowned by their WTD frontman for so many years.]
*Mentis Morbo - The Joy Of Agony√
*VELNEZERS - Pagātnes Raktuves√
*Insaniam - Neurotic Mental Storm√?
*The Sickening - Sickness Unfold√
*Prurient - Frozen Niagra Falls √!!! [More Non-Metal For Metalheads - Too fucking good to leave out. This is atmospheric, noisy, euphoric, nightmarish, fuck...there's so many more adjectives I could spew at you regarding this sonic tome of excellence...and all of them sound like ones used for metal albums, so there is that. Experimental bliss.]
*NonExist - Throne Of Scars√?
*Blasphemous Creation - The Rise Of Marduk √?
*One Master - Reclusive Blasphemy√
*Kronos - Arisen New Era√
*Ergotism - Ergotism√
*Grift - Syner√!!!
*Souverain - Rites Primitifs√
*Autarcie - Retour En Crasse√?
*Warskull - Tod Ist Ewig√
*Otargos - Xeno Kaos √?
*Night - S/T√
*Grimmstine - S/T√
*Dysphotic - Chaos Terrain√
*Escarre - Une Voûte Sans Clef√?
*Vegas Rhythm Kings - Another Dead Hooker…√
*Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death √!!!
[I was late to the Black Breath party. I dunno...was afraid it was gonna be too "new school" or something. Boy, was I wrong! Such an infectious, thrash-laced, somewhat melodic death metal album with tasty crust elements [like KFC] that keep you munching on riff after glorious riff.]
*Nazghor - Diabolical Teachings√!!!
*Season Of Suffering - Evolve to Extinction√
*Suðri - Estertor√!!!
*Helheim - raunijaR√
*Blaze Of Perdition- Near Death Revelations√
*Kjeld - Skym√
*Diavolos - You Lived Now Die √?
*Blynd - Liber Sum√?
*Taatsi - Olden Folk√
*Speglas - Birth, Dreams & Death [ep]√
*Serpents Lair - Circumambulating The Stillborn√
*Vhöl - Deeper Than Sky√
*Hoboknife - Vagrants√
*Christ Agony - Black Blood (EP)√
*Author & Punisher - Melk En Honing√
*Desecresy - Stoic Death√
*Eis - Bannstein√
*Zombieslut - Undead Commando√
*Saligia - Fønix √!!!
*Flesh Of The Stars - HIDE √?
*Blot - Ilddyrking √!!!
*Dark Moor - Project X√
*Coffincraft - In Eerie Slumber√
*Macabre Omen - Gods Of War - At War √!!!
*Cepheide - Respire√
*Paradise Lost - The Plague Within √!!!
[Like Morgoth, another titan released a huge surprise this year. The difference is that Paradise Lost never left...but they have been know to TURN left, not giving us what we know they CAN give us. Well...here, they not only give us the doomsterpiece we want, but seem to encompass the best of every era of sound they've explored [sans the electro days], bringing back in the death metal elements, as well as focusing on songwriting and structure in ways we had begun to think they forgot how to do.]
*Lampray - Recif Echo Rail√!!!
*Slægt - Beautiful and Damned√
*Invocation Spells - Descendent The Black Throne√
*Nebiros - VII√
*Panphage - Storm√
*Vermingod - Whisperer Of The Abysmal Wisdom√?
*Sadism - Alliance√!!!
*KZOHH - Rye. Fleas. Chrismon.√
*Apanthropia - Back To The End Of Days√!!!
*Insanity Cult - As My End Unfolds...√!!!
*Hoaxbane - Messengers Of Change√?
*Manimal - Trapped In The Shadows√!!!
*Wampyric Bloodlust - Tomb Of Solar Light√
*Angra - Secret Garden√?
*Lord Almighty - Paths√?
*Forahneo - Perfidy√
*Korgull The Exterminator - Reborn From The Ashes √!!!
*Revenge Prevails - Dark Trembling Solace √!!!
*Trident - Shadows√
*Sad - Alpha Voyage [EP] √!!!
*Wilcy - Poganica (1034-1038)√!!!
*Athiria - Vicious Circle √
*Kroda - Навiй Схрон√
*Necroverse - S/T√
*Autopsy - Skullgrinder [EP]√!!!
*Compost Golem - S/T√
*These Hands Conspire - Sword of Korhan√
*Akilkarsa - Death For Us All√
*Isvind - Gud√
*Coffins - Craving To Eternal Slumber [EP]√
*Warwulf - In The Glare Of A Dying Horizon√!!!
*Zombie Death Stench - Infected√
*Grudom - Dødens Likvid√
*Nile - What Should Not Be Unearthed√?
