OUR WEIGH INS: The Best of 2015

Lamb of god crowd metal horns WM

Another year has come and gone and 2015 an eventful one for the music industry.  2015 was the year we said goodbye to blues legend B. B. King, metal pioneer Lemmy Kilmister, and alternative rock hero Scott Weiland, while also seeing the end of Mötley Crüe, but said hello to a number of albums which not only initially had us in awe due to their quality, but also left a lasting impression which will more than likely not fade, even decades on.  While time will only tell how these sonic pallets hold up in the future, 2015 was a year than many modern rock classics were delivered!  Below you will the impression 2015 left on our team, and which albums stood out to each of us.

Bring Me The Horizon, That’s The Spirit: This album showed a complete change in the direction of the band’s sound and scored them air time on Canadian radio. – Jeanette LeBlanc

Parkway Drive, Ire: Through the years, Australian band Parkway Drive has proven themselves to be a unique, passionate band in the hard rock and metal industry. Their fifth album, Ire, is a bold reinvention in which they have taken their sound to a whole new level, including the bold vocals of Winston McCall. This album is a mesh of many elements of rock, metal, punk and more to create a unique, inviting sound. Ire is lyrically brilliant as it focuses on our generation – the harsh reality of global economics, politics, worshipping “false idols” and more. I recommend this album for rock those who love music with meaning, as it is like a cry of transformation that is encouraging lost souls to find the strength to better themselves. – Raven Benwait

New Year’s Day, Malevolence: This album is full of passion and really put this band on the map. Some of their catchiest and heaviest songs come from here. – Alexia Kapralos

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts, Blaster: Weiland intended to rebuild his career as a solo musician, using Blaster as a foundation for whatever was to come next. Weiland is the voice behind a number of my favorite records, from his work with Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, his solo album, 12 Bar Blues, and now Blaster has been on a near constant replay for me this year. From the classic rock inspired guitar work from Jeremy Brown, who passed away a day before Blaster’s release, and the unique song writing abilities and catchy melodic vocal parts of Weiland, Blaster, rather than becoming the foundation the next rise in the late artist’s career, became the bookend, leaving his career on a strong note.  You can check out my review of Weiland’s final performance ever. – Gerrod Harris

Iwrestledabearonce, Hail Mary: Courtney’s voice has gotten so strong with this album! I love her vocal attack and the progression of this band. This album marks a much more serious route for the band. – Alexia Kapralos

Wage War, Blueprints: Their debut album that stood out in the metalcore scene this year, brought them on tour with August Burns Red. – Jeanette LeBlanc

Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart: Keith proves that he is far more than a has-been rocker rider on the coattails of his legacy with his first recorded work in over a decadeCrosseyed Heart a bluesy, soulful, and sometimes funky record which features some of the guitarist’s best work since the 70’s! – Gerrod Harris

Cattle Decapitation, The Anthropocene Extinction: It’s an album filled with gore as well as pure and brutal death metal, focusing on a disgust of the human race who is mucking up the planet. From the uniqueness of Travis Ryan’s vocal hybrid of guttural, yet clean mix of vocals, to the mind melting tempos and brilliant melodies, this album has created a unique, new sound in the metal world. – Raven Benwait

Nothing More, Nothing More: This was the bands major label debut that brought them around the world in 2015. It packs a unique and powerful sound that the band pulls off even better live. You can check out our concert coverage from their recent Toronto stop at The Mod Club. – Jeanette LeBlanc

Escape the Fate, Hate Me: This album is loaded with emotional purging. I love the raw energy it has. My favorite song off here is “just a memory”. – Alexia Kapralos

Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly: While not a rock record in the slightest, To Pimp A Butterfly is a damn masterpiece; an album which I would recommend everyone listens to at least once, no matter their musical preference. From the jazz, funk, and old school R&B backing tracks to the brilliance of his lyrics, Lamar manages to transcend past the clichés of modern hip-hop into a wonderfully organic, creative monster of its own nature.  The concept album follows two arcs, disguised as one theme, as Kendrick tells both the story of overcoming his own personal demons, while also commentating on the struggles of being black in present day America.  This was definitely one of the albums the world needed in 2015, and while not rock in sound, the mentality-from the lyrics to the format of a concept album, and the overall attitude found across the record- is that of rock ‘n’ roll. – Gerrod Harris

Thy Art is Murder, Holy War: All the way from Australia, Thy Art is Murder brought a stronger deathcore game than ever before with their album Holy War. The instrumental build up of this album consists of doomy riffs, chugging patterns and breakdowns, topped with CJ McMahon‘s commanding vocals. Lyrically, this is an album that makes me think from the talk of downfalls of religion, human beings, God and Satan. It is very interesting and deep. – Raven Benwait




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