Connor’s Year-End Review [2015]

2015 was incredible. Reviewing nearly 150 albums–almost as many as last year–and downloading and listening to over 600 EPs and Albums alone, it’s hard to make a top 100 list, let alone two top 25s. Below are the albums that stuck with me all year, or were love at first listen. Here’s to a rad 2016!

 

 

 

PRNL

25) ‘Sabella – Perennial (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Kicking things off are ‘Sabella, who follow up their promising—albeit lacking—debut with a remarkable sophomore effort. In all honesty the only thing keeping Perennial at a humbling 25 spot is its length; with material this good, a more full-bodied EP would have been unstoppable.

stp

24) Slaughter to Prevail – Chapters of Misery (Slamming Deathcore)

REVIEW 

As someone who is outspoken about his pickiness regarding slam, I tend to enjoy it most when mixed with copious amounts of other more straightforward genres—which is exactly what Slaughter to Prevail do. Delayed more times than I can count, this EP is a shining example of slamming deathcore, complete with one of the most comprehensive displays of pure vocal prowess heavy music saw all year.

MW

23) Methwitch – Rotting Away (Blackened Hardcore/Beatdown/Deathcore)

REVIEW

Earlier this year, Cameron McBride (the man behind Methwitch) asked what genre people would consider the project. If you haven’t listened to Rotting Away, then you don’t understand how tough a question this is. Covering every style of heavy music with a hefty layer of blackening, McBride struck gold with Methwitch’s debut—catching the ears of the heavy music underground in one fell swoop.

Clla

22) Currents – Life//Lost (Progressive Metalcore)

REVIEW 

I can almost guarantee that 90% of the heavy music community forgot about this EP—which is a crying shame. Catchy, technical, heavy and beautiful, Currents bade farewell to their frontman Patrizio with flying colors, releasing a poignant example of progressive heaviness.

Irta

21) IRRITA – IRRITA (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

I feel like all too often, people rely on music to do too much. IRRITA are a band hellbent on one thing: depressive, devastating downtempo deathcore—and they do it absurdly well. You would be hard pressed to find an EP from 2015 that was as balls-to-the-wall brutal as this one, and if you do, I’d be surprised to see if you can survive it.

IAM_COVER

20) I AM – Memento Mori (Metalcore)

REVIEW 

With a simple name and straightforward EP title, you might think you have I AM figured out. Spoiler: you don’t. Riffs for days, with energetic solos and grisly grooves to fill the spaces between prolapse-inducing breakdowns, Memento Mori is the release that catapulted I AM to relative fame in the underground—meaning you would do well to keep an eye on them in the coming year.

GONa

19) God Of Nothing – Devoured by Death (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

After a fun, but not-entirely-memorable debut, God Of Nothing took it upon themselves to switch things up and craft something new. Equal parts groovy and ghoulish, the band’s sophomore release is one that simply demands to be heard.

DTL

18) Drag the Lake – Live Together – Die Alone (Metalcore/Deathcore)

REVIEW 

From the first teaser Drag the Lake released, it was evident that this EP was going to be an immense departure from their previous work—what wasn’t evident, however, was how intense it would be. Just as heavy as I Am Violence with one tenth the generic wankery, Drag the Lake released an incredible EP that practically sets the standard for growth and maturation in the heavy music scene.

Phob

17) My Home, The Catacombs – Phobias (Progressive Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Keeping the Canada love rolling after Drag the Lake’s moderate placement, My Home, The Catacombs wreak havoc with their emotional, energetic and eviscerating EP that serves as their debut under Defiled Management. With an entire release’s worth of furiously fretted, Structures-esque grooving and a vocal dynamic that refuses to be stopped, Phobias is certainly an EP to be feared.

FTFTG

16) Filth – Tales from the Gutter (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

If there was an EP that would outweigh Irrita’s, it would hands-down be Filth’s debut. Frill-free downtempo at its finest—with hints of nu-metal to add bounce and boldness—Tales from the Gutter is just as gritty as the band’s name would imply.

IVKR

15) InVoker – De/Volve (Nu-Metalcore/Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Hot off the heels of last year’s top-20 full length, InVoker scrapped their previous sound and left only the raw steel structure. Filled out with catchy, sharp nu-metal and a more varied vocal dynamic than their previous efforts, InVoker give the listener three tracks of terrifying nu-brutality that is, once more, only kept out of a top-10 spot due to its brevity.

