Discordance and Destruction I: The 59 Best Metal Albums of 2015Cody DavisJanuary 5, 2016Best of Lists2 Comments 047 min read Facebook91Twitter0Google+4Pinterest1LinkedIn0Here we are again, reflecting on the best of what another year had to offer. 2015 was a spectacular year for heavy music. It seemed that there were brilliant releases across every genre and sub-genre imaginable. While we, the minds behind this indomitable list, reveled in all of this great music we had this year; it posed the daunting task of trying to assemble a list of the very best from the bountiful harvest. We at Bearded Gentlemen Music decided to break these lists up into two separate entities, one list contains the best of all genres of metal, the other contains the best of rock, noise, and shoegaze. Welcome to the first of a two-part feature. Discordance & Destruction Part II: The Best Rock, Noise Rock, and Shoegaze Albums of 2015 is here. The Best Metal Albums of 2015 Geneveive – Escapism Genevieve created one of the more obscure metal albums of the year. Sharing the primal aggression that fuels bands like Dendritic Arbor and Plebian Grandstand, Escapism is an audacious, genre experiment, and the results are devastating. The songs violently writhe and squirm through cesspools of ripping scuzz metal then find themselves wallowing in fuzzed out washes of feedback and sludge. The whole album is a fun listen, and I recommend this to anyone that wants to hear something new and entertaining in the metal department. – Brandon Perras Escapism by Genevieve Mastery – Valis This is a mentally dizzying extreme album if I have ever heard one. The one-man metal project of multi-instrumentalist, Ephemeral Domignostika, created an incredibly thick, layered web of lightning fast tremolo-picked guitars, caustic shrills, and blistering drums. Valis rarely relents. If it were not for a couple brief one or two minute interludes that allowed you to catch your breath, tracks like “V.A.L.I.S.V.E.S.S.E.L.” and “S.T.A.R.S.E.E.K.E.R.” would hold your head beneath the surface of a blackened experimental sea. – Cody Davis VALIS by Mastery Yidhra – Cult of Bathory An album about the inhumanity of humanity and the Countess of Bathory who bathed in the blood of virgins. If that doesn’t get you excited you might be one of the Countesses dead virgins with no blood. Cult of Bathory is just some raunchy stoner doom and I love it. Very masterfully done from these heavily bearded dudes in L.A. – Jon Cult of Bathory E.P. by Yidhra Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs Tanner Anderson spearheads the medieval black metal group, Obsequiae, who released one of my personal favorite albums this year with Aria of Vernal Tombs. The two words I have been using all year to describe this album are epic and grandiose. It’s brilliant in execution and creating a renaissance atmosphere for the listener. The inclusion of a medieval harp was what made this album easily one of the most unique albums of 2015. Great work, Tanner, my friend! I’m looking forward to what else Obsequiae has to offer in the future. – Cody Davis Aria Of Vernal Tombs by Obsequiae Vorum – Current Mouth I like my metal crude and barbaric; it should sound like the drums are being played with goat femurs and the vocalist is gnawing meat off a human thigh between lines. Within the first 10 seconds of Current Mouth, you will be cudgeled over the head, dragged off into a dark cave, and most likely eaten alive. This album is as about as ferocious as you can get with the genre and will definitely leave a mark, if not a contusion, after listening to it. I hope the gentlemen of Vorum had a warm and wonderful Christmas full of joy, hot cocoa with marshmallows, mirth, chestnuts, yummy gingerbread men, and wonder. -Brandon Perras Current Mouth by Vorum Vastum – Hole Below Visceral, filthy, old school death metal at its finest. San Francisco’s Vastum crafted what I believe to be one of the two best death metal albums of the year. No offense to your favorite selection, this is just done so right in my opinion. Vastum utilizes a dual-vocal approach with Leila Abdul-Rauf and Daniel Butler and it adds another echoing layer of abject misery to their ripping rhythm sections made by Abdul-Rauf, Shelby Lermo (guitar), Adam Perry (drums), and Luca Indrio (bass). Do yourself the favor and teach yourself about some quality old school death metal. – Cody Davis