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 TOP 10 Metal Releases of 2015---by Lance Hall

As I like to say -- A ton O' new rock and metal released seemingly everyday in 2015 and to pick out a true top -10 would be just about impossible so lets call this my first ten that come to mind for 2015 !!! Given more time I could easily pull these ten off and put ten more up and nobody would blink. Contrary to Gene Simmons -- rock is not dead !!!

#10 -- Once Human -- The Life I Remember. He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk !!! Logan Mader showing no rust at all as he moves from the producers chair back to an active touring musician and Lauren Hart's vocals are bad ass !!!! If you like it hard this one is for you !!

#9 -- Bulletboys -- Elefante' Yes that Bulletboys !!! Marq Torien is also back !! All killer no filler and an awesome cover of Elton Johns " The Bitch Is Back ". 80's nostalgia with a modern twist.

#8 -- The Answer -- Raise A Little Hell And that they did !! Cormac Neeson and his Irish brethren deliver a solid album of riffing guitars churning bass and double barrel drums that brings back the best of the classic rock sound that made the 70's what they were, and no I'm not talking bout disco !!

#7 -- Midnight Ghost Train -- Cold Was The Ground I'll admit at first I had this pegged as stoner rock but after a chat with guitarist Steve Moss I quickly realized this was blues just amped up 2015 style, from America's heartland of Topeka Kansas where the Children of The Corn live on !! Best album cover of the year also !!

#6 -- Diemonds -- Never Wanna Die Priya Priya Priya !! Priya Panda and Diemonds from Toronto will have you partying like it's 1986 on this stellar release. This band will be HUGE !!!

#5 -- Devil In California -- Longer Ride Down Straight up balls out ROCK !! If ever Harley Davidson needed a soundtrack this would be it !! Excellent !

#4 -- Night Demon --Curse Of The Damned Forget about back to the future. The past is the future for this California trio on their first full length release. As true a throwback to the NWOBHM as there ever could be. Criminally underrated band.

#3 -- Queensryche -- Condition Human No Geoff Tate ?? No problem !! The best Queensrcyhe album since Rage For Order. Solid !!

#2 -- WASP -- Golgatha A late player in the game but man still hard not to put it at #1. Blackie hasn't lost a note on his voice, songwriting and craftsmanship is top notch and I'll stack any other WASP album up beside this one and it'll still hold up. It is that damn good !!

edge

#1 Edge Of Paradise --Immortal Waltz -- Traditional but fresh sound all at once, superior musicianship and when you have a front woman like Margarita Monet you are the #1 Rock Album { at least in my humble opinion } of 2015 !!!


