2015


My top 50 albums from 2015. Very strong year for pretty much every major genre. Lots of unheralded albums in my top 15 this year.

Created by: Neachy | 21.01.2015



1. Abyssal - Antikatastaseis
(9.5) (Blackened Death/Doom) There is a fair amount of shoegaze-style metal here. Is this post-death metal? Abyssal has broadened their sound from their previous album Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. While no where near as dense as their previous effort, the more atmospheric nature of this album serves to create crescendos and be more memorable and dare I say... accessible?
2. Misþyrming - Söngvar Elds Og óreiðu
(9) (Black) Iceland does not fuck around when it comes to black metal. Dark, heavy and dissonant while still maintaining enough melody and rhythm to be thoroughly memorable. Guitars have a DsO style and tone but the drums and bass often steal the show. I tend to favor black metal (and metal in general, really) that features the bass high in the mix, or at least audible. Here the bass is doing much more than just setting bland low end tones. It takes center stage at numerous points throughout, laying down fantastic grooves complemented perfectly by superb drumming. Even the two ambient tracks which serve as a midpoint interlude and closing track, are eerie and haunting in just the right way. Finally, the roaring, vitriolic vocals are at exactly the right level in the mix, not overbearing, not too buried.
3. Akhlys - The Dreaming I
(9) (Black/Dark Ambient) I've never been impressed by Naas Alcameth's other band Nightbringer. Because of this, I didn't expect much from this album. But this is leaps and bounds better than what I remember of Nightbringer. The centerpiece 'Consummation' is the highlight of the album. The track begins and ends with insanely fast bass drumming and hazy but ferocious tremolo picking taking a backseat in the mix to comparatively nonchalant cymbal work creating a rather unusual dynamic. Little things like this throughout the album lend charm to an otherwise bleak and terrorizing record.
4. Gnaw Their Tongues - N.V. [Collaboration]
(9) (Black/Death/Noise) To me this is significantly better than GTT's full length from earlier this year. Suitably nightmarish for a collaboration between these two bands.
5. Kyomdarak - 灰の中に宿る意思
(9) (Ambient Black/Noise/Grind) Haven't seen anyone anywhere talking about this band/project out of Japan. Reminds me of Gnaw Their Tongues but I kind of like this better. Buzzsaw layered riffs, insane programmed drums, grind style Schizophrenic screaming along with haunting samples and keyboards. This is absolutely worth your time and is pay what you want (along with the rest of their already deep discography) on bandcamp.
6. Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom
(9) (Black/Death) Listen. Now.
7. Ego Depths - Dýrtangle
(8.5) (Extreme Doom) Fucking terrific funeral doom/extreme doom. Use of eastern folk instruments in an avant-garde manner creates a unique and jarring experience. This might be better than his last album.
8. Cruciamentum - Charnel Passages
(8.5) (Death) Finally, the long awaited debut full length from this underground UK band. They do not disappoint. Dark, heavy and unforgiving. Death metal done right. The cover art is among the best of the year so far.
9. Obsequiae - Aria Of Vernal Tombs
(8.5) (Blackened Folk/Melodic Black) A standout extreme folk album in the vein of Agalloch and Saor's work. Sounds beautiful on headphones. Not raw by any means but not over produced.
10. Elder - Lore
(8.5) (Psychedelic/Stoner) One of the better stoner albums I've heard from the past few years. The vocal hooks aren't as catchy as those on 2011's Dead Roots Stirring but the vast instrumental jams are even more compelling. At times I'm reminded of one of my favorite instrumental stoner jam bands Earthless. There's plenty of guitar heroics here. The 5 tracks range between 9 and half and 16 minutes which is about my limit for attention span for individual tracks.
11. CHRCH - Unanswered Hymns
(8.5) (Stoner Doom) Massive sound as befits the genre. Fantastic sections where they let off the gas and get into psychedelic atmospheric exploration takes this to the next level.
12. Ur Draugr - With Hunger Undying
(8.5) (Extreme Progressive) This band has a similar approach to their sound as mid-era Opeth and Enslaved, sans unnecessary clean vocals. Very well done heavy sections with folksy acoustic passages interwoven throughout.
13. Tod Huetet Uebel - Malícia
(8.5) (Black) Insane shit out of Portugal.
14. Amestigon - Thier
(8) (Black) They certainly don't shy away from guitar solos on this album. Excellent overall sound. Lags at points but that is to be expected when each of the four tracks is over ten minutes long. Overall, kind of reminds me of Schammasch's Contradiction with less death metal influence.
15. Desolate Shrine - The Heart Of The Netherworld
(8) (Death) I only discovered this band in November 2014. Their previous effort The Sanctum of Human Darkness is one of the best albums I've heard in my life. So when I saw that yet another potential gem was only 2 months away I was giddy. However, my giddiness was tempered with the knowledge that most of time when I'm highly anticipating an album, it disappoints because I set my expectations too high. The Heart of The Netherworld does not disappoint. While not quite as claustrophobia-inducing as The Sanctum, it is as filthy a slab of extreme genre mixing as you'll find. There is plenty for black metal, death metal and extreme doom fans to love about this album and this band.
