Author: Bloodshot Grub
Before I get into it, I want to note that this is my metal only Top 5. Steven Wilson’s prog rock masterpiece Hand. Cannot. Erase. is featured in the #2 slot of my master list.
- Khemmis – Absolution
Despite seeing this band live on a regular basis, Absolution has still received significant play time. It’s an emotional powerhouse of doom metal, an able demonstration of both the genre’s capacity to create monumental, cathartic weight, and of the overall quality of Denver’s largely doom- and sludge-centric metal scene.
- Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War
Although not in the #1 spot for 2015, I don’t think any other album has received as much play time as this one. While Obsequiae, Nechochwen, and Sigh are most attuned to certain moods and atmospheres, there is simply never a time when I don’t feel like listening to Macabre Omen, and it’s always an enjoyable experience. Both epic and deeply personal, Gods of War – At War combines the melodic riffing approach of Greek black metal with the grandeur of Hammerheart. It has also launched my investigation into the fantastic Greek black metal scene, making this one of the most rewarding discoveries of the year.
- Sigh – Graveward
Sigh returned this year with one of the best albums of their illustrious career. Graveward is an unsettling and cinematic journey of avant-garde psychedelic symphonic black metal, and a cohesive integration of over two decades of brilliant musical invention.
- Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon
Like Obsequiae, Nechochwen’s Heart of Akamon is a stirring and epic melodic black metal journey delving into ancient musical traditions. The musical tradition in question is the rarely-explored music of the indigenous American peoples, which whom this album is also thematically concerned.
- Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
It wasn’t even a minute into “Autumnal Pyre” that I knew that this would be my album of the year. I’m not entirely convinced that Tanner Anderson didn’t delve into my brain Inception-style with the goal of figuring out how to create one of my favorite albums. Aria of Vernal Tombs is a treasure trove of black metal melodies set against each other in counterpoint and evoking the reverent atmosphere of early sacred classical music. I’ve been open to other possibilities – the Nechochwen (which features an Obsequiae member) sure gave it a run for its money. But here we are, and here it is.