Finally, the Finish Metal music legends Amorphis return with yet another stellar release. Marking their 12th studio album, “Under the Red Cloud” delivers nearly 50 minutes of majestic Melodic Metal music in their unique style. Filled with soaring vocals and killer melodic passages, this is hands down the best release of 2015.
Opening with the lush “Under the Red Cloud”, the band sets a very melodic and folky mood, similar to a mixture of their “Elegy” days with their “Eclipse” era. Tommi Joutsen’s vocals are as amazing as ever and with even more growling sections in this release, this album reaches a whole new level of vocal aggression. This is perfectly contrasted by Santeri Kallio’s lush keyboards. Tracks like “The Four Wise Ones” and “Bad Blood” instantly showcase this heaviness with some crushing moments filled with powerful riffs and excellent percussions.
Making 2015 even more brutal than it already is, today we have the legendary Nile returning with yet another punishing release via “What Should Not Be Unearthed”. Karl Sanders and company return with their signature Technical/Brutal Death Metal with Egyptian influences and deliver around 50 minutes of uncompromising brutality that will ravage your eardrums from start to finish.
Opening with the monumental “Call to Destruction”, the band quickly delivers the first blow of furious riffs and crushing drumming. The band is set on a path of destruction with this release being considerably more brutal than their previous one. The sound of tracks like “Negating the Abominable Coils of Apep” and the ravaging “Liber Stellae – Rubaeae”, is quite heavier and more in the Brutal Death Metal side of things when comparing it to the band’s previous release “At the Gate of Sethu”.
As the perfect blast from the past, today we have Germany’s Kadavar and their latest studio full-length release “Berlin”. Titled in homage to the city where all members of the band met, this release continues the band legacy of catchy and very authentic sounding Psychedelic/Hard Rock music. For over 11 tracks (plus one bonus cover song) the band delivers hard rocking music that will instantly grab your attention and never let got.
The album instantly makes an impact with the superbly engaging “Lord of the Sky”. In this track the trio deliver their signature fuzzy sound that has a very ‘live show’ feeling to it. Bassist Simon Bouteloup, the latest person to join the band, is fully incorporated into their style and nicely adds some killer bass guitar lines in songs like “Thousand Miles Away from Home”, “Last Living Dinosaur” and the super catchy “Filthy Illusion”. This last song has a more mainstream Rock vibe, allowing the band to reach even more people.
Keeping the groove train going, today we have Fear Factory and their latest opus “Genexus”. Having perfected their style over the years, in this release the band further refines their superbly catchy music with some more Modern Metal / Groove / Djent elements. Delivering over 50 minutes of signature Fear Factory music, this album will please any fan of albums like “Fear of a New Machine” to their later works “Mechanize”.
Setting a futuristic atmosphere with “Autonomous Combat System”, the band’s precise drumming/riffing onslaughts instantly come to light. With Dino Cazares handling all the riffing duties, the band sounds as good as ever. Pummeling through tracks like “Dielectric” and “Soul Hacker”, we notice that Burton’s vocals have a certain edge in terms of being a bit more aggressive than in some of their previous release, giving that extra level of brutality to this album.
Continuing with their crafty melodic but brutal brand of Death Metal, today we have Kataklysm and their twelfth studio release “Of Ghosts and Gods”. In this ten-song album, the band dwells between mesmerizing melodic passages and punishing onslaughts keeping this release very fresh and well balanced. Releasing one music video per track, this is Kataklysm’s most ambitious album to date.
Opening with the album with the pummeling drumming of “Breaching the Asylum” sets a very high note for the rest of this release. As “The Black Sheep” and “Marching through Graveyards” roll in we notice a certain melodic tempo that reins the first three songs, which greatly enhances the band’s unique and punishing sound. This last track sounds like a very interesting mixture of Cannibal Corpse with some Swedish Death Metal.
The legendary Symphony X has returned with the band’s ninth full-length release titled “Underworld”. Perfectly mixing elements from the band’s extensive musical trajectory, this album further refines their musical pedigree and delivers 63 minutes of catchy and engaging music. Always being crowd pleasers, the fans will certainly not be disappointed by the continuity and level of quality the band’s music presents.
