25: Castiel – Exitium
Starting things off with one hell of a banger, brought to you by the deathcore/downtempo/slam band Castiel; deliciously heavy and hateful towards everything and everyone. Their EP Exitium is the musical equivalent of having a gatling gun with explosive saw blades continuously blow the listener into a smoldering stain of blood and guts (the intro sets the tone nicely). Need I say more? No I do not!
24: Vilis – Vilis
Fancy something that has lots of bouncy grooves but also want stonecrushing brutality at the same time? You got it. Vilis has exactly what you need with their self-titled EP. While a catchy groove can be heard throughout, Vilis likes to stir shit up with frequently suffocating you with towering walls of raw chaos, never making it TOO comfortable for the listener, and never going stale. The result is a hybrid that exists somewhere between deathcore and metalcore. Whatever you want to call it, there’s one thing everyone can agree on after listening to Vilis; these Maryland maniacs sure know how to party!
23: Invoker – D/Evolve
This one is (very) short but sweet, D/Evolve is something that cannot be overlooked because of its size. If you missed out on Invoker entirely it would be a very wise idea to also check out last years album Death is Inevitable. Just get the Closed Casket Edition which contains all the songs, including the ones on this new EP and the older singles. All songs these guys released up to this point are FLAWLESS! D/Evolve is a bit different compared to the rest but equally as nasty, with a sound that’s somewhere between deathcore and the older Slipknot, it’s an interesting/fresh direction for Invoker. I’m curious to see where this road will take them in the future.
22: Falsifier – Life in Death
Ever wonder what death sounds like? I’m not talking about being dead, because that would sound…boring. I’m talking about the grim reaper himself materializing in front of you and ripping out your soul and dragging it to down to hell. To answer that question; it sounds like Falsifier’s second EP Life in Death. An EP that is better than the previous in every aspect and especially the production. incomprehensible density and beastly animosity bombards the listener with little to no time in between to catch your breath. All my doubts about this band have disappeared with Life in Death, just like all those people who dared to talk shit about this release.
21: We Have Been Compromised – Avarice
This band got big bonus points from the moment they released the single Abandoned. Instead of leeching off that single for six months to try and create more hype (let’s be honest, most bands nowadays would do that), WHBC decided to release the rest of their sick debut EP Avarice ASAP via Chugcore. I said it before and I WILL say it as many times as needed; THIS IS HOW IT’S FUCKING DONE, if you’re sitting on some tasty tunes, just release them and people will fucking love you for it! In fact, People will dig Avarice so much that the listeners end up in fucking China and back again! I’m not gonna go into much detail here and ruin the experience, just know that WHBC throws massive bombardments of all the right influences on your ass. Obviously their aim for this EP was to make something that would make you shit out your brain and sound like something fresh while doing it. Get ready to press that replay button a lot!
Witness created something worthwhile with this one, Downcast is as heavy as it is catchy, and holy FUCK does it have a lot of both! Blistering hardcore/nu-metal fun for the whole family. The entirety of Downcast bounces more than a trampoline! Not very hard at all to instantly fall in love with.
19: Existence Has Failed – Dreadful Eruption From An Unknown World
It’s dinner time bitches! For your bleeding (and soon to be cumming) earholes that is. ”Dreadful Eruption from an Unknown World” is an all-you-can-eat chugfest that combines slams, blast beats, beatdowns and copious amounts of tasty breakdowns into one gigantic monstrosity. Not feeling full yet? The EP also features guest vocals from Tyler Shelton, Bryan Long and Dan Watson, and was (of course) mixed/mastered by Kirkbride. If none of those things can satisfy your cravings OR get you even a little (sexually) aroused, you’re looking at the wrong page right now.
18: Sentenced – Drowned by Blood
To me Sentenced sounds like the nasty offspring of Ingested and Chamber of Malice (apparently all these bands participate in secret rape orgies), which is of course an INSTANT WIN in my book. With Drowned by Blood the band demonstrates nothing less than absolute, sawing brutality. The band does this on a level you don’t get to hear often. With ”slamcore” getting increasingly more popular the past year, bands just like this one PROVE that it holds much potential in becoming the next big brutal thing. Sentenced is one of the few bands in this genre that really stand out at this moment, they found that sweet spot between the right amount of grooves and slams and tie all that together effortlessly. A promising debut effort that deserves all the attention it can get, to be honest I wouldn’t mind at all if the next Ingested album sounded just like this haha. The only thing that disappoints me somewhat is the length, with roughly 15 minutes Drowned by Blood will have you going back for more. Hopefully there is MUCH more where this came from, because the world needs it! I need it!