*Sentimen Beltza - Atatxa√
*Human Serpent - Inhumane Minimalism√
*Arcturus - Arcturian√?
*Dead And Grey - III√?
*Oberion - Hollow√
*Hercyn - Dust And Ages√
*Blizzard Hunter - Heavy Metal To The Vein√
*Megiddo - The Holocaust Messiah√
*Chthonic Cult - I Am The Scourge Of Eternity√
*Darkology - Fated To Burn√?
*Carnate - Terminus√
*Amiensus - Ascension√?
*Remains - Evoking Darkness√?
*Steelwing - Reset, Reboot, Redeem √!!!
[METAL! Leather and denim, screaming, shredding METAL! Put this one on after that RAM album and overdose on our beloved genre in its true form!]
*Bloodstrike - In Death We Rot√!!!
*Tridentifer - Path of the Damned Souls√?
*Barrows - Swine Race√
*Tanagra - None Of This Is Real √
*Morvheim - Ever After√!!!
*Emperor Of Myself - Destined To Fail√?
*Thrinos - Pass To The Other Side√
* The Inmost Blight - The Consuming Essence√?
*Powerwolf - Blessed And Possessed√!!!
*Ord - Of Rain & Dirt√
*Leviathan - Scar Sighted √!!!
[USBM that is not short on praise, but is also often met with negativity from the "more kvlt than yov" pests in the black metal scene. Well, as a black metal musician, myself - regarding material this good - those jerks piss me straight the fuck off. This is fucking pure badassery in blackness.]
*Secrets Of The Sky - Pathway√
*Thornsbreed - GTRD√
*Angelscourge - Seraph Impaler√
*Cut Up - Forensic Nightmares√
*Zardens - Blackness Unfolds√
*VIRIUM - MORTUI RESURGENT√!!!
*In Utero Cannibalism - Butcher While Others Obey√
*Carrion - Nydeshka√
*Kalmankantaja - Muinainen√
*Katechon - Coronation √!!!
*Cage - Ancient Evil √!!!
[With those aforementioned albums by RAM and Steelwing, my need for traditional metal has been satiated and then some...but then THIS comes along. Fuck. It's like "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest decided to do a concept album THEN, instead of the way it worked out with the more elderly Priest's "Nostradamus". Cage keeps it real, bleeding mercury as they kick your ass and tell you a story as they do. Masterpiece.]
*Tulsadoom - Storms Of The Netherworld√?
*Grieving Mirth - Calamitosvs Omine√
*VI - De Praestigiis Angelorum √?
*Wailing Of Relief - Penumbras Oscilantes √!!!
*Vehemence - Forward without Motion √?
*Master Massive - The Pendulum√
*Immortal Bird - Empress/Abscess√
*Hagl - Lenket Til Livet √?
*Onirik - Casket Dream Veneration√
*Grima - Devotion To Lord √!!!
[This came along just in time to bear its majesty to me and make it into the elites of this list. I mean...this is EXCELLENT. It is that woodsy atmospheric black metal that gets lots of attention, but the delivery is not gentle, the production isn't pleasant and pillowy, and it gets the job done that good black metal is supposed to do. It, like Panopticon, transports me, but this forest is a bit more treacherous.]
*Vrangbild - Into The Abyss In Zero√!!!
*Black Lamia - The Black Lamia Chronicles√
*Mattugur - Legions Of White Hand √?
*Damnation Defaced - The Infernal Tremor √
*Satanika - Total Inferno√?
*Dysylumn — Conceptarium √
*Terminus - The Reaper's Spiral√
*Coldbound - Rites Under Moonlight√!!!
*Ectovoid - Dark Abstraction√
*Dalkhu - Descend... Into Nothingness√
*Au-Dessus - S/T√
*Mabthera - On The Infernal Path√
*Wounds - The Valley Of Death [ep]√
*Morrow - Forgotten (EP)√?
*Aasgard - Obscurantist Purification√
*The Arrival Of Satan - Passion Sodomy Terror√?
*Cult Of Endtime - In Charnel Lights√
*Predatory Light/Vorde - Split√
*Lucifer - I√!!!
[So, again, Cathedral's exit from the music world, as sad as that is, gave us another good album in the form of Lucifer's "I", this time on Gaz's part. The masterful, beautiful, and witchy female vocals work surprisingly well with Gaz's planet-stomping riffery, and another "doomsterpice" is born. The sad thing is, I hear he's just a session member...which I hope - if it's true - he reconsiders.]
*Sadness - ...and Longing Are The Endless Waves
*Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker√?
