The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015

“Good day
My name is Necropolis
I am formed of the dead
I am the harvester of the soul meat
And I suck the lives from around my bed
My own two sons I gave them breath
And I filled their living corpses with my bile
What humanity I knew I have long forgotten
For me eternity is nothing
But a short while…” 

– If Eternity Should Fail, by Iron Maiden

Eternity might be nothing but a short while for the harvester of the soul meat, but for us mere mortals it looked like 2015 was never going to reach its end. Well, the year is finally phasing out and 2016 is already knocking on our doors, promising to be a much better (and less tragic) time for mankind. With that said, once again as a tribute to all bands and musicians who kept our hearts warm in the throes of a world crisis, here is The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015, excluding of course all EP’s, best of’s and live albums. Profitez-en bien!

Iron Maiden_The Book of Souls1. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (REVIEW)
As you read through the pages of The Book Of Souls you’ll inevitably realize that Iron Maiden’s gonna get us all, no matter how far.
Best song of the album: The Red and the Black

moonspell_extinct2. Moonspell – Extinct (REVIEW)
While this distinguished Portuguese Dark Metal band is among us, we can rest assured good and meaningful music is far from being extinct.
Best song of the album: Extinct

Stratovarius_Eternal3. Stratovarius – Eternal (REVIEW)
The Finnish masters of Power Metal are back with a beautiful album made to be eternal.
Best song of the album: My Eternal Dream

battle beast_unholy savior4. Battle Beast – Unholy Savior (REVIEW)
Battle Beast want the world and everything in it, and they’re definitely on their way to conquer it all with their brilliant brand new album.
Best song of the album: I Want The World… And Everything In It

My God-Given Right5. Helloween – My God-Given Right (REVIEW)
It’s our God-given right to keep banging our heads to the music by the happiest and most awesome Power Metal band in the world.
Best song of the album: Creatures in Heaven

scorpions_return to forever6. Scorpions – Return to Forever (REVIEW)
This rock may be rolling home after so many years of good service, but it still has A LOT to teach the world on how to make true Hard Rock.
Best song of the album: Rock ‘N’ Roll Band

cover7. Marduk – Frontschwein (REVIEW)
The Babylonian gods of Black Metal return with more of their blasphemous and apocalyptic war-themed music.
Best song of the album: Thousand-Fold Death

CoF_Hammer of the Witches8. Cradle of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches (REVIEW)
The metallic coven instituted by one of the most important Extreme Metal bands of all time keeps haunting our world with their music.
Best song of the album: Onward Christian Soldiers

Survivalist Album Cover9. 4ARM – Survivalist (REVIEW)
A phenomenal heavy music album full of groove, fury and energy by an extremely talented Thrash Metal band from Down Under.
Best song of the album: Poisoned Mind

Slayer_Repentless10. Slayer – Repentless (REVIEW)
Live fast, on high, repentless, and keep listening to Slayer until the day you die.
Best song of the album: Repentless

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II (REVIEW)
12. Monolith – Against The Wall Of Forever (REVIEW)
13. The Agonist – Eye of Providence (REVIEW)
14. Acrassicauda – Gilgamesh (REVIEW)
15. Vingulmork – Chiaroscuro (REVIEW)
16. Vorna – Ei Valo Minua Seuraa (REVIEW)
17. Dys Inbunden – One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy (REVIEW)
18. Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor (REVIEW)
19. Tsar Bomb – Exterminans IX:XI (REVIEW)
20. Profane And The Sacred – Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming (REVIEW)

As this year we had tons of amazing EP’s being released by extremely talented bands from all over the world, why not providing you our Top 10 EP’s of 2015, right? (To be fair, although shorter in duration, some of them are significantly better and more complex than several full-length albums that became available throughout the year.)