Deva

14) Deviant – Deviant (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Never before have the seven deadly sins been so…deadly. Deviant take depressive, dissonant aggression and give it a theme, making a masterful debut release that is intimate and haunting enough to rob the listener of much-needed sleep.

ThinLine

13) Lordis – Thin Line (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Sometimes, a release just has to grow on you. After my first impression of Lordis’ breakout EP, I wouldn’t have dreamed it would even make it on this list—let alone with a competitive ranking. Yet, here it is, a bouncy, heavy and well-written EP that gets inside your head and makes a home there—such that you will be hard pressed to ever get it out.

WHBCa

12) We Have Been Compromised – Avarice (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Another early-year release that managed to stick with me like glue—and from Florida no less—is We Have Been Compromised’s debut EP. Fast-paced and furious, Avarice is unlike any other release from 2015 in that it manages to cover a broad variety of styles in such a brief time; both as a band, and as far as the EP’s runtime.

DNHL

11) Denihilist – Eulogy (Groove/Deathcore)

REVIEW 

As a long-time Hail to the King fan, this shouldn’t be surprising for three reasons. As the band’s new form, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I fell in love with Denihilist at first listen. As an enthusiast of heavy music, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this album stands out among the test, and finally, as an unremarkably solid album, it should be no surprise that the quintet are hovering just outside of 2015’s top ten.

TA_D

10) The Alaskan – Diaphoresis (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

From the first time I heard them, I fell in love with The Alaskan. So few bands bring a unique attitude to a relatively overgrown and stale sound that when one does, it deserves recognition—and ladies and gentlemen, this band deserves recognition. Heavy and catchy with beefy vocals that echo for hours, Diaphoresis is one meaty mouthful that the listener would do well to bite down on.

HGA

9) Hounds – 1129 (Melodic Hardcore/Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Maybe I’ve outgrown melodic hardcore—or maybe it all sounds kind of homogenous—but either way, I am not too picky or too old for Hounds. Perfect levels of passion and raw power coalesce to form an EP that does more than pluck at the listener’s heartstrings; it rips them off and flosses with them.

WickWira

8) Wicked World – As I Decay (Slamming Deathcore/Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Wicked World aren’t the mainstream metalcore you might be thinking of; they’re like the Gaza, Converge metalcore that scrapes skin from your ears. Likewise, they aren’t the bree-bree slamming Deathcore that 2008’s scene kids want back; they’re tremolo-picked terror done to perfection. Wicked World are a perfect storm of well-seasoned heaviness topped off with emotive, energetic lyricism that fails to get old even after year-long abuse.

FLSFRa

7) Falsifier – Life In Death (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Falsifier are probably my favorite heavy music underdog story. Beginning as an underproduced beatdown hardcore band and becoming one of Canada’s heaviest exports, Falsifier give fans of any extreme music styling something to draw them to downtempo’s dark side.

DCA

6) Darke Complex – Widow (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

As far as delayed albums go, none is more delayed than Darke Complex’s debut EP (with the exception of perhaps Eavesdropper’s full length). However, as awaited as it was, it still managed to absolutely dwarf the huge levels of hype that it amounted. The very sound of depression clashing with desperation, Widow are contagiously catchy and catastrophically lethal—what more do you want?

Vilisa

5) Vilis – Vilis (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Another Cinderella story, Vilis came out of nowhere to win over the hearts of pretty much everyone who have them an earnest listen. Sounding something like Start/End B-sides mixed with Barrier’s early years, Vilis’ self-titled instantly appealed to veterans of metalcore as well as youngsters just getting their feet wet.

BSNa

4) Bodysnatcher – Abandonment (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

After downtempo’s banner year in 2014, many quickly began to fear (or hope for) the genre’s demise—something Bodysnatcher’s debut EP singlehandedly staved off. Bitter, personal aggression and more darkness than a year’s worth of nights, Bodysnatcher went from 0 to 60 overnight, pumping fresh blood into low, slow Deathcore while doing so.

Varialsa

3) Varials – Failure//Control (Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Like them or not, you have to pay dues—Varials went from an underwhelming downtempo band to 2015’s biggest metalcore sensation. Whether you put it on naked moshing or the fact that they’re actually incredibly good, you can’t deny the band that. With more violence than World Wars one and two combined, and catchier than the common cold, Varials are one of very few bands that “made it” in 2015, as opposed to getting an early death sentence.