Also. It has slams. I like slams.
17: Bisector – Kaiju
An unknown band that just started making music because they felt like it, seemingly with no hype or recognition whatsoever, I’m aiming to change that. With Kaiju meaning ”strange beast” (thanks Wikipedia haha) or simply MONSTER, this EP already describes itself perfectly. When you do yourself the favor of checking this out, Kaiju will have manifested itself into a colossal monstrosity so huge that it would make fucking Godzilla shit his pants (that’s a lot of shit) by the time you heard it all. Many bands take months, sometimes even years to produce heaviness of this caliber, yet Bisector are a bunch of dudes who did it just like that. Hopefully not for the last time either.
This band deserves so much more attention! Go to their Facebook, like their page, leave a message, get this music out there!
16: Varials – Failure//Control
Firstly, you need to know this album is HEAVY, BOUNCY and HATEFUL AS FUCK. Secondly….well shit I don’t really know what comes secondly, Varials is a difficult band to categorize, and this is actually a good thing! Being able to distinguish your sound from a overflowing pool of the same shit is THE thing you need to do if you ever hope to stand out. Varials did exactly that with their EP Failure//Control. This monstrous entity exists somewhere between the traditional deathcore, death metal and hardcore genres. It’s not really slam either, or beatdown, and definitely not down-tempo. So what is it? Something unique, Varials is Varials; an angry band making music they like so you can bang your fucking head until your neck snaps! Failure//Control also has a remastered version but in my opinion you can’t go wrong with either version.
15: Genocide District – Scourge
Scourge is the second EP for the Californian aggressors known as Genocide District. If you’re looking for the angriest, most filthy hardcore/beatdown release, you just found it. Everything has been coated in a thick layer of gritty atmosphere, making the whole ordeal that much more punishing and raw. Scourge easily blows their last EP out of the water, and most other bands in the genre. Not one other album has this distinct level of nastiness. If you’re planning on killing some motherfuckers, Scourge is the soundtrack you NEED.
14: Filth – Tales from the Gutter
Seen that Invoker post? If you have heard that album like I told you to (seriously, it’s highly recommended) and asked yourself how that would sound in a downtempo style, you’re not the only one. Most of the bandmembers from Invoker had that very same idea, and decided to just make another band just for that, because why the fuck not!? It’s rare to see people who love music SO much they decide to make another band just to play another style. Yes, Filth is exactly what you think it is, PURE FILTH (dhuu). Tales from the Gutter is a giant bucket full of the blackest, nastiest shit that they were able to scoop up (lingering somewhere in Satan’s toilet) and has a much bigger emphasis on a dark/evil atmosphere than their other projects (some members are also in Impale the Betrayer). I can always count on Tales from the Gutter to slap me in the face whenever I’m feeling down. Filth created some of the finest downtempo out there and they’re not gonna stop anytime soon. Evolving into something much more than a side project, Filth will not stop until they become synonymous with the downtempo genre itself.
13: Lost Fortune – Living Ghost
Lost Fortune features members of King Conquer and Dealey plaza who make slamming hardcore that hits the listener HARD with their music. They released an EP, that should be more than enough info to grab your attention. Huh? Still reading this? You shouldn’t, you should be listening to Living Ghost! NOW! JUST…DO IT!
12: God of Nothing – Devoured by Death
Looking for some cool music that makes you feel like a man? you’re in the wrong fucking place then! Because listening to the crushing second EP from God of Nothing will reduce you to a crying little bitch.
Personally I think they improved quite a bit, finally giving the band that crunching/sinister sound that was somewhat lacking on the first release. The entirety of Devoured by Death is a thick black tar of animosity that drowns the listener, as if stepping into quicksand. Never thought being devoured by death would be this pleasant, just hear it and let it creep up on you. If you’re into heavy stuff at all I highly suggest you check this one out for yourself, even if you dislike their earlier work.
11: Irrita – Irrita
Okay then, you consider yourself to be hot shit eh? God of Nothing STILL not evil enough for you? Let’s see how Irrita’s self-titled release treats you then! This EP is 22 minutes of PURE MALICE crashing down on their unsuspecting victims. Once the soundwaves of Irrita reach the listener, there is no escape, no hope for salvation. Flesh eating maggots infest every inch of your being and turn you into a pile of dust before you can say ”ugh, not another dime-a-dozen deathcore band”. Not to sound like a pessimist here, but I never imagined this EP to be THIS impressive, good thing I love to be proven wrong in that regard. Irrita is utter annihilation, the soundtrack to your demise.
