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  BEST OF 2015

jools green

Jools Green

Best Album: Humangled – 'Prodomes of a Flatline'


Their 2012 EP 'Odd Ethics' made a very positive impression on me but their second full length album, 'Prodomes of a Flatline', released in June was an even more impressive chunk of face ripping brutality and such a huge leap forward from 'Odd Ethics'.

It's uncompromising Death Metal with old school roots and a modern lethal edge.

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Best Single/EP: Eye of Solitude – 'Dear Insanity'

eye of solitude

'Dear Insanity' is a mammoth fifty minute track which is a "funeral veil of misery, agony and loss, a slow-motion fall from the celestial grace into a bottomless downward spiral to the most abyssal darkness", that you can immerse yourself in and become lost within in the dark melancholy that envelops you.

Best Gig: Venom Inc – The Underworld, London (September)

Venom Inc

I've been to a lot of excellent gigs this year, but choose Venom Inc at The Underworld because I went with no expectations and attended because Vader were supporting them.

I knew Venom Inc would give a good performance but I wasn't prepared for the mind blowing performance in a set which was jam packed with energy, vitriol and fun.

Best Band: Enslaved


I could have easily put Enslaved best of every category so they are an obvious choice and next year is their 25th anniversary, with even more in store for everyone.

In the 15 years since their music captured my attention they've never failed to impress me with their studio work and live performances – always striving to do better and their genuine joy in what they do.

Best New Band: Echelon


Not so much a new band as another new project from the unrelenting duo of Rogga Johansson and Dave Ingram but this time it's much, much darker and their first offering under this banner.

'Indulgence over Abstinence Behind the Obsidian Veil' is their best album together to date, engulfing, empowering and profound and a crushing listen.

Best Video: Vreid – 'Sólverv'

On the whole Extreme Metal videos have been a bit sparse and lacking for me this year but luckily Vreid have come up trumps again.

Their video for 'Sólverv' was from the same people who created 2013's 'The Reap' video, director Einar Loftesnes and cartoonist Kim Holm.

Things To Look Forward To In 2016


For me, they are all Norwegian. Firstly Blastfest in Bergen for an all Norwegian line-up festival in February, and if that's not enough, in March there is Ivar Bjoernson and Einar Selvik's Skuggsjá, Enslaved's 25th anniversary, Wardruna and art an exhibition by Kristian 'Gaahl' Espeda.

Oh, and at least another twelve albums from Rogga Johansson!



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