Rival

2) Rival – Rival (Nu-Metalcore/Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW

Low and slow enough to qualify as downtempo Deathcore without a question, but not without spats of jarring energy and insanely quick vocal work, Rival’s debut EP is a perfect combination of bitter, depressive and intensely emotional lyrics with blunt, brutal instrumentation—forcing the listener to choose whether they want to sob or spinkick.

 

As much as I hate to do it, 2015’s best EP belongs rightfully to not one, but two equally entrancing releases.

 

THTF

  1. Deity – The Hand That Feeds (Metalcore)

REVIEW 

The top spot for this year’s EP was a toss-up between two enormously talented bands’ breakout releases (making it unprecedented in several regards). On one hand, Deity shocked the heavy music community with the culmination of boundless hard work since their debut single, “Feed.” Mosh-friendly but still a lyrical rubix cube, The Hand That Feeds tells a meticulously detailed story without skimping on beefy, bold musicianship—making it as rewarding to spin through your headphones in a dimly lit room as it is to jam in your car with friends.

DSLTa

  1. Desolate – Ruiners (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

On the other hand, there is New York’s Desolate, who managed to tell the stories of the century’s most sinister serial killers without coming across as corny or contrived. Instead, this catchy, crushing display of craftily written nu-metalcore defined a year’s worth of releases. Lengthy enough to satisfy with one play through, but brief enough to keep listener’s replaying it for hours, Desolate’s debut is this year’s go-to EP for bouncy, neurotic intensity.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Kingmaker – The Cradle (Metalcore)

Loathe (UK) – Prepare Consume Proceed (Nu-Metalcore)

Destitute – Destitute (Downtempo Deathcore)

Existence Has Failed – Dreadful Eruption from an Unknown World (Slamming Deathcore)

Misgiver – Loathing (Hardcore/Beatdown)

 

Now that we’ve got the small releases out of the way, let’s focus on the meat of 2015. With three ties, this list is more of a top-28, but that just goes to show–2015 was a year SLAMMED with music, and these releases are what I feel are the cream of the crop.

 

 

FtYWp

25) Fetty Wap –Fetty Wap (Hip-Hop/Trap/Sqwaaaa)

If you’re about to write off this entire list based on Fetty’s cameo, don’t. Fetty Wap took a cringe-worthy, campy and downright awful style of hip-hop/rap and made it as catchy as Nelly in the early 2000’s. Furthermore, he took a unique style which many people—especially those in the heavy music community—hated and made it tolerable, or, in many cases adored. If that isn’t worthy of a top-25 spot, I don’t know what is.

He also has a glock in his ‘rari.

LSP

24) Lorna Shore – Psalms (Blackened Deathcore)

REVIEW 

In the first of a couple ties on this list, Lorna Shore leap into the fray with an album unlike anything the band’s fan base expected. Swapping out countless diminished breakdowns for a coating of blackening thicker than any Cajun kitchen, Psalms sees Lorna Shore maturing well beyond their years and releasing a slightly monotonous but masterfully crafted piece of intelligent deathcore.

THCa

24) Traitors – The Hate Campaign (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Love them or hate them, Traitors are the American downtempo band—and their debut full length is precisely what one would expect from them. A bit light on tangible material, yet still heavier than a herd of elephants, the band’s independent debut saw them moving towards a slightly groovier sound without sacrificing heaviness or brutality to great reception.

TAIMHWa

23) Thy Art is Murder – Holy War (Deathcore)

REVIEW 

While it feels almost as though this spot should be reserved for an obituary given CJ McMahon’s departure, no such luck. Thy Art is Murder’s third full length album is, as far as I’m concerned, the band’s all around strongest release yet. With an ever so slight emphasis on metallic riffing and more reserved use of breakdowns preceded by harrowing one-liners, Holy War is less predictable than Hate, but still sees the band clinging to a desperate need to rebel against religion in order to be “edgy.”

DRKE

22) Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Hip-Hop)

When I first gave Drake’s surprise album a shot, I could barely make it through the whole release—but several months and countless listens later, the rappers subtle, sublime wordplay and introspective lyrical styles grew on me one hundred fold. With very little in the way of standard-issue “bangers,” but boundless amounts of relatable stories and surreal feelings, Drake’s album is something that worms it’s way inside your head and—without you even realizing—has you thinking about your own life and future.

SUK

21) Sentenced UK – Drowned By Blood (Slamming Beatdown)

REVIEW 

Confidently striding the tightrope that separates EP and full-length, Sentenced (UK) came out of left field with something that sounds like the bastard child of Varials and Ingested. With dancy, driving two-steps but spine-shattering slams aplenty, Drowned by Blood is a shining example in a young, hybridized genre that stands to bring long-polarized fans of extreme metal sub-genres together in a back-breaking embrace.

