Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top Ten Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album’s of 2015

    Another year has come and gone with plenty of great releases to pick from, but only ten shall make this list. Alright, here are my picks:

10. Trials “This Ruined World” 

    Really enjoyed this Chicago based band’s diverse sound. You get a blend of thrash and progressive hard rock that molds one head crushing release. The music expresses such raw emotion and the lyrics are just as heavy as the riffs. I would even call this a guitar players album, because the riffs never cease to lose their strength and the sound is well captured by the album’s recording quality. Although the Cubs did not win the World Series this year(And most likely not this coming year), I think the people of Chicago can be proud of Trial’s new album. 

9. Vastum “Hole Below”

    Bay Area old school style death metal to grip your soul with unbelievable terror and brutality. Really impressed by their extreme songwriting skills. Also, the recording for this album is truly evil sounding as if it were recorded in the stinky smelly gutters of hell...a smell similar to that of the Oakland Harbor. All fans of the underground will rejoice when hearing this release. If you want a more in depth review of the album, you can find one on this blog in a previous post. 

8. Rivers of Nihil “Monarchy”

    Sometimes when I see a band live before listening to an album, I find that I have a better appreciation for the songs. I had only listened to the single from this album, but once I saw Rivers of Nihil perform live, I immediately started listening to the entire album. If you want a full guitar sound that hits hard and does not become boring after the first five riffs, this is the album to check out. Also, I found the instrumentals on the album to be well arranged and compliment the release’s overall atmosphere. Lastly, Dan Seagrave’s album art is out of this world!

7.  Abstracter "Wound Empire"

    A Bay Area sludge outfit that creates massive sounding musical worlds of unforgiving doom. Their sound could be used in a film where someone is walking amongst the ruins of a post-apocalyptic society. Also, the band skillfully constructs these dynamic atmospheres to achieve one of the most behemoth sounding releases to come out this year. Most people would not expect sludge metal to offer up such a dynamic sound, but that is what I think makes Abstracter such a solid band. I hope there will be more top quality releases from these guys in the future. 

6. Tempel “The Moon Lit Our Path” 

    A two piece from Arizona that knows how to create epic sounding instrumental metal music. There are some black metal style compositions, then there are some death metal style compositions, and then they add in some acoustic music to give the album a cinematic effect. Just really good instrumental metal music which creates an impressive sounding world that does not need any lyrics to get the imaginations of listeners to start working. Hollywood should get these guys to score a movie, because most of your movies coming out need something extra to justify an increase in prices! 

5. Royal Thunder “Crooked Doors”

    For their sophomore album Royal Thunder did not disappoint and created some powerful songs. Probably one of the best hard rock albums to come out this year. Also, singer and bassist Miny Parsonz sounded phenomenal on the album. The song “Time Machine,” sends chills up my spine and is a track that features deep raw musical expression that you will not hear from any crap pop or rap artist. Royal Thunder is another example of why rock is still alive...Gene Simmons you better hold off on your rock is dead comment.  

4. Helloween “My God Given Right”

    The German power metal icons do not fail to keep the music alive and kicking. When first putting the CD into my car I was hoping to hear them continue the solid sound that they had established with their last release, “Straight Out of Hell.” To be honest, I think this new album is even better than “Straight Out of Hell.” The band’s two guitar attack is elevated to an even greater level with more triumphant melodic leads and bombastic riffs. The songwriting is very solid and the band knows how to write catchy lyrics. They may be getting older, but they sure don’t sound like it! 

3. Egypt “Endless Flight” 

    Better late than never! This album came out in December of this year, so I almost did not add it to this list. Well, after a few days of listening to the album over and over again, I decided to throw it in the mix. This band is easily one of my favorite doom bands around and their sound is extremely solid. Egypt’s debut release, “Become the Sun,” was actually my number one album of 2013. This new offering continues their heavy grooving doom rock sound while adding some really catchy bluesy style riffs. The album’s recording quality is another high point and sounds as if it was recorded back in the seventies with vintage gear. Since the album came out so late, I think I will be still listening to it by the end of 2016! 

2. Scale the Summit “V” 

    These guys right here are probably one of the best modern progressive rock bands around. I thought the band’s last album was a brilliant mind bending release, but “V” is musically unbelievable. The production is top notch, the compositions are extremely well written and the band takes progressive rock into a new realm of instrumental imagination. Scale the Summit hits a progressive instrumental rock home run. I understand some people may not be fans of a strictly instrumental album, but for those of you who are looking for a great instrumental rock/metal album, this is one I would not hesitate to recommend. 

1. Night Demon “Curse of the Damned” 

    So here it #1 album of the year. Looks like Rush did not release a new studio album, so they will not be appearing in the number one spot. Instead Night Demon’s debut release, “Curse of the Damned,” is the album that I think kicked total metal ass the entire year. Since releasing the album back in January, the Ventura, CA based trio has been touring relentlessly. These guys are passionate about heavy metal and their drive to create exciting old school NWOBHM type music is what makes “Curse of the Damned” stand out from the rest. Also, the songwriting is flawless and consistently enjoyable. Each song on the album is important and worth noting, so to pick one favorite track can be a difficult task. I do believe fans of traditional heavy metal will come to recognize Night Demon’s ambitious drive to inject some new life into an old style of metal that is still in high demand. As I have said numerous times since the band released their four song EP, they are going to really make an impact in the metal world. Be on the look out for more great material from Night Demon in the future! 

    There you have it folks! Those are my top ten albums of 2015. If you want to maybe throw out some albums that you felt should have been added, please feel free to comment below. Can’t wait for what 2016 has to offer!

1 comment:

  1. Liked the diversity of music styles on your top ten list.