For some reason I felt like I listened to and played less music in 2015 than I have in a very long time. Life sometimes gets in the way but if there’s one resolution I will make it will be to listen to, write and perform more music than I ever have in 2016. Here’s the music that inspired me to do more in 2015.
10. Widow The Sea – Aphelion
December 2015 – Summerland Records
Riffs, riffs, riffs and more riffs. Gotta love a death metal album where you can actually discern what the bass player is doing too. Enjoyed this more than The Black Dahlia Murder‘s new banger, Widow The Sea are another Aussie (did I mention I’m an Aussie yet?) triumph!
9. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
March 2015 – Season Of Mist
I was turned onto Der Weg Einer Freiheit by a friend and can’t thank him enough. Equal parts menacingly blackened and mercifully post-flavoured, Stellar has firmly cemented these German monsters as a new favourite.
8. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
September 2015 – Relapse Records
The doom is brought thick and not-so-fast over the 9 sludged-out tracks presented here by Windhand. The old saying ‘the simple things in life are often the best’ rings true here.
7. Serious Beak – Ankaa
November – Art As Catharsis/Bird’s Robe Records
Is it grind? Is it mathcore? Is it spiritually awakened? Well, yes, it is all of these and more. Bands like Serious Beak make me proud to be Australian when they release world class albums like Ankaa.
6. Elder – Lore
February – Stickman Records
Elder have such a massive sound for a trio. It’s continually impressive to hear such intricate music backed by players who sing with such power and emotion without it hindering the performance.
5. Deafheaven- New Bermuda
October – ANTI-
Far from being Sunbather part 2, this is a successful follow up to a great (I say landmark, some may say hipster!) record. The mix is superb: the riffs are crunchy, the drums are stupidly fast and George Clarke‘s vocals are as punishing as ever.
4. Mutoid Man- Bleeder
June 2015 – Sargent House
It’s psychedelic, it’s proggy, it’s fast and it’s furious. Ben Koller shines behind the drums as per usual and Steve Brodsky kills it up front. So tight!
3. Baroness – Purple
December 2015 – Abraxan Hymns
John Dyer Baizley sounds as pained as ever, but there’s a fantastic balance between agony and ecstasy throughout the album. As tight as ever and as enjoyable as the rest of their back catalogue, possibly even more so.
2. Chelsea Wolfe- Abyss
August 2015 – Sargent House
The imagery and aesthetics Chelsea Wolfe has displayed up to this point in her career finally feel backed by a record that not only sounds as heavy as the pressure in an abyss, but carries that sense of dread throughout each and every passage.
1. We Lost The Sea – Departure Songs
July – Art As Catharsis/Bird’s Robe
Departure Songs is close to the perfect post rock/metal album. Haunting melodies, driving riffs, coalesce to create something introspective and beautiful. A fine achievement under the most painful of circumstances, and sure to become a classic of the genre. You have done yourselves and Australia proud lads!