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 2015-05-12

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 Northern Irish Symphonic Power Metal band Selene, Italian Hard Rock band Rockstar Frame, and Finnish Melodic Death/Pop Metal band The Passion Of Our Souls (just click on the links below to read the reviews). Support your local bands… AND FOLLOW THE MOOSE!

On The Metal Moose Show – Chicks That Rawk Special Edition this week:

1. Insatia – Sacred
2. Selene – Paradise Over
3. Rockstar Frame – She’s Hot
4. The Passion Of Our Souls – Everything
5. Call Of The Wild – Voyager
6. Forever Still – Awake
7. 8 Faces – Enough Of It
8. Razorwire Halo – A Defining Moment
9. Aveole – Do You Use A Knife
10. As Night Falls – Final Destination
11. Ascending Dawn – All In Now
12. Bleeding Tears – Brother Wolf
13. Blind Savior – Freedom Call
14. Fallen Symphony – Breathe Before Fall
15. Fate Prevailed – Blue Skies Run Red
16. Jacknife Seizure – Time Of The Trilobites
17. Riseback – Make You Real
18. Soul Shredder – The Enemy

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

Metal Moose Radio YouTube | Spreaker | Mixcloud

Album Review – The Passion Of Our Souls / Soulmates EP (2015)

Enjoy this first-class fusion of pop and heavy music by a promising dynamic duo from Finland.

Rating4

THE PASSION OF OUR SOULS - Soulmates cover artOne day you’re walking down the street or hanging out at the mall, and you see that guy or girl that makes your heartbeat “match the beat of the universe”, as perfectly quoted by American author Joseph Campbell. That’s the moment when you finally find your soulmate, the person you want to spend the rest of your life together, and that’s exactly what Finnish Melodic Death/Pop Metal dynamic duo The Passion Of Our Souls want to express with their excellent debut EP entitled Soulmates.

Hailing from Hämeenlinna, Finland, and formed in 2014 when lead singer Julia Mattila and multi-instrumentalist Samuli Tuomas Mäkelä met each other and began to carry out together their passion for music (which by the way was the inspiration for the name of the band), The Passion of Our Souls offer us all what can be considered a concept EP, with all four tracks talking about passion and love. Moreover, the music itself is very well-crafted and effectively illustrates the message the band is sending to the listener. Add to that the beautiful combination of the band’s logo, designed by Argentinian graphic designer Victoria Pelejero, and the album art, created by Mexican graphic artist Angat Calavera, and you have a full-bodied final result which will please all fans of heavy and melodic music.

Give Me Your Soul already explains what the band wants to say with “Melodic Death/Pop Metal” due to the dark sounding of its Doom Metal riffs blended with the voice of Julia Mattila, who travels between demonic growls and mainstream clean vocals, creating a unique pop/metal atmosphere. Besides, its lyrics could easily belong to a pop music hit so passionate they are (“Your smile and eyes are like drug to me and / This is something that the whole world will see”). Then we have the thrilling Everything, which begins somehow like the new songs by Arch Enemy, reminding me of their latest single “War Eternal”: it’s a headbanging tune with a strong melodic vein, and you will love the guttural and clean vocals together in its catchy chorus. It’s so professional it doesn’t sound the band has only two members, although I wonder how Julia will be able to do both voices at the same time live. Well, that’s just a minor detail, at least for now.

THE PASSION OF OUR SOULS band photoThe even deeper guttural vocals in What Tomorrow Brings showcase a more contemporary Melodic Death Metal side of the band, where heavy riffs and somber but smooth passages go really well together; while the blast beats in Till Death Do Us Part keep the song a million light-years away from being commercial. This track has simple but intelligent lyrics about the whole concept of marriage, plus an exciting rhythm thanks to the amazing job done by Samuli. Not only that, its chorus couldn’t be more melodic and emotional (“Please marry me / And I’ll be yours forever / I’ll love you till the end / Till death do us part”), in line with the whole concept of the EP.

When Soulmates is over you will be craving for more of The Passion Of Our Souls, so let’s hope they do not take too long to release a full-length album with more of their amazing music. In the meantime, there are several places where you can know more about the band and enjoy their work, such as BandCamp, YouTubeSoundCloud, ReverbNation and BandPage. If I had to summarize the EP in just a few words, I would say it’s a topnotch fusion of pop and heavy music highly recommended for you to enjoy with your soulmate.

Best moments of the album: Everything is in my opinion the most appealing of the four tracks.

Worst moments of the album: Let’s wait until they have a full-length album to select a bad moment, right?

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Give Me Your Soul 3:25
2. Everything 4:57
3. What Tomorrow Brings 3:53
4. Till Death Do Us Part 5:15

Band members
Julia Mattila – growls, clean vocals (Seele, Julia)
Samuli Tuomas Mäkelä – all instrumentation (Kara Darahu, Snovonne)