10: Messenger of the Covenant – Wretchedness (Reissue)
Yeah yeah I know, doesn’t count because it’s just a ”remix”, right? Don’t give two shits about that, or even one. The Reissue that got released in mid 2015 was the first time I had the pleasure of hearing this lovely underground deathcore band, and after comparing the two versions I gotta say the version EASILY blows the original clean out of the water. Messenger of the Covenant are a band that have that timeless underground deathcore sound, and we can’t have a year-end list without one of those now can we? If you’re interested in these guys, do yourself a favor and check this little gem out first. Prepare to be showered in chuggy/bouncy breakdowns goodness! Wretchedness is old school deathcore excellence the way it is meant to be.
9: Destitute – Destitute
Sweet unborn baby jesus! This shit sure came back in a big way, probably the HEAVIEST fucking EP of the whole year, and I didn’t even see it coming. Think of a mix between Beyond the Aftermath and the Wasteland EP from Continent. Yup..THAT IS INDEED DAMN HEAVY. It’s not really reinventing the wheel but yeah it IS stupid heavy all the way through and sometimes that’s all you need!
8: Beyond Deviation – White Noise
Here it is at last; the long-awaited debut EP from the filthiest band on the planet, and (un)holy shit do I mean FILTHY, we’re talking abso-fucking-lutely REPULSIVE here. I’m talking about the musical equivalent of having a swamp of raw sewage poured down your earholes. Of course I fucking that shit! White Noise doesn’t fuck around and can be quite unpleasant for even the most hardened veteran, while the uninitiated need not even bother (they would just dissolve into a puddle of pus). It dares to push the boundaries of what was possible (or acceptable at the very least) with its truly distorted and horrific ambience. At the frontlines of White Noise stands vocalist Guillaume Villeneuve; a dinosaur in disguise. His prehistoric screeches are like a thousand saws that slowly gnaw away at your nervous system, I’m pretty sure a human being is not supposed to sound like that. In my opinion Beyond Deviation has the potential to make it bigger, even without Guillaume who (sadly) left the band soon after this was released.
7: I, Valiance – The Reject of Humanity
Still don’t know in what genre this one really fits (digital chicken metal…wut?), so once again I won’t bother to overanalyse this loveable black sheep. The Reject of Humanity is one of those things you have to experience at least once in your life, it just makes me feel happy. Immensely dark/demented with plenty of chaos and experimentation to boot, did I mention it is misanthropic as fuck as well? I, Valiance is love, I, Valiance is life!
6: A Wake in Providence – Insidious
You know how this band decided on the title for their debut EP? Listen to it and you’ll soon learn there is no other way to define it! The guitar tone alone is searing enough to liquify bones within microseconds, with the rest of the bandmembers feasting on the smoldering remains. If the instruments aren’t enough for you, the vocals will surely finish the job. To keep it short; Insidious has rightfully earned its place unto my daily playlist. Make damn sure to show these talented fellas and their tasty tunes some love, they deserve it.
5: 2×4 – MCMLII
Man, this one turned out to be so much more defining for me than I ever imagined. You see, I like to have a usb stick handy with a shitload of music so I can plug that baby in on the go and drown out all the stress and bullshit from the outside world while driving like a maniac. Like every self-respecting human being should do!. Because of the name, 2×4 is always first. The song Volition is one of the first things I hear hear every morning, and when that sick ass groove kicks in, I MUST FINISH IT, always. The rest of MCMLII naturally follows, so this EP is the most played release of 2015 by a long shot. With a mixture of hardcore and groove from this top-notch caliber, it’s not hard to see why. MCMLII is the perfect album to get you fired up regardless of your state of mind at that time. Jam it with speakers and create an insta-moshpit, do it in a school or hospital, do it in a fucking graveyard for all I care. 2×4 made an EP so potent it can easily bring the dead back to life (zombie moshpits ftw)! With infinite replayability and massive grooves, MCMLII towers above the rest in their genre.
4: Deity – The Hand That Feeds
After the endless hyping from a certain someone (you know who you are haha), I was curious to give The Hand That Feeds a good jamming when it finally released. Needless to say I fucking fell in love with it on the first listen. Looking for a HEAVY album that gets you fired up like an erupting volcano? Look no further! Deity does everything right, they are one of the few bands out there that really UNDERSTAND what gets people pumped. The vicious pacing of the instruments, the gritty/constant vocal assaults, the lyrics (make sure to read up on those), the crusty atmosphere…everything that can be heard on this EP has been fine tuned to perfection. Well worth the hype AND wait!
