And finally, we come to The Big Bad: the official, ultimate list of the top ten records of 2015, according to The Monolith staff as a whole.
Amalgamated via Science™, the list will likely be unsurprising to those who have read all of the lists, but will hopefully make interesting browsing nonetheless.
Rather than re-hash anything, we’ve included snippets from each Best Of list and a link to read the whole thing if you like.
10. Coheed and Cambria - The Color Before The Sun
16th October – 300 Entertainment
“…the band have distilled twenty years of experience, along with heaps of emotion and songwriting chops, into an absolutely blinding record.” - Chris
“Coheed don’t need to be lightyears from us to write music that sounds lightyears ahead of their contemporaries.” - Adam
09. Periphery - Juggernaut: Alpha / Juggernaut: Omega
27 January – Sumerian Records
“My love for this album has not diminished at all since its release all the way back in January, despite how many times I have listened to it” - Tommy
“…an epic concept album that flows beautifully as a whole, filled with killer material that‘s truly the culmination of all the band has worked on up to this point.” - Jón Þór
08. Caligula’s Horse - Bloom
16th October – Inside Out Music
“You know when you listen to a band for the first time, and all your hairs stand on end? Multiply that by 756.63, and that’s pretty much what I felt listening to Bloom for the first time.” - Ryan
“Caligula’s Horse should absolutely be heralded as the new force in progressive metal, if they aren’t already.” - Kevin
07. Grimes - Art Angels
6 November – 4AD
“…her voice and vision finally realised. This is Grimes at her strongest.” - Tom
“…the most quirky and interesting pop album I have heard in well over a decade.” - Tommy
06. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
25 September – Virgin EMI
“Everything CHVRHCES have done on Every Open Eye is perfect and deserving of all the success they are seeing now.” - Tommy
“Brimming with positivity and hooks, Every Open Eye’s electro/dream pop is well-written and instantly infectious.” - William
05. The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise
4th September – Equal Vision Records
“Act IV is a revelation which absolutely lives up to the lofty expectations of its predecessors and it is too dramatic, bombastic, and grandiose to have been dethroned by anything else this year.” - Tommy
“Why am I not listening to this every single day?” - Jón Þór
“…full of rich textures, astounding melodies and such a complete execution of concept that you can’t help but fall in love.” - Chris
04. We Lost The Sea - Departure Songs
“Departure Songs is close to the perfect post-rock/metal album.” - Josh
“…there have been few more beautiful albums this year” - Chris
“This album demands to be listened to in full and with all the due care and attention it deserves.” - Adam
03. Leprous - The Congregation
25th May – Inside Out Music
“The Congregation is an emotionally-fuelled prog masterpiece that ticks all the right boxes.” - William
“The Congregation is nothing short of breathtaking.” - Ryan
“Leprous are perhaps the greatest progressive metal band on the planet right now.” - Kevin
02. Baroness - Purple
18th December – Abraxan Hymns
“Purple feels at once architectural and organic, at once an absolute joy to experience and a challenging, harrowing listen.” - Tom
“As tight as ever and as enjoyable as the rest of their back catalogue – possibly even more so.” - Josh
“…it’s quite possibly their best work to date.” - Ryan
01. Agent Fresco - Destrier
7th August – Long Branch Records
If you’ve read the all of the lists, or indeed the site in general over the past year, then you’ll have seen this one coming a mile off. Agent Fresco‘s second outing Destrier is, let’s face it, a fucking masterpiece, and we’re not the only ones who think so: there’s a very passionate, very devoted fanbase across the UK, and that’s just us and our pals; beyond that, there are many others who feel the same.
Congratulations to Arnór Dan, Keli, Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson and Toti for this magnificent achievement.
If you haven’t heard it yet, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
“Instantly accessible, but with layer upon layer of complexity, exemplary musicianship from all four members, powerful dynamics and rich, vivid lyrical imagery, Destrier really is the complete package.” - Simon
“It’s emotionally resonant, technically astute and one of the most complete works I’ve heard in years.” - Chris
“From the first notes, and until the last notes loop perfectly back into them again, Destrier is enthralling, emotional and engaging whether you take it at face value or properly dig into it.” - Jón Þór
“…not only one of the best albums of the year, but one of the best in a decade…” - Ryan
“…it packs both a emotional punch and musical virtuosity.” - William
And that’s us done with 2015 in recorded music. We have some more bits and pieces coming, but we hope you’ll join us for even more in 2016!