2. Tribulation – The Children Of The Night
Seemingly on nearly everyone’s end of year list, Tribulation’s The Children Of The Night garnered endless plaudits for a bloody good reason. Their reworking of Swedish death metal – chart their progress from their Entombed/Dismember sounding debut to present and you’ll fully appreciate how far they’ve come – into an eerie, unnervingly simple, brand of melodic death metal excellence was a joy to behold.
For Tribulation mood is paramount and each and every nuance, carefully chosen tempo and perfectly delivered blackened death metal vocal, felt flawlessly paced and decadently deliberate.
Drenched in sweat after a hallucinatory nightmare bought on by fever, the ghost story made flesh vibe of each and every mesmerising track held a relentless grip over your senses; the kind of atmosphere you feel fellow Swede’s Ghost are aiming for but not delivering with quite so much cunning guile.
One of those few albums where genre pigeonholing feels redundant, The Children Of The Night is death metal that inhabits a realm far removed from fellow purveyors of said genre; black is rarely this grey!
1. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
The all-conquering Clutch returned in 2015 and unsurprisingly Psychic Warfare was a world-beating exercise in groove, boogie, exceptional lyrics and insane levels of songwriting talent.
Like Earth Rocker before it, Psychic Warfare was an immediate attention-grabber with “X-Ray Visions” kicking off proceedings in inimitable Clutch style and the pure rock fury hits to the throat just kept on coming.
With the power to turn water into whiskey, Clutch have been plying their fairly straight-forward, bar-room brawling trade for so long now that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were going to drop the ball at some point. Of course, Psychic Warfare suggested otherwise. These guys aren’t just running with an unbeatable formula, they’re sprinting and hopefully the finish line is a long way off in the distance. We need more of this shit, even if our liver aches and our head hurts from all the good time rabble-rousing Clutch continue to cause!
Proof that hard work, integrity and a desire to deliver the most shit-kicking riffs on the planet does pay off, Psychic Warfare may not be the greatest album of Clutch’s illustrious career (Earth Rocker and Blast Tyrant are tied for that particular honour) but it is the greatest album of 2015.
“You’d better believe me, brother!”
Did we forget your favourite album of 2015? Did our complete disregard for the snooze-fest that was Iron Maiden’s The Book Of Souls damage your fragile sensibility? Pop a message in the comments below and we’ll discuss it in a civil and respectful manner….