Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2015

Top 24 Records of 2015

Yeah... 2015 was huge, so this top list is also going to be huge!
And like in 2014, this is not just my personal list - this is the definite list. 
Debating over it is pointless... ;-) (here is 2014's list, just in case anyone is interested)

Edit: I guess I was a bit lazy... procrastinating and stuff... you know?
So, to everyone who is still waiting, here are the last/first 7 places (with only one year delay):

1. xREPENTANCEx - The Sickness Of Eden
Who would've though, huh? Mind-blown!
If you haven't heard of them yet, yeah... your bad... lay down and die or something!
THE vegan straight edge 90's style band of the modern times.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (12")

2. xLAIRx - Wrath Of The Immaculate
Vegan Straight Edge 90's Metalcore from Australia... also militant and shit!
FFO: The Path Of Resistance, Shockwave, Earth Crisis, ...
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (7") | buy (7"/tape)

3. NoRestraint - The Branches Of Suffering & Down In It Split EP
Vegan Straight Edge 90's metallic Hardcore. Militant and shit...
FFO: Green Rage, Trial, Earth Crisis, ...
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (7") | buy (7"/tape)

4. Realm OfTorment - Testaments Of Hope & Despair
Early 00's Metalcore with some beatdown impact... Killswitch Engage meats UYC Crew.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (12") | buy (cd)

5. UnholyMajesty - All Is Dust
Oldschool Metal/Hardcore in the vein of bands like Integrity, Ringworm, etc.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape/12")

6. xDEVOURx - Demo
Metallic SxE Hardcore from Members of Blade! know the deal!
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape)

7. Vatican - Drowning The Apathy Inside & Paingod
Emotional, yet metallic 90's Metalcore/Crymosh.
FFO: Poison The Well, Hopesfall, Prayer For Cleansing.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape)

8. Deconsecrate - Nothing Is Sacred
Solid H8000 Metalcore with some Black & Death influences. Really evil stuff with 2 Singers
and guest vocals from John Gallagher (Dying Fetus) and Damien Moyal (Morning Again/Culture).
So, you know what to expect, don't you? "Metal", but for 90's Hardcore Kids (and the old guys) ;-)
If this alone wasn't already cool enough, it even came out on Goodlife Records,
as their first Vinyl output in... like 10 (?) years! So you see - this has to be outstandingly good!
Besides the great music they created here, which is basically a mix of All Out War, Congress,
Deformity & Behemoth, there are also really kind and interesting individuals behind this band.
Andy, their main Singer who also did the Artwork and stuff, was also the guy who did
(as part of a team) the H8000 Book (Compilation of the Zines) and is now (together with a friend)
running Kick Out The Jams (a really cool Cassette Label & Distro).
To end this with the words of Ed Goodlife himself:
The Glorious Return of H8000 Hardcore, featuring former members of Retaliate,
Crossed The Line, First Alliance, United Blood, 6 Days of Justice, doing their thing.
listen | buy (12"/cd)

9. No End In Sight - Black Clouds
For me, this definitely deserves the title "Metalcore Super Album 2015".
It has everything this genre needs and you could ask for - it has the typical "modern metalcore"
riffs and blast parts, but also more calm parts, with emotional lyrics and powerful vocals.
Typical metalcore shouts (really well done) but also gang shouts, hardcore style and lots of
guest vocals inbetween the whole thing. So, whilst being "the metalcore album" you can also hear
some hardcore influences here and there, what makes it, to my mind, even more sympathic.
Besides this, they are all very nice dudes and fucking vegan as well - how cool is that?
Like, metal, but with a punk attitude and lyrics about human/animal right and politics.
Another crossover that is pretty obvious in their style is (Thrash) Metal.
There is a goddam solo in every song! I mean, fuck it, thats exactly what I was missing
in most of the standart metalcore and hardcore stuff! So, whilst not being 100% OG Metalcore,
this is my "Metalcore Album 2015", because it is far better than what I expected
and it would deserve so much more attention, it's unreal!
Furthermore they're doing all this since '04 in the spirit of DIY. Self-releasing their records,
booking their own shows, doing their own merch (fairtrade, sustainable - all that shit), etc.
And even donating the money from that to charity/animal rights organisations!
So, dammit - show some support! For they deserve it way more than 99% of the bands out there!
listen | buy (12") | buy (tape)