My Top 10 Metal Albums of 2015, by Nickatnight

2015 is almost at its end, and to see off this year in metal we would like to share our views and list what we thought were the high points of heavy metal this year!  When we look back over the year, it always gives us a sense of what actually moved our inner headbangers the most. The unexpected releases that blew our minds, the let downs, and even the concerts of epic proportions.  So buck up and see if you agree with our lists of what we thought were the best highlights of this year, submitted by our users. Well here it is, my list of albums I thought were worthy and suited my tastes the most.  I am eager to compare…so here it goes:   10.  Moon spell - Extinct.  I loved this album, they are still the same but have updated their sound and progressed without losing their original vampiric feel. 9.  Cryptopsy - The Book Of Suffering: Tome 1 E.P..  These Canadian death metal masters really stepped up their game with this release.  As heavy as ever and not going away anytime soon! A must listen. 8.  Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror.  Hobbit metal you say? Yep. Absolutely stunning power metal. I did not expect this.  I saw them live in Toronto and it was just as amazing as the album.  I could hear a lot of Queen (yes, Queen) in it. Astounding vocals of many kinds. 7.  Marduk - Frontschwein.  Black metal legends return with another war based excursion into the darkness.  I loved the updated off beat feel of songs like “The Blond Beast” the most from this one. 6.  Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor.  Mr. Manson returns with an perfectly produced gem of complete self rule. Lounge feeling, but still rock based, I dig this a lot. He truly is the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles! 5.  Gorgoroth - Instinctus Bestialis.  Black fucking metal incarnate right here.  Gorgoroth returned with an album of pure blackness and evil.  Every song is worthy of a sacrifice. 4.  Hate Eternal - Infernus.  Extreme death metal masters at their finest.  This is the heaviest and thickest death metal release of the year.  Just Chaos. 3.  Nile - What Should Not Be unearthed.  Nile took the treble sound of their last few albums and perfected it on this album.  Gems like “Evil To Cast Out Evil” and “Through Fire And Flame” steal the show.  Nile are ancient Egyptian based carnage at its finest. 2.  The Black Dahlia Murder - Abyssmal.  I adore these guys, and this album did not let me down in the slightest!  They put their souls into it and one can tell they pulled from their darkest corners.  I saw them 2 days in a row in Toronto and London, Ontario, They killed it! 1.  Cattle Decattle2015capitation - The Anthropocene Extinction.  Cattle Decapitation went into the studio with a plan and nailed it. Themes of Human ignorance and environmental collapse shoved in our faces.  Their show at the Hard Luck Bar in Toronto with King Parrot, Black Crown Initiate, and Dark Sermon on this year’s Blood Moon was intense and will go down in my history as one of the craziest experiences I have ever had.  Brutality. Such an incredible release.       So there it is, my picks of the year. I would like to also include Enslaved, Cradle Of Filth, Napalm Death, Six Feet Under, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Kataklysm, Slayer, Five Finger Death Punch, and Trivium as honourable mentions.  It was a superb year, and I cannot wait to see what next year will bring (I am especially excited for Fleshgod Apocalypse!!!).  Cheers!
Top 10 by Austyn Taylor So, as the year draws closer to an end, so does the flow of album releases. With less albums filling the shelves, that means that the top ten lists shall fill the web pages of metal websites everywhere, The Metal Pit is no exception. We have a bunch of different people on here, meaning multiple different types of music tastes. In an attempt to keep my list fresh and away from most people's lists, I will be covering quite a few local bands, underground bands and bands from different countries that don't always get a lot of coverage. 2015 has been a pretty decent year in terms of what has been released in the metal community. Everybody knows about the Book of Souls release, and the Repentless record. But how about the Machine of Rebellion debut album?  My speciality is focusing on bands and albums that I doubt a lot of people have heard unless they have a crap load of time on their hands. Despite my Pantera review, I enjoy reviewing mostly underground bands. It's easy to write about the new Black Dahlia Murder album, or the Periphery records released earlier this year, which is why I'm challenging myself by limiting myself to only ranking two mainstream releases on this list. If need be, I will just go back and write a list of mainstream releases that I enjoyed. Alright, let's get this big bitch started!   10.The Order of Apollyon- The Sword and the Dagger Oh, how satanic blackened death metal has become the target of constant bitching and blathering. I personally enjoy hearing about how Jesus was a cunt and that Satan is the true lord and saviour. If you don't absolutely hate the concept of lyrics that are all about hating religion and being a satanist, then The Sword and Dagger by Apollyon is for you. Take Behemoth's Satanist album for vocal work and bland it in with a bit of a more technical and complex instrumental score, the end results make up The Sword and the Dagger. A February release to help warm up your winter (or at least keep you inside as you bask in the glory) this album helped to pave the road for the music of this passing year. Recommended songs: Own the Youth, Eight Pillars, Chants of Purification. 9..Behold! The Monolith-Architects of the Void Back when I wrote my review for the 2002 single album release from doom band A Perpetual Dying Mirror, I listened to a crap-load of doom bands (it was just a phase). Among those bands, I found myself thoroughly digging Behold! The Monolith. I could go on and on about this album, but I will save that for an actual review. All I will say is this: if you are looking for interesting and diverse instrumental work, as well as atmospheric and trippy vocal styles, then Behold! The Monolith is what you want to be listening to. Architects of the Void keeps every song interesting, fresh and fun to listen to. Unlike a lot of doom bands, there is nothing boring about these guys. Check it out, you can find the full album on YouTube. Recommended songs: Philosopher’s Blade, Black Days of... 8. Purtenance- To Spread the Flame of Ancients When Member of Immortal Damnation was released way before my time, it made a name for itself as a bit of a 1992 death metal classic. Taking the next spot on this list is the Purtenance's most recent attempt at releasing an album. Now, I dig the entire discography, but something about ...To Spread The Flame of Ancients just stands out to me. The speeds of the tracks differ, every minute is a different ride for dear life. It can go from face melting thrash metal speed, to Sun O))) sluggish speed. As I've used before; this album is very diverse. When it comes to “old school” death metal, it's hard to be diverse. Ville uses different variations of lows all throughout the record. The fact that this album is on this list and not in the shadow of it's older brother is due to the diversity it brings to the table. I can't recommend just any few songs. Check out the full album. 