1. Goatchrist – The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil (REVIEW)
2. Dö – Den (REVIEW)
3. Chip DiMonick – Uncaged (REVIEW)
4. Omega Diatribe – Abstract Ritual (REVIEW)
5. The Passion Of Our Souls – Soulmates (REVIEW)
6. Velaverante – My Dark Images (REVIEW)
7. Novallo – Novallo II (REVIEW)
8. Meridius – Meridius (REVIEW)
9. Judas Avenger – Judas Avenger (REVIEW)
10. Pergana – The Visit (REVIEW)

One thing that 2015 taught us all is that Heavy Fuckin’ Metal is still alive and on fire, and based on the music by countless independent bands reviewed here (that for different reasons did not make it to our top 10/20), it will keep shining brighter than ever for many years to come. Take a listen at the music by Rifftera and Amanita Virosa (Finland); Reanimator and Fractal Generator (Canada); Sarpentra and The Prophet (Russia); Dzhatinga and Irreversible Mechanism (Belarus); Helligators and Lykaion (Italy); Warmask and Hateful Warfare (Brazil); Morkesagn and Gasoline Guns (Ukraine); Void Creation (Austria); Nachtlieder (Sweden); Fjorsvartnir (Denmark); Broken Rain (Slovakia); Lanthanein (Argentina), among many others, and there you have the future of heavy music. And, obviously, don’t forget to listen to the METAL MOOSE RADIO SHOW every week, and to always HAIL SANTA!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2016!

And now, last but not least, a Christmas message from Eddie and the boys…

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The Metal Moose Show – Episode 2015-07-14

If you want to get more information about any of the bands featured at The Metal Moose Show, simply Google the band and/or the song name to find their official website and Facebook page and, more important than that, attend their live concerts and buy their music. Here at The Headbanging Moose you can find detailed reviews of Russian Power Thrash/Death Metal Dissector and British Progressive Rock/Metal band Deadly Circus Fire (just click on the links below to read the reviews). Support your local bands… AND FOLLOW THE MOOSE!

On The Metal Moose Show this week:

1. New Tenants – Battlecry
2. Moondark – Concealing The Light
3. Souline – Rise Up
4. Dissector – Keep My Trust
5. Deadly Circus Fire – House Of Plagues
6. Skies Turn Black – Cold
7. Arrival Of Autumn – Shadows
8. Xander Demos – Under A Darkened Sky
9. Wonderheim – Villan
10. Twelve Years Driven – Devils Way
11. Snake Eyes – Shadow Warriors
12. Mick James – I Don’t Fight Fair
13. Stahl Gorthal – Infernal Wrath
14. Dark Before Dawn – Wasted
15. Count Your Dead – Poetic Lies
16. Alice Sweet Alice – Blood Roses
17. Those Made Broken – Long Range
18. Deadpan – Life Olympic Games
19. Shadowburn – Crashing
20. Concrete Swine – Darkness
21. Vesperia – Iron Saga
22. Edge Of Paradise – Break Away

Click HERE to listen to this week’s episode on Spreaker.

Metal Moose Radio YouTube | Spreaker | Mixcloud

Album Review – Deadly Circus Fire / The Hydra’s Tailor (2015)

What are you waiting for to put your hands on one of the best and most professional Progressive Metal albums from the past few years?

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hydra cover 1500x1500 pxDescribed by renowned British magazine Metal Hammer as “one of the most imaginative and formidable” Progressive Rock/Metal bands available in the market today, London-based four-piece group Deadly Circus Fire will blow your mind with the high-end fusion of raw metallic riffs and complex melodies found in their brand new album entitled The Hydra’s Tailor, telling you stories and invading your psyche in a brilliant way. And especially if you’re addicted to innovative bands such as Tool and Mastodon, the music by these British guys is mandatory to your collection.

Formed in early 2009 in the UK, the band released a self-titled EP in 2010 and their first full-length album The King and the Bishop in 2013, both receiving excellent feedback from fans and critics due to the band’s unique progressiveness and melodic lines. In addition, they’ve already supported Welsh Alternative Metal/Hardcore Punk band Skindred on one of their European tours, counting it among their career highlights so far. Of course, nothing would have been possible if the musicians involved weren’t as skilled as they are, because in the end the music itself is what really matters, don’t you agree?

