Faith No More’s first album in 18 years was possibly my most anticipated album of 2015, especially considering how long they’d been teasing it (or more specifically, with Mike Patton giving mixed reactions to whether a new album would ever be made). Thankfully, Faith No More did not disappoint. It’s an album that packs all the slightly odd aspects fans loved about Faith No More into 10 songs; from the vigorous rage present throughout “Superhero” to the eeriness of “Matador”, to the complexity of “Motherfucker”, or to all of the above in “Rise Of The Fall.” It might not win over any new fans, but Sol Invictus is a great payoff for diehard Faith No More Fans who felt like they waited an eternity for new music.
Key Track: “Superhero”
Of course Between The Buried And Me were never your typical prog death metal band, but the notion of Coma Ecliptic (essentially their attempt at creating an accessible rock opera) was risky even for them. In the end though, BTBAM pulled it off with flying colors. Songs like “Famine Wolf” and “Turn on the Darkness” feature the band’s signature extreme yet melodic elements that made them standouts in the modern metal scene, while songs like “The Coma Machine” finds them channeling their love for Queen-esque rock anthems. In short, Coma Ecliptic finds BTBAM incorporating new (and yes, even accessible) influences without sacrificing its own extreme roots to great success.
Key Track: “Turn on the Darkness”
Byzantine surprised many with their 2013 self-titled album, their first in five years. Yet the boys from West Virginia have further cemented their return with To Release Is To Resolve. Chris “OJ” Ojeda has never sounded more fierce on tracks like “Scold’s Briddle” and “You Sleep, We Wake”, while the band is tighter than ever on songs like “Justinian Code” and “The Agonies.” Byzantine may never have gotten their due respect as part of the NWOAHM scene of the 2000’s, and they sadly never may. With To Release Is To Resolve, though, Byzantine prove that their best days of delivering top notch progressive and crushing metal are far from over.
Key Track: “The Agonies”