10. Fourth Crusade - Demo MMXV / At War With The World / EP Promo
Really hard working (vegan) 90's style metalcore band from Germany.
Yeah, finally a "really good" band from Germany again! Was waiting for this!
In their one year of existence they have already achieved what other bands can't do in a lifetime
and they have already developed/changed their musical style pretty much during this,
but for the good! Their year started with a really cool h8000 style/metallic oldschool hxc demo.
Imagine Arkangel, Kickback, Day of Suffering, etc. After this, they released an (online?) Single
in mid '15, which was still awesome - even way better recorded - but more (death)metal!
Imagine influences from Bolt Thrower, Integrity, etc... but still pretty much 90's metalcore,
h8000 style, with breakdowns that really deserve the name! ;-)
And now, in the end of '15 they are just about to release their new EP and you can already
listen to one promo song online - which is even better than everything before.
Combining all the influences and perfectly re-producing the sound of some of my favorite bands!
Just to drop some more names, if you're into bands like Repentance, Incitement, Deconsecrate, etc.,
You don't want to miss on Fourth Crusade! ...and we can expect a lot more from them in 2016!
listen | buy (nothing available atm - just check their fb to know when pre-orders go online)

11. Gaia Bleeds - Demo '15
Scottish's best export. Sounds like the taste of IRN BRU... fucking "wizard"!
Pretty "hard" vegan straight edge 90's Metalcore in the vein of bands like:
Withdrawn, Slavearc, xCanaanx, etc. ...with lyrics about Anime, D&D, MTG and WoW...
nah, just kidding, it's fucking serious, the guys themselves may be all about these topics,
but the band is all about the vegan jihad, like "go vegan, or go fuck yourself".
Starts off with a melodic, kinda clear 90's style intro... until the doomy growls and
dissonant guitars set in. Breakdowns are almost beatdown level - at least I would definitely
beat you down in the pit to this - but also picks up speed again and chugga thrash's the fuck
out off it. "Open your eyes, you're not exempt from the guilt."
All over a 10/10 if you're into metallic slowed down negative 90's style xvx hardcore...
or irn bru, anime & mtg ;-) however, this is definitely one of the best demo's lately, so check it out:
listen | buy (tape) sold out though

12. Rebirth - Instincts Of Suffering / Rising Dissent
One of Australias best exports right now. Imagine "Trial" on Crack...
but of course in a very vegan straight edge way! Very 90's, very Core, much Chugg,
but also kind of Punk and fast forward with a political stance.
Really love everything about them, from the music, to the vocals, the lyrics
and also the visualisation and stuff! Really can't wait for them to tour the EU one day!
"Instinct Of Suffering" was released in early 2015, a follow up EP to their already
awesome '14 Demo. "Rising Dissent" - a 2 Song flexi 7" on LLR Records
was just released a couple of weeks ago (A Reflection on Social Dissent Within Australia).
The more sophisticated/intellectual 90's HxC enthusiast would not want to miss on this! ;-)
listen (EP) | listen (single) | buy (llr distro)

13. First Fight Down - Demo '15
90's Metalcore in the vein of bands like Morning Again, Reprisal and From The Dying Sky.
They even started back then in '97 and released 3 (?) Cd's until '08, when they went on hiatus.
Now they're back, added some new/old members of The Darkest Red and Witness The Fall
to their line up and started to play shows again - and (diy) recorded this demo...
which, to my ears, sounds fucking awesome! Be prepared for a 12" EP in mid 2016.
As you can already hear on these recordings, they might have become older,
but haven't lost a scintilla of power and passion! But, judge for yourself:
listen | buy (tape) sold out though