7.My Dear Malice- Madness Madness is an album that I have been meaning to write up a review for quite a long time now. My Dear Malice is a local band, straight outta Cambridge, who have made quite the name for themselves in the local surrounding cities (if I'm correct). They came here to London way earlier this year, which was when I first heard of them and met their vocalist Jesse Furtado (fanominal human being). My Dear Malice is ahead of a lot of bands that share their rather young age with having released a collection of extended plays, but Madness outweighs all of them. Madness has the word “musicianship” written all over it. The band identifies as deathcore, but the sound differs from most mainstream deathcore bands. This album is not littered with breakdowns like you would find in a Thy Art is Murder or Born of Osiris release. I won't go too in depth with this because I want to save some for the review. Just keep in mind that this is a very meaty album with plenty of balls. Those sweep picks though. Suggested songs: Wraith (the only single to be released off the album), Blood Moon, the Veldt. 6. Blasphemic Cruelty-Crucible of the Infernum Among the extended plays released this year, Crucible of the Infernum is by far the best one yet. It isn't the top release of the year, but the best EP of the year, yannow what I'm saying? Every now and then everybody needs something simple to in their CD collection. This EP is exactly what that person needs. It doesn't try to be beefy. It just tries to be straight up death metal and doesn't take too many chancesm which is a very good thing. Blasphemic Cruelty takes after old school death metal bands, and does a fantastic job. I'd say that in future releases they should add some meat to the bones of their release, but this is perfect on it's own. This album takes a breezy twenty minutes to listen to, so just listen to it all is my suggestion. 5. Sodroth- Manipulacion Perversa Another EP, this album (too lazy to type up it's Argentinian name) is on the thrash side of things. Falling just under twenty minutes, it is a pretty fun album to listen to. There aren't too many modern thrash bands worth listening to in this day and age; thrash has nothing really new to add. Thrash has been done since the dawn of metal music, meaning there id nothing really new to add to the genre considering how simplistic it is in it's own essence. This album grew a pair of balls and brought the aggression. I highly enjoyed it, and you can too! Just take twenty more minutes away from your Christmas and new years drinking to listen to this amazing record! 4.Gloryhammer- Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards Coming out in september of 2015 is hard, mainly because fighting with the Slayer, Iron Maiden, Black Dahlia and Atreyu fan bases is nearly impossible. What did you miss by listening to the four albums just mentioned? You missed Gloryhammer's second release. What's better than power metal? Power metal of the symphonic kind! If the fact that it's symphonic mixed with power metal isn't enough for you to be sold on the album, then you are too picky and probably shouldn't be listening to a thing I'm raving on about. The first two tracks are enough to hook the listener into the alnum. I have listened to it about five times now, it's hard to tear myself away from it. Suggested tracks: Legend of the Astral Hammer, Heroes (of Dundee), Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards 3. Miss May I-Deathless I know what you're thinking: Ew, gross, metalcore. Just, hear me out on this one. Deathless has BALLS. From it's crushing speed to its actually manly cleans, this album is a ten pound beef cake that is meant to be played loud. I went to see Miss May I in January, and that was enough to get me hooked on them. Clearly not being much of a metalcore fan, they have to be pretty ballsey to be able to hook me like a fish just looking for food. The show was basically them hooking a twinkie on a line and waving it in front of my face. My favourite track off of Deathless, I.H.E. Is fairly whiny, but so intense and fairly fast. The breakdowns aren't as present in this release as they have been in most of them. As I keep saying, Deathless has a lot of balls to it. Miss May I is actually worth listening to, despite being a Metalcore band. Recommended tracks: I.H.E., Deathless, Trust my Heart. 2.Invoker- Aeon taking the second spot on the list is blackened death metal band Invoker. The reason that these guys are so high on this list is because of their ability to play melodic black metal, with death metal vocals. Now, I like Satanic Waraster but the “melodic” side to it just completely takes away from the vileness and evil atmosphere. I get really happy vibes from it. Invoker can invoke the feeling of death and pure dread and agony using melodic riffs and black metal tunes. Melodic black metal is either a hit or a miss, and can sometimes be viewed as an oxymoron. You would have to be a moron not to check out Aeon by Invoker. You know how I keep describing albums as meaty and ballsey? Invoker proves to be both. The balls coming from the chance they took in playing melodic black metal. Being the second place album, I suggest you take a gander at all tracks. Now, I have a problem. Finding a number one spot album is the hardest thing for me to do as a reviewer. There have just been so many god damn releases worth writing about this year, and I just can't seem to pick one. Going through the collection of stuff I have listened to over the past eleven months (which is a lot), I have found what I think to be the most meatiest, diverse album with the biggest pair of big old brass balls. It took a while to pick this album, but I finally found the album worth adding to my number one spot: ensiferium1.Ensiferum- One Man Army This entire album, from start to finish, feels like it could be used as a soundtrack to a brutal action film about vikings exploring lands and killing each other in bloody combat. Yes, I did have a gripe or two about this album, but I had a gripe with about every album on this list. No two songs sound the same on this album. This album is filled with plenty of solos, interesting Celtic tunes, and blast beats to make your beard bloom and your balls drop. The band is just so tight together that they make the complex tunes work with each other. The songwriting and structure is fantastic, following the theme of Celtic/warrior style music. When a band such as Esiferum puts out an album, us (the masses) stop and we listen. We hear their wild call for adventure. We pull on our cloaks and grab the battle axes, and we journey out near and far to the nearest record store and fight our way (to the death, might I add)  through the gathering hordes in order to pick up our copy. Needless to say, this is a very good album. St's more than good, in fact, it's great. There is nothing more I truly want to reveal about this album, for all things good and holy, just go listen to it! This top ten is far from over. Seeing as how I love to write, and have literally all of the freedom of writing that I could ask for, this list will go on to extend to a top five ranking of shows I went to, and I will even go on to review the year as a whole, and talk about my most anticipated albums of 2016. I have really been lacking for all of the readers here on the Metal Pit, I will be bringing in a whole collection of reviews and blog entries, my Christmas gifts from me to you. I need to do a review of Madness by My Dear Malice, I promised Jesse that I would, I have been putting it off for far too long. To keep this article from getting too long, I will do a quick list of shows that I thought were the best, and then I'll move on to my review of the year as a whole.

