After making a list in my last post, I remembered why I enjoyed making lists in the first place. I do them periodically on my own, but Listmas is the perfect excuse to make more. So here I am rehashing my idea from last year during this time of making a list of my favorite metal albums of the year. Admittedly I didn’t pay attention to the scene as much this year, so I had to do a little looking around to round out the list. A couple of my favorite bands put out new releases this year, so those were easy additions, but I didn’t really go searching for new music to consume this year, probably because I’ve been so busy with all of the other content generation, and you know, playing games and such. That doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on searching for new music, it was just lower on the priority list for the first time in a long time. Anyway, this year I decided to also pick a favorite song off of each album and include a video for it. So let’s get to it, shall we?
5. Slayer – Repentless
Slayer is a band that most if not all metal bands are influenced by. Part of the “Big Four” that includes Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, they were legends of the thrash scene of the 80’s. They’ve persisted through the decades and still have a signature sound, despite losing some founding members before recording this album. Their dark and brooding lyrics plus anti-religious themes probably won’t sit well with most, but hey, credit where it’s due, they started something bigger than themselves. The title track is my personal favorite, and sounds reminiscent of Raining Blood and other classic Slayer tracks.
4. Thy Art is Murder – Holy War
Thy Art is Murder is an Australian death metal band that I discovered this year. I guess that goes against what I said in the opening paragraph of this post but discovering them was a good thing. The title track from the album is dark and gritty, but paints a picture that resonates within me. The video helps to drive that message home. Good shit. My only complaint is that the mastering of this album was a little light on bass, so it doesn’t thump as hard as it should, but it’s a great album nonetheless.
3. Lamb of God – Sturm Und Drang
Lamb of God has been putting out commercially accepted metal for a decade plus now, and it still feels like they have more in the tank. Not only are they sounding tighter and more polished than ever, but this album feels less repetitive than previous efforts. Still, if you’ve heard one LoG album, you’ve pretty much heard them all. If you like them, you’ll like this one. If you aren’t a fan then don’t expect something different here. It’s still a great album even if you don’t think so.
2. Revocation – Empire of the Obscene (Remaster)
Though technically not a new album for 2015, Revocation’s Empire of the Obscene was re-released this year, so it counts. It’s also their first effort as a band, so it was one of those things you couldn’t find unless you knew where to look. With the remaster you get the demo release that sounds like a brand new album, and because I hadn’t heard it before it was like getting one. I love this band, with their combination of thrash and death metal that just shreds.
1. The Black Dahlia Murder – Abysmal
There was a time when I had a favorite band. They were my favorite band for years and years, but then they took a turn for the worse and I just couldn’t stomach their new direction. I vowed from that day on that I wouldn’t ever declare another single band as my favorite because the same result could come about. Since then, I’ve had a handful of bands from differing genres that I would consider favorites, but if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, The Black Dahlia Murder would be it. Somehow each new release impresses me more than the last, and nothing ever feels rehashed. These are truly creative guys and I love everything they do. The album’s opening track is above and I just love how it builds in intensity before blowing your head off and then maintains that high threshold for the remainder of the song. Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.
See something you don’t like? Did I miss something? Do you hate metal? Let me know in the comments!