2015 has been a fantastic year for the extreme metal music climate. I’d have to look back a few years to find the last benchmark, where so much good music was being put out. Myself, I am listening to way too much music, to be able to digest and store albums in my memory. This is the consequence of having constant access to new music, everything becomes a bit less special, less exciting, at least that´s how I´m experiencing this digital streaming hullabaloo. The consumption has been brutal, much of it forgotten, damn this age of fragmented focus! Some albums definitely made an impact though. Here´s the official Extreme Metal Voyager top 10 album list of 2015.
10. Tribulation – The Children Of The Night (Century Media Records)
A new discovery, the name has been thrown around plenty. A hauntingly beautiful album meshing Swedish styled Death/Black Metal, Progressive Rock and horror filled lyrical themes.
9. Sylosis – Dormant Heart (Nuclear Blast Records)
Not as thrilling as the last two albums, UK´s leading metal wunderkind still manages to be heads above the rest. Progressively subtle, full of ethereal ambiences and aggression loaded with sophistication. It´s all there. Bob´s your uncle.
8. Temple Of Baal – Mysterium (Agonia Records)
Nothing beats an album with engaging musicality and magick filled darkness. This one´s intense and not too eclectic like many of the French bands in the Black Metal genre. Pure atmospheric brutality paused by ritualistic interludes.
7. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar (Season Of Mist)
Another “stellar” Black Metal release. From Germany this time. The album has an epic, soaring quality in its punishing delivery, somewhere between the majesty of Borknagar and Emperor mixed with temporary bleakness of say Katatonia or Opeth.
6. Solefald – World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud – (Indie Recordings)
The strange phenomenon known as Solefald continues to add peculiar sounds into its ongoing existence. So much wacky songwriting that somehow works. World music with black edges indeed.
5. Decline Of The I – Rebellion (Agonia Records)
I have to admit, I did feel rather unwell after spinning this for the first time. This album aims to take you out of your comfort zone… and it did. This is the type of Black Metal that France is known for; esoteric, rooted in disarray. Extremely compelling release.
4. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within (Century Media Records)
One of my alltime treasured bands. Defining and redefining, that´s the calling of this pioneering act. Somber atmospheres, heavy tempos, melodic dreariness and the growls are back. Somewhere inside roams the sledgehammer wit of old Nick, bless his tormented soul.
3. Leprous – The Congregation (InsideOut Music)
It´s ridiculous how these slick looking Norwegians manage to keep up the crisp in the songwriting. Yet another album of fantastic progressive music, full of brisk musicianship and catchiness that completely bonkers, insane.
2. Leviathan – Scar Sighted (Profound Lore Records)
Newfound avant-garde songwriting coupled with layered madness. Leviathan spearheads the unsettling corners of extreme metal music, internal misery that´s cutting edge and wants to progress. Profound musical statement.
1. Lychgate – An Antidote For The Glass Pill (Blood Music)
It´s an album like this one that completely restores my confidence in extreme metal music. It has some of that Norwegian Black Metal avant-gardism but takes that blueprint to celestial positions. Genius songwriting and overall presentation. The perfect soundtrack when you´re slightly mad.