VS

20) Vince Staples – Summertime ’06 (Hip-Hop)

It’s been a long time since an artist has earned any critical acclaim in the mainstream for gritty, truthful and terrifying stories from the streets—which makes Vince Staples’ 2015 album all the more welcome. With catchy-but-harrowing anthems like “Norf Norf,” Staples brings the urban underbelly that he comes from to life in a way that hasn’t been done in years—and hasn’t been done well in even longer.

Aurora

19) Aurora – Faith/Breaker (Progressive Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Part of me is surprised that Aurora’s album made it onto this list—but most of me realizes given the outstanding vocals from Rhys Whitehouse meant it was practically inevitable. Bringing a grisly, old-school deathcore atmosphere to a yesteryear’s Northlane musical canvas, Faith/Breaker takes the listener on a journey that opens their mind—but also opens fresh wounds all over their body.

Depths

18) Depths – The Mortal Compass (Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Going into 2015, I honestly thought Depths were defunct. It had been some time since there’d been any news from this New Zealand powerhouse, to a point where most people likely assumed they had broken up. Once the first single from The Mortal Compass was released, however, we all realized how wrong we were. Wicked, piercing deathcore that doesn’t do anything new—but does everything right—means Depths get the moderate placement they rightfully deserve.

attaa

17) Allies to the Adversary – Deathbed (Progressive Deathcore)

REVIEW 

After a lacking debut EP, these Canadian crushers took time to plan their next release carefully—after all, they were a band on their deathbed, poised to kick the can. Fortunately, Allies to the Adversary shook off their previous release and came out swinging with an album that demands to be heard. Haunting—but mesmerizing—Deathbed destroys the competition, making it a stand-out album in a year flooded with pseudo-technical heavy music.

dua

16) Dealey Plaza – Deliver Us (Deathcore)

REVIEW

Rightfully making a name for themselves ever since their no-holds-barred debut, Dealey Plaza’s 2015 full length is the defining release for their already upper-echelon discography. Somewhere between Jesse Kirkbride’s excellent songwriting, his brilliantproduction and Bryan Long’s lyrical and vocal prowess, Dealey Plaza stumbled across something beautiful with Deliver Us, living up to its well-built hype.

8. Origin

15) Dayseeker – Origin (Metalcore/Post-Hardcore)

REVIEW 

Dayseeker’s style of metallic, atmospheric post-hardcore is hard to describe, and their genre widely varies depending on who you talk to. However, there is one thing all listener do agree on: they’re damn good. From the powerful “A Cancer Uncontained” to the eerie and emotional “Origin,” Dayseeker’s debut full length is a demanding experience that takes the listener on an emotional journey through sorrow, joy, anger and remorse.

CD

14) Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Slamming Death Metal/Deathcore)

In the eyes of many, keeping this release out of the top 10 is heresy, if not an act of war. Widely received as 2015’s defining heavy album, Cattle Decapitation continue their legacy of slamming brutality while adding hints of more streamlined Deathcore and atmospheric melodic death metal both, making it a crowd-pleasing album without forcing the act to sacrifice integrity.

Prime-Meridian-Prime-Meridian

13) Prime Meridian – Prime Meridian (Progressive Metalcore)

Ever wondered what would happen if Stray from the Path went on a downtempo Deathcore bender and listened to Structures non-stop? Well, wonder no more. While much shorter than most of the full-lengths released in 2015, it surely doesn’t sacrifice content—giving the listener twenty minutes of spastic, jarring intensity from progressive music’s most underrated dynamic duo.

Harm

12) The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Harmlessness (Emo)

I don’t really know how to summarize this release. Nearly the longest album on this list (short only by minutes), TWIABP crafted what is the most serene and beautiful album of the year, hands down. Energetic where it needs to be and atmospheric everywhere else—yet catchy ALL the time, Harmlessness is engrossing and makes up for a whole year of lack-luster emo and skramz releases.

LD

12) Lil’ Dicky – Professional Rapper (Hip-Hop/Rap)

I discovered Lil’ D from a friend’s Instagram post—and I had no idea what I was getting involved with when I purchased a copy from iTunes. 80 minutes of rap that’s both funny yet bizarrely poignant from “some Jewish kid from Philly,” Lil’ Dicky works with some of 2015’s hottest names to give the listener over an hour of catchy, creative wordplay that pretty much every listener will nod their head to, thinking “yeah, that’s happened to me.”