Hole Below by Vastum Tribulation – Children of the Night Corpse paint meets hair metal! This album is really cool. I was pleasantly surprised after my first couple of listens to this album because I detest anything remotely hair metal. It’s got a lot of infectious rhythms to it and actually allows you to sing along throughout the album. – Cody Davis The Crinn – Shadowbreather The Crinn are mathcore’s superheroes. Always epic, always a thorough mindfuck. Get on this while the getting is good. – Jasper Hesselink Shadowbreather by The Crinn The Armed – Untitled For an uber aggressive mathcore album this record is so catchy it should not be possible, and yet it totally penetrates the mind and many other orifices. The Armed might give away all their work for free, but that does not make them cheap. – Jasper Hesselink Untitled by The Armed Dimesland – Psychogenic Atrophy Psychogenic Atrophy is a metal oddity; it is near impossible to categorize, and is one of those records that is as equally fun to study as it is to listen to. It’s like a mentally unstable, post-metal Voivod; the song structures come straight out of an advanced calculus course, the tempos are constantly shifting and the barrage of riffs is never ending. It makes me wonder if bands like this can even have fun playing live. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, definitely grab this record; it may also improve your poor math scores. – Brandon Perras Psychogenic Atrophy by Dimesland Khemmis – Absolution Denver doom debutantes (boy do I love alliteration), Khemmis, blew me away with their album when it came out back in July. They immediately burst out of the throngs of generic doom metal bands combining High on Fire’s sludgy riffs with YOBian vocals, switching between soaring clean vocals and harsh bellows. Album closer, “The Bereaved” is massive as well. It is an incredible debut for an incredibly promising band. – Cody Davis Absolution by Khemmis Behold! the Monolith – Architects of the Void Sluuuuuuuuuuuudge! The LA-based Behold! The Monolith ran a sword through the standard norm of doom and sludge metal this year by channeling Remission-era Mastodon, early thrash a-la Metallica, and a touch of funeral doom for Architects of the Void. This was B!TM’s first album since the passing of member Kevin McDade, seeing these gentlemen rebound and create new music was one of my favorite moments in metal this year. – Cody Davis . Tesseract – Polaris Anyone that’s been a fan of Tesseract for awhile knew the hype of original vocalist Daniel Tompkins’ return would be grand, and his delivery on Polaris is his best yet. Musically, this album is a groove power house. Did you expect anything less from one of djent’s pioneering bands? –Quinten O’Neal Slayer – Repentless Slayer!! – Jon Read our full review here. MisPyrming – Songvar elds og oreidu I don’t listen to a great load of black metal, so I don’t consider myself an expert, but I know these Icelandic dudes fucking burn villages and rape mothers. Roadburn Festival 2016 will not know what hit them! – Jasper Hesselink Rosetta – Quintessential Ephemera Damn. Metal is not supposed to be this beautiful. This record always makes me want to raise my invisible oranges to the sky and cry for all injustice on this fucking gob of dirt. – Jasper Hesselink Quintessential Ephemera by Rosetta Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss of Longing Throats Mories had a busy 2015. This album and his most recent Cloak of Altering albums were his best offerings this year. This album also comes with some very family-friendly cover art. – Cody Davis Abyss Of Longing Throats by GNAW THEIR TONGUES Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues – N.V. I am not going to give too much away, but if you’re looking for TRUE FUCKING UGLY EVIL…this is it. – Jasper Hesselink This album is deeply unsettling… – Cody Davis N.V. by Dragged Into Sunlight / Gnaw Their Tongues Iron Maiden – Book of Souls It’s Iron Maiden. Need I say more? – Cody Davis Serial Hawk – Searching For Light This album is a damn savage and I feel totally comfortable letting it destroy me on the inside. I’ve never seen Serial Hawk live, but I here that they are insanely loud. Searching for Light contains some of the smartest musical compositions in heavy music this year with songs that range from just under four minutes to epic sprawling pants kickers that last 18 minutes. Do