3: Hater – Navel String
In retrospect, it amazes me that no one used this for a band name before this sick band decided to use it, probably a good thing though, because now you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into with the debut EP Navel String. This isn’t just another ”heavy and angry” band that got shat out the trendmachine like so many others, this baby is next-level material. Yes, it’s heavy and yes, it’s also angry. It just does it SO much better than most others out there. At times it can get slow, like..REAL slow, Hater does an excellent job at dragging you in from the very start but it’s not until things get slow that you’ll start perceiving your surroundings in bullet time and start questioning your own sanity. Once you experienced this feeling once, you can’t let go of it, like a drug it keeps forcing you to go back and listen the whole thing from start to finish, time and time again.Some of the lyrics on Navel String are also some of my personal favorites, maybe because they come real close to things I would’ve written myself if I was in a band. It’s such a shame Hater isn’t more popular right now, I guess people just can’t handle a band that makes REAL heavy music.
2: Slaughter to Prevail – Chapters of Misery
Slaughter to Prevail are a group of Russian beasts that don’t just bring the beef, they slaughter the prey beforehand, probably with their bare hands too (and I’m not talking about fucking happy woodland critters). After Chamber of Malice released their EP last year I was hungry for more of that stuff, and Chapters of Misery definitely delivered it, albeit in a slightly more traditional deathcore style. The extremely addictive blend of death metal slams and pure deathcore savagery will transform even the biggest pussy into a bloodthirsty psychopath (or instantly explode your brain), and that’s just talking about the instrumentals. The vocals that compliment the onslaught are a terrifying thing of a whole different level. Alex Terrible has growls so damn demonic that he probably could pull your spine out through your ass if he wanted to, just by listening to him. So yeah you could say he’s my favorite vocalist of 2015. I love what he does, I love what the band as a whole does, I fucking NEED more of this.
[EP of the Year] Bodysnatcher – Abandonment
Pardon my French, but this fucking shit right here is the crème de la motherfucking crème! This debut EP got released in the first week of 2015 and raised the bar considerably for all similar bands in the process. It seems these good gentlemen have raised the bar so high in fact, that no one has been able to catch up to them yet. This is the first time ever that the earliest release of the year is also the best, now that’s something worth bragging about! I mini-reviewed this release in January and everything I said about it then still holds true now. Abandonment simply is deathcore/beatdown in its most perfect form, more than worthy of recieving the EP of the Year title.
25: Taking Your Last Chance – Gathering of Spite
The new Taking Your Last Chance album sounds like it emerged out of a time machine from 2009, because why fix something if it isn’t broken? If you liked Decorations or deathcore in general (or maybe just from that era), Gathering of Spite will give you much pleasure.
24: Fate Worse Than Death – The Death of Innocence
Even though it’s only half the size of their last release and is pretty much the exact same in every way, Fate Worse Than Death still has that same magic touch that I love so much about them. Cheesy/angry lyrics that always put a big fucking grin on my face and a constant barrage of raunchy breakdowns that would make even Emmure jealous.
23: No Zodiac – Eternal Misery
When you think of a band that combines slam death metal with hardcore you would immediately think of music similar to Chamber of Malice. That’s not exactly what Eternal Misery is though. At its core, Eternal Misery sounds more like a 100% pure beatdown hardcore album, only with instruments tuned for a slam death performance. What you get from all that is something out of the ordinary and extremely vicious; a satisfying album that will surely get your fists flying. If you want diversity you’re better off looking somewhere else, nothing but raw anger here.
22: Xibalba – Tierra Y Libertad
Take No Zodiac and Nails and combine all of their nastiest attributes, slow it down just a little, then add some very pissed off Mexicans to that. The final result is something that the world isn’t ready for. The world wasn’t ready for their previous release, and the same can be said this time around! Xibalba made you wait for it, but you didn’t care, you knew it was worth the wait. Mean, grimey, dark, evil…EVERYTHING on this album is pure fucking metal.