KKNS

11) Kublai Khan – New Strength (Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Hot off the heels of last year’s Artery Recordings debut, Kublai Khan sound as though they paid careful attention to the mixed reviews from heavy music critics across the net. What comes next? New Strength, a raw, riveting adventure of blistering beatdown hardcore mixed with frantic metal. With ferocious vocals and equally fierce lyrics, Kublai Khan put blood, sweat and tears into their sound, stepping their game up tenfold from this time last year.

ND

10) Neck Deep – Lifes Not Out to Get You (Pop-Punk)

You’ve gotta love a band that knows what they are and embrace it readily. Self-proclaimed “generic pop-punk,” Neck Deep are just that: catchy, angsty and fast—without modesty or shame. Managing to one-up their acclaimed debut full-length with song after song of gimmicky resentment for “this town” and “her,” Neck Deep shout, sing and croon their way to glory with Lifes Not Out to Get You.

Subliminalcrim

9) Stray from the Path – Subliminal Criminals (Alternative Hardcore)

As a long-time fanboy, I’ll be the first to say: Anonymous was a letdown. I wasn’t even sure whether I should be excited for Stray from the Path’s follow-up, but after two riotous singles, I couldn’t help but ride the hype train. Still channeling Rage Against the Machine—but this time without bordering on plagiarism—Stray seem to veer back towards their roots, even if only ever so slightly.

Insomnia

8) Change Is – Insomnia (Nu-Metalcore)

REVIEW 

I have Saginaw’s Change Is a chance mostly because they were a hometown band—I’ll be perfectly honest. Hundreds of plays later, I never would have guessed I’d be calling them Michigan’s best kept secret. Depressive, bouncy and insanely catchy, Change Is are Yüth Forever with more pronounced angst and maybe a hint of Endeavors—giving their nu-metalcore stylings a nostalgic and neurotic twist.

TLTSOLa

7) The Last Ten Seconds of Life – Soulless Hymns (Nu-Metalcore/Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Even though I was given access to The Last Ten’s album in late 2014, it managed to stick to me throughout 2015 like rubber cement. With Storm Strope’s best lyrics and finest vocals yet atop a canvas of crushing deathcore spiced up with hints of thrash and nu-something, Soulless Hymns is, ironically, an album with more soul than a great many released this year.

CK_TOM

6) Culture Killer – Throes of Mankind (Hardcore/Death Metal/Mosh)

REVIEW

Coming at the listener with a frill-free style of mosh inducing death metal spiced up with slam and hardcore, Culture Killer undoubtedly took many by surprise. With an underwhelming debut EP barely turning heads last year, Culture Killer’s Metal Blade signing surprised some—but with almost an hour of hellish aggression, their debut full length no doubt proves they deserve it.

BTa

6) Black Tongue – The Unconquerable Dark (Downtempo Deathcore/Doom Metal)

REVIEW

If Traitors are the U.S. “Big daddy” downtempo band, then Black Tongue are global rulers of the genre. The Unconquerable Dark sees these Hull City Hellraisers attempting to ditch that moniker, developing a more three-dimensional and unique sound by including liberal helpings of doom and black metal into the mix. With moments that mirror the depressive angst of Yüth Forever, but black, metallic aggression that could come from the pits of a Swedish or Norwegian forest, Black Tongue continue to outdo their previous efforts.

Oceanosart

5) Oceano – Ascendants (Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Oceano have the blessing and curse of bursting into the heavy music scene with a debut album that was—and still is—heralded as one of the best deathcore albums of all time. With two albums dropping after that—each slightly more disappointing than the last—the band took some time out of the spotlight to collect themselves; however when they came back swinging with Ascendants, I don’t think anyone was ready. Definitely different from their debut, but arguably just as immersive and crushing, Ascendants marks the return of Oceano as the prodigal rulers that deathcore desperately needed.

