ToH Writers Best of 2k15: Leif Bearikson, Dr. K., and Ron Deuce

In this, the first of our writers’ year end posts, a handsome bear, a handsome Ph.D., and a handsome gangster jedi share their choices for best albums of the year. Celebrate good times, come on!

Leif Bearikson

10. Napalm Death Apex Predator – Easy Meat | Century Media

30 plus years into their career 90% of bands are coasting on, at best, the first half of their discography and using newer releases as an excuse to go tour. 30 plus years into their career and Napalm Death is releasing some of the absolute finest and most essential music they’ve ever penned. They not only stick with their grindier roots on tracks like “Smash a Single Digit” but aren’t afraid make things incredibly weird and uncomfortable on cuts like the opening industrial dirge of “Apex Predator – Easy Meat.”

Listen to – “Smash a Single Digit

9. Pale Chalice Negate the Infinite and Miraculous | Gilead Media

The first of a lot of black metal newcomers to grace this list, Pale Chalice’s Negate the Infinite and Miraculous is lean and absolutely vicious. If Fujin’s fatality where he uses a tornado to skin his opponent alive belonged to a cooler character and had a soundtrack, it would be this album.


Listen to – “Bound by Intransigent Flight

8. Slugdge Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms | Independent

In the world of heavy music, where albums are routinely about unicorns and Tolkien masturbation, should we be surprised that a band themed around intergalactic slug domination has crafted one of the best death metal releases of the year? This album is so full of riffs, leads and vocal hooks that it’s almost overwhelming upon first listen. If this is what our our future sounds like under slimey rule then I, for one, welcome our new gastropod overlords.

Listen to – “Spore Ensemble

7. Cattle Decapitation The Anthropocene Extinction | Metal Blade Records

Cattle Decapitation probably could have just opted to phone in the follow up to their breakthrough record Monolith of Inhumanity, but instead they trended even further into melodic territory and crafted a more cohesive album. The playing at times feels intentionally restrained, which helps the songs feel focused, but never enough to make them feel dumbed down. Another album of anthems about watching everyone die slowly and horribly. A Winner.

Listen to – “Clandestine Ways (Krokodil Rot)

6. Blood Incantation Interdimensional Extinction | Dark Descent Records

Yes it’s an EP, but it’s an EP containing 18 minutes of some of the most awesome (in the actual definition) and weird death metal released this year. Blood Incantation take the robes and the spaceship and continue the strange space/death odyssey that Timeghoul abandoned all those years ago and do a damn incredible job piloting the ship. It doesn’t hurt that they throw in way more ass ripping solos.

Listen to – “The Vth Tablet (Of Enûma Eliš)

5. Misþyrming Söngvar elds og óreiðu | Terratur Possessions/Fallen Empire Records

An absolute gem of a black metal album released in a year full of great ones. The songs presented here frequently break from the black metal cold mold and are all the more infectious for it. If you’ve ever thought your tremolo picking could use some wicked circus tune injections (or more awesome guitar tone) you need this album in your life immediately. Hell, you probably need it regardless.

Listen to – “Söngur uppljómunar

4. Tribulation Children of the Night | Century Media

I remember telling the Masterlord not long after this album was released that it didn’t do anything for me. His heart broke and he cried for 3 months straight [W. – He’s still crying]. After his period of mourning I saw this album on sale for $6 and thought I’d give it another chance. After sitting down with some headphones and no distractions I was blown away. Vaguely black-ish death-ish metal can “rock”, and Tribulation prove it.

Listen to – “Strange Gateways Beckon

3. False Untitled | Gilead Media

The first full length from Minneapolis’ False is a doozy. As bleak and venomous as anything released this year, Untitled sounds like it’s covered in a haze and the only thing that can cut through is the fury of the band. Even the keyboards sound pissed off. If Pale Chalice tore your skin off, then False was wearing it eating your meat and beating strangers to death with your bones.

Listen to – “Hedgecraft

2. Mgła Exercises in Futility | Northern Heritage/No Solace

I’m sure there are going to be a lot more people who comment on this album with much more eloquence than myself, so I’ll leave it at this: Mgła are the best black metal band going today and Exercises in Futility reinforces this tenfold. If you don’t feel anything while listening to this record, you’re dead inside. DEAD. IN. SIDE.

