Category Archives: Metal Lists

This is a section for our metal lists, i.e. top 20 bands, top 10 albums, etc. If you have a list, post it! If you disagree with us, let us know.

Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 2/10


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I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m keeping my deadly, home-made crossbow. But enough of that, let’s focus on more lethal stuff than Mediaeval weapons. May I make so bold as to say there are some absolute killer albums in my selections today?

Why did I rank my top albums in numerical order of preference? Every time I listen to anything from any of them, I wonder if I shouldn’t merely have listed them alphabetical order. It’s bloody marvelous to have so much good stuff to blast the wax out of my ears and other nearby orifices.

 

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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 1/10


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The grim-faced troops brace themselves. The whistle blows and the sergeant yells, “Over the top, men!” They emerge from the trench to a hailstorm of machine-gun bullets.

I’m glad my sorting of hundreds of albums in various categories wasn’t anything like that, except for the “over the top” part. Or maybe “overboard” would be a better word. I cannot contain myself, not only because of my expanding waistline but because I love so many kinds of music. Last year didn’t disappoint me; 2015 was a great year for all the main genres I’ve grown to love during my two-thirds of a century.

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Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of the Year + Honorable Mentions


2015-woodWell, here we are again, another end of year list.  First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us.  I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists.  I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me.  Take my #1 for example.  I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen.  I am glad I did.  One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands.  While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list.  Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding.  I guess it’s time to see for yourself.  Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal. Read the rest of this entry

Mik’s Top 20 Albums of 2015


 

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Couldn’t fit Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors on the list. Also, switched Claret Ash – The Cleansing with Moonspell at the last second… now it looks like this:

20. Moonspell – Extinct (gothic metal)
I’m surprised too. Moonspell? Well, this band has been with me from the beginning of my metal years, and even though I’ve kind of lost interest in their music, with “Extinct” I’m back on their side again. Maybe the dark, slightly cheesy songs bring back old memories, or maybe it’s just that Fernando Riberio’s voice is spell-binding me. He sounds just as gorgeous as he used to 20 years ago! Listen here.

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19. Misthyrmning – Songvar Elds og óreidu (mysterious black metal)
Soulful, deep black metal from Iceland, with a tiny touch of rhythmic folk music, wrapped in a mind twisting atmosphere.

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18. Outre – Ghost Chants (eerie black)
Wicked is good… “Ghost Chants” is bizarre, freaky and uncomfortable.

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17. Pyramids – A Northern Meadow (fresh ambient metal)
Layers upon layers, endlessly complex textures and soaring vocals. It changes shape every time I listen, from black metal to David Bowie, and it melts my heart.

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Matt’s Top 15 Albums of 2015


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Hello all you lovely readers!!!  Thanks for sticking with us during this very quiet second half of 2015.  While we may have been quiet it by no means we haven’t been digging on glorious, glorious metal.  And ho boy, what a hell of a year this was.  So many great releases from so many great bands.  Since there is so much great music I enjoyed this year and it being 2015 and all, instead of my usual ten best albums of the year I’m bumping it up to 15 plus 5 quick honorable mentions.  Too keep things still interesting I will only be ordering my top five and splitting the rest up into tiers with albums presented in no particular order.  I hope you find some kick ass tunes to check out here ass every one of these albums deserves your attention and time.

Best of wishes to your holidays and to your 2016!  May it be filled with loud grinding guitars, pulverizing drums, and people screaming in your ears!!!  PEACE LOVE AND METAL!!!!

Honorable Mentions

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Metal State’s Best of the Best: 2010-2014 #9


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In our quest to keep youse guys informed about the best heavy metal has to offer and to stroke our own egos, we have engaged in a no-holds-barred battle royale to decide on the top ten albums of five-year periods flowing backwards from modern times to the years when stock in hairspray and cocaine went hand in hand (i.e. the 80s). Two or three times a week we will reveal a collective pick from the individual nominations, culminating in the best record of each block. Some picks will be obvious, some surprises, all the best the genre has to offer. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

 

Wintersun- Time1Wintersun – Time 1

Melodic Death Metal (Finland, 2012)
Nominated by Christopher Mammal

Wintersun love their recapitulation codas. There’s nothing wrong with that. Beethoven also loved them. A coda of this type is a re-visit to a structural theme developed earlier in the music. Most songs have some sort of coda, usually in the closing section. Wintersun use their special coda throughout the album to make every track on “Time 1” hearken in some way to the mountain-sized second track, “Sons of Winter and Stars”. The effect is subtle at times, yet it is pervasive. This gives the entire album a symphonic compositional structure which has been echoed in modern rock operas.