21: Thy Art is Murder – Holy War
I’m sure this one is gonna be on quite a few year-end lists, it’s probably gonna get the Album of the Year award a few times even, but not from me sadly (easy with those pitchforks, hear me out) . While Holy War is a GREAT album that shows the band has matured a lot since they first started, my personal preference still goes to Hate. Maybe it’s because the production here sounds a little..off, or maybe it’s because I dig the straightforward approach more when it comes to albums such as this, who can say. I can be weird like that 😛 . It still is a very solid listen that stands on its own, with plenty of those nasty lyrics you’ve come to expect from TAIM, and for that Holy War deserves a spot on this list.
20: Fit For An Autopsy – Absolute Hope Absolute Hell
In case you didn’t know yet, Nate Johnson left. That was some time ago and I’m STILL bummed about that (I hear that’s his thing so it can’t be helped I guess). This did not stop FFAA luckily, Joe Badolato is more than capable of taking over the task of vocalist. Something he proved with the release of Absolute Hope Absolute Hell, at times I need to remind myself that I’m NOT listening to Nate. The album as a whole sounds like a continuation of Hellbound with some of that new TAIM style thrown in. Sadly, the album doesn’t really tread on new grounds and might be considered a little stale by some. FFAA seems to suffer from the same problem that TAIM currently has; releasing a solid album that can stand on its own, but is not better than previous works. I hope the following album is gonna be something truly mindblowing, FFAA has the potential to make it happen! Until that time comes, I’ll jam Absolute Hope Absolute Hell some more.
19: Depths – The Mortal Compass
Depths always delivers when it comes to bringing that extra meaty beef, so much so that I don’t even doubt it when they announce something new. Of course their latest effort The Mortal Compass is no exception to this rule. Perfect for utterly devastating your surroundings (this includes the ground beneath your feet)!
18: Oceano – Ascendants
The deathcore tyrants of Oceano released a new full-length, so of course it’s on this fucking list! After some good previously released albums, they released a GREAT album with this one right here. Sounding fresh and brutal, Oceano surpassed themselves and reinvented their own sound with the appropriately titled Ascendants. SHIT GOES FUCKING HARD! Just don’t jump into this one expecting something similar to Depths.
17: Ingested – The Architect of Extinction
The third full-length from these UK slam death tyrants, and definitely the most diverse one to date. Though a few songs still struggle to stand out, Ingested have made some big improvements compared to their older work that make The Architect of Extinction one to remember. Sure, the listener can expect the same maniacal drumming and Jay Evans puking his intestines over the floor like always, but the thing I like the most here is the guitar work, for a slam death album you can expect A LOT of nasty string abuse. Whenever a band makes a new album, they always claim its their best work yet, which usually is bullshit if you ask me. This time it is true however, The Architect of Extinction is the new shiny flagship for the entire genre.
16: Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
The only real (progressive) crust album worth mentioning this year. If you like Nails, you WILL dig the fuck out of this, I honestly needed something like this, something EXTRA raw to bash my fucking head to. The progressive parts are something else altogether, it shows a completely different side of Lightless Walk and creates a good concept for those who like to listen to entire albums, personally I think the ”softer” songs make this album more memorable. Even if that’s not really your thing, Lightless Walk has plenty of punishment to go around for any fan of crust, it DEMANDS a good listen every now and then.
15: Culture Killer – Throes of Mankind
From what I’ve seen, this album got nothing but praise for blending modern and classic metal styles together, in a way that no one has done before (that I know of at least). UNIQUE! MASTERPIECE! TIMELESS! Those are some of the words that get slapped around when describing Throes of Mankind. I’ll admit this shit is indeed very soothing; ideal for those long Sunday drives with the whole family. Just listen to it and learn to love it dammit! This includes all those ”chugcore” haters, because you won’t find much of that here ;).
14: Kublai Khan – New Strength
You really know a band does something right when they just keep improving, it’s something that only few can manage once, let alone multiple times. Kublai Khan are among those select few that make it seem way too easy. I loved their stuff since the beginning (like..before it was cool 😛 ) and with each release these guys just get better and better. New Strength features a deliciously thick production that amplifies the raw instrumental assaults and the even rawer hate-spewing vocals to their maximum potential. New Strength is undoubtedly their best album to date. In short: THIS SHIT IS LIT!
13: The Last Ten Seconds of Life – Soulless Hymns
This latest album from TLTSoL is different; the unique song structure and overall music style is a seamless fusion of nu-metal and deathcore. It’s not like anything you ever heard before, even if you heard all the previous releases by this band. Aside from the music itself, the greatest thing about Soulless Hymns is the fact that it’s a prime example as to why you should NEVER judge a book by its cover, or by first impressions. Make no mistake, this is the type of album that gets better the more you listen to it. Once it grows on you, you won’t ever leave home without it. You can tell the band was trying hard to think outside of the box with all kinds of influences scattered all over the album. Soulless Hymns has the potential to become that one heavy album you’ll still be talking about in 10 years, guess we will have to wait and see if that’s the case.