Listen to – “Exercises in Futility V

1. Horrendous Anareta | Dark Descent Records

Horrendous have proven that they’re ready for the death metal crown, and if their output keeps trending like this I will give them every goddamn crown that they want. Leaning in a direction that more heavily favors Death and setting their sights on space, Horrendous have leapfrogged everything they’ve ever done, as well as their contemporaries. You can read more of my words on this subject here.

Listen to – “Ozymandias

Jason Kolkey

10. Ecstatic VisionSonic Praise | Relapse

I occasionally find myself questioning whether it’s a good thing that music fans in general, and especially those of us in the metal and hard rock scene, have embraced so many ‘70s throwback acts. Shouldn’t we reserve our money and adulation for musicians who are doing something truly original? On the other hand, this is an album of fantastic, catchy space rock that answers the question, “What would it be like if Lemmy had been a true frontman during his tenure in Hawkwind?” The answer is, of course, it would have been freaking awesome. This record rules, and this band stole the show when I saw them recently with Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats.

Exercises in futility LP 2015 cover art9. Mgła – Exercises in Futility | Northern Heritage/No Solace

This is some high-quality black metal set apart from its peers by remarkably infectious, melodic riffage and excellent musicianship. The Polish duo place an unusual emphasis on the bleak, largely comprehensible lyrics, and by leaving aside the Satanism and romantic nature worship that black metal vocalists usually croak about, vocalist/guitarist/bassist M. brings something much darker and more compelling to the table.

8. Faith No More –  Sol Invictus | Reclamation/Ipecac

Just before the release of this album, I got to see Faith No More in a small club on my thirtieth birthday. That went a long way to taking the sting out of leaving my twenties behind. I find the album similarly comforting – a band I have counted among my favorites for most of my life firing off another (last?) volley of eccentrically genre-bending rock songs. It’s no Angel Dust or King for a Day, but on tracks like “Matador” and “Cone of Shame” it comes damn close.

Abyss cover art7. Chelsea WolfeAbyss | Sargent House

Chelsea Wolfe collaborated with Russian Circles guitarist Mike Sullivan on her most metal album yet, and some lovely contrasts emerge as a result of the more pronounced doom metal and industrial touches. Wolfe’s voice manages to retain much of the seductive singer-songwriter intimacy that characterized material on previous records. Meanwhile, the production and instrumentation double down on Swans-influenced oppressive heaviness she previously only dabbled in.

Slaves Beyond Death6. Black BreathSlaves Beyond Death | Southern Lord

Like a lot of people, I got into Black Breath when they put out Sentenced to Life in 2012. I was a little surprised when I got my first taste of their new material  during their tour with Goatwhore and heard how radically they had reduced their sound’s d-beat and hardcore elements. They have become a pure death metal band on this latest record, but neither their songwriting nor the viciousness of their HM-2 assault have suffered for it.

5. Tau CrossTau Cross | Relapse

I like Amebix, I like Voivod, and I like bands that infuse a bit of crust into other metal and punk styles. Hence, I have greatly enjoyed the debut from this project featuring Rob Miller and Michel Langevin, along with members of crust bands Misery and War/Plague. There is a definite trend of musicians with backgrounds in heavier music showing some love for post-punk (see Publicist U.K. and Grave Pleasures), and I for one applaud it, especially when – as on this record – it comes with great hooks.

4. PanopticonAutumn Eternal | Birdrune

Another year, another excellent seasonally themed album from this one-man project. Austin Lunn continues to display his impressive technical ability and facility for crafting compelling riffs and melodies. However, on this record he fuses his influences from atmospheric black metal, post-rock, and bluegrass more fully than he ever has before (though, to be honest, I kind of wish he would more often fully embrace the folk as he did on a couple Kentucky tracks).  This was my favorite driving music in the waning days of fall, and I think it will join October Rust and My Arms Your Hearse as a perennial record for the season.

3. TribulationThe Children of the Night | Century Media

There’s probably no band save Gwar whose stage attire so perfectly matches their sound as Tribulation. The combination of 70s-style rock star attire with corpse paint nicely sums up the approach of their latest album at a glance. Bands like Satyricon and the now-vilified Nachtmystium approached similar territory, but Tribulation have crafted a truly great album out of thoroughly melding their newly dominant talent for psychedelic rock riffs with their background in blackened death metal.