yourself a favor and let Serial Hawk rattle your sternum. – Jon Interview with the band here. Searching For Light by Serial Hawk Mondo Drag – Mondo Drag Every band should have a Hammond organ droning in the background. Mondo Drag knows this and they also listen to all the right records. If you like getting high to Wooden Shjips, The Doors, and Pink Floyd don’t look any further. – Jasper Hesselink Mondo Drag by Mondo Drag Kylesa – Exhausting Fire I’ve spent a decent amount of time listening to Kylesa over the years and they seem to get better and better, but with Exhausting Fire I feel like they really kind of came into their own and fully embraced all their influences and elements, mostly the fire element. – Jon Exhausting Fire by Kylesa Cult Leader – Lightless Walk To think that I once mourned Gaza’s demise…If I knew it would have brought us this brilliant metallic hardcore gem I would have danced on their grave! Cult Leader takes everything that was awesome about Gaza and just adds so much depth…it’ s frightening really. I can’t imagine what a Cult Leader moshpit would look like, but I hope to find out in the near future! – Jasper Hesselink Extreme compare and contrast of Cult Leader. Lightless Walk by Cult Leader Wild Throne – Harvest of Darkness Aided by super star producer Ross Robinson, Wild Throne really went all out on this stellar debut album. It’s a record that channels influences like At The Drive In, Refused, Mr Bungle, and Cave In and infusing a shot of youngblood adrenaline I didn’t hear again in 2015. If you have a schizophrenic taste in music this album and Mutoid Man is all you needed from this year. – Jasper Hesselink Review of Harvest of Darkness is here. Scientist – 10100||00101 A late 2015 release that most likely would rise in the rankings with more listens. This Chicago band will take you on a spaced out metal joyride. Make sure to invite some friends and crank it up to the max. – Matt Jamison 1010II0101 by Scientist False – Untitled This is some of the most savage black/death metal I have heard in a long time (and they have a keyboard!). It’s a confrontational and perilous journey through 6 songs that are about 10-15 minutes each and never seem to lose momentum. I’m surprised by the lack of coverage False received this year for this album. Without mentioning a certain band that rhymes with Methheaven, Untitled has a similar appeal, except the metal played here is raw, primal and from the heart; this is the band that should be getting that kind of attention. – Brandon Perras Untitled by FALSE Aevangelist – Enthrall to the Void of Bliss Windtunnel black metal. This record is so incredibly dark and twisted I never have the stomach to finish it in one turn. – Jasper Hesselink Abstracter – Wound Empire This Oakland band’s brand of black metal leans towards the psychedelic end of the spectrum. The four tracks on Wound Empire span over forty minutes in length. These dudes create some crazy good atmospheric noise that never feels monotonous. Black metal, for the most part, tends to lose my attention half way through most songs but ABSTRACTER keeps my attention throughout. – Matt Jamison Wound Empire by Abstracter Yautja – Songs of Lament Nashville’s Yautja (as well as Dendritic Arbor) made me fall in love with grind again in 2015. Songs of Lament was a welcomed, relentless assault on the eardrums. It blended elements of sludge, punk, grind and death across seven songs. I’ve actually been listening to this album on full volume while I write my sentiments for many of the albums on this list. So that should say something! – Cody Davis This album and Cult Leader’s debut album were all you needed from blackened metallic hardcore this year. – Jasper Hesselinksongs of lament by yautja Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction This was my other favorite death metal album of 2015. The Anthropocene Extinction is a spectacular display of death metal from Cattle Decapitation. This album has been a lot of fan favorites on different metal sites and it is easy to see why. This group gets stronger and more unforgiving with each album. The Anthropocene Extinction is their best work to date. – Cody Davis Sannhet – Revisionist Instrumental metal to the highest degree. Sannhet’s Revisionist stripped away the vocals of black metal and placed the focus on the drums. It is an incredible concept that is executed marvelously. The Brooklyn