12: LGND (formerly known as Legend) – LGND
Long-awaited for some, total surprise for me. The follow-up to The Pale Horse came completely out of NOWHERE and was one of those albums I didn’t even know I wanted (the best kind). LGND is a little different from its predecessor however, they added cleans! YES! CLEANS! Well fuck this noise then, right? WRONG! Believe it or not, the cleans on here are actually GOOD for a change. This is coming from a person who likes to hate on those whiny bitch ass cleans most ”risecore” bands have, so if you never gave LGND a fair chance because of that, maybe it’s time to get your head out your ass and reconsider 🙂 . What happened in all the years the band was silent you ask? DL (ex-The Acacia Strain) happened, giving LGND a new and reborn sound that sounds like a mix between Killswitch Engage, (old) For the Fallen Dreams with some TAS influences here and there (naturally). Between Chad Ruhlig doing his thing and DL doing his, the band stands stronger than ever, releasing a more than worthy successor.
11: A Legacy Unwritten – Vanitati Mortem
Man…WHAT A FUCKING ALBUM! I suppose you could consider Vanitati Mortem a bigger brother to that Irrita EP, shit’s just downright malicious as fuck. Earth-shattering heaviness, all-round malevolence seeps from your speakers, long after the music has been turned off. Saying A Legacy Unwritten created a rock solid deathcore album wouldn’t do it justice. A legacy Unwritten created an indestructible deathcore album! Once again proving that deathcore is far from dead.
10: Methwitch – Rotting Away
I’m gonna take a guess here; at least 40% of the people that saw the album cover or laughed at the name just moved on without even listening to the music. Such a shame, since Rotting Away is the most complete bang you can ever hope to get for your buck, and it’s all orchestrated by ONE MAN! Cameron McBride does it all SO good that I always get the feeling that I’m listening to a complete band, a sign that a lot of dedication went into making this album. Rotting Away is a complete package with influences from (slam) death metal, grindcore, beatdown effortlessly fused together and then drowned in a bath of distortion and sludge. The people from Chugcore said it best; say hello to your new obsession
9: Introvert – Self-Helpless / Prime Meridian – Prime Meridian
Aww yeah! The boys are back! Like I (and many others) had hoped, Connor and Eric decided that one EP wasn’t enough and have released an impressive follow-up in the form of a full-length album called Self-Helpless. Have they delivered a second time around? Let me just say this; go to their facebook page and check all the reactions. Not ONE person has anything negative to say about this album or the project as a whole for that matter, if that is not a damn good sign I don’t know what is. Listeners can expect plenty of (oh so tasty) distorted guitar abuse, the kind only Eric Fletcher can produce. While Connor swamps you in 30 minutes of raw, emotional anger. In my opinion his vocals have improved quite a bit, easily sounding twice as volatile as before, which you can instantly hear when the first song starts blasting. To top it off Self-Helpless has some impressive guest vocals, names and voices you will surely recognize if you’ve been paying any attention the last two years. They created an unique sound and made it their own, being sad and alone never sounded THIS good before. So, Introvert has returned with massive improvements across the board, what’s not to love? You tell me. Keep a close eye on these dudes, something tells me they’re not gonna stop anytime soon.
If you can’t get enough of Eric’s menacing guitar work, be sure to check out his other project Prime Meridian if you haven’t (seriously, you should know that name by now). They have two albums out, one of which was released very recently and is NOT something that can be overlooked amongst all those other epic late-year releases. Basically if you’re a fan of either of these but don’t know the other, you just got yourself another favorite band. Be prepared to subject your pathetic earholes to 22 minutes of mind melting chaos. You will not be disappointed, promise!
8: Feign – The New World Order
What good would an excellent year be without a BIG last-minute cherry on top? Feign’s very long awaited album The New World Order is a good example why the downtempo/deathcore style became popular in the recent years, delivering their distinct sound of aggression and heaviness once again. Feign promised I would be able to jam this album before Christmas, and they kept that promise. With some songs being straight up anger, and others taking a more atmospheric approach, The New World Order is a complete and diverse listening experience that will always bring a smile on my face. This style of music is far from dead, bands just like this one will make damn sure of that.
