A month or so ago, I reached out to Josh about doing a best albums of 2015 list on here, but he had already had one set up on another site (you can check that out HERE courtesy of Inhale The Heavy). So, Josh put together another list, this time his top 10 songs of 2015 for Xtapolapometal.
If you are unfamiliar with Josh, he plays drums and sings for the band Slaves BC. Slaves BC are from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and play a form of hardcore that is heavily influenced by doom and black metal. They’re really, really good and will be releasing their first full length sometime during the first half of 2016. I can promise you it will be worth the long wait. Until then, check out Slaves BC and check out anything from this list.
From here on, the rest is from Josh.
I had 36 albums that I absolutely loved that came out in 2015, and I wrote a top 15 end of year list for Inhale the Heavy. Those 15 releases did not include some of my favorite and most listened to songs of the year. I have felt like I was doing a disservice to these songs by not talking about them, so thank you to Nathan for agreeing to post them on his site!
Author & Punisher “The Barge” https://authorandpunisher.bandcamp.com/track/the-barge
Author & Punisher has (deservedly) been getting a lot of press in the last couple of years. I feel that “The Barge” perfectly demonstrates why this one-man industrial wasteland has been generating so much buzz. This song clocks in at over 8 minutes and it does not really change much. The track is very repetitive and takes its time getting its point across. “The Barge” feels like some post-apocalyptic junkyard robot is just pummeling you into swamp of nuclear waste.
Chelsea Wolfe “Carrion Flowers” https://chelseawolfe.bandcamp.com/track/carrion-flowers
This song was used for the first Fear the Walking Dead trailer, and it was the perfect choice. I could not have cared less about that show, but “Carrion Flowers” brought the “Fear” to life for me and got me super pumped for the show. This song rules. I never knew how much I needed to hear a sludgy industrial soundtrack with Chelsea Wolfe’s gorgeous voice. So good.
Couch Slut “Lust Chamber” https://handshakeinc.bandcamp.com/track/lust-chamber
I was recently turned onto Couch Slut. The music is crushing, noisy and straightforward. By itself, the music reminds me of some of the better offerings from Kowloon Walled City. HOWEVER. Couch Slut’s vocalist, Megan, is my favorite new vocalist. She sounds like Julie Christmas (Spylacopa , Made Out of Babies) was caged and tortured for years, and she just escaped and is screaming at her captors while smearing their blood all over herself. The vocals in this song give me chills every time.
Cursed Graves “Opus Dei” https://cursedgraves.bandcamp.com/track/opus-dei
Cursed Graves does not fit into my usual musical box that I put myself in. “Opus Dei” is a punk song with rock’n’roll swagger. The album is great, but I have played this track over and over again. Cursed Graves don’t do much with the song, but as soon as it comes on, I’m having fun. I need to see these guys live so I can fist pump, high-five, circle pit, or whatever they do at Cursed Graves show.
Ghost Bath “Golden Number” https://ghostbath.bandcamp.com/track/golden-number
Within five minutes of starting this song, I went from being aloof, to weirded out and confused, to the realization that I was listening to one of my favorite records of the year. “Golden Number” is breathtaking and epic. I don’t know if this is a solo project or where the guys from, but I do know that this is one of the most beautifully expansive songs that I have ever heard. Listen to it, if you can get passed your “THIS ISNT CVLT” knee-jerk reaction, you may find this song as refreshing as I do.
Imperial Triumphant “Twins” https://auralmusic.bandcamp.com/track/twins
I sleep to playlists of all of the most horrible sounding black metal that I can find, and I sleep like a baby. This track made me shoot out of bed in complete horror, not understanding what I was hearing. It sounded as if Cerberus was bellowing out from the gates of hades challenging me to continue subjecting myself to the aural abuse that possesses this entire album. This track is great, but seriously, listen to the whole album. “Abyssal Gods” is one of my two favorite records of the year.
King Dude “Deal With the Devil” https://kingdude.bandcamp.com/track/deal-with-the-devil
I love King Dude. I am fascinated by the way that he and Chelsea Wolfe can write such chill music but it feels so freaking metal! If Tom Waits sounded scarier, and the music was interesting (sorry, Mr. Waits, I love you) he would be King Dude.
Monolord “Cursing the One” https://monolord.bandcamp.com/track/cursing-the-one
This is my favorite doom song of the year. “Cursing the One” reveals its main riff a minute in. I’m listening to it again right now as I type and I just keep smashing fists into the desk. This riff. This riff is one of those riffs that Monolord will spend their entire musical career trying to recreate or eclipse this riff. Monolord is great, but this is one of those perfect riffs that most people will never write, and no one gets to write more than one of them (unless you are Electric Wizard). Also, the vocalist sounds like some kind of water spirit or something crying out through the mist (read: weed smoke). Hold on. I’m playing this song again.
Napalm Death “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” http://napalmdeath.org/
I feel guilty saying this is my favorite song on this album as this song is a very different Napalm Death than what I’m used to. 2015 has brought a lot from different bands experimenting with industrial influence. Napalm Death is one of the bands that executed this the most successfully. This industrial influence is most prevalent on the opening and title track. This song is solely responsible for opening my eyes to this genre. It is fantastic. Napalm Death is one of the oldest and best grind bands there is, and they have written one of the best industrial songs I have ever heard.
Sufjan Stevens “Should Have Known Better” http://music.sufjan.com/track/should-have-known-better
I’ve loved Sufjan Stevens for about 12 years now. I had great expectations for this album and they were completely blown away. This album is his most stripped-down release which allows the melancholy and passion to really ring through each lightly strummed chord and softly crooned lyric. I am not afraid to admit, that I have cried every time that I have listened to the album in a sitting. “Should Have Known Better” is only the second track, and it is usually about the time the tears start to flow. After over 15 years of releases, Sufjan is still evolving. This song is wrought with sorrow and loss. It is as beautiful as it is tragic. Give it a listen.
Thanks again to Josh. You can find him on Twitter through the Slaves BC account.