*Sewer - Vomiting Into The Mouth Of Satan√
*Demon Eye – Tempora Infernalia√
*Encenathrakh - S/T√
*Fetid Zombie - Grotesque Creation√
*Negative Plane - Et In Saecula Saeculorum√?
*Haar - The Wayward Ceremony√?
*Wild Hunt - Scroll And Urn√!!!
*Ages - The Malefic Miasma√!!!
[THIS is what I call beautiful black metal. Normally, I like my black metal to be dripping with caustic, poisonous tar, rotting my soul with every note. But thanks to greats like Ihsahn and Jon Nodtveidt, I grew to love gorgeous classic metal melodies morphed into black spells, too. It's just that few can seem to get it right. Ages have gotten in right. Oh, SO right.]
*Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat √!!!
*Urfaust - Apparitions√
*Whorion — The Reign Of The 7Th Sector√?
*Lost Soul - Atlantis - The New Beginning√!!!
*Mutter - The World Without Us√?
*Lustre - Blossom√
*Riotor - Rusted Throne√
*When Bitter Spring Sleeps - Spirit In Flames√!!!
[Now...I met this album with mixed feelings. It's got the riffs and airy production of good pagan black metal, but the vocals took me a couple listens. The guy's a great singer, but hearing what sounds like an operatically-trained old wizard sing melancholy tales over such tunes...it just caught me off guard. Then I realied what was on my mind was AWESOME AS FUCK. An "old wizard" voice over melodic. pagan-sounding black metal hymns? Why did I even question it. It's gold.]
*Blackwelder - Survival Of The Fittest√
*Yfel - Dark Hymns Of THe Underworld√
*Satan's Wrath - Die Evil√
*Pirunkultti - Evil Oiduts √?
*Ghost Machinery - Evil Undertow√?
*Garden of Grief - Novembernebel√?
*Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus - The Child Must Die√!!!
[I've reviewed and praised Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus in these very pages. I mean what I said, and "The Child Must Die" is the gem I allude to it being. Get it.]
*Dream Long Dead - AriseHowlingDarkness: Of Cyclopean Masonry√
*Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches√?
*Sylvan Awe - Offering√?
*Sathariel - Mercy Divine√
*Stormzone - Seven Sins√
*Dalla Nebbia - Felix Culpa√?
*Artizan - The Furthest Reaches√
*Evig Hat - Dod√?
*Witch's Heart - Inescapable Futility of Life√?
*Morvheim - Ever After√
*Luciferian Light Orchestra - S/T√
*Coil Commemorate Enslave - Maxima Moralia Sovraumanità√?
*Void Paradigm - Earth's Disease√
*Other World - Syncretism Of Gods In Men√
*Saturnian Mist – Chaos Magick√
*Haiduk - Demonicon √!!!
*Ithaqua - Initiation To Obscure Mysteries √!!!
[What I've seen be called a "demo" has made it to my highlighted elites this year. This is everything I love about Hellenic black metal. And if you enjoy old Rotting Christ, Zemial, Varathron, etc., you will love this. And if this is a demo, I cannot wait to hear what material they deem worthy of actual album-status.]
*World Narcosis - World Coda√
*Nihilo Machina - The Last Messiah√!!!
*Sentimen Beltza - Atatxa√?
*Unleashed - The Dawn Of The Nine√!!!
*Acherontas & Horna - Atavistic Resurgence √?
*Valtakunta - S/T√?
*Diaboli - Wiking Division
*Kältetod - Zwang√?
*Nattramn - Gravhymn √!!!
*The Lucifer Rebellion - Punishment Divine√!!!
*The Lucifer Rebellion - Fenrir√!!!
*Tribulation - The Children Of The Night√!!!
[I was a HUGE fan of gothic extreme metal in the 90s. Moonspell, Theatre Of Tragedy, "Wildhoney"-era Tiamat, stuff like that. This album isn't like those releases in that it's got a more black metal touch [well, maybe a bit of Moonspell's "Wolfheart"], but really lets in an equal mixture of that occult-rock/metal stuff that's always been there, but we hear so much these days, blends it with some real gothic rock [think Nosferatu], and blackens it like a valium-drunk Dissection. How cool is that? If this came out in '94, they'd be GODS by now.]
*Neo Noir - Neo-Noir√!!!
*Sarpanitum - Blessed Be My Brothers...√
*Nabaath - Common Graves√
*Orpheus Blade - Wolf's Cry√
*Necrowretch - With Serpents Scourge √!!!
*Vorzug - Call Of The Vultures√
*My Dying Bride - Feel The Misery √!!!