2. HorrendousAnareta | Dark Descent

This prolific band continues to refine its prog-tinged old-school death metal, increasingly reminding me of prime Death and Pestilence. Like those bands, they have a knack for mining surprising melodies out of raw extremity, losing none of their aggression in the bargain. Where they may have even two of the best bands in death metal history beat is their talent for inserting a seemingly infinite array of hooks. Plus, they called a song “Ozymandias,” and you guys know how I’m a sucker for Romantic poetry references in my metal.

1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly |Interscope

In case you haven’t noticed, issues of race, civil rights, and police authority have been on a lot of people’s minds this year. That has especially been true here in Chicago over the past couple months. Many artists have had things to say on these topics, but no one captured the emotional and political complexities of the individual reacting to systemic racism and unrelenting violence in the way that Kendrick Lamar did on this record. Of course, Kendrick tackles plenty of other subjects, and there is as much to be said for production that synthesizes the history of American black music and his attention to treating the album as a unified piece of work as there is for his lyrics. That sociopolitical relevance, however, makes this unquestionably the album of the year for me, even when I’m listing records for a metal blog.

Ron Deuce

10. Of Feather And Bone – Embrace The Wretched Flesh | Good Fight Music 

Believe it or not, album rank number ten was the hardest one to choose because it meant that some other worthy contenders were going to have to be left out. Of Feather And Bone have been on my radar since their demo days, and their talents are on full display in their debut album, Embrace The Wretched Flesh. It’s the type of band I enjoy because their genre mashing of grindcore, hardcore, crust and a small touch of black metal are all jammed into ten songs that generally clock in at three minutes or less. Their onslaught is relentless as they are either pummeling your ear drums with breakneck speed or smashing a cinder block over your head with ruthless breakdowns. Doesn’t matter what they’re doing, there’s not a dull moment on this album, and the short run time works in their favor.


9. Call Of The Void – Ageless | Relapse Records 

Another hybrid band that excels by engulfing you with their sludgy hardcore coupled with bursts of furious grind. This is a worthy successor to 2012’s Dragged Down A Dead End Path, and at the very least, this album is as good as that one. “Old Hate” kicks off the album with its droning intro that creates a moment of calm before Call Of The Void starts flipping over tables and berating you like an angry football coach who just lost the big game. From that moment until the end of the record, it’s one beating after another. No filler, no interludes, just straight adrenaline with a total disregard for your well-being. There’s a certain intensity on this record that is not difficult to quantify. I mean, have you heard the blast beats on this thing?


8. Faith No More – Sol Invictus | Ipecac Recordings

A band as prolific and legendary as Faith No More is bound to have high expectations from its fan base when it announces that they are getting back together and recording an album after seventeen years of inactivity. Their return reminds fans why they enjoyed FNM in the first place. Their unique brand of genre-defying music is something that only they could produce, and we welcomed them back with open arms. Whether you’re singing along to the hook in ” Motherfucker” or envisioning yourself at a jazz lounge while listening to “Sunny Side Up”, you take notice of the fact that Faith No More is bringing you a unique and memorable experience on each and every song on Sol Invictus.

7. Intronaut – The Direction Of Last Things | Century Media Records

Prior to this album’s release, Intronaut promised that the songs were leaning in a “heavier” direction, and they made good on that promise as the album delivers moments that hearken back to their material from their earlier days. Thankfully, they did not abandon their more melodic side that was explored on 2013’s Habitual Levitations, and the payoff is huge as they balance the aggression and melody perfectly. Danny Walker puts on a clinic behind the drum kit while meandering bass lines compliment meaty riffs and proggy jam sessions without ever losing sight of quality songwriting. The Direction Of Last Things is a great addition to an already impressive discography.

6. God Mother – Maktbehov | Self Released

Click on the Bandcamp link above and you’ll see yours truly singing the praises of this album from around the time I bought it, and I’m not backing down off that claim. Grindcore and hardcore are married on this album in a way that takes all the best parts of those genres and makes for one wild ride that has the listener engaged at each and every turn. The way in which they blend the two genres seems natural, and it’s hard to fault them for wearing their hearts on their sleeves as they volley between top tier grind elements and unabashed hardcore breakdowns. The formula works extremely well, and it’s the type of album that rightfully puts these guys on the map of bands you should pay attention to.

