We’ve pretty much made it to the end of 2015, a year which has pushed me to the farthest realms of what it means to be a human, from heart-break and loss, to unquestionable happiness and excitement, back to misery again, bit of mundanity, confusion, questioning, joy, acceptance, and change: basically everything that makes each of us human, and in the end, that is what living is, otherwise, without those things, what’s the point? Anyway, what I’m really getting to here, is for me, which will be just like you, there’s a lot of shit going on in your life, but you keep going, and one of the things that helps us all through it, is what we choose to soundtrack our lives. Music will always get you through!
So what has got me through this year? Here is a list of my Top Ten records of 2015, you might not agree, you might not have heard of one or two, but they’re the records I’ve returned to over the year, and so mean just that little bit more to me. Here we go…
10. Rosy Finch – ‘Witchboro’
A record split into two parts, one hard rocking, the other hauntingly doom. It's beauty lies in it's ghost-like movements, always keeping you on the edge as it glides between stoner, grunge, and doom with a menacing ease.
9. Mutoid Man – ‘Bleeder’
Stephen Brodsky's best musical project to date! The record shreds with layers upon layers of face shredding riffs and scorched vocals that make you scream "FUCK YEAH!". The record's over before you know it, but it's a hell of a ride.
8. Stoned Jesus – ‘The Harvest’
Stoned Jesus are a band who are constantly improving as artists, and The Harvest is the pinnacle of their career so far: tighter musicianship, heavier guitars, and more precise well written songs. It's short, but it's heavy in all the right places. Here come the robots!
7. 1886 – ‘Before The Fog Covers The Mount’
To quote specifically from the review, this record is all about dreamy riffs, acid-dropping stoner tempos, and laid-back vocals, its a record to obsess over! It was released 11 months ago, but it still burns brightly amongst the masses of records that have followed.
6. Clutch – ‘Psychic Warfare’
It's a new Clutch record! I don't need to say anything else. You probably own it anyway!
5. Elder – ‘Lore’
The opening track from Lore, 'Compendium' is the most played song on my MP3 this year. Elder have created a stunning heavy psyche record which has left anyone else in their genre in awe. Talk about a game changer!
4. MAKE – ‘The Golden Veil’
The Golden Veil stands out in this list as it's heavily focused on post-metal/rock vibes, but it is a record which draws so much emotion out of you, leaving your body a traumatised mess on completion, that it cannot be ignored. It is a record of utter beauty.
3. Void Cruiser – ‘Overstaying My Welcome’
The record came from nowhere, I didn't have high expectations, but when it played it simply blew me away. 8 songs of sheer stoner rock heaven. You will love this record.
2. The Heavy Eyes – ‘He Dreams Of Lions’
The Heavy Eyes keep on improving with each release with their heavy blues sound, and on their third record, they've turned things up once again, creating, faster, heavier, stoner/blues songs that are exhilarating from start to finish. What these guys will create next is teaming with anticipation.
1.Boar – ‘Veneficae’
From the first full spin of this record, I knew this was going to be the best record I had heard this year. Combining elements of doom and metal, alongside the overwhelming dominance of stoner and psychedelic tendencies, Veneficae is a heavy heavy record that at times leaves you stunned with it's power, crushing, and breathing life back into you once more. This record gives you everything, you just have to be ready to take it.
A special mention has to go to ‘Purple’ by Baroness, only got to hear it after I had compiled this list, but it’s sounding immense, and ‘The Gospel According To Shawn James & The Shapeshifters’ by Shawn James &The Shapeshifters. It’s not stoner, sludge, or doom, but bloody hell is it fantastic!
Music will always be with you, whatever life throws your way, so look at 2016 head on, grab it by the balls, turn the record up to 11, and show them just what you’re made of.
Happy Holidays Everyone.