Best of 2015: Runners up

Compiling a best-of list at the end of a calendar year is something seemingly any doofus with a blog does these days. We’re no different, and for the fourth year in a row, we are getting ready to reveal the 40 albums we enjoyed the most in 2015. But before we get there, we want to shine a light on a few albums that didn’t quite make the cut but that are tremendous releases nonetheless that we visit all the time.

21002 [Converted]BOSSE-DE-NAGE, “All Fours” (Profound Lore): Warped, avant-garde, darkly poetic, and damaging, San Francisco’s terrifying Bosse-de-Nage continued their furious campaign into some of the more morbid, unexplored elements of metal. Part black metal, part unhinged indie rock, there is nothing safe and conventional about this band, and as bizarre and confrontational as they can be, there also have a subtlety to them that can dump you on your neck. The challenging playing that mixes with terrifying shrieks and cold recitations help make this band, and their great fourth record, forces to behold. (April 14)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/blackbossedenage

To buy the album, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

CHristian MIstress coverCHRISTIAN MISTRESS, “To Your Death” (Relapse): Christian Mistress have gone from occult-style traditional metal to more of a rock n roll style, and all the while, they’re maintained their intensity and sense of bravado. Their third record “To Your Death” sounds like it was custom-made for the mid-1980s, when bands of this type were prevalent on MTV and large music halls. But Christian Mistress seem more suited for the smaller venues, where their dual-guitar assault and Christine Davis’ husky vocals can pound you with cuts such as “Stronger Than Blood,” killer opener “Neon,” and powerful “Lone Wild,” which might be my favorite track on here. Another great, fun record from this band.  (Sept. 18)

For more on the band, go here: http://christianmistress.blogspot.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.relapse.com/store.html

For more on the label, go here: http://www.relapse.com

Deafheaven coverDEAFHEAVEN, “New Bermuda” (Anti): Oh, the hand wringing. One of the most controversial (for the silliest reasons) bands in metal returned on a new label and with the most metallic release of their run, the powerful “New Bermuda.” There are different nuances on this record, George Clarke’s vocals show more range than the harsh, ugly shrieks of Sunbather,” and the full-band template seems to be working fine for these guys.From the eye-opening curtain-raiser “Brought to the Water” to the vicious yet chilled-out “Come Back” to the head-rushing “Baby Blue,” Deafheaven once again blaze their own path with zero concerns paid to the doubters. (Oct. 2)

For more on the band, go here: http://deafheaven.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://kingsroadmerch.com/deafheaven/region/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.anti.com/

Nachtlieder coverNACHTLIEDER, “The Female of the Species” (I, Voidhanger): In the midst of myriad black metal releases that arrived this past year, this one stood out as much for its story as its straight-up serving of this devastating style. Imagining Eve exacting revenge on Eden after her ouster, Dagny Susanne unleashes her own savagery into this plotline, continuously pounding away and charring your skin with razor-sharp riffs and her thunderous vocals. Over these eight tracks, Susanne practically embodies Eve and exacts her revenge over tracks such as “Nightfall,” “Lonely Mortal,” and the 8:24 closing title cut that is volcanic, passionate, and full of smoldering ash that comes from our protagonist, who has had enough of the world’s scorn. (Dec. 7)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/nachtlieder

To buy the album, go here: http://i-voidhanger.com/shop/

For more on the label, go here: http://i-voidhanger.com/

Sunn coverSUNN 0))), “Kannon” (Southern Lord): There is no band more revered in the area of doom drone that Sunn 0))), and the past few years, the have become a chameleon, blending in with co-conspirators such as Ulver and Scott Walker to see how their styles mix with others. Much of that trickles into three-track new album “Kannon,” a very different style of record for this band and one that takes a little time to absorb. Joined by vocalist Attila Csihar and other musicians including Steve Moore, the duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley duel and meld over these dark, churning, and often shimmering tracks that pay homage to the Buddhist goddess of mercy and prov the band’s thick blankets of hell are more diverse and flexible than anyone ever realized before. This is a grower you’ll be glad you earned. (Dec. 4)

For more on the band, go here: http://sunn.southernlord.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/store

For more on the label, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/

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