5. Employed To Serve – Greyer Than You Remember | Holy Roar Records

If you are a regular reader of this site, then you know that I spoke highly of Employed To Serve’s debut album, Greyer Than You Remember (full review here) for channeling the likes of bands like Botch, The Chariot and Converge while carving out a sound of their own from those influences. Eschewing traditional songwriting structure works in their favor by transitioning from one part to the next with fluidity as every riff, drum hit and bass line has meaning and purpose. They reviewed the checklist for what it takes to make a meaningful chaotic hardcore album and ticked off every item on the list. If we were handing out individual achievement awards, I would nominate Justine Jones for “Best Vocal Performance” because you can practically feel her reaching out through the speakers and screaming at you. The music itself is carries plenty of weight on its own, but the vocal performance on this album brings things to another level entirely.

4. Mutoid Man – Bleeder | Sargent House

What do you get when you combine Cave In’s Steve Brodsky spitting out super sweet melodies and Converge’s Ben Koller going apeshit behind the drum kit? A god damn catchy record that takes rock, prog, metal, punk and hardcore, throws it in a blender and dares you not to have ear sex with it. Every time you put this record on, it has you hanging on every word, every riff, every solo. This album is just a good time, and I’ve listened to it quite regularly since it came out. Bleeder sends out good vibes that are more than enough to snap me out of a crappy mood no matter how awful the situation may be.

3. Cult Leader – Lightless Walk | Deathwish Inc.

A handful of both writers and commenters here at the Toilet declared our love for Lightless Walk when it dropped in October (shameless self promotion, review here). The expectations for this album were high, and said expectations were met as Cult Leader delivers an album that touches on a wide range of genres and infects them all with hopelessness and despair. There’s not a band out there right now that is doing what Cult Leader is doing. I had the pleasure of seeing them live shortly after the album was released, and these songs in a live setting will floor the casual observer. “Progressive Crust” the band calls it, and I’d be hard pressed to disagree with that description. On Lightless Walk, we are witnessing heavy music evolve, and it truly is a sight to behold.

 2. Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat | Century Media Records

Napalm Death gonna be Napalm Death. They continue to prove time and time again why they are masters at their craft. There’re not many bands you can point to and say that they have a massive discography and there is nary a weak spot to be found within it. Napalm Death makes an innovative and forward thinking album every single time out, and they do it so consistently that you’d think they were doing this stuff in their sleep. Business as usual for Napalm Death is good business. Everything you could possibly want in a Napalm Death album is in there; Barney Greenway pirate barking the shit out of you, distorted bass lines, blast beats and the beloved riffs that have everyone from crust punks to metal heads singing their praises. If I was a bettin’man, I’d bet on Napalm Death every time and feel pretty good about the risk I took.

1. Harm’s Way – Rust | Deathwish Inc.

I was not aware of the existence of Harm’s Way until this album came out in March of this year. At first, I was drawn to it for its stellar recording, but that was just a tactic to lure me in and get me to know the real Harm’s Way. With each successive listen, Rust‘s corrosive blend of massive breakdowns, buzzsaw guitars, a pounding rhythm section, tactful use of industrial influences and all out assault makes you forget those things individually. Collectively, Harm’s Way pummels you in ways you’ve never imagined. We talk a lot around these parts about “dick crushing” and when those words are uttered, they reverberate amongst us as something that has reduced us to a useless pile of nothingness. When Harm’s Way gets their hooks into you, they treat you as if you were the ground that is routinely stampeded by wild elephants. Plenty of bands are “heavy” or however you want to characterize it, but Harm’s Way are legitimately benching 500 lbs with ease and throwing the rest of you around like a pathetic rag doll.

  • Dubs

    A solid list, bear, but I cannot forgive you for consuming all my livestock. HAVE AT YOU, FIEND!

    • Leif Bearikson


  • ┼yree

    MisþyrmingSöngvar elds og óreiðu


  • Thanks to Leif and Jason to remind me that I haven’t listened new Horrendous ;_;)/

    Ron, Dubya recommended Intronaut too, I think I will try to check it out too if I can.

    Good roundup, guys. New Napalm Death is a-good, but it didn’t clicked with me because I got really tired after each listen. I-it’s not Napalm Death’s problem, i-it’s me.

    • I have taken time to listen to much of bands on these lists. I must rectify this error.


        *squeezes his cheeks*

        *runs away waving arms all crazy*


  • cxj

    Props on that K Lamar. It’s #3 on my list after Tribulation and Steven Wilson. “u” is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard.

    • Dagon

      So much depth on that album, it’s insane. Every listen reveals another aspect.

  • Stanley

    Bear – 5/10 overlap with my list.
    Jason – 2/10
    Ron – 0/10

    • For me….

