As 2015 draws to a close, we’re letting Metal Insider’s staff pick their favorite albums of 2015, in addition to some of the musicians that helped make some of it. You can see all of our picks so far here. Here we have Metal Insider’s Matt Brown contributing his picks.
So much metal, so little time to hear it all. Even as I was writing this list, I was making a separate list of albums from this past year that I missed. That said, these albums here are the ones I’m sure I’ll be listening to all the way into next year.
One-man black metal band. It’s a popular trend these days and most such projects turn out solid material. Panopticon is one such project, but calling the music solid would be a disservice. Austin Lunn demonstrates superior musical ability on Autumn Eternal, creating a gorgeous atmosphere that takes you to the woods somewhere in the deep south on a chilly fall evening. The title track is all you need to hear to convince you that this album is more than worth your time.
Key track: “Autumn Eternal”
Some bands rope you in with a great groove and manage to keep it up for an entire album. Intronaut do that and more on The Direction of Last Things. Jazz, math, and prog are all rolled into one on this excellently constructed package. Once you get into the opening polyrhythms of “Fast Worms,” you’ll want to stick around. Never too flashy and never too long, Intronaut prove they’re a force to be reckoned now more than ever.
Key track: “Digital Gerrymandering”
Some bands make random crazy songwriting their shtick, stuffing unconventional instruments and mood changes into the crevices of their songs every chance they get. Sometimes these bands will catch the ear for a hot minute but then burn out because they lack substance. Enter Sigh, who for years have managed to bedazzle listeners with their own unique brand of black metal while also enticing them to come back for more. While Graveward doesn’t go quite as off the rails as some of its predecessors, it never fails to entertain or make you say “Wow, what the hell was that?!”
Key track: “The Tombfiller”