JACK VERMILLION, Ex-Breathers
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
2. Stove - Is Stupider
3. Mint Mile - In Season & Ripe
4. Ava Luna - Infinite House
5. Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
6. Swings - Detergent Hymns AND Sugarwater
7. Jake Tobin - Third and Fourth Thoughts
8. Palm - Trading Basics
9. Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching
10. xRepentancex - The Sickness of Eden
That was really hard to compile. this year has has so many incredible records.
So this was a hard one because this year I have bought more new releases than any previous year that I could remember, I could easily list 20 and feel like I am still leaving things out, so when Ryan asked me to do a top ten list I literally had to sit down and argue with myself, but here is what I came up with
1. Swallow The Sun- Songs From The North
An amazing 3 disc set of all new material being the best the band has ever done, I like to consider this the "Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness" of doom metal.
2. Leviathan- Scar Sighted
The best packaged album I bought all year. Coming in a hardcover box with 10 different tarot cards, one for each track with exclusive artwork on one side, and the lyrics (most of which may as well be a suicide note) on the other. Not to mention this is the darkest material Wrest has written to date.
3. Crypt Sermon- Out Of The Garden
This is some of the best traditional doom metal I have heard in years. Fans of Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass and Trouble are going to want to pick this one up immediately. Incredible song writing with a traditional old school sounding recording.
4. Bleak- We Deserve Our Failures
One of the heaviest things to ever come out of Syracuse. This sounds exactly like what would happen if Disembodied beat the shit out of Norma Jean until their religious ideals dissolved. I can't wait to hear what they do next.
5. Enslaved- In Times
Somehow these guys keep progressing and breaking new ground. Some of the strongest songs they have ever written, and certainly some of the catchiest.
6. Sleater Kinney- No Cities To Love
I have always been a huge fan of the early 90's riot grrrl scene, and Sleater Kinney was at the top of that game. Years later they come back with hands down the best album they have ever written. I bought the bonus LP edition with 2 additional songs that are just as good as the 10 on the album. I hope these ladies decide to keep going and not have this album be a one off thing.
7. Uncle Acid- The Night Creeper
This sounds like John Lennon joined Black Sabbath and they started a cult in the mountains. Sex, drugs and rock n roll at it's absolute finest. Their most professional sounding recording to boot.
8. Shape Of Despair- Monotony Fields
I waited over ten years for this, and fuck was it well worth the wait. Some of the slowest, saddest, most depressing funeral doom ever. While they will never be able to touch the greatness of their second album "Angels Of Distress", this one comes pretty god damn close.
9. Paradise Lost- The Plague Within
The best thing they have done since 1994's "Draconian Times". I don't know what lit a fire under their ass to start writing songs like this again, but I hope it never stops.
10. My Dying Bride- Feel The Misery
After the disappointing "A Map Of All Our Failures", this is a breath of fresh air. My only gripe is that I wish the songs had been placed in a different order. I know that seems like a strange complaint, but the first 3 songs are great, the middle 3 ok but not their best work, and the last 2 incredible. It's easy to turn the record off and not make it to the end of the record where the great finale is.
Honorable mentions that almost made it:
Amorphis- Under The Red Cloud
Helloween- My God Given Right
Fuck The Facts- Desire Will Rot
DAVID SETTLE, Ex-Breathers
This year ruled. A ton of great records came out, but I keep seeing the same ones talked about in year-end lists. So here are ten records I loved that I don’t see written about for whatever reason. One caveat though: no Exploding In Sound Records, just because I could make a whole list of EIS records I loved this year by itself; special shout out to our split-buds Gnarwhal, Woozy, and Stove for all putting our incredible albums though. Annnnyways, in no particular order:
1.) Ava Luna, "Infinite House"
I don’t understand how this band writes the music they do, and I love them for that. So intricate, but still with so much groove and weirdness. Blew me away live too.
2.) Molly, "Melba Peach"
One of the few times I listened to something described as “sounding like Husker Du” and actually liked it. Incredibly catchy, overdriven indie from Denmark. Kinda reminds me of Sponge if all of their songs were as good as “Plowed”.
3.) Tica Douglas, "Joey"
I know nothing about this artist, but this record is beautiful. Great, lush, sad singer-songwriter stuff. 4.) Permanent Makeup, "Taker"
Minimal post-punk from St. Pete, for fans of Minutemen and 100 Flowers. Super clean guitar-tones, but without lacking any intensity. Really cool sound amidst the sea of overly-distorted punk records (not that I don’t love those…)
5.) Trace, 2015 EPs
Overly-distorted punk from Tallahassee. Put out two EPs, both together equal about 8 minutes. Noisy, feedback-laden hardcore with very rad vocals. And classic Tallahassee-style, they broke up.
6.) Ben Varian, "Part of the Y’all"
Intricate, lo-fi dance-pop. Usually not my style, but these songs are so damn catchy and incredibly well written.
7.) The Superweaks, "Bad Year"
My favorite fuzzed-out Weezer-worship record from this year. The last song is so fucking good.
8.) Night Witch, "Night Witch"
Debut full-length EP (11 songs in 10 minutes, y’all win). Tallahassee pissed-off political hardcore. They keep getting better with every new song too, wait til the next thing they come out with!
9.) Spirit Of The Beehive, "You Are Arrived (But You’ve Been Cheated)"
Texturally intricate indie/shoegaze from Philly. One of my favorite sounding records of the year. They’ve yet to put something bad or boring out. And they projected clips of a deathmatch tournament when I saw them, so that made me love them even more.
10.) Cende, EP
Some of my favorite pop-punk songs I’ve heard all year. 8 minutes of perfect chord progressions, very jealous of their songwriting.
JOHN MOHR, Grizzlor
Here's my eleven, in no particular order:
Cherubs - 2 Ynfynyty
Ghost - Meliora
Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
Torche - Restarter
Gruesome - Savage Land
Arabrot - You Bunch of Idiots
Barren Womb - Nique Everything
The Sword - High Country
Motherfucker - Confetti
bbigpigg - Din-Din
Fight Amp- Constantly Off