7: Traitors – The Hate Campaign
I talked about this highly anticipated follow-up to their self-titled debut, the evolution of their sound, and the impact Traitors made on all heavy music in general before, so I’m not gonna bother explaining it again (spoiler: it’s nothing but praise). If for some reason you have been living under a rock or weren’t interested in it before you just need to know this; if you’re looking for the album with the most MONSTROUS speaker-busting sound that 2015 has produced, this is it, hands down. For all the things The Hate Campaign does right however, there is a flaw that kept it from reaching the #1 spot, a flaw that becomes more annoying over time in my opinion. I’m talking about the excessive interludes that take me out of the vibe TOO MUCH, I ended up removing those tracks and it sounds so much better now haha. Don’t let that discourage you from checking it out though! The Hate Campaign IS the heaviest thing you can feed your subwoofer and is a perfect substitute if you’re looking to end the year with a massive bang but can’t be arsed with the fireworks!
Funny thing is, the new album album hits REAL soon also, so if you’re looking for even more fireworks the day after New Year’s Eve…you’re in luck 😉 .
6: Frontierer – Orange Mathematics
Still not over Danza? Yeah me neither. Still waiting for that new Ion Dissonance to finally drop? Same here. Well then, if you have an unquenchable hunger for some of that good old-fashioned mathcore, this album is what you’re gonna need because it gives you the best of both worlds… and then some! After releasing their debut EP The Collapse back in 2013, the mad mathematician geniuses of Frontierer went to work to give you some more of that good shit, Orange Mathematics is the end result of those efforts, and it pretty much ended up being the soundtrack of the fucking apocalypse! Prepare to be engulfed in a downpour of chaos and dissonance you won’t find anywhere else. Nearly 50 minutes of sun-exploding insanity await those who dare to listen from beginning to end. Orange Mathematics is unquestionably the album with the most intensity this year, even a black hole is afraid to go near this nasty motherfucker.
5: Dealey Plaza – Deliver Us
Didn’t I tell you this was gonna be their year? Well they fucking delivered at that! Dealey Plaza made HUGE steps in the right direction already with Provoke the Human, cementing their own unique deathcore sound. With Deliver Us the band added more beatdown and slam elements to the mix. With this full-length being a DIY release, the band had time to perfect every little detail, with the final production being something absolutely LETHAL. Deliver Us has everything any fan of all things heavy could ever want, and it all has been executed flawlessly. I’ll be banging my head to this one for a long time to come. What epic material will the band release next?
4: Black Tongue – The Unconquerable Dark
After releasing two genre-changing EP’s that some already consider legendary additions to their music collection, the Hull City Hate Crew had some huge shoes to fill with their first full length. Luckilly, Black Tongue filled those shoes with cement and threw them in the deepest hole they could find (that would be the second pair of big ass shoes they filled). The thing with The Unconquerable Dark is that when you decide to listen to the whole album, that listening to something different afterwards will sound boring in comparison (trust me on this), definitely the signs of a true masterpiece wouldn’t you agree? If you prefer the more traditional ”low n slow” downtempo sound, scroll down a little. If you want something different, something so ferocious and sinister I can’t even describe it with words or genres, go jam The Unconquerable Dark right now. Not one other album like this one is out there, it’s far more than just doing the same thing over and over, The Unconquerable Dark is a true evolution for the band. Looks like Black Tongue found their perfect sound. When ”doomcore” becomes the next big trend (and I hope it will), you heard it here first folks.
3: xKINGx – The Gathering
”You just couldn’t leave it alone could you? You just HAD to know what was behind that ominous red door”, is what you will be saying to yourself once you start listening to The Gathering. Once the door is opened, a large demonic hand shoots out and drags you down to the deepest abyss. You’ll be wishing you went to hell once you reach your destination, because what lies in front is much, much worse! In the pitch black darkness stand fourteen legendary brutes, each patiently awaiting their turn to bash you within an inch of your pathetic life. you won’t die but you will experience a new level of suffering, for what seems to be an eternity. The hosts of this torturous nightmare are LA heavyweights xKINGx, and they plan to make you their bitch for the coming 66 minutes. Yes, this full-length release is over an hour long! It’s also one of the purest downtempo releases ever concieved. I knew xKINGx was working on something, but at the time I had no idea it was gonna be a full-length, because most similar sounding bands just release an EP, or a ”full-length” that’s around 30 minutes. I also was pleasantly surprised when I saw all the guests featured on this album…like DAYUM, here I thought that Doomsday Mourning was overdoing it, all damn good vocalists too. The Gathering saves me the trouble of making my own compilations by already giving me everything I’m looking for, each song has its own things to bring to the table, and I can tell they were worked hard on. Instead of just trying to fill two or three minutes with downtempo breakdowns, xKINGx try to get under your skin with switching it up so you keep guessing what’s next, making such a lengthy album diverse, replayable and haunting as fuck. Whatever direction the boys of xKINGx (or just KING, shit’s getting confusing haha) will take in the future, The Gathering will be remembered as a downtempo masterpiece and a milestone for the genre as a whole, at least by me. Not a week goes by without listening to The Gathering from beginning to end.
