2015 has sucked in almost every way for me and for a lot of people that I know, too. You could say it was full of Trials and Tribulation (that’ll be funny AFTER you see the top of my list). Fortunately, we were gifted a litany of top-shelf metal albums to get us through it without losing our minds. The following are the top 20 metal records that I subjected my children to while driving them all over L.A. I have to admit that there was so much great stuff this year that I sort of cheated here by including a very extensive “honorable mentions” category for all of the other albums that might have made the list had the year ended when they came out. All of them are excellent efforts that I know I’ll be listening to for years to come.
Check out the list and let me know what you think in the comments below because if I know metalheads (and believe me, I do) you’ll all have some very strong opinions about your own likes and dislikes. The best thing about other people’s year-end “best of” list is that I always discover a few absolute gems that got past me during the year. Last year, you, the readers, even turned me on to Ne Obliviscaris and Solstafir, two amazing bands that I was unfamiliar with and whose albums should have been on my list. It is my hope that no matter what your opinion of my personal list is, that it will inspire you to check out some artists or records that you haven’t yet discovered. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite metal band contained herein.
Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up, because 2016 promises to be another pummeling year in extreme music. And be sure to stay tuned here at GoD because you know we’ll be doing our very best to keep you informed about all of it.
Behold! The Monolith Architects of the Void MP3
Arctic Forest Records
Release date: September 29, 2015
It’s been a long road back from tragedy for Behold! The Monolith. In early 2013, the Los Angeles-based stoner/doom outfit was among the brightest rising stars in the genre. Their second album, Defender/Redeemist, which was produced by the legendary Billy Anderson, had just been released to very positive reviews and they were about to embark on a tour in support of it. Then on June 21st, tragedy struck when the band’s 29-year-old bassist and lead singer Kevin McDade was killed in an auto accident. Remaining members Matt Price and Chase Manhattan were left devastated and unsure of their future as a band. It was at the behest of the McDade family that they made the decision to carry on as Behold! The Monolith in honor of their fallen brother.
The Spring of 2013 was shaping up very nicely for L.A. stoner/doom rock outfit Behold! The Monolith. The band had just released its second full-length album, Defender, Redeemist, which was recorded with legendary producer Billy Anderson at the helm. The record was gathering steam and the band was set to embark on a nationwide tour. Then on June 21, two weeks before the tour was to commence, the unthinkable happened: lead singer and bassist Kevin McDade was killed in an automobile accident at the all too young age of 29.
Devastated by the loss of the man who they considered as much a brother as a bandmate, remaining members Chase Manhattan (drums) and Matt Price (guitar) could not initially even conceive of continuing on without their beloved frontman. It was only after receiving the blessings and encouragement of the McDade family that they could begin to pick up the pieces.