Best of 2015: EPs, collaborations

We have a lot of great albums to cover over the remaining weeks of 2015, but let’s not forget the smaller releases that came out. EPs and splits we generally don’t include in the top 40, just because they aren’t traditional full-length releases. But plenty of stuff came out this year that was a ton of fun and deserves to be revisited and praised.

The Body Krieg coverTHE BODY/KRIEG, split (Thrill Jockey): This record was a weird one, but in a really good way. You put long-running black metal project Krieg and apocalyptic doom duo The Body into a room, and do you get the sum of both parts? One would think, but that’s anything but we got on this one. I say that in a good way. More industrial elements work their way into the record, as each entity melds together and creates something insanely dark and warped. So it’s dark, it’s disturbing, and it’ll burn your face off as you writhe in pain and confusion along with both bands.

For more on The Body go here:

For more on Krieg, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here:

Foehammer coverFOEHAMMER, self-titled (Grimoire): Ugly and swaggering doom? Yeah, we’re into that a lot. Foehammer’s debut EP is a smothering, crushing affair that swims in the horrid seas of funeral doom but also puts some attitude and fun into that equation. The trio crushes you under the weight of their woe, with down-tuned ugliness, some proper Iommi worship, and dark, muddy violence that never fails to hit the spot. They feel raw and unhinged on this record, do Foehammer, and they deserve to be in the conversation of the unsung, promising newer doom bands bubbling under the surface. These guys have what it takes to eat you alive.

For more on the band go here:

To buy the album, go here:

Or here:

For more on the label, go here:

And here:

Implodes coverIMPLODES, “Reverser” (Gilead Media): Labels that don’t lean on expectation and do their own things are the ones that make me the happiest. We heap a lot of praise on Gilead Media, and for good reason. They don’t smother us with 15 releases a month just to make a buck. They do what makes them happy, and in turn, it makes us full of joy. One release that stood out amid a really strong year for them was Implodes’ 12” “Reverser” that is something that immediately swelled my head and made me embrace different kinds of darkness. The band’s music (it’s not exactly metal but certainly can leap that boundary), and this release, is a psychedelic haze and a dark, imposing force that makes me feel like I’ve done a table-full of mind-altering substances and launched myself into pace. From listen one I was hooked, and as the year progressed, each visit with “Reverser” has been a brain worm.

For more on the band go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here:

Ad Nauseum coverAD NAUSEUM, self-titled (Broken Limbs): Ugliness in metal? Expected. Heaviness? It’s in the damn name. So any time I feel the need to describe a band as ugly and/or heavy, I feel like an idiot. Nonetheless, Florida’s Ad Nauseum fit that bill, and it makes sense to point out the very obvious. Their self-titled EP is furious and angry, and it feels like a million tons of mud being dumped on your puny chest. The band is sinewy and muscular, and their four-track EP mixes doom with Godflesh-style industrial hell, with every moment a murderous one.

For more on the band go here:

To buy the album, go here:!store/azhdm/collections/new-releases/1

For more on the label, go here:

NV coverDRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT/GNAW THEIR TONGUES, “N.V.” (Prosthetic): Those cute little dolls at Pitchfork got all up in arms over the murderous clips in the Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues collaborative effort “N.V.” Look, these two bands do not mince words that they immerse themselves in the ugliest, most violent sects of society. One may argue it’s celebratory, but I’ve always taken it as cautionary, the type of thing that warns you not to trust and smile through life, for the worst of existence will get you and choke you. These bands never have been for the weak of heart and mind, and if you care to confront the darkest elements of existence, this collaborative effort is what you need. It’s heavy, dark, terrifying, and dank, and you’ll have to scrape the scum off your arms when it’s over.

For more on Dragged Into Sunlight, go here:

For more on Gnaw Their Tongues, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here:

Other EPs and splits we liked a lot: Spectral Lore’s “Traveler” and “Gnosis” EPs; Forn’s “Weltschmerz”;  Pelican’s “The Cliff”; Funerary/Ooze split; Mortals/Repellers split; Pyrrhon’s “The Growth Without End.”


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