Arash Khosronejad’s Best of 2015

Arash Khosronejad Ah ok! Our job with 2015 is kinda done and it’s hard to believe that another year is over, so many great albums are released and just a few are yet to be released. The same story happened once again this year and I had enough luck and time to listen to more than 800 albums from different genres but mostly rock and metal titles! Yeah, too many titles lead you to harder decisions to make for your year-end list, but what a journey it was. The following list is coming out of that musical journey, which it was so tough but yet so marvelous and breathtaking.

Disappointments of the Year:

AhabThe Boats Of The Glen Carrig
(Funeral Doom Metal)
I’m not sure if I’m too mean to put this album as one of the disappointments, while I still listen to this album, enjoying some parts of it. But Glen Carrig’s album somehow deals with some boring long arpeggio-driven guitar parts which don’t help too much to be the enjoyable ones, also a bit of filler songs or parts in it. Probably the biggest problem is The Giant was too brilliant and powerful album, but I think three years is a long and enough time to think about how to write a great follow-up to that gigantic album.

The SwordHigh Country
(Stoner/Doom/Heavy Metal)
Where are those riffs guys? When I talk about The Sword, I always talk about how these guys can write crushing and thunderous riffs. But now, they’ve kicked out heavy metal spirit from the band and having fun with a slight shift from stoner metal to a bluesy desert rock act. You can experience with whatever you want, but I’m going with your previous albums. Cheers!

(Progressive Post-Black Metal)
The minute you think Earth Blood Magic is one of the greatest progressive post- whatever black metal release of the recent years, Kontinuum guys suddenly sees the lights of unexpected success of Sólstafir’s Ótta, releasing an album which is exactly sounding just like that. I wish Kyrr at least sounded a bit different, which its artwork is way more beautiful than Ótta. No more comments on this one but one Sólstafir is enough, so please go back to your Earth Blood Magic days Kontinuum.

EnslavedIn Times
(Progressive Black Metal)
I’m still not sure about this one, In Times really got me when it came out back in the early days, but after couple of listens I put it away and never checked that out again… until now! “One Thousand Years of Rain” was my favorite song from the album but I forgot that too. Weird!

Honorable Mentions:

Sulphur AeonGateway To The Antisphere
(Black/Death Metal)
That album art is enough to get you in trouble with this German pure evil blackened death metal act. Dark, demonic and blistering. A huge gateway to the wonderful world of dark art. And of course that album art cover is this year’s best which is done by Ola Larsson.

SlugdgeDim & Slimeridden Kingdoms
(Blackened Death/Sludge Metal)
Blackened death/sludge metal are just a few words to explain how Slugdge music is. These British guys always have something quite interesting to offer. First two albums were absolutely fascinating but there’s something interesting about Dim & Slimeridden Kingdoms while the band go a bit more progressive and technical!

SarpanitumBlessed Be My Brothers…
(Death Metal)
Everything’s going quietly interesting when your brutal death metal band gets into melodic and atmospheric elements. More than that, Blessed Be My Brothers… is a breathtaking release and undoubtedly is a new phase in death metal, sending it to a whole new world.

Forgotten HorrorAeon Of The Shadow Goddess
(Melodic/Blackened Thrash Metal)
There is something old school about this album. I’m not talking about 70s or 80s elements, it’s all about those mid/late 90s magnificent black metal acts, who brought and merged melodies, keyboards and female vocals to black metal. Forgotten Horror’s Aeon of the Shadow Goddess has it all. Outrageously and unrestrained!

Der Weg Einer FreiheitStellar
(Black Metal)
At some levels while Stellar sounds have some minor issues with productions, the album attacks with the stellar opening song “Repulsion”, eight minutes of cosmic and melancholic black metal tunes, which this Stellar record is all about.

WiegedoodDe Doden Hebben Het Goed
(Atmospheric Black Metal)
This is what Wiegedood and their debut De Doden Hebben Het Goed is constructed on: grieving but grinding cold black metal, with a deep grayed out view to a dying landscape, or… something like that! Still I think that female speech at the end of the best song of the album is a bit bothering.

