Teeth of the Divine 2015’s STAFF PICKS


2015. Another, goddamn, year over already. And how’d it end? With a major downer with Lemmy going somewhere else. Who do we have left? Ozzy? Rob? Alice? Anyone else? Damn. It wasn’t all that bad of a year though, even if the world seemed to become even crazier than 2014 — if Fox News is to be believed. Plenty of good music got released and what we’ve got here is a top list of metal related stuff that Teeth of the Divine’s staff handpicked themselves. Unlike most of our corporate overlords, we don’t outsource our opinions, enslave some poor bastards and build safety nets around them just in case they decide to call it quits. Actually, that’s not true. We’re not a hive mind, we enslave people to write for us but we sure as hell aren’t spending any of our huge advertising revenue to keep them alive. Ha! Anyway, browse around and find some worthy stuff you might have missed!

by Staff

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E.Thomas

Top 25 of 2015

  1. Vallendusk – Homeward Path (Northern Silence Productions). Unlike last year, where any number of albums could have claimed the top spot, I fell in love with Homeward Path instantaneously and never lost any love. The melodies are just so darn uplifting and gorgeous they give me goosebumps every time I hear them.
  2. MaladieStill. (Apostasy Records). Sheer, unbridled, chaotic, orchestral, black/death mindfuckery. Brilliant.
  3. Deluge – Æther. (Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions). A dense, weighty, but still harmonious post-black record that blew Deafheaven out of the literal and figurative water.
  4. Mgla – Exercises in Futility. (Northern Heritage). A late gate crasher on my list, but I can see why so many of my peers listed it. Perfect black metal.
  5. WolfheartWinterborn/Shadow World. (Spinefarm). Yep, I’m cheating – two releases in the same year. Sure, one was a reissue, but both are soooooo damn good at the whole sullen, melodic Finnish crunch that Insomnium and Amorphis had better step it up.
  6. AmorphisUnder the Red Cloud. (Nuclear Blast) And step it up is all Amorphis has done since 2006’s Eclipse, the band has been on about as good a 6 album run as any band has ever had.
  7. HorrendousAnareta (Dark Descent). Would not be a top 10 list without a DDR release, right? Three albums in, and a slight left turn from their Stockholm past into more progressive pastures, and Horrendous is on the brink of Carcass-like mainstream death metal stardom.
  8. GorodA Maze of Recycled Creeds. (Unique Leader/Listenable). Just a sheer joy to listen to, and when was the last time you could say that about a death metal record?
  9. Abyssal – Antikatastaseis, (Profound Lore Records).  A vast, dense, crumbling record with some lurking blackened melodies. An improvement over Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius and a force of nature, not just a record.
  10. ObsequiaeAria of Vernal Tombs. (20 buck Spin). Gorgeous, medieval chamber metal.
  11. Ovid’s WitheringScryers of the Ibis (Unique Leader). Also one of the best re-issues of 2015, this massive record successfully mixed intelligently crafted but punishing deathcore/djent and orchestration into a deep world with a riveting story and concept.
  12. Hate EternalInfernus. (Metal Blade). Another massive, blistering crumbling release from Rutan. “Pathogenic Apathy” makes me see red every time.
  13. Adversarial – Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism. (Dark Descent). And not just because they fixed the snare,
  14. SarpanitumBlessed Be My Brothers. (Willowtip) Good year for Leon Macy (also in Contrarian below), maybe a Mithras album in 2016?
  15. Lost SoulAtlantis (Apostasy Records). 6 years in the making, and one of Poland’s more underrated bands delivers an epic, symphonic-tinged tech death tour-de-force.
  16. NileThat Which Should Not be Unearthed .(Nuclear Blast). Nile back to being classic Nile.
  17. Panopticon – Autumn Eternal (Bindrune). Can Austin Lunn do any wrong at this point?
  18. Synapses –  Devoutness. (Cimmerian Shade). A fucken monster of shredding tech death with some major grooves.
  19. Contrarian – Polemic (Willowtip). Big, cavernous death metal with a touch of Schuldiner-esque wizardry.
  20. Sulphur AeonGateways to the Antisphere (Imperium Productions) . Almost crushed by its lofty predecessor, but a definite grower
  21. House of Atreus – The Spear and the Ichor that Follows(Dark Descent). Melodic death metal done with Dark Descent grime and weight and a killer Roman/Greek theme.
  22. Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon (Bindrune). The native american equivalent of Obsequiae.
  23. Heaving EarthDenouncing the Holy Throne. (Lavadome). Early 2015 Immolation worship that got lost. Not by me.
  24. EnvyAtheists Cornea. (Temporary Residence ltd). A more direct but still contemplative and brilliant envy.
  25. Ghost BathMoonlover (Northern Silence). More utterly gorgeous melodies from Northern Silence.

Random Shit

Best label: Dark Descent. Any doubt? As well as three releases above they also released fine albums by Undergang, Desolate Shrine, Eternal Solstice, Hacavitz, Ghoulgotha (which was in the above list right up until the last minute), Tyranny, Wombbath, Crypt Sermon, Third Storm, Grave Ritual, Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice.  Many of which you will see scattered around this site’s end of year feature as well as many others.

Biggest surprises:  Cradle of Filth  – Hammer of the Witches. How many of you thought these guys were done? With the DeadWith the Dead. Never truly dug Cathedral, but this less hippy version is heavy as balls. Abigail WilliamsThe Accuser. Who saw that coming? TribulationChildren of the Night. Sexy ass vampyric metal that met the hype.

Welcome Back: LeviathanScar Sighted. Wrest got all his legal and personal shit behind him and after the lackluster True Traitor, True Whore, and got back to what he does best.

Best packaging: Arstisdir Lifsins – Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn.  (Van Records). Not just a brilliant album but a sonic historical document.

Best production:  Fear FactoryGenexus. Even with all the great old school guitar tones (Entrails, Wombath, Mass Burial, Tortureama, Morbid Vomit etc), Fulber, Bell, and Cazares gave their album a sound that just hit me right on every level.

Best reunions: VehemenceForward Without Motion. Welcome the fuck back. Most apt album title of the year as well. ArcturusArcturian.   The album that should have come after The Sham Mirrors. 

Best EP: Cosmic ChurchVigilia.

Best Self-Released albums:  DekadentVeritas.  Auric  Empty Seas.

Let-downs:  VHOL, Napalm Death, Between the Buried and Me, Deafheaven, Iron Maiden.

Wishful thinking: My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost released kickass old school albums- how about Anathema returning to Serenades sound?

Guilty Pleasures: Chelsea WolfeAbyssSubterranean MasqueradeThe Great Bizarre.  Such a smooth svelte progressive metal record.

 

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Comments

  1. Commented by: Aaron

    I am a bit surprised (and saddened) to see the Sickening Horror mentioned only once, since this seemed to be one of the very few sites that actually reviewed it, and it got a pretty positive review at that.

    Definitely some stuff I missed on these lists though so I will have to start digging through them.


  2. Commented by: Jerry

    I reviewed it here but didn’t submit a top ten due to extremely part-time status. But it was one of the few metal records I liked last year.


  3. Commented by: Zach

    Erik thanks to you I discovered Vallendusk. And WOW! What an amazing album and band!Cheers!


  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

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