Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Best of 2015 So Far...

The Best Rock Albums of 2015 So Far

Moses Nose The Burning Bush is a great Rock and Roll album that begins with the statement "Rock or be Rocked Upon!" Full of steaming guitars and a more hooks than a fisherman's lure box, it is one hell of a release for 2015.

This is an album that I can not stop listening to. Its sonic assault just makes you want to see these Monterey, CA boys live.

If you are a fan of good old straight forward Rock and Roll than this is an album for you. They even have it listed on bandcamp on a name your price link. This is the type of Rock that should be on the radio, and is worth way more than they are asking!  

I start this list with Royale - ...As Long As The Money Lasted. There are many things about this album that have put it very high on my list of favorite albums for 2015. It is a well crafted piece of sonic art, that does not have a single bad track. 

Did I mention that the band gave the digital tracks for the album free from their web site? On top of that they are even had the balls to state that they are introducing a new genre of music with the release of this masterpiece; they call their style Yacht Metal.

What I can say about this album is that it is definitely worth picking up, even if you end up having to pay for it.

Next up in the Rock and Roll category is a band that have consistently delivered great alternative Rock ever since their incredible We Are Not Alone release in 2004. Breaking Benjamin have delivered another amazing offering of emotionally powerful songs that rage and bleed all over the album. 

Again they have managed to produce a collection of tunes without a single clunker in the bunch. If you are already a fan of Breaking Benjamin this will be a must have, and if you have not heard these guys it is even more of a necessity that you pick up this album.

I would say that Dark Before Dawn  is every bit as good as any of their previous masterpieces.

Listening to  Freedom Hawk - Into Your Mind  is like finding an old Ozzy album that you overlooked. Their fuzz filled psychedelic Rock is an extremely pleasant reminder of the 1970's Hard Rock that gave birth to Heavy Metal. Hell, their singer T.R. Morton even sounds a bit like the Ozzman.  

Into Your Mind is a wonderful head trip that will make you want to crank the speakers and pass around the reefer. 

I was incredibly enthused when I found this gem, and if you like 70's stoner rock than I am sure that this will be a great album for you too.

Now where is that "medical marijuana?" 

Valise - Young Bloomer is a great album for when you are in a much more relaxed mood and you just want to ease into the night. It weaves a multi-textural sonic tapestry that is as comfortable as your favorite quilt.

Full of cool instrumentation and smooth guitars Young Bloomer eases you into it's arms and keeps you there. At no time does this release ever dip into the sickeningly sweet pop sentimentality that other mellow Rock groups fall into. Instead these guys from Dallas, TX deliver moving tracks like "Monster" that manage to keep you falling into a great groove.

The Best Metal Albums of 2015 So Far

I have to start the Metal list with Hatebeak - Number Of The Beak. Yes, I realize that the cover is basically a rip off of Maiden's Number Of The Beast, but they have got to be the most interesting and creative Metalheads I have heard in quite a while. 

Maybe I should mention that the singer for this rip roaring Metal band is a parrot. Yes, I mean a real live bird, and damn is he great. This is no Polly want a cracker parrot. This is one guttural growling fowl. The combination of screaming bird and Death Metal works like a fist in a metal gantlet.

The more I listened to this album the more I loved it. It is a great departure from the normal growling singing of the majority of the bands of the genre.

Kevin Byrne's one man dark symphonic masterpiece Sonus Mortis - War Prophecy  is a wonderfully heavy offering of Death Metal that echos with the cathedralesque hymns of damnation. It makes for an excellent addition to the unholy tomes of the genre.

It is amazing that no Metal label has signed this mad genius already, especially since he pretty much does everything himself.

If you are a Death Metal fan than check Sonus Mortis out and pick up this album.
You can find this album on his bandcamp page.

My next choice for best Metal album is from
Barque Of Dante - Lasting Forever. This Chinese Power Metal band has delivered a great piece of pure Heavy Metal. I have not heard anything that hearkens back to the glory days of the NWOBHM since the 2004 Evil Dreams - The Book Of Heavy Metal.

Lasting Forever is like Valhalla it begins with an orchestral flight on Valkyrie wings and settles into a hall of Metal with swords drawn and chalices raised in glorious abandon.

The guitar work is exquisite and the combination of fast paced pounding drums and soaring vocals bring to mind Iron Maiden.

Next up is Napalm Death - Apex Predator-Easy Meat. It is full of the loud roaring mayhem that these bastards are known for. Both heavy and infectious this album is a must for those who love their Metal extreme.

This album has to have one of the best cover images that I have seen in a long while. It is perfect for this eardrum mashing release. If grindcore is your Metal of choice you can not do any better than this album so far this year.

 Apex Predator-Easy Meat is not a mindless mash of guitars and screams, it manages to infuse the madness with socially critical content and well constructed rhythms to keep the album interesting from beginning to end.

Paradise Lost is a Goth/Doom Metal band from the UK that has been dredging up the doom since 1988. This latest release is intended to be a return to the bands roots and they have managed to do just that.

You just have to hear their track "Punishment Through Time." It has a great groove that just begs one to bang your head.

The Plague Within is a great collection of melodic tales of anguish and torment that pick apart the human experience. The juxtaposition of melody and distortion overload delivers a beautifully dense atmosphere for the listener. So go ahead and embrace your inner darkness and pick up this great release.


Well that is it for now, but there are some promising upcoming releases that may just end up extending this list: Kingston's symphonic Metal group Sovereign Council is releasing a new album in August; Blessthefall has a new one coming out in September; Huntress is planning on raining down some new arrows of Metal also in September; and Local boys PS I Love You are delivering some new Rock later this month.

Until then, thank you for reading and keep that good music coming.
Kevin Sweeney

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I love me some Moses Nose! Seen them live and they friggin rock! Their next show is Wednesday Aug 12 in San Jose CA at the Rockbar Theater. Only $5 cover
    If you're in the area, stop in!!!