[My, oh my. The MASTERS of gothic doom metal despondency have come along in 2015 to equal the morosity of "The Angel And The Dark River", yet this time including their death elements, making the album I'd show a new metal fan that asks me about gothic doom. It cannot get any better than this. And Aaron gained some new tricks with the loss of his hair.]
*Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful
*Nybbas - Azerate√
*Uncaladon - Cassiopeia√
*Todesstoß - Hirngemeer√
*Psychological Regurgitation - The Regurgitation√
*Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction√!!!
*Sigh - Graveward√
*Mortifier - Kampfen√
*Natanas - Entropic√!!!
*Marduk - Frontschwein √!!!
[I don't see many people putting this one as high on a pedestal as I do, but it just seems to wrap up Marduk's best qualities so well. They have had some great vocalists, but Mortuus was a real goldmine of personality for them to hit when they got him. Here, you get menacing and slow parts, mid-to-romping forays, and [of course] lightning-fast spazms of black metal majesty, topped off with one of the genre's most distinct voices. ]
*Skullview - Metalkill The World√
*Morkesagn - Where The Darkness Never Ends√!!!
*Fjorsvartnir - Mzoraxc’s Forbandelse√
*Tysondog - Cry Havoc√
*Sulphur Aeon - Gateway To The Antisphere√!!!
*Heaving Earth - Denouncing The Holy Throne√
*Lux Ferre - Excaecatio Lux Veritatis√
*Evil - Shoot The Messenger√
*Perpetual Rage - The New Kingdom √!!!
*Ecnephias - Ecnephias√
*Melechesh - new (forgot name atm)√
*Havukruunu - Havulinnaan√?
*Enforcer - From Beyond√
*Claret Ash — The Cleansing√?
*Utstott - Hjørungavågr√
*Graveyard Ghoul - The Living Cemetery√
*Soul Rape - Endless Reign√
*Kampfar - Profan √!!!
*Lurid Memory - Dematerializing√?
*Heron - DYZU√!!!
*Sielunvihollinen - Hautaruhtinas√
*Claret Ash - Ground Dweller√
*Demoncy - Empire Of The Fallen Angel (Eternal Black Dominion)
*Perdition Temple - The Tempter's Victorius√
*Fallen Voices - Fields Of Cathartics Souls√
*Desolate Shrine - The Heart Of The Netherworld√?
*Where Evil Follows - S/T√
*Inglorious - Eternal Chaos√
*Hooded Menace - Darkness Drips Forth√?
*Cut Up - Forensic Nightmares√
*Gruesome - Savage Land√?
*Abyssal Ascendant - Cronicles Of The Doomed Worlds Vol.1√
*Mastery - Valis√
*Negative Mantra - A Hymn To Disappointment√
*Abysmal Lord - Disciples Of The Inferno√?
*Remmirath - Shambhala Saucers√
*Licrest - Nothing√
*The Spirit Cabinet - Hystero Epileptic Possessed√
*Thulcandra - Ascension Lost√
*Shadowquest - Armoured IV Pain√
*Deathincarnation - Pandemic Blight√
*Carnivorous Voracity - The Impious Doctrine√
*Ghost Bath - Moonlover√?
*False - Untitled√!!!
*Dodheimsgard - A Umbra Omega√!!!
[The geniuses of the mental asylum have escaped and robbed a music store! They have recorded some sort of monster, yet they have not yet been aprehended. Many citizens have been institutionalized since the release of their infernal noise...]
*Thy Worshiper - Ozimina√?
*Seeds In Barren Fields - Let The Earth Be Silent After Ye
*Pyriphlegethon - Night Of Consecration √?
*Les Chants De Nihil - Armor√
*The Order Of Apollyon - The Sword And The Dagger√
*Grimoire - L'aorasie Des Spectres Reveures
*Putrid Offal - Mature Necropsy√
*Amestigon - Thier√!!!
*Myrkur - M√
*Fleshless - Devoured Beyond Recognition √!!!
*Dormant Seed - A Sad Memory√
*An Autumn For Crippled Children - The Long Goodbye√
*Moon - Render of the Veils√?
*Night Demon - Curse Of The Damned√
*Cruciamentum - Charnel Passages √!!!
*When Woods Make Graves - Please...Don't Murder Me√
*Kantation - Nephilim√
*Negura Bunget - Tau√
*Nihil Kaos - Noxkult√
*Hate - Crusade:Zero√
*The Gentle Storm - The Diary√
*Adversarial - Death, Endless Nothing And The Black Knife Of Nihilism √!!!
*Norman Shores - Le Tombeau De Brume√
*Darking - Steal The Fire√
*Bell Witch - Four Phantoms√!!!