Ur DraugrThe Wretched Ascetic
(Progressive Black/Death Metal)
The best EP of the year’s music comes out a bit hard-to-explain: Sure this is not a typical progressive blackened death metal what we are hearing every day. Well-written chaotic parts deliver a highly dynamic, fully aggressive album, which at some levels you may find it so scary. Yes, indeed it is!

TerraUntitled + False – Untitled
(Atmospheric Black Metal)
Yeah! Both bands have released albums entitled Untitled but one from Cambridge, United Kingdom and the other from Minnesota, United States. Both albums consisted of pure melancholic, dark and astonishing atmospheric black metal. Both albums’ cover arts tell you everything.

(Death Metal/Post-Metal)
Huge addition of post-metal/sludge metal themes to their music made Necroblaspheme’s Belleville a distinctive release in their career, when the band’s getting departed from their roots of [brutal] death metal. Amazing songwriting and superb atmosphere. The last song, “Such a Lot” is a grand closer.

(Atmospheric/Progressive Sludge Metal/Hardcore)
Released sometime in the beginning of the year, this astonishing album carried me with its beautiful atmospheres and elegant heaviness of sludge meets progressive metal, through more than a half of the year. This is an epic debut from these Dutch guys. Shockingly, it was their debut. Damn!

(Sludge Metal/Hardcore)
This filthy freaking pig can crush and burn down every goddamn house in the city. From their debut EP, Incarnate to their debut full length, Filth, Maranatha know how to get you in trouble with their notable chaotic insane sludgy hardcore. it seems nothing can stop their insanity.

Hope DroneCloak Of Ash
(Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal)
Probably the longest album of the year, Cloak of Ash is a 77 minutes of breathtaking ride through the palest landscapes of human’s darkest mind and palest soul, …or whatever. Look at that mesmerizing beautiful album cover and you’ll know it.

Top 5 of 2015:

5. KronosArisen New Era
(Brutal Death Metal)
Undoubtedly Kronos is the one of the best brutal death metal act ever walked on earth and they proved it by each album they’ve put out. Technical guitar works plus a major addition of melodic parts, insane restless drumming and horrifying guttural vocals, which sounds a bit generic but still sick and horrifying is all in one while listening to this French monstrous unstoppable machine of crushing death metal! Kronos’ best one yet.

4. DelugeÆther
(Black Metal/Post-Hardcore)
This is a magnificent album, breathtaking from start to finish. This 55 minutes epic record collects everything’s best in atmospheric/post-black metal with huge touches of post-hardcore, wandering throughout these genres with purpose, thus pushing Æther as one of the best 2015 album nominees from the very first listening sessions. And there it is. French act, once again!

3. Dead to a Dying WorldLitany
(Blackened Sludge/Crust/Doom Metal)
What a grieving masterpiece this album is. A requiem for human and its dying existence. Probably, Litany is the most tragic music I’ve heard in a long time. Astonishing blend of sludge metal, black metal, with classical music instruments and elements. Songs like “Eventide” and “Narcissus” can any albums to the highest grades of praise and acclaim.

2. MgłaExercises in Futility
(Black Metal)
With no doubt, Exercises in Futility is the darkest music Mgła have ever created, along with With Hearts Toward None. Exercises in Futility claims Mgła’s 2012 success wasn’t an accident while the band repeated it once again but still this is shockingly tragic, masterfully written and performed album. Its pure nihilistic, dark and there’s-no-hope-for-humanity themes around it are inevitable, which kick you hard in the face. These lines from “Exercises in Futility VI” explain it all:

Self crucified
Missed the right tree
Tore the wrong eye out
The hissing of hellfire

Self crucified
Missed the right tree
For this I have gained a victory
I burn as I ought to

