Hopefully it is not too pretentious or try-hard; I like Doom and Heavy Metal… and the Eureka Machines. Simples.
- Holy Serpent ‘Holy Serpent’
Starting off with one of my favourite discoveries of the year: Holy Serpent!
“The Riding Easy label should tell you all you need to know. Another quality doom band you’ve never heard of picked out for our listening pleasure; they have a faultless record in their short reign as kings of the underground.”
- Undersmile ‘Anhedonia’
“The simplistic riffs and beats tied together with the chilling vocals are enough to make this a nightmare of an album without any need for over the top aggression or angst. Undersmile have tapped into a magical little vein of naturally doom-ridden music with mesmerising results.”
- Monolord ‘Vænir’
Another one courtesy of Sheltered Life PR. Hopefully one day I’ll get to see Monolord live…
“Monolord’s sound leapt out to us last year …. Their brand of “Subsonicscuzzfest” certainly doesn’t fall into the average pile and with their new ‘Vænir’ album just about to come out, they are continuing on their upward trajectory as a shit-hot doom ban
7. Slayer ‘Repentless’
There’s a few in this top 10 that I never would have imagined would make it in here before listening to them. Slayer would fit in this category. I was really surprised by how good this was. Again, it’s had its naysayers, but unlike most commentators I’ve actually listened to it! I don’t mind sticking my neck out and saying I like it just as much as I don’t mind saying that the last couple of times I’ve seen them live I’ve been pretty unmoved. Swings and Roundabouts innit?
“‘Repentless’ genuinely sounds like the freshest record in the Slayer catalogue since ‘Divine Intervention’. Funnily enough, that was the first album without Lombardo the first time around; but we’re not having a dig at Dave at all here. We wouldn’t dare…”
- Eureka Machines ‘Brain Waves’
One of my favourite live bands ever, but I must admit apart from their first album, I’ve never been totally bowled over on record. Until this one… chunks of early Green Day, a total unexpected level of heaviness and unashamed riff worship and melody! This one is a corker.
- High On Fire ‘Luminiferous’
The only thing wrong with this one is that it’s not quite as good as ‘De Vermis…’ which has grown to be one of my all-time favourite albums… EVER! So this is still pretty damn good.
Never a band far away from the headlines; Lamb Of God came back with their most diverse album yet. Any change in the blueprint will ruffle a few feathers amongst fans and critics but I thought it was a damn fine album and welcomed those slightly new ventures as much as the good old shit-kickers!
“Randy has taken the reigns with the song writing on this record and nobody can deny it has put a different sheen on the Lamb Of God machine. The band are pushing out their boundaries slowly as they add a few dimensions to the band’s sound but all the time retain upmost respect for where the band has come from. They’re not about to drop everything that has come before and make their equivalent of ‘St Anger’…
- Pentagram ‘Curious Volume’
This one has grown on me a lot since I gave it a bit of a mediocre review…
“To level with you, Liebling is the main attraction. The band behind him (which currently comprises Victor Griffin, Greg Turley and Pete Campbell) deal in some doom metal tunes worthy of our attention. In reality, the likes of Orange Goblin, Down and Fu Manchu are better at doing Pentagram than Pentagram are these days. The stoner movement that owes so much to Pentagram and 70’s vibes borrowed a lot but also pushed the envelope even further. Somewhat out of the reach of bands like this…”
- Limb ‘Terminal’
I was looking forward to this but I was totally unprepared for just how good it was going to be. Limb and Russ Russell joining forces to create a splendid explosion of eargasms:
“This whole album bowls along in a boisterous fashion. There are lots of juicy big riffs, those all-important reflective passages and ambience builders and explosions of noise that will loosen your roof tiles. You won’t know whether to air drum or air guitar…”
- Paradise Lost ‘The Plague Within’
Best of the year for me… what a band!
“Paradise Lost have very little to prove these days. They’ve paved their own path of gold over the years and they could quite easily sit back and reap the rewards by cashing in on past glories (They could make themselves 10 years work simply touring the classic albums). Quite how after all this time they manage to still be on top of their game is baffling. Not many bands manage this sort of creative ability decades into their careers, but we are forever grateful that Paradise Lost can.”
Other highlights from 2015:
– The Wildhearts playing ‘PHUQ’ in it’s entirety (2 nights in a row!!)
– The boss letting me photo Bloodstock
– The Conan gig in Nottingham (Bloody Sweaty Chaos)
– Sanchez’s goal in the FA Cup final.
Have a good Christmas and New Year and all that!x