2: Enterprise Earth – Patient 0
Have you ever experienced that ”flow” when listening to an album? When all the elements from beginning to end just click with the listener, albums like that are very rare for me, though many others came real close this year. Patient 0 proved to be such an album. I think it’s funny how an album with insane amounts of chaotic technicality always manages to be on the front lines of my lists that are mostly filled with downtempo and hardcore. When I heard Patient 0 for the first time I fell in love instantly, like…I would literally fuck it if I could! Instrumentals, Atmosphere, Vocals, production, ALL OF IT is truly flawless. Enterprise Earth crushes the competition and breathes new life into the deathcore genre with the long-awaited release of this ESSENTIAL album for any fan of heavy music, especially deathcore. Don’t enter the new year without Patient 0.
Enterprise Earth would have been the band to take home the Album of the Year award, if not for one other contender that came out on the same date.
[Album of the Year] Spite – Spite
If you would take all the angriest metal music I listened to in the last 15 years and mixed it all into one album, the end result would be something very similar to Spite’s freshly released full-length Spite. Most bands have this one song where shit REALLY hits the fucking fan, even bands that play angry music all the time have those special angry snowflakes that are remembered for their insane bloodthirst and uncompromising lyrical content. Spite’s debut full-length release does not have a song that stands out from the others, simply because they are ALL the angriest they can be. Every song is as hateful and bitter as the last. You see people, THIS is what I still want the most from metal music. The thought of someone completely losing their shit (vocalist Darius Tehran sounds like he does that all the time) in a raging psychotic frenzy is soothing to me, and pumps me up so much I could take a nest of young kittens and smash them through a concrete wall (no worries, wouldn’t actually do that, I love cats 😉 ). When it comes down to it, listening to a good amount of swearing and intent to kill someone is all you need after (or before) a shitty day. The problem is that most bands can’t make it sound good anymore without sounding generic or overdone. Spite proved it CAN be done, with this monster right here. Hard work and endless effort is dripping from everything you hear. It’s groovy, heavy, malicious, diverse and each song has something memorable, ensuring it won’t get lost in the endless pile of mediocrity. Spite Also has enormous replay value, it only released about two weeks ago and I already pumped out enough listens to make up for the whole damn year, and it even gets better with each listen. Ranging from nu-metal to deathcore and various other influences in between, Spite gives it their all with the angriest lyrics imaginable. I know it’s a thing to hate on bands such as this by elitist douches who don’t like anything that doesn’t have a billion guitar sweeps, or anything at all that was released in this millenium, well FUCK THEM, I’m creaming all over the fucking place so Spite must be doing something right! My quest to find new music is never over, I always need more, but it feels like Spite is that album that I was searching for all this time, I don’t feel the need to find more metal at the moment, I only feel the need to jam this baby over and over, it’s everything I could have hoped for. Spite was WELL worth the long wait (only a year has passed since their EP Misery but seemed like an eternity). My new go-to angry album is without a doubt the Album of the Year 2015.
Honorable Mentions (in random order)
Gouge – Kicked Teeth
Mirrors – Mirrors
I Am – Memento Mori
Sleep Therapy – Sleep Therapy
Spit – 189
Bloodline – III
Bereavement – Judgment
Recurrence – Uninvited
Crafting the Conspiracy – Human Error
Fatal Offense – The Spiral
Hounds – 1129
Harm’s Way – Rust
Restrains – Drowntown (remaster)
Manège Noir – MMXV
Zealot – Unwanted | Unloved
Upheaval – Cathegrism
Amber Sea – Infantile Vision
Lordis – Thin Line
Drag the Lake – Live Together – Die Alone
Bermuda – Use Your Burdens
I wouldn’t even give a shit if nothing released in 2016, I still have so much albums here to hold me over for a long time to come.