16. Leviathan - Scar Sighted
(8) (Black/Blackened Doom) Solid return to form for Wrest. Each track is good to great on its own but after numerous spins, I just don't like how the album flows. The last three tracks take a definite blackened doom route that sounds like it belongs on a separate release.
17. Creeping - Revenant
(8) (Blackened Death/Doom) Nothing too outstanding or original going on here. But it hits all the right notes for my taste. Short and sweet at 32 minutes doesn't overstay its welcome.
18. Satan - Atom By Atom
(8) (Heavy) Fun, riff-tastic old school heavy metal.
19. Cloud Rat - Qliphoth
(8) (Grindcore) I guess you could call this 'mature' grindcore. It's been quite a while since I've stumbled on grindcore I've even remotely enjoyed. The nuance and willingness to slow down for numerous brooding sections makes this album memorable. The songwriting and performance are top notch as well.
20. Slugdge - Dim & Slimeridden Kingdoms
(8) (Blackened Death) Slugs and riffs. Same story for this productive and consistent band.
21. Ahab - The Boats Of The Glen Carrig
(8) (Funeral Doom) Gone are the post elements of The Giant. Less plodding that their first two albums. Slow, clean almost jazzy sections break up the heaviness. Not a fan of the clean vocals though.
22. Corpo-Mente - Corpo-Mente
(8) (Modern Classical/Downtempo Breakcore) Here we have Gautier Serre of Igorrr stripping away the vast majority of the extremity of his Igorrr style. Add vocals courtesy of Laure Le Prunenec of Öxxö Xööx. What we are left with is a product much less jarring than the schizophrenic works of Igorrr. This album is meticulously structured, skillfully produced and beautifully performed.
23. Crypt Sermon - Out Of The Garden
(8) (Doom) I usually don't give a shit about traditional doom. Being on Dark Descent I figured I'd give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. The aesthetic here is traditional doom but the guitars have a tinge of stoner to them. Vocals are clean and remind me of a mix of Bruce Dickinson and Mike Scheidt of Yob.
24. Tyranny - Aeons In Tectonic Interment
(8) (Funeral Doom) Evil and intense for what I've heard from this genre recently.
25. Black Earth - A Cryptic Howl Of Morbid Truth
(8) (Dark Ambient/Black/Noise) A nice soundtrack for slipping into insanity. This album is Mories-like in its ability to instill a sense of uneasiness in the listener. If you're searching for riffs, look elsewhere. I imagine this could be a soundtrack to what went on in Jack Torrance's head as he lost his mind in The Shining.
26. Valkyrie - Shadows
(8) (Heavy/Stoner) This is a side band of Pete Adams guitarist of Baroness. I strongly disliked Baroness' most recent album so I really didn't know what to expect out of this. Unlike Yellow & Green this album allows Pete to really show off his riffing and soloing chops. Vocals on the album are hit and miss. Didn't care for the first track sounding like a heavier version of The Black Keys. The rest of the album has more interesting riffing and more melodic vocals.
27. Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part I
(8) (Black/Death) This band consists of two of the three members of Czech black metal outfit Cult Of Fire. As the album title suggests, this is meant to be an exploration of different world culture's death rituals. Without reading a lyric sheet, what we really get here is a very diverse, well performed album of blackened death metal.
28. Below The Sun - Envoy
(8) Atmospheric Doom
29. Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
(8) (Stoner Doom) Pretty same-y throughout in the rhythm section but that's to be expected in the genre. Nice hazy vocals and guitar solos. Well done overall and very listenable.
30. Barús - Barús
(8) (Death) Excellent riffs, terrific production and rather unique vocals make this EP stand out from the crowd.
31. Izah - Sistere
(8) (Post-Sludge) "In four heavy atmospheric compositions IZAH takes the listener from serene post-rock passages to crushing hardcore grooves, from dark ambient to free form noise and from hypnotising black metal to massive walls of sludge" - their bandcamp. A very enjoyable, if quite lengthy album at 72 minutes. Best post-metal of the year so far.
32. Batushka - Litourgiya
(8) (Black) Darker and heavier than I expected. Nice full, fleshed out sound to the mix. The chanting gives that memorable character to the album.
33. Callisto - Secret Youth
(8) (Post-Metal) One of the few post-metal albums utilizing mostly clean vocals that I have enjoyed. Not an especially heavy album. The vocals steal the show despite solid instrumentation.
34. Horrendous - Anareta
(7.5) OSDM
35. Volahn - Aq'Ab'Al
(7.5) Black
36. Autokrator - Autokrator
(7.5) Death/Sludge/Drone
37. Macabre Omen - Gods Of War - At War
(7.5) Pagan Black
38. VI - De Praestgiis Angelorum
(7.5) Black
39. Vastum - Hole Below
(7.5) Death
40. Chaos Echús - Transient
(7.5) Blackened Death/Doom
41. Sulphur Aeon - Gateway To The Antisphere
(7.5) Death
42. Imperial Triumphant - Abyssal Gods
(7.5) Avant-Garde Black
43. Serpent Noir - Erotomysticism
(7.5) Black
44. Downfall Of Nur - Umbras De Barbagia
(7.5) Atmospheric Black/Folk
45. Bong - We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been
(7.5) Drone/Doom
46. Melechesh - Enki
(7.5) Melodic Black
47. Sivyj Yar - Burial Shrouds
(7.5) Pagan Melodic Black
48. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
(7.5) Doom/Death
49. Tribulation - The Children Of The Night
(7.5) Progressive Blackened Death 'n' Roll
50. Echoes Of The Moon - Entropy
(7.5) Atmospheric Black