trio went on tour with Liturgy earlier this year and stole the show in my opinion. Revisionist only lasts about 38 minutes but the album is so chock full of complex melodies, powerful drums, and bass distortion, that it feels much grander and larger than its nine songs. – Cody Davis Revisionist by Sannhet Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower This year I could not resist Sabbathian type stoner doom stuff and the immortal pleasure of Windhand felt so right. Grief’s Infernal Flower is solid musically, but what really make this album special is Dorthia Cottrell’s vocals which give Windhand that unique and addicting sound – Jon Grief’s Infernal Flower by Windhand Sweet Cobra – Earth You know why this world sucks? Because people worship Dave Grohl like he invented rock ‘n roll and every fart he let’s fly is genius, and at the same time an album like Earth is released in the margins. I seriously think the world would be a better place if all the Foo Fighter fans in the world took a minute to appreciate Sweet Cobra’s latest nugget. This band is just so at the top of their game with this album, and so free to wander into any territory they see fit from sludge to indie to college rock. I just want to put this record in a jar and add a little bit of it to my PB&J every day. – Jasper Hesselink GOLD – No Image The Dutch post-rock group, GOLD, spearheaded by Thomas Sciarone and Milena Eva went down a new road for their second studio album, No Image. A darker, post-everything approach proved to be very beneficial for the band, as this album saw critical acclaim from many, including myself. They spanned numerous styles in just forty two minutes, everything from post-punk to black and experimental metal Eva’s soulful voice over distorted, fuzzy riffs created a listening experience that I kept on repeat for quite some time. – Cody Davis One of my favorite undefinable albums this year. And from my country, so hopefully I’m able to see them live at some point! – Jasper Hesselink Full review is here. Ghost – Meliora This has the best bass guitar of 2015. “From the Pinnacle to the Pit”? Man… The rest of the album is great as well. Papa and the Nameless Ghouls are bigger, badder, and bring a bit of a heavier sound on Meliora. I love the artistry and showmanship of Ghost. I also have begun to love their music more with each new album. Infestissumam piqued my interest and Meliora has me hooked. Their first single, “Cirice,” sat in my head for weeks. Praise be to Papa Emeritus III. – Cody Davis High on Fire – Luminiferous This album makes the list simply on merit alone. High on Fire has never made bad music and Luminiferous is certainly no exception. Riff lord/vocalist, Matt Pike, and fellow band members Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass) bring the house down on their seventh studio album. Loaded with sludgy thrash and doom, songs like “The Black Plot” and “The Falconist” weave their way into your brain and stay there for extended periods of time. – Cody Davis Little known fact; Matt Pike does not own a shirt, Snopes it all you want assholes. -Brandon Perras Full review is here, just click here to read it if you want to. Thanks. Dead to A Dying World – Litany Dead To A Dying World win the trophy for most epic sounding album. It is a massive chunk of music. Three lengthy tracks sandwiching a couple of beautiful instrumentals. Their addition of strings make this album as pretty as it is deadly. – Matt Jamison Litany by Dead To A Dying World Dendritic Arbor – Romantic Love A downright terrifying display of human aggression. Perhaps the best newcomer in metal this year. – Jasper Hesselink Dendritic Arbor helped me rediscover grind as well as give me a reason to use my neurobiology degree. It’s the proverbial two birds with one stone. – Cody Davis Romantic Love by Dendritic Arbor The Body/Krieg – The Body/Krieg Brutal! – Jon Immortal Bird – Empress/Abscess Burning bridges and holding grudges are listed as the influences for this Chicago band. There is some serious venom in this music. The music on Empress/Abscess is brutal and pretty. It is powerful enough on its own to create some vivid imagery for the listener. Rae’s lyrics take it to the next level though. – Matt Jamison Full review here. Empress/Abscess by Immortal Bird Locrian – Infinite Dissolution Chicago’s Locrian are an avant-black metal/experimental group who released