Hailing from Italy, today we have one-man dream machine Neutra and its latest hypnotic opus “Music for an Exhibition”. Delivering five tracks of superb ethereal music, this is one of the most engaging and transforming Ambient releases we have heard in a while. Evoking the delicate precision and ambiance created by Robert Rich, this Italian band manages to captivate for the complete duration of this release.
The album kicks off with the angelic “After The Flood” and its very dramatic piano sections. Having very subtle mood changes, this opener tracks sets a very enigmatic and dreamy stage. Continuing with the playful “Paranthenogenesis”, the mood shifts to a more space-like cinematic vibe. Our personal favorite is the somber “Point of View” and its dramatic progression.
After releasing a couple of lukewarm releases, Children of Bodom are back in fully force with the brilliant “I Worship Chaos”. The band mixes their early days intensity and naivety with their more modern elements to deliver a high-octane release that is full of memorable songs and brilliant musicianship.
Opening with the intense “I Hurt”, we get a killer pace set by blistering guitars and very hectic drumming. This track is both fun and precise, keeping the listener headbanging since the first minute. The festive mood continues with the pummeling “My Bodom”, a track that increases in tempo and creativity as it progresses, leading to some signature solo face-off sections near the end. Perfectly blending the band’s “Something Wild”-era antics with their cleaner and more direct recent sound, “Morrigan” is the first track in this release that gets stuff in your head. The melody is quite intoxicating and the atmosphere is just magical, a typical older CoB track but with an edge.
As THE most expected album of 2015, today we have Slayer’s first release in six years titled “Repentless”. After the loss of Jeff Hanneman and the departure of Dave Lombardo, many people wondered how the band was going to push forward, but for this release the band brought back Paul Bostaph on drums and enlisted Gary Holt to handle guitar duties. Keeping up with their tradition of intense and well-crafted releases, the band manages to deliver a very cohesive album that is considerably better than their 2009 effort.
Opening with “Repentless” after a short intro, the band lays down the law with a crushing vocal performance from Tom Araya in this intense Thrash-tastic track. This song reminded us of Slayer from their best years thanks to the awesome riffs and furious pace. The drumming is quite hectic and the overall riffing onslaught is stellar. The band continues their onslaught with very solid pieces in “Take Control” and “Vices”, but the guitar leads of “Cast the First Stone” really deliver the second standout track of this release.
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).