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Neachy ]



Comments page 2 / 2

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Comments: 48   Visited by: 196 users
30.04.2015 - 19:55
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Written by mz on 30.04.2015 at 14:40

I wanted to have some recs for you on your list.
Anyways, have you heard Serpentrance - Besieged Sanctum? One of my favs this year. They also got reviewed by cvlt nation finaly today.
Also, Vaee Solid - Adversarial Light is something you'd love I think. Very interesting take on extreme doom.

I have heard neither of those, but I will give them a go today! Thanks for the recs.
Also, good boy Neachy. Glad to see Akhlys and yourself hit it off well
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get that bag
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03.05.2015 - 23:04
Ilham
Giant robot
Written by mz on 27.04.2015 at 06:18

Have you heard AKHLYS- The Dreaming I yet? Done by the guy of nightbringer. It's one of the better records I've heard this year
http://dmp666.bandcamp.com/album/the-dreaming-i
PS: also @ Ilham.

Sorry I'm not much on the forum these days. Yeah something Nightbringer-ish would defo be my cup of tea, thanks for bringing my attention to it!
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13.06.2015 - 18:03
mz
Personally off with the music these days again, but I think you will like this :
AION-Verses of Perdition
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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15.06.2015 - 03:36
Neachy
Written by mz on 13.06.2015 at 18:03

Personally off with the music these days again, but I think you will like this :
AION-Verses of Perdition


Nice. Thanks, I'll definitely check that out. I've slowed my listening pace recently as well. Life gets in the way. I saw Cruciamentum is releasing a debut full length on Profound Lore some time relatively soon which got me excited.
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16.06.2015 - 18:07
Lethrokai
Going through this, I've got to say I'm really digging the jazzy stuff you've got here. Naughty Professor and The Kadinsky Effect are amazing.
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Sometimes you just need to roll the dice and look away.
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17.06.2015 - 00:01
Neachy
Written by Lethrokai on 16.06.2015 at 18:07

Going through this, I've got to say I'm really digging the jazzy stuff you've got here. Naughty Professor and The Kadinsky Effect are amazing.