1. So HideousLaurestine
(Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal/Shoegaze/Screamo)
Well! This was completely unexpected for me too. But it happened and blew me away. Back in 2013, Last Poem / First Light was one of my favorite albums of the year. Post-black metal with shoegaze elements were the sound which So Hideous was meant to be, but Laurestine? I don’t know! It seems they’ve departed from the origin they supposed to come from and everything got matured at last, the band got bigger from their deepest inside and insight, adding major dramatic symphonic parts to their music which are influenced from Baroque to the contemporary musical composers, from Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni to Samuel Barber and Ennio Morricone. Album’s concept deals with death, which implies the brain is active for seven minutes, one’s life flashes before one’s eyes and the ascent towards the afterlife begins. You can shed a tear while you are listening to this album, having a great journey to the afterlife and back again. Yes, Laurestine has “seven songs” and it completes the story.

The following list is dozens of albums I listened to too much, liked them so much and I had no other choice but share them with you too:

Abigail Williams – The Accuser (Black Metal)
Abstracter – Wound Empire (Blackened Crust/Sludge/Doom Metal)
Advent Sorrow – As All Light Leaves Her (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)
Adversarial – Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism (Black/Death Metal)
Ambush – Desecrator (Heavy Metal)
Anopheli – The Ache of Want (Blackened Doom/Sludge Metal/Crust)
Antlers – A Gaze into the Abyss (Atmospheric Black Metal)

Baroness – Purple (Progressive Sludge Metal/Progressive Rock)
Beaten to Death – Unplugged (Grindcore)
Bedowyn – Blood of the Fall (Heavy/Doom/Stoner Metal)
Behold! The Monolith – Architects of the Void (Psychedelic Stoner/Doom Metal)
Black Fast – Terms of Surrender (Technical/Progressive Thrash Metal)
Blood Incantation – Interdimensional Extinction (Death Metal)
Blurring – Blurring (Gindcore)

Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Progressive Death Metal/Grindcore)
Chaos Moon – Amissum (Black Metal)
Clutch – Psychic Warfare (Stoner Rock/Hard Rock/Southern Rock)
Cowards – Rise To Infamy (Blackened Hardcore/Sludge)
Cult Leader – Lightless Walk (Sludge Metal/Grindcore/Crust)
Cult of Endtime – In Charnel Lights (Death Metal)

Dead River Runs Dry – Hierophants of the Storm (Black Metal)
Dekadent – Veritas (Atmospheric Black Metal)

Elder – Lore (Stoner Metal/Doom Metal)
Eldritch Horror – Untouched By the Sun (Death Metal)
Enforcer – From Beyond (Heavy Metal)
Ereb Altor – Nattramn (Epic/Viking Metal/Blackened Doom Metal)

Faith No More – Sol Invictus (Avant-Garde/Alternative/Metal/Funk)
Firespawn – Shadow Realms (Death Metal)

Gods of Eden – From the End of Heaven (Technical/Prosressive Death Metal)
Gorelust – We Are The Undead (Brutal Death Metal)
Grieving Mirth – Calamitosvs Omine (Atmospheric Black Metal)

Henriëtta – Dead By Dawn (Death/Thrash Metal)
Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth (Death/Doom Metal)
Horisont – Odyssey (Stoner Rock/Psychedelic Rock)
Horrendous – Anareta (Death Metal)

Immortal Bird – Empress/Abscess (Death Metal)
Implore – Depopulation (Blackened Death Metal/Grindcore/Crust)
Isvind – Gud (Black Metal)

Kadavar – Berlin (Psychedelic/Stoner/Hard Rock)
Kalpa – Sequences* (Sludge/Post-Metal)
Kampfar – Profan (Black Metal)
Karyn Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches – Salem’s Wounds (Occult Metal/Rock/Hard Rock)
Kubark – Obedience (Progressive Atmospheric Metal/Post-Rock)

Last Son – Poxt Spring Rebirth: The Architect’s Art on the failure of creation (Post-Metal/Sludge Metal)
Lord Fist – Green Eyleen (Heavy Metal)
Lost Soul – Atlantis: The New Beginning (Technical Death Metal)
Lucifer’s Child – The Wiccan (Progressive Black Metal)