      Bear – 0/10 overlap with my list.
      Jason – 0/10
      Ron – 0/10

      *+++Poser Level Gazillion Achieved+++*

      *Flushes self*

      • Stanley

        When are we going to be graced with your list, GL?

        • Tomorrows, I am off work today. I will need to consult my library to get a complete and accurate list. I am transplanting trees today. Have fun yall!


          • Stanley

            Ha ha. “I can’t do it today cos I’m off work. I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m back in work”. Long live ‘murica!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I just posted my final list. I’ll have a list of disappointments at some point before the month is through.

          • Stanley

            Didn’t you just post your list of disappointments?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            No. That’s my top 10 with honorable mentions and a special award for Lightning To The Nations.

          • Stanley

            Oh, I was confused. I thought you may have switched them by mistake. Are you sure?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            i’m sure.

      • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

        I’ve got about 90% of these in my “listen to” playlist and actually listened only to 2. I think I win this one, GL.

      • ┼yree

        Is their a new Wilson Phillips album out?

      • stand tall warrior

    • ┼yree

      2 of his albums made mine.

      EDIT: Bear that is.

    • Bear – 2/10
      Jason – 1/10
      Ron – 0/10

      I’m sure you guys can imagine why my list doesn’t overlap much 😉

  • I agree the most with Leif’s list

  • Jason Kolkey

    Napalm, Cattle Decap, Intronaut, and Cult Leader were all on my short list, by the way, as well as BTBAM, Maiden, Kamasi Washington, Vince Staples, and several others. Basically, I thought there was a lot of good stuff this year.

    • Overall it was a pretty good year to me <3

    • Stanley

      Yep, it was too hard to pick so I went purely on iTunes play count.

      • Dubs

        I try to go off a mix of both what I played a lot and what I think is important. Some stuff that drops later in the year won’t get those play counts.

        • Stanley

          Add up all the number of plays for each song on the album. Divide by number of songs on album. This gives the average number of plays per song. If it was released in Feb, divide by 11 to get the average number of plays per month. If it was released in Nov, divide by 2. Voila!

          ** It’s not totally accurate as it doesn’t take into account, my CD plays in the car of my vinyl plays while cooking dinner. But it’s as good as it gets.

          • Dubs

            I do a lot of listening with albums in the car, and I don’t trust Spotify/Bandcamp playcounts, nor does Zune track them, so, uh, no dice there.

          • Stanley

            Then good luck. Just play your tr00 kvlt card.

          • Dubs

            it’s more gut feel than anything, haha.

          • Stanley

            Science >>>>> gut feel.

          • ┼yree

            I don’t do any of that. I just sort of know what I’ve played the most and roll with it from there. Also, I think this is the first year where I’ve physically owned all the records on my best of list.

          • Stanley

            There is only one that I don’t have but I was going to rectify that as it’s on HH and it’s on sale right now.

    • Limiting it to ten is tough and some albums are going to get left out unfortunately. It’s the nature of the beast.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Here’s my list.

    1. Ghost- Meliora
    2. Duran Duran- Paper Gods
    3. Saxon- Battering Ram
    4. WASP-Golgotha
    5. Deafheaven- New Bermuda
    6. Trivium- Silence In The Snow
    7. Public Enemy- Man Plans God Laughs
    8. Scorpions- Return To Forever
    9. FM- Heroes And Villains
    10. Kadavar- Berlin

    Honorable mentions- Toto- XIV, Revolution Saints- Revolution Saints, Fear Factory- Genexus, Lynch Mob- Rebel

    • there’s a sales rep at work who wants to burn me a copy of the new W.A.S.P. and i’m all like

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        You should. It’s so good.

      • Dubs

        Burn him a copy of something he’ll hate in return.

        • ┼yree

          The new Tetragrammacide album will work.

          • Dubs

            Would you feel the same way about that album that you do if someone just slipped a blank CD-R into your pocket with it on there?

          • ┼yree

            Like, you mean if I had no idea who it was and just played it for the first time? If so then I would still definitely be excited by the album and very curious to look into the band. That material is the type up extreme chaos that turns me on anymore. I hope more bands sort of adapt that style and see how they can push it.

          • Dubs

            Yah, that’s what I meant. I think if someone just gave me the cd, I’d be super intrigued by it.