their latest studio album, Infinite Dissolution, back in July through Relapse Records. The album is a multi-part concept about the struggles of extinction. If that doesn’t get you interested in the album, I don’t know what will. The album is loaded with synths, guitar solos, and magical drums that create a crushing benchmark for experimental music to come. The only thing more enthralling than listening to the album was seeing them perform it live. If you’ve got the chance to see Locrian, I highly advise you do it. – Cody Davis Full review here. Infinite Dissolution by Locrian Panopticon – Autumn Eternal Austin Lunn, better known as the one-man black metal maestro, Panopticon, returned in 2015 with a vivid homage to the fall season. Autumn Eternal marks a stylistic change in Lunn’s music as he moves away from folk-infused black metal and into a darker, more melodic sound. Songs like “Oaks Ablaze” and “Sleep to the Sounds of Crashing Waves” show off Panopticon’s uncanny ability to construct atmosphere in his music. Autumn Eternal is the rare album that evokes mental imagery and allows the listener to explore a large emotional breadth. It is a magnificently enthralling experience that Austin Lunn has created. Read my full write up here. – Cody Davis Autumn Eternal by Panopticon Vattnet Viskar – Settler One of the emerging talents in US Black Metal over the last few years has been New Hampshire’s Vattnet Viskar. Their latest album, Settler, is concise and thunderous. They fit the power and rawness that most black metal bands need over an hour to make into 40 minutes, without sacrificing anything that contributes to the quality of their music. Settler sets Vattnet Viskar up to be the torchbearers for USBM for many years ahead. – Cody Davis Another full review is here. Pyramids – A Northern Meadow The album cover is what initially drew me to this album. The haunting atmosphere and incredible production team (Colin Marston, Vindsval) had me listening to this album repeatedly throughout the spring. Each of the songs on this album has an unnerving aura to it. The album as a whole is very dark and dreamy. The addition of Marston and Vindsval, who are known for Krallice (among others) and Blut Aus Nord, respectively, saw the evolution of Pyramids’ sound into something much more magnificent. – Cody Davis A Northern Meadow by PYRAMIDS The Body/Thou – You, Whom I Have Always Hated Super brutal! – Jon Released From Love / You, Whom I Have Always Hated by The Body & Thou Elder – Lore This is such an incredible album. If you love that gnarly, proggy sludge sound of early Baroness, Mastodon, and Kylesa albums you’ll eat this album up like bean burritos after a night of bong hits. – Jasper Hesselink Lore by Elder Intronaut – The Direction of Last Things Prog for the stoner community. Probably their best release so far, which is definitely also due to the return of the devastating death growls. Their anything goes mentality is their biggest forte. This band deserves to blow up in the next year. – Jasper Hesselink It takes a group of mad scientists to come with songs and riffs like this. – Jon Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic Coma Ecliptic is my personal album of the year. Just when I thought these guys couldn’t get any better after their brilliant Parallax series, they went and made a rock opera that is their greatest work to date. Tommy Rogers’ vocal range is one of the best things in all of metal; Paul, Dan and Dustie’s guitar work is masterful, and Blake’s status as one of the best drummers in metal remains unquestioned. The story of the album follows a man who built a machine that allows him to explore other possible realities and choose which one he wanted to live. He ultimately learns that the life he had been living was in fact the best option. This album is flawless. – Cody Davis Krallice – Ygg Huur Since I am an ignorant hipster and really enjoy hipster metal (according to online metal forums and YouTube comment sections), Krallice has been one of my favorite metal bands of the last decade. In fact, I would highly recommend their entire brain-scrambling discography; how often can you say that about a band?. Ygg Huur seems to be their most aggressive release to date and possibly their best yet. As usual, the songs are played at soaring speeds and are mathematically maddening, opening portals to bizarre dimensions in time and space…all