Malevolent Creation – Dead Man’s Path (Death Metal)
Malthusian – Below the Hengiform (Black/Death Metal)
Mesarthim – Isolate (Atmospheric Black Metal)
Minsk – The Crash And The Draw (Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal)
Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu (Black Metal)
Moerae – Untouched (Atmospheric/Progressive Black Metal)
Monolord – Vænir (Stoner/Doom Metal)
Mørket – Musta Luonto (Black Metal/Crust)
Mount Shasta Collective – Beast (Post-Rock/Post-Metal)
Murg – Varg & Björn (Black Metal)

Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat (Death Metal/Grindcore)
The Nepalese Temple Ball – Arbor (Post-Metal/Sludge Metal)
Night Demon – Curse of the Damned (Heavy Metal)

Obscene Entity – Lamentia (Death Metal)
Otargos – Xeno Kaos (Black/Death Metal)
Outre – Ghost Chants (Black Metal)
Outre-Tombe – Répurgation (Death Metal)

Panopticon – Autumn Eternal (Atmospheric Black Metal)
Paradise Lost – The Plague Within (Gothic/Doom Metal)
Peasant – Go to Hell (Black/Heavy Metal/Punk)
Planks – Perished Bodies (Blackened Sludge/Post-Metal)
Plèvre – Untouched (Crust/Post-Metal/Mathcore)
Purtenance – …To Spread The Flame Of Ancients (Death Metal)

Red Apollo – Altruist (Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal)
Rivers of Nihil – Monarchy (Technical Death Metal)

Satan – Atom by Atom (Heavy Metal)
Seeds in Barren Fields – Let the Earth be Silent After Ye (Black Metal/Crust/Hardcore)
Septic Grave – Last Sign (Death Metal)
Seraph In Travail – Bring Forth Death (Symphonic Death/Black Metal)
Shrine Of Insanabilis – Disciples Of The Void (Black Metal)
Sloth King – The Monolith (Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal)
Sorcerer – In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross (Epic Doom Metal)
Spook the Horses – Rainmaker (Sludge/Atmospheric Post-Metal)
Sunset in the 12th House – Mozaic (Psychedelic Post-Rock/Post-Metal)

Taken By the Sun – Taken By the Sun (Progressive Atmospheric Sludge Metal/Post-Metal)
Tank – Valley of Tears (Heavy Metal)
Temple of Baal – Mysterium (Black/Death Metal)
This Gift Is a Curse – All Hail the Swinelord (Black/Sludge Metal/Hardcore)
Thorns Of Sin – Destroy The Light (Black/Thrash Metal)
Thulcandra – Ascension Lost (Melodic Black/Death Metal)
Timeworn – Luminescent Wake (Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal)
Trial – Vessel (Doom/Heavy Metal)
Tribulation – The Children Of The Night (Death Metal)
Triumvir Foul – Triumvir Foul (Death Metal)

Ufomammut – Ecate (Psychedelic Stoner/Doom Metal)
The Ugly – Decreation (Black Metal)
Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine (Death Metal)
Unrest – Grindcore (Death Metal/Grindcore)

Vattnet Viskar – Settler (Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal)
VI – De Prästigiis Angelorum (Black Metal)
Vingulmork – Chiaroscuro (Black/Thrash Metal)
The Vintage Caravan – Arrival (Hard Rock/Stoner Rock/ Psychedelic Rock)
Vintage Warlords – The Invisible Foe (Death/Doom Metal)

Water Into Blood – Water Into Blood (Sludge Metal/Post-Metal/Hardcore)
Witchwood – Litanies From The Woods (Progressive/Psychedelic Rock)

Xeroderma – The Reckoning (Black/Death Metal)

Year of the Goat – The Unspeakable (Occult Rock/Psychedelic Rock/Hard Rock)
Yellow Eyes – Sick with Bloom (Black Metal)

By: Arash Khosronejad @arashkh | Columnist From The Abyss

• • • • •