          • ┼yree

            Exactly, but I feel most people (In metal) would probably turn it off as garbage though. Like you, I’m very intrigued.

          • i tried listening to them, but my speakers are blown. will check out at home. (huehue, see what i did there)

    • JWEG

      Did you upvote Berlin on the big list?

      I posted it, but I promise I am not grubbing for upvotes – I just think it needs more love.

  • Brock Samson

    Here is mine:

    10. Imperial Triumphant- Abyssal Gods
    9. Kommandant- The Architects of Extermination
    8. Atara- The Worst is Yet to Come
    7. Vaee Solis- Adversarial Light
    6. Tod Huetet Uebel- Malicia
    5. Leviathan- Scar Sighted
    4. Cattle Decapitation- The Anthropocene Extinction
    3. Ghost Bath- Moonlover
    2. Mgla- Exercises in Futility
    1. Akhlys- The Dreaming I

  • Dagon

    Nice lists, guys. There’s definitely some material in there that would make it to mine.

    Kolkey wins with the curveball, Kendrick Lamar’s album was phenomenal. Also, props for Mutoid Man on Deuce’s list and the best Timeghoul worship released in the past few years on Leif’s.

  • RJA

    Top 20 – Metal

    1. Leviathan – Scar Sighted
    2. Devouring Star – Through Lung and Heart
    3. Akyhls – The Dreaming I
    4. Black Cilice – Mysteries
    5. Downfall of Nur – Umbras de Barbagia
    6. Mgla – Exercises in Futility
    7. Misþyrming — Söngvar elds og óreiðu
    8. Clandestine Blaze – New Golgotha Rising
    9. Eternal Valley – Ascend to the Unknown
    10. Gouge – Beyond Death
    11. Macabre Omen – Gods of War, At War
    13. Haethen – Shaped by Aeolian Winds
    14. Nocternity – Harps of the Ancient Temples
    15. Horrendous – Anareta
    16. Drowning the Light – From the Abyss
    17. Death Karma – The History of Death & Burial Rituals
    18. Atomicide – Chaos Abomination
    19. Hic Iacet – The Cosmic Trance Into the Void
    20. Sarpanitum – Blessed Be My Brothers

    • Stanley

      Nice fucken list.

      • RJA

        Why thank you sir – I left off a few to get to 20!
        Svarta – Sepultus and Panopticon – Autumn Eternal come to mind.
        Look forward to yours.

        • Stanley

          Mines not as good as yours. I paired it down to 10 which means that I left off some really great stuff and rather than arbitrarily pick things, I went off play count. I listen to a lot of music exercising and things like Nocternity/Heathen/Clandestine Blaze/Black Cilice didn’t get as many plays as they should have. 🙁

          • Dubs

            This is why you should trust your gut. Your disappointment proves the flaw in the system!

          • Stanley

            My gut sends mixed messages.

          • Dubs

            Write your list after a full meal so you won’t be deceived.

    • RJA

      Some of my favorites – Not Metal

      1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think….
      2. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
      3. Kamasi Washington – The Epic
      4. Andrew Bird – Echolocations:Canyon
      5. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear
      6. Viet Cong – Viet Cong
      7. Wilco – Star Wars
      8. Martin Courtney – Many Moons

      • Dagon

        That Father John Misty album definitely had some good moments in it. Nice pick.

      • Jason Kolkey

        Some good calls here.

    • ┼yree

      Man, some sick stuff on here. I really could not get into the new Leviathan album unfortunately.

      • RJA

        Wrest can do no wrong for me! I would imagine we are on the same page on a lot of other things.

        • ┼yree

          Most certainly. A lot of the releases above your #10 barely made it off mine too. Drowning the Light, Macabre Omen, Haethen, and Nocternity where all incredible albums that unfortunately did not make my list either.

          • Lacertilian

            That Nocternity had me all

          • more beer

            Have you been hanging out with Randell Thor? Or are you just ready to do battle with him?

          • Lacertilian

            I was just making a reference to Nocternity’s cover art which is usually adorned with an armour-clad medieval warrior.

          • Lacertilian
          • more beer

            Okay just thought you getting ready for Randell.

    • Lacertilian

      Top 20?
      You fortunate bastard, we have to cut to 10.

      • RJA

        Yea, I thought about cutting it to 10 in a show of solidarity – Would have been hard. Then I realized, “I don’t have to follow your rules man”

    • Leif Bearikson

      That Black Cilice record is hypnotic.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Dr. K!! Solid choice on your #1. I dig that album quite a bit, though I wasn’t much of a fan of Kendrick Lamar before that. Wasn’t expecting it, but pleasantly surprised. Good lists all around, chums.