I'm glad I could help you find something you like. Listening to good jazz music is often how I wind down after too much metal.
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28.06.2015 - 20:37
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
I can't believe I haven't suggested it yet, but you should totally check out Kamasi Washington's "The Epic"! It's a massive (3 disc) free jazz/orchestrated album that clocks in at 172 minutes and is fucking unreal. Here's a little taste of what to expect throughout this fucking behemoth of an album
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get that bag
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13.07.2015 - 23:23
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Your list is so fucking big, I apologize if this is on it.
ETM | bandcamp

Dat opening riff tho...
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rekt
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13.07.2015 - 23:31
ZafÞ
Phlegmish
Written by tea[m]ster on 13.07.2015 at 23:23

Your list is so fucking big, I apologize if this is on it.
ETM | bandcamp

Dat opening riff tho...

Just a tip for list-exploring:
If you want to suggest something but don't wanna go through the entire list to make sure it's not there yet, just use control + f and type in the name of the album or artist. That way you find it if it's there.
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And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
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13.07.2015 - 23:38
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Written by ZafÞ on 13.07.2015 at 23:31

Just a tip for list-exploring:
If you want to suggest something but don't wanna go through the entire list to make sure it's not there yet, just use control + f and type in the name of the album or artist. That way you find it if it's there.

Thanks, I did not know that.
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rekt
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23.07.2015 - 03:15
Neachy
Written by Alex F on 28.06.2015 at 20:37

I can't believe I haven't suggested it yet, but you should totally check out Kamasi Washington's "The Epic"! It's a massive (3 disc) free jazz/orchestrated album that clocks in at 172 minutes and is fucking unreal. Here's a little taste of what to expect throughout this fucking behemoth of an album


Thanks Alex. I thoroughly enjoyed the track you sent me. I'll have to find the whole thing somewhere.
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23.07.2015 - 03:17
Neachy
Written by tea[m]ster on 13.07.2015 at 23:23

Your list is so fucking big, I apologize if this is on it.
ETM | bandcamp

Dat opening riff tho...


It wasn't but it is now Thanks for the recommendation!
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30.08.2015 - 21:30
Chobo_jokeR
Very nice list. Listened to a number of these albums and agree with the majority of your assessments.

I was just curious what you don't like about the cleans on the new Ahab album? Have you never liked his cleans or was it just on this album? I love his clean vocals, so I was just curious.
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04.09.2015 - 23:41
Neachy
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 30.08.2015 at 21:30

I was just curious what you don't like about the cleans on the new Ahab album? Have you never liked his cleans or was it just on this album? I love his clean vocals, so I was just curious.


They just strike me as corny. I don't recall being put off by his vocals before. Cleans aren't used on The Call Of The Wretched Sea which is the album of theirs that I still go back to with any frequency. I can appreciate that his vocal range has increased since that album though.
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13.09.2015 - 22:03
Chobo_jokeR
Written by Neachy on 04.09.2015 at 23:41


They just strike me as corny. I don't recall being put off by his vocals before. Cleans aren't used on The Call Of The Wretched Sea which is the album of theirs that I still go back to with any frequency. I can appreciate that his vocal range has increased since that album though.


Makes sense to me. I would agree they are a little over the top, but for some reason I just connect with them.

I've found The Boats of The Glen Carrig to be their most addicting album, someone else had mentioned it on their band page as well. That being said, all of their albums are unique in their own way, and I appreciate The Call Of The Wretched Sea for entirely different reasons. I truly enjoy the sound clippings they put into the album from the movie. I feel like they really add to the album, on top of it being absolutely devastating to begin with.
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16.09.2015 - 10:03
Zreenco
Cruciamentum, omg!! Thanks
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11.12.2015 - 12:29
Zreenco
Grey Heaven Fall! how is this band so 'unknown' is beyond me....
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11.12.2015 - 19:42
Neachy
Written by Zreenco on 11.12.2015 at 12:29

Grey Heaven Fall! how is this band so 'unknown' is beyond me....


They're on a very small record label and Russian bands don't seem to get much exposure in the west. All we can do is spread the word.
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