14. Statement - Genocidal Justice MMXV
Yeah, OG StateXment right here. This is a re-recorded version of the '96 classic.
After their s/t EP on Hardline Records and a few years later a Split EP on Surrouned,
their for the time being, last output was released via Green Fight. Unfortunately only on CD.
Flash forward: In 2014 Rat (the man behind Statement - yeah, he's still alive), started his own label,
Bloodless Records to release some new Statement tunes (and really limited vinyl of old stuff).
During that process he got the great Idea to simply re-record the whole Genocidal Justice Session
and release it as a really limited lathe cut 10" (only 25 copies in existence).
This is still pretty damn good and powerful vegan metal (slayer worship). Check it out:
listen | buy (10") sold out though

15. Encrypted - Tribulations
Oldschool Metal. Not like in Metalcore or Metallic Hardcore, just fucking Metal.
 Foracious riffs over a storm of thunder with solo's like fire raining from the skies.
Lyrically: God is denying his own existence to abandon humanity to their own fate.
This is one for the old crock's who only listen to Black Sabbath and Metallica,
but also for the cool kids who like Obituary and All Out War.
Really well played. Probably Belgiums "truest" Metal Band right now...
or at least the only one I am really interested in! (Ex-)Members of Crucial Times, btw.
And, yeah, this came out on my Label, so you know that it has to be outstanding good!
listen | buy (tape) | buy (cd)

16. In Tongues - Rituals Of Failure And Ruin
You like Black Metal? Then listen to this! You like 90's Metalcore? Listen to this!
You like Straight Edge Hardcore? This! Death Metal? This, this and this!
The perfect mix from stuff like Woods Of Ypres, Entombed & Prayer For Cleansing.
Brutal and melodic at the same time, yet creating an atmosphere of bleakness...
Like an undead wanderer in a medieval surrounding, dragging a church bell through
the mist of cold and lifeless morning... numb and destructively sensitive at the same time .
Pervasive lyrics with misanthropic substance leaving no hope in sight.
Really nice Record though and great improvement to their Demo.
It has carange like riffing, brutal breakdowns and gory blastbeats,
but also soulful melodics and expressive guitar solo's.
But what can I say, just figure it out yourself, this one sure can't disappoint!
listen | buy (12")

17. Drawing Last Breath - Demo
Flawless melodic 90's/early 00's metalcore in the vein of bands like:
Undying, Unearth, Prayer For Cleansing, Poison The Well, etc.
Personal/Emotional Lyrics, screamed by a tormented soul,
meet relentless metal riffs and divine melodic parts... would "crymosh".I read that this is by members of Blistered, but thats already about the only thing I know...
If you have any more info, let me know! This needs to be on vinyl soon!
It would probably be under the top 5 if I had the opportunity to actually hold it in my hands.
Like seriously, if your band also wants to play that melodic 90's metalcore style
and you're not sounding like this here, then you're probably doing it wrong! ;-)
listen | buy (tape)

18. Insider - Between Grace & Sin
Really cool oldschool Vegan Straight Edge Hardcore somwehere between
Warzone, Underdog and Vegan Reich (really interesting mix, yeah).
Short and powerful tunes with fresh vocals (by mr. malik himself).
All rounded up by a dreamy "Wata-Dub" at the end - get that Underdog/Bad Brains vibe!
Members of Bands like: Inherit, Pain Runs Deep, Iron To Gold, Healing, ...
So you kinda know what to expect! ;-)
listen | buy (7")

19. Guidance - Path Of Grace
Crushing metallic 90's Style Hardcore by the Hands of Krishna.
Imagine Outspoken, 108 and Shelter thrown into the flames of Mount Doom,
just to be melted together into one 90's Straight Edge Masterpiece to rule them all!
This record runs from melodic and soulfully to chugging and hard,
all while keeping a beat that constantly tells your feet to move already!
Lyrics are kinda personal but also point out on general issues in life and society as such.
The punchy cocals match perfectly to that + shredding guitars over some expressive bass parts.
Unfortunately I never had the chance to see them live and now that their journey has
ended way too soon, I probably never will as well, but I'm pretty damn sure that
the whole room must've been on fire during their set, I mean, seriously, just listen to this!
(Members are now active in bands like: Digress, Violent Reaction, Frame Of Mind and Repentance)
listen | buy (12") sold out though