  • Stanley

    Who is Kendrick Lamar?

    • one of today’s top rappists.

    • ┼yree

      Some human that knows how to pimp butterflys I guess.

    • Jason Kolkey

      He’s runnin’ game, got the whole world talkin’.

      • I have to revisit this album based on your rec Dr. K. I remember liking the beats but couldn’t get past his voice. I love sociopolitical commentary in my hip hop so this seems like it would be right up my alley.

        • Jason Kolkey

          It’s a weird record, but one I find really rewarding to attentive, repeated listening, which is always the music I like best.

          • i joke about the man, but i saw his performance on Stephen Colbert and was mesmerized. i should listen to more…

          • Lacertilian

            That song didn’t make the damn album somehow.
            It was crazy good, mixing jazz with hip-hop.
            The contrast between the relaxed/sombre start and the aggressive end was amazing.

        • EsusMoose

          It took a spin or 2 after the initial listen for me to get use to the voice but god dam it was worth it, great album overall lyrically and instrumentally.

          • I jammed it a little last night, the beats have a Dr. Dre vibe to them. Definitely gonna give it a few more spins and see if it clicks.

  • Dubs

    Great picks, Jason and Ron! Enjoying the diversity.

  • RJA

    ooh, I’ve heard that Blood Incantation is pretty nice – have to check that out.

    • You will not be disappoint.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    Last year there were a bunch of albums on the heavier crazier side that were lauded by many here that I just couldn’t get behind. I expected Mgła to be that band this year. Holy hell was I wrong.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Looking like that will be AOTY for 2015 around here.

      • more beer

        Not for me. I listened to again last night. Still don’t get what all of the fuss is about.

    • welcome to my life

      • Dubs

        Hey man what is this the wail of a wimp?

        • I don’t know if you purposely mess up the lyrics every time you do this, but it bothers me every time

          • Dubs

            It’s super effective.

  • nbm02ss

    Not in order, but these are the records I really enjoyed this year:

    Ufomammut – Ecate
    High on Fire – Luminiferous
    Mgla – Exercises in Futility
    Horrendous – Anareta
    Slugdge – Dim & Slimeridden Kingdoms
    Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu (had to copy paste this)

    Napalm Death – Apex Predator
    Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
    Tyranny – Aeons in Tectonic Interment
    Panopticon – Autumn Eternal

    Honorable mentions:

    Heavydeath – Eternal Sleepwalker
    Hangman’s Chair – This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive
    Leviathan – Scarsighted
    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
    Skepticism – Ordeal
    Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields
    Elder – Lore

    I’m sure I’m forgetting something….

  • JWEG

    This is going to seem odd, I’m sure, but I think I may just put Napalm Death & Cattle Decapitation on my “honourable mentions” list. They’re excellent albums, but the following got so much more mileage (though like the last few years I’m incapable of specifying an order):

    – Nylithia: Hyperthrash
    – Alda: Passage
    – Disenchanter: Strange Creations
    – Khemmis: Absolution
    – Shibboleth: Language of the Night
    – Hive: Elpis
    – Ahab: Boats of the Glen Carrig
    – Iskra: Ruins
    – Kadavar: Berlin
    – Zuriaake: Gu Yan

    If that looks familiar, it’s all the things I submitted yesterday except Cancer Bats ‘Searching for Zero’ (my #11), and Link beat me to Iskra…

    • hey…….they’re all Canadian!

    • Lacertilian


    • JWEG

      Splitting my honourable mentions list off the main one. Same point applies: these are great albums, but didn’t quite rack up as many replays*.

      – Cancer Bats: Searching for Zero
      – Cattle Decapitation: Anthropocene Extinction
      – Napalm Death: Apex Predator…
      – High on Fire: Luminiferous

      * I think Nylithia got more than all the rest combined already, but I can’t find ‘play count’ on my new smartphone’s music app to be sure.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Lists are always hard to put together but here’s mine {no particular order}

    5 for Trio – Garder La Tension
    Leftover Crack – Constructs of the State
    Killing Joke – Pylon
    Grave – Out of Respect for the Dead
    Sadist – Hyaena
    FAT – Living The Dream
    The Aristocrats – Tres Caballeros
    E-40 – Poverty & Prosperity
    Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire

    *Gorod would’ve made it but I just don’t care for their current vocalist.