After the traditional warm-up intro/overture, the band gets down to business with the killer “Nevermore”. Featuring a wide variety of exciting guitar leads and an extra catchy chorus section, this song is the prefect mood setting piece for such a diverse and entertaining release. The first truly epic song in this release is the dramatic “Without You”, led by Russell Allen’s charismatic vocals; this is a very memorable epic-feeling track.
As one of the biggest surprises of 2015, today we have the infamous Cradle of Filth and their 12th full-length release “Hammer of the Witches”. Bringing us back to when the band was turning heads left and right with their “Dusk and Her Embrace” and “Cruelty and the Beast” releases, this is by far the best release from them in over 10 years. Delivering 11 punishing tracks of lush Symphonic Black Metal we are sure that most old fans of the band will come flocking back to them.
After the warm-up intro, things are blown wide open with the intense drumming of “Yours Immortally…”, courtesy of Martin Škaroupka coming quite close to the glory days of the band with Nick Barker. The mood is as magical as on “Cruelty and the Beast” with crushing tempo changes and the howling of Dani Filth. The band finally got back to their mojo of crafting songs with tons of tempo changes and perfect combinations of howls, growls and clean male and female vocals as in “Enshrined in Crematoria” and “Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess” (one of our favorites).
Delivering one of the most bombastic and ridiculously epic releases of 2015, today we have Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody with “Prometheus”. Vastly improving over their 2012 “Ascending to Infinity” the band elevates its game to reach new heights in terms of lush cinematic experiences. If you could imagine Therion paired with Blind Guardian and old Stratovarius, that is exactly what this album sounds like.
Building a very dramatic opening with “Il Cigno Nero”, the band’s signature intense tempo and theatrical vibe is felt instantly through Alessandro Conti’s vocals and Luca Turilli’s talented musical composition skills. The extreme usage of orchestrations and choir arrangements greatly pays off on tracks like “Anahata”, the dramatic “One Ring to Rule them All”, and the majestic “Prometheus”. The basic Power Metal core aspect of the band’s sound is kept very tidy through Alex Landenburg’s drumming and Patrice Guers’s bass guitar lines.
As the most expected release from 2015, today we have Nightwish and their eight full-length release: “Endless forms Most Beautiful”. Armed with two new band members, this legendary Symphonic Metal band delivers nearly 80 minutes of music in their most ambitious album to date. The album is naturally filled with fast, catchy and heavy tracks that are perfectly combined with dramatic symphonic arrangements, all nicely tied together with a very powerful message.
Opening with the bombastic “Shudder Before the Beautiful”, the band sets a very active tempo since the beginning. Floor Jansen’s vocals work very well for Nightwish and they greatly shine in this release. It was obvious that the band’s previous singer had considerably less range than Floor, and the band is now back into their lush and explosive musical days from their Tarja-era. The choir arrangements are extremely well delivered and greatly enhance the music. Marco Hietala has a reduced role, in terms of singing, in this release but it makes his moments count like on the epic “Weak Fantasy”.
Constantly evolving and maturing over the last 10 years, Enslaved returns with another mesmerizing release with “In Times”. Further developing their Progressive Black Metal sound, the band delivers 53 minutes of impeccable music that will strengthen the band’s legacy and please all Metal fans. If you think the bar was set too high with “RIITIIR”, it has not been obliterated by this new release.
Opening with a blistering onslaught in the first minute of “Thurisaz Dreaming”, the band masterfully turns the tides around and delivers an elegant piece that perfectly blends aggressive passages with the band’s signature proggy/jazzy melodic passages. Arve Isdal and Ivar Bjørnson do a great job in combining different guitar styles to create intricate song structures for the tracks in this release. With almost everybody pitching in on vocals (Grutle, Ivar, and Herbrand Larsen), the mood majestically changes without always needing elaborate tempo changes like on “Building With Fire”.