RFLXNS

4) Reflections – The Color Clear (Nu-Metalcore/Progressive Metalcore)

REVIEW 

Another surprise release, Reflections made news early in the year with a tragedy that would have ended many bands. Rather than remain crippled, the group reached deep within themselves and wrote from a place of deep sorrow and tumultuous emotion—bringing us The Color Clear. Less explicitly technical, yet still musically marvelous, Reflections finally wrote an album worth paying close attention to—as each track is bound to reach out to the listener and force them to relate.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.31.08 PM

3) Eavesdropper – Ruin (Nu-Metalcore/Groove)

REVIEW 

Second only to Darke Complex in terms of delay and anticipation, 2015 saw the much-awaited release of Eavesdropper’s debut album. While Ruin may be brief as far as quantity goes, the quality of bouncy, depressive nu-infused metalcore brought to life by Logan Beaver is far from lacking. Emotionally crippling and magnificently detailed, Eavesdropper’s first full length is a conceptual release that keeps the listener glued to their seat—which is good, because it’s a wild ride.

EEA

2) Enterprise Earth – Patient ø (Technical Deathcore)

REVIEW 

When it comes to Enterprise Earth, even skeptics have to admit there is just something about them. Whether it’s the presence of deathcore’s infamous Dan Watson, the trio of terrifyingly heavy (yet simultaneously heavy) guitarists, or the plethora of powerful guest appearances, Patient  Ø wrote big checks with its hype that it had no problem cashing. A lengthy but dense and entertaining listen, Enterprise Earth offer the best display of technical deathcore to hit the scene all year, and arguably in many years before that.

F_NWOa

2) Feign – The New World Order (Downtempo Deathcore)

REVIEW 

Even if you’re one of those trendy kids who hates on downtempo deathcore because it’s cool—or actually just don’t like it—chances are, there are at least one or two bands that manage to hold your interest. If Feign weren’t that band, they are now. Vocally, it doesn’t get much better than Devin Sockwell’s echoing, dissonant low bellows, and Trevor Phillips beautifully combines low, slow downtempo with sparse bits of beatdown hardcore and metalcore to keep the album smooth and fluid. If there is one downtempo album to take away from 2015, this is it.

 

I’m sure it will come as no surprise, but 2015’s best album is none other than…

 

Spite

1) Spite – Spite (Nu-Metalcore/Deathcore)

REVIEW 

There isn’t much to say about Spite that they can’t say for themselves. Their debut full length is a 40 minute lesson in hate. It is aggression, anger, belligerence, bloodthirst and brutality wrapped into one package. Taking deathcore and stretching it so it’s corners overlap into thrash metal, nu-metal, downtempo and hardcore, Spite’s full length album is one of the most violent and driving releases I’ve ever heard—in 2015 or in twenty three years previous to that.

 

Honorable Mentions:

The Plot In You – Happiness In Self-Destruction (Metalcore/Post-Hardcore)

Before the Harvest – Wretched Existence (Slamming/Symphonic Deathcore)

Roads of Glass – King Me (Progressive Metalcore)

Born of Osiris – Soul Sphere (Progressive Deathcore)

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise (Hip-Hop)

G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out (Hip-Hop)

 

Bonus Round: Top 5 Singles:

5) Aversions Crown – “Parasites” (Technical Deathcore)

Aversions Crown are a staple for technical deathcore—and with their new frontman Mark Poida (of I, Valiance), there isn’t anything going on here not to like. While some may argue it formulaic, I contend that it is a display of a band who know exactly what they’re doing and do it well.

4) Drake – “Hotline Bling” (Hip-Hop/Rap)

This isn’t a joke. Tempting as it is to put my band’s cover here, Drake honestly earned this spot. A fun, catchy single with dancing that makes…no sense, Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is a perfect mellow beat and some kinda-corny but very entertaining anthem that is worth more than the million memes it spawned.

3) Drifted – “Theomichrist” (Deathcore/Downtempo Deathcore)

A six minute deathcore song is dangerously close to where I lose patience—except, evidently, when it comes to Drifted. Long, strong and ready to get the friction on, “Theomichrist” is a grisly, gritty display of boundless brutality. Nothing more, nothing less.

2) Dogma – “Worm” (Nu-Metalcore)

Dogma may just as well be named Enigma for their mysterious nature and scant content. However, the music that Dogma have released speaks volumes for their skill, and “Worm” is no exception. Nail biting, intense, and really just straight creepy, “Worm” will infect you and keep you coming back for more.

1) Animal – “The Downer” (Nu-Metalcore)

Blatant fanaticism aside: when’s the last time you’ve seen a single get released and circulated with just as much hype as an EP or album? “The Downer” did just that, proving Animal’s debut EP was far from blind luck. With a lacerating nu-metallic edge and slightly gritty production to mirror the neurotic, suicidal lyrical content, Animal’s movement continues through 2015 and furiously into 2016—where the full length they’ve been teasing is set to be anything but a downer.