Top Five Shows of 2015

5. ERRA, Northlane, Fit for a King, August Burns Red 4. Rise Against and Killswitch Engage 3. Something you Whisper, Bitter Kids, Rise of Ares, Small Talk 2. Bolt Thrower, Razor, Born Dead Icons, Abyss 1. Danzig, Cancer Bats, Pennywise

Okay, now that I'm not taking up an entire page just to talk about five shows I've been to that I like the most, I have space to write about the year as a whole for the metal community. But first, I want to address a certain album: This is no Fairy Tail by Carach Angren. It has gotten the label of the worst metal album of the year. I have also heard that Carach Angren are the absolute worst metal band of 2015. Well, seeing as how this is my personal article for my personal opinions, I will put my opinion out there. Here it is: This is no Fairy Tail is not the absolute worst album of the year, and Carach Angren are not the worst band around. Sure, they are extra cheesy, but they are actually somewhat decent. I don't cringe when listening to them, but I don't say “wow! This is great!” However, the album is memorable, but not in the way it wants to be. It's memorable because of it's label of being the worst album. It seems to be a “love it or hate it” album. I personally enjoyed it.

There have been a number of significant deaths this year, including Sir Christopher Lee. Also, most of the members from Goodbye to Gravity died due to fire wounds. I don't want to get too in depth with who died this year, because this is about the good things of this year, not ending on a sad note.

Now, 2015 housed a crap load full of great albums, as I had just proven. There wasn't even man bad albums that I can think of. Indonesia had a FANTASTIC year. Machine of Rebellion and Criminology both impressed me with their releases this year. My face melted, and I gagged due to the size of the balls those albums shoved down my throat. They released some very meaty material, I'll give them that. Needless to say it was a very good year. The local scene here in Ontario was pretty good, what with Gravitational Distortion releasing a killer slam album. We also had the Ontario Death Fest, as well as the Pit Fest. Some great shows going on recently. London also had Beyond Creation and Bookakee come. There will be a review about that later on. The shows this year have been amazing, although I did not leave Canada, I was in Calgary, Alberta for the majority of the summer, so I got to see quite a few shows.

The mainstream is doing pretty well, too. Disturbed dropped Immortalized, one of the best comebacks in a long time. Thy Art is Murder released Holy War which was just basically Hate part 2. Slayer opened a can of worms with Repentless. There have just been so many mainstream releases, and most of them hit critical success as to be expected. In terms of shows, this year gets a 4/5. In terms of albums and music released, 5/5 would listen to this entire year all over again.

Megadeth released a few singles to tease us fans, causing quite a bit of hype for the new album. Let me just say; I am stoked. All Shall Perish, with Eddie, are making a comeback. Anvil, Deicide, Skeletonwitch, Rob Zombie, Dark Tranquillity are all among the large amount of bands who have music in production. Those are some of my anticipated artists releasing stuff next year. More importantly, Into Eternity are putting out a new album which is going to be going straight into my collection.

In terms of the metal community, this year has been a solid 5/5, excluding some deaths and a few mishaps along the way. Let's hope 2016 can be just as great, if not better. I'm sure with new Into Eternity on the way, that won't be too hard. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------