20. Fortress Black - I.N.R.I.
Slow and heavy, crawling over the hardcore scene like a huge juggernaut.
Some might want to label it as Post-Black Metal or slowed down, darkened Hardcore,
while others just reffer to it as the force of the god's! Dunkelheit, Naturgewalt & Total Death.
Endzeit starts off with the drums of war, crashing into total chaos and forecasting
the doom of humanity, musically just as lyrically...
After that it picks up speed and unleashes into a misanthropic mayhem.
A Symphony of Destruction, acompanied by metallic Guitars and the crying
from the Sirens of Hell. Fortress Black is strictly anti-religious and anti-fascistic.
Members of Bands like: Radical Development, Empowerment, Beat Down, True Blue,
Absidia, Countless, Iron Skull, Golgatha, The Crimson Divine, 711 Mayhem and many more.
Just mix all of these together, add some Corpsepaint and human blood
and you get a vague Idea of what Fortress Black sounds like.

21. Eakra - The Last Call Of The Wild
Stunning "Vegan D-Frost" (between D-Beat and Celtic Frost) with some Death/Black Metal
and Crust influence, by members of bands like: Statement, Unborn, Hello Bastards, ...
Really heavy and with shrieking female vocals + lyrics about animal/earth liberation.
From what I heard the whole thing was only kind of a project and for that matter
virtually existed just a few days... but after a few years two of the members
eventually wanted to have it pressed on vinyl, so a 10" version by Bloodless Records
and Tofu Murder Squad finally happened this year. Limited to 30 (!!!) though, haha :P
For the music, it's really wild and black and crusty, and... just listen to it yourself!
listen | buy (10") sold out though

22. Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
Vegan Grindcore/Death Metal with some Black and Core influence here and there.
Hate me, but I think, in contradiction to like almost any other band, they're just
getting better with every new album. I really dig the increasing Metalcore
and Black Metal influence - really peculiar and special sound now!
I won't review every single track for this one, as it is a major label LP release
and there are already far better reviews out there, than I could ever possibly write.
But anyway, Lyrically: Mankind destroy's the earth and consequently itself.
Musically: Brutal as shit Grind and demonic Vocals that destroy Mankind!
This album really has everything. It has the Grindcore Pigsqueal Mayhem,
tumultuous guitar solo's from outer space, atmospheric black metal shit with demonic screams
from the deepest depths of hell and also the In Your Face Metalcore part here and there.
Like, seriously - what else would you want from a record?
Only minus: It came out on Metal Blade Records and most of their stuff is expensive
as fuck ...and comes from the US... what makes it even more expensive...

23. Blinded - Mourn Her
Crushing oldschool Metalcore (with some Beatdown influence) from Australia.
First track starts off really heavy. Chugging Guitar parts and breakdowns to break bones.
Pretty emotional and desperate lyrics though... Crymosh?
Second track kicks in more melodic and 90's sounding - even has one of these
cool offtune singing parts - but also has it's not only heart, but also nose breaking breakdown.
Pretty heavy shit, yo! Then, after a nice and calm Instrumental,
the typical early 00's metalcore riff starts and my feets are telling me to open up
that fucking pit already. Nice off tune singing and lyrics about lost love again.
Seems like highschool (-girls) in Australia can be pretty harsh!
Last track perfectly rounds it up with a more 90's hardcore sounding one again
- and the essential beatdown part + outro movie clipping at the end.
(they also did a really cool exclusive track for the "Life At The Bottom Comp")

Melodic oldschool Hardcore from the Netherlands, consisting of (ex-)members
from the now defunct Metallic 90's Hardcore outfit LIES!
The first track from their demo kicks in energetic and melancholic at the same time.
Especially the last part - would totally give it a crymosh!
The second track starts with a really calm intro but kinda gets brutal & chaotic later on.
The lyrics also match perfectly to that: Emotional, self-doubting, hope crushing, ...
The third tracks start off as a typical melodic hardcore song but also turns into that melancholic
style later on, until when it eventually ends in a fabulous guitar solo.
The fouth track is like the banger at the end - by far the "hardest" track from this demo.
But still very passionate and expressive. No dull 0815 standart hardcore here.

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