APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2015

motorheadWhen looking back at 2015, the only thing that seems to matter is the passing of Lemmy Kilmister. Of course losing Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in November was sad but Lemmy was on another level – one of the pillars of the entire rock ‘n roll universe. Thankfully, he left a voluminous legacy for us to enjoy for eternity, including some of music’s best interviews and quotes possible. Cheers, Lemmy.

Other than that, 2015 was a remarkably strong year for the pioneering, long-running bands in the metal scene.  Everyone from KILLING JOKE, MY DYING BRIDE, FEAR FACTORY to AMORPHIS put out fantastic records. This past year also saw some very good super groups in TAU CROSS and FIRESPAWN make their debuts.  You’ll find that many of them made it to our respective lists.

Additionally, we’ve recruited some fresh blood in Charles Elliott, Andrew Sample, and Jeff Wagner. These industry vets have been in the trenches with us for years and years, and have helped bring you many of the greatest records ever released for the past 20+ years.
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PUSCIFER – V is for Vagina

In between his busy schedule of fronting TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE, Maynard Keenan has somehow found time to unleash yet another musical entity, PUSCIFER. While not a true solo album, V is for Vagina was composed primarily by Keenan, and serves as yet another glimpse in to the man’s twisted and imaginative mind. Musically, PUSCIFER is a different animal compared to the dense, complex progressive rock of TOOL or the lush melodies of A PERFECT CIRCLE, with Keenan exploring the worlds of trip hop and dub. However, similarities between his main acts can be found peppered throughout the album. “Queen B” opens things up in a non-chalant way with PRIMUS drummer Tim Alexander laying down some sturdy beats for Keenan to play around in with a trance-like hum and om interspersed with low-key spoken word. The plot thickens with the hidden arrangements and programming of “Dozo” to the dense atmosphere of “Vagina Mine,” which benefits from the tribal drumming and solid grooves of Gil and Rani Sharone of STOLEN BABIES. “Momma Sed” display’s the man’s talent for writing tuneful yet understated melodies replete with subtle hooks, and solid, yet quiet beats. But for all its creativity and variety, V is for Vagina is not a flawless album, with the preaching on “Sour Grapes” and the somewhat plodding “Drunk With Power” serving as less than exciting filler. But the sultry lounge number “Rev 22:20” however more than makes up for such shortcomings. It will be interesting to see what the world makes of PUSCIFER, as most of the powerful, evocative vocals of Keenan are vastly subdued for this album. Yet his charisma and inventive arrangements remain, with V is for Vagina delivering an original and unique entry in to the complex catalog of heavy alternative rock’s most enigmatic frontman. (Pucifer Entertainment)

STOLEN BABIES: And the Circus Leaves Town

Los Angeles’ STOLEN BABIES are as twisted and imaginative as they come, both musically and visually. But the eclectic band’s natural talent shines in their ability to incorporate such creativity into crafting great songs. Each and every song is like a ride through a twisted carnival madhouse wonderland. STOLEN BABIES are not a band to be categorized, but their influences from the spectrum of rock are very apparent. Drummer Gil Sharone, who’s lent his talents to various musical entities including DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and PUSCIFIER, provided some insight into the band that somehow manages to make an accordion part of a kick ass band.

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