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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Reg's Top 20 of 2015

One of the hardest things to do each year is to choose a select quantity of albums that you deem worthy as being the best from thousands of releases throughout the year. Each year the statement "what a great year for music" is proclaimed and 2015 was no exception as this year saw many of the heavyweights releasing new music. It still amazes me that this genre of music is still so under appreciated and overlooked. I however, found myself going back to the following twenty albums time and time again. Enjoy!

20. Turn Me On Dead Man - "Haters, Space Invaders and Clones"

This is basically a collection of songs released on previous releases, but it was a pleasant surprise filled with great riffing, catchy song writing and tons of heavy psych rock. Take the trip and get hooked. The band's "Heavy Metal Mothership" is scheduled to take flight sometime in 2016.

19. Bedowyn-"Blood of the Fall"

I first caught wind of this band on Vol. II of "Bong Hits From the Astral Basement" and was excited to see a new release from them. Awesome classic metal with doom and thrash leanings. Great vocals, thunderous drumming and terrific soloing. 

18. Parasol Caravan-"Para Solem"

The band has come a long way since being a New Band To Burn One To in 2012. The songs have a more mature sound and rock your face off with a sexy sonic groove, majestic vocal delivery and intense riffing.

17. Saviours-"Palace of Vision"

After basically overlooking their previous efforts, I was curious to hear their latest after seeing them scorch the stage opening for C.O.C. and Brant Bjork. Although the band made a bad attempt at humor by using the wrong city name, they redeemed themselves and embedded their dynamic doom-laden thrash romps replete with sizzling dual guitar prowess in my head.

16. Serial Hawk-"Searching For Light"

Devastating, epic, expansive sludge done right. Rather than be driven by grooves, the band relies on a huge wall of sound that worms it's way into your brain engulfing you in their stunning brand of atmospheric sludge.

15. Dirty Streets-"White Horse"

Probably one of the most overlooked hard rock records of the year. Great hooks, killer riffing and a demanding presence fill the air. Simply put... this band rocks!

14. Freedom Hawk-"Into Your Mind"

This album will be on many year-end lists, and rightly so. While still providing you with an assortment of great riffs and killer groove the band has added an element of chilled psychedelia into the mix and it is absolutely mind-blowing.

13. Void Cruiser-"Overstaying My Welcome"

This is Stoner Rock that has been elevated to that umpteenth level. It is heavy, groovy and dark as fuck. The songs get stuck in your head and the music enlivens your soul. There is an aura surrounding this band that cannot be denied.

12. The Sword-"High Country"

So many people were critical that this release was not "heavy" enough. I call bullshit! Sure, the album has a few strange elements here and there, but there is no denying that the songs were catchy as hell and the album as a whole was a cohesive package filled with glorious seventies inspired rock that could fill arenas back in the day.

11. Duckhunters-"Extinction Road"

Thought-provoking Stoner Metal that gets quite epic and intense. A furious and fuzzed-out punch of groove and riffs citing the end of days as their inspiration. Some may be turned off by the vocal, but I think that it is the element that separates this band from the pack. 

10. The Blue Stones-"Black Holes"

If you are looking for the latest release from these guys...good luck. It was available for a short time, but has since been pulled due to the overwhelming demand and has been scheduled for a re-release sometime in 2016. This two-piece band has a very catchy blues-inspired sound similar to the Black Keys but swirls around your head like All Them Witches sans bass guitar. The crooning vocal and effortless song-writing sets this band apart. 

9. Fuzz-"II"

The new album from garage rock legend Ty Segall and band is a brilliant work of you guessed it...fuzz-heavy rockers. While the album is definitely fuzz worthy, what really draws you in is the tight riffs, swirling heavy psych and the stripped down tasty goodness of Ty's frenetic and vigorous drumming. 

8. Witchskull-"The Vast Electric Dark"

I must admit that this album was the biggest find of the year for me. After featuring the band in May as a Quick Hit, we couldn't wait to hear a full and proper release from the band. The album was reviewed by Pete and he couldn't have stated it better when he said that "The Vast Electric Dark, when all is said and done, a truly awesome record, faultless throughout, and destined to make many end of year lists very soon!" It made my list, well done gents!

7. Chron Goblin-"Backwater"

If one of your semi-retired writers comes out of the shadows to review an album, it's got to be pretty damn special...right? Anyway, that is what I thought and Chron Goblin's latest release for Ripple Music is one hell of a ride. Simple beer-chugging, riff-heavy rock and roll is sometimes all you need.

6. Limb-"Terminal"

With elements of Stoner, doom and sludge, the album is angry and unexpectedly euphoric and targets the subject of living in End Times..."It’s an album about living in a moment that is constantly threatened with ecological, political and social disaster”. Raise your fist high for these highly infectious and mighty doom metal anthems.

5. Elder-"Lore"

Many will say that this was the defining Stoner metal moment of 2015, and I must totally agree. The band has upped the ante and achieved a full-on assault of the aural cavity. The album is powerful yet relaxing at the same time and takes the listener on a journey of mind-melding atmospheres and beautiful passages without sacrificing the explosive heaviness of the record.

4. The Midnight Ghost Train-"Cold Was the Ground"

Did you really think Steve Moss and company would disappoint? Hell fucking no! This band continues to make jaws drop with their energetic live shows and earth-shattering blues-laced Stoner Rock sound. Right now Steve is on the mend but promises to be back and stronger than ever, if that is humanly possible. Get well soon brother!

3. Ecstatic Vision-"Sonic Praise"

I have to admit, this album got me through some tough times this summer. It was the perfect elixir to keep my mind at ease. This is heavy psych at it's finest. Rhythmically intense, the songs take you on a cosmic journey filled with heavy riffs and feel good vibes. Great headphone music.

2. We Hunt Buffalo-"Living Ghosts"

I suppose by now you realize that we are big fans of We Hunt Buffalo at Heavy Planet. I think that our writer Chris said it best in his review that the name of the band matters. It prompted me to listen to them back in 2013 as a New Band To Burn One To. The band's sound has matured throughout the years gaining an understanding of how to successfully write a well-structured song and this album is complete with nine of them. They all manage to crush the life out of you but do it with hard-hitting grooves, melody, great production and timeless precision. Great job fellas!

1. Luna Sol-"Blood Moon"

This album featuring ex-Hermano guitarist David Angstrom is an example of how a great Stoner Rock record can be done. Some say that the genre can be blase and boring, but this album exemplifies that if you take a basic riff and expand upon it with different layers, greatness can be achieved. "December" which features John Garcia on vocals is a great fucking song! Great hooks, great riffing and thoughtful song structures make this my numero uno. This review from OneMetal.com couldn't describe the album any better.

There you have it.  We thank you for your dedicated and unending support of Heavy Planet and will be there for you as much as we can in 2016. Doom on! 


  1. I thought I had all the great albums covered,then I find at least another five gems here.Thanks for the list Reg,just broke my new years resolution not to buy as much music!!!!


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