[Two men, a bass, a drumset, and an album heavier than some 6-piece bands put out. Plus, the writing is more like compositions than rock-based metal songs, but they still keep THAT classic vibe going on at the same time. How? I don't fucking know. Just listen to it!]
*Burial Hex - The Hierophant√
*Atomicide - Chaos Abomination√
*Imperial Triumphant - Abyssal Gods√
*Abominor - Opus: Decay EP√
*Carach Angren - This Is No Fairytale √!!!
*Battle Beast - Unholy Savior√!!!
[More traditional metal! This one's different, however. Cheese, cheese, and some cheese-spread on top of that cheese. Badass metal-chick vocals soar atop keyboard-heavy Europe [the band]-flavored metal-pop done right, with some prog-excursions, some harsher male vocals here and there, and a lot of showing off...on ALL fronts. And hey...I'd rather give in to this than the g-dawg mallrats claiming to be metal stars these days. This is like the Ralph Bakshi's Cool World of the metal world. I'll call it "power pomp". And I love it!]
*Orden Ogan - Ravenhead√?
*Janara - S/T√
*Mind Asylum - L’Asile De L’Esprit√
*Embrional - The Devil Inside√
*Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse√
*Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror√
*Barshasketh - Ophidian Henosis√?
*Ruach Raah - Hate Fanaticism√?
*Black Trip - Shadowline√
*Vials Of Wrath - Days Without Names√?
*Vattnet Viskar - Settler√?
*Chiral - Abisso√!!!
[This is just pure, beautiful, atmospheric black metal in all its goodness.]
*Abandoned by Light - To Walk the World of Shadows, Surrounded by Dead Trees√
*Ghost - Meliora√!!!!!!!!!!
*Caina - Setter Of Unseen Snares√?
*Astru - Monokrom √?
*Astru - Pokol√?
*Oxxo Xoox - Nämïdäë√!!!
[Today's Therion. And I mean that in all the ways that would be considered good about that statement.]
*Deafheaven - New Bermuda√?
*Osculum Infame - The Axis Of Blood√!!!
*Enslaved - In Times√?
*Vaee Solis - Adversarial Light√
*Iscarioth - I Am The Arm√!!!
[Black metal, corpsepaint and all, going deep and dark into cerebral corners better left uncharted - I mean, the album title's from a David Lynch film, which says enough. Anyway, add in a good dash of Celtic Frost flavor, and you have one of the "comfort albums" you just keep putting on...at least if you're like me...and that shouldn't make sense, given the Lynch-ian lunacy. But I never claimed to be sane...]
*Adversarial Paths: The Sinister Essence√!!!
*Slayer - Repentless√
*Razor Rape - Orgy In Guts√
*Suppuration - Devouring Your Prayers √
*Wederganger - Halfvergaan Ontwaakt√
*Path of Samsara - The Fiery Hand√!!!
*Christian Mistress - To Your Death√?
*Horna - Hengen Tulet√?
*Aornos - Alea Iacta Est√?
*Sovereign - Deceptum √!!!
*Abyssal - Antikatastaseis√?
*Malokarpatan - Stridsi Dni√?
*Apparatus - S/T√?
*Todesstob - Hirngemeer√?
*Sivyj Yar - Burial Shrouds√!!!
*Slugdge - Dim And Slimridden Kingdoms √!!!
[These guys keep getting better. Just technical enough to not be called "tech" and still remain infectious, while blending black and death as they tell their tales of the slimy. It's fun, and darker than the concept comes off, that's for sure.]
*Panopticon - Autumn Eternal√!!!
[An atmos-black album to transport me to the forests I long for...]
*Wardaemonic - Obsequium √?
*Haiduk - Demonicon√
*Behind The Shadows - S/T√
*Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks√
*Psychological Regurgitation - The Regurgitation√
*Lethal Saint - WWIII!!!
[If I had my way, this album would come along in The U.S. and clean the mall-wiggers out of our scene, and inject some life back into metal like Metallica did back in their Ozzy-tour days. But I rarely get what I want. Oh, and take the implications of all that and imagine what it sounds like...just add a little more power metal in there.]
*Hazeroth - Charms Of Sin√
*Cosmic Church - Vigilia√!!!
*Hegemon - The Hierarch√!!!
*Unhallowed - Enter Damnation√
*Mortuss Umbra - Catechism√?
*Return To Roots - 2015 album (Russian)√
*Revulsed - Infernal Atrocity√
*Mammoth Storm - Fornjot√
*Perennial Isolation - Transcendence √!!!
2015 TTSNSN Wait, WHAT? After all that, there's a...