By the time I discovered Wintersun’s eponymous first album a few years after its release in 2004, melodic death had already become my most-played sub-genre of metal; it still is. Wintersun excel at it. Jari Mäenpää is a wizard at both clean and dark vocals. I’m not sure how he pronounces his name, but his voice swells with the same amount of emotion that Sibelius put into his masterwork, “Finlandia”. Meanwhile the instrumentation is as fluid and varied as it is excellent. All round, this is one of my top albums of the last 65 years.

So come on, Wintersun! Only two albums since you formed 11 years ago? This Mammal really needs more, please. My wife and cats need a change from your lines which I’ve corrupted to sing badly while I potter around: “We are the sons of winter and stars, we come from a land without bars. We don’t drink your beer and we don’t like wine, and we’re always in bed before nine.”

 

Metal State’s Best of the Best: 2010-2014 #10


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In our quest to keep youse guys informed about the best heavy metal has to offer and to stroke our own egos, we have engaged in a no-holds-barred battle royale to decide on the top ten albums of five-year periods flowing backwards from modern times to the years when stock in hairspray and cocaine went hand in hand (i.e. the 80s). Two or three times a week we will reveal a collective pick from the individual nominations, culminating in the best record of each block. Some picks will be obvious, some surprises, all the best the genre has to offer. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

 

Xerath - II#10: Xerath – II

Progressive Death Metal (UK, 2011)
Nominated by ChristopherMammal

Xerath like to describe their music as cinematic. It matches that description by combining progressive death with extremely melodic metal, richly rounded by the soundtrack style of the keyboards, the vaulted vocal choruses and epic grandeur in the compositions. The solo harsh vocals would be just as well suited to melodic black metal as death, which adds an extra layer of pleasure for me. The guitars, bass and drums, too, are unconstrained by anything formulaic.

The considerable use of keyboards may push Xerath a little too far into prog territory to satisfy the more hardline metalheads completely. My love of prog rock, however, makes Xerath my sort of metal band. There are plenty of dark, almost brutal passages in the music, as well as sections brimming with thrashy groove, but the overall sound of Xerath places great emphasis on melody.

What I’ve written describes all three of Xerath’s albums. Their debut album in 2009 bowled me over. So did their third album, released last year. All of their music is terrific. What swung my pendulum towards their second album is the mighty opening track, “Unite to Defy”. It’s one of my favourite metal songs of this century.

 

Matt’s Favorite 2015 Albums… so far. In No Particular Order.


UCPFaIsAs expected, 2015 is shaping up to be yet another stellar year for us metal fans.  And with Iron Maiden, BtBaM, The Sword, Deafheaven, Avatarium, and Ghost releasing new material in the coming months, it’s only up from here.  Here’s a selection of some albums I’ve enjoyed quite a bit in the past half of the year.  Check ’em out and share what you’ve been digging on.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

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Mik’s favourite 2015 albums… so far. In no particular order.


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Somehow it feels like it’s been a slow beginning of the year, but when I started to look over my lists of albums I’ve listened to and rated, I could gather quite a large collection of favourites. Counted 17 really good releases in 6 months, that’s not bad! Not including all of them, here’s some of my must-listens of 2015:

Bosse-De-Nage – All Fours (hipster black metal)

It’s a very clever mix of frantic black metal and chaotic post-hardcore, with a well structured, intriguing story in the lyrics, impressive drum work and everything else a good, memorable album should have.

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Reggie’s Top 15 of 2015…For Now…In No Particular Order


top-15-iphone-app-development-companies_0Throughout the year, I take all of the albums I like; the ones I think might be Top 15 quality and I put them on a list. In no particular order, they sit until a few months before the end of the year. Then, I start deciding what stays and what goes. Sometimes it’s a tough choice, sometimes I have to listen to a few things again to refresh my memory as to why they were on the list in the first place. But, there is a lot of weeding out, weeding in, and sorting. It’s actually kind of fun and I get to take a break from listening to new things for a short while.

This year, I decided to do a best of (so far) list, just to see where things are going. I haven’t done this before. There have been a small handful of albums that went over well with me and I think they will stay on my list, but overall I have to say that it is not a particularly great year in metal as far as I am concerned. The “wow” factor is just not happening all that much this year…for me. This list is in no particular order. It’s a list of albums I think have the most potential for end-year nods. We do still have a way to go though. Read the rest of this entry