    • Gimme Kawaii Toast, Honey Buns

      The new Killing Joke made my list as well!

      • Guppusmaximus

        I dunno if it’s just flying under most people’s radar or people just don’t like it…. But, it’s a damn good album.

        • Gimme Kawaii Toast, Honey Buns

          I seriously thought they couldn’t top the last three, but goddamn, Pylon is their best one since Pandemonium!

  • Gimme Kawaii Toast, Honey Buns

    Here’s mine for the year:

    Carly Rae Jepsen – E-Mo-Tion (My pick for AOTY. Fight me, mayt!!!!!)
    Marina And The Diamonds – Froot
    Atomicide – Chaos Abomination
    Krisiun – Forged In Fire
    Cocksure – Corporate Sting
    Midnight Odyssey – Shards Of Silver Fade
    Native Construct – Quiet World
    She Past Away – Narin Yalnızlık
    Killing Joke – Pylon
    Angra – Secret Garden (of course!)
    Electric Six – Bitch Don’t Let Me Die!
    Hillary Duff – Breathe In, Breathe Out
    Marsheaux – A Broken Frame
    Forgotten Kingdoms – Blue Moon Gate Between Worlds
    Ascese – Wander
    A Diadem Of Dead Stars – Mist Bearer Part 2
    Coldcell – Lowlife
    Kesa – Kesa
    Adele – 25
    A Forest Of Stars – Beware The Sword You Cannot See

    • JWEG

      CRJ came to me in a dream and told me to vote for her album for AOTY.

      I have boring non-sexy dreams about pop stars.

      • Gimme Kawaii Toast, Honey Buns

        You might like Marina And The Diamonds’ new one if you like CRJ.

      • Dubs

        Don’t tell anyone, but “I Really Like You” was my most jammed song on Spotify of 2K15.

  • Waynecro

    Strong lists, bros! I’m especially psyched to see Slugdge, False, Panopticon, Call of the Void, God Mother, and Harm’s Way.

  • Lacertilian

    @Occams_Razor_Ramon:disqus – your descriptions were amazing!
    Please write moaaarr..

    • Leif Bearikson

      Lizard, you make me blush!

      • Lacertilian

        It helped that your taste is akin to mine and using a slightly obscure MK reference sealed the deal.

  • Stockhausen

    I approve of all of your opinions. You may have them.

  • The Satan Ov Hell

    Exercises in Futility was definitely my AOTY

  • AndySynn

    I’m doing my usual list(s) over at NCS this year of course, but just somewhat off-the-cuff I’d like to posit that the 10 best Black Metal albums of the year (in my estimation, though not necessarily my personal favourites) were:

    Abigail Williams – The Accuser
    Akhlys – The Dreaming I
    Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
    Leviathan – Scar Sighted
    Mgla – Exercises in Futility
    Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu
    Outre – Ghost Chants
    Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Exile
    Terzij de Horde – Self
    Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed

    With a special mention for Abyssal – Antikatastaseis, which was definitely one of the best overall albums of the year… though I wouldn’t necessarily feel right putting it on a “pure” Black Metal list.

    • Dubs

      Some great choices here. Thoughts on Krallice?

      • Stanley

        Nice to see Wiegedood getting some love at last.

        • Dubs

          If last year was the year of death metal, 2K15 seems to be black metal’s time to shine.

          • Stanley

            It’s on a continuous trajectory to excellence, Duds.

      • AndySynn

        LOVE it (except I think the second to last track?) but wouldn’t really call it Black Metal at all these days.

        • Dubs

          Fair enough. Similarly to Abyssal, the classification gets dicey.

          • AndySynn

            True. And then the genre police will come for you… and what you gonna do… when they come for you?

          • Dubs

            One of our writers has had beef with the rest of the blog-o-sphere all year for calling Imperial Triumphant black metal.

          • AndySynn

            Really? Huh… I think of them as Black Metal…

            In fact, if there were entries 11 and 12 on that list up above they’ve probably go to IT and Kampfar.

          • Dubs

            I think the issue is similar to that with Krallice. When the dissonance starts to become prominent in the music, the lines between black metal, death metal, or just weird technical metal blend.

    • Leif Bearikson

      I need to revisit that Outre album. Never really gave it the time it deserved because of the constant onslaught of music this year.