the while making “true” black metal fans clutch their pearls and angrily condition their hair. -Brandon Perras Krallice’s talent is undeniable. I’m in the same boat as Brandon with them being one of my favorite bands over the past few years. The NYC black metallurgists dropped a surprise fifth studio album, Ygg Huur, at the end of July. It took me most of August to fully process it. This is such an extensive and complex album that shows the mastery of Marston, Barr, McMaster, and Weinstein. – Cody Davis Ygg huur by Krallice Yellow Eyes – Sick With Bloom The late, great album of 2015. This is some of the best atmospheric black metal I have ever heard. I bought an LP almost immediately after I listened to it. They did some of the recording of this album in a secluded cabin in the woods of Connecticut, adding this sense of wilderness to Sick With Bloom. Each of the six songs on this album are superbly intense. – Cody Davis Yet another full review is here. Sick With Bloom by Yellow Eyes Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours This is the only album I immediately bought after the first listen this year. All Fours is that good. It shows a band tbat has not only found their true form, but also their momentum in songwriting. This is a band freewheeling from oldschool Union Of Uranus-style crusty screamo to black metal evilness with apparent ease. And the drumming on this record is just out of this planet! All Fours should be obligatory study material for any metalhead this year. – Jasper Hesselink All Fours by BOSSE-DE-NAGE Liturgy – The Ark Work Pioneering a new sound and style is the ultimate achievement for any band. So is ushering in the apocalypse, and that is exactly what Liturgy has done here. Yeah, it’s definitely got all the elements of black metal, but they have been completely gutted, drained of blood, and used in some sort of re-awakening ceremony for old ancient gods. Liturgy continues to push genre boundaries, and after seeing them play The Ark Work live, I will remain a believer. Check out my full review and interview with Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. – Brandon Perras In response to Brandon, Liturgy live is something that needs to be seen. The Ark Work live was an awesome experience. – Cody Davis Leviathan – Scar Sighted In the sentiment of honesty, this album kind of scared me the first time I listened to it. I was in the midst of trying to fall asleep one night with my headphones on, which happens from time to time, and the desperate screams in the song “Dawn Vibration” jarringly woke me up. I was immediately hooked. “Within Thrall” also has one of the greatest opening riffs I have heard in awhile. Leviathan a.k.a. Jef Whitehead made a bleakly triumphant return in 2015 after shaking off some personal/legal troubles. Scar Sighted is one of the best one-man black metal albums this year. – Cody Davis Full review here. Scar Sighted by LEVIATHAN He Whose Ox Is Gored – The Camel, The Lion, The Child Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored was my biggest discovery of 2015. Their album, The Camel, The Lion, The Child, quickly became one of my personal favorites this year and I have been shouting it from mountaintops ever since. This is one of the finest examples of genre fusion that I can recall from the last few years, HWOIG mixed sludge, doom, post-metal, and prog metal all together to perfection in their first full-length studio album. What the brilliant minds housed within this group have done so well is using their influences without rehashing what they have done. A sign of true musicianship. Read my interview with the band here. – Cody Davis I love He Whose Ox Is Gored! That is all. – Jon Robertson The Camel, The Lion, The Child by He Whose Ox Is Gored Sunn O))) – Kannon In what was one of the most important albums in metal this year, drone pioneers, Sunn O))), released the product of all their previous works and collaborations into a three-song chronicle called Kannon. Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson’s latest album continues to show that metal can be much more immersive and mesmerizing instead of brash and in your face. The inclusion of Attila Csihar’s vocals on this album are utilized much like another instrument instead of an outright singer, adding another layer of depth to this album. Kannon, while shorter than other Sunn O))) albums, may not only be one of the most important albums in metal this year, but the group’s most important work to date. I did a full review of Kannon here. – Cody Davis Kannon by SUNN O))) Bell Witch – Four Phantoms This was the best of what funeral doom had to offer in 2015. This album was utterly crushing. It also featured one of the most metal concepts I’ve ever heard. Each of the album’s four gigantic tracks are about a different ghost constantly dying the same death for eternity. Each death is centered around a different elemental theme (buried alive and attempting to escape by smashing one’s face against the inside of the coffin, burning alive in public, drowning in a river of water and skin, and falling so fast and long the air replaces one’s flesh). To think something this heavy came from only two men was almost tough to fathom, however Dylan Desmond and Adrien Guerra (now replaced by Jesse Shreibman) destroyed all hope in their four-song, sixty-six minute epic. – Cody Davis Review of the album is here. Four Phantoms by BELL WITCH Deafheaven – New Bermuda When New Bermuda was announced, I am certain I was not the only one wondering how Deafheaven planned to top the marvelous Sunbather. With the inclusion of other musical inspirations, a full five-piece band intact, and what I can only assume to be a little help from black magic or a deal with the devil, they have in fact outdone themselves. New Bermuda jettisons any debate as to whether or not Deafheaven is a metal band (as if they weren’t on Sunbather for some reason). Their third album is much darker, grittier, and possesses an inner demon of thrash and outright black metal. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they shed the shoegaze and indie influences. Quite the contrary, they have found a way expertly blend prior and new influences. – Cody Davis More Deafheaven love here. New Bermuda by deafheaven Mutoid Man – Bleeder Mutoid Man are vets in the heavy music scene but there is no complacency here. Their sound is hungry and exploratory. The fellas in the band are fans of weed and any listener that partakes will feel a certain kinship with them. The furious pace they play at makes it seem more like a brain massage than anything else. That being said, you don’t need to be a stoner to appreciate their music. It is filled with technical excellence and the vocals are super clear and direct. It seems like an album that should appeal to people that are into all genres of rock. – Matt Jamison Everything about Mutoid Man is electric. Their Helium Head debut, Bleeder, and their live performance are filled with some of the highest amounts of energy ever. Steve Brodsky, Ben Koller, and Nick Cageao are super cool dudes too. All hail Mutoid Man. – Cody Davis SUMAC – The Deal Aaron Turner, Nick Yacyshyn, and Brian Cook put their collective minds together and crafted what may be the heaviest project the three of them have ever been a part of. Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Mammifer), Yacyshyn (Baptists), and Cook (Russian Circles, Botch, These Arms Are Snakes) are all magnificent musicians and experts of their instruments. Every ounce of that ability is on a ravishing display for their debut album, The Deal. Turner incorporates some of the heaviness that underlied ISIS and currently consumes Old Man Gloom. Yacyshyn became one of my favorite drummers after hearing this album originally and then seeing SUMAC play live (“Thorn in the Lion’s Paw” gave me whiplash). From start to finish, The Deal exudes genius. There is this hyper-analytical technicality to the album. All of the lulls in intensity are precisely placed to give a small break to listeners before they are pummeled again. Bravo, gentlemen. You certainly earned the honor here. We’re all looking forward to what SUMAC has to offer in 2016! – Cody Davis Interview with Nick Yacyshyn. The Deal by SUMAC Discordance & Destruction Part II: The Best Rock, Noise Rock, and Shoegaze Albums of 2015 is here. Cody Davis Knows he doesn’t look like he listens to metal, but trust him. He does. He spends an overwhelming majority of his day listening to it. When he isn’t busy becoming a physical therapist at Duke University, he splits his time as a writer for not only Bearded Gentlemen Music but at Metal Injection, Noisey, and Treble as well. Cody can be found on Twitter or Instagram and if you ever see him in person, please buy him a cup of coffee.