|N2B3J's Top 25 Albums of 2015|
2015 has been a major year of change for me. I have earned my Bachelor's Degree, got a job at a record store, and accepted into a Master's program. But I have also lost my last grandfather, my dog, and have been emotionally in a rough spot. My list reflects these changes and my overall taste in music, even if slightly.
A relatively new album, but a powerful one at that. Combining black, doom metal, and Slavic chanting to create something that I don't think I could say that I have ever heard before. This debut album from a secret Polish supergroup is a true powerhouse worthy of recognition.
|24||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
'Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress'
It truly is hard to describe Godspeed. Cinematic and intense is what I like to think of their music. Asunder is an excellent addition to Godspeed's discography, adding a more drone-tastic trip into post-rock.
|23||Fit for an Autopsy|
Absolute Hope Absolute Hell
Despite what many think of Deathcore, there has been a few releases meriting attention. This is one of them. Aggressive and strong after lossing their old frontman Nate Johnson, this album is consistent and a good time (if you enjoy this type of music).
|22||Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats|
The Night Creeper
Uncle Acid continues the Black Sabbath worship with The Night Creeper. Although not much has changed (which I don't believe to be a bad thing), their truly are some stand out tracks including; Yellow Moon, Melody Lane, and Slow Death.
Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
An epic Blackish/Folk Metal journey that warrants attention. Orchestral and epic at points, Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is a truly fantastic ride for fans of folk metal everywhere.
One of the most unique listening experiences this year came from this band. I love the combination of orchestra and black metal. A truly consistent and fun ride that is reminiscent of Deafheaven.
One of my favorite bands, and one of my most anticipated albums of the year. However, it is too soon to say how much I love this album. It truly is strong though, reminding me more of Baroness' Blue Record.
Under the Red Cloud
Continuing on Circle's path, Amorphis exceed expectation with their strongest to date. This album experiments on established sounds and expands upon them. Blending elements of progressive, folk, and even black metal, to create one of the year's strongest.
I believe this to be a better and more focused Sunbather (while sounding relatively distinct). Making this post/shoegazy/black metal journey a truly fantastic one. Focusing more on the black metal riff, Deafheaven build upon their established sound.
|16||High on Fire|
Sludge/Stoner rock has been a major interest of mine lately, with that being said High on Fire is a band that took some getting used to. I am not a major fan of Matt Pike's vocals (as they are reminiscent of Lemmy's from Motorhead, which I am no fan), but they truly grew as the riffs on this album rip and make you want to headbang. Oddly enough my favorite two tracks on this album are pure opposites in intensity, with the thrashy Slave the Hive and the psychadelic The Cave.
An extremely impressive act from Iceland, Agent Fresco has been on my radar for a little over a year. Once I discovered A Long Time Listening, I could not stop listening to it. With the leading singles Dark Water and See Hell, I was beyond excited for Destrier. The true strength from this band is the emotional intensity behind the vocalist Arnór Dan Arnarson. Arnór lyrically paints an amazing foreground while the rest of the band, who are just as impressive, colors the background. I look forward to future releases from this band.
I really didn't listen to Beach House until this year. I initally heard Bloom (my personal favorite) and Teenage Dream and was impressed. I would call Beach House a sort of dream pop that seduces you into the music. The music allows me to escape and forget all of my troubles. I find Depression Cherry to be brilliantly titled, as I find the music to be a truly melancholic experience.
The most impressive Ghost album since Opus Eponymous. Balancing Ghost's heavy and pop sides, Meliora has truly launched Ghost into new territory. Like them or hate them, Ghost continue to produce top quality hymns that Satan himself would be proud of.
The Ride Majestic
Initially, I didn't enjoy this as much as I enjoyed The Living Infinite. Alas, it took a few months and consistency to change my opinion. Soilwork has seemed to intensify and have become more focused as well. The Ride Majestic is truly a grand adventure filled with melody, intense guitar solos, and soaring vocals via Bjorn Strid.
It took me long enough to finally discover this band, and I am happy that I did. Molok is an interesting story set in the 1920s, pitting science versus religion. Expansive and progressive, the music has an unsettling eerie feeling to it. Vocalist Jan-Henrik Ohme is the true story-teller of this intense piece of progressive art rock.
The triumphant return of their former frontman Daniel Tompkins. Although not as consistent as Altered State, Polaris is reminiscent of One, but with an improved Tompkins. Improved grooves interlaced with Tompkins' atmospheric voice allow the listener to escape into the music.
Initally when I heard Joanna Newsom, I hated it. A lot. But not entirely, as I would go back to it more and more. I was intrigued lyrically and instrumentally, but her voice needed some getting used to. But I am happy to say that I did. Divers is a fantastic journey that is odd, yet perfect.
My most listened to album of the summer. Currents truly does have a summer feel to it, with its electronic, dance-ridden, 70's psychedelic rock. Although not my favorite Tame Impala release, it truly is different from their previous releases and stands on its own.
Dark story-telling done right. This music engulfs you as you listen to it, just as the concept behind the album of the men who trekked Russia's Ural Mountains and were killed. Combining post-rock with doom/folk elements, Kauan explore a very dark and mysterious event.
Chelsea Wolfe's darkest release thus far. Elements of doom, folk, and industrial fill the album. My love for Chelsea Wolfe grew as I started working at my local record store and it has only just begun.
The Direction of Last Things
A fantastic return to form for Intronaut. Adding the progressive leanings of their last work Habitual Levitations and mixing their older work of Prehistorians and Valley of Smoke, has created perhaps the greatest Intronaut album. An amazing piece of technical and progressive music and excellently produced by the one and only Devin Townsend.
Continuing the progressive direction of Axioma Ethica Odini and RIITIIR, Enslaved continue their reign as the greatest Progressive Black Metallers. This impressive 6 track album is extremely consistent in songwriting and sound, making it a strong contender for one of the best albums in 2015.
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Consistent seems to be Steven Wilson's middle name. Hand. Cannot. Erase. continues as a fantastic follow up from The Raven That Refused To Sing showcasing Wilson's talents. You will hear a continuation of Wilson's tribute to the 70's with a combination of prog, psych, and pop leanings. The album is also a concept album that seems to hit home on a personal level.
I fell in love with Leprous after I heard Bilateral back around 2012. Ever since I have been impressed by each effort since (and going back to Tall Poppy Syndrome). The Congregation shows the progression of vocalist Einar Soldberg, which really drives this album. Another fantastic album by the band I sing along to the most.
|1||We Lost the Sea|
I was floored when I discovered this band initially. Unfortunately, I discovered the band after the loss of their frontman, Chris Torpy. Departure Songs is an amazing instrumental journey that is a solemn tribute to their fallen friend. I initally heard this album with my Sennheiser headphones (which I rarely use), and was completely sucked into the music and experienced the loss that each song represents. I won't go into each song as there is an excellent review on this piece of art, but I implore you to explore it. My favorite album of the year.