Now turn up the volume and you’ll feel the reverberation inside your mind while lead singer Adam Grant declaims some thoughtful words in the excellent intro In Darkness We Trust, right before Animal hits you like a bullet to the head so progressive and heavy it is. I love those songs where you can clearly listen to the powerful sound of a bass guitar, and the low-tuned lines by bassist Mike Enort are spot-on. Fans of Tool will go crazy with this song, as well as with Where It Lies, where its acoustic notes open the gates for more creativity and intricacy, providing the listener a good balance between heavier riffs and smoother vocals, closer to what Mastodon do but with a Metalcore touch. Not only that, a Dream Theater-ish voyage was chosen by the band to conclude the song, and once again kudos to Mike for a superb job with his bass guitar.

Victim, which starts in a truly wicked way, showcases powerful riffs by the amazing guitarist Save Addario while drummer Paul Igoe smashes his drums with so much talent it’s hard to explain it in just a few words. Besides, the sounding of bass and drums during the guitar solo is at the same time complex and pleasant, turning the song into one of the best moments of the album. And their vision of a devilish opera couldn’t sound more obscure and interesting than in Devil’s Opera, where Progressive Metal is flawlessly blended with Sludge Metal and tons of groove. I would love to see them replicating that sonority live one day, that should be great.

DCFMore Americanized than all previous tracks, especially the vocals by Adam, Rise Again is an excellent choice for an alternate rock n’ roll radio station, with the duo Save and Mike giving a progressive lesson with their strings. It’s heavier than lots of Death and Thrash Metal bands I know, with its second half being one of those weird trips that musicians like the guys from Deadly Circus Fire always have an awesome time playing. Then we have the calm instrumental intro Martyrs, introducing the listener to the superb House of Plagues, which despite starting in a very groovy way it morphs into a creepier and more violent tune, especially the vocals by Adam when he screams “Lies, lies, lies!”. Although totally insane and progressive, it’s at the same time an easy listen, with its lyrics matching perfectly with every single second of it.

Aeden is perhaps one of the most complete examples of Progressive Groove Metal you can find, with highlights to its wicked guitar lines enhanced by the complexity imposed by Paul on drums. Moreover, pay attention to how the chorus goes from smooth to harsh in a matter of seconds. The title-track The Hydra’s Tailor has a great atmosphere with a strong Doom-ish vein, and its melancholic lyrics guide the music to a heavy ending, followed by Turning the Tide, which proves once again that despite most songs surpass the 6-minute barrier that doesn’t mean they get tiring at all. The band yet again focuses on a musicality similar to the work done by Mastodon, in special the outstanding heaviness generated by Save and Mike with their guitar and bass lines. And guess what? The last track (and also the longest of all) entitled Universe is another feast of progressiveness and talent, where its semi-acoustic beginning marvellously evolves to a much darker sounding. You can sense the music is about to “explode” anytime but somehow the band intelligently prevents it from happening, holding (almost) all their anger inside and transmitting that excruciating pressure to the listener.

To be fair, it’s hard to find the right words to describe such complex and cunning music. With that said, in order to get more details about this work-of-art, you should check the band’s Facebook page or SoundCloud, and also listen to a promo of the album on YouTube. And if you’re more than convinced of the band’s capacity and are eager to buy The Hydra’s Tailor, simply go to iTunes or to the Musicarchy Media webstore to lay your metal hands on one of the best and most professional Progressive Metal albums from the past few years.

Best moments of the album: Animal, Victim, House of Plagues and Universe.

Worst moments of the album: The Hydra’s Tailor.

Released in 2015 Musicarchy Media

Track listing
1. In Darkness We Trust 2:32
2. Animal 4:25
3. Where It Lies 6:44
4. Victim 6:02
5. Devil’s Opera 3:49
6. Rise Again 7:31
7. Martyrs 1:46
8. House of Plagues 6:44
9. Aeden 5:20
10. The Hydra’s Tailor 3:59
11. Turning the Tide 6:07
12. Universe 7:43

Band members
Adam Grant – vocals
Save Addario – guitars
Mike Enort – bass guitar, vocals
Paul Igoe – drums