As 2015 continues to draw to a close, Metal Insider is continuing to look at the year in music. Nearly all of our contributors have submitted their favorites, along with everyone from Anthrax to Richard Christy, and you can read their picks here. Here we have Criminally Slept-On contributor Schuler Benson’s favorite music of the year.
I didn’t think there’d be any way 2015 could top 2014… and I was right. While there haven’t been any albums this year that have moved me the way last year’s top picks did, 2015 has still given the world some pretty killer shit.
At first, I wasn’t too hyped on Goliathan. Weedeater’s released some of my all-time favorite bluesy, sludgy stuff, and part of what made God Luck and Good Speed so damn good was how catchy it was. Goliathan’s got plenty of Weedeater hooks, but they’re more subtle this time around. This one was a grower. Now, at the end of the year, it’s an album that still feels like summer to me, and it’s the ones I can really tie to the weather that always seem to stick with me. Why is that? While it’s a bit atypical for Weedeather, I’d recommend checking out “Processional.” Good way to whet the palate.
If you haven’t been watching Maruta before 2015, there’s never been a better time to tune in. Remain Dystopian boasts some of the most solid mechanical grind savagery I’ve ever heard. It’s a landmark release for the band… easily their best work to date. “Hope Smasher” is a great place to start.
Put plainly, The Living Infinite was going to be an impossible album to best. It’s Soilwork delivering some of their most solid material, incorporating seamlessly every influence they’ve picked up and developed throughout a long career of musician shuffling. The Ride Majestic had some daunting shoes to fill, and while it may not be as strong as its predecessor, there’s still some great Soilwork here, and it’s still head-and-shoulders above a lot of their contemporaries. The title track is fucking magical.
I’d been waiting for this one. I felt like Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead was a flawless death metal record, and it still holds up. While I knew I’d miss Jason Keyser (who deftly owned the tastk of stepping into a spot vacated by a beloved vocalist), with him moving on to Origin, I felt good knowing I’d get to enjoy his continued efforts while welcoming back Sherwood Webber. Only The Ruthless Remains follows Skinless’s formula to a T: the best of Suffocation mixed with a little vintage Corpse. Would’ve loved to hear more of their classic sampling, but hey… paying for that shit is